June 8, 2011
We had a great day this past Sunday with record breaking attendance. We are not that concerned with the attendance as there is often an ebb and flow here in Cambodia but it was a blessing to run out of chairs! We are more encouraged by the lives that are being changed. We were blessed with 11 first-time adult visitors and 2 first-time teenage visitors. We have all been trying to follow-up on them this past week. The auditorium was very crowded and HOT but the spirit was good. We were blessed to have 4 of our folks share their salvation testimony during the morning service and God used the testimonies to work in the hearts of the unsaved.
We had our first “covered-dish” fellowship with the church this past Sunday. It was a blessing to see several of our new lady believers jump right in and serve the food. They also stuck around for several hours to wash the dishes and clean everything up while most of the men went to Bro. Keo’s house to play ping pong and badminton. Those are manly sports here in Cambodia! 🙂 Please continue to pray for these four new believers to be faithful to God and His work: Teven, Sopheap, SreyNick, and Kyna.
Choeun (27 years old) visited the church two weeks ago for the very first time. For several weeks Bro. Keo, in particular, has been faithfully working with him and trying to witness to him. Today he made a profession of faith! For many years we are told that he has been the “terror” of the neighborhood. There is no need to provide details but suffice it to say that EVERYONE on his street is stunned that he would show any interest in God. This past week while Bro. Keo and I were out making some visits we had several different people actually stop us in the road and ask us what we were doing with Choeun. One lady told Bro. Keo that she has an adult son who is a “bad” person also and she wondered if we could “change” him also… We believe that Choeun’s testimony will be used to help reach many more people in the future and so we know that the enemy would love to bring him down. Pray that he will grow in the Lord and that we will be faithful to help lead him.
I met Touch at one of our member’s homes this past week. He is in his mid twenties and comes from a fairly affluent family, relatively speaking, but he realizes that he is not experiencing the happiness in his life that one would hope to enjoy when they have money. He visited the church this past Sunday morning for the first time. He also came to our mid-week service last night and seemed to be listening as I taught. Touch has some very superstitious beliefs that seem to be a stronghold in his life. Please pray Touch will humble himself and receive the Saviour.
Kyna has been a very faithful testimony for the Lord not only in our church but also in front of her parents back in the village. She has taken a strong stand for what is right. Recently her father opened a restaurant and occasionally Kyna will go and work there when she is in the village to visit her family. This week when she went to visit her family she learned that her father has begun selling alcoholic beverages in the restaurant. When she was called upon to serve the liquor she very politely dismissed herself and asked her father to fill in for her. This infuriated her father. He thinks she has gone crazy because of her faith in Jesus. She is not only a strong testimony in her village but she also has a good testimony among the students at her university where she is studying accounting. This past week Kyna met with me and told me that she believes that God is calling her to serve Him with the rest of her life. She seems to be very definite in her conviction that God does not want her to spend her life in an office doing accounting but rather serving her own people. Please pray that we will have wisdom to help lead her to discover God’s perfect will for her life. This past Sunday she was so happy to have her younger brother, Biyna, in church with her. Please pray for Binya to be saved.
This past week I met Seanby. He is 27 years old and will be graduating from university next month as a Pharmacist. I have had the opportunity to sit down with him on two separate occasions and help to answer his questions about Christianity. He admits that he is a sinner and that he can not save himself. He does desire to be saved but he is struggling with a stronghold in his life – Evolution. Sunday afternoon he told me that he wants to believe in God but he also believes in “science” and it is difficult for him to believe that God made everything. We know that evolution is not science but rather it is a religion. Today he told me that he wants to continue to meet with me to learn more about God. Please pray that God will continue to draw Seanby to Himself and that he will humble himself and accept the Truth.
This past Saturday Doung, Ra, and their friend, Dena, walked from their neighborhood to a church in a nearby district. They sat down on the curb in front of the church building and stared at the cross on the top of the building. As they sat there they talked about how they hated their lives. They all expressed their desire to change their ways and try to make something useful out of their lives. Yet, they all admitted that they had no idea how to change. They have experienced all that the world has to offer but they are empty. As they sat there on the curb they were trying to get up the courage to go inside of the church but they could not bring themselves to do so. Dejected, they returned to Ra’s home and sat outside the house. Here is the amazing part of the story — One of our soul-winners, Man, saw them sitting there but walked past them because he was too scared to talk to them. They come from a very rough background. (The picture below is actually their version of “cleaned-up) Later in the afternoon once again Man saw them sitting there and once again he walked right past them. He walked about 10 yards and the Holy Spirit impressed upon him in a very definite way that he was to go back and give them a tract. He began a conversation with them and learned of their desire to know God so he invited them to come to church Sunday. They were very obviously out of their element until one of our new believers shared her testimony of how she came to be saved. She told of her life before she was saved and how God had changed her heart and made her a new person. This testimony resonated with them and from that point on they listened intently throughout the rest of the service. Sunday afternoon they joined in with them men as we played ping pong and badminton. Sunday night they spent some more time with Man and some of our other men. Then Monday morning Doung (21 years old) and Ra (20 years old) came to the church to meet me. They wanted to know how their lives can be changed. They said that they wanted to become a new person! Praise the Lord that both of them made a profession of faith during our meeting. Dena (21 years old) was not able to come with them but he is coming to meet me in about 2 hours to learn more about how he can be saved. The three of them attended our mid-week service last night as well. Please pray that we will know how to truly connect with these young men. They will, no doubt, have many temptations to go back to the world but please pray that they will obey God.
Lord willing, we will begin the Children’s ministry this coming Sunday. It will run from 2:00-3:30. Pray that all will go well as we begin to try and reach-out to the children in our neighborhood.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason