March 10, 2013

March 10, 2013

Dear friends,

We had great services this weekend here in Cambodia. This morning I continued the sermon series dealing with the transformed life. The text verse was Romans 12:9, Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. I focused on the phrase “abhor that which is evil.”  It was a blessing to see the faces of new believers in the congregation who are hungry to know and obey God’s Word.

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Brother Kosal, in the blue shirt on the left, translated the English song, “It Wouldn’t Be Enough” into the Khmer language and some of the young men sang it this morning. It was a good reminder to our church that salvation is not obtained through any good works that we can do but only through faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on Calvary.

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The men sang the hymn, “Let Him Have His Way with Thee.” It is often difficult for our Khmer friends to sing the English hymns that have been translated into Khmer because they are unfamiliar with the melodies. Though the Phnom Penh church is still young, we have been able to learn around 40 hymns (not including short choruses or traditional Khmer hymns). This year we are trying to introduce two new songs per month.

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It has been a blessing to have Bro. Sara and Neaty Vong visiting with us. They are missionaries on deputation sent out by our home church in Long Beach, California. Debbie and I have had the privilege to know them both since they were in Jr. High school. Our people here in Cambodia have been praying for them for several months now and have thoroughly enjoyed being able to meet them in person. Tomorrow Bro. Vong and I will meet to discuss the vision for soul-winning, discipleship, and church-planting here in Cambodia. There are over 14,000 villages in Cambodia. The vast majority do not have a church that is faithful to God’s Word. There is much work yet to be done here and we greatly anticipate the Vong family completing deputation and joining in the battle! Please pray for Bro. Sara, Neaty and their children as they travel from church to church.

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This past Friday afternoon about 30 of our faithful ladies had the opportunity to have a ladies fellowship here at the church. Debbie spoke to them from the book of James on the topic of looking into the mirror of God’s Word and being willing to change whatever is wrong.

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They enjoyed a meal together as well. It was a great opportunity for some of the newer Christian ladies to see how Christians have fun and fellowship together.

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All three of these young mothers have been saved here at the church. The truth is, apart from God, they have very little else in their lives that brings a smile to their face. Here you can clearly see that they enjoyed themselves as they competed in the “wedding dress” competition. The goal was for each team to decorate one member of the team and make a wedding dress using toilet tissue. I could hear everyone laughing even though I was clear downstairs in my office working! Thank God that these ladies have a church where they can grow and learn everything that God wants them to learn to be a successful wife and mother for the Lord.

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Last week we had the public engagement of Brother Man and Sister Kanha. About 40 family members and friends participated in the engagement. Lord willing, they will be married this coming Friday here at the church. They have been a very strong testimony to their respective families and I know that God is going to continue to use them in a mighty way. Couples don’t normally have public engagements in the west but here in Asia it is the culturally appropriate thing to do. It is basically a time when both sides of the family as well as friends come together to formally acknowledge the courtship relationship. During the celebration Man and Kahna both shared their testimony of salvation and their goal to live for the Lord and rear their future children for His glory. A representative from both sides of the family exchanged gifts with each other and gave public consent to the engagement. Pray for Man and Kahna as they are married this Friday. They both are faithful soul-winners and are actively involved in the various ministries of the church. I know that God will continue to bless their lives as they live for Him.

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Please pray for Grandma Sooan. I had the opportunity to lead her to Christ this past Saturday. She lives in Prak Pnou village which is about 30 minutes from our church. We now have several adults and children in this village who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We ask you to pray that our church leadership will have wisdom regarding the planting of a local church in this village. We currently go to this particular village twice a week but these new believers really need a good church where they can be taught God’s Word and grow in their faith. In addition to Grandma Sooan there were several young people and adults who accepted Christ this past week through our various outreach ministries here in Cambodia.

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Yangon, Myanmar has the world’s third largest Buddhist temple. Joshua and I recently took a tour through it. It is mind-boggling to realize that this temple was built as a place to house 8 of Buddha’s hairs that he supposedly pulled out of his head and gave to two traveling Burmese business men many years ago.

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Joshua and I traveled to Yangon, Myanmar in order to participate in a preaching conference at the Harvesters Baptist Church. Our good friend and mentor, Dr. Ron White, helped organize the conference. It was wonderful to see this independent Baptist church and Bible college that is led by nationals. Many of the nationals who attended the conference traveled for many hours by public transportation in order to be able to be there. I had the opportunity to preach three times while there.

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Brother Jeremiah and Sister Esther are national Burmese missionaries who are planting a church in their home village. Jeremiah graduated from Bible college two years ago and Esther graduated this past year. They have been married for four months and are excited about serving the Lord together. They traveled 20 hours one-way by bus in order to attend the conference. This past week, our village church voted to take this couple on for monthly missionary support. Our Cham believers are excited to partner with this young couple and help get the gospel to a place in the world where they can not physically go. It is a blessing that they recognize their responsibility to participate in the Great Commission by not just reaching their Jerusalem (the village), but also through helping propagate the gospel message to the ends of the earth.

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Last but not least – we are excited because Cambodia finally has a Burger King !! We ate there last week and it was great !! This is the first American burger restaurant in the entire country. It’s a good thing that it is 30 minutes from our home, or we might be tempted to go there often !

This coming week we hope to break ground on the third church plant. This particular church is in Kandal province and is about 2 hours from the Phnom Penh church. Brother Keo and Brother Sinath have been faithfully going to this village now for some time and we are excited about this new church. Several families in this village have been saved and are taking a strong stand for the Lord. Please pray for this project as it will take money and much blood, sweat, and tears to get the building up.

Here is the link to a short video clip that we made today. https://vimeo.com/61448158

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

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