August 10, 2020
So much has happened with the building over the past several weeks. In the short video below you can see how the auditorium looks at this time. Lord willing, we will be done with all the inside construction by the end of this month. Thank you for standing with us in prayer to see this project through. We are so grateful for those of you who have helped the church here make up the shortfall due to the storm that destroyed our roof, drop ceiling, lighting, and some tiles in our church auditorium. God’s people have been such an encouragement to our church during this time.
MINISTRY IS PEOPLE
We are presently still under restrictions by the officials due to the Covid-19 outbreak here in Cambodia. At the present time it seems as though those in authority are doing their best to protect the people from this virus. Recently a mosquito-borne virus known as Chikungunya is spreading throughout the country. Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. It is my understanding that this disease has been dormant here for 40 years and is just now resurfacing. At the present time there are 2,047 individuals who are infected. Several of our church members just recovered from this disease.
It’s a blessing to see so many of our folks faithfully attend their weekly small group for a time of Bible study, singing, and fellowship. However, we truly desire to be back at church. There is a significant difference between small group “Bible study” and the preaching of the Word of God that takes place when the whole church family is gathered together. Please help us to pray that we will soon be able to begin having a more normal church schedule.
Over the past several weeks there have been several folks who have been saved despite being prohibited from ministering as we have in the past.
Srey Koeuch is the niece of one of our newly saved couples. Several of us have shared the gospel with her over the past year and encouraged her to trust Christ. Finally, this past week one of our members was privileged to lead her to Christ.
Malis lives behind our new church building with her parents and two siblings. She has become quite close to some of the young people from the church and will very often join with them in playing volleyball or riding bicycles. Several of her peers as well as those older than her have shared the gospel with her over the past several months. She recently approached one of the young ladies in our Bible college and told her that she wanted to know more about God. That young lady was privileged to see Malis trust Christ as her personal Saviour right there in the college dorm!
Hong lives with her family in a village located about 25 minutes from our new property. Every week two of our national men go to that village to share the gospel as well as disciple new believers. Hong is friends with two of the ladies who have been saved and has had the opportunity to hear the gospel from them on several occasions. Just about three weeks ago Hong turned to God from idols and was saved!
Sina is the mother of one of our Bible college students. She made a profession of faith about two years ago but never seemed to bear any fruit that would evidence salvation. That, of course, was a great concern to all of us. No Fruit = No Root. Through some circumstances that she is presently facing with her health, she admitted to one of the men in our church that she was not saved but that she desired to be saved. Several days ago one of our men had the opportunity to explain the plan of salvation to her and she was saved!
Please join us in praying that these new believers, as well as some others who have trusted Christ over the past month or so, will be plugged into regular discipleship times and will grow in their understanding of and obedience to God’s Word. Pray we can start having church services soon!
Thank you for helping to pray for our various outreaches to different villages as well as for these four individuals to be saved.
SeiYak is the mother of one of our faithful ladies. I remember how angry she was several years ago when her son-in-law accepted Christ and five months later her daughter was saved as well. Over the past couple of years she has really been watching their example and has seen the changes that have taken place in their lives because of their walk with the Lord. It seems like her heart is softening to the gospel and we hope she will be saved while there is still time.
Vanna is the mother of two young ladies who are a part of our church. In fact, she is Srey Koeuch’s mom (the young lady who was saved this past week). Vanna lives a very difficult life and has virtually no free time. In order to support herself she pushes a big cart around the city and collects items that she can recycle. Recently her adult son was murdered by a group of men who were strung out on drugs. During that time I had the opportunity to sit with her and talk about her need to be saved. She told me that she was not yet ready but that after she was done grieving she would be willing to hear more. It is difficult to catch her at home due to her schedule, but we hope that circumstances will be such that she will be available during the time that some of our workers are at her home each week. Over the past year four adults in her family have been saved.
Goeun is the father of one of our faithful ladies. He is actually a part of an ethnic minority group here in Cambodia known as Kuy. Goeun has a real sorted past and can be a bit unpredictable in his response to those who have tried to witness to him. However, we believe that the changes that have taken place in his daughter and her family, as well as many others in his village because of the gospel, have to be speaking to his heart. We believe that he is being faced with a decision to respond to the spiritual light he has been given or else reject the gospel and perhaps never be given another opportunity to be saved.
Morn lives in a village located about 25 minutes from our new property. He is totally deaf but has the ability to read lips. While two of our men were sharing the gospel recently in his village he expressed interest in knowing more about Jesus. In the picture above, Brother Vannak is showing him a video in sign language that was produced by Silent Word Ministries. The video presents the gospel in a type of “universal” sign that he seemed to understand.
During this time of Covid restrictions it has been a blessing to be able to focus more on helping our key national leaders to grow in the Lord and in their effectiveness in serving Him. Several weeks ago I began meeting with these men each Thursday morning for several hours for a time of accountability and spiritual growth. We are currently considering the topic of time management and a work ethic that is biblical and honoring to Christ. Please help pray for these men (plus one more not pictured) who are a part of this special group.
One of my top priorities in ministry is that of reproducing leaders who are competent and qualified to not simply preach during a church service, but in particular lead a lost person to Christ and then disciple them to spiritual maturity (2 Timothy 2:2). We are striving to place great emphasis on the personal responsibility of every believer in our church to be involved in helping others to grow in their knowledge of and obedience to the Lord. It is our goal that personal discipleship become deeply embedded into the DNA of our ministry here in Cambodia. It brings us great joy to see those whom we are discipling actively involved in the lives of others.
Please continue to pray for our Bible college students as their schedule is still not back to normal due to the restrictions we are under. It seems that all but perhaps one of them is doing well spiritually during this time in their lives that can tend to be a bit “slippery” even under ideal circumstances. It appears that we will have several new students enrolling in the Bible college when we are able to commence with classes once again. Pray that the world, the flesh, and the devil will not gain victory over these young people but that they will continue to grow in their faithfulness to the Lord and their compassion for their own people.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, and Jason