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  • Writer's pictureMoriah Cannon

Hands and Feet.

The air in the little coffee shop was sticky. Tiny lizards darted back and forth across the walls, peeking in and out of windows. We 8 were the only people there that afternoon. It was quiet. The soundtrack of the conversation around me was played by the whirring of the small plastic fan working overtime to try to cool us from the Cambodian heat.

I looked around at the team I was sitting with. Kang Hoe’s wisdom and wit; Duncan’s humor and friendliness; Jameson’s well-thought-out words; Wesley’s spunk, energy, and creativity that he greatly added to this team of older years; Sam’s gentle voice and patient translating; Pastor Abraham’s jolly laugh, big dreams, and great faith; Hok Sen’s quietness and humble servant’s heart; and of course this baby girl who was such a trooper and a light on this little team of ours. I put my hand on my stomach and giggled as she began to kick me again and again.

“How is baby girl today?” Our faithful bus driver, a local Khmer man, Hok Sen, smiled at me.

“She is wiggly!” I grinned back at his gentle face and deep eyes. He smiled again and nodded.

“I have 2 babies. Not here. Back in Siem Reap. Much bigger than yours!” He laughed and paused, “They follow Jesus.”

My heart felt like electricity had shot through it. “Woah. I want the first thing I tell people about our daughter to be that she follows Jesus.”

I scooted my chair a little closer to his, the squeaking noise harshly breaking the stillness of the cafe. I thought him to be a quiet man. He had not spoken much in words during our few days so far in Cambodia, but his loving and selfless actions had spoken greatly since we first met. “Hok Sen, how did you start following Jesus?”

His face softened and his eyes looked over my shoulder, as if he were looking at a beautiful sight, only able to be seen by him. He looked back at me.

“I was a Hindu man. We listened to fortune tellers to tell us wisdom. My family took me to sorcerers with much power. They looked at glass balls to tell me that if I did not sacrifice this chicken or that pig head, that my relatives would get sick and die. I did not like the sorcerers. They made me scared.

When I was a young man, I saw how I could make money driving a taxi. Taxis were better in Siem Reap, so I went there for a job. I lived with my Auntie and Uncle there in the city. All the time as I lived there, my Auntie would tell me about Jesus. She told me Jesus had much power. She told me He even had greater power than the sorcerers and fortune tellers and evil spirits! I did not care at first to know Jesus, I just wanted to know about the power that He had over the evil, because I wanted that. My Auntie would tell me as much as I wanted to know. I wanted to follow Jesus so that I could have power too.

After I lived with my Auntie and Uncle, I needed a house to live in. I knew a man who had a big property. He had a big house and a little house. I went to the man and asked if I could live in the little house and how much it would cost. The man said to me–”

Hok Sen paused and bugged his eyes and waved his hands, acting out the man’s response. I nodded my head, engrossed in the story. He laughed.

“The man told me, “Many people ask me to live in that house. They stay only one or two days and they always leave. The house has ghosts in it. If you can stay long enough, you can stay for no money.” When he said that, I remembered what my Auntie had told me about Jesus having power over the ghosts too. I saw that this was my chance to see if that was true. I told the owner of the little house that I was not afraid to live there because I had the power of Jesus.”

“Wow!” I breathed out. Hok Sen nodded.

“We lived there for 10 years!” He exclaimed.

I shook my head, grinning. Hok Sen continued on.

“When my son was a little boy,” His eyes darkened. “he was playing on a hammock. He fell off and broke his neck. We took him to the doctor and they gave him an X-Ray. They looked at his neck and they said to me, “He only has 2 hours to live. We cannot help him.” We took him home. My wife held him on her knees and she cried and cried. She said, “Oh God, what do we do?” We held him and she cried and we prayed every day. For six days we prayed. He was still alive!” Hok Sen paused as a stray dog outside the cafe began barking.

“What happened next? Was he healed?” I questioned him eagerly.

“On the seventh day, my wife and I took him back to the doctor. The doctor was so surprised to see our son because he thought he should be dead! They gave him another X-Ray to look at his neck again. Nothing was broken.”

I caught my breath. “Wow.”

“I knew that Jesus had more power than the evil spirits and fortune tellers. Now my family all knows too and follows Him.” Hok Sen nodded and leaned back into his chair.

I sat there in stillness. Two little lizards began chasing each other on the wall above us. I watched them as I thought about what I had just heard. A voice broke my thoughts.

“There is nothing better than serving Jesus.” Hok Sen’s gentle eyes were looking at mine.

I looked back at him.

“We were locked in chains of darkness–sorcerers and fortune tellers and evil spirits–and Jesus came and set us free with His light. I did not feel joyful when my son fell, but Jesus gives us strength to be joyful.”

He smiled at me. I was silent a moment longer, and then I spoke softly, “Thank you for telling me this story.”

“I would not know why to live if I did not know Jesus.”


—-----------------------------


I left the coffee shop that day with my head spinning and my heart thumping, feeling encouraged and challenged all at once. I watched Hok Sen closely the following days, wanting to learn more from this man of faith and gentleness.

A few days later, we sat tired, sweaty, and dusty at a small table in the school yard of Pastor Abraham’s school. We had found a tree to sit under after a busy morning and we were about to eat lunch. Suddenly, a dark hand holding a water bottle appeared over my shoulder. It was Hok Sen. He set it down in front of me and continued on. I found him to always be doing things such as this. I had decided he had special eyes that saw the smallest and yet most impactful ways to serve and be a blessing. He did not need acknowledgement or to have his name on everyone’s lips. He simply saw and did. He knew what Jesus did for him and he wanted to do it for others. He loved and so he served. He knew why he was living and it was to look like Jesus. Hands and feet.

I looked at Wesley, as Hok Sen continued passing out water. Wesley’s eyes followed him, and then looked at me.

“Do you ever wonder if that’s maybe what Jesus was like?” Wesley pondered. “Quiet and more than often unnoticed, yet always getting up to serve before the thought even crosses the mind of anyone else?”

Wesley’s words stuck deep in my mind. I thought to myself of the verse in Isaiah 30 that says “In quietness and trust shall be your strength.” I was struck right then under that tree in a remote town in northern Cambodia with how often I desire for my “strengths” to be big things; things seen and able to be acknowledged; things that people would name a big “strength”. “Would it be enough if my strengths were never called out or praised? Are quietness and trust worthy enough strengths? If Jesus looked like that, is it enough for me to look the same?” I thought these things over, feeling humbled and yet also encouraged. In quietness and in trust there is strength. “I do not have to be seen by people in order to be seen by God. He asks me to walk humbly with Him and like Him. If that means not being acknowledged, is that enough for me?”

What about you? If it is enough for Jesus, is it enough for you too?

—----------------------------


Friends! If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading :) Wesley, myself, and baby girl are doing wonderfully. We got back from Cambodia a few days ago and have settled back into Malaysia life for a little, before we head out again to Indonesia in a few days! We are so thankful for your prayers and love for us. We miss you all very much, but are very excited at the work and life in front of us here!

I pray this story of Hok Sen inspires, encourages, and also challenges you. Praise God for the life of a humble and loving servant!


We love you all very much!



Our team sitting at the table in the school yard.

From left to right: Kang Hoe, Pastor Abraham, the headmaster L. of the school, Sam, Hok Sen, Jameson, Duncan, Moriah, and Wesley!

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2 Comments


Pam Cannon
Pam Cannon
Sep 10, 2023

Perfectly timed scripture - "In quietness and trust will be your strength." Thank you for sharing this precious and very powerful story!!

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Guest
Sep 10, 2023

Beautiful Moriah!!!

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