March 21, 2017
Thank you for praying for our family, for the TEAM, and for the ministry here in Cambodia. It has been awhile since we wrote an update and so this one is likely to be a bit longer than usual. 🙂
We had great services this past weekend! It continues to amaze me how God works, and to Him be all the glory. It’s a blessing to remember that it is the grace of God that is at work in the lives of new believers and not something that is dependent upon our own efforts, wisdom, or strategic planning! We are seeing men and women move from darkness to Light, and as a ministry we are all blessed to be a small part of God’s larger plan. Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Three weeks ago I started a new Sunday morning series on “The Church that Glorifies Christ.” The first Sunday we were reminded that our church must be built upon the Solid Rock of the Word of God and not on the silly shallow fads of this world. Two weeks ago I focused on the importance of the church family maintaining close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is impossible to do if we love the world and the things the world has to offer. This past Sunday we considered the truth that a church that glorifies the Lord is a church that enjoys close fellowship and mutual edification. We considered Galatians 6:1-9.
It’s amazing how God’s timing is always perfect. He knew which week I would be preaching which message and perfectly orchestrated the truth of His Word to meet the immediate need of our congregation. In Galatians 6:1 we read, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. It so happened that we had to deal with a matter of public church discipline on Sunday morning after my message. It provided a great opportunity for the church family to put into practice the truth they had just been taught as we all, together, seek to help spiritually restore the individual who was brought before the church for discipline. Thankfully she is repentant and desirous to return to close fellowship with the Lord and with her church family.
Our English ensemble did a great job singing the song “Each One Can Reach One.” This song challenges us all to do what we can to reach those around us with the gospel. You can hear them sing by clicking on the video above.
Noi was reached with the gospel through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry several years ago. He is now a 20 year old man who faithfully serves the Lord alongside his younger sister, SreyNak. A few weeks ago we began having Noi lead the song service during our Sunday morning service. We are training him to become an effective song leader. It’s always exciting to see young people grow in their desire and ability to serve the Lord. Pray for Noi and SreyNak to continue to be faithful to the Lord.
Jason has been given several opportunities recently to preach in the Cambodian language. We are thankful to have three sons who all desire to live for the Lord and serve Him with the talents they have been given!
Please continue to pray for the teen girls here in Phnom Penh. They all have very busy schedules with school and other activities in which they are required to participate. Yet, all of these girls are faithful in not just attending all of our church services but they also serve in various aspects of the ministry. As I am writing this update, one of these young ladies is upstairs in the church auditorium all by herself, cleaning the restroom. She cleans it every week and most of the time no one is around to see her do it. She does it because she loves the Lord and loves her church. Several of these girls help teach in the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry every Sunday. A couple of them travel two hours one-way every Sunday after our morning service to help serve in one of our village ministries. They return to Phnom Penh Sunday evening just in time for our evening service. Of course, each of these young ladies takes their turn serving in the church nursery!
The Lord is really using our Sunday evening small groups to help disciple our church members. It’s always a blessing to hear folks share testimonies of how the singles class is helping them to stand for the Lord. Every week we hear married couples share how they are grateful for a class that helps to equip them to lead their families for the Lord. We are privileged to have a part in their lives.
Sovann and Sina both came to Christ this past year. Their son, Veasna, was reached through our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry several years ago. Today he is a student in our Bible College preparing to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He chooses. Sovann is working hard to save money to be a part of our church’s Family Camp in May. The other day Veasna told me that he has seen major changes in his family since his parents have been growing and putting into practice the things they have been learning in our Married Couple’s class. For the first time in his life Veasna is seeing his parents pray together and express their love for one another. Please pray that Sovann and Sina will continue to allow the Lord to make the changes that need to be made in order that their lives might bring glory to the Lord.
Phan and his family were won to Christ by the folks in our PsaTricht village church over a year ago. A few years ago Phan went blind due to complications with diabetes that went unchecked for too long. Phan loves the Lord and everyone around him knows it! It is a blessing to see that he often takes part in our church-wide soul-winning each week in PsaTricht village. Even though he is blind he understands that God desires for the gospel to go to every person in his village and the surrounding villages. Please pray for Phan and his wife to continue to be faithful to the Lord and let their light shine in Jumga Village.
Bro. Ra and some of our men in PsaTricht began going soul-winning in a new village. They met Soun and have been faithfully witnessing to him for several months. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go with them to Soun’s village as they made a follow-up visit. The Lord opened the door for me to be able to witness to him for quite awhile that morning as well as answer some of his questions. It was a blessing to see him submit to the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart and accept the free gift of salvation! Thank God for the faithful men who have planted and watered the seed of the gospel week after week. Please pray for Soun to be a strong testimony in his village and especially to his own wife.
Ra asked Soun two questions before we left his house that morning:
1) How many years have you lived here in this village? and,
2) How many times has someone come to your house and told you of the gospel?
Imagine that! Thank you for helping to make it possible for the gospel to get to places like Wat Village and thank you for praying for our team as we strive to preach in many places that presently do not have access to the simple plan of salvation.
Bro. Shainghi was led to Christ by Bro. Vannak about a month ago. It has been a blessing to see him in church as well as attend our Married Couple’s Small Group. Soul-winning in Cambodia is normally a long-term project that requires a lot of follow-up and return visits in order to clearly explain the gospel to the lost. The problem is not that the gospel is complicated – The problem is that the heart of lost man is hard and often rejects the Good News. I am certain that Vannak and others have been to see Shainghi on multiple occasions in order to see him saved. Please pray that Shainghi will allow the Word of God to change him and that he will now grow to become the man of God that God desires him to be. Likewise, please pray for his wife to be saved.
Bro. San and others have been witnessing to Cheat but he has always rejected the gospel, and in fact took part in persecuting the believers in his village. Several weeks ago some events happened in his life that caused his heart to be opened to the gospel. San was able to lead him to the Lord. He immediately had the desire to go and win his friends to Christ. He has become San’s new soul-winning partner. His unsaved friends and family have begun to sharply criticize him for leaving Islam. Please pray that Cheat will be faithful to the Lord and faithful to church as he grows in his new faith.
Zen is a student in our Bible College and is a wonderful young man. He recently began going soul-winning in a new village and met Chhay. After meeting with him several times and witnessing to him, Chhay accepted the free gift of salvation. It’s a blessing to see our national men putting into practice 2 Timothy 2:2 as they not only grow in the Lord themselves but they faithfully disciple other men who can teach others also. Pray for Zen as he and others help to disciple Chhay in the Word of God.
The Lord continues to bless in our Stung MeanChey outreach. Each week there are new visitors in the services and things are exciting. Stung MeanChey offers some unique challenges when it comes to presenting the true gospel, but Bro. Man and Kanha, as well as Bro. Kosal and his wife, Phalley, are being used by God to make a difference in the lives of many people! Please pray for Kanha as she is expecting their first baby very soon. She has a high risk pregnancy and so she is supposed to be staying in bed and resting for her last 5-6 weeks of pregnancy. This is not an easy thing for her to do but she is trying her best.
Please continue to pray for Socheat and his wife, Noun, as they grow in the Lord. They were both reached with the gospel through the outreach in Stung MeanChey. Though Socheat works long hours he is still faithful to all the church services in Stung MeanChey as well as our Phnom Penh Married Couple’s small group. Because of Noun’s work schedule she is not able to attend church as much as she desires. I fully expect this young couple to become core leadership in Stung MeanChey as they walk with the Lord and grow in grace. It’s always exciting to see young couples reached with the gospel before they have lived long enough to really mess up their lives…
Touch is also a part of our Stung MeanChey outreach. She was saved at another church in her village some time ago but since moving to Stung MeanChey had not been a part of any church. When our workers were going door-to-door they met her and invited her to attend the services and she has been faithful ever since. Her teen daughter attends with her as well. It was a blessing to see Touch follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism a couple of weeks ago. Please pray for Touch and her daughter as they grow in the Lord.
I met Vannak a few weeks ago as Debbie and I were out going soul-winning one Saturday morning. I was able to spend quite awhile witnessing to him and he seems to be opening up to the Lord. Please pray that he will allow the Holy Spirit to work in his heart and show him his need for a personal Saviour. He is willing to believe that Jesus is God but is having a difficult time believing that God does not require the lost man to earn his salvation through doing merit. I hope to be able to see him again this week.
Please continue to pray for Sok to be saved. We led his wife, Navy, to the Lord several months ago. He works Sunday mornings but has been attending our Married Couple’s Small Group on Sunday evenings and has heard the gospel many times. This last Sunday he actually approached Bro. Sinath with some questions about the gospel. He is originally from Vietnam. Much of his family still lives in Vietnam and are Catholics. Catholicism often synchronizes with pagan religion and whatever superstitions are prominent in the culture. He has been exposed to a brand of Catholicism that is very heavily involved with the occult and is just now coming to understand that what the Bible teaches about God, sin, Heaven, Hell, and the devil is totally different than what he has believed his entire life. We can not open his spiritual eyes but God can and we believe that Sok will be saved. Please continue to pray for him as the devil will definitely do all he can to keep Sok in spiritual bondage.
I had the opportunity to meet Heng and witness to him a few weeks ago. Bro. Bounna and Bro. Vong have been reaching out to him and his wife for awhile now. We were able to have a great conversation with him that lasted perhaps a couple of hours. He had some very good questions and I could tell as I answered his questions and reasoned with him from the Word of God he was coming under conviction. As of yet, he is not willing to be saved because he fears the persecution that he knows awaits him when he turns his back on idols and false religion. He told me, “I am a Vietnamese man living in Cambodia. I have to follow the religion of Cambodia. I don’t believe any of it but I must still go to the Temple and take part in the various religious festivals of Buddhism in order to fit into this culture. I could never have the courage to be the only Christian in this village.” We know that it is only God who can change his heart. Please pray that Heng will respond to the working of the Holy Spirit in his life. He has been exposed to the gospel and he will be held responsible for the Light that he has received.
Chantha was reached here at Pacific Baptist Church a couple of years ago and is now a student in our Bible College. His mother, Navy, used to be the village drunk until she got saved. She shared a testimony the other day that the moment she accepted Christ as her Saviour she immediately lost her desire for the alcohol that had controlled her life for nearly 40 years! She is happy to see Chantha faithfully training in the college and desires to see him serve the Lord by one day taking the gospel back to their home village which is located several hours from Phnom Penh. Besides Navy, there are no other Christians in the entire village. Please pray for Chantha to be diligent in his studies and for his needs to be met. He took a huge step of faith by quitting his job in order to attend Bible College.
SreyMohm and her family were reached with the gospel in a miraculous way that I won’t take time to detail here in this update. They have been faithfully attending the church in PsaTricht. When we announced that we were starting a Bible College SreyMohm immediately expressed interest. The Lord worked in the heart of her parents and they allowed her to enroll. Even though we have only been holding classes for about 10 weeks, she is already benefiting greatly from the things she is learning and from the example she sees while living in the dorm with Susanna and Michelle. It is such a blessing to our national young ladies to be able to see what a Christian home is supposed to be like – they are able to experience a Christian family through living in the dorm. A couple of nights ago Debbie and I heard the girls in the dorm laughing and enjoying a time of fellowship in the evening and it brought great joy to our hearts to realize that they are experiencing something that they would not have had the opportunity to experience were it not for the opportunity they have to live in the dorms. Please pray for SreyMohm to continue to be faithful to the Lord and diligent in her studies and involvement in the various ministries in which she serves.
Sokun was reached with the gospel through the outreach in Stung MeanChey about 8 months ago. This past week she enrolled in the Bible College and has expressed a burden to know the Word of God and to be able to reach her own people with the gospel. Please pray for Sokun to be faithful as well as for her family to come to Christ. If anyone would like to help assist her with some basic expenses related to her education please contact me.
This last month Debbie and I had the opportunity to assist our fellow team members in a “creative-access” country by conducting a family conference for them. We had a great time and it was a blessing to be able to invest into the lives of those who have been reached through our co-laborers in that country.
During the conference Bro. Adrian asked Bounmee to marry him and fortunately she said yes! 🙂 Bounmee is a wonderful Christian young lady who was won to Christ and discipled for several years by faithful believers there and she will be a wonderful partner for Adrian as they serve the Lord together. Please pray that all of the paperwork will progress in a timely manner. There are a lot of hoops that they have to jump through in order to get things rolling over there and the natural tendency is for government paperwork to get bogged down and drag on for no real reason. They are hoping to get married in June and so that is what we are all working towards.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason