May 4, 2014
We had wonderful services at each of the four churches this weekend. Here in Phnom Penh we had a couple of first time visitors as well as some return visitors. Please continue to pray for Soka and her son adult son, Sovannara, to be faithful. (I wrote about them a couple of weeks ago. They are transferring to our church from another church that is somewhat different than us.) They have been to church for three straight weeks now. This past week, while visiting him in his home, Sovannara asked me why people in our church go up to the front of the church and pray after the message (altar call). He had never seen this at his old church. He also had a couple of other good questions that show he is really interested in becoming a part of our church. Additionally, please help pray for Channy and his teenage step son, Samnang, who have visited for the past three weeks as well. We have known Channy for many years and appreciate him so much. He has a heart for the Lord and for his people and we hope that we will get plugged into the church very soon.
Sunday morning I continued with our series through the Book of Mark and dealt with chapter one verse fourteen. We focused on the fact that John the Baptist was willing to stand for what he knew was right even though it landed him in prison and eventually cost him his life. For the next two weeks we will focus on verses fifteen through twenty and will be challenged by the truth that salvation is merely the first step in our Christian life. Jesus calls us all to become His disciple as well. Likewise we are commanded to go out and make disciples. I trust that God will use His Word to challenge each of our people to be more faithful to Him.
Sunday morning some of the girls sang the hymn “He Leadeth Me.” They met early Sunday morning for one final practice with Debbie. There are actually 9 girls in the group but only 5 of them managed to make it to practice…Mrs. Has is still working on them in the area of consistency! It is such a blessing to see the teen boys and girls growing in their walk with the Lord and in their burden for the lost. Many of the teens who are faithfully serving along side of us were reached through the Children’s ministry. When we started the Children’s ministry about three years ago I presented three goals that we hoped to see accomplished through the Children’s ministry: 1) To get the Gospel to the children, 2) To see the older children get saved and become a part of the “main stream” of the church (Sunday morning, Sunday night, Tuesday 6:30 a.m. prayer meeting, Wednesday evening service, etc…), and 3) To use the Children’s ministry as a vehicle to help create a burden in the heart of the nationals for their own people and provide them an opportunity to learn how to work with people. By God’s grace we have seen, and continue to see, these three goals being reached. Please pray for our second annual Youth Conference that will be held, Lord willing, in the middle of June. Like last year, the conference will be directed toward the teens that are already somewhat faithful. We hope to have teens represented from each of the four churches as well as a couple of our village ministries.
You may recall that last year we made the decision to split up the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry due to some space constraints. Each week we were having around 200 children meet at one time and it was creating some issues with our neighbors. Now that we have around 100 children at any given time it is much easier to keep peace in the neighborhood. This picture of boys was taken this past Sunday. Believe it or not, some of these boys are 12 and 13 years old. Please help us pray that we will see a whole new crop of young people reached through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry and that this time next year we will have many of these young teens faithfully involved in the “main stream” of the church.
Please continue to pray for the new church plant in Prak Pnou village. It was nice to have Oudom in the service this weekend. He recently moved from Prak Pnou to Stung Mean Chey (close to Phnom Penh) and we hope that he will begin attending our church in Phnom Penh. Please pray that Oudom will become faithful to the Lord. Likewise, please pray that Vy and Phat will be saved very soon. Both of them have been attending the services for several weeks now but have not made any decision to accept Christ.
We awoke from sleep at 4:24 this morning to loud music coming from a loud-speaker such as the one pictured above. Our next door neighbor’s daughter got married and the wedding basically took over the immediate neighborhood, making it very difficult to not only enter and exit our own property but making it virtually impossible to even think! When a wedding takes place here, generally it takes place at the home of the bride. A huge tent like the one pictured above is set up in the middle of the street and sometimes stretches halfway down the street, depending upon how wealthy the family is (or, in some cases, how wealthy they wish to appear to be…). After a few hours of very loud music then the Buddhist monks begin to chant. That can actually go on for several hours. The noise coming from the wedding made our Sunday night service very interesting to say the least. Such is life here in Cambodia!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason