September 28, 2015
We opened the Sunday morning service with a special song from some of the men. They sang the hymn, “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.” It is always great to hear men sing in church! We’re thankful for the great group of men and teen boys that we are blessed by God to serve alongside!
We try to use this blog to expose you to life and ministry here on the mission field. If you would like to hear a couple of our opening songs and see the folks singing you can click on the video below. It will give you a taste of the spirit and tone of our services here in Phnom Penh! We thank God for the folks who work so hard serving the Lord every time we have a service here at the church. You will recognize the first hymn entitled, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.” The second song is a Khmer hymn entitled, “Praise and Thank God.” After hearing a short excerpt of these two songs you will hear a man named Ra open the service with prayer. Before being saved Ra was a lay-leader in the Mosque in his village and was going to be made an Imam within a short amount of time. He recently told me that when he would see me, ten years ago, entering his village with the gospel, he hated me – though he had never met me. He really believed that we were bringing in a “foreign” religion and destroying his culture. It is interesting, however, that he encouraged his son, Ly, to study with us. He desired for his son to learn how to be a good person but he warned him not to believe the things we were teaching. Thank God for the power of the gospel that can save even the hardest of hearts. Now not only is Ra saved, but his wife, all his children, and many of his relatives are saved as well! Thank you for having a part in seeing them reached for the Lord!
– Verse 1 –
See all the people crying out to know the Lord, Searching for the simple truth given in God’s Word,
Bound by chains of sin, longing for release. Who will share the gospel now and bring them peace?
– Chorus –
I will go, I must obey, for Jesus is the answer. I know He’s the way,
He calls me now. His voice I know. While there are lost who need to hear, I will go.
– Verse 2 –
Hear people crying, see the hurt in every face, Finding only empty things in their downward race,
How will people hear? Who will point the way? Who will take the love of Christ and go today?
It was nice to have some of the Phnom Penh teen girls dress-up in traditional Cambodian dress. They have a genuine beauty that radiates from within. Thank you for doing your part to help reach the younger generation of folks here in Cambodia. We trust and pray that each of these young ladies will remain faithful to the Lord!
Two more young people worked hard to complete the Gospel of Mark booklet with 140 questions in it so that they could receive their own copy of God’s Word. It was a joy to be able to present KimLeng and LyHeang with their very own Bible during the morning service.
We were thrilled to be able to hear a short testimony from Dara and SreyMohm. Dara shared a bit about his past and was especially transparent about the various “good works” that his family has done over many years in order to try and earn salvation. He then stressed that all those things were in the past and now he realizes that none of his good works could have ever saved him. It took a lot of courage for them, as brand new Christians, to stand before such a large crowd. We are thankful for what God has done in saving them, and what He is doing in helping them to grow. Please continue to pray for Dara and SreyMohm and their children to be obedient to the Lord. No doubt God would desire to use them in a mighty way to reach out to a segment of this society that perhaps the rest of us could not effectively reach. Pray for their eldest son, LayHout (21 years old), to be saved. Those of you who speak Khmer may want to click on the video above to hear Dara’s testimony. (I did not have time to translate English subtitles.)
It was a blessing to have 16 folks follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this weekend. We had Brother San take a few minutes and remind the congregation of the meaning of Baptism. It is important to take a few minutes and teach on Baptism each time we baptize due to the fact that the majority of “churches” here in Cambodia teach the false doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. If you speak Khmer you may want to click on the video below to hear San explaining Baptism in the Khmer language.
Sophea is from a village near the Thailand / Cambodia border. To his knowledge there are no Christians in his village. He was saved here at the church several weeks ago and was baptized Sunday morning. He has a desire to be trained in the Word of God so that he can take the gospel to his own village. At only 18 years old he still has a lot of maturing to do but it is very encouraging to see his desire to follow the Lord. Please pray that Sophea will be faithful to grow the way that God desires for him to grow.
Brother San and some of his workers have been focusing on a village located a little over two hours from Phnom Penh. A number of adults have come to Christ over the past several months. We are so blessed to see them taking steps of growth despite the persecution that they have begun to receive in recent days. Pov is from that village and was baptized this morning.
Sony received Christ as her Saviour several weeks ago. It was a blessing to see her follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism Sunday morning as well. She has a very difficult life with very little hope, humanly speaking, of it getting much better. It has been humbling to see her desire to grow in the Lord and her willingness to stand for what she knows to be true despite receiving mocking and ridicule from those who live around her. Please pray for Sony to be encouraged in the Lord!
It was great to see Vanny follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism as well. She is a talented young mother of two who has a bubbly personality that could be used greatly by the Lord. Please pray that she will faithfully walk with the Lord so that she might bring glory to Him and be used to see others come to Christ. Pray for her husband, Saly, to be saved.
BunSeang and his wife, SreyIem, were both saved several weeks ago through door-to-door soul-winning by some of the Children’s Ministry workers. BunSeang had attended some type of church back in his village several years ago. He was even involved in helping in various aspects of their ministry. Yet, he never understood salvation until he was reached by the personal workers here at the church. It was a blessing to see him and his wife both trust Christ within several days of each other. Pray for BunSeang and SreyIem to grow in the Lord.
Ly accepted Christ back in 2012 but had never followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism until this weekend. It is a blessing to see how he and his wife, Chut, are growing in the Lord. Please pray for Ly and Chut to be faithful to the Lord as they live among their Muslim neighbors.
Pheap is the mother / mother-in-law of one of the faithful couples here at the church. When her daughter and son-in-law became Christians they tried to keep their new faith hidden from her because they believed that she would disown them and they would be left destitute with nowhere to live. Through a series of events God worked things in such a way that she was able to hear the gospel and get saved. It is a huge step of courage for her, as a former Muslim, to be publicly Baptized. We are so blessed to see her desire to obey the Lord by publicly identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Please pray for Pheap as she continues to try and witness to her lost family members.
Housan, at barely 5 years of age, woke up one morning and told his mother that he did not want to go to Hell. He had been listening to the preaching in church and came to understand that he was a sinner who needed to be saved. It was a joy for Jason and I to lead him to Christ. By his own verbal testimony before the entire congregation he declared that he has trusted Christ as his personal Saviour! We pray that he will be used by God to reach many people with the gospel! Please help us to pray for Housan to have a hedge of protection placed around his life that he might be protected from the influences all around him that would seek to diminish or destroy his capacity to be used by God.
It was a great blessing to hear some of the children sing a song entitled “Jonah! Jonah!” Mrs. Has and some of the ladies have been working with these children for several weeks to prepare for this song. You can click on the video below to hear them sing! I translated the singing into English subtitles so that you know what they are singing. They did a great job!
It is always a blessing to see Grandma’s smile! I remember the time, ten years ago, when she would openly mock me while I was teaching in her village. She would stand off to the side and make little comments during the preaching. I distinctly remember turning to her one time and saying, “Grandma, wait and see. One day you will be a Christian also!” I reminded her of that incident just before I snapped this photo Sunday afternoon. She said she remembered saying some pretty bad things but that now she is God’s child and on her way to Heaven! Since being saved she has been very consistent in walking with the Lord despite persecution such as having rocks thrown at her house on several occasions in an attempt to “scare her back to Islam.” Thank God for her unwavering faith. Pray for Grandma to enjoy good health and to continue to walk with the Lord.
Sunday morning some of the Cham believers sang a song entitled, “How Can I Compare?” It is a song that proclaims their thankfulness for salvation. You can click on the video below to hear them sing. I have translated the words into English so that you might know what they are singing. Every person who is singing in this video was saved through the evangelistic outreaches of Pacific Baptist Church. Thank you for doing your part to pray for our missionaries, national workers, and various ministries.
Please pray for Dene to be saved. This was his first time to step foot into a church. He attended the service in order to witness his wife getting baptized. Brother San and some of the village workers have invested many hours in teaching him the gospel. After our morning service I asked him what he thought of the service and this was his response: “My religion is a lot different than what I saw today. I really love what I saw. I understood the preaching and I agree with the things that you said. You know, in my religion, I am never allowed to mix with the rich people. Because I am poor and dark-skinned I am not welcome to eat with them either. However, today I see everyone, rich and poor, enjoying food together.” I asked him what was keeping him from accepting Christ and he responded, “Nothing is keeping me from being saved. I just need to understand it a bit more. I now believe in Jesus 50%.” I encouraged him to accept Christ and assured him that people will be praying for his salvation. Please pray that Dene will be saved! [It is common for folks here to say things like “I believe 30% or 50%.” Of course we know that salvation is not something that happens gradually, over time. However, their understanding of their need and understanding of what it means to be saved can sometimes be a process. In fact, the vast majority of Cambodian Buddhist and Muslim adults who come to Christ do not do it after hearing the gospel once or twice. It is almost always a process that they go through which requires, first and foremost, that the Holy Spirit works in their hearts and illuminates the truth they are being taught and brings about the conviction necessary for them to be saved. Secondly, it requires soul-winners to faithfully and patiently follow-up on them as they seek to gently persuade them to believe the gospel. Many, after fully understanding the gospel, will take a bit of time to “count the cost” of what it will mean to become a Christian in this society. Becoming a true Christian will mean automatic persecution. For some, this is the thing which causes them to delay being saved.]
Channy is a wonderful young lady who has a radiant testimony for the Lord! Several weeks ago I said that Channy and the rest of the students in her public school were required to sing a solo in front of everyone. She asked the Principal if she could choose any song she wanted. The Principal said that would be fine…She sang one of the songs that she learned at church in front of the entire assembly! I don’t know if I have ever done anything in my life that requires as much courage as that…How about you? I wanted to include this picture from this weekend because the picture I showed of her a few posts ago was somewhat blurry. Please pray for Channy and the teen young people who live out in the countryside to be faithful to the Lord.
I want you to meet Vanna and Than. They are Channy’s parents. They’ve both been saved and love the Lord. Their life is very difficult as they struggle to survive on the meager wages they are able to gather from farming. Yet, I have never heard them complain. They have such a sweet spirit about them. They are taking a stand for the Lord where they live. Recently they refused to participate in an ocultic ceremony that took place in their village. Thank God for their faith. Please remember this dear family in your prayers.
SreyNov is 14 years old and lives in Prak Pnou. We had lost contact with her for quite some time but recently Bro. Has was able to meet up with her. It has been a blessing to have her in church for the past two weeks. Bro. Hem and Jeremy traveled 40 minutes one way to pick her up for the morning service. I’m so thankful for faithful national men, such as Bro. Hem, who love the Lord and who love their own people enough to get up super early on Sunday morning to pick up just one person for church!
We saw this group of young men off to camp Monday morning at 4:00. The theme this year is “Endure Hardness as a Good Soldier.” This camp was only open to certain young men who have proven themselves to be faithful over several months. They have been saving money for some time to be able to go on the trip. They are scheduled to return on Wednesday afternoon. This coming Sunday evening we have set aside time to hear testimonies from the young men of how God worked in their hearts while they were away. Pray for the teen young men to be faithful to the Lord and to walk in spiritual victory. Everyone in this photo was saved through the outreach ministries of the church here in Phnom Penh.
Several weeks ago we received a phone call from this family who lives in Pursat Province. Their home is approximately 200 kilometers from Phnom Penh. (3.5 hour one-way commute by moped) They had received one of our gospel tracts and were very interested in speaking with us. Brother Vannak, pictured on the left side of this picture, and his brother, Man, drove to their village to meet with them and “feel them out.” Sunday evening I had the opportunity to spend some time with them over dinner here in Phnom Penh and discuss the things that are on their heart. They have been saved for 10 years but have only been faithful to the Lord for the past 3 years. They are burdened to see their own people be saved and they do their very best to witness but they have never been discipled and lack the knowledge to know how to answer questions about their faith. According to them, they have approached their pastor and asked for assistance and training but were told that he was too busy to train them. He told them to just trust God and everything will work out fine… According to Oeun, it seems that their church is not interested in helping to reach his village for the Lord. I don’t know exactly how the Lord will lead in this situation but Oeun is seeking advice about what he should do. He is attending a church that does not have doctrine that is compatible with our church and ministry and we have told him that we will not be able to really help him much unless he is willing to step away from his church. We have encouraged him to speak to his pastor and try to discern God’s will in this matter. He did request tracts and we gave them to him. Perhaps the Lord is opening a new door of opportunity with this family. It seems that they have for some time been burdened to get out of their “dead” church but they have not known where to go since there is no other church in their area. In fact, the church they are attending is 10 kilometers from their village. That does not sound far, but here in Cambodia it is considered quite far. Especially as they think about trying to reach their village with the gospel. Please pray that God’s will might be clearly seen in this matter. They are business people and have the ability to fully support themselves financially. All they need is training. We have men who are able and willing to make the commitment to train them if this is the Lord’s will.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason