November 12, 2015
It was five years ago this coming weekend that God allowed our family to start Pacific Baptist Church of Phnom Penh. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years already! We thank God for the part that you have played in helping to reach this part of the world with the gospel. Thank you for standing with our family and team to see the people of Cambodia reached and to see churches established.
As we thought about the first service our minds were brought back to just days before we had our first public service (November 14, 2010) and the prospects that we were trying to reach with the gospel. I clearly remember wondering if anyone would even show up at the first service. Thankfully we did have around 30 nationals who were a part of our first service.
We could write for hours about all the lives that have been changed because of the impact of this young church and her various ministries that are scattered over a 60 kilometer radius. However, I don’t want to sit here that long typing and you don’t want to sit there that long to read it! 🙂 We are just blessed when we consider God’s goodness in our lives and the lives of each individual team member as well as the nationals who have been reached with the gospel.
Sinath’s family was the first complete family that was reached. This picture was taken when we invited them to our home for dinner and dominoes. At that point they were not yet saved but we had been building a relationship with them for around three months. Just before they left our house and returned home I asked them to read the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16. God used the story to begin working in their hearts and awaken them to their need of salvation. Sinath was saved just a couple of weeks after this picture was taken – In fact, it was five years ago today, November 12th, that he trusted Christ. Srey Nech, his 14 year old daughter, was saved a few days later. It took another 5 months or so before Sopheap, his wife, was saved.
We took this picture just after our mid-week service last night. Five years later they are all faithfully serving the Lord. Their 19 year old daughter and 12 year old son, Sothean, are faithful as well. Over the past five years God has blessed them with three more sons – Eden, Phillip, and Jeremiah! It’s been such a blessing to see this family grow into a godly, content, and loving family. Thank you for making it possible for this family to be reached with the gospel!
It was a blessing to hear Keang share a testimony from his heart about his decision to stand for the Lord at school. He is the only believer in his family. His mother recently moved the entire family several hours away back to the village. Keang remained there for a couple of months. There is no church in his village or anywhere near to his village. He desired to return to Phnom Penh so that he would be able to attend church and once again be part of the youth group and serve the Lord. What a blessing it was to have Brother Vannak work out the details with Keang’s mother and travel to the village to transport him back to Phnom Penh. We are thankful for Bro. Adrian who has joyfully allowed Keang to live with him. Adrian is helping to fill the void in Keang’s life of not having a Christian father and it has been a blessing to watch. Please pray for Keang to continue to be faithful to the Lord.
Mrs. Has has been diligently working with the children’s singing group to prepare for their special song this month. You can click on the video below to hear their special they sang this past weekend. The video was shot during their rehearsal before the service.
We also enjoyed an English trio special – I’ve included the video for the benefit of the grandparents! 🙂
It was a blessing to meet Ury this past Sunday morning. He was referred to us by one of our team members in Thailand. He seemed to know all the songs we sang by memory and he smiled the majority of the service as though he was extremely happy to be there. I have an appointment to meet with him this coming Saturday morning where I hope to hear his testimony of salvation. He hope that he will become a part of the church and that we will have the opportunity to serve along side of him. Please pray for Ury to be sensitive to God’s leading in his life. He is originally from a village very near the Vietnam border.
Each Wednesday Brother Sinath and I go soul-winning in Stung Mean Chey district. Last week we met SreyGa and had the opportunity to witness to her for an extended period of time. We left her with materials to read and assured her that we would see her the next week. It was a blessing to be able to visit her again yesterday and see her trust Christ as her personal Saviour! Please pray for her husband, Chetra, to be saved as well. She invited us to stay for lunch and during lunch she told us an interesting story. As a young girl of around 6 years old she remembers the time when her grandmother stopped following the religion that she had faithfully followed for many years. She began doing “strange” things like praying to thank God for her food before she ate. She prayed before she went to bed at night. As a young child who had never been exposed to Christianity, Srey Ga didn’t understand what had happened to her grandmother. She often after her why she stopped offering sacrifices to the spirits and idols, and instead she prayed to some God that she could not see. She didn’t remember getting a clear answer from her grandmother. Then at the age of 15 Srey Ga moved to Phnom Penh to work. Her grandmother would often come and visit her. In the home each night she would request that Srey Ga read the Bible to her because her eyesight was too poor to read the small print. So, as a 15-16 year old girl Srey Ga would read page after page of the Bible out loud to her grandmother. As she read her grandmother would say “Amen” and “that’s the truth” out loud. This really confused Srey Ga and she couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her grandmother. She shared with us that she now understands what her grandmother was so excited about – salvation is a free gift and, though we are sinners deserving of eternal punishment, God sought us and drew us to Himself. We plan to visit her again very soon to give her an MP3 player and a Bible. Circumstances involving her husband may, for the present time, prevent her from attending church. Please help pray about that.
My weekly discipleship time with Oudom is going very well. It has been a blessing to see his spiritual growth and his desire to be faithful to the Lord at work as well as within his family. Pray that we will be able to see a church or perhaps a small group formed in his village very soon that would provide Christian fellowship and accountability. Bro. Has and Bro. Vong have been working on several prospects in Oudom’s village as well and have seen at least one other young man trust Christ. Please pray for a young couple with whom they are working, Bora and Sophea, to be saved.
Each Tuesday morning prior to meeting with folks in Prek Pnou for discipleship we spend time handing out tracts and seeking to meet people. Three weeks ago I began going to a new village where I had never been named Elephant Den Village. I was able to meet a number of folks. Sarin is 23 years old and had never heard the gospel. I was able to spend time with him the first two weeks. Last week as we met I asked him if his parents knew what we were discussing and he responded that they did not. They likely assumed I was teaching him English. He seemed to want to keep it quiet that we were studying about Jesus… However, when I arrived there to meet him this week I was greeted with the sad news that his father had passed away a few days prior. It is sad thing to think that the gospel likely did not reach him in time. Please pray that the passing of his father will not close the door in Sarin’s life but that it will rather cause him to think all the more about the importance of knowing that his sins are forgiven.
Please pray for a couple who lives in Elephant Den Village named Bonny and Saroeun. I was able to meet them in their home this week and give them a tract. Bonny told me that he has never had anyone give him a tract in his entire life but that he was always interested in knowing what Christianity was all about. It often takes a bit of time for folks like him to comprehend and accept the fact that they need a personal Saviour. The gospel is not difficult to understand but it is impossible for them to understand it as long as the devil has control of their lives. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Please pray that as this couple reads the materials and thinks about the things I taught them the Holy Spirit will awaken them to their need to be saved.
It was a blessing to receive a special gift from friends in Iowa this past month which enabled us to be able to replace our broken keyboard. The weather as well as extreme wear and tear take its toll on electronics over here. We are grateful to God’s people who care about the work here in Cambodia and are willing to do their part to help make a difference!
Debbie and I were blessed to be able to travel to a neighboring country a few days ago and conduct a couple’s retreat. This is just one of the couples who has been reached through the ministry in that country. It was a true blessing to see how the work has grown since the last time that we were there despite the fact that they are situated in a “creative access” country where traditional methods of soul-winning, discipleship, and church-planting are not easily used. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to meet with their college age young people on Thursday evening as well as to speak for their service on Sunday. Please remember to pray for the work that our fellow team members are doing not just here in Cambodia but also in other places here in Southeast Asia.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
P.S. Did you ever see a 300 pound hog on the back of a small moped being taken to the market? Check out the video below and you will see two of them! We shot this video close to our church.