Posted by: សារ៉ា(Sarah) | December 25, 2011

So Rich

I find it difficult to imagine that Christmas is actually here.  There’s just something about all the vibrant green shouting early summer and the pleasant 75-85 degree daytime weather that makes it more comfortable to wear short sleeves and enjoy our outdoor shower.  Then there is the total lack of everything that makes me think “Christmas” – no frosty air and glittering snow coating the earth in a lovely white blanket, no flames dancing in the fireplace, no mugs of steamy warm, homemade apple cider or grape juice, no long evenings full of love and laughter at family gatherings, no fresh scent of evergreen permeating the house, no colored lights or sparkling decorations or pretty gifts wrapped in shimmering paper, ribbons, and bows.

Yes, Christmas is very different this year.

Yet as I look out at the twinkling stars and listen to the soft chirps of crickets and peeps of little frogs, I think maybe our Cambodian Christmas is much more like the night the shepherds heard the angels sing.

The sheep graze in quiet contentment and the night insects continue their soft serenade in the once again silent night.  The shepherds, mute with wonder and awe, look at one another.  No, they certainly couldn’t all have imagined seeing the angels and hearing them sing.  And in the hush that follows the triumphant jubilation of the heavenly choir, the shepherds turn and run to find the One whom the angels heralded.

They hasten through the city streets.  Finally they find the King of the universe, just as the angels described Him – a helpless baby, wrapped in the only pieces of cloth the poor parents could find, and laid in a dirty feeding trough, the best cradle available.  The shepherds fall down and worship.

I’m sure for the rest of their lives one of the shepherds’ favorite stories was of the night the angels visited them and they met their tiny Savior King.

What about us?  What is our favorite story to tell?

Maybe some of our indifference to the story of Jesus’ birth stems from our familiarity with it; most of us have grown up knowing even the little details.  It’s difficult to imagine what it would be like if we didn’t know, yet that is reality for nearly 100% of the population in Cambodia.  And their reality causes me to rethink the Christmas story and consider how rich we really are – so rich, and we don’t even realize it.

This Christmas, thank God for your riches, because you are rich if…

You have ever attended even one campmeeting, GYC, or summer camp for young people.  You have weekly Bible lessons in your own language for the young people in your church to study.  Someone has shared tips with you about how to study the Bible.  You have resources like Strong’s Concordance to aid you in Bible study.  You have studied Daniel and Revelation.  You have read more than one spiritual book besides the Bible in your own language.  You have or can consider education past high school.  You have or can find a job that pays enough for you to save something for later instead of spending all of today’s earnings on tomorrow’s necessities.  You aren’t worried about when you will eat next (or if your whole family of thirteen will starve because the only person with a job suddenly and unexplainably became crippled from his waist down and is now fighting intense pain and struggling to breath – please pray for our student Tob and her older brother when you think about them).  You have money in your wallet or bank account (and if you do, you’re among the top 8% of the richest people in the world).  You have, shared among all your friends and fellow church members, one CD of good Christian music to listen to in your own language.  You have not struggled to break the addiction of alcohol or something else which has bound you since you were eleven years old.  You have heard the name of Jesus and, if you are especially blessed, know something about who He is.  You understand what it means to surrender to gain the victory in the Christian life (in other words, you are experiencing righteousness by faith).  You are not afraid to walk by yourself after dark or stay in a house alone at night.  You own a Bible.

Christian, you possess so much.  What are you doing with your riches?


  1. Praise the Lord that you are there to share the love of Jesus with others and to learn how others live. Again, I thank you for sharing with us and allowing us to share with you. <3

  2. Amen Sarah. I am even richer having read this post. Thank you dear missionary. Love to all of you.

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