Lessons from Ireland

Lee Michaels | August 18, 2011 | Comment

Irish countryside

Bobby and I were traveling the narrow, winding roads of western Ireland the summer of 2006, when he pulled over for us to watch a most-incredible process!  A man was standing with his dog on a steep hillside peppered with sheep.  The man’s arm suddenly flew upwards and the dog raced like lightning toward the grazing flock.  Immediately the countryside was scampering with movement as the animals scurried toward their next destination!  The few that lingered were forcefully encouraged to obey by the prompting of the sheep dog.  As soon as the master’s command was carried out, the dog attentively watched his master with unwavering intent in his eyes and devout focus.  He remained motionless just watching for the next command.  He did not move until his master spoke, then immediately darted off toward the sheep to obey.  This happened about three times before the sheep were properly corralled to their next area.  But the way the dog locked into his master’s attention is one thing I will never forget! 

Wouldn’t it be great if we would do the same for our Master?!  What a joy it would bring Him for us to just wait without distraction, lock into His voice, watch for His command—and then run to carry out His request. 

We all influence many people whether it be for good or bad.  But, tuned to the Master’s direction, we could so effectively encourage His “sheep” who need a new course and more plentiful fields to grow.

I pray this incident will come to our minds frequently to help remind us, as believers, of the way we can affect others by carrying out the Lord’s message and purpose. 

 

Land of Extremes

Lee Michaels | August 10, 2011 | Comment

Cambodia is a land of extremes.  You see glowing smiles on friendly faces—surrounded by unmistakable poverty; children dancing joyfully—not knowing their little bodies are totally naked; open hearts full of hope after a history filled with deceit and massacre.  Floods—and drought—devastate thousands of people each year as they watch their rice crops destroyed and their families suffering as a consequence.  As we motored our way to remote villages, we jostled and thumped through enormous potholes in the unpaved roads and just praised the Lord for the precious locals that travel these roads everyday without complaint.  We arrived to hundreds of patient people seated on the ground, organized in rows, with their children in arms and wandering all about.  Who knows how long they have waited in the scorching sun and blowing dirt.  The hands we shake, the people we hug, and the babies we play with are crusted with days of unseen baths and have hair filled with scampering lice.  But their beautiful smiles endear them to us every time.  My heart just rips and weeps as I look at the needy crowds.  Can you tell me which ones wouldn’t want a better life, which ones wouldn’t want to know the forgiveness of sin, which ones wouldn’t want the love of Christ in their lives, which ones shouldn’t get at least one chance to hear?  The answer goes unsaid.  It is more than a joy and honor to present each of them personally with the Gospels of Luke and John and the bags of rice.  The rice will last for days—the Word of God, for eternity.  Thank you to many of you who let us represent you while we presented the rice and the sacrifices you made to make this trip, this food, and the Word available to thousands of Cambodians.  Many lives were changed.  We got to meet them now.  You will meet them in Heaven! 

Psalm 57:9-11, “I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples.  For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth.”

 

Meeting with Government Officials

Little one in village

Cambodia Update — July 2011

Rachel Esterhuyse | August 3, 2011 | Comment

The month long trip was a whirlwind tour that touched thousands of people from cabinet level government officials, members of the Cambodian Parliament, and provincial governors to the poorest of the poor.  We frequently heard from the village officials that spoke to us during the distributions that the families who were receiving the rice were living at or below the national poverty level of $45/month. 

As we looked into the eyes of these individuals during each distribution, it was apparent that their lives were very difficult.  The rice they receive will help to relieve the ache of hunger for a while…yet for many, they face the daily challenge of finding enough to eat and clean water to drink.  The reality is…that for several million Cambodians living in the rural villages and jungle areas, life brings survival challenges that citizens of America will never know.  We don’t say this to put us on a guilt trip, but to simply remind us of the incredible blessings we receive everyday.

While we hesitate to condense this trip into raw number and stats…here are a few numbers to frame the work that’s been accomplished.
–  Total rice distributed: 223 tons
–  Total distribution venues: 22
–  Estimated number of families that received rice: 8,120
–  Estimated number of individuals within those familles that were fed: 36,000 to 40,000
–  Estimated number of individual that came forward to received Christ as Savior:  80
–  Estimated number of individual that heard the Gospel message: 10,800
–  Amount of Gospel literature (written in Khmer) distributed: 13,000 pieces

We at Musicianaries and TransforAsia teams are incredibly grateful to everything that the fabulous PLR family and other MII donors have done to make this mission a reality.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  We extend our deepest thanks to everyone for all that they have helped to accomplished for the Kingdom.

Riverside in Phnom Penh