September 25, 2011
This week marks the end of a 15 day Buddhist festival called Pjum Ben. It is believed that some of the spirits come up out of Hell during this time period and seek out their relatives who are still living. It is believed that they are looking for food. To the Cambodian Buddhist this is the most important time of the year. It is a very slippery time spiritually for many new believers. There is a lot of pressure put on them to compromise. One has to simply look at the statue of the serpent that is above the entrance to the Buddhist temple to understand very clearly that this belief system is straight out of Hell. Please pray for our new believers to be strong over the next three days as this pagan festival comes to a close.
We feel like we are beginning to make some progress with the children’s ministry that meets every Sunday afternoon at 2:00. We started the ministry for two primary reasons: 1) To get the Gospel to the children in our neighborhood, 2) To afford an opportunity for our national believers to gain ministry experience as well as cultivate a heart for their own people. It has been our goal to see the older children be influenced to start attending the Sunday morning and evening services. We are beginning to see that happen. SreyNeang has been attending the afternoon ministry for some time now. Today was her first time to attend a regular Sunday morning service. During the invitation she raised her hand indicating that she wanted to trust Christ as her Saviour. A personal worker dealt with her and she made a profession of faith. Virak has been has been attending Sunday morning / evening services as well as the Friday evening sports outreach. Two weeks ago he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. The changes that have taken place in his life have apparently caused his parents some quite a bit of concern. They are threatening to make him quit church if he keeps believing what is being taught here at the church. Please pray that Virak will continue to grow in the Lord and that his parents hearts will be softened by his testimony. * It is somewhat common for the parents to allow their children to go to church in order to get what ever they can get. However, very few parents actually expect their children to believe what is being taught.
Udom is another example of a young man who is being reached here at the church. He has been attending services since the first day that the church began holding public services about 10 months ago. However, he just recently trusted Christ as his Saviour. As a 15 year old boy he has shown a genuine desire to do right. He is the only believer in his family and many times he is mocked for his new faith. Two weeks ago his family sold their home and moved to a different city. It has been a blessing to see Udom ride his bike 45 minutes one way in order to be in church. We are hoping to have a place for him to sleep here in Phnom Penh on the weekends so that he can remain involved in the various ministries on Saturdays and Sundays.
SreyNen, the young girl pictured above, is only 9 years old but she loves the Lord. She also loves her parents. Her mom and dad have been working in Malaysia for the past year or so and have been faithful followers of Islam. SreyNen has been living in the village with her extended family. She has been attending the children’s ministry in the village and has been very faithful. A couple of months ago she accepted Christ as her Saviour. Three weeks ago her father, Hem, called her from Malaysia to let her know that their work contract was over and they would be returning to Cambodia. He asked her to make sure to go buy some whiskey for her uncle to drink to celebrate his return home. She very boldly told her dad, “I can’t do that dad. I am God’s child now and God does not want me to buy alcohol. Anyway, Uncle Ra is a Christian now and he does not drink anymore.” She was so burdened for her parents salvation that she got up out of bed 10 times the night that they were flying home in order to pray for her parents safety. Her grandmother became irritated with her and told her to just lay still. She replied, “I don’t want the plane to crash and my dad and mom to go to Hell.” Her testimony made a huge impact on her dad’s heart. He attended our Monday Bible study in the village and was very attentive as Bro. Keo preached. After the service I had the opportunity to sit and talk with the men for a couple of hours. He listened intently to everything that was said. We are happy to report that he trusted Christ as his personal Saviour on Thursday! His wife, Beh, is not ready to be saved yet but we are hoping that she will soon accept the Lord. Please pray for Hem and Beh as well as SreyNen. There are certain people in this Muslim village who are not happy with those families who are trusting Christ. Some of the parents have even stopped their children from attending.
Please help pray for Biyna. (16 years old) He made a profession of faith a couple of months ago but after awhile he began making excuses for why he could not come to church. His older sister, Kyna, has been a very faithful testimony in the family and is the one who is responsible for bringing him to Christ. Nearly two weeks ago Biyna had a serious motorcycle accident and was in a coma for nearly a week. Last Saturday he underwent surgery to remove blood from off of the brain. (Brain surgery in Cambodia is a whole different topic…) He woke out of the comma but is still in intensive care. This accident has afforded the members of the church an opportunity to show the love of Christ to Biyna’s lost parents. We have had several members up at the hospital nearly 24 hours a day for the past two weeks straight. It has taken a toll on everyone but we are hoping that his family will see that Christians care. We ask you to pray that Biyna will have a full recovery and that this accident will be used in his life to draw him into proper fellowship with the Lord.
Two weeks ago we introduced Vothy and PhanNy to you and asked you to pray for their salvation. They live in Prak Pnouv village. We are hoping to start a work in their village in the near future. Shortly after I sent the email, Vothy was also involved in a very serious motorcycle accident and was in a comma for 10 days. In fact, they took him to Vietnam in order to get medical attention for the injury that he sustained to his head. He just returned to Cambodia a couple of days ago. This accident has obviously shaken the whole family. We are hoping that it will be used to bring the entire family to Christ. Please pray that Vothy and PhanNy will continue listening to the mp3 preaching that we have given them and that their hearts will be softened. I was with them on Friday morning and had the opportunity to speak with them again about salvation.
Here is a link to a video we just made this past week. The video features the edited version of the salvation testimony of Ra, one of the young men here in the church, who was saved this past June. There is also a short greeting from Bro. Keo and myself. The video is 10 minutes long. http://www.vimeo.com/29481127
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason