Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ from Cambodia! It has been a very challenging but incredible three months since we have returned from our short four week visit to the US. We had a wonderful and refreshing time visiting family, friends, and our home church for a month of missions activities. As some of you may remember from our last update, Bob and Nancy Wells lovingly and sacrificially came to Cambodia for six weeks to care for (which included homeschooling) our children in our absence. We are so thankful to them for their labor of love to us and our children and count it a true blessing and provision from the Lord.
The children were excited and happy to welcome us home but the following three months would prove to be a time of testing for all of us. Each of the children the Lord has brought to our home have experienced some sort of major abandonment in their lives. Either their mother or their father left them for another spouse and family or their parent was unable to care for them due to poverty or alcohol abuse and then given away. Although this is a common story in this country, it is nonetheless traumatic for the abandoned child who suffers from issues surrounding their ability to trust.
Therefore, having been separated from the kids for the first time, we were not surprised that trust issues had surfaced, in fact we expected it. However, we never imagined the Lord would use these issues in such a powerful way. These issues were being manifested in disobedience and rebellion at a constant level. It wasn’t the normal disobedience or rebellion that children get caught up in but seemed to go very deep. They were things that had already been not only taught but been established and part of our everyday routine for at the least, two years. Now, over the last four and a half years, Andrea and I have come to understand intimately that parenthood is a high calling and one in which the Lord has called us to in Cambodia. It is a calling that is overwhelming, all consuming, and self-sacrificing. This is not a complaint but is simply the reality of it. So as you can imagine, deep seeded trust issues being manifested in rebellion and disobedience at a constant for a period of three months was pretty intense. We were challenged, afflicted, and perplexed, in every way as never before. It was so difficult to remain steadfast and faithful in the heat and smoke of the battle going on around us (not understanding really what was going on and unable to pinpoint the problems). But all praise and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ who caused us to be watchful and stand firm in the faith (I Cor 16:13), who strengthened and established us (I Pet 5:10), caused us to bear one another’s burdens while keeping watch on ourselves, lest we too be tempted (Gal. 6:2), by faith in Christ Jesus because of the challenges facing us were able to press on even harder, leaned closer and harder upon the breast of Jesus, sought further and deeper unto Jesus, drew out of Him more, went more frequently to the River to drink still more and more deeply to revive, refresh, and feed our souls ((Phil. 4:13, 1:21).
Andrea and I, by the grace of God, have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and that He practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness and who has allowed such affliction and suffering in our lives and the lives of the children He has providentially brought into our home. We understand and rejoice that it is Christ Jesus, alone, who brings increase, growth, and repentance (ICor 3:7). In His grace and mercy the Lord has used the last three months as a furnace to burn away the dross, purify our corrupt wills, and wield and sharpen our weapon of faith by bringing to repentance three of the five children in our home! Please rejoice and join with us in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus Christ who shows His steadfast love and mercy toward us by revealing Himself, our sinfulness, and our need for Christ our Savior!
We stand in awe of Him and the faith that He has given us to persevere, the faith to look to Jesus, His promises, and to things the eye cannot see which are eternal and are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (IICor 4:17-18), and the precious faith that causes us to believe (Eph 2:8-9). What a Savior!
Each of the children made their decision to follow Christ at different times over the last three months and each is a testimony of God’s gracious work in each child. We will share each testimony in the updates to come as we want to give each work of grace its proper due. We want to thank each one of you for your prayers and partnership in this gospel ministry because your endeavors on our behalf are being heard and answered by our awesome and mighty God!
He Is Risen Indeed!
BJ and Andrea Lopez