January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that it is already 2011. It seems like just yesterday that we were all waiting for the year 2000. We want to thank you for standing with us faithfully in prayer and support over the past 12 months. We are grateful for the role that you play in helping to reach southeast Asians with the Gospel. For sake of space we will not detail the many blessing that God has bestowed upon our family and ministry in the year 2010. We thank you for your part in seeing lives changed and look forward to seeing what God will do in and through us all this new year.

This past Sunday was the eighth week of Pacific Baptist Church of Phnom Penh. We are just amazed to see how the Lord is working in hearts and opening doors of influence. He is blessing far beyond our competence and faithfulness that is for sure. From the first Sunday we began with Sunday morning / Sunday evening services, Wednesday evening Bible Institute, and Saturday soul-winning/visitation. This past Sunday we had 43 in attendance in both morning and evening services. We are not presently able to offer a children’s ministry but we hope to begin one very soon. Below you will see a snapshot of the Bible Institute class meeting on our ping pong table. The majority of those studying with us are baby Christians and are very hungry to know God’s Word. It has been exciting to hear how several of our people have been using what they have been learning to try and win their friends to the Lord.

In December of 2009 I met a monk named Sopheak at the Toul Tumbong Buddhist Temple. I was able to have an extensive conversation with him and asked him a question: “Why are you a Buddhist monk? Do you truly believe Buddhism?” He told me that he had been a Buddhist monk for the past 12 years, not because he actually believed in Buddhism but in order to show gratitude to his parents and to try and repay them for giving him life. The Lord led me to tell him that he was being dishonest to the Buddhists who came to his temple and he was even being dishonest to himself. That made him very upset at me! I assumed that I would never see him again. However, in February of 2010 I received an email from him telling me that he made the decision to leave the monkhood. Over the past month I have had opportunity to meet with him several times and I believe that his heart may be softening to the Gospel. He has not attended any services nor has he been willing to sit down with me for the express purpose of studying the Bible (evangelistic Bible study). He was willing to attend our Christmas fellowship and he told me that in his entire life he had no idea that people had so much fun and laughing as our church people had that evening. He is pictured below in the stripped black and white shirt participating in a Bible verse game. It is a bit funny to see the amazement of the new believers in our church when they learned that he was formerly a monk. They had no idea that a monk could be interested in knowing God. It will be a powerful testimony of God’s mercy and grace when we see Sopheak saved. He is 30 years old and a university graduate. Please pray that the enemy will not have occasion to interfere as God is drawing Sopheak to Himself.

We have been working with Mr. Mat Meas over the past month or so. We had asked you to pray that he would accept Christ. We are happy to report to you that this past Saturday our soul-winners were able to lead him to the Lord ! He was in church Sunday morning with a smile on his face. Mr. Meas is actually from Vietnam and so he speaks Vietnamese as well as Khmer. His profession of faith is just the first step in what God desires for his life. Please pray that Mr. Meas will surrender his life to the Lord and grow the way that God desires for him to grow.

This past Sunday we also saw two Cham (Muslim) young adult men who have been attending services for the past six weeks make a profession of faith. Before they began attending our church they had exposure to the Gospel at another solid independent Baptist church in Phnom Penh where I am confident that one of the leaders, Wang, invested many hours of prayer and teaching into their lives. Thank God for Wang’s faithfulness and love for the Lord and the lost. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither is he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7. We all have a role to fulfill to see folks saved but we know that ultimately it is up to God to use our witnessing and His Word draw the lost to Himself. Please pray that Ly and Ya will be faithful to grow as a new believer.

We have known Mr. Sarouen for several years and have always strove to witness to him. Just recently it seems that his heart has become soft to the Gospel. He has attended the Sunday morning services for the past two weeks. We are still trying to set a specific time to meet with him during the week to clearly present the Gospel to him and answer his questions. We are just waiting for him to agree to set aside the time to meet. Pray that Sarouen will be saved very soon.

Channa and SreyRoeuth have been attending Sunday morning and evening services for the past three weeks. They are not yet saved and prior to coming to our church they claim to have never had exposure to the Gospel. Please pray that this young married couple will be saved very soon. They are expecting their first child in two months.

Thank you for praying for the Keo family to arrive safely. They arrived three days ago with no problems whatsoever. Mrs. Keo is expecting their fourth child in a few months. God has provided a house for them just a very short distance from our home. As they are able to get settled in and acclimated to ministry here in Cambodia we will be able to expand our outreach. Please pray for them to have a smooth transition. Below you will see them pictured on the right side. Their unsaved family members attended the Sunday morning service with them this past Sunday. Please pray, in particular, for Bro. Keo’s 19 year old niece named Kynya to be saved. The Keo’s are making it a point to focus on winning her to the Lord.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

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