September 15, 2013
September 15, 2013
We had great services today at Pacific Baptist Church! The spirit here in Phnom Penh this morning was uplifting, exciting, and enthusiastic. There was standing room only! There is just something special about hearing an auditorium that is jam-packed full of people singing from their heart to the Lord. This morning I continued in our series from 2 Peter with a message entitled, “How Then Ought We To Live?” based on 2 Peter 3:11, Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Lord willing, we will finish the book of 2 Peter next Sunday.
This morning four of the ladies sang the hymn “The Cleansing Wave.” Sokang and her husband, Taiwan, have been saved for almost two years now. It is exciting to see their faithful walk with the Lord and their faithfulness to the ministries of the church. Last night at our men’s weekly Discipleship accountability group Taiwan shared some specific areas of Christian stewardship in which Sokang has recently grown. He shared how blessed he is to have a wife who is willing to trust God and take Him at His Word. I know that God has something special for this fine young couple. It is a blessing to help lead new believers who are willing to simply step out, by faith, and trust God to provide for them. Brother Keo and some of the workers travel with Taiwan to his village every Wednesday afternoon for soul-winning and Children’s Ministry. There are currently some very good adult prospects in that village who seem to be close to salvation. Please help us pray for Ta Skov village in Kandal Province.
Rom is the husband of the lady, Srey, who passed away last month. Rom’s daughter, Borey, is not able to live with him because of issues in his life that make it unsafe for her to do so. She is now living with one of our members. Pheap is Rom’s friend. They work together, live together, and for the past two Sunday mornings have visited our services together – drunk. I know that it was embarrassing for Borey to have her father in the services like that. Thankfully our people have a heart of compassion for these two men and have not made Borey feel uncomfortable. I, and others from our church, have sought on several occasions to witness to Rom but have never been able to find him sober enough to comprehend the Gospel. This morning it appeared as though they both had sobered up by the time preaching time came and they seemed to listen intently. Please help us pray for these two men to be saved. If Rom would trust Christ and his life became a testimony in this community, it would be a wonderful thing!
This evening we had a missionary from our home church in Long Beach visit the service. She will be here in Cambodia with us for 9 days. She is serving with a group of missionaries from Long Beach in a “creative access” country. I asked her to share a testimony regarding what it is like to try and win souls in a country where you are closely watched by a government that hates Christianity and that forbids you to teach nationals the Word of God. Even with all the turmoil that is currently going on with the political situation here in Cambodia, our people here can certainly praise the Lord for the amount of freedom that we all enjoy here in this country. Please pray for the missionaries serving alongside of this young lady as they win souls and help to train nationals for the cause of Christ.
We had a wonderful service this evening that was filled with singing, sharing testimonies, updates from three of our village works, and preaching from three of our laymen. We have begun having a special Sunday evening a month where we have three different men preach. We understand that the key to reaching a country is in winning and equipping nationals to do the work of the ministry. I reminded the church this evening that God is looking for faithful national men and women who will reach this country. We try to practice this Biblical philosophy of ministry through everything we do here in Phnom Penh, and God is blessing, in part, because many of the national believers are owning the vision for their own people. Sinath, Vannak, and Maldy are all students in our Bible Institute. All three of them are faithful men who devote many hours each week to winning and discipling folks in the villages. This evening Sinath preached a message entitled, “Travailing in Prayer for the Lost” taken from Isaiah 66. Vannak preached a message entitled, “God Carries Us Along” taken from Isaiah 46. Maldy preached a message from Luke 23 entitled, “Don’t Weep for Me. Weep for Yourself.” All three of these messages spoke to our hearts in a powerful way. If you have prayed and supported our work you have a part in the spiritual development of these three men, their families, and many other folks here in Cambodia. Vannak will, Lord willing, be married this next Saturday here at the church. It was a special blessing to have him meet with me this past week and request permission to start a new discipleship group in one of the villages targeting teens. He has a vision to draw teens from three different villages (including the Cham Muslim village) and invest additional time in them each week. It is a blessing that he understands that soul-winning is just the beginning point of the Great Commission. Please help pray for Vannak, his soon to be wife, Samantha, and this new outreach to the teens in Trabang Tma, Swi Pím, and Anlong Tnout villages. We look forward to giving you more information about this new ministry in the months to come.
We recently renewed contact with some old prospects. As the Bible tells us, sometimes people seem interested in the Gospel for awhile then as the cares of this world take over, they lose interest. However, the seeds of the Gospel have already been planted and God continues to try and draw them to Himself (John 6:44) through the truths they read and heard. Within the past two weeks both of these families have called me and expressed an interest in knowing more about how to be saved. Please help pray that 1) We will be faithful to pursue them, 2) That Dara, Sokha, Sreang, LeHooat, and Srey Neang will respond to the truth and be saved.
Somally and her 26 year old son, Oudom, live in Prak Pnou village. Somally’s husband is a military general. They live in a large villa (mansion type home) on a huge plot of ground. We met Oudom while out soul-winning a couple of months ago and God has given me favor with this family. After meeting with Somally several times I learned that she accepted Christ as her Saviour as a young girl just before the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975. After surviving 4 years of the brutal regime she was forced to marry her husband through an arranged marriage. Because of his position in society she had never felt the freedom to reveal the fact that she was a believer. Though throughout all these years she has never one time seen a Bible, she realized that Jesus was her Saviour. She gave testimony that, though she does not have the courage to stand against her husband and his idols in the home, she does not burn incense or bow down to them at all. She told me that the Khmer Rouge soldiers smashed all the idols in her village, killed the monks, and destroyed the temples but they could not destroy her God because He was in her heart. She shared with me that in recent months she has become extremely concerned that her family is going to die and go to Hell because they do not know God and she realizes that she lacks the courage to tell them what she believes. She told me that night after night she would go to bed worrying about how to get the Gospel to them. So when I met Oudom on the street in Prak Pnou and he brought me to his home to meet his family, she was overwhelmed with joy. After winning her heart and getting somewhat close to her and Oudom, I taught her that God desires for her to grow as a Christian and that the spirit of fear that she has is not from the Lord. She agreed and appears to be so thankful for the new relationship we are forming with her. Oudom is not saved yet but I believe he is very close. Please pray for wisdom as we try and reach this family. Last week I told Somally that God wants her and Oudom to know Him and live for Him in the home and that through their testimony of a changed life He desires to have the whole family come to salvation. She smiled real big and said, “This is what I want also!”
Our ministries here use a lot of Gospel tracts. We have seen that God honors our efforts and His Word as it is placed into the hands of thousands of people each month. Bro. Bounna Has wrote our latest tract entitled, “What If…” Missionary Sara Vong (www.thevongfamily.com) designed the very attractive cover. It is a tract that challenges the reader to seriously consider the consequences of believing a lie – especially in light of the fact that your eternal destination is determined by what you believe in regard to Jesus Christ. Please help pray that this new tract will be just another effective tool to be used by the soul-winners to see many come to salvation. We now have 4 basic tracts that we are effectively using here to spread the Gospel message. Lord willing, I will complete another new tract in the next few weeks entitled, “Born, Old, Sick, Die…then what?” This tract is based on a common saying in Buddhism with which every Cambodian is familiar. The title doesn’t make much sense in English but makes perfect sense in the Khmer language. If you would like to have a part in helping to pay to print these tracts please let me know.
Today Chinese people all around the world took part in a festival known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. While it is a time for family and friends to gather together, it is primarily a pagan festival that is dedicated to the worship of the “moon god.” Moon cakes, like the ones in the picture, are being sold all around town. Today I made reference to the festival during my morning message and asked for a show of hands as to how many of the folks used to participate in this festival. Over half of the congregation raised their hands. It is interesting to note that the pagan practice of worshiping the moon (and sun) goes back thousands of years. It was one of the abominable practices in which the children of Israel learned from the heathen nations around them and in which they engaged themselves. We see reference to this practice in Jeremiah 7:18 which says, “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven (the moon), and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” We thank the Lord for His power to break the bonds of pagan idolatry in the lives of the Cambodian people.
We are well into rainy season here in Cambodia. This past week our Children’s Ministry in Prak Pnou had to be relocated because of the fact that the river had risen and flooded the land where we meet each week. I took this picture this past Tuesday night at about 10:00. This is right in front of our door. Thankfully the property we are renting is about two feet above the street level and so our house did not flood. The water directly in front of our door was about a foot and a half deep.
Thank you for your prayers and interest in the ministry here in Cambodia. If we can help you in any way please feel free to contact us.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason