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Cutting Ties to Other Gods

By Yuzo Imamura

Hudson Taylor once said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”

As my wife and I have served in a rural area of northeast Cambodia, we’ve found this to be true. God is full of surprises.

A little less than two years ago, by God’s grace, we started a house church. The house church’s beginnings coincided with the baptism of two of its core members – Piseth* and his wife.

We had been praying that Piseth’s neighbors would come to know Jesus, too. In particular, we prayed for a man named Roat*. At the time, seeing Roat come to faith and join the church felt like a big request. God would have to move in a big way.

The church met in Piseth’s home, and he and Roat were not on good terms. Every time I visited with them at their respective homes, they had bad things to say about each other.

Still, for some reason, Roat allowed his two children to attend a Sunday school at Piseth’s house. But would he ever go to church himself? No, never.

One Sunday after church at Piseth’s house, I stopped to visit Roat. To my surprise, he told me he wanted to believe in Jesus, stop drinking, and be a better husband to his wife. Though his slurred speech suggested he wasn’t completely sober, I took the opportunity to explain what believing in Jesus as his Savior meant.

First, I pointed out that the red string tied around his wrist would have to go. (It’s a popular custom for Cambodian Buddhists to wear red strings on their wrists or waists to invoke spiritual protection.) After I explained this to Roat, he cut off the red string immediately—essentially “cutting ties” with other gods. Next, I led him in a prayer of confession and commitment to Christ. His wife declined to join him, but Roat was undeterred.

I praised God for this big step in Roat’s journey. But the surprises didn’t stop there. The next day, Piseth came to Roat’s house to share a Bible message with him. They talked for an hour-and-a-half. Since then, Roat has been attending church at Piseth’s house.

While I hoped and prayed for Roat to find Christ, and for his relationship with Piseth to improve, I didn’t expect both things to happen at the same time!

These events remind me of Hudson Taylor’s words: “When we work, we work. When we pray, God works.”

*Names have been changed

Ways to pray:

  • Pray that Piseth’s family would continue to grow in their faith in Christ. Their eldest daughter (Grade 6) will be baptized soon.
  • Pray that Roat would have a stronger and clearer understanding of his salvation.
  • Pray for the salvation of the children who attend Sunday School.


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