Jonathan & Veronica Nicholaides

One Sabbath Afternoon

Sometimes as missionaries, we feel we should always have something exciting, adventurous, or of deep spiritual import to convey. Today, though, I would like you to join me for a drama-free Sabbath afternoon visit with some of our village church members.

For months Srey Neung and I talked about going to her field house purely for the opportunity to visit in the peace of nature, but it always seemed like one of us was busy. Today we both had time, so we invited Cris and Solange, two of our teammates, to join our families for a relaxing afternoon at their jungle farm.

As we pulled up in front of Srey Neung and Sloat’s home in Punih village, Hein, their oldest son, smiled from the doorway. Their youngest son, Chhay, peeked shyly from behind his brother. We all piled in the truck and drove the short distance to a hilltop at the edge of the village. In front of us, beautiful hills and valleys mellowed out into a distant plain.

We clamored out of the truck and started down the little footpath. As we got to the bottom of the hill, the path opened into a narrow valley, and we could see their little field house in the middle. Kunthea, Srey Neung’s niece, was already waiting at the house with her three-year-old daughter, boiling some farm-grown sweet potatoes in a pot over an open fire. We visited as we meandered around their jungle farm, munching on sweet potatoes and looking at banana trees, herbs, squash etc.

Climbing down another short slope at the edge of their land, we cooled off in the little stream, splashing each other good-naturedly. Too soon, it was time for us to leave, and Sloat asked us to pray for God’s protection and blessing over their farm before we started our journey back up the trail. We all bowed our heads and asked the great God of the universe to bless and protect their humble farm.

I imagine God looking down at our little group in that jungle valley with pleasure that Sabbath afternoon.

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