May 28, 2020
Life has been moving very rapidly since our last update. We completed moving out of our old location and onto the new land. Moving is a verrrrry long process when you do it one pickup truck load at a time! We are thankful to be relocated to our new land although we are still dealing with issues such as having reliable electric and adequate water. The electricity here on the outskirts of town literally fluctuates, depending upon the time of the day, from 70 volts to 260 volts. As you can imagine, that can wreak havoc on appliances and electronic components.
This past Friday evening at around 6:30 p.m. our part of town was hit by a major wind and rain storm that was unlike any that our fellow villagers had ever experienced. Below are two videos that pertain to the damage we sustained.
During the storm our new church building, that was scheduled to be completed on May 31st, lost its roof, nearly all of the steel that supported the roof, the drop ceiling, as well as the auditorium lights that had just been installed a few days prior. Most of the roof literally flew several hundred yards into the air and dropped down in a rice field. The loss sustained to our church is between $15,000-$18,000.
Our home, situated directly across the street from the church, was also in the narrow path of the storm which resulted in us losing the entire steel structure and awning that covered our roof top. Thankfully we have a concrete slab on the second level that provides protection from the elements until such a time as the aluminum roof can be reconstructed.
This past Sunday a few of our people gathered briefly for prayer as we thanked God that no one was physically hurt due to the debris that flew all different directions during the storm. I reminded those present that God desires to show Himself strong through this trial and that He desires to remind us to live for that which is eternal. On a side note, it is interesting that during my quiet time on Saturday morning, just hours after the storm, I read the following verse from Psalm 147:18, “He sendeth out His Word, and melteth them: He caused His wind to blow, and the waters flow.“ Well…that pretty much sums it up! Please remember our church in prayer as we begin the process of rebuilding that which was lost during this storm.
As with much of the rest of the world, because of Covid-19 we are forbidden by the authorities from meeting together publicly as a church. Each Sunday morning our church meets in individual small groups. We have been doing this for about eight weeks now and it has worked okay. However, we are hoping to be able to do some creative things over the next few weeks that we believe will help our people to grow spiritually and have more accountability. Please pray that we will have wisdom and exercise creativity that stays within the spirit of the law as we meet with the leaders this next week to formulate our game plan.
Life feels very strange right now with all of us wearing face masks, keeping our distance from each other, and constantly having our temperature taken just before having our hands doused with alcohol nearly everywhere we go. Local laws as well as the uncertainty that most feel here in this part of the world has made it a bit of a challenge to meet new people. Please pray that unique doors will open that will allow us, and our church family, to once again have the liberty to go into new villages and take the gospel to those who are living in spiritual darkness.
There are several folks that we would like to see saved and we ask you to please pray for an open door to clearly present the gospel to them. Phal and his two sons live right next door to our new church property. He recently lost his wife as she died of liver failure from alcoholism. Pray that the barrier that Phal has built around him will melt away and that we and others will have the opportunity to win him to Christ.
Vanna lives near our old church property. Several weeks ago her 39 year old son was murdered in cold blood. I spoke with her just a day after the funeral and she told me that she would like to hear how she can be brought into a right relationship with God, but that she needs a bit of time before she is willing to listen. Pray that we will have an open door to sit down with her and present the gospel to her this coming week.
Saem and Si are growing and joyful new believers. They are lacking in this world’s goods but they are wealthy in faith. I am often convicted when I am around them and see the contentment that they have though they live in abject poverty. I am always touched by their spirit of generosity as well as their desire to see their adult children saved. SreyMao is their eldest daughter. She is married and has two young children. Several of us have invested time and effort in presenting the gospel to her on many occasions. It seems that her heart is softening to her need for a personal Saviour, though she is still counting the cost of what it will mean for her to become a Christian. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will work in SreyMao’s heart and conscience in such a way that she will be drawn to the gospel and be saved. We hope to be able to meet with her this next week.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, and Jason