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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vantawn Lork

On December 24, Vantawn Lork died in a motorcyle accident en route to evangelize the lost in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia.  He had turned 31 back in June and was preaching in Phnom Penh.  His two brothers, Chann and Sokchea, are gospel preachers we at Bear Valley fully support as they work in the Siem Reap area.  I only met Tawn once, but his brothers are full of life, jokesters, and mischievous until it is time to talk the gospel.  Then, they could not be more serious!  But, they and their fellow Cambodians, as well as other third-world inhabitants I have met in places like Thailand, Tanzania, Kenya, and Bangladesh, remind me of how many blessings I routinely take for granted.

Many of them do not have drinking water in their homes, but must go elsewhere to fetch it.  They eat one meal a day, and sometimes they are not that blessed.  They must travel in countries where there are many hazards, and some are thrilled just to have a bicycle.  They are susceptible to diseases that, with cheap, proper medication, are most benign, but many of them do not have access to the medicine.  They often must save for several years to earn enough money for a dowry and thereby enter into marriage.  They face fierce social, religious, familial, and sometimes physical persecution.  Their life expectancy is low.  They understand what David meant when he spoke of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  They make very little money, and the idea of social security, retirement plans, or even property and house ownership is so foreign to them as to be unknown. 

Today, you may be having a great day or you could be having a bad day.  You may be going through the biggest trial of your life so far.  You may be facing a fearful future.  Whatever life is handing you right now, take a few minutes to reflect on the many ways God has blessed your life particularly in a material way.  When was the last time you thanked Him for running tap water, antibiotics for only a couple of dollars a bottle, clean hospitals with competent personnel, heating and cooling, real windows, doors, and walls on your house, dependable transportation, paved roads, and religious freedom?  This is not an attempt to make you feel guilty for your prosperity, only a reminder that God in His sovereignty has allowed you to have such blessings.  Be grateful, and use what He gives for His cause and His glory!     Neal Pollard


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