Hands of Blessings as Daniel is ordained


Captured seconds.

Some moments in time capture an emotion, a feeling,

a celebration of something bigger than the other

moments that continually tick through our lives.

What’s special about this photo? It captures a moment in a story. It doesn’t just encapsulate the start or the end of a journey, but it embodies the hope that lies within the story.

The murderous regime of Pol Pot decimated the country and the people of Cambodia. In more recent years leaders of the Mekong Mission Forum (MMF) have looked ways to proclaim the freeing Gospel of Jesus in Cambodia.

Through the Lutheran Church in Singapore, a way was found to open doors in Cambodia. During mission work in the country, a translator was identified because of his growing love of Jesus. The translator began ministry training with the support of partner churches (including the Lutheran Church of Australia) and it was soon realised that Daniel had a heart for ministry and mission.

Led by pastor, Daniel the emerging local church grew and established communities where they shared and proclaimed the Gospel. Vibol and Mose also took on roles as pastors and following their turning from Buddhism to belief in Jesus Christ, young women – Sophouen, Sreyleak joined the church and took on leadership roles. All the while churches around the world prayed for, encouraged, sent volunteers and looked for ways to support the new and emerging missional church. Out of the horrible bones of a brutal regime, the new life of the Spirit was being breathed into a young church. Hope was blooming.

Daniel received his early training in the faith in Siem Reap and later he studied for his Bachelor of Theology in Phnom Penh. Many in the Australian Lutheran Church fondly remember Daniel as a Short Term Scholarship holder at ALC in 2016.

Dr Phil Baker, a wise experienced man of God, led Daniel through a period of pre-ordination training, using the text of ‘Growing as God’s people’ – a catechism book first published by the Lutheran Church of Australia (Openbook Publishers) and more recently translated into many Asian languages.

On the morning of his ordination – a hot, sticky Cambodian day – those who had journeyed with Daniel, gathered to pray with him.

On Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the Rainbow Hostel, a bordering house at the heart of the young churches mission, surrounded by family, community and church leaders from across the globe who have also become friends and mentors, Daniel was ordained.

Bishop Terry Kee from Singapore and Pastor Mose from Cambodia led the service that was filled with the colour red – God’s Spirit alive. Khmer, English and German voices prayed the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles Creed together as God’s grace in our churches was celebrated. Young people, many of whom first came to know Jesus through the hospitality and nurture of the Rainbow Hostel, led worship. Daniel’s wife, Sreypov and children Naomi, Christian and David were part of this special moment in Daniel’s life.

The laying on of hands captured the moment. In one sense it was the end point of a journey, a moment enjoyed and celebrated by many. In another sense it was the start of a bigger dream, a moment filled with vision for the future of sharing Jesus’ love with the Cambodian community.

Daniel has become one of the leaders of the Lutheran Church in Cambodian and will, with God’s help, shape its future.

In reality though it should just be enjoyed as a moment. A gift and a moment from God. The past is ours to recall, the future is God’s to unpack, the now is the moment given for thanks.

Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner church in Cambodia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/cambodia/