November 20, 2017
In the video below I discuss our Romdeng Village outreach with Brother Vong. You will not want to miss the clip of the road on the way to the village!
It has been great to have the opportunity to see many of you and report in person about a few of the things that God is doing here in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Over the past four months we have traveled thousands of miles without any major problems with the rental van. We are thankful for the kindness that has been extended to our family by so many special friends and family who are scattered around the States.
I am back in Cambodia for about ten days between our meetings in churches in order to meet with our leaders as we are making plans for what we pray will be a very fruitful 2018. I plan to return to the States the week after Thanksgiving and will finish up our remaining meetings then get on a plane and fly right back over here. Flying on the plane for 20 hours is the part I don’t really care for too much!
It has been such a blessing to hear from so many people how our blog updates and videos are being used to challenge folks in regard to their particular role in missions and the importance of “holding the ropes” at home. It has been great to learn that the regular bi-weekly updates and occasional videos are being used in churches to help remind believers of the power of the gospel to change lives. Thank you for investing the time to read and pray over the updates. It is the prayers of God’s people that continue to open doors in this part of the world and allow the “glorious light of the gospel” to shine where darkness has reigned for centuries.
The first group of folks I saw when I arrived back in Cambodia was a group of our Phnom Penh teen girls. They are all smiling from ear to ear – I assume it is because they are happy to see me and not just because I brought them candy from America!
So many of you have asked us about Brother Man and Kahna over the past four months as we have been reporting in the States. It has been such a blessing to hear you say that you pray for this young couple on a regular basis! They have both experienced several significant challenges over the past couple of months. It is evident that the enemy is doing everything that he can to try and frustrate the work of the Lord. Lord willing, I will be taking them out to dinner Thursday evening and will have the opportunity to spend some time with them. I often tell our leaders here in Cambodia that I begin to be concerned when we go for more than a few weeks without obvious resistance from the devil. Any believer who is truly living for the Lord and any church that is truly invading the kingdom of darkness can expect to garner the attention of the “god of this world” or, at a minimum, his minions who will always seek to frustrate the delivery of the message of the gospel. Thank you for upholding Man and Kahna in prayer as they continue to faithfully serve the Lord in the Stung MeanChey extension ministry of Pacific Baptist Church.
Kahna is such a blessing to Debbie and I! We had the privilege of having her live with our family for two years when she first accepted Christ and we view her almost as our daughter. The thing that struck me Sunday morning was how much joy she has in serving the Lord and being a help meet to her husband. Though she has experienced some significant persecution for her faith over the past couple of months, she continues to wake up each day, put a smile on her face, and serve the Lord by serving others. I snapped a picture of her just after the morning service as she immediately went to the kitchen to begin making lunch for about 15 of the folks from Stung MeanChey who participate in weekly soul-winning every Sunday at 2:15 p.m. Take a moment and pray that as God continues to strengthen Kahna she will continue to serve with joy. She has great influence for the Lord among our teen young ladies.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 4 It was a blessing to hear Brother Kosal preach the Sunday morning message in Stung MeanChey. He preached from the Book of Proverbs on the wise, foolish, and simple man and the importance of not being stagnant in our spiritual growth but to be continually growing. Kosal was the first Cham young man that the Lord allowed me to lead to Him and it is a great joy to see him faithfully serving the Lord and leading his wife, Phalley, and their daughter, Abigail, in the way of the Lord. He works full-time as an English teacher in one of the best English schools in Phnom Penh and carries a great deal of responsibility yet he doesn’t allow his work schedule to prevent him from serving the Lord. Pray that Kosal and Phalley will continue to be led by the Holy Spirit and bear much fruit that remains.
Sochun and Malis were both saved through the outreach in Stung MeanChey. Sochun faithfully drives the TukTuk to pick up folks who need transportation to get to the services. He is also being mentored to become a leader in Stung MeanChey. Pray that this young couple will continue to have a tender heart of obedience as they are discipled by Brother Man and others.
We believe that teenagers ought to have a heart to serve the Lord and that we need to provide ample opportunity to exercise the spiritual gifts that they have been given and that are being developed as they grow in their faith. Samnang was reached through the soul-winning ministry in Stung MeanChey. He has a submissive heart and enjoys serving the Lord. It was a joy to see him leading the song service on Sunday morning. I know that as a teenager he faces many temptations to compromise. Pray that Samnang will continue to obey the Lord and that his influence for the Lord will grow as he is faithful.
A couple of months ago, Srey Nea accepted Christ as her personal Saviour and she is now being discipled by the Stung MeanChey ladies. Her bubbly personality and contagious smile is truly refreshing! I was encouraged to see her washing the dishes in the kitchen with a big smile on her face because she had the opportunity to serve the Lord by serving others. Nea is 17 years old and studies in a good quality private school in Phnom Penh. I asked her what she thought she might do after high school graduation. She told me that she has a “sponsor” in Chicago who helps to support her and that they want to sponsor her to go to college in the United States when she graduates next year. I then asked her if that is what she thinks the Lord would want her to do. She said that she didn’t know but that she wants to do whatever God wants her to do. I then said, “Maybe God would want you to go to Pacific Baptist Bible College and train to serve Him.” She got a huge smile on her face and said, “That is what I really want to do!” Wow! Not a bad answer for a young lady who has only been saved a few months and who has no Christian parents to encourage her to follow the Lord’s will for her life. Pray for SreyNea to remain submissive to the Lord’s will for her life. I believe that she is going to make a difference in the lives of many here in this country if she will remain faithful.
