March 7, 2016
Thank you for your prayers and support for the work here in Southeast Asia. This week we have included a short video update. I know that some of you use these videos during your Sunday School classes or other church services to help keep missions in the forefront. If you have difficulty downloading this video please let me know. If you simply want to watch it just click on the video below.
It was nice, as always, to have some of the folks open the morning service with a special song. We really appreciate all the time that they invest each week in practicing and preparing for their special music.
The morning service was packed to the limit this past Sunday. We continue to be amazed that God would see fit to bring so many people into the ministry here. One of our biggest needs is going to be having a permanent place to meet. As prices in the city continue to go up it is very likely that we will sooner than later be priced out of the market. If the ministry here were the size of the average church here in Cambodia (18 members according to the most recent research I could find) we would not be facing this problem. However, humanly speaking it seems a bit overwhelming to try and think about what we are going to do to house a church of our size when the time comes. Please help us to pray that God would somehow provide us with our own property here in the city that can be used as “headquarters” for the far-reaching ministry that God is seeing fit to build.
Mrs. Has and Susanna did a great job of working with the children for a special medley they sang during the service. Not only did they sing beautifully, but they also quoted a memory very to go along with their song.
It’s always a parent’s greatest joy to see their children faithfully serving the Lord. All the men who meet in our Saturday evening men’s accountability group voted for Jason to be the one to share a testimony on Sunday morning during the service. This was his second time to share in front of the adults and he did a great job speaking about the importance of us all maintaining a faithful prayer life.
It was great to have Srey Touch in the services both Sunday morning as well as evening. She is not a believer as of yet but she told me that she is seeking to understand what it means to be a Christian. She seems very open. Please pray for Srey Touch to be saved very soon and that we will have wisdom as we try and help her with some issues in her life.
Our Sunday evening small groups are back in session after taking a scheduled three week break. Each one of the groups has experienced growth since starting a couple of months ago and there are now folks attending Sunday evening church who would not normally do so. Please pray for these groups to continue to be an effective way to disciple new believers and to strengthen the overall church.
Please pray for these two adults (unrelated) to be saved. Sareun has attended a church not far from here for quite some time but by her own admission she is not saved. Phirum, to my knowledge, has never attended church before in his life. He is 29 years old and has a wife and 5 children. Both of these folks were invited to attend our couple’s group. They seemed to have open hearts. Pray for our workers this week as they are following up on these two prospects.
Several weeks ago we wrote and requested prayer for Chea and Ny to be saved. We are happy to report that they both trusted Christ as their personal Saviour just after our Sunday evening small groups dismissed. Pray for Bro. Vong and myself as we will be focusing on helping this young couple to grow in their new faith.
Lord willing, we will be starting a new teen outreach in Stung MeanChey beginning a week from this coming Sunday. We were able to speak with the owners of this home and a couple of other homes adjacent to it and they have agreed to allow our workers to use the space located underneath their houses. We are hoping to start with 4-6 different “Sunday School Classes” at this location. Immediately following the class time there will be a combined service. Perhaps the most encouraging thing about this new outreach is that it will be totally run by the nationals. Brother Man and his wife, Kanha, have agreed to oversee this new work and I will meet with Man every week to discuss the specifics. We plan to have each of the classes taught by a national believer who will also be training another national to take their place as the goal is to begin a second location in Stung MeanChey within perhaps 4-6 months or maybe even sooner. The only thing that would hold us back from expanding to a second location would be a lack of qualified national workers who can effectively teach young people. Please help pray for this new ministry to be used to see many teens come to Christ as well as be added to the church.
This past Sunday was our first week to begin holding public services in Elephant Den Village. Myself, Debbie, and Jeremy will begin going to this village every Sunday to meet with these folks. For the time being we are not promoting the group to the entire village. We are only inviting those people with whom we have already shared the gospel. As this entire group comes to faith and begins to become solid in their faith we will hopefully open it up to others. We already know of several teen girls who are interested in being a part of the group right away so we may go ahead and invite them in a couple of weeks. It is always very tricky when you first get a new village ministry started as there are often misconceptions about what we are trying to do. Most people in the village expect that we would go there and teach English or some job skill. Others are shocked because we are there talking about religion and handing out tracts rather than gathering the entire village together and handing out money to everyone. So in order to help stem off some of these misconceptions we are striving to work closely with those who already understand our motives. This village and the villages surrounding it are well known as villages where the primary industry is that of making idols and religious relics. It is a village that is in great need of the gospel. Please pray that these folks will come to Christ and that a strong house-church will be established in Elephant Den Village! This new ministry could also effectively reach out to Prak Pnou, Law Gombou, and several other villages if it is able to get up and going.
I began meeting with Hem and Beh for a weekly time of discipleship beginning last week. It is very encouraging to see their hunger to learn God’s Word and the principles that are necessary for a victorious Christian life. Please continue to pray for this couple as they grow in the Lord.
I also began meeting with Tara and SreyMohm for a weekly time of discipleship beginning this past week. As new Christians nearly everything is new to them and they are eager to know what God says and of their responsibility before God. Tara is a university professor and since being saved has taken many opportunities to plant seeds of the gospel with his students. He has nearly 900 students who attend the various classes that he teaches. I believe that any investment I’m able to make into this couple will no doubt bear fruit many times over. Each Sunday after the morning service they travel two hours one way with others from the Phnom Penh church in order to minister to the church in Prey Bang village. They return back to Phnom Penh just in time for our Sunday night services, no doubt tired and a bit sore from the bumpy commute. Additionally, SreyMohm travels to Prey Bang village every Tuesday to be a part of the soul-winning team that is reaching out to various villages in that part of the country. It is an encouragement to see their gratitude to the Lord and the joy they have in serving Him. Pray for Tara and SreyMohm to continue to walk with the Lord and grow in their knowledge and obedience to the Word of God.
One of the greatest joys a missionary will experience is seeing his spiritual “Timothy” faithfully serving in the ministry. Each week Brother Sinath travels back to his home village several times to hand out tracts as well as to disciple those who have made professions of faith. Their family has been able to recently adjust their schedule to make it so that Sinath’s wife, Sopheap, is also able to go to the village with him on a regular basis. This has been her desire for some time now and we are thankful it is working out.
It was a blessing to have Sinath go with me this past Saturday to Elephant Den Village and help witness to some folks who I’ve been witnessing to for a few weeks now. It’s always good to get another voice involved. Pray for Mr Wang to be saved. He told us this past Saturday that he wants to be saved but he is afraid of the many people living around him who will persecute him once he does. I thank God for Sinath’s faithfulness to the Lord and his willingness to try and persuade Wang not to delay in accepting Christ.
Brother San and the workers in the Psa Tricht church are doing a great job of reaching out into new areas that are as of yet not evangelized. A few months ago Phoun was saved because of their efforts. He is a faithful member of the Psa Tricht church and several of his family members have subsequently accepted Christ and are living for the Lord. Please pray that his wife, Lon, will be saved.
This past week I was able to meet these three monks. I spent quite awhile with them just talking about life and seeking to win their hearts. While I did not explicitly seek to present the gospel to them, I do believe that a door of friendship was opened. They have invited me to go back and see them again. I hope to go to the Buddhist temple to see them once again this coming Tuesday. Please pray for an appropriate and natural opportunity to specifically discuss eternity with them. The monk on the left side of this picture has been a monk for 21 years. He is supposedly a revered symbol of everything that the village believes. Yet, he told me that at times he is so depressed by the state of affairs in today’s world that he wants to commit suicide. I feel like it is possible to win their hearts to the point that they will readily listen to me when the time comes to explicitly speak with them of Christ – Lord willing that time will come this next week. Obviously if we were to meet a monk on the street we should not and would not refrain from giving him a gospel tract and witnessing to him if he was willing to listen. However, I did not meet these men on the street. I met them in the temple and for the time being will only be able to interact with them in the temple. So in our efforts to win them to the Lord we need to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” so as to keep the door of opportunity open. Please pray to that effect.
As we look at just two of the idols among the hundreds that are at their temple, it is obvious to us as Christians why these monks have no hope. The idol on the left is actually from Hinduism. The idol on the right pictures the seven-headed Naga crouched over the top of Buddha. It is believed by those who hold to this religion that the Naga is the “protector” of Buddha. The Bible clearly tells us who the dragon is in Revelation 12:3,9 “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads…And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
I was able to meet Thy this past Saturday while in a new village with some of our soul-winners. We spent a very long time talking with him and explaining the gospel to him. Saturday was only the second time in his life that he had heard the gospel – the first time was the previous week when folks from our church handed him a tract and witnessed to him. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will remind him of the things we taught him and that he will see his need to be saved before it is too late.
Those of you who speak Khmer may want to click on the video below – It will remind you why it is important to get the gospel to everyone that you possibly can before it is eternally too late!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason