I’ve always been intrigued by faces. As a child, that was basically all I drew…I spent countless hours drawing and coloring faces in church, school, free time. I loved recreating faces, trying to make them as lifelike as possible.
Here on my missions trip to Cambodia, visiting museums and memorials of the Khmer Rouge, the pictures of faces from that time of mass genocide are the things that captured my compassion more than anything else. Seeing each face with its particular identity, its unique personality, its own story…a story that never received the ending it should have, cut off before its time by the communists.
As a writer, I ached for all those incomplete stories. As an artist, I mourned for the stolid absence of hope in each face; the vulnerability in those hollow eyes; the resilience every line portrayed—resilience snuffed out by the ruthless tools of death. I cried for those faces, for those stories that never reached the climax all stories should have—the moment they meet Jesus and realize He is life.
I walked through room after room of photos of men, women, children, all tortured until their spirit and body were irrevocably severed into a Christless eternity. Those faces sobered me, made me think of how similar they are to the faces of those I pass on the streets of Phnom Penh every day. How will this generation be any different from the one that endured such horrors if they still are not receiving the knowledge of Jesus Christ that will save them from the greater torture and death of the Lake of Fire?
Every one of these faces has a story. Every one of these stories needs Jesus. Who will introduce them to Him?