I flip through my Bible asking the Lord to speak clearly to me during our prayer meeting. As I am turning the pages of my Bible, I feel the Lord press upon my heart to begin asking Him for specific things when we go out today. I begin to ask Him to somehow connect us with a group of young people and with somebody who is influential in their lives. We continue to pray together before jumping in the truck and driving out to meet a man who God highlighted to Bill during our time of prayer.
Paw Maan is working out in his field today, so we head out to spend some time with him as he works. It is a beautiful and clear day today. I step out of the truck onto his field met with the smell of burning fields and I see the many smoke plumes dotting the horizon. Beyond the billows of smoke is a beautiful and humble mountain range. At the base of these mountains is a large lake and dam where many of the villages we visit sit. We walk under the passion fruit vine and through the rows of tomatoes, but Paw Maan is nowhere to be found. Bill gives him a call and he makes his way out to the fields from his house. When he pulls up in his truck, he asks us to follow him to his house so that we can sit down and eat together. We all jump back in the truck and follow him home. As we pull up to his home, I notice that there are a bunch of teenagers in their high school uniform standing around his front door. With them is a man speaking with them in his teaching uniform. I ask what’s going on, and Brian says that the high school has nominated Paw Maan and his family for an award for being model citizens in the village. We didn’t have any idea this was going to happen, but we just go with the flow.
The students are all gathering around Paw Maan with the plaque, and they ask us to get in the picture too. After the picture, we start talking with the teacher and make our way to the mats on the floor of Paw Maan’s house to continue our conversation. I can hear the sound of the mortar and pestle pounding chili peppers in the kitchen, and the smell of garlic and fish sauce is heavy in the air. The students begin bringing out one plate after another and setting them down on the mat in front of us. Their teacher is so interested in what we three foreigners are doing way out here in his village, so Bill begins to share with him why we have come. I’m thinking to myself of how just earlier this week, God confirmed to me that he wanted me to pursue building opportunities for mentorship with young people in the villages through soccer. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the connections needed for this to happen, yet here we are. Brian mentions to him that we would be interested in training the kids in soccer and mentoring them. His response is so positive, and he says that the principal of the high school absolutely loves soccer and wants to help the team develop. We invite the teacher out to one of our church meetings, and to our surprise he says that he may actually come.
After we finish having our meal together, the teacher heads back to the school and leaves the students with us and for thirty minutes we begin to share our testimonies and the Gospel with them. It is the first time that they have ever heard about Jesus. Their eyes are filled with anticipation and curiosity as we share the cost of becoming disciples of Jesus. I warn them that it won’t make all of their problems go away, and that their friends and families may reject them because of Jesus, but that He is worth anything that we could ever give up. After spending some time with them, we pray for them and make connections. We are so excited to come back out in the next few weeks and continue to develop friendships with these students and their teacher. Please pray that God would open up the community to hear and receive the truth, and that we would see darkness flee and demons bow in this village at the name of Jesus.