Thursday, February 26, 2009

The gift of knowledge

From time to time, I meet someone for the first time, but I know them instantly because the ripple effects of their ministry in the world have been hitting me for a long time. Pastor Sophean, the wife of Rev. Ean Hun, is one such person.

Pastor Sophean came from humble beginnings. I don’t know much of her story, only that she had to stop school at just second grade. I can’t tell you when or how she became a Christian, only that she did. But when that happened, her passion and desire to know God’s Word was so great that at the age of 35, with the help of her family, she learned to read. A woman with formal education only up to the second grade was inspired and empowered.

To look at her ministry now, you would never guess her background. She brings a fervor and passion to prayer that is unique. She led the opening worship service on the second day of our medical mission clinic with Louisiana UMVIM at Chrolongkok Church. Even our volunteers from the US commented to me later that they could feel the spirit move when she sang and prayed, despite the language barriers.

But, I could have told you this before I even met her because of my experience working with one of the churches she started in the northern part of Kampong Chhnang. In a house church, less than two years old, was one of the most vibrant and generous ministries I have seen, engaging in outreach not only with external resources, but also with rice from their own bowls. In addition, I was so impressed because she had trained the congregation to have the best record keeping I have seen of any church in Cambodia.

She has nurtured many young folks in the faith, inviting them into her house and teaching by her example. Pastor Lun Sokom said that when he and his wife were living under her care as youth, that she was very strict with them, instilling a sense of discipline reminiscent of John Wesley’s Holiness Club. Pastor Lon Sokom's love and respect for Pastor Sophean is obvious.

Sophean is currently a student at the Methodist Bible School in Phnom Penh, and her teacher, Rev. Romy del Rosario, is greatful for the depth of experience she brings to all of the classroom discusions. Her quest for knowlege is inspirational. And I could go on and on.

It was a joy for me to join in the wedding of her son last week; I pray for continued blessing for this wonderful woman and her family.