Recently I met a mangled, old-looking pastor in one of the small Asian Access training cohorts in Cambodia. Charya’s bones were crooked, he was missing an eye, he could barely walk.
Your Gifts Will Be Doubled!
But before I get to his story in the next paragraph, I want to share some good news—the largest match challenge in Asian Access’ history is still not over. So your gift or pledge at this time can still be doubled!
Now, back to Charya…
Charya (not his real name for security reasons) was convicted during the session as they talked about the apostle Paul being chief among sinners. He later confessed to the director,
“I’m worse than that man.”
You see, Charya was a commander during Pol Pot’s reign of terror. He was known for his brutality and everyone feared him. He would even pull people’s hearts right out of their body while they were alive—and he raped hundreds of women.
From Brutal Leader to Jesus Follower to Church Planter
Following the Khmer Rouge brutal reign, Charya fled to the forest, met Jorani (also not her real name) and got married. He was terrible to Jorani which caused her to flee to a church. There she eventually found salvation through Christ. But Charya would beat her every week for going to church. That didn’t stop Jorani. Charya was perplexed that she would keep going despite the beatings so he secretly followed her one day. Soon after, he met the Lord, too.
Surprisingly, Charya became a pastor in that remote region where the Khmer Rouge have been hiding to this day. He started leading people to Christ and started a church. His ministry became fruitful enough that he was one of the few chosen to go through Asian Access training.
During the two-year cohort which I attended, Charya confessed his past to the director and said,
“God could never forgive me.”
But our director assured him that God can do the impossible and if he could forgive the apostle Paul, he would forgive him. His sins were more grievous than mine or yours… but Jesus paid the price for his sins on the cross, just as He did ours. Charya found freedom from the guilt and shame of his past sins.
Charya came to Asian Access training broken—in every way imaginable. I’ve rarely met someone who looked so physically broken. As A2 helped build his understanding of God’s grace, he grew stronger in the Lord. He learned about making disciples and reproducing what God had done through him.
Charya went on to graduate from Asian Access and today, he’s one of the few who changes the many. He’s gone on leading hundreds to Christ, raising up dozens of leaders. He’s even led many Khmer Rouge members to Christ. And since graduating from Asian Access, Charya has now planted over 300 churches.
Changing the Few who Change the Many
This is just one story among many highlighting our focus: changing the few who change the many, just like Jesus’ model of investing in a few key leaders. As we invest in emerging leaders, building their capacity as spiritual leaders, the Lord accelerates their call in mission. In this case, thousands of lives were changed because of your support. Thank you!
I see you as the hero of this story. Why? Because you partner with us in changing the few who change the many! Your prayers and support are what encourages and empowers leaders like Charya. You foster their growth and help catalyze their mission.
As you may recall, Asian Access celebrated 50 years of ministry last year and we closed out the year with our largest matching challenge gift in our history. What a way to celebrate! Now, another match challenge is currently going on, and more in 2019!
Would you prayerfully consider a gift to help us meet the remaining challenge?
Your gift now of $75, $100, $150, or even $500 or pledge to give by the end of 2018 will be doubled to expand Asian Access to all Asian nations by 2020 so more pastors like Charya will be trained, each resulting in perhaps thousands following Christ.
Thank you for partnering with Asian Access and God in seeing change like what we have seen in Cambodia. I’m grateful for you and I look forward to hearing from you on this match challenge as well.
God bless you,
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