January 16, 2011
Last week we asked you to pray for Mrs. Long Vuthy to be saved. If you remember, until three weeks ago she was a vocal opponent of Christianity. Then God began to work in her heart. Two weeks ago she began attending every service here at the church. We are happy to report to you that last Monday morning she showed up at our door and said that she wants to know God! I taught her for awhile Monday morning and asked her to return Monday evening. Monday evening she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour. God has truly worked in her heart. Her salvation has not come without a great deal of spiritual warfare on her part. I will not devote the time to rehearse all that she has shared with me concerning demonic oppression she faced over the past two weeks as she was deciding if she would accept or reject Jesus. The truth is that the majority of western believers would find it nearly impossible to believe her story anyway. Suffice to say that the devil made himself very clear to her and for the first time in her life he revealed to her just how evil and cruel he truly is. In Ephesians 6:12 we read, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” For hundreds of years her Chinese Cambodian ancestors have been blinded by the enemy lest the light of the glorious Gospel should be shed abroad in their hearts. Praise the Lord that, at 60 years old, Vuthy has finally been set free. Thank you for praying for her salvation. Please continue to pray that she will be patient and kind with those in the neighborhood who, just a month ago were her “friends”, but are now mocking her.
Before Vuthy was saved she openly antagonized Sinath because he accepted Jesus as his Saviour and abandoned his idol and ancestral sacrifices. Now that she is saved she is openly showing respect to him as a brother in Christ. It was encouraging to look down from our roof-top this past week and, in public view, to see Brother Sinath teaching Vuthy more about the Bible right in front of his tailor shop. Vuthy’s home is pictured on the right (with the blue chair). The tailor shop/Sinath’s residence is on the left. Please pray for Vuthy’s husband, Sareth, to be saved.
Last week we had the opportunity to meet Samnang and spend some time teaching her the meaning of the Gospel. Additionally she attended our Sunday morning and evening services here in Phnom Penh. She lives in Siem Reip province which is about 8 hours from Phnom Penh. She was only visiting some of her relatives who attend our church. She told me that as a public school teacher she has always been very opposed to Christianity. As her relatives and I helped explain to her what the Bible says about God it seems that her heart was softened. We are thankful for another fellow missionary in Siem Reip who has committed to help reach her. This evening he called me and let me know that she was in their services today and was very receptive. He told me he was surprised just how well she seemed to be responding to the preaching. She will have to take a moped 45 minutes to travel to church each week. Pray that she will continue to respond to the Lord as He is drawing her to Himself.
Chhay is a baby Christian but seems to have a real heart for the Lord. He always has a lot of questions about what he has read in the Bible. Just two months ago his father passed away. For many years his father was a popular witch doctor for the Cham people here in Cambodia. (Cham is an ethnic minority group who are followers of Islam) Even though his father is dead the devil continues to hold captive many of his followers through demonic activity. To my knowledge Chhay is the only believer in his village and bears a great deal of spiritual responsibility. Culturally speaking, the powers of his father were to be passed on to him. I believe that he has been given a great opportunity to reach his people for the Lord. He is presently living in Phnom Penh attending university but beginning next week he will start to travel one and a half hours one way to his home village each Saturday to teach a group of teenagers about the Lord. Because we are Americans it would be very difficult for us to gain access to the people that he will be able to reach due to the perceived tensions between Christianity and Islam. Lord willing I will be teaching Chhay a special lesson during the week which he will be teaching to his people on Saturdays. Chhay has so much to learn still and we are trusting that as he is preparing his lessons each week he will grow in the Lord even more.
San is another Cham young man who has a heart for the Lord and for his own people. Tomorrow morning he is planning to meet with a young man and present the Gospel to him. San will often meet with me and ask many questions about the Bible. Here are two of the questions that he asked this past week: 1) Why did Jesus tell his disciples not to preach to the Gentiles but only to the lost sheep of Israel. [Matthew 10:6-7] 2) Why did Jesus instruct the healed leper not to tell anyone that Jesus had healed him but to only show himself to the priest? [Matthew 8:2-4] Please pray for San. He has some very important decisions he needs to make regarding his future. The messages today hit him rather hard I believe. I am teaching systematically through the book of Genesis. This morning we dealt with Genesis 6:1-6 and the consequences that come to God’s people when they go to the world to seek pleasure. Tonight, from the same passage, I devoted the entire message warning of the danger of marrying a non-believer. Half of the congregation this evening were young single adults and I think some of them may have been a bit shocked to hear just what the Bible says in regard to being unequally yoked. Pray that San will have the courage to do what I know God is telling him to do in regard to a pending marriage. Below is a photo of just a few of the Cham young men that God has entrusted to our care.
This week we are adding two new ministries. 1) We are beginning a ladies singing group and a men’s singing group. We actually do not even need special music but we are beginning the groups primarily so that we can have more influence in the new believers lives. We are hoping that this will be just another way to help our new believers grow in their commitment to the Lord as well as in the area of personal standards and separation. 2) We will also begin a “hospitality” ministry. Thursday evening the couples will drop their children off at the church and then will all go to eat together. We are hoping to have 7 married couples attend this event. Then Friday afternoon 6-7 of our single ladies will be going on a 4 hour activity together. We plan to regularly have these events. As these new believers grow in the Lord it is vitally important that we help provide opportunities within the church family for them to build relationships. Pray that these two new ministries will be effective in helping the people grow.
Please continue to pray for Key (24 year old recent university graduate). Last week we mentioned that he has studied with the Jehovah Witnesses for the past year. Brother Keo met him and has been trying to present the Gospel to him. This past Wednesday evening Key brought all of his study materials from the JW’s and left them with me. (I have been wanting to get a copy of the New World translation in Khmer anyway but had never been able to get one) Pray that Key will be saved soon. Last week I also mentioned Kyna in our update. She returned to the church this morning. I was able to speak with her for a time after the service and she said that she wants to continue to come and learn more about what it means to be a Christian before she makes any decision. Pray that Kyna will be saved soon.
Also, please be in prayer for Brother Keo’s mother, Heal Keo. She is just here in Cambodia visiting from America helping the Keos to get adjusted to life here in Asia. This past week she suffered an acute stroke brought on apparently by hypertension and has been hospitalized ever since. She was in ICU for three days and just yesterday they moved her to a regular room. At the present time she has complete paralysis on her left side. Of course the Lord has allowed this to happen. Likewise, the devil would like to use it to bring about discouragement to the Keos. Pray that God’s name will be glorified in this situation and that Mrs. Keo would be able to enjoy a full recovery.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason