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"There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious." (C.S. Lewis)

Solid Joys: God's Mission in Cambodia

Map of Cambodia in Southeast AsiaWe are Jeremy and Bonnie Ruth Farmer, missionary appointees to the unreached Laotians of Cambodia. Our sending church is Norway Baptist, and we’re serving with EMU International. Using the menu on the left, you can find out what we believe about God and redemption (and how that motivates our mission), learn more about our family, read about our vision for mission in Cambodia, and find out how you can partner with us through prayer and giving. As we publish updates on our pre-field ministry, those will be posted under News.

Why “Solid Joys”?

The name Solid Joys comes first, and most directly, from one of our family’s all-time favorite hymns, John Newton’s “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” In the final stanza Newton celebrates the glory of citizenship in Zion:

Savior, since of Zion’s City
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity;
I will glory in thy name.
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show.
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.

More indirectly, the name is derived from a host of C.S. Lewis writings, in which he explores the nature of joy, pleasure, and reality. My current favorite is The Great Divorce, a story about a group of damned souls in Hell who are permitted a holiday in Heaven. Despite their best efforts to appear and believe otherwise, the lost and all their trappings are mere phantoms, almost figments of the imagination you could say. Heaven, on the other hand, with all its inhabitants, is solidly Real and lasting. To the reader’s surprise, each damned person is given a bona fide offer to remain in heaven forever. But as it turns out, the problem is not so much that the damned are forbidden entrance into heaven; rather, one by one, they find themselves unfit and unable to bear the stifling solidness, the uninhibited view of Reality that is Heaven. If Newton were living today and could read Lewis, I think he would conclude that

Solid Joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.

By grace, God is teaching us the nature of true and lasting joy.