April 28, 2018
Here are a few short videos shot this past week that help you get a feel for what it is like to live and serve here on the mission field.
It has been a few weeks since we’ve had the opportunity to post an update on this site. Of course, those of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram have received many updates over the past three weeks. We thank you for your faithful prayers and support for the work here in this part of the world.
We had a wonderful service this past Sunday evening as we enjoyed testimonies, special music, updates on several of our church ministries (the outreach to deportees, the deaf ministry, the ladies Friday night Bible study ministry, and the outreach to Romdeng village), and of course the preaching of God’s Word.
Makara studies in our Bible College and is a wonderful Christian young lady who loves the Lord and is compassionate and bold in sharing her faith in Jesus Christ. She recently returned to her village for a short visit with her family and loved ones. She and her 16 year old sister are the only Christians in their immediate family. In the past it seemed as though some of her family members were opening up to the gospel. During her trip, as she normally does, she handed out gospel tracts to her fellow villagers. She gave a tract to one of the “religious leaders” of her village and he became very irate that she would dare speak to him about his need for a personal Saviour. It is my understanding that he made a formal complaint to the village leaders which then escalated to involve her parents. This caused them to turn on her and it seemed for a time that her physical safety may have been in jeopardy. We are not certain that she will be welcomed back to her village any time soon. During our Sunday evening service she shared a testimony of her joy in the Lord and her thankfulness for having the opportunity to serve Him. Her example is definitely convicting. When was the last time that your physical safety was threatened because you shared the gospel? Acts 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
During our Sunday evening service SreyMohm shared a testimony of the joy that she and her family have experienced since being saved. We have written about her family in the past and you may recall that her husband is a university professor here in Phnom Penh. We recently recorded a video of them both sharing their testimony of how they were saved, and about 30 days ago I posted it on Facebook with the goal of simply encouraging Khmer speaking folks with the things they shared. Much to my surprise the video began being shared and passed on to thousands of Cambodians all around the world. We have currently had over 23,600 views of this post. After watching the video, many folks have rejoiced at the power of God in saving this family from the control of the enemy but others have been quite critical.
Several months ago we began making some plans to become more intentional in our use of social media as a medium to share the gospel as well as help disciple Khmer speaking folks worldwide. The response from this single video reminds us of the incredible power of technology and of the opportunity to impact the lost with the truth of the Word of God. Please pray that we will have wisdom as we begin making plans to get this new media ministry off of the ground. I have already met with three of our national men who have been saved here in this ministry and who are each teachers. It is our hope that they will be able to become the “face” of this new endeavor. Brother Vong and others will also be involved with some of the technical aspects related to the recording and producing of the videos. We intend to use this ministry to help address common misconceptions regarding Jesus Christ and the gospel as well as use it as a platform for many of our members to be able to share their salvation testimony. Over time, we hope to invite national Cambodian leaders from others churches of like faith to participate as well. We believe that this new ministry has the potential to become a powerful influence for the gospel!
The outreach in Romdeng village continues to move forward. It was a blessing to hear Sophal share a report of new folks who have been saved and others who are growing in their new faith. Perhaps the biggest blessing was for us to hear that five families from Romdeng will be joining with us for our 2nd Annual Family Camp that is coming up in a couple of weeks. For them to travel all the way from the village as well as pay the fee to attend the camp represents a significant financial investment on their part. We trust that the camp will be a profitable time for them to learn more of the Word of God as well as provide an opportunity for them to get to know our folks better.
It was a blessing for me to be able to join with our workers Sunday afternoon and participate in the outreach to Ondong village. This village is located about 45 minutes from our Phnom Penh church. A couple of weeks ago Brother Vannak and his workers started holding a Sunday afternoon service for adults. The first week we had 9 adults from the village and this past Sunday we had 10 adults who participated in the adult group. The adults who have participated in the small group are folks who have made a profession of faith or those who have shown some interest in knowing more about how to be saved. This afternoon we were not able to have the adult class due to the fact that the family who is hosting the group in the village was out of town. The workers have been doing a great job trying to reach out to the children of the village as well. For several weeks they have been holding children’s meetings where they teach the children the Bible. Today we had 60 children in this outreach. Please pray that the outreach to Ondong will produce fruit that remains.
On May 1st some of our men gathered together for a day of prayer and fasting. We all met in a village about an hour and a half from Phnom Penh where we currently have an extension church-plant. It was a blessing to be able to spend about 6 hours with these men as we were challenged by several of the men from the Word of God between sessions of prayer regarding various topics. Lord willing, we will begin having this type of meeting every three months.
This past week some of Debbie’s piano students and English choir members surprised her by pooling their resources together and purchasing a birthday cake for her! These young people are very special and we love being involved in their lives. Please pray for the next generation to grow in obedience and in their walk with the Lord. Young people have always faced temptation and obstacles but I believe that the generation of young people growing up today face some unique challenges that have not been faced in the same way by prior generations. Sadly, materialism, the pressure to succeed, social media, and their sin nature in general have led some of our young people to go down a road that will ultimately result in heartache and a ruined life.
Please continue to pray for the students in the Bible Institute and the Bible College. We are finishing up this term in two weeks and will immediately start the next term. Some of the students in the college continue to face pressure to do things other than prepare to serve the Lord with their whole lives. Yet, we believe that God has a great work that He desires to accomplish through them if they will just remain in a position to be used by Him for His glory.
Working in this culture we are often confronted with strange beliefs and superstitions that have been prominent in this part of the world for centuries. Please continue to pray that we will all have wisdom to effectively reach folks here, many of whom live in fear of evil spirits. I snapped this picture a couple of days ago as Debbie and I were going door-to-door. It represents the superstition that no doubt controls the home owner’s life on a daily basis. There are a minimum of four things in this picture that are believed by many people in this part of the world to ward off demons. Can you identify them?
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie