November 12, 2019
There has been a lot happening here in Cambodia over the past month. Thank you for taking the time to read this update as we report on a few of the highlights.
Click on this video to see the progress on the new building as well as a short update from our special Missions Sunday.
We had a wonderful time as we came together as a church and were reminded of our responsibility to help the gospel reach those who have never heard. Mrs. Has and several of the single ladies did a fantastic job decorating the auditorium with flags and maps from various parts of the world. Many of the ladies woke up very early Sunday morning in order to cook special food and ensure that the meal was properly prepared for the church family. Teamwork makes the Dream work!
Many of the folks dressed in their traditional clothing in order to represent their own people group. It was such a blessing to see most everyone participate. We were reminded that, in Christ, there is neither “Jew nor Greek” but we are all one in Christ.
I asked one of our national men, Brother Man, to preach a special message related to the Great Commission and our responsibility before the Lord to help spread the message of the gospel and persuade the lost to come to Christ. Man reminded us that it is not enough to simply hand out a tract or casually speak of Heaven and Hell. If we truly believe that those who leave this world without Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Hell, then we need to be passionate about persuading them to look to the Saviour and be saved. It is such a blessing to me to listen to our national men preach. By God’s grace we have been blessed to see so many men saved and discipled to the point where they can effectively teach and preach no matter what the setting.
It was a wonderful blessing for us to see folks dress up in their traditional cultural clothing and to realize that it was more than simply a “fashion show.” As we looked out over the congregation and saw the various styles of clothing we were reminded that the love and unity that we enjoy here in our church is only possible because of the power of the gospel and the instruction of the Holy Spirit as the Word of God is taught and obeyed. Please help us pray that our unity will remain as we go forward into new territory this next year.
I’m so thankful for so many folks who took the effort to translate songs from Khmer into their own ethnic language and then practice those songs for our special service. It was beautiful to hear them praising the Lord in their mother tongue! My heart was touched as I saw grown men weeping as they sang praises to God in the Cham language for the very first time in their life.
We thank the Lord for the 18 folks who followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism. Each one of them has counted the cost of following Christ and are unashamed of the gospel. Please pray for these new believers to continue to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
During our service we dedicated five babies and their parents to the Lord. During the time of dedication we reminded these five couples that they are committing to the Lord and to the church family that they will bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We thank God for their sincere desire to lead their families in the way of the Lord. Please help us to pray that these young babies will all come to know the Lord at a very young age.
These folks are all part of an ethnic minority group here in Cambodia known as Kuy. God is doing some amazing things in the outreach to their village and surrounding villages. Their hunger to be taught and desire to grow in the Lord is convicting. I had a great time fellowshipping with the three older ladies Saturday evening. Believe it or not, all of these folks piled into one small pickup truck in order to come to church!
After our missions service was over, we traveled with our Bible College students to northeast Cambodia in order to learn more about how to reach some various ethnic groups who reside in that part of the country. Our students had the opportunity to sing, share testimonies, preach and conduct a couple of children’s services while we were there. Each student will be preparing a twenty page written report on their trip, as well as a video presentation that they will present to the entire church during our mid-week services in January. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was doing a work in many of the students hearts while we were on the trip. Please join us in praying that these students will remain faithful to the Lord and surrendered to His perfect will for their lives.
These seven folks represent so many others who are committed to sharing their faith with their lost friends and those around them. Hem, Ra, and Ly have joined together to form a team that takes the gospel to Muslim villages. Sunday morning Ra shared a testimony of the joy that they experience when they share the gospel, even though many times they are rejected. Recently a man threatened violence against them and Ra told the church that he is thankful that there are three men on their soul-winning team. He said, “That way if they kill one of us, there are still two left.” We all laughed as he said those words, yet we were reminded that there are thousands of villages here in Cambodia without any gospel witness whatsoever. Furthermore, the people who live in those villages are more than content with their lives. Most of them do not desire to hear about their need for a personal Saviour and we should not expect them to welcome us with open arms. Please pray for Hem, Ra, and Ly as several times a week they are on the front lines sharing the gospel with the lost in some of the most difficult places in this country.
Saem was saved several months ago and is growing in the Lord. She supports her family by selling potatoes and peanuts from the back of her bicycle. In recent days she has begun handing tracts to those who purchase her goods. When they are willing to stop and listen, she does her best to share with them how they can be saved. She shared with me this past weekend of an older lady who cursed her and accused her of betraying the religion of her ancestors because she is a Christian. She was so shocked by the grandmother’s response that she came to meet with me and asked if perhaps she had said something wrong. I was able to encourage her to continue to be a bold witness and, just like the Apostle Paul, she should expect to encounter three types of lost people: those who are willing to believe and be saved, those who need a little time to count the cost, and those who will immediately reject the gospel and will be vocal in their opposition. Please pray for Saem to continue to have boldness as she does her best to tell others what Christ has done for her.
Tara is a professor and is very bold in his witness for the Lord. His wife recently told me that very often he will share the gospel in front of the entire class. During his break times, he eats lunch with other professors and seeks to steer the conversation toward the gospel as well. There is one professor in particular who seems to be opening up and who has recently asked him some very good questions. Maldy and his wife both teach in an elementary school. In fact, this past month they transferred from a school in their village to the local elementary school that is in the village where our new church building is located. They requested the transfer in order to be close to the church. Lord willing, they plan to build a house near the church this next year. They both have a desire to use their jobs as an opportunity to win the lost to Christ. Ney and his wife were both saved several months ago and are growing in the Lord. Their family presently lives at our new property and Ney is a part of the construction team. His work ethic and dependability is a great testimony to the unsaved construction workers. We are praying that some of the workers will be saved in the future as a result of his testimony and the testimony of others who are on the work site. Please help us pray for Tara, Maldy, and Ney to all be a bold witness while at work.
Yesterday we had a workday out at the new property. It was a blessing to have about 30 folks show up and joyfully serve the Lord by cleaning up the site and preparing it for work that will be done later this week. We are so blessed to have national believers who love to be involved and who are happy to do their part to help see the new building completed!
Lord willing, construction on the roof will begin at the end of this month. We are thankful for two men from the States who will be arriving to help oversee this portion of the project. They are both great friends who love the Lord and who love the ministry here in Cambodia. Please continue to pray that we will be able to complete the church building on schedule.
If you have not had the opportunity to give toward this project, and you believe that the Lord would have you to do so, please contact me. We have a number of items that still need to be purchased. Those of you who receive our written prayer letter will be able to read about those this next week as the letter goes out. We are so very grateful for those who have already had a part.
In closing, I want to thank the Lord for these men and the privilege I have been given to work alongside them here in Southeast Asia. We have been blessed to know each other for decades and are not just co-laborers who tolerate each other for the sake of the ministry – We are friends! The example of unity set forth by the married couples on our team is powerful. This past week one of our national families was meeting with me and remarked of how thankful they are to see our team members loving each other and serving together with smiles. Please help pray that as we go into new territory in 2020 we will continue to have a walk with the Lord that will result in us having a flexible spirit and a servants heart!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, and Jason