January 15, 2018
We had a wonderful weekend here in Cambodia. Thank you for praying for the new believers in this ministry to be faithful despite the difficult circumstances wherein they often find themselves. As we go into 2018 we are anticipating a year of victory but we know that the enemy is unhappy with the souls that are being snatched from his grip. He is especially displeased when believers take a stand to faithfully obey the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution and so we are not surprised when trials come into the lives of believers because of their stand for the Lord.
I just finished meeting with one of our national leaders who oversees one of the village outreaches. In that particular ministry there are several young adults, one of them being one of our Bible College students, who are experiencing serious pressure from their parents to compromise. It is a sad thing to see the sinful and dysfunctional family situation in which so many of our people live. Within the next couple of weeks one of these young people is going to have to make a decision whether they will follow the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives or whether they are going to compromise and make their parents happy. It is likely that if they choose to follow their biblical convictions they will be forced to move out of their home. Please pray for all of our members, but especially for the young adults, to be faithful to obey what they know is God’s perfect will for their life and not to settle for the things the world seems to be offering them.
It was a special joy for us to see Borey playing the piano for the Sunday morning service yesterday here in Phnom Penh. I know that it is not an easy thing to do in front of so many people but she did a good job. Debbie has been teaching her and several others piano for some time now with the primary purpose of equipping them to serve the Lord through music in the various outreaches here in Cambodia.
One of the primary responsibilities that we have as missionaries is to disciple new believers to know God and to effectively serve Him. It is always a great blessing to see the national believers take on more responsibility within the church. My primary focus in discipleship is to train men for the ministry but I was very encouraged to step into one of our children’s classes during the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry yesterday and see Tina up front and boldly teaching the children a Bible story. Tina is 14 years old and was reached with the gospel when she was only 7 years old through our children’s ministry that was held every week in her Muslim village. So many folks have played a significant role in helping to train her to serve the Lord. Thank you for praying for the teenagers who are actively serving here at Pacific Baptist to walk with the Lord and to be faithful to what they know to be godly.
It was a joy on Sunday evening after our services to have these two children track me down to show me their coloring page from their class. These siblings live in a very challenging family situation. Several years ago they were sold by their mother for $400 as child slaves and sent to a neighboring country where they were forced to work on a chicken farm. The abuse they suffered as very young children would break your heart and would certainly put our trivial problems as westerners into proper perspective. Thankfully their aunt was able to track them down and borrow $1,000 in order to redeem them back to freedom. We met them when we led their aunt to the Lord and she began attending our church. They are still very young and I’m not certain to what extent they truly understand the gospel but I do know one thing – they know that they are loved here at the church and it is the love of God’s people that I believe compels them to attend virtually every service. Pray for these two children and the several hundred other children who attend our various children’s ministries to continue to see the love of Christ through the actions of the believers here at the church.
You can watch a short video clip of a few of the children arriving at the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry by clicking on the video below. The young man helping them get out of the tuk tuk is named Noi. He was reached through the children’s ministry around 6 years ago and now, as a 20 year old young man, has given his life to loving and reaching children who are just like he was! Praise God for faithful young adults who are seeking to put God first in their lives and who live to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.
We thank the Lord that He has provided the funds to be able to purchase some new tuk tuks. This week we are in the process of negotiating prices with the seller and we expect to have the new units within a week or so. I want to thank those who made it possible for us to purchase the new vehicles. They will be used to transport soul-winners to various villages for evangelism and discipleship as well as help transport folks to church who do not have the means to get there by themselves. We plan to begin using one of the old tuk tuks for the outreach in Psa Tricht village. Another one of the old tuk tuks will be used to help with the outreach in Stung MeanChey. Over the next month the church will be raising money to replace the engine in that tuk tuk so that it will be more reliable.
Brother Sinath and I led SokDen to the Lord a few months ago. During that time his school and work schedule was extremely tight and he had very little free time. A couple of months ago he completed his training and he is now looking for a job but is having no success. It seems that he is getting pretty discouraged. Please help pray that he will put his trust in the Lord and that he will be led to a job that will allow him to have the time to begin discipleship with me.
