January 27, 2011
We have been very busy these past two weeks and do apologize for the delayed update. Last week we were able to have our first married couple’s outing. It was a blessing to see 7 married couples participate. Sinath’s wife, Sopheap, and Vuthy’s husband, Sareth both attended the event even though they do not attend church. They are not saved yet but we continue to work with them hoping to see them accept Christ very soon. This next week will likely be a difficult time for Sinath and Vuthy as much of the city will be celebrating Chinese new year and engaging in spirit/ancestral worship. Sinath, in particular, is likely to be faced with conflict in his marriage as his wife normally attends these events. Please pray that something will cause Sopheap to loose the desire to go with all the other lost relatives as they sacrifice to the spirits.
This past week we also had our first single ladies outing. It was great to see 7 ladies be able to participate. They were able to spend 4 hours together. None of these ladies are saved with the exception of Miss Eng (4th from the left) and Miss Sok (5th from the left) although they all attend our services. Three in particular seem very interested in the things of the Lord and we hope to see them accept Christ very soon.
As you know the Keo family arrived here nearly a month ago to begin their first term as missionaries. It seems as though God has been allowing them to undergo serious testing almost from day one. We mentioned two weeks ago that Bro. Keo’s mother came with them from the United States in order to help care for Mrs. Keo after she gave birth to their fourth child. However, she suffered a stroke just over two weeks ago. She is now bed-ridden in the Keo’s home and requires around the clock care in order to even perform the most simple of tasks. Pray that God will provide wisdom to the Keo’s regarding this situation.
Last Saturday Mrs. Keo gave birth, pre-maturely, to their baby. Mrs. Keo was just 29 weeks along and the baby weighs around 2.2 lbs. This pre-mature birth came as a great surprise to us all. At this point the baby is in the national government hospital here in Phnom Penh. We have been told that this is the best Pediatrics facility in the country. However, the things that we have all witnessed regarding the standard of care has been appalling to say the least. Were this baby in the United States she would have been immediately admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. One would expect to find, at a minimum, the following items in a pediatrics hospital no matter where it is in the world: water, baby formula, bottles, blankets, a pillow, a clean environment, an incubator, nurses, and a doctor who knows even the basics about medicine and who will provide advice to the family. Sad to say none of these things exist in this hospital. The baby was placed in a wooden box and set on a table in a room with many other babies. The doctor might come around every four hours to make sure the baby is still alive and that is it. In the past week only one doctor showed up who even wore a stethoscope. The baby is unable to breathe on her own and requires 24-hour care. The ladies from our church and two other churches here in Phnom Penh have been staying with the baby and manually pumping air into her lungs. Three ladies stay at the bed side at all times. So far it seems like everyone is “hanging in there.” We are so thankful for the ladies at Missionary Rodney Ruppel and Missionary Kounaro Keo’s churches. They have so selflessly given their time to help care for the baby. Several of the security guards at the hospital have spoken to our ladies and asked why there are so many different people coming to help this one baby. They asked our ladies this question: “Are you all Christians?” We know that people are watching and are curious. Please help pray for the baby, the Keo family, and the ladies to be able to come through this trial with a good testimony.
One of the men who attends our church works at the hospital as a pediatrics nurse. He has shared with us the terrible stress that the medical staff is under do to the volume of patients who must be cared for on a daily basis. The line begins to form at about 4:00 a.m. Every day an average of 1500 children are “cared for” at this hospital. If you were able to see the conditions firsthand you would certainly be more thankful for what you have been given in the United States. We often complain over the slightest things. Yet these hundreds of people who are standing in line from early morning until late evening will consider themselves very fortunate to be able to get their child into this hospital. It gives us all something to think about. Please pray for baby Sophea, the Keos, and all the ladies who are serving the Lord by caring for this baby.
We do have ONE THING here that America does not have – Monkeys in the hospital! Sophea is on the 3rd floor. The other day a monkey came walking into the room and everyone began screaming. (as though they had never seen a monkey before) Someone scared him out of the room. Then about an hour later the monkey returned with some of its friends! Never a dull moment here in Asia!
Please continue to pray for the following people to be saved: 1. Ky (24 year old man with a JW background) 2. Sopheak (29 year old former monk) 3. Sareth (64 year old husband of Vuthy) 4. Sopheap (early 30’s – wife of Sinath) 5. Channa & SreyRoeth (young couple in the early 20’s)
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason