July 8, 2012

July 8, 2012

Dear friends,

We have had so much happen here in the various ministries since the last time we wrote. Today we had wonderful services both in the morning and evening. The spirit was good in both services.

Lord willing, we intend to move the Children’s Ministry back to Sundays beginning this coming week. Doing so will free up time for our workers on Saturday afternoon to be able to expand into another village in the near future. It will also allow more children in Phnom Penh to attend church. At the present time we average around 100 children every Saturday. Once we go back to Sundays I believe that number will increase to 200 within the first few weeks. The Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry presently takes place on Saturday afternoons and many children can not attend because they have to go to school. This will no doubt make for a long day on Sundays. The new schedule will be thus: 8:00 a.m. – morning service in Phnom Penh; 11:00 a.m. – Children’s Ministry in Phnom Penh; 2:00 p.m. – Evening service in Phnom Penh; 5:00 p.m. – evening service in the village.

Our village church is so thankful for the covering that has been built. It helps to shelter the congregation from the heavy rains that come on a daily basis during the rainy season. For the time being we are doing without walls and a floor. Once the church is able to raise the money we will continue building.

I was not at the service in the village this afternoon but today we had our highest village attendance since the church was driven from the Cham village. There were somewhere around 90 folks who came. Rom is a new man who has begun attending the village church. He is from one of the villages that we plan to target in the next few months. Rom came to know the Lord while he was incarcerated. No one from our church led him to the Lord but his village is in close proximity to our village church. He seems to be very excited to be a part of the church. Three of our men, San, Yim, and Ra actually knew him before he went to prison and were excited to see him at church.

Today Rom brought 13 first time adult visitors to the service. He has indicated that he will begin to attend Bible Institute classes here in Phnom Penh beginning on Monday. Although these 13 new folks are not yet saved, it may be that they will be instrumental in helping to open their village to the Gospel in the future. Please pray that our relationship with Rom will grow and that he will have pure motives.

Right now there is a lot of momentum in all of the various ministries but especially in the village church.Each Sunday evening we have 6-7 different men give a brief update on the various outreach ministries of the church. Our goal in giving the reports is two-fold: 1) Keep the church informed about all the different ministries that go on during the week 2) Challenge others to get involved in helping to take the Gospel to their own village. The church was encouraged this evening as they heard the reports and learned that there was a total of 486 people who attended the various services over the past week.

One of the men who gave a report this evening was Brother Sinath. Sinath and his wife, Sopheap, have really been growing spiritually over the past couple of months. They own a Tailor business in Phnom Penh which keeps them fairly busy. Sopheap volunteers several hours each Monday to prepare dinner for our Bible Institute students. The changes that have taken place in her life are nothing short of a miracle.

About two months ago Sinath began to become burdened for his village. Ever since then he has taken the entire day off on Tuesdays in order to travel two hours one way to his village. Last week Brother Keo began taking the Tuk Tuk to this new village with several workers from Phnom Penh. We hope to see a church planted there one day. For the time being we are simply holding a children’s service. Last week there were several adults from the village who decided to sit in on the children’s service. Please continue to pray for Sinath and Sopheap as well as their village.

Taiwan and his wife, Sok Kang, are another couple that are really growing spiritually. Taiwan is a chef and lives and works in Phnom Penh. In addition to studying every Monday in the Bible Institute, he takes the Gospel back to his village every Wednesday. It takes about an hour and a half to get to his village including a 15 minute ferry ride across the Mekong River. Taiwan’s parents are really opening up as are some of his relatives. Please pray for the salvation of his parents as well as for the future church plant in his village.

One of the challenges of reaching out to young people here in this country is the fact that their parents can prevent them from coming to church at any time. This past week we lost three of our best teen girls. All three of them were saved here and have been very faithful for many months. One of them was forced to get a job to help support the family. Two of the other girls are prevented from coming back to church or having any contact whatsoever with anyone from the church. Their parents do not like the changes that they have seen in their lives as their daughters have began dressing in a godly fashion and serving in the outreach ministries of the church. It is very common here for the parents to be all in favor of the church as long as we just teach the kids to stay out of trouble and to study hard in school so they can grow up and get a good job. However, when their children begin to take a stand for the Lord it frightens them.

Srey Sar, 14 years old, is a faithful young lady here at the church. She helps serve in the nursery as well as assists in a children’s class. She also participates in our Stung MeanChey soul-winning every Thursday and Phnom Penh soul-winning every Saturday. Her mother has threatened to force her to stop church also. Please pray that there will be a hedge of protection placed around Srey Sar. Also pray that her mom will have a change of heart.

This past week we had a couples’ activity. It was a blessing to have 6 of the married couples participate. There were others who wanted to attend but were not able to due to their work schedule. It is so important for the church to help provide a social life for the new believers. Each of these couples have been reached over the past two years through the church here in Phnom Penh and remain as fruit to your account. Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for these young believers.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason