August 12, 2018
We had an awesome Celebration Service this morning with around 350 of our folks in attendance. I’m always amazed to see how many people willingly devote so much time into making the service run smoothly. We thank God for the host of national folks who love the Lord and joyfully do their part to make it happen for God’s glory!
Please click on the video below to watch an interview I did with a pastor from the States as well as to hear a sample of some of the singing from this morning’s service!
It was a joy for us to see more than 20 folks follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this morning. For some of these new believers it will be the beginning of persecution by family members and others who hate them for their decision to become a Christian. Please pray for the new believers to remain strong in the Lord.
It’s a great blessing to report to you that Narun trusted Christ this past week! He is a product of the outreach in Ondong village. His wife, Sokum, was saved a couple of months ago and was baptized this morning. Lord willing, Narun will follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism next month. Pray for Narun and Sokhom to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ly is the husband and father of several of our members. He attended the service this morning but is not yet saved. Several of us have dealt with him for extended periods of time to answer his questions and I believe that he is clear on his need for a personal Saviour and is counting the cost of becoming a Christian. Please pray that Ly will be saved soon.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
July 23, 2018
Here is a video interview we did this morning with Brother Mike West. In this video he is sharing some insight on what he has witnessed while visiting us here on the mission field.
We had great services at each of the locations this weekend but we especially enjoyed our Family Night last night here at church. It was wonderful to see everyone enjoying the events that were planned as well as listening intently as the Word of God was preached.
Lakhena recently accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour. Yesterday morning we presented her with a new Bible during the morning service because she completed the 100 question booklet from the Gospel of Mark. Pray that Lakhena will get grounded in the Word of God and get planted in the life of the church.
Srey Nith also received a new Bible after completing the questions on the Book of Mark. She is friends with a couple of the girls in the picture and they were instrumental in helping to bring her to the Lord. Sadly, this week her family is moving her to a village that is far from here and she will no longer have the opportunity to be a part of our church. She has such a sweet spirit as a new Christian and we hope and pray that she will continue to walk with the Lord. It’s a story that’s repeated too often here in Cambodia: young people get saved and then a short time later their parents force them to move away. Most of the time we never see them again. We can only hope that there will one day be a solid church planted in their village.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
July 15, 2018
Here is a video we shot yesterday morning while out making some visits on some of our members. Please help pray regarding the things I discuss in the video.
We had wonderful services this morning here in Phnom Penh. It was a blessing to have two unsaved visitors in our midst. One of them, a teen young lady, accepted Christ as her Saviour this afternoon while at one of the church member’s homes. The other visitor is a young man who has been affiliated with Catholicism for several years and is a little confused about the authority of the Bible and the necessity to trust Jesus alone for salvation. Today was his second week in a row to visit. He is the student of a university professor, Tara, who is a part of our church. The young man respects the testimony that Tara has at the university and is therefore wanting to know more about what has changed Tara from a superstitious, materialistic, and conceited man to a humble, patient, and loving Christian man. Pray for Tara and his family as they continue to witness to the young man and to many others within their sphere of influence.
It was a blessing for us to present Nita with a new Bible this morning. Nita studies English at the local high school with NeyNey. In fact, they have been friends for awhile. NeyNey has been witnessing to her and a couple of weeks ago she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. She immediately desired to have a Bible and so she began diligently working to complete a Bible study booklet based upon the Book of Mark. She answered approximately 100 questions and earned her new Bible! From the time that she got saved until the time she completed answering the questions was about two weeks! Pray for NeyNey and Nita as they both strive to be a shining light for the Lord at their high school.
It was a great blessing to walk around and observe the young people running our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry today. Each of these young people were saved here at the church and are devoting their lives to help make a difference in the lives of others. Pov, the young man in the purple shirt, is helping to prepare some snacks for the children to take home after their class is over. Jason is preaching for the teen service.
Setian has been diligently learning how to play the guitar and plays for the teen service nearly every week. NeyNey, in the middle, is teaching the children ages 4-7. SreyNak is writing out the Scripture verse for the children ages 8-11 to memorize.
It is our privilege this week to host Bro. LeLeaux and Bro. West as they are here visiting us from the States. These two men have been a great blessing and encouragement to our home church over the past several years and we are thrilled that they have come to see firsthand some of the things that God is doing here in Cambodia.
Grandma Thul was saved several years ago but is housebound due to poor health. If I remember correctly she has only had the opportunity to be at church perhaps once over the past three years. She lives in a second floor apartment and is unable to safely navigate the stairs anymore. Debbie and I had the chance to visit with her yesterday and encourage her in the Lord. She loves to listen to preaching on the mp3 player that she is borrowing from the church.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit and fellowship with Grandma Pana for about an hour or so. She was saved out of Islam and the occult. Since she has been saved it is a very rare thing to see her without a huge smile on her face. She showed me her Bible and spoke of her love for the Word of God. Though she has only been saved a few short years, her Bible is well worn. It is evident that she uses it quite often. She told me, “If I go for one day without reading my Bible, I don’t feel right in my heart. I must read it everyday or I feel like there is something missing in my day.” No wonder she has such a great smile on her face and joy in her heart!
These three older men were all saved through the ministry here. Before salvation, Ta Ai was drunk 24 hours a day and had lived as a drunkard for decades. Now he is sober and in his right mind. He’s in church nearly every time the doors are open. SeangHi heard the gospel from missionaries before the fall of Cambodia back in 1975 but was never truly saved until recently. It has been a blessing to see that he began tithing several months ago.
Ta Sokrut taught Khmer Literature for 40 years at the university level. He is a highly educated and cultured man. For years he sought to know who God was, but he would be continually disappointed as he only found man-made religions that promoted idol worship and a structure of hierarchy that promoted man. Two years ago he was saved as the workers who are a part of the outreach in StungMeanChey met him and patiently explained the gospel to him. For the past two years he has faithfully attended church, participated in door-to-door soul-winning, and become a real student of the Word of God.
Several days ago he became ill and is now bedridden and drifting in and out of consciousness. It is very likely that he will be going to Heaven soon. We had the opportunity to be with him for awhile yesterday morning, as well as speak with his adult children. His children are not saved and, in fact, have persecuted him because of his faith in Jesus Christ. However, yesterday they were forced to admit that their father truly believes in Jesus Christ and has a solid testimony that the Lord has changed his life. We don’t know what the future holds but we know that Sokrut loves the Lord and is burdened for his children to be saved. Please pray that Sokrut will be healed if it is God’s will and that his children will come to know the Lord through this situation.
So much of the ministry here in Cambodia would come to an abrupt halt tomorrow if there were not single young ladies who loved the Lord and were willing to invest in His work! SreyNich and Nisa (left hand side) spent several hours making a fried dessert for the entire church on Saturday evening. They are both involved in numerous ministries here at the church that touch the lives of others and it’s a blessing to see them investing their single years in things that will reap eternal rewards.
Miss Grace, Michelle, and Susanna are a huge blessing. As single-lady missionaries they do on a regular basis some things that many men I know might not be willing to do. They are all three great examples to the national young people of purity and godliness and we thank God for them! If you’re looking for someone to bless this Christmas they would be a great choice!
The outreach to Ondong Village, located about 40 minutes from our Phnom Penh location, continues to go forward. Twice each week a team of workers travels there to disciple the new believers, go soul-winning, hold children’s services, and hold services for the adults.
This past Tuesday evening we had a fellowship with several of the adults who have been saved and who desire to grow in the Lord. We met in the food court of a shopping mall. After having dinner together I challenged them from the Word of God with some daily habits that they need to firmly establish in their lives if they are going to grow to be the Christian that God has called them to be. Bro. Vannak heads up the Ondong outreach and he is doing a wonderful job. It is a blessing to serve alongside a national man who is burdened to see the gospel reach his people. Please help pray for Vannak and his wife, Samantha, to continue to have wisdom, strength, God-given vision, and a happy marriage as they serve the Lord.
Leak and Pisey were both reached with the gospel through the outreach in Ondong. We have all grown to love them and desire to see them make it for the Lord. They are going through a huge trial right now as Leak has a type of blood cancer. They are in and out of the hospital on a regular basis and each time it totally drains them of all their finances. Several of us have helped and continue to help with their medical bills in order to try and get him the help that he needs. This picture was taken Tuesday evening at the fellowship – Wednesday morning he was admitted into the emergency room and, even as I write this update, is near the point of death. Yesterday Vannak and I went to the hospital to encourage Pisey. Our hearts truly go out to her and all of the other families who have loved ones in the emergency room. Pisey has literally slept on the sidewalk every night outside of the room where her husband is laying. She told us that the mosquitoes are so bad at night that none of them can sleep. Of course we told her that she is very welcome to come stay at the church or in our apartment with our family but she let us know that if she leaves for even a short time there is no one to take care of her husband as he requires several things to be done for him constantly. (In this part of the world there are not enough medical personnel in most hospitals to take care of non- medically related tasks such as feeding and things related to caring for regular bodily functions.) Words definitely can’t describe the spirit that we felt as we stood in the emergency room next to Leak’s bed. He is in a room with approximately 20 other patients and their families. There is such a look of hopelessness on the faces of patients and family alike. Privacy is non-existent. We fully expect that Leak will pass away any moment now. Please pray for Pisey to remain strong in the Lord as she will likely soon become a single mother to three children.
We wanted to at least show you Sokhom’s picture. I will not take time in this update to share her testimony. Lord willing, we can do that at a later time. Sokhom was saved through the outreach in Ondong. Prior to her salvation she was drunk most of the time and not a real nice person to be around. She now has the joy of the Lord in her heart and has not touched alcohol since being saved! No doubt the change that has taken place in her life is seen by everyone in the village. Please pray for her husband, Naruth, to be saved.
SreyGe accepted Christ when she was a young teenager attending our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. However, due to pressure from her unsaved family members, she began working on Sunday and got out of church and away from regular fellowship with God’s people. As we would all be prone to do, she began living a life that was not honoring to the Lord and she married a non-believer. Ever since that time her life has been very difficult. Last year she moved to Ondong Village. Once Bro. Vannak and the workers began going to her village a few months ago, she began responding to the Holy Spirit’s working in her life and has returned to once again seek to live a life that is honoring to the Lord. Pray for SreyGe as she submits to the Lord and allows her light to shine in her very dark village. Nat is her husband and ChanNy is her mother. Neither one of them are saved but they both joined in the meeting on Tuesday evening. Pray for Nat and ChanNy to be saved. Nat clearly understands the gospel but he is allowing his love for sin and his desire for popularity with his “friends” to keep him from coming to God.
Ya is a lady who, humanly speaking, might have cause to frown. However, she is filled with the joy of the Lord! She was saved out of Islam and has undergone a lot of persecution but she continues to allow the joy of the Lord to be her strength. After the preaching a couple of weeks ago she came up to me laughing and said, “Pastor, you preached for an hour and fifteen minutes but it seemed like only a few minutes!” She has the same hunger and love for the Word of God that so many of our people have. They don’t come to church hoping that the preaching will be “short and sweet” so that they can get to the restaurant and eat lunch or get home to watch the ball game… Their example is a rebuke to much of the lukewarm “Christianity” that sadly seems to be prevalent in so many churches in the west. What a pleasure it is for our family and our team to serve alongside folks such as Ya!
Samnang came to know Christ through the outreach in StungMeanChey. He is a young man who has a pretty difficult life but who, since getting saved, almost always has a huge smile on his face. Last night he texted me at 9:30 p.m. to ask for the link to a video our church made several years ago entitled “A Letter from Hell.” It is a tool that we often use when seeking to share the gospel with someone who has a hard heart. It is also a great wake-up call to Christians who are ashamed of the gospel. I asked him what he was doing at 9:30 p.m. and he told me that he was at his friends house witnessing to them! He then asked me to pray that his friends, Dara and Vutha, would be saved. Samnang is a faithful young man and we expect God to use him greatly to reach his own people as he grows in the Lord. Pray for Samnang to remain faithful.
It has been a great pleasure for us to have Sareth and Vorn visiting here from Long Beach for the past 4 months. They are in the process of making arrangements to return here permanently after the first of the year. We had them over to our home for dinner this past week and while they were here I pulled out old prayer letters that we had written back in 1992 when we first met them in Long Beach. You remember 1992 — back when all we had was a dot matrix printer… They were both happy to see several letters that we wrote back in the 90’s asking for folks to pray that they would be saved. Then once the Lord allowed us to lead them to Christ we continued to write of them on a regular basis as we introduced their family members who needed to be saved or who had just accepted Christ. Sareth and Vorn both love the Lord and expressed to me very clearly their intent to return here and work alongside of our team and the nationals as we win folks to the Lord, make disciples, and plant churches here in this needy part of the world. It will be a great joy to once again serve alongside of this great couple! Pray for Sareth and Vorn to be able to tie up all their loose ends in Long Beach and make a smooth transition back here to Cambodia.
It was a great joy for our family to spend a day together with some of the team at a hotel outside of town. We have been blessed with some awesome co-laborers whom we consider to be family. Pray for us to have wisdom as we lead the team and continue to forge into new territory for the glory of God and His fame among the people of this land.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
June 25, 2018
We had a packed house this past Sunday morning here in Phnom Penh! The spirit was great and the congregation paid great attention as the Word of God was preached. I preached on the topic of our victory in Christ over the devil. Thank God for the power of the gospel that not only softens hard hearts and saves souls but also protects from the evil one who has reigned as the god of this part of the world for thousands of years.
This summer we have decided to have “family nights” one Sunday evening a month. In addition to having a normal time of testimonies, singing, and the preaching of the Word of God, we also have a time of fellowship through competition. Afterwards we all enjoy snacks together. It was a wonderful blessing to hear various testimonies from the folks of how God is working in their lives.
This past week we took 13 of our Bible College students on a week long missions trip to the Thai border. You can get a glimpse of what the trip was like by watching the three videos below as well as reading the short summaries. We are so thankful for the students’ burden to see their country reached with the gospel. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT THE BIBLE COLLEGE STUDENTS WILL REMAIN OPEN AND TENDER TO THE CALL OF GOD IN REGARD TO THEIR FUTURE SERVICE FOR HIM.
The purpose of this trip was to expose our Bible college students to many villages that are without any gospel witness. They were able to see many villages with hundreds of families, but that have no gospel preaching church. In this picture the students are praying on top of a famous shrine that the gospel will go forth throughout their country with great power.
It was our privilege to be able to spend some time with these three men who are serving in Cambodia not far from the Thai border. Brother Michi, on the left, is the fruit of Baptist missionaries who went to Japan 50 years ago and reached his father and father-in-law with the gospel. After our students interviewed him, we challenged them to realize that their faithfulness to the Lord and to the gospel will result in others serving the Lord many years from now.
The two gentlemen on the right are both national pastors who were reached with the gospel by missionaries here in Cambodia several years ago. Our students were greatly challenged by their testimonies and their example. We look forward to perhaps doing some future ministry with these men.
Our students were also challenged by the example of Jennifer, a single lady missionary serving here in Cambodia all alone. She does her best to reach ladies and children but I know that it is very difficult for her at times. After arriving on the field several years ago, she met another single Filipina who now works alongside of her. Jennifer’s family was reached a number of years ago by a Baptist missionary family who brought the gospel to their small island in the Philippines. Again, our students were challenged to have a long-term vision of how God wants to use them to win souls and make disciples, realizing that their faithfulness now will result in many being saved in years to come.
For two days of the trip our college students were privileged to help run the Children’s ministry outreaches alongside of Jennifer. It was great to see our young people showing love and compassion to some of the poorest children in this country.
The young ladies led in singing and games then the young men preached to the children. I know that it was a blessing for the children in these remote villages to have the opportunity to meet Christian Cambodian young adults. I’m confident that the vast majority of them had never met a Cambodian adult who was a Christian. We are thankful for Jennifer’s willingness to allow our students the opportunity to serve.
One of the highlights for our students was the opportunity to cross over into Thailand and meet Cambodian nationals who live and work on the Thai side of the border. One afternoon Debbie and I crossed the border along with Michelle, one of the single lady missionaries from our home church who is serving on the team. We had the opportunity to hand out many gospel tracts to the Cambodians living in the shacks pictured above. I believe that we only met perhaps one or two folks who had ever even heard the name of Jesus Christ. We were quickly spotted by these young Cambodian boys. From the point they met us until we crossed back over into Cambodia they followed us around wherever we went. It was evident that they were starved for attention. Their families make barely enough money to survive. A couple of the boys were fairly transparent with us about their living conditions and some of the fears they face on a daily basis as non-documented aliens residing in Thailand. I believe that our college students were greatly impacted by seeing their own people living in a foreign land and especially by the fact that they have no access to the gospel.
I had the opportunity to meet these two men while we were visiting an ancient Buddhist temple and shrine. The man on the left had evidently heard the gospel 40 years ago through French speaking missionaries here in Cambodia. However, he is very confused about the Bible and his need for a personal Saviour. The monk on the right patiently listened as I shared the gospel with him. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was really thinking about the things I was telling him. Sadly we were only in that area for a brief time and were unable to do more than give a cursory explanation of the gospel and of our inability to merit eternal life. As I departed from him I placed my hand on his shoulder and he immediately reached out to hold my arm as we took a picture together.
This morning in our Christian Family class in the Bible college I taught about the importance of physical touch within the family. We discussed how that many times when we are presenting the gospel here we will place our hand on the lost person’s shoulder or arm as a gesture of affection. I then showed the students this picture – when they saw this monk actually responding to my touch, it moved some of them to tears. I suppose that they had not imagined that a monk has real emotions just like everyone else, and though he is steeped in religious ritual, at the end of the day he is without Christ and without hope.
While on the trip we were able to teach the students about many things. One of the things they learned was how that the national religion of Buddhism in this country is actually a fusion of Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as animism (spiritism) and the occult. These two pictures represent some of the superstitious beliefs that are not actually part of the Buddhist religion, but that are widely accepted here. The picture on the left depicts their belief that all those who commit serious sins will one day go to hell where they will have to give answer to the “King of Hell.” After that, they will be tortured for the sins they have committed. Of course, this belief is a perversion of the truth – the Bible clearly teaches us that those who die and go to hell will face the eternal wrath of God and not the anger of the devil. The picture on the right is of a shrine that is greatly revered. It is believed by many who live in that area that the spirit of a woman who died many years ago indwells this shrine and provides protection for those who are willing to sacrifice to her. I spoke with a man at the shrine who is firmly convinced that this shrine has supernatural powers and that, in fact, those powers healed his sick child after he made the required sacrifices.
While visiting the border and speaking with many folks who live in remote villages, we were reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 which says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ Who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Thank you for praying for the walls of darkness to be torn down and for the power of the gospel to go forth as we strive to make the gospel known in some of the darkest places on this planet.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
May 21, 2018
This past week we conducted our second annual Family Camp. It was a great blessing that 199 of our folks were able to make time in their schedule as well as pay the required fees in order to attend the four day camp. It is very difficult to find facilities that will accommodate a group this size here in this country. Bro. Has and several of our national men worked very hard to find a venue as well as organize the housing, meals, and transportation.
In addition to having combined sessions in the main auditorium, we had some split teaching sessions that were divided according to life stages. It was a blessing for me to be able to teach the sessions for the married couples and to see their hunger to learn everything they can about how God desires for them to lead their families. Our second session together went over by thirty minutes as they had several questions relating to my lesson dealing with the principles of “first-time obedience” and the importance of breaking your child’s will but not their spirit. These two principles are unheard of in this culture, and so, of course, the couples never saw them modeled in their own homes growing up; therefore, they struggle to know how to effectively live them out in the day-to-day life of their family. But by God’s grace, we are seeing many of the couples not just learn Biblical principles but also seek to live them out.
Debbie had the opportunity to teach a session for the ladies. I have no idea what she taught but many of the ladies shared testimonies this weekend about how much they enjoyed her session. Several of them remarked that it was the session that benefited them the most.
While Debbie was teaching the ladies, Jason ran the children’s service along with a couple of national workers that he recruited to help him. I was in and out of that session but it was a blessing to hear him teach them about Samuel and the importance of obeying the Biblical authorities that God has placed in our lives.
For me one of the great blessings of the camp this year was seeing so many people enjoying fellowship together. When we are in our regular daily schedules it is often difficult to find the time to just sit down and spend time together. It seems that several of our young men are working hard to learn how to play the guitar. I was so happy to see the way that Setien is growing in the Lord and in his confidence to joyfully mix with others. I remember how timid he was when he first began coming to church around seven years ago. However, in recent months he seems to be really growing in the Lord as well as in his ability to socialize with others. I believe that his involvement in helping to lead one of our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry classes is really helping him to develop, as well as the individual attention that he is getting from Bro. Vannak during our Saturday evening teen boys discipleship. Before he was saved Setien’s father, Sinath, used to play the guitar for the world. In fact, by his own testimony, the lifestyle that he lived during those years nearly blew apart his marriage. I know that it is a great blessing for him to see that Setien is musically gifted by the Lord and that he is using his gift to bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Socheat and SreyLeak are wonderful examples of the grace of God. We all were touched to hear Socheat sharing of the changes that have taken place in his life since salvation. This young couple has undergone great trials with the health of their young son, Heng. In fact, as I am writing this update Heng is back in the hospital again. PLEASE HELP PRAY FOR HENG TO BE HEALED FROM THE RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS HE IS HAVING. LIKEWISE PLEASE PRAY FOR SOCHEAT AND SREYLEAK TO CONTINUE TO TRUST THE LORD. The enemy is working overtime right now to try and discourage them both.
As you may recall from previous posts, Voeuth was saved while incarcerated in a province quite far from Phnom Penh. She came to understand her need for a personal Saviour when a national Cambodian pastor made a visit to the prison to hold a Bible study with the inmates. As he left the property a tract fell out of his Bible. Voeuth saw the tract and tried to return it to him but he had already passed through the gate and she was unable to reach him. She read the tract and understood the gospel and accepted Christ. The tract that fell out of the man’s Bible was a tract from our church! We still have no idea who the man was but we definitely know that his visit to the prison was a divine appointment for Voeuth. She promised the Lord that once she was released she would call the phone numbers on the tract and travel wherever she needed to go in order to learn more about the Bible and her new life in the Lord. She kept her word and several months later she had served her time and was released. She traveled to Phnom Penh and was with us for a few weeks. During that time she was baptized as well as spent time with some of our ladies learning the Word of God. She then returned to her village far from here and is to the best of her ability living for the Lord. It was a great blessing to see the amount of effort she put forth in order to join with us for family camp. PLEASE HELP PRAY THAT HER FAMILY WILL COME TO CHRIST. To my knowledge she is the only believer in her village.
Hem and Som are wonderful testimonies of the power of the gospel! Many of you will recall hearing of their story when we were in the States last year and spoke in your church. For many years Hem was tormented with demonic oppression as well as occasional possession. I won’t go into detail about their entire testimony here, but in order to find relief from the evil powers that controlled their family, Som went from witch doctor to witch doctor seeking help. She traveled from village to village begging anyone who claimed to have the power to cast out demons to help her. Of course she only met charlatans who made their living through capitalizing on the fears of people like Som and Hem. With each ceremony and ritual that was performed came increased fees which eventually left the family bankrupt. After selling all their livestock and land they were left with nothing but emptiness, poverty, hopelessness, and dismay that their religion offered them no true answers. One day Som heard that there were folks in a nearby village who were set free from the power of darkness by trusting in Jesus Christ. To make a long story short, she was saved through their testimony and example. Several months later Hem was saved as well. The radical change that took place in his life after salvation was definitely indisputable and caused his fellow Muslim villagers to take note. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 While the majority of the village still hates Christianity and shuns the believers, they stand in amazement at the new man that Hem has become in Christ. Though we do believe in and practice door-to-door soul-winning, the most powerful soul-winning is not done through cold calls door-to-door. The most powerful soul-winning is done through the radical change that takes place in the life of a new believer once they are saved! Matthew 5:16 commands believers to let their light so shine before men [specifically the lost], in such a way that the world will come to glorify God. The only way that a lost man can truly glorify God is by being saved. Som and Hem are living a life that is shining brightly in their dark village. While their Muslim neighbors are not yet willing to turn to God from the idols they have erected within their hearts and in front of their homes, they are certainly confronted with the truth that, in Christ, Hem is a new man. The change is undeniable.
During our family camp I had the opportunity to sit down with “Mr. L” and answer some of his questions regarding salvation. Bro. San and several others have faithfully witnessed to him over this past year and it seems that he truly understands the gospel and his need for a personal Saviour. The singular thing that has brought him to the point of being willing to speak with us is the example of Hem and Som after they were saved. For many years “Mr. L” had seen the chaos and insanity that controlled Hem and his family due to the influence of the demons. For the past year he has been watching Hem and is so amazed that he is now in his right mind, living in peace with his family and the community, and a zealous servant of Jesus Christ. The thing that is holding “Mr. L” back from being saved is his fear regarding the persecution and shunning that will automatically take place toward him by the Muslims in the village once he turns to the true and living God. PLEASE PRAY FOR MR. L TO YIELD TO THE CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HIS LIFE AND BE SAVED.
We are very blessed to see what God is doing in the lives of the folks who have been saved through the outreach in Romdeng village located in northern Cambodia near the Thai border. VanThy and Channy continue to let their light shine in that very dark and spiritually impoverished village. Each week our workers and the nationals from the village who have accepted Christ meet in VanThy’s home for services. PLEASE HELP PRAY THAT GOD WILL RAISE UP A YOUNG MAN/COUPLE FROM WITHIN ROMDENG WHO GETS SAVED AND WHO IS QUALIFIED TO BE TRAINED TO TAKE THE SPIRITUAL OVERSIGHT OF THE OUTREACH IN ROMDENG.
It was a great privilege for us to hear Sophean share her testimony of salvation during our family conference. Sophean was led to Christ by Makara and Michelle as well as the influence of others who live in Romdeng village. She is part of an unreached ethnic minority group here in Cambodia known as the Kuy. There are approximately 38,000 Kuy living in Cambodia and according to recent statistics only about .53% of them are “evangelical” Christians. Romdeng and some of the surrounding villages is where the majority of the Kuy people are living in Cambodia. Among the group of folks who have come to Christ through our outreach in Romdeng, several of them are Kuy. They have their own distinct language and culture but, from our experience, most of them are conversant in Khmer as well. Several folks have come to Christ through Sophean’s example and we believe that as she continues to grow many more of her people will be saved. PLEASE HELP PRAY A HEDGE OF PROTECTION AROUND SOPHEAN AND THE OTHER KUY FOLKS WHO HAVE BEEN SAVED OVER THE PAST YEAR.
Tin was saved through the outreach in Romdeng village. Bro. Bounna, Bro. Keo, and others spent a lot of time over many weeks witnessing to him and answering his questions regarding Jesus Christ and the Bible. It was a blessing to see Tin enjoying family camp. It has his first time to join together with our folks from Phnom Penh.
When Tin returned to Romdeng he was excited about living for the Lord and about winning the lost in his village to Christ. He had been witnessing to Chanta for many weeks but he seemed to have a renewed zeal to see him saved once he returned from family camp to his village. Thankfully this past week Tin was able to lead Chanta to the Lord! PLEASE PRAY FOR TIN TO HAVE WISDOM AS HE WILL HELP TO DISCIPLE THIS YOUNG BELIEVER IN THE WORD OF GOD. Chanta is engaged to be married to Tin’s niece.
Traveling to Romdeng is not for the faint of heart! This past week our folks got stuck in the flood waters that covered the road as they tried to make it there from Phnom Penh. It’s great to see their huge smiles regardless of the fact that they are standing in filthy, disease-infested water.
Please continue to pray for the outreach in Ondong village located about 45 minutes from the church in Phnom Penh. Every Thursday and Sunday workers go there to spread the gospel as well as disciple those who have been saved. This past Sunday we had 7 adults from the village in the adult service that is held in one of their homes there in Ondong. Srey Ge was saved several years ago through our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry and now lives in Ondong. Her sister, Pisay, is not yet saved but seems to be very close. PLEASE PRAY FOR PISAY AND HER HUSBAND, LIEK, TO BE SAVED. Liek was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
One of the positive consequences of having a church with a good number of young married couples is that we have many young children. It seems that many of the parents are coming to the conviction that they are responsible to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and that part of their responsibility in protecting them from the evil influences is to take stronger oversight of their education. There is starting to be a lot of talk among the couples of the need to have a Christian school where their children can be shielded from the filth that today’s unsaved young people have fully embraced. They are starting to take note of the detrimental effects of much of the social media that has now fully permeated the society here from the city all the way out to the remotest village. There are so many details that must come together if we are to start a Christian school. PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL GIVE DIRECTION AND WISDOM REGARDING DETAILS RELATED TO STARTING A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR CORE FAMILIES.
This picture has no particular reason for being posted other than that we think Mary is adorable, and since she’s our adopted granddaughter, I had no choice but to post it. 🙂
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
April 28, 2018
Here are a few short videos shot this past week that help you get a feel for what it is like to live and serve here on the mission field.
It has been a few weeks since we’ve had the opportunity to post an update on this site. Of course, those of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram have received many updates over the past three weeks. We thank you for your faithful prayers and support for the work here in this part of the world.
We had a wonderful service this past Sunday evening as we enjoyed testimonies, special music, updates on several of our church ministries (the outreach to deportees, the deaf ministry, the ladies Friday night Bible study ministry, and the outreach to Romdeng village), and of course the preaching of God’s Word.
Makara studies in our Bible College and is a wonderful Christian young lady who loves the Lord and is compassionate and bold in sharing her faith in Jesus Christ. She recently returned to her village for a short visit with her family and loved ones. She and her 16 year old sister are the only Christians in their immediate family. In the past it seemed as though some of her family members were opening up to the gospel. During her trip, as she normally does, she handed out gospel tracts to her fellow villagers. She gave a tract to one of the “religious leaders” of her village and he became very irate that she would dare speak to him about his need for a personal Saviour. It is my understanding that he made a formal complaint to the village leaders which then escalated to involve her parents. This caused them to turn on her and it seemed for a time that her physical safety may have been in jeopardy. We are not certain that she will be welcomed back to her village any time soon. During our Sunday evening service she shared a testimony of her joy in the Lord and her thankfulness for having the opportunity to serve Him. Her example is definitely convicting. When was the last time that your physical safety was threatened because you shared the gospel? Acts 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
During our Sunday evening service SreyMohm shared a testimony of the joy that she and her family have experienced since being saved. We have written about her family in the past and you may recall that her husband is a university professor here in Phnom Penh. We recently recorded a video of them both sharing their testimony of how they were saved, and about 30 days ago I posted it on Facebook with the goal of simply encouraging Khmer speaking folks with the things they shared. Much to my surprise the video began being shared and passed on to thousands of Cambodians all around the world. We have currently had over 23,600 views of this post. After watching the video, many folks have rejoiced at the power of God in saving this family from the control of the enemy but others have been quite critical.
Several months ago we began making some plans to become more intentional in our use of social media as a medium to share the gospel as well as help disciple Khmer speaking folks worldwide. The response from this single video reminds us of the incredible power of technology and of the opportunity to impact the lost with the truth of the Word of God. Please pray that we will have wisdom as we begin making plans to get this new media ministry off of the ground. I have already met with three of our national men who have been saved here in this ministry and who are each teachers. It is our hope that they will be able to become the “face” of this new endeavor. Brother Vong and others will also be involved with some of the technical aspects related to the recording and producing of the videos. We intend to use this ministry to help address common misconceptions regarding Jesus Christ and the gospel as well as use it as a platform for many of our members to be able to share their salvation testimony. Over time, we hope to invite national Cambodian leaders from others churches of like faith to participate as well. We believe that this new ministry has the potential to become a powerful influence for the gospel!
The outreach in Romdeng village continues to move forward. It was a blessing to hear Sophal share a report of new folks who have been saved and others who are growing in their new faith. Perhaps the biggest blessing was for us to hear that five families from Romdeng will be joining with us for our 2nd Annual Family Camp that is coming up in a couple of weeks. For them to travel all the way from the village as well as pay the fee to attend the camp represents a significant financial investment on their part. We trust that the camp will be a profitable time for them to learn more of the Word of God as well as provide an opportunity for them to get to know our folks better.
It was a blessing for me to be able to join with our workers Sunday afternoon and participate in the outreach to Ondong village. This village is located about 45 minutes from our Phnom Penh church. A couple of weeks ago Brother Vannak and his workers started holding a Sunday afternoon service for adults. The first week we had 9 adults from the village and this past Sunday we had 10 adults who participated in the adult group. The adults who have participated in the small group are folks who have made a profession of faith or those who have shown some interest in knowing more about how to be saved. This afternoon we were not able to have the adult class due to the fact that the family who is hosting the group in the village was out of town. The workers have been doing a great job trying to reach out to the children of the village as well. For several weeks they have been holding children’s meetings where they teach the children the Bible. Today we had 60 children in this outreach. Please pray that the outreach to Ondong will produce fruit that remains.
On May 1st some of our men gathered together for a day of prayer and fasting. We all met in a village about an hour and a half from Phnom Penh where we currently have an extension church-plant. It was a blessing to be able to spend about 6 hours with these men as we were challenged by several of the men from the Word of God between sessions of prayer regarding various topics. Lord willing, we will begin having this type of meeting every three months.
This past week some of Debbie’s piano students and English choir members surprised her by pooling their resources together and purchasing a birthday cake for her! These young people are very special and we love being involved in their lives. Please pray for the next generation to grow in obedience and in their walk with the Lord. Young people have always faced temptation and obstacles but I believe that the generation of young people growing up today face some unique challenges that have not been faced in the same way by prior generations. Sadly, materialism, the pressure to succeed, social media, and their sin nature in general have led some of our young people to go down a road that will ultimately result in heartache and a ruined life.
Please continue to pray for the students in the Bible Institute and the Bible College. We are finishing up this term in two weeks and will immediately start the next term. Some of the students in the college continue to face pressure to do things other than prepare to serve the Lord with their whole lives. Yet, we believe that God has a great work that He desires to accomplish through them if they will just remain in a position to be used by Him for His glory.
Working in this culture we are often confronted with strange beliefs and superstitions that have been prominent in this part of the world for centuries. Please continue to pray that we will all have wisdom to effectively reach folks here, many of whom live in fear of evil spirits. I snapped this picture a couple of days ago as Debbie and I were going door-to-door. It represents the superstition that no doubt controls the home owner’s life on a daily basis. There are a minimum of four things in this picture that are believed by many people in this part of the world to ward off demons. Can you identify them?
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
April 1, 2018
We had wonderful services at each of our locations this morning! It was a blessing to be able to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ with so many folks who have been saved here in this country because of your faithful involvement in the ministry. Thank you for your faithfulness over these many years.
We shot a short video update just after the service this morning where I introduced Bro. Vong’s father, Sareth. Sareth and his wife, Vorn, are in the process of relocating from Long Beach, California to Cambodia to be involved in helping to reach their own people with the gospel. I had the privilege of meeting and leading Sareth and Vorn to the Lord back in 1994. We had the opportunity to serve together in Long Beach for many years and we’re looking forward to seeing how the Lord will use them for His glory here in Cambodia. They are not coming here as missionaries but as volunteer laypeople who have seen the need here for workers and have willingly agreed to allow God to use them. Of course they are fluent in the language and many of the customs of Cambodia, and are able to jump right in sharing the gospel with anyone who is willing to listen. PRAY THAT SARETH AND VORN WILL HAVE A SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO THEIR NEW LIFE HERE IN CAMBODIA AND THAT GOD WILL USE THEM IN A MIGHTY WAY AS THEY GET INVOLVED IN OBEYING THE GREAT COMMISSION HERE AT PACIFIC BAPTIST CHURCH.
The second half of the video is a clip that I took from a missions class that I taught this past week at Pacific Baptist Bible College in Long Beach on the topic of discipling new converts on the mission field. The class was live-streamed here from Cambodia which meant that I was teaching from midnight to 1:00 a.m. our time. In the clip I share a short testimony of how one of our faithful teen boys, BouKong, was saved and is now faithfully serving the Lord.
It is ironic that today is Resurrection Day and all around the world Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Saviour which proved Jesus’ power over the devil and the grave. Yet, today all around Cambodia thousands of Cambodians gathered at graves to worship the devil and ask favors of their deceased ancestors in observance of a religious festival. (សែនផ្នូរ) It was a great blessing this evening to be able to hear many folks give testimony of how God has changed their lives since they have been saved and are growing in the Lord. Several gave testimony of how blessed they are to be free from the bondage of the devil, and of their burden to see their loved ones saved as well. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE NEW BELIEVERS HERE IN CAMBODIA TO BE SHINING LIGHTS OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AS THERE ARE SEVERAL OCCULTIC FESTIVALS THAT WILL TAKE PLACE. These festivals always involve demon worship, ancestral worship, drinking, gambling, and immorality. For some of the new believers it will be the first time in their life that they do not partake in this part of their culture, and they will be under great pressure from their unsaved family.
Tomorrow we will begin our 9th term in the Bible college. We are blessed to see how each of the young people faithfully serve in the various Children’s ministries and village outreaches that are a part of our church. PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STUDENTS TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE LORD AND TO COMPLETE THE THINGS THAT ARE REQUIRED OF THEM AS A PART OF THEIR TRAINING.
It is always a blessing to see how God is working in the lives of the new believers who live in Romdeng village. You may recall that Romdeng village is located about 5 hours from Phnom Penh. Yet, each week faithful workers from Pacific Baptist travel there to spread the gospel as well as disciple new believers. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE NEW BELIEVERS IN ROMDENG TO WALK WITH THE LORD AND BE A BOLD WITNESS. We are hoping and praying that there will be young men from Romdeng who will get saved and be willing to enroll in the Bible college. We know that in the long run this new outreach needs to be led by nationals who are living there full time and are able to lead their own people. Help us pray to that end.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
March 28, 2018
It was a blessing to have the opportunity to preach the morning service at one of our extension ministries this past weekend. The majority of the folks who are a part of this outreach have been saved out of Islam and are shining as bright lights in their very dark village. PLEASE BE IN PRAYER FOR THE FOLKS WHO ARE A PART OF THIS WORK AS THEY CONTINUE TO STAND FOR THE LORD DESPITE PERSECUTION. The enemy would love to frustrate what God is trying to do in this village and the surrounding villages by causing the leaders to be discouraged and weary in well-doing.
Here is a short video that I shot after the morning service.
Kahna lives near the open sewer a few blocks from our church in Phnom Penh. Brother Vannak and his workers have been reaching out to her with the gospel for several months now. Until recently she has been restricted in her ability to spend time with the soul-winners or attend church due to the hostility that her husband has toward Christianity. A couple of weeks ago he left to go work in Thailand and that has freed her up to attend church services. Though she is not saved and does not have much of a spiritual understanding of what is preached and taught at the church, we do believe that God is working in her heart to show her that she is a sinner in need of a personal Saviour. This past week some of the workers gave her an MP3 player loaded with teaching and preaching on the gospel and she has begun to listen to them in her home. PLEASE PRAY THAT SHE WILL RESPOND TO THE GOSPEL AS THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS HER OF HER LOST CONDITION AND HER NEED TO BE SAVED.
Sopheap (on the left) was saved around seven years ago, just a few months after I led her husband, Sinath, to the Lord. SeiYak is Sopheap’s mother. This past Sunday evening she attended our married couples class. I remember the cursing and anger that flowed from her mouth when Sinath and Sopheap turned to God from idols and were saved. She hated the gospel and accused them both of betraying their country and their ancestors. Her relationship with Sinath and his family has been very strained since that time. That is why it was such a surprise for me to see her in church with a smile on her face this weekend. I was able to sit and talk with her for awhile after class and share with her that we all love her and that God desires for her to be saved. She asked me when I was going to visit her in her village. I told her that if she invites me – I will go! She lives in Kompong Cham province very far from the city but we are looking forward to going to see her very soon, Lord willing. PLEASE PRAY THAT SEIYAK WILL BE OPEN TO THE GOSPEL AND THAT SHE WILL BE SAVED VERY SOON. Her other adult children who live with her in the province want nothing to do with the gospel and will likely do their best to keep her from spending time with us. PRAY THAT GOD WILL ORCHESTRATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE WILL HAVE FULL ACCESS TO MEET WITH HER WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM THE REST OF THE FAMILY.
Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet Tach and his wife. We are in the process now of trying to forge a relationship with them and have had the chance to meet with them twice. At the end of this week we are planning to visit them in their home for the first time. PLEASE PRAY THAT WE WILL HAVE WISDOM TO KNOW BEST HOW TO CONNECT WITH THIS YOUNG COUPLE THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED.
We recently had the opportunity to meet with our entire team for a time of refreshment and training in Bangkok, Thailand. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to serve alongside of these faithful men and women. I invited Pastor and Mrs. Tomlinson to come and speak for us and the messages were a challenge to each of us. Though this group looks large, there is still a need for many more laborers here in this part of the world!
As many of you already know, Debbie was hospitalized for a week with Typhoid Fever and a fever that reached 104.7. We are so grateful for the many many folks who contacted us to let us know that they were praying for her complete healing. Two days ago we had her one-week follow-up blood test and the results came back negative for Typhoid. There is still a slight issue with her liver that is likely a side-effect from the fever or perhaps the many medications that she was administered. The doctor said that within two months her liver should return to normal. We thank God for her healing and we thank you for your prayers!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
March 4, 2018
We had a wonderful service this morning here in Phnom Penh with great singing, inspiring testimonies, a challenge from the Word of God, and blessed fellowship!
You can hear a bit of the music from our service this morning by clicking on the video below.
It was a blessing to see 15 new believers follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this morning. There were two more folks scheduled to be baptized but they were unable to come to church this morning. PRAY FOR THESE FOLKS TO CONTINUE TO WALK WITH THE LORD.
Our hearts always hurt for those believers here in this part of the world who are persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ. After the service I had the opportunity to encourage SreyVouth as she shared with me how nearly everyone in her family has turned on her because she has become a Christian. She doesn’t understand why they hate her. Some of her family told her that they are going to try and get her admitted to the mental ward of the hospital because they literally think she has gone crazy because of her faith in Jesus Christ. She wept as I prayed with her that God would surround her with His presence and comfort. After I was done meeting with her I asked Mrs. Has to go and give her a hug and comfort her as well. It was a blessing to see that the ladies are doing their best to remind her to keep trusting the Lord and not become bitter towards those who have decided to hate her. PRAY FOR THE NEW BELIEVERS IN CAMBODIA WHO ARE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
February 25, 2018
Here is a video shot yesterday while out soul-winning in Prek Pnou. Please pray for Brother Sakhan as he strives to live as a shining light in that dark city. We would love to see God open the door to start a church in Prek Pnou.
We had a wonderful service this morning here in Phnom Penh. Our ladies choir opened the service with the hymn “Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One.” It is always a blessing to hear our folks singing from their hearts and to realize that it is the grace of God that enables them to joyfully serve the Lord despite their circumstances. This morning in our series on the book of Ephesians, we were challenged by the example of Aquila and Priscilla as they were used of God to help edify Apollos. Though they were not “full-time Christian workers,” they realized that God had called them to use their godly influence and the truths they had learned and were living in order to help strengthen the lives of others. I challenged each of our folks with the truth that God has not saved any of us so that we can become “spiritually fat” but so that we can serve Him with our lives. By God’s grace we have seen a high percentage of folks who are a part of Pacific Baptist Church of Cambodia involved in the outreach and discipleship ministries, but there are still some who seem to be content to simply be saved and fill a chair each service. PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING THAT DURING 2018 WE WILL SEE EVEN MORE FOLKS BECOME OBEDIENT TO THE GREAT COMMISSION AND SERVE SHOULDER TO SHOULDER ALONGSIDE THOSE WHO ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR THE LORD HERE IN THIS COUNTRY.
I am constantly amazed at how God works in ways that we could never imagine. We had the pleasure of meeting SreyVouch this morning and then spending a little more time with her this evening after our married couples group. SreyVouch is from a village located several hours from Phnom Penh. Humanly speaking, we should have never met her. So how did she end up in Phnom Penh, sitting in our morning service?
Two and a half years ago she was arrested for a crime and was sentenced by the courts to prison. Just about two months after being incarcerated she met an older Cambodian pastor who had gained access to the prison for the purpose of reaching out to the inmates. It is my understanding that after one of his visits to the prison, while he was leaving the grounds, a gospel tract fell out of his Bible and on to the ground. SreyVouch saw the tract and picked it up. After reading the tract she vowed to God that one day after she was released she would call the phone number on the tract and give her life to the Lord. The tract that she read was a tract from our church! We have no idea who the pastor was and how he obtained one of our tracts hours from Phnom Penh. Over the past two and a half years she has held onto the tract and read it often. About five days ago she was released from prison, having completed her sentence. She immediately contacted the phone number on the tract, and that is how she found our church! She traveled all the way from her province with the express purpose of finding our church and learning more about what it means to be a Christian. She told me this evening that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour while in prison and that the entire time she was there she only met one other believer. For the time being she is staying with a relative here in the city so that she can be close to the church and other believers. I am not certain how long those arrangements will last. I know that it is her desire to be able to remain in Phnom Penh and to become a part of the church family. Lord willing she will follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this coming Sunday. SreyVouch has an eight year old daughter but because of her past life she is currently estranged from her. As I spoke with her this evening I cast a vision to her of one day being reunited with her daughter and seeing her daughter know the Lord and grow up in the church. As we spoke of the things that God is able to do in her family her eyes lit up and she said that is what she really desires to see happen. PRAY FOR SREY VOUCH TO GROW IN THE LORD AS SHE IS DISCIPLED BY SOME OF OUR LADIES. LIKEWISE, PRAY THAT THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED FOR HER TO REMAIN IN PHNOM PENH LONG-TERM SO THAT SHE MIGHT BE GROUNDED IN HER FAITH. Though she has only been out of prison for less than one week, her family and friends are already mocking her for her faith in Jesus Christ. She is shocked that they are not happy to see the wonderful change that has taken place in her heart and life because of the grace of God and the transforming power of the gospel. Thank God for faithful believers overseas and friends of the ministry who have provided the funds to produce as many gospel tracts as we can use! Thank God for obedient believers here in Cambodia who believe that God’s Word will not return void but that as the seed of the gospel is spread through the various soul-winning ministries of our church a great harvest of souls will be brought in.
We wrote about Tara in last week’s update. You will recall that he is a university professor and teaches around 900 students each week in all of his classes combined. For the past two years he has not only been a bold witness before his students but he has also, on purpose, sought to reach out to his fellow professors with the gospel. This evening Tara shared a testimony that this past week two of the professors who teach at his school approached him with questions about the Lord and about what it means to be a Christian. He had the opportunity to clearly present the gospel to the two men and he testified this evening that they seem as though they are counting the cost right now of what it would mean if they were to become Christians. Humanly speaking, they will face persecution and risk being ostracized by family, friends, and co-workers alike. PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE TWO PROFESSORS TO BE SAVED AND FOR TARA TO HAVE WISDOM AND BOLDNESS FOR THE LORD AS HE STRIVES TO LET HIS LIGHT SHINE AT THE WORK PLACE.
Yesterday morning we traveled to Elephant Den village to drop off an MP3 player loaded with evangelistic teaching and preaching to Sarey and Ly. After that we headed to Prek Pnou village with the intention of going door-to-door before we met with Brother Sakhan, the only believer in that particular neighborhood. The first and only door that we got to was that of SokCheat. It seems as though God specifically directed us to meet her and we were really surprised at the way that she received us. She told us that she has never one time had someone confront her with her need to be saved let alone tell her of Jesus and the finished work of Calvary to be the propitiation for her sins. She was quite transparent about her disillusionment with her current religion. For some time she has been perplexed as to why she is working so hard to follow everything that her religion tells her she has to do to gain merit for her next life (reincarnation) but things continue to go wrong in her life. It is evident that she is a lady of some means yet her wealth has only given her emptiness. We were able to spend a long time with her explaining the good news of salvation and I believe that she understands it completely. We are planning to return to follow-up with her sometime early this week. PLEASE PRAY THAT SOKCHEAT’S HEART WILL BE TENDER TO THE GOSPEL AND THAT SHE WILL HAVE A GROWING DISSATISFACTION WITH HER RELIGION OF WORKS THAT GOD CAN USE TO DRAW HER TO THE TRUTH.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
February 18, 2018
This past week we had the opportunity to lead a married couples seminar in a “creative access” country with our fellow team members who serve in that country. It was a wonderful opportunity to invest into the lives of a group of believers, many of whom have paid a great price to be a Christian. Below you can view a short video update that we shot while at the seminar.