The Lord allowed us to meet Samon and SunNeang in Long Beach, California and lead them to the Lord over 20 years ago. They have been faithful friends and co-laborers in the ministry for many years. A few weeks ago, after an extended illness, Samon went to be with the Lord. Before he passed away he gave some money to SunNeang and asked her to pass it on to me. It was his desire for the money to go to a Cambodian Christian family that was faithful to the Lord and in need of financial help.
It was a great joy for us to be able to be a conduit of blessing as we met with Navy a few days ago and shared with her Samon’s testimony of how he came to Christ and of his service for the Lord these many years. As I told his story she listened intently and with tears in her eyes expressed her joy that he is now in Heaven and no longer suffering. After I shared his testimony I told her that he had left some money and that the Lord had impressed upon our hearts to pass that money on to her. She just could not believe her ears! Before Navy was saved she was, by her own admission, the village drunk. Now, by God’s grace, she is a bold Christian who is not afraid to witness to anyone she meets. We thank God for Samon’s love for the Lord and his desire to bless those in need!
God is truly blessing in a mighty way in the outreach to Stung MeanChey. Brother Man and his wife, Kanha, as well as the workers are doing a wonderful job of loving the people who live in that part of town. Each week hundreds of tracts are passed out and the seed of the gospel is bearing fruit. Please help pray that there will be, not just much fruit, but especially that there will be fruit that remains!
Chantha and Lakana accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour a few weeks ago. (This picture was taken before they were saved.) Brother Man and others had been reaching out to them and sharing the gospel with them for many months before they were willing to turn to God from idols and be saved. (1 Thessalonians 1:9) It is always amazing to see how the gospel not only saves a sinner but it begins to immediately make changes in the life of the one who is willing to listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. This young couple, like so many others in today’s society here in Cambodia, have been cohabiting. Just after being saved, and by their own instigation, they expressed their desire to honor the Lord in their relationship. They said that they are willing to make whatever changes that the Word of God would tell them to make in order to honor Christ as well as allow their light to shine to the lost. This week Bro. Man will meet with them and we will make arrangements for them to separate for a period of time while they are both discipled as new believers. We would anticipate beginning some premarital counseling with them before having a simple wedding at the church. Please pray for Chantha and Lakana as they go through this time of spiritual growth and accountability. It is possible that Lakana’s mother might try to stand in the way of her obeying the Lord and becoming legally married. Please pray that we will all have wisdom and prudence as we deal with the implications of culture while at the same time striving to be obedient to the Word of God.
God continues to do amazing things as lives are being changed in Romdeng village. If you follow the work here, you will recall that Romdeng village is remotely situated many hours from Phnom Penh. It was through the soul-winning efforts of a 70 year old Cambodian Christian friend from California who was visiting Cambodia that our team first gained access to this village.
On a regular basis several times a month workers from Phnom Penh, Stung MeanChey, and PsaTricht make the long and treacherous commute to Romdeng village. We rotate workers so as to not burn anyone out but also to allow many different folks to be given the opportunity to invest in the ministry outreach there.
Sophal is a real blessing. He was saved here at Pacific Baptist Church several years ago and has a real desire to live for the Lord. He is one of our few members who owns an automobile. Each time the workers go to the village he drives them in his car. Though the church covers the price of fuel, the wear and tear on his vehicle is substantial. Yet, he joyfully uses his car for the glory of the Lord! Perhaps one of the greatest blessings we have seen because of the new outreach in Romdeng is how Sophal is growing spiritually as he not only serves as the driver but also wholeheartedly hands out tracts, shares the gospel with the lost, and helps to disciple the new believers.
The Lord seems to be really working in the lives of Channy and Vanthy. They are growing in their knowledge of God’s will for their lives and their light is shining brightly in their spiritually dark village. Our services are held in their home.
Yesterday Bro. Sinath led Phin to the Lord. Phin’s wife, Poeul, accepted Christ several months ago and has been faithfully attending the services as well as striving to live for the Lord at home. Please pray that Phin and Poeul will continue to grow and one day become a family that has great influence for the Lord.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie Board