CRWM Missionary Uses Song in Cambodia

Love. It will not betray you, dismay you, enslave you. It will set you free.

The lyrics and melodies of this song by Mumford and Sons captivated Vin the first time he heard them.

Vin didn’t understand all of the words, but his attentiveness to the song made Justin Van Zee, a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions in Cambodia, aware of an amazing discipleship opportunity right in his own home.

A few months ago, Van Zee moved into an apartment with Vin and three other young Cambodian men.

“My pastor asked if I’d be willing to share an apartment with a few guys to create an environment for intentional discipleship and spiritual growth,” said Van Zee. “It’s a bit of an experiment, but the first few months make me very excited for what’s to come.”

When Van Zee agreed to his pastor’s proposal, he pictured his ministry as an organized Bible study with assigned readings. But he quickly learned that his roommates had different learning styles.

“I just don’t think that would work here,” said Van Zee. “That’s a discipleship program that would work for me. I need to think about what kind of discipleship program would work for them.”

Like much of the world's population, the majority of Cambodians are oral communicators. This means Vin prefers listening to the Bible on audio recordings, while Van Zee enjoys reading God’s Word.

With this in mind, Van Zee has begun using song lyrics as launching pads for meaningful conversations.

“I’m not here just to teach,” he said. “I’m here to learn, to listen, and to let the light of my housemates illumine the dark places of my life.”

Pray that as Justin Van Zee continues to adjust to a different culture, he will find new ways to create fellowship with young believers in Cambodia.

About the Author

Brian Clark, Resonate

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