The Evidence of Transformation: My Journey on The Listener’s Way
Children’s Program Manager
Prison Fellowship International
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with twelve women at a correctional facility in Phenom Penh, Cambodia who are being transformed as they listen, discuss, and meditate on God’s word for the first time in their lives. These twelve women make up the first women’s group participating in The Listener’s Way (TLW).
According to Sothery Kong, the TLW Program Coordinator in Cambodia, and the group’s facilitator, none of the ladies in the group were Christians when they signed up to take part in TLW, and most had never read or even seen a Bible. But after three months in the program, they are transforming before his eyes. They are hiding God’s word in their hearts and are praying on a regular basis. “The transformation has been evident, and I believe that they have all made a decision to follow Jesus”, Kong stated.
Initially, when I was introduced to the group, they were quiet and shy, and refused to look at me, but as I continued to talk to them explaining who I was and why I came to see them, they began to open up and share about their three-month journey in TLW. One woman told me that before she joined TLW she was angry all the time about her circumstances, but now she is at peace. She said “I know that God is with me.” Another woman said that through TLW she has learned to pray, and with a big smile on her face she went on to say that on three separate occasions when she has prayed specific prayers, God has been faithful to answer her prayers. She said, “I am learning to trust that God is with me, he is faithful, and I am learning he wants what is best for me.” And yet another woman said that she has become calmer since joining the program and does not become as angry when she responds to others and reacts to situations around her.
As we sat in the beautiful little chapel built by prisoners with funds raised by Prison Fellowship Cambodia, and the words of Luke 20-22 poured forth from the proclaimer, the women listened intently. And when the reading was finished, they engaged in a lively discussion focused on what they had learned, and how they would apply it to their lives. They came alive as they bantered back and forth and were challenged to elaborate on many of the things they shared. Their camaraderie was evident, smiles could be seen on every face, and it was clear to me that they are being transformed through this program.
As we closed our time in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of peace and joy that I rarely experience. I believe those feelings came over me because I had a front row seat to see the impact The Listener’s Way is making and got a brief glimpse of the potential for what can be accomplished through this transformational program in the future.
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