February 2, 2014
We wanted to give you a quick update on the new church plant. Today was the first service of the new church in Prak Pnou village. Although this weekend is Chinese New Year and much of the village was drunk and gambling, we still managed to have very good services today. We had somewhere around 65 folks at our first service. This is not including all the workers from the Phnom Penh church who went to help out with this new church plant.
We are so thankful for the 20 or so folks from Phnom Penh who have committed to help get this new church planted. This afternoon we loaded up three Tuk Tuks full of folks and headed off to the village. I remember when we started the Phnom Penh church a little over three years ago – It was just our family! What a blessing it is to now have many nationals who are eager and happy to help get this fourth church planted. We have seen firsthand the blessing of churches planting churches. There is so much more momentum when there is a group of Christians who can help greet, play the piano, sing, teach, and lend support to the preacher during the message. These teens from Phnom Penh sang the song “Sunshine in My Soul.” They were a blessing indeed!
Brother Man and Brother Hem taught the children and did a wonderful job. They also had some teen boys and girls help lead the singing. Many of these children are actually Vietnamese. Please pray that we will be able to reach a Vietnamese young man who is also fluent in the Khmer language. It would really help with this church plant as a significant number of folks in Prak Pnou are not fluent in Khmer as Vietnamese is their first language.
It was great to have Long in the service this morning. This picture was taken about a month ago in front of his house. Brother Has led Long to the Lord several months ago. There have been some definite changes take place in Long’s life since he has been saved. Pray that this new church will help him grow in the Lord and that he will be able to reach his family. He is the only believer in his family at this point.
Thy is a baby Christian. Several months ago her husband passed away and left her with two young children. Her situation is very sad. She was at the first service today. Brother and Mrs. Has have invested many hours in her life. Please pray that she will continue to grow in the Lord as well as have Godly wisdom to deal with some family issues which are facing her. PaRan recently moved back to Cambodia from Thailand. She used to attend one of our adult Bible studies in Prak Pnou last year before she moved to Thailand. Please pray that PaRan will be saved. She seems to be somewhat open. It was great to have her in the service as well. I just met Pech a little over a week ago while we were out soul-winning in Prak Pnou. Pech has taught elementary school for 25 years. She seems to like talking to me about the gospel. She did not make it in time for the service but she came to see all of us just after church was over. I think she is really thinking about the things we have taught her. Please pray that she will come under conviction of her need to be saved and that as I go meet with her this next Tuesday she will be willing to accept Christ as her Saviour.
Mr. Hok lives down the street from the new church. He apparently attended some type of church years ago in Phnom Penh on a sporadic basis and seems interested to know what we are all about. He seems like a nice man but I can’t read him as of yet. I hope to go back to his home this coming Tuesday to follow-up on him. Pray that we will have wisdom as we try to reach out to him.
There were a number of other adults present in the service but I was unable to get their pictures before they took off. This week we will be busy trying to track all of them down and follow-up on them.
We are thankful that Vuthy and Phanny have opened up their home to the church. They recently completed construction of their very simple home. They specifically designed it with the goal of having the new church meet there. I led Vuthy to the Lord about two years ago and Phanny was led to the Lord by Mrs. Has about a year ago or so. Panout is studying piano with Debbie and is the main piano player for the new church. Please pray that God will place a hedge of protection around this family. No doubt some of the neighbors are not happy to have a church in their neighborhood. The singing, preaching, and all the additional foot traffic has brought quite a change to their neighborhood.
Brother Vannak is the pastor of this new church plant. It is a great joy to see one of my “Timothys” now starting a church, preaching, and learning how to lead. Vannak and Samantha are both very teachable. They are both developing a real burden for the village of Prak Pnou and I know that God is going to use them in a very special way. I will be working closely with Vannak over the next 5-6 months and giving him direction and advice as he begins this new phase of leadership. He has been very faithful teaching children and teens for the past couple of years and is somewhat nervous to now be in a position to lead adults, but he is going to do a wonderful job. Please continue to pray for Vannak and Samantha.
Here is the link to a short video we shot in Prak Pnou this past Thursday. In this video you will see and hear several monks chanting directly in front of the new church. http://vimeo.com/85523930
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason