Yielded to the Master Potter
“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” Jeremiah 18:3, 4.
“The potter takes the clay in his hands and molds and fashions it according to his own will. He kneads it and works it. He tears it apart and then presses it together…. Thus it becomes a vessel fit for use. So the great Master Worker desires to mold and fashion us. And as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we to be in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to the molding of the Master Worker.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 187.
Seng Sopheak works for the Lord as a shepherd of a flock of over thirty women and children, along with a few men, who are infected with the HIV virus. She admitted that there have been times she longingly thinks back to when she cared for sheep and cows in the country. “That work was much easier!” she exclaimed. These people come to the Cambodian SDA Center, an ASAP (Adventist Southeast Asia Project) refuge for those with AIDS, with not only their diseases, but mental and emotional pain as well. Can you imagine how you would feel if you were cursed at, spit at, thrown out of your home, abandoned and left on the side of the road to die? The medicine they take for AIDS has negative side effects, and because of the close quarters and low immune
systems, they often catch each other’s sicknesses. Sopheak shared, “I have been chased with a knife and my life threatened at times because of residents who do not want to abide by the rules of the SDA Center. I pray and speak calmly to them, and God has helped me through every difficult situation. The forgiveness I show them changes their hearts because they see God’s mercy.”
The residents come as broken, cracked pots, but the Master Potter patiently works to mold and shape each one into new, beautiful creations. No longer are they considered outcasts and rejects. They become useful vessels in the hands of God.
Take, for example, Mr. Kem. This is his testimony:
I heard the good news of salvation from my friend Seng Put when I was in the hospital. He shared with me from the Bible about how God created the whole world and that He is the only one true God. He told me that God has a law called the Ten Commandments that shows a person how to live so that they will be happy and healthy. He even puts His Holy Spirit inside the hearts of those who believe, and the Spirit helps them obey the law and changes them from the inside out. His words gave me hope. My life looked nothing like the good life he described to me. I drank, smoked, gambled and could not hold down a job. My wife died three years ago, which caused me to be angry and discouraged. I was failing at the job of raising my eleven-year-old daughter Saree by myself.
My friend found Saree and me living on the street after I got out of the hospital. Seng Put continued sharing Jesus with me, until one day I decided to accept Jesus into my heart! I came to church and met Mrs. Sopheak. I knew that she would be a positive influence on my daughter Saree. All the people at the SDA Center accepted us with love and kindness. I put my name on a long waiting list to come stay at the SDA Center. I did this in faith that God would change my bad habits in order to make it possible to stay, for Mrs. Sopheak made it clear that no one who stays at the center can drink, smoke, fight, hit their children or wives, swear, steal or do all the other bad things I was used to doing.
I will never forget that happy day when my daughter and I were accepted into the SDA Center! I knew God was making changes in me, and I praise Him. The first morning everyone woke up at 5:30 and came to pray and study the Bible and Sabbath School lesson together. Then again in the evening everyone gathered to study and pray. It felt good to be part of a family. God kept speaking to me and reassuring me of His love and His ability to make me a new person.
Each Friday, the residents go out with Mrs. Sopheak to visit people in the community, old and new church members, and others with whom they cross paths. At first, I was afraid to go because I had experienced rejection in the past from people because of my disease. My new family encouraged me and told me it was different here. Indeed it was! When we went to visit people, they were happy for the invitation to come to church. The next day, to my amazement, the church was filled up with over eighty people. I knew this place was very different from anywhere else in Cambodia because the people who did not have AIDS associated with those who had AIDS and other diseases. This also showed me the love of God.
Please pray that God will continue to mold and shape each resident of the SDA Center into Christ’s lovely character. Pray that God will bring healing and restoration to each resident’s mind, body and soul. Pray that, God willing, ASAP can develop small enterprise projects for those who feel well enough to work in order for this center to become self-sustaining in the future. Pray for the future of the SDA Center and that if it is God’s will, it will be moved into the country where the people can garden.
We thank each donor who lovingly provides the support for God’s precious children in Cambodia. It costs $30,000 per year to run the SDA Center (a Seventh-day Adventist refuge for those with AIDS). You can administer love to “the least” by giving $45 per month for one resident.
By Adventist Southeast Asia Projects, Inc., PO Box 84, Berrien Springs, MI 49103. Website: www.asapministries.org. Email: email@example.com. Phone: 269-471-3026.