Those of you who follow us on social media are perhaps aware of some of the health issues that Chantha, a student in our Bible college, has been facing. He recently underwent open heart surgery here in Cambodia. I know that some of you have been praying for him and so we wanted to let you know that his health has been stable over the past month. This morning he read the Scripture before I preached. For the time being some of his physical activities are restricted so as to allow him a better chance of making the best recovery possible. Chantha’s great desire is that he might one day be able to return to his home village, located several hours from here, and take the gospel to his fellow villagers. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR CHANTHA TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY.
I am presently preaching through the Book of Ephesians on Sunday mornings in Phnom Penh. This morning we were challenged by the example of those who came to know Christ in Ephesus and subsequently publicly burned all of their occultic books and idols as testimony of their faith. (Acts 19:8-20) It just so happens that we are just coming out of a nearly week long celebration of the Chinese New Year here in Cambodia. (It always amazes me how many people in this part of the world all of a sudden become “Chinese” during Chinese New Year 🙂 While there may be some aspects of the holiday that are not necessarily contrary to the Christian faith, much of what goes on each day during the celebration is deeply rooted in ancestor and demon worship. This morning Sinath and Sopheap shared a timely testimony during my message of the joy they have enjoyed since being saved and freed from the spiritual bondage of ancestral and demon worship. Sinath shared with us how that after accepting Christ seven years ago, he immediately destroyed all of his altars as well as anything else that was not honoring to Jesus Christ. His actions infuriated Sopheap! As a Chinese-Cambodian, Sopheap and her side of the family placed great value upon their idols and the various rituals and customs that their culture dictated to them. Sopheap watched Sinath’s example as he endeavored to live for the Lord despite her constant berating. After several months she too finally turned to God from idols. Thank God for the power of the gospel to not only save lost sinners but to give spiritual freedom and joy from the bondage of false religion and darkness.
It was a blessing to meet Sila this morning. He is a university student here in Phnom Penh studying computer networking. Tara is a professor at the school where he is studying and he heard about our church as Tara was sharing his faith. Tara has around 900 students total in all of his classes and by God’s grace he is a bold witness for the Lord. PLEASE PRAY FOR SILA TO GET GROUNDED IN THE THINGS OF THE LORD AS WELL AS FOR GOD TO CONTINUE TO OPEN DOORS FOR TARA TO SHARE HIS FAITH WITH THE STUDENTS.
This past week it was a blessing to get an unexpected visit from Channy and Sei. Both of these ladies live in Romdeng Village which is located several hours from Phnom Penh and not far from the northern border of Cambodia and Thailand. They were both reached with the gospel through the efforts of many different folks from the church here in Phnom Penh. It was a blessing to meet with them for about an hour and a half and answer questions that they had from the Bible. Sei’s husband, Jung, is the district chief in the village. Various team members and nationals have witnessed to him and he understands the gospel but as of now is unwilling to stop trusting in his religious traditions and turn to the Saviour. Each week a group from Pacific Baptist travels to Romdeng to disciple those who have accepted Christ as well as to share the gospel with the lost. PRAY THAT JUNG WILL BE SAVED AND BECOME A GREAT TESTIMONY IN ROMDENG VILLAGE.
This afternoon, due to the Chinese New Year festival, we cancelled Children’s Ministry here in Phnom Penh as the majority of the children come from unsaved homes and would be back in their respective villages with their parents for the holiday. This gave us an opportunity to take the workers out for a time of fellowship. We split the workers into two groups and sent them to two different coffee shops not far from the church. Here is a short video of some of the workers playing games and enjoying a time of fellowship.
We had a great time in our Married Couples small group this evening. It is always a blessing to hear their testimonies of how God is changing their families for His glory. Here is a short video that I shot just before our teaching time began.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
February 4, 2018
Here is a short video we shot yesterday while out making some follow-up visits. PLEASE PRAY FOR NUT TO BE SAVED. We thank God for Bro. Vannak and his workers who faithfully make visits to this part of town. There are souls being saved and new believers discipled because of their service to the Lord.
This past week we had the privilege to have a workers meeting for the folks who are serving in the PsaTricht village work. We had several sessions each directed to specific aspects of the ministry there as well as one joint session where I challenged them to all remain faithful in living for the Lord and in their soul-winning and discipling of new believers. These folks love the Lord and are a great challenge to us. Many of them have paid a price to serve the Lord as they very often are shunned and persecuted by the Muslims in their village. PRAY FOR THE OUTREACH IN PSA TRICHT TO CONTINUE TO MOVE AHEAD IN 2018!
While Bro. Has and Bro. Vannak taught sessions for some of the workers, I taught a session for the nursery workers dealing with why their care during the preaching service for the very small children is perhaps the most important ministry in the church. It is a rare thing to find a church in Cambodia that has a successful nursery staffed by all volunteer church members who joyfully serve every time the doors are open. We thank God for these ladies in Psa Tricht village who love babies and joyfully serve the Lord!
During the day of training we met with the men in Psa Tricht and challenged them to take a step of faith and begin financially supporting the national couple who is overseeing the work there in the village. It was truly a blessing to see the unity that these men have and to be able to lead them in taking this important step of faith and obedience. The men were unanimous in their vote to begin paying a salary to Bro. San and his wife, Yom. While the amount they are able to pay is not enough to cover all of his expenses, it is a great step of faith and will be a blessing to this dear national couple who have faithfully served them and continue to make sacrifices in order to see them come to maturity in Christ.
Debbie and I have an appointment to meet with Sarey and his wife, Ly, Monday evening for dinner. This family is from Elephant Den Village. You may recall that last year we were actively traveling to that village and had a small children’s outreach that met each Sunday afternoon. We had several adults with whom we were working and felt as though some of them were close to being saved. Sarey and Ly were two of those adults. I led Sarey’s 86 year old father to the Lord and he was faithful for about 6 months until one day he suddenly passed away. When he died, the entire village blamed his death on the fact that he had stopped offering sacrifices to the “territorial spirits” that they believe protected the village. After that, our presence in the village was no longer welcome. Sarey and Ly were fearful of fellow villagers and what they would say if anyone knew that they were still in communication with us. This past week he contacted me via phone asking how we were doing and indicating that they would like to get together. PLEASE PRAY THAT THE DINNER APPOINTMENT WILL GO WELL AND THAT WE WILL ONCE AGAIN HAVE A CLEAR OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THE PLAN OF SALVATION TO THEM AND APPEAL FOR THEM TO TURN FROM IDOLS TO THE LIVING GOD.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie