December 23, 2015
We had a wonderful but action packed weekend. I think that we are all glad it’s over! So many people worked hard to make the Christmas drama a success this year. Bro. Bounna and his team of workers practiced countless hours to memorize their lines. We did not bring in any folks from the outlying works for this special day. Yet, we had one of our largest Sunday morning crowds that we’ve ever had. I asked one of our national leaders, Bro. Vannak, to preach for the service. God used him to preach a very clear and powerful salvation message. It’s such a blessing to serve alongside so many folks who are willing to be used by the Lord in whatever way necessary.
There were many songs presented throughout the drama. Several of them were translated into Khmer from English and were pretty difficult for the folks to learn. Bro. Kosal did a fantastic job of translating them several months ago and those who sang worked diligently to sing them to the best of their ability.
It was such a blessing to have many first time adult visitors in the morning service. Big days over here tend to be a bit hectic and stressful due to the fact that most first time visitors have never been in a church and don’t know how to “properly” conduct themselves. Thus if we allowed it there would be a lot of talking going on, phones ringing, and people getting up and down and going in and out of the auditorium during the service. That would be typical conduct in their religion at the temple and so they would think it was normal for a church service as well. Thankfully folks were pretty well behaved and we had very few interruptions compared to what we could have had. It was a blessing to have Srey Neang’s mother attend the service in order to see her four daughters participate in the drama. Please pray for her salvation. She represents just one of dozens of parents of our young people who are not saved and have little, if any, interest in spiritual things.
Mrs. Has and the workers did a fantastic job with the children on Sunday. I popped in to see how things were going and was amazed to see about 60 children paying attention and participating in the children’s service.
Many of the teens have been competing for the past 6 weeks or so in order to qualify to attend our annual teen Christmas fellowship. These are the young people who were able to attend this past Saturday evening. We had a great time of competition and fun. We are so blessed to have young people who love the Lord and love doing right! Please continue to pray for the teens of Pacific Baptist Church to be shining lights for the Lord within their own families.
I began going to Elephant Den Village about 6 weeks ago. This new village is located about 40 minutes from Phnom Penh. As I went door-to-door I was able to meet Ta Son. At 80 years old he is the eldest member of his village. I’ve had the opportunity to teach him for the past several weeks about his need to stop depending upon his “good works” to get to Heaven. From the very beginning it seemed that his heart was tender to the gospel. He asked many good questions but once the gospel was clear to him he really began to pay attention. I am happy to report that he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour this past week! He immediately took me to go meet several of his friends with whom he had been sharing everything that I was teaching him. He desires to see them saved as well. Please pray for Ta Son as he grows in his new faith. Pray as well for his friends to be saved: Mr. Thy, Mr. Prouen, Mr. Wan, Mrs. Date.
It was a true joy to be able to preach at our church in Pra Tricht Village this past week. I am always encouraged to see what God is doing in and through the believers in that village. Beginning in January I plan to start going to Psa Tricht on a regular basis. The main thing that prevents my traveling to this village is the condition that I have with my back and the roads here. Please pray that my back will be stable and not prevent me from going, not just to this village, but several other villages as well. One of our goals for 2016 is to see more national leaders trained and equipped to lead their own people. As the work continues to expand it is imperative that our national men, in particular, are spiritually qualified, willing, and equipped to lead their own people. The church in Psa Tricht has a number of young couples with young children. Lord willing, and at their request, I will begin going there to teach on the family and child-rearing. The believers here were raised in Buddhism and Islam and have very little understanding of what it means to be have a Christian family. It is so important that our missionary families show forth a godly example in their families as our “walk always speaks louder than our talk.”
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Phnom Brasut Village. It is located about an hour and a half from Phnom Penh. There is a possibility that I will begin going to this village a couple of times a month to do evangelism as well as to help train a national family who lives in that village. If the door of opportunity in this village continues to remain open I will share more details with you in the months to come. In the mean time please pray that we will have wisdom to know how best to help reach the folks in this village and see a church planted that is able to be led from the very beginning by a national man.
We thank you again for your prayers and investment in the work of the Lord here in Southeast Asia. We wish you a very Merry Christmas as you take time to remember the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth for the purpose of dying to pay the price for our sins.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
Here are some video clips from this past Sunday.
5 thoughts on “December 23, 2015”
Merry Christmas to all of you. I am so happy to read of Ta Son’s decision. We will continue to pray for him and for his friends in Elephant Village. It is exciting to read of new villages being reached. We will continue to pray for your back health.
Thanks Bro. Sands…trust you all are doing well in your travels. Merry Christmas.
Always look forward to your prayer letters and all the pictures. Feel like we’ve been there. Delighted to see your boys very involved (are they getting tall!). Our love and prayers.