This is the story of a young tribal girl in Ratanankiri and the Lord’s blessing to rescue her in the dark of night through one of our team members, Joelle Kenny.
Joelle writes: It was Good Friday and I was driving home after dark with Lai, my house helper, and her four children on our way back from picnicking at a waterfall. Shortly into the drive, on a quiet forested road, I saw a young tribal woman. She was maybe 16 years old, barefooted and carrying a baby. I stopped the car and asked Lai to approach the girl to see if we could help drive her somewhere. Through the windows I saw something like a heated exchange happening, so I got out of the car to see what the problem was. The young girl was hysterical. Through heavy sobs she was telling Lai how she was fleeing her husband, a drug dealer, who had been beating her. She was trying to get to her parents’ village, but it was so far and she could hardly walk any more. We told her not to be afraid, but to let us drive her to where she needed to go. She sat in the front of the car with Lai, who held the girl in her arms and told her that Jesus knows all about her suffering and dearly loves her. ‘I know’, the girl replied. ‘I was just praying to him. I said to him, if you really love me Jesus, if you really, really love me, you will not make me walk all this way to my parents’ house. Then your car came!’
The girl explained how she had once known Jesus but had left her faith two years ago when she married her husband. ‘When I was a believer I was happy’ she told us. ‘Since I left Jesus, my life has been very bad.’ Lai lovingly ministered to the girl, giving her advice on what she needed to do to repent and start afresh with God. ‘Yes’ the girl replied ‘I want to start again with God.’ We left her in the embrace of her Christian family who thanked us heartily as their daughter, still sobbing, explained how God had heard her prayer and sent us to rescue her. As I meditated that night on what had happened, it dawned on me that I had just witnessed something like the parable of the lost son unfolding before my eyes. I went to bed that night praising God that though the sheep may wander, the shepherd graciously goes after them.