Monday, August 27, 2007

Precious Treasures in God’s Sight

Last year when I was visiting Cambodia, three of my travel partners gave me a silver ring with a pearl in the center as a thank you gift. Knowing my heart for girls who are sexually exploited they shared that whenever I would wear the ring, may it remind me of how God views each of these young girls---as precious treasures in His sight. So this year before I left home, another friend gave me a significant donation and asked if I would use it to bless the young girls I met. The thought that came straight to my mind was to give each of them a pearl ring similar to the one that was given to me. So a few days ago we took the finger measurements of our young friends at TLC and went off to our favourite jeweller at Toul Tompong (Russian) Market. Tonight we had the privilege of giving each of the girls a custom made pearl ring and I shared with them 3 stories associated with the pearl ring.

First, I asked the girls to describe the qualities of a pearl. Their responses: it is beautiful, good, lovely and shiney. I told them this is exactly how God sees each of them. In Him we are beautiful, valuable and a precious treasure that reflects His light. We had one of the girls read Psalm 139:11-16 from the Khmer bible, “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I continued on sharing that God has created them all and that whatever He has created is good and is beautiful and that even before they were born, He was creating them each for a special purpose. In His eyes they are a valuable treasure.

Second, I asked them what is the make up of a pearl? It is a stone and what does that symbolize? One young friend who I shall call Srey Nih said ‘a stone is strong and it cannot be destroyed.’ And so we then led them to read the passage from 1 Peter 2:4-6 “as you come to Him the Living Stone---rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him, you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood....for in scripture it says ‘See I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone and the one who trust in Him will never be put to shame.” I reminded them that just as Jesus is our Living stone that He has not only chosen us to be His children but He has also created us to be living stones that we too indeed cannot be destroyed if the Spirit of God lives within us. That if we trust in Him, we can never be put to shame because God loves us and is for us. We can be living stones when we love one another, encourage one another, serve one another and forgive each other when we do hurtful things to each other.

Finally, I asked them ‘how does a pearl’ continually reflect its beauty? They replied: it needs to be cleaned and polished and so i encouraged them that as we are God’s pearls, one of the ways we can be cleaned and polished is if we continue to walk in His ways and to be obedient to His truth. Then, we will always reflect His beauty and be light in the darkness.

We closed our time together by forming a circle and one of my traveller partners prayed a blessing over both the girls and their caregivers and we followed the prayer by singing Jesus loves me this I know! We are not planning to see the girls again on this trip and saying goodbye to each of them was not easy. As we have visited them and bonded with them over this past week, they kept asking us when we will come back. I found myself trying to keep the tears from flowing as I began to give each of them a hug and tell them how much we love them. I can’t help but wonder how those who are involved full time in this ministry must feel when they have to say goodbye to these precious ones who have become so dear to them. It is as if we have left part of our hearts with them and our goodbyes each time we see them get longer and longer as everyone wants to keep holding on to each other. I am grateful for what little God has allowed us to experience through these young lives. I trust that as they wear the pearl rings we have given to each of them that they will be reminded that they are precious treasures in God’s sight; the apple of His eye and that their value comes from Him and Him alone! May these truths be engraved upon their hearts no matter where they are and what they are doing and what challenges they face.

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