Cambodia, Grace, …and Darlene Zschech?

Hi all,cam2

Sorry its been a little quiet here at Beyond the Pale but I spent most of last week in Cambodia where I had the privilege of speaking at the Grace & Truth Conference in Phenom Penh.  300 pastors and church leaders from 70 churches around the country traveled to  the city for the time of teaching.  The name of the conference itself comes from John 1:17

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

And that became the main teaching goal.  Transition these leader’s understanding away from an Old Covenant focus on our own performance to a New Covenant understanding of what Jesus has done.

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I was part of a team of teachers from Island City Church which is the church I attend in Hong Kong.  It was great to teach along side some friends I have known for quite a number of years.  The Cambodian leaders were very receptive to the idea of Grace and we received many testimonies during the conference of transformed hearts.  It is interesting to note though that no matter what culture you are in, it is difficult to get our eyes and attention off us and on to Jesus

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I was amazed, and pleasantly surprised, to find that women made up about half of the leaders represented.  Most pastor’s functions I attend in the West tend to be mostly male.  One of the Cambodian leaders told me though that many men leave their families for long periods to go find higher paying jobs in more developed Thailand and even Vietnam.


At the end of the conference our team served communion to all the leaders in attendance.  Eating together at the Table of the Lord…it don’t get better.

Interesting Observation on “Worship”

The attendees to the conference were very local.  Most were from rural provinces so our ability to communicate beyond smiles and hugs was limited to a few translators.  What I thought was interesting though was despite the very Cambodian audience, as soon as the worship started up I felt very much like I was at Hillsong  Australia.

I’m not kidding.

The body language of the band…the worship leader…the music…it was all Western evangelical worship tunes. The transformation was startling to me!  In a flash the young local girl leading worship was no longer Cambodian… but Darlene Zschech!

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After communion on the last evening our team passed out Bible concordances in the local language to all the attendees.  While we passed them out the band played some of the best music I’d heard throughout the whole conference.  It was just some freestyle jazz but it set a beautiful mood as we gave our gifts.

I meandered over to the keyboardist and told him how much I was enjoying the music.  He thanked me and said it was “some of their own stuff.”

I winked and replied, “Yeah, stick with that”


1 comment

  • Bob

    This is fantastic Steve. What a privilege this must have been for you. Thanks for letting your readers have a glimpse of these holy moments.

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