My birthday, May 23, 2002 was happily spent traveling along with a group of leaders through the northwest of Cambodia, to a region the Lord had never given me permission to travel to before. We were visiting pastors and their churches, praying for them as they served Jesus out on the fringes of the Kingdom. We asked the Lord to send laborers to extend his church.
Fast-forward more than a dozen years. God had moved me into more focused prayer efforts, riding my dirt bike around the whole circumference of Cambodia (5,000 km) twice each year. We called these expeditions “Prayer Circles.” I had made many more trips into that isolated northwest province and spent a lot of time praying there.
Today I was travelling to the region to visit a missionary team from Fiji. This team was an answer to our prayer for laborers all those years ago on my very first trip!
The team wanted me to meet Pastor B, a local pastor who had felt specifically called to move across Cambodia to this region a few years before. What began as a short “drive by” meeting turned into a five hour discussion with the pastor and one of his ministry partners about their regional church “movement.” In their church association, twenty-one churches (so far) have come together to encourage and support each other to reach the people of the province.
Unity is one of the things we pray for as we travel around Cambodia. More answers to prayer!
“So Pastor, what can you tell me about the rest of this province and the gospel?” Pastor B asked me.
I replied, “So Pastor B, what can you tell me about the rest of this province and the gospel?”
“There are almost one hundred churches in our province now, and more are starting as we speak. God is doing a great thing here, and we are thankful.”
“What changed?” I asked him.
“Before it was very hard, not many wanted to hear the good news of Jesus. About two years ago things changed. People became more receptive, others more cooperative, we all could feel it. Pastor Dave, that’s when you started your Prayer Circle ministry, isn’t it? I heard about your group traveling by motorcycles around Cambodia’s border praying all along the way. We are convinced that prayer is what opened up our province. Prayer is also what will keep us growing here in the north. Thank you for investing your time and energy, asking God to bring peace and freedom to us.”
I did not know so much was happening! We have been praying for this province along with many others for years. Truthfully, it is hard sometimes to keep asking, keep praying for what we hope will come about. How wonderful it was for me to listen to these pastors describing how God is answering all of our prayers! People of all ages are coming to Jesus, creating faith communities village by village, family by family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dave Everitt and his wife Lisa moved to Cambodia with CRM in 1994. After more than two decades, they are transitioning to a new home-base in the U.S., leaving the Prayer Circle Ministry in the faithful hands of those trained up in Cambodia to keep it going.