"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations..." Ephesians 3:20, 21
March has been quite a month.
We had spent the previous few weeks preparing for the U.S. visit of Savorn, our Cambodian national director, and his wife Sony -- designing and printing new brochures, updating the web site, scheduling events. It's not often that we get such important visitors for a month straight, so we wanted to make sure we utilized them as fully as possible.
Savorn and Sony spent nearly four weeks in the U.S., where they met with pastors and leadership teams from 6 churches, spoke in at least 9 weekend services, 5 receptions, 1 pastor's luncheon and had more than a dozen meetings with donors, potential donors, board members and ministry partners.
We certainly kept them busy. And they us. But God has moved in powerful ways, thanks to the generosity of our churches and to Savorn's amazing testimony.
Sony is greeted warmly by Darlene Rudrick of Crossroads Community Church before a reception in Columbus, Ohio.Savorn and Sony are pictured with John McCollum, Executive Director of Asia's Hope and Pastor Jason Haymaker and the elders of the Western Reserve Grace Church in Macedonia, Ohio.
Crossroads sponsors our Battambang 3 children's home in Cambodia. Since the home's founding, the kids and staff there have lived in a rented property. The facility is reasonably spacious and is, overall, adequate. But the family has longed for a permanent home, one in close proximity to our other Asia's Hope homes in Battambang.
Leaders at Crossroads began quietly "testing the waters," starting the conversation among a few potential supporters at the church to determine the feasibility of raising the $50,000 needed to build a home on land we own immediately adjacent to our main campus. To their delight, one donor representing a charitable foundation told them, "We'll give you the $50,000, but we want to do it in the form of a matching gift. For every dollar your church gives, we'll contribute one dollar."
Elevation drawing of the proposed BB3 home
Now the church began to expand their sights -- they could, potentially, build two houses: one for BB3, the other for a brand new home. The leaders put the plans together, and announced that Easter Sunday would be the day for everyone in the church community to donate toward the project.
On Palm Sunday Weekend, Savorn and I spoke at Crossroads, encouraging them to continue the good work they had started. Pastor Tim challenged the congregation to dig deep, to give sacrificially to fulfill God's command in James 1:27 to care for "the fatherless and the widow."
On Easter, the church responded "exceedingly, abundantly, above what [we could] ask." When the final tally was recorded, the church had raised $351,000!
So now, thanks to the amazing, overwhelming generosity of Crossroads church, we will be able to not only build the two homes we had hoped for, but we will be building a third -- all three will be fully supported on an ongoing basis by Crossroads. Additionally, the money raised by the church will go to more than a dozen other exciting projects -- vehicles, buildings, land -- that will be announced once the details are finalized.
To say that we're thankful would be a massive understatement. We're amazed at how much God loves his church, and how much he loves the orphaned and the poor.
What a faith-building experience this has been for everyone involved. We pray that this will be just one of many miraculous, divine interventions this year.