February 9, 2014
The Garbage workers went on strike for three days this past week protesting for higher wages. The result was mounds of trash piled up everywhere! The second photo is of a location not far from our church. I can’t even begin to explain to you how horrific the entire city smelled if you happened to be downwind! Thankfully they returned to work and about half of the trash has been collected around the city. Although as of yesterday this pile was still sitting right where it has been for the past week. The disgusting thing thing is that this trash pile is just about 5 feet from an outdoor restaurant. The trash workers are back to work, but 200 textile factories announced this weekend that they plan to go on strike sometime this week. When they go on strike they literally block traffic and make it very difficult to get around if you happen to be in the wrong part of town. I can only imagine how many tens of thousands of workers 200 factories could potentially represent.
We had great services in Phnom Penh today. It was a blessing to have some of the young ladies sing the song “Jesus Loves Me” in three languages – English, Khmer, and Chinese! This was our first time to have a special song in the Chinese language. The young lady standing in the very middle of this photo is named LyLy. She was saved just two weeks ago. We look forward to her being baptized this coming Sunday morning. LyLy and SokSan, the young lady next to her with the glasses, are both fluent in Chinese as well as Khmer. Their English is pretty good as well. It is a blessing to see them using their language skills to glorify the Lord.
Today was the first Sunday for our 4th Children’s Ministry route here in Phnom Penh. Brother Adrian is heading up this new route. Today they had 43 children on their route. It was a blessing to see a couple of parents tag along as well. We know that it is just a matter of time before many of these children come to know the Lord as their personal Saviour. Please pray for Adrian and the national workers on the new route as they follow-up on these new prospects.
Tonight was the first time to have Brother Sinath lead a congregational song while playing his guitar. I remember when I led Sinath to the Lord a little over three years ago. I knew that he had played the guitar years ago as a younger man. I remember casting the vision to him that he would one day play it for the Lord. Starting last Sunday he began playing the guitar for the congregational singing in the Prey Bang church. The Prey Bang village church does not have the ability to have a keyboard because there is no electricity in the village and so it is a blessing that he is able to use his guitar. The folks also enjoyed having him play for the service this evening.
We want to thank you for praying for the new church plant in Prak Pnou village. Today was just our second Sunday. Vannak preached a great message dealing with the Gospel as well as God’s power over darkness. It seemed as though everyone was paying careful attention to the message. It was a blessing to have 68 folks from Prak Pnou in the services this afternoon. This does not include the 30 folks from Phnom Penh who traveled to Prak Pnou to help lead and be a part of helping this new church get established. We are so grateful for the many nationals believers here in Phnom Penh who love the Lord and their own people and are willing to spend their entire Sunday at church serving others! I want to introduce you to just a few of the teens who are committed to helping start the Prak Pnou church.
Today we started teen and children’s Sunday School in Prak Pnou. Brother Vannak taught the teen class and Srey Lek taught the children. This was her very first time to teach and I understand that she did a wonderful job. She spoke clearly, was well prepared, and was bold. We thank God for Srey Lek!
Srey Vong is another faithful teen girl from Phnom Penh. Today she gladly cared for this three month old baby so that the baby’s mother would have a chance to sit in the service uninterrupted. No doubt it was a long and hot 2 1/2 hours. I know that Srey Vong’s good example made an impression on the baby’s mother. We thank God for Srey Vong!
Borey shared her salvation testimony during the main service. She accepted Christ just a little over a year ago. The spiritual growth in her life has been so encouraging. She boldly shared how God has changed her life since she has been saved. Please continue to pray that her father, Rom, will be saved. We thank God for Borey!
Srey Nat and Noi are brother and sister. They are both very faithful to the Lord here in Phnom Penh. They are part of the team of nationals who has committed to help serve in Prak Pnou each week. Today their family, who does not know the Lord, all went to a local amusement park for the afternoon. Their parents and relatives could not believe that they preferred to go to church in the morning in Phnom Penh, then on to Prak Pnou all afternoon, then back to Phnom Penh for the evening service, rather than enjoy the day at the amusement park. Their testimony for the Lord in their own family is encouraging. I am fairly certain there are many teens in America who would find it difficult to pass up an all expense paid trip to their favorite amusement park! We thank God for Srey Nat and Noi!
Please pray for 16 year old Choi. She came to the Prak Pnou church for the first time today. Her family is originally from a Lao-speaking village near Battambang province but they have been living in Prak Pnou for many years. Choi is not yet saved but she seems very friendly. We are trying to get some of the teen girls from Phnom Penh to get close to her and I believe that if they do, she will likely get saved.
It was a blessing to have Sopheap in the services for the first time today. She has had some exposure to Christianity in the past but she is not yet saved. Last week two of her 5 children came to the church as well. However, they were not able to attend today due to the fact that they were out of town working. (Her oldest child is 13 years old.) Pray for us as we seek to follow-up on Sopheap this coming Tuesday.
In addition to praying for Choi and Sopheap, please pray for these unsaved adult prospects in Prak Pnou as well: Mr. Hok, Mrs. Pharan, Mrs. Srey Lek, Mrs. Pech, and two grandmas whose names I can’t remember.
We had a great time this past Friday evening as we had a worker’s fellowship for those who are faithfully involved in ministry here in Phnom Penh. We had a great time eating together as well as watching a video of the Christmas play that the church did this past December. We also watched a video highlighting some of the ministry highlights from the year 2013. We thank the Lord for all nationals who so unselfishly serve the Lord along side of us.
Our Saturday night men’s discipleship group continues to go well. Each Saturday I meet with 8 of our men from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. At the present time we are studying the Book of Galatians. These men all have a great spirit about them and they all desire to live for the Lord. Please continue to pray for this special group of men as well as their families.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason