Pastor’s Prayers Answered After 30 Years

GFA pastor Sothear gazed at the church building before him. A red ribbon draped across the front door. A crowd of smiling faces gathered nearby. Perhaps Sothear took a deep breath and smiled too as he took it all in. Thirty years. He had waited 30 years for this moment, and now it was reality.

Mighty Servant of God

Participants in church
Through Pastor Sothear’s ministry, many people have come to know the Lord

More than 30 years ago, Sothear was the first person in his village to become a Christian, and he eventually went to Bible college for more training.

After Sothear completed his training, he returned to his village, and God began to use him mightily. Through Sothear’s teaching, many people came to know the Lord. Over the course of time, he planted one church and then another and another until finally he had established five other churches.

However, one direct contrast stood between the church in Sothear’s home village and the five others he had started: The other churches each had a permanent church building, but in Sothear’s own village, he had been conducting worship services in a makeshift building for 30 years. The congregation simply lacked the land or resources for a permanent place of worship. The lack of space made it difficult for the believers to gather together. The believers at his church longed for a church building, and Sothear shared that desire, and he believed God would provide one in time. Not only would a church building be a blessing to Sothear’s congregation, but a permanent building would invite the community to come and ask questions about the believers’ faith. 1 A building could help the community grow together in the Lord.

God Provides a Church Building

Pastor Sothear's church building.
Pastor Sothear prayed for a church building for 30 years, and God finally answered his prayers, blessing him with this church (pictured).

Sothear knew building a church was not an easy task. It could cost between $10,000-$40,000 to build a permanent church in Asia. 2 For a long time, Sothear didn’t have the financial resources for such a project, but he prayed earnestly for a church building and encouraged his congregation to pray as well. They needed a permanent building in order to grow, and Sothear likely knew having a permanent church building would be a source of encouragement for his congregation as they would see the building and know for a certainty that God hears their prayers and answers them according to His will and in His timing.

God was faithful and did provide everything for the church construction. In 2021, a new, beautiful, permanent church building, capable of holding 170 people, was built in Sothear’s village. Perhaps when the believers saw it for the first time, they wondered at the sight. How amazing God was to provide this beautiful place of worship for them! It was truly an answer to prayer.

The People Rejoice

Singing Choir
The congregation rejoiced when God answered their prayers for a church building.

On the set day, pastors, missionaries and many others joined Sothear’s congregation to dedicate the church building during its inaugural service.

When the red ribbon on the door was finally cut, how the local believers rejoiced! Finally, they had their own church building where they could worship safely, protected from the weather and other elements. They also had ample room to worship.

“I am very happy to build this new and big church building after 30 years of my ministry,” Pastor Sothear said. “Sometimes, my believers used to question me, ‘The churches you planted later were able to build a church building, but why are you not able to build our own church?’ My answer to their question used to be, ‘Be patient and pray to God. He will provide in time.’ As a result of our patience and prayers, God has provided for the church building. I am so happy and thankful to God.”

I am very happy to build this new and big church building after 30 years of my ministry.

Members of the congregation were thrilled about the new church building.

“We had difficulty [conducting] the worship service due to no space,” Sister Rylina said. “But that difficulty has gone, by the grace of God … I am really happy to see this newly built church building in my village.”

“I would like to thank God and [Pastor] Sothear, who nurtures us in time of need and difficult circumstances,” said Sister Shyril. “He always used to say that [we should] pray to God, and He will give us a new church building in His time. As a result of our prayers, God has blessed us with a new church building today.”

A New Day Has Come

Pastor Sothear's church is dedicated
Many came together for the inauguration and dedication of the church to see how God answered prayers.

Pastor Sothear continues to disciple those in his life and share the Good News with those who’ve not yet heard. When people ask him if God can really provide and if He really cares, especially if they’ve been praying for a long time for something, Pastor Sothear can point to the church building and tell them how he prayed and waited for 30 years before God gave him the church building. With God, all things are possible, and He blesses those who wait on Him.

On the field, so many other believers are waiting for their church to finally have a permanent building where they can worship safely. For them, not only would it be a testimony of how God answers prayers but also a beacon of hope for the community. You can be a part of this. By giving towards a church building, you can help give a village the church building they have been praying for, and God may use this to bless the lives of so many.

Give towards a church building.

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  1. “Permanent Worship Structures Are Helping Communities Seek Christ.” GFA World. Accessed October 26, 2022. https://www.gfa.org/ministries/church-buildings/ .
  2. “Common Questions about Church Buildings in Asia.” GFA World. Accessed October 26, 2022. https://www.gfa.org/providing-churches/ .

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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