Reflections on the Cambodia Conference

Published November 14, 2013

Well I have been home now for a week. After the conference we managed to spend a couple of days visiting the temples at Angkor Watt. Wow, is pretty much my responses to being there. If you get the opportunity to visit Angkor Watt you should take it. But that is not the purpose of this posting.

I always think it is important to give a period of time before reviewing a conference. Time allows the peripheral things to find their place in our thoughts and the things that we found important to come to the surface where we have time to meditate on them and allow God to speak to us from what we heard.

The opening message of this conference from Pastor Barnabas Mam, a leader in the church in Cambodia, was challenging and inspiring. To be honest the things I recall from his message were the stories he told of his family situation as a result of the terrors that were inflicted on the Cambodian people during the reign of Pol Pot. What struck me about this was the total lack of a victim mentality, the power of forgiveness to move forward and his heart for Gods healing for his nation. With leaders such as this the church in Cambodia is in good hands.

Marilyn Murray also impacted many through her ministry and teaching on trauma. Her own family history was an eye opener. For me asĀ  a counsellor it was fascinating to see the trauma through her family Genogram. Her honesty in opening her life to us was humbling. Her teaching on dealing with trauma was life giving and has provided new tools for the counsellors tool box for many.

One of the stand out concepts for me was emphasised by both Pax Tan and Ede Clarke. They both talked about “the integrity of the Gospel”. It is a term I will meditate on for some time. The call to trust the message of the Gospel even when we are being pressured to compromise. To see God honour that commitment to the integrity of the Gospel and bring good out of what looks like a difficult situation to our natural eyes. This is where faith comes to the fore. Do we trust what we see in the natural, or do we trust that we have been called to bring a message of hope and challenge which will at times raise opposition but will also be honoured by Father. What excites me about a message like this is that it forces me to re-appraise what I am doing and ask the question “am I in a position of faith”. I firmly believe that God responds to faith.

Dr Jean Le Cour brought the final message on the last morning, and with that wonderful smile of hers encouraged us to move forward, challenged us to look to God and reminded us that the message of hope we carry will change people lives, including our own.

Added to these messages we also heard from Pastor Bernie Gillott from Teen Challenge. A man who seemed to spend the whole conference encouraging anyone he met. Many of us will have come away having been reminded by him that we are a man or woman of God. When Bernie is in the house you will know it. Thank you Bernie.

In the afternoons workshops were held on a variety of subjects and I only heard good things as people discussed their experiences of these workshops.

Amongst all the things I have spoken about already the thing that stands out in my mind of this conference was the presence of the Holy Spirit. The worship team led us each day into the holy place where we knew the presence of the Holy One. Leading worship is a gift from God. It is not just leading people in a few songs, it is indeed a gift that some have and some don’t. This team had it. The sense of unity in the Spirit was palpable. You could almost feel the desire in people hearts to come closer to God, and He responded. Thank you to that team who were so open to Father to lead us each day.

On the Thursday Pastor Pax Tan led us into a wonderful time of ministry. All around the room people were being prayed for and ministering to each other. I love these times as people allow God to lead them in praying for others. Times to bring a word to another, times to bless another, times to encourage another. Wow, thank you Father for touching us through this conference.

Then there were the stories, and testimonies from across the globe. People sharing where they had been redeemed from. Sharing what this conference meant to them. Sharing about the challenges of what ministry looks like in their part of the world. People building relationships with people they had not met before. In many ways this was the essence of the conference. the interaction with each other over the meal table, over coffee, through the Kopitium, or just in the banter of old friends seeing each other again.

So many other memories as well. Seeing all those Pakistanis trying to get into one Tuk Tuk. Westerners trying to come to terms with an Asian breakfast. A wonderful conference meal at a lovely restaurant beside the river. And always the reminder of the pain of this beautiful country as the walls of the S21 building, the place where so many were tortured and died, was literally right in front of us each day.

Was it a good conference people will ask as we arrive home. It was better than a good conference. It was an excellent one, and everyone who was there not only participated in the conference but made it such an excellent time. This was the heart of ISAAC beating. This was the time for workers in the field to find a time of refreshing. This was God leading us by still waters.

Will we do another one? You can be sure that we will. At this stage we are looking at 2016 somewhere in Asia. We will keep you posted.


With many blessings


1 Response to “Reflections on the Cambodia Conference”

  1. Garo Margossian November 14, 2013

    God bless you Warwick …

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