June 26, 2011
Greetings from humid Cambodia! We trust you are all well. We had a great weekend with 203 in attendance this past Sunday. This week was the third week of the children’s ministry and we were blessed to see 138 children walk here from around our neighborhood. At the present time we are not offering any type of transportation. The workers split up into 6 different groups and walk to meeting points all around our neighborhood then they escort the children to the church. I believe that over time we are going to see significant difference made in the lives of some of these children. We are beginning to identify some of the children who are older (12-14 years old) and soon we hope to have them begin coming to the morning church service with the adults. We are already beginning to see the children’s ministry make a difference in the lives of our workers. For the first time in their lives they are able to live for someone other than themselves. It is a blessing to see them beginning to reach their own people. Please continue to pray for the children’s ministry.
Three months ago several young adults were persuaded to leave our ministry in order to attend a church in the area that teaches baptismal regeneration. Two of the young men, Ly and Ya, were both saved here at Pacific Baptist Church of Phnom Penh but unfortunately they followed the wrong advice and left as well. Recently they both returned to our church. This past Sunday while I was speaking with Ly, I asked him why he was coming back. He told me that every since he left he knew that he was doing the wrong thing. The Holy Spirit continually convicted him that he was not where he should be. He finally got up the courage to return to our church. We are happy that they are both back now. Our church welcomed them with open arms. This past Sunday Ly brought a first time visitor named Mosa. Mosa is 21 years old and has had exposure to the Gospel in the past but we are not sure about his salvation. Pray that we will be able to reach Mosa.
This past week Vannak met SokNouv (20 years old) and invited him to church. He came to both morning and evening services and appeared to be very attentive. He is not saved but indicated that he would like to know more about the Gospel. This week some of our young men will attempt to get close to him in an effort to win him to the Lord. Please pray that Soknouv will open his heart to the Lord and be saved very soon.
San and Yom are newly weds. They are both from the Cham (Muslim) people group. We led San to Christ some time ago but Yom just recently accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour. We are encouraged to see some definite steps of spiritual growth taking place in her life. Though she is married, she is still, to some degree, under the control of her parents which has made it a challenge for her to be as involved in church as she would like to be. She is only able to come to church every other week though San is at every service. However, she is faithful in reading her Bible with San at home. Please pray that Yom will continue to grow and that very soon we will see her parents relax their restrictions upon her. They have told her that she is Muslim and they will “allow” her to go to church once in awhile with her husband but they have “forbidden” her to believe in Jesus. San was relentless in his zeal to see her saved and I believe that he is doing his best to lead her now that she is a believer. I believe that San can be greatly used by God to reach his own people. He was recently offered a very good salary and free housing if he would leave our church and join with one of the cults in the area. He turned it down choosing rather to be faithful to what he knows is right. Pray that we will have wisdom to know how best to lead this young couple.
This weekend a few of our people attended the funeral service for the mother of a national Khmer Pastor. Pastor Sokhan was saved and discipled through the ministry of the Rodney Ruppel family. Several of our new believers have been helped by listening to his preaching on MP3 over the past few months. I felt it was important for some of our people to attend the funeral because, as new believers, they need to see the bold stand for the Lord that Pastor Sokhan took during the funeral. Pastor Sokhan’s mother was a faithful Christian but the majority of her family is not. Sokhan is the only other believer and so the lost family members insisted upon having a traditional Buddhist funeral. However, Pastor Sokhan took the first hour or so and presented the Gospel to the entire crowd. There were several other Baptist churches who attended the service as well to offer support to Pastor Sokhan and his family. It was a wonderful opportunity for our new church to see the Godly example of Sokhan and his wife and their adult children. There are presently very few national Pastors in Cambodia who are good role models. Pray that God will continue to uphold Pastor Sokhan and that his influence might increase.
Please pray that God will send us more laborers. There is so much more that could be done here if there were more people to help carry the load of training nationals. I believe that there are some folks in the States who have been called to come to Cambodia. Some are actually praying about God’s will for their life and it has been great to have the opportunity to speak with them in recent days. Others seem to be scared to follow God’s will for their life. Pray that they will loose the shallow satisfaction that comes with owning houses and automobiles. Please pray that they will surrender their will and do whatever God wants for them to do!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason