September 3, 2017
Greetings from Long Beach, CA! We have been reporting to churches over the past several weeks about just some of the miraculous things that the Lord is doing in Cambodia! It has been a blessing to share with churches and friends how many lives are being changed by the power of the gospel. In more than one church we have seen tears flow down the faces of American believers as they listen to the testimonies of some of the national believers while watching our dvd. Thank you for being a part of seeing many Cambodian, Cham, and Vietnamese folks turn from darkness to light.
“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30
It was a real blessing for us to have the chance to see these four ladies in the Cambodian service this morning. We have known each of them for over 25 years and have a rich history with them and their families. An unfortunate reality for missionaries is that we are constantly saying “good-bye” to those we love and those who love us. These four mothers not only know the Lord but they are burdened to see their own people come to Christ as well. Each of them are blessed to have one of their adult children serving on the mission field alongside of us in Cambodia. I know that they miss their children and grandchildren but I’m thankful that they have an eternal perspective and have not sought to be a stumbling block to God’s will for their children’s lives. Their prayers and support for their children are reaping blessings in this life and will reap eternal rewards in heaven one day. What would be your true response if God called one of your children to the foreign mission field?
Thirty-three years ago God allowed us to begin working with Cambodian refugees in Des Moines, Iowa through the bus ministry of our local church. Each week we would invest countless hours with them in their homes, learning the Khmer language and culture as well as striving to help them understand their inability to earn God’s favor and their need for a personal Saviour. Every Sunday our bus would pick up scores of Cambodian, Lao, Vietnamese, and Hmong children and parents for church. It was a great blessing for us to see Mary in the services today! She rode our bus back in Des Moines when she was only 3 years old! She has been away from the Lord for many years but recently came back and is allowing God to make changes in her family life that would bring honor to the name of Christ. We are so happy to learn that her daughter will be attending the Christian school this year. Mary’s older brother, Vattanak, rode our church bus as well and today he is serving as an assistant pastor in a church in northern California. Some of you who read our blogs were faithful workers and supporters of the bus ministry at the church we were a part of back in the early 80’s. It is impossible to know all of the fruit of the investment that you and many others made into the lives of refugee families, but we want to remind you that your labor was not in vain! There are still folks serving the Lord who were reached with the gospel many years ago – back when none of us really had a good understanding of how to effectively minister in a cross-cultural setting. Thank God that His Word does not return void and thank you for your spiritual investment into the lives of Southeast Asian believers over these many years both in the United States as well as overseas!
I had the opportunity to share the gospel with Sareth for an extended period of time this weekend. He is the father of Bounna Has, one of our faithful missionary team members in Cambodia. He wept for nearly the entire time that I taught him, yet he would not yield his will to the will of God and accept the free gift of salvation. I have arranged to meet with him once again in two weeks after we return to Long Beach from reporting in several churches in southern California. Please pray that he will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit of his inability to earn salvation and for his need of a personal Saviour.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
We are so excited to report to you that Bountoeun and his wife, Srey Touch, have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour! They are the parents of SreyLeak whom we wrote about in a past update. They came to Christ as a result of the testimony of their daughter and son-in-law and the miraculous change that took place in their personal lives and marriage after they were saved. Bounthoeun and Srey Touch are already growing in the Lord as well as getting “plugged in” to the ministries of the church and we look forward to seeing them follow the Lord in believers baptism very soon. Please pray that Bounthoeun and Srey Touch will continue to let their light shine so that their unsaved family members and friends will see their good works and come to glorify their Father Who is in heaven!
The gospel is continuing to be sown and bear fruit in the Stung MeanChey outreach. Over the past several weeks there have been a number of folks come to Christ through the efforts of Brother Man and his wife, Kanha, as well as the faithful soul-winners and workers who are a part of that extension ministry. Srey Neath is just one of those who have come to know the Lord and who are now faithfully being discipled. Thank you for praying for this new ministry. There is so much potential in that part of town to reach thousands more with the gospel. Please pray for the workers in Stung MeanChey to remain close to the Lord and continue to have the compassion and strength that is required to see the multitudes come to Christ.
The new outreach to Romdeng village (150 miles from Phnom Penh) is bearing fruit! Thank the Lord for a faithful Cambodian believer from America who is in her 70’s but who has a true love for the Lord and for the lost! She attended our church in Long Beach many years ago but we had lost contact with her over the past 20 years or so. About two years ago she found us in Cambodia while she was visiting her family in Prek Pnou and learned that missionaries from Long Beach were there handing out tracts and sharing the gospel. She has become a true friend in the ministry, and though she does not live in Cambodia, she is burdened to see her people come to Christ. A few months ago she put us in contact with a family in Romdeng village who was hungry to know the truth about God and His Word. By God’s grace there is an open door into the village and Bro. Keo and some of our national believers are making regular trips to that village and planting the seed of the gospel. There have been 6 or so adults now who have come to know Christ and are being discipled. Sophan is the most recent prospect to be saved from that village. We look forward to seeing the new believers follow the Lord in believer’s baptism very soon. By God’s grace we hope to see this small group of believers become a church in 2018. Please continue to pray for the extension outreach to Romdeng village and Preah Vithear province as a whole.
Brother Sinath and his wife, Sopheap, have been reaching out to Rathana and SreyWan with the gospel for several weeks. It is a great blessing to report to you that Rathana recently humbled himself and called upon the name of the Lord to be saved! Sinath is now working to disciple him in his new faith. Please pray for Rathana as he is growing in the Lord. Likewise, please pray that SreyWan will come to see her need to be saved and turn to God from idols.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua , Jeremy, and Jason