It is always a blessing to see young people who have a burden for others to be saved. After the morning service I observed Dany teaching her Aunt, Sophal, how to be saved. Sophal has attended several of the church services and desired to know how to have her sins forgiven and become God’s child. It’s a blessing to report that she called upon the name of the Lord to save her. Pray for Sophal as she is discipled by Dany and others in Stung MeanChey.
Over the past four months many of you have heard me tell the story of how God is opening an effectual door for the gospel in Romdeng Village in Preah Vihear Province. Until recent months Romdeng was just one of several thousand villages with no true gospel witness. It takes about 7 hours to get to Romdeng by bus and around 5 hours by private taxi. Actually, a taxi only goes up to the edge of the village then everyone has to get on mopeds for a very bumpy 20-30 ride on dirt roads. If you watch the video we posted this week you will get a small glimpse of what it takes to get in and out of Romdeng! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart!
Several times a month Bro. Keo, Bro. Has and Thy, Bro. Vong, and Michelle make the long and grueling trip to Romdeng to share the gospel as well as disciple the folks who have come to Christ over the past several months. Several of the national believers have been going as well. We are very thankful for this door that God has uniquely opened for us to get the gospel to a very spiritually dark and isolated part of Cambodia. Lord willing we will see a church planted in Romdeng sometime toward the end of the first quarter of 2018.
As exciting as it is for our team to have this opportunity, for me it is equally exciting to see the burden and zeal that the national believers from Phnom Penh and Psa Tricht have to be a part of this new outreach.
Sophal was saved here at the church about 4 years ago and has over the past year been growing by leaps and bounds. He attends secular college in addition to running his own private taxi business. Yet he never misses an opportunity to go to Romdeng every time a group leaves from Phnom Penh. This past week he spent several hours explaining the gospel to an older man who has been studying with our small group there and was able to lead the man to place his faith in Christ!
A country is never truly reached with the gospel unless national believers are properly discipled and equipped to reach their own people. Furthermore, they must feel an urgency that compels them to take the Great Commission as their own personal mandate. By God’s grace we are surrounded by young believers who are committed to win their friends and loved ones to the Lord as well as take the gospel to villages near and far. As a team we bear a great responsibility to the nationals who have been saved. Romdeng is just one of several new areas that is presently being evangelized by the folks who are a part of Pacific Baptist and we covet your prayers as we strive to mentor new believers and model Biblical Christianity before them.
Thank God for the gospel that has changed and is changing the lives of the folks you see in the pictures below!
We just began a new term in the Bible college this past week. It is such a blessing to have two more young adults enroll in the college.
Seyha was saved through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry in 2012 and is the only believer in his family. Everyone else in his family is openly hostile toward the gospel and does whatever they can to discourage him from being faithful to the Lord. He told me this weekend that he just desires to serve the Lord in whatever capacity God desires whether that means serving in full-time ministry one day or serving the Lord as a businessman. We are encouraged by his faith and example. Please pray for Seyha’s family to come to Christ.
Thida’s younger sibling began attending services in Stung MeanChey last year and invited her to come as well. She was actually saved in another church but it was not until she began attending Pacific Baptist Church that she came to understand that her prior church was not sound in doctrine and that the ways she had been taught were worldly and did not bring honor to the Lord but rather brought reproach on the name of Christ. It was during our recent youth revival that she felt the call of God to attend Bible College. She is such a blessing to be around. I believe that God will use her in a mighty way as she remains faithful to the Lord. Please pray for Thida as she is adjusting to being in Bible College.
Please pray for Vuthy to come under the conviction of sin and respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to be saved. One of our national men, Sinath, and myself had the opportunity to witness to him quite extensively this past Saturday. His sister-in-law is a faithful member of our church and is a good example to him I believe.
Pray for Vuth and Malis as they are considering becoming a part of our church. They both have professed to be saved and looking for a church where they can feel like they connect. Brother Man and several of the folks in Stung MeanChey met them recently while out in the community handing out tracts. This young couple run their own business and I imagine have a rather packed schedule. They attended our Married Couple’s small group on Sunday evening and are planning to return this week for our mid-week service in Phnom Penh. I am certain that they come from a church background that is quite different from what they are finding here with us, but we believe that if the Lord is calling them to be here He will make it known to them.
Chivon and Sarvath live in Crocodile Village here in Phnom Penh. This village is a new area that the Stung MeanChey folks are currently evangelizing. Chivon told me that she is saved already but since moving here to Phnom Penh from a distant Province she has not been able to find a church. Sarvath is not yet saved but seems to have an open heart and is willing to learn. Pray that the national ladies will have wisdom as they reach out to Chivon and Sarvath.
In closing we want to ask you to continue to pray that Brother Adrian and Bounmee’s legal paperwork will continue to move along allowing them to get married. Adrian is from our home church in California and we have known him since he was in elementary school. After graduating Bible College and serving for several years on the staff at our home church he surrendered to the mission field and has now been here about 4 years. Bounmee is a member of our team member’s church in a “creative access” country and has lived with American missionaries for a number of years. She recently had the opportunity to visit Cambodia for a couple of weeks. Bro. Adrian is a valuable member of the team here in Cambodia and has been faithful as a single missionary but I know that he is ready to get the paperwork thing over and done with!! I know that our teen girls here in Cambodia are ready for Bounmee to get here now! Pray for everything to move ahead in the Lord’s timing and for their future marriage to be a tool that will result in many many young people coming to Christ and being discipled to serve Him because of the example of this young couple!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie