June 21, 2015
We had a wonderful weekend. I am constantly amazed at how God continues to work in the lives of the folks who are a part of Pacific Baptist Church here in Cambodia. We are all just humbled to have the opportunity to play a small part in what He is doing here in this country of over 15,000,000 people. It is always a blessing to hear the folks sing of the goodness of God and of the new life that He has given them in Christ. This morning our ladies choir sang the hymn, “Take Time to be Holy.” It’s a blessing to remember that everyone in this photo heard the gospel and was saved because of those who stand with this ministry around the world. Thank you for doing your part to help reach Southeast Asia with the gospel.
This morning some of the teen girls sang the hymn, “Fountain Filled with Blood.” This was their first time to sing in two-part harmony. They worked very hard to learn their parts and we are so encouraged by their desire to honor the Lord with their voices. Every one of the young ladies in this group was saved here at the church and is living for the Lord. You can click on the video below to hear a small sample of their song. I shot the video early this morning as they were practicing one last time.
Of course most of those who come to Christ through the ministries here in Cambodia do not get saved during church services, as we gear the services toward the believer. We try to be faithful to Jesus’ command to GO to the lost and take the gospel to them right where they live. However, we have lost people who attend every service. Some have received a tract or been taught already in their home but they are still counting the cost, humanly speaking, of what it will cost them to become a Christian. We are always thrilled when someone believes on Christ during one of the services! This morning during the 10:45 teen service, 12 year old Pirun raised his hand expressing his desire to be a Christian. Brother Vannak asked Jason to take him aside and deal with him. It was a joy for Jason to be able to lead Pirun to the Lord. Please pray that Pirun will be faithful to the Lord and that Jason will have the opportunity to begin discipling Pirun this coming week.
Chantha, 18 years old, was led to Christ this past Wednesday morning by one of the men here at the church. Sunday morning he expressed a desire to earn a Bible so we gave him the Gospel of Mark along with about 10 questions for each chapter that he must answer. Once he has completed the questions correctly he will receive a Bible. It would be virtually impossible for a young man in his financial situation to afford to purchase a Bible. We are grateful for some Christians in the States who had a burden to see the Word of God in the hands of the believers here and purchased several Bibles for us to be able to hand out. Please pray for Chantha to grow as a new believer and to get plugged into the life of the church.
One of our goals for this next year is to see a church planted in Stung MeanChey, a suburb of Phnom Penh not far from our church. We have had soul-winners going to this part of town faithfully for the past two years and have a number of contacts. Sadly, Stung MeanChey seems to be overrun with NGO groups and churches from various denominations that have caused a lot of confusion as to the meaning of Christianity. Dalien has been studying with some of the workers off and on for quite awhile and made a profession of faith this past year. However, due to circumstances in her life she has been unable to attend church faithfully. It was a blessing to see her in the morning service today with her newborn baby. Pray that Dalien will have the desire and the opportunity to return to church.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. Soul-winning here in Cambodia is much like planting rice. The seed is planted but it often takes time before it grows up. It requires watering, patience, and time. Ultimately we know that it is God Who changes the heart of the lost. However we have discovered that the more seeds that are planted and watered – the more increase there seems to be! This is true whether one is in Southeast Asia or in the States. I shot this short clip while out in the village this past week. The rice seed here in Cambodia is spread by hand and is very labor intensive. Pray for our TEAM and the national believers as we continue to plant and water the seed of the gospel. Click on the video below to see how the Khmer people plant their rice fields.
We are thankful that Bun Seang and Srey Iam returned again this week. Debbie and I had the opportunity to spend some time with them this past week as we ate in their home. Tuesday morning I am planning to visit them in their home once again as we are trying to get a time set aside each week where I can begin meeting with them. Bun Seang works in a market until 1:00 a.m. every day, returns home and sleeps until about 9:30 a.m., then goes to a second job until evening when it is time for him to return to the market. It is difficult to find a time that works with both of our schedules. Please pray that we will be able to find a suitable time when the three of us can begin new believer discipleship.
Please continue to pray for Sina. She returned for the morning service and listened intently as I preached on the Christian family. The truth is, her family life is pretty difficult. However, her greatest need is to be saved. Please pray for her to respond to the working of the Holy Spirit in her life as Mrs. Has meets with her to teach her how the Bible says she can have her sins forgiven and have her name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
One of the goals that we have here in Phnom Penh is to see an English speaking congregation planted as a ministry of Pacific Baptist Church. There many expats living in Phnom Penh who speak English and need to be reached with the gospel. Wanita is from Nigeria and has been living here in Phnom Penh for the past two years. She actually lives on one of our Children’s Ministry Bus routes just a few blocks from the church. While out visiting the route one Saturday a couple of the workers met her and began talking with her about the Lord. It was a blessing to hear that she had accepted Christ back in Nigeria through the ministry of a B.I.M.I. missionary but had been unable to find a church she felt comfortable in since moving to Cambodia. She told Bro. Man and Bro. Esposito that she had been praying that she could find a church. It is obvious that God directed the steps of our workers on that Saturday morning. Wanita does not speak the Khmer language and, at this point, all of our services are in Khmer so it is difficult for her to get much out of the preaching. She meets with Mrs. Esposito and some of our ladies on Sundays for a time of Bible study and prayer. Please pray for Wanita’s spiritual growth. Also pray that God will give clear direction and open doors as we begin, on purpose, striving to meet English speaking expats and, Lord willing, begin an English speaking Bible study as a ministry of the church.
Our Sunday morning service is very crowded but it is especially exciting to have folks in the overflow room on Sunday evenings as well. Tonight there were 21 folks sitting in the overflow because there was absolutely no more room in the auditorium. God has given us a great responsibility to lead these folks and equip them to reach this nation with the gospel. Please continue to pray that our leaders might have wisdom to properly lead this growing ministry.
Each Sunday evening we have different national ministry leaders report on various ministries that they help oversee. Tonight Kam gave us an update on some of the village ministries in Kompong Chhnang province. God is doing some amazing things that that we hope to report to you in the days to come. I remember just about three years ago when Kam was saved out of Islam. Some of you may remember reading how he fled to Phnom Penh for protection from persecution. I clearly remember him showing up at the church with all of his earthly possessions in two small plastic bags. I have a lot of respect for a young man like Kam who is willing to serve the Lord behind the scenes because he loves God and loves his own people. Please pray for Kam to continue to grow in the Lord.
SreyNech, 19 years old, reported on the ministry in Prey Bang village as well as the single adult ladies ministry. It has been a true blessing to see her spiritual growth in recent months. She was the first teenage girl to accept Christ after we started the church in 2010. Please pray for SreyNech, as well as several other young adult single ladies here at the church, to be faithful to the Lord. They are nearing the age when many young ladies think of marriage. It is so important that they listen to the Lord as He directs their steps and their futures.
Each Sunday evening we have a “quiz” on the Sunday morning message. We divide up the congregation into 7 teams and they compete for a small prize. It is always a blessing to see how many people are able to recite, often verbatim, points that were preached during the message. Brother Hem began leading this competition three weeks ago. Hem and his wife, Beh, were both saved out of Islam and are faithful servants of the Lord here at the church. Hem is in my Saturday evening men’s discipleship group. It is evident that he is growing in his walk with the Lord and his ability to lead his own family. Please pray for Hem and Beh to continue to be obedient to God’s call upon their lives.
So many of the folks are faithfully preparing for our 3rd annual Youth Conference which we plan to hold July 10-12. This year the conference will be special because we are having a group join with us from a nearby “creative access” country where we have missionaries serving from Pacific Baptist of Long Beach. Please continue to be in prayer for the conference this year to be used by God to produce fruit that remains.
Brother Maldy and his wife, Sitha, are an encouragement to us. They live in a village 13 miles away and for many months rode their bikes to come to church. They now own a small moped. In recent months they have had some difficulties that seemed to keep them out of church but they have recently returned and desire to be faithful. Joshua and I had the opportunity to visit them in their home this past week and share a meal with them. Their sweet and humble spirit is refreshing. As we prayed together, Maldy asked God to help them to be faithful once again. It was a blessing to see them back in the morning and evening services today. Please pray for Maly and Sitha to be faithful to church regardless of the challenges they face.
This past week Debbie and I had the humbling experience of eating in the home of a family we are trying to reach out to. The husband works hard to collect recyclable bottles in order to support his wife and baby. I am sure that the money they spent on this simple meal, which must have cost around $2.50, was more money than he made that day. It is very difficult, at times, for us to receive the hospitality of those who are so desperately poor. Yet, it is vital that we connect with these dear people right where they live day in and day out. Please pray for our family and the rest of the leaders to have wisdom to know how best to reach the people God has called us to reach without being a stumbling block.
We use Tuk Tuks here in all of our ministries rather than vans or cars. They are not always most comfortable but we believe that it is what God would have us to do at this point. We have 7-8 Tuk Tuks that are used for ministry and they have been used to reach many people. Each one has traveled thousands of kilometers on the bumpy roads here in Cambodia. Two of our Tuk Tuks desperately need to go to the junk yard. We are constantly putting money into them to keep them running and it is getting to the point where they must go. We are taking up special offerings in the churches here to help purchase one new Tuk Tuk. If you are interested in helping to purchase the second one please let me know.
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Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason