Category Archives: 2010-2015 UPDATES ON MINISTRY

December 23, 2015

December 23, 2015

Dear friends,

12.23.15-Vannak-PreachingWe had a wonderful but action packed weekend. I think that we are all glad it’s over! So many people worked hard to make the Christmas drama a success this year. Bro. Bounna and his team of workers practiced countless hours to memorize their lines. We did not bring in any folks from the outlying works for this special day. Yet, we had one of our largest Sunday morning crowds that we’ve ever had. I asked one of our national leaders, Bro. Vannak, to preach for the service. God used him to preach a very clear and powerful salvation message. It’s such a blessing to serve alongside so many folks who are willing to be used by the Lord in whatever way necessary.

12.23.15-music

12.23.15-music2There were many songs presented throughout the drama. Several of them were translated into Khmer from English and were pretty difficult for the folks to learn. Bro. Kosal did a fantastic job of translating them several months ago and those who sang worked diligently to sing them to the best of their ability.

12.23.15-snIt was such a blessing to have many first time adult visitors in the morning service. Big days over here tend to be a bit hectic and stressful due to the fact that most first time visitors have never been in a church and don’t know how to “properly” conduct themselves. Thus if we allowed it there would be a lot of talking going on, phones ringing, and people getting up and down and going in and out of the auditorium during the service. That would be typical conduct in their religion at the temple and so they would think it was normal for a church service as well. Thankfully folks were pretty well behaved and we had very few interruptions compared to what we could have had. It was a blessing to have Srey Neang’s mother attend the service in order to see her four daughters participate in the drama. Please pray for her salvation. She represents just one of dozens of parents of our young people who are not saved and have little, if any, interest in spiritual things.

12.23.15-Childrens-ClassMrs. Has and the workers did a fantastic job with the children on Sunday. I popped in to see how things were going and was amazed to see about 60 children paying attention and participating in the children’s service.

12.23.15-teen-Christmas-fellowshipMany of the teens have been competing for the past 6 weeks or so in order to qualify to attend our annual teen Christmas fellowship. These are the young people who were able to attend this past Saturday evening. We had a great time of competition and fun. We are so blessed to have young people who love the Lord and love doing right! Please continue to pray for the teens of Pacific Baptist Church to be shining lights for the Lord within their own families.

12.23.15-Ta-SonI began going to Elephant Den Village about 6 weeks ago. This new village is located about 40 minutes from Phnom Penh. As I went door-to-door I was able to meet Ta Son. At 80 years old he is the eldest member of his village. I’ve had the opportunity to teach him for the past several weeks about his need to stop depending upon his “good works” to get to Heaven. From the very beginning it seemed that his heart was tender to the gospel. He asked many good questions but once the gospel was clear to him he really began to pay attention. I am happy to report that he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour this past week! He immediately took me to go meet several of his friends with whom he had been sharing everything that I was teaching him. He desires to see them saved as well. Please pray for Ta Son as he grows in his new faith. Pray as well for his friends to be saved: Mr. Thy, Mr. Prouen, Mr. Wan, Mrs. Date.

12.23.15-pbc-psa-trichtIt was a true joy to be able to preach at our church in Pra Tricht Village this past week. I am always encouraged to see what God is doing in and through the believers in that village. Beginning in January I plan to start going to Psa Tricht on a regular basis. The main thing that prevents my traveling to this village is the condition that I have with my back and the roads here. Please pray that my back will be stable and not prevent me from going, not just to this village, but several other villages as well. One of our goals for 2016 is to see more national leaders trained and equipped to lead their own people. As the work continues to expand it is imperative that our national men, in particular, are spiritually qualified, willing, and equipped to lead their own people. The church in Psa Tricht has a number of young couples with young children. Lord willing, and at their request, I will begin going there to teach on the family and child-rearing. The believers here were raised in Buddhism and Islam and have very little understanding of what it means to be have a Christian family. It is so important that our missionary families show forth a godly example in their families as our “walk always speaks louder than our talk.”

12.23.15-PhnomBrasut-VillageYesterday I had the opportunity to visit Phnom Brasut Village. It is located about an hour and a half from Phnom Penh. There is a possibility that I will begin going to this village a couple of times a month to do evangelism as well as to help train a national family who lives in that village. If the door of opportunity in this village continues to remain open I will share more details with you in the months to come. In the mean time please pray that we will have wisdom to know how best to help reach the folks in this village and see a church planted that is able to be led from the very beginning by a national man.

We thank you again for your prayers and investment in the work of the Lord here in Southeast Asia. We wish you a very Merry Christmas as you take time to remember the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth for the purpose of dying to pay the price for our sins.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

Here are some video clips from this past Sunday.

December 6, 2015

December 6, 2015

Dear friends,

We’ve been a bit delayed in getting an update out as things have been quite busy here in our part of the world over the past few weeks.

Sunday-AM-Nov-8-2015It was a blessing to be able to have another celebration service a couple of weeks ago. It is always a great time of fellowship, encouragement, and challenge as we meet together and hear testimonies and preaching. I was not able to count the folks in this service but someone else counted and told me there were 250 present. We were not able to baptize this particular Sunday due to the fact that our building had no water and we were unable to fill up the baptistery. It is a blessing to know that there were several who came to church prepared to follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism.

FellowshipWe are so thankful for our faithful ladies who joyfully prepared lunch for us to all enjoy. Most of them had to get up around 4:00 a.m. in order to have their time with the Lord, cook, and get to the 8:30 a.m. service on time. Thank you ladies!

Baby-DedicationIt was a blessing to be able to dedicate Chy and KimLa’s daughters, Rebba and Rebeka, to the Lord. Chy has really become more faithful in his walk with the Lord over the past several months and truly desires to lead his family in the way they ought to go. It’s hard to believe that it was over 10 years ago, when he was just a teenager, that I had the privilege of leading him to the Lord! Time certainly does fly! It’s been a blessing to have Bro. Keo’s influence in Chy’s life over the past several months in particular. They travel together to preach in one of the village churches each Sunday and this has really helped Chy to see that God can use him to help teach others. Yesterday Chy and the workers in that particular village ministry taught 73 folks! Pray for Chy and KimLa as they continue to grow in the Lord.

Kosal-Phalley-engagementIt was wonderful to be able to be a part of Kosal and Phalley’s engagement ceremony here at the church. God allowed me to lead Kosal to the Lord 10 years ago. In fact, he was the first Cham individual that we had the opportunity to meet here in Cambodia and was the first Cham to accept Christ. (We met Cham refugees in the States back in the early 80’s but never saw any of them turn to Christ.) God has used Kosal and his family to be instrumental in seeing many Cham folks saved over the past 4 years or so. An engagement ceremony basically is a time when both families come together in a public setting and express their agreement to the marriage of their children. During the ceremony I gave a very brief challenge to the couple as well as provided each of them an opportunity to share their testimony of salvation. After the ceremony about 60 of us enjoyed eating curry together. The wedding is set for the end of January and will be held here at the church. Lord willing, we will be starting premarital counseling with them tomorrow evening. It is a great joy to see the Lord change lives and to see new families established in the church. Please pray for Kosal and Phalley as they enter this new phase of their lives.

Grace-Sina-defWe are so blessed to see the diligence that Grace and Sina have shown in learning Cambodian Sign Language. They are pictured here receiving their graduation certificate from the school that taught them. There are thousands of deaf and hearing impaired here in Cambodia and very few of them have ever had the opportunity to hear the plan of salvation even once. I don’t believe it was a coincidence that of the seven students in this particular class, six of them are Christians whose sole purpose in learning to sign is so that they might lead folks to Christ! The young lady standing next to Grace in the black blouse is a part of New Hope Baptist Church here in Phnom Penh and is a faithful Christian lady. The man on the far right is Missionary Stephen Benefield who has been serving here in Cambodia for many years. The two young ladies standing next to him are two of his daughters. Pray for Grace and Sina here at Pacific Baptist Church as well as the folks at New Hope Baptist and Good News Baptist Church as they seek to win the deaf of Cambodia to Christ.

Srey-Neaht-AlecIt was a special blessing to see Alec’s little sister at Children’s Ministry yesterday. Srey Neaht is deaf and attends a premier school for the deaf here in Phnom Penh that is funded personally, according to my understanding, by the Prime Minister. Srey Neaht is not yet saved but seems to be very open to the gospel. I believe this is only her second time to be able to attend church. What a blessing it was to see Miss Grace and Sina translating the children’s service for her. Alec was reached with the gospel through Bro. Adrian and his Tuk Tuk route in Stung MeanChey.

SreyNov-PrekPnouYesterday Jeremy and I had the opportunity to take Srey Nov home after the morning service and Children’s Ministry. She lives out in Prak Pnou in very difficult circumstances. I am certain that the only time she is showed love and positive attention is on Sundays when she is able to come to church. It was a real blessing yesterday to see her clutching a bag of clothing that someone here at the church gave her as a gift. She held it the entire ride home! It was also a blessing to see her joy when we stopped and bought her a simple can of Coke. Please pray that we will be able to see a work started, once again, in Prak Pnou Village. We have several folks who have made professions of faith and whom myself, Bro. Vong, and Bro. Has go teach each Tuesday but, as of yet, we have not been able to start anything on Sundays. (You may recall that we tried to get a work started there in the past but were forced to close it down nearly a year ago.)

ProhsIt was a blessing to meet Prohs in our morning service. At the time that this picture was taken, two weeks ago, he was not yet saved and this was the very first time that he had ever been to a Christian church. I am thankful to report to you that he trusted Christ as his Saviour last week! Each Saturday several of the folks from the work in Psa Tricht Village go out soul-winning and they were able to meet him last month. They invited him to come to the celebration service and then continued to follow-up on him. Prohs has been in the military for 26 years and apparently has quite a bit of influence in his village and extended family. Pray for San and Ra, two of our national men, as they disciple Prohs in the things of the Lord. Also pray that he will be a good testimony and will be used by God to see many saved in his village.

TaSonPlease continue to pray for Elephant Den Village (about a 40 minute drive from the church in Phnom Penh).Β  I began going to this new village last month and have been able to meet several folks who are willing to listen to the gospel. Last week I gave Ta Son an mp3 player loaded with preaching and he promised to listen to it and discuss it with me when I return this Tuesday. At 80 years old his mind is still clear but the devil has blinded his eyes to the truth. I believe that he is truly thinking about his eternal destiny and desires to know the truth. We have had hours of great discussions where I pose different questions to him that challenge what he has believed his entire life. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will work in his heart and that he will come to understand his need to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. I am working with the following individuals in this village as well: Bonny (53 year old man), Sarum (lady in her 40s), and Sarin (23 year old man).

Nationals-preachingIt was a blessing for our Phnom Penh church to be able to hear Veasna and Sinath preach this past Sunday evening. Their messages were from the heart and were used to help each of us. I’m so thankful for the many national believers who are embracing their responsibility to reach and lead their own people. Please pray for our team as we continue to win and train nationals to reach this country with the gospel. There are over 14,000 villages in Cambodia. The vast majority do not have a strong, gospel preaching church like we are privileged to have here in Phnom Penh. There is much work to do and the only way these villages will be truly reached is as the national believers are equipped and empowered to reach them!

Offering-for-the-Poor-Nov-2015This past week we took up a food offering for the poor. We take up this offering each month that has five Sundays. This time we had enough food to share with 12 families. Please pray that these gifts will be received in the spirit in which they were given and that they will be used to help soften the hearts of those who are so hardened to the gospel.

TEAM-SE-ASIA-4We were blessed to be able to set aside 5 days to be with the entire team for two days of vacation and three days of training. It was a blessing to get to know each other a little better and to challenge each other to continue in the work that God has called us each to do. We are so grateful for each of these families and their willingness to follow the Lord to difficult places.

TEAM-SE-ASIA-2015-1

TEAM-SE-ASIA-3

TEAM-SE-ASIA--2We had many sessions Wednesday-Friday that spoke to our hearts and challenged us to make changes in our families and ministry. It has been a blessing to hear the ways God is working in our fellow team members hearts as I have been collecting feed back on the retreat from each team member. We look forward to having future meetings like this as we are able.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

November 12, 2015

November 12, 2015

Dear friends,

It was five years ago this coming weekend that God allowed our family to start Pacific Baptist Church of Phnom Penh. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years already! We thank God for the part that you have played in helping to reach this part of the world with the gospel. Thank you for standing with our family and team to see the people of Cambodia reached and to see churches established.

As we thought about the first service our minds were brought back to just days before we had our first public service (November 14, 2010) and the prospects that we were trying to reach with the gospel. I clearly remember wondering if anyone would even show up at the first service. Thankfully we did have around 30 nationals who were a part of our first service.

We could write for hours about all the lives that have been changed because of the impact of this young church and her various ministries that are scattered over a 60 kilometer radius. However, I don’t want to sit here that long typing and you don’t want to sit there that long to read it! πŸ™‚ We are just blessed when we consider God’s goodness in our lives and the lives of each individual team member as well as the nationals who have been reached with the gospel.

11.12.15-Sinaths-2010Sinath’s family was the first complete family that was reached. This picture was taken when we invited them to our home for dinner and dominoes. At that point they were not yet saved but we had been building a relationship with them for around three months. Just before they left our house and returned home I asked them to read the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16. God used the story to begin working in their hearts and awaken them to their need of salvation. Sinath was saved just a couple of weeks after this picture was taken – In fact, it was five years ago today, November 12th, that he trusted Christ. Srey Nech, his 14 year old daughter, was saved a few days later. It took another 5 months or so before Sopheap, his wife, was saved.

11.12.15-Sinaths-2015We took this picture just after our mid-week service last night. Five years later they are all faithfully serving the Lord. Their 19 year old daughter and 12 year old son, Sothean, are faithful as well. Over the past five years God has blessed them with three more sons – Eden, Phillip, and Jeremiah! It’s been such a blessing to see this family grow into a godly, content, and loving family. Thank you for making it possible for this family to be reached with the gospel!

11.12.15-KeangIt was a blessing to hear Keang share a testimony from his heart about his decision to stand for the Lord at school. He is the only believer in his family. His mother recently moved the entire family several hours away back to the village. Keang remained there for a couple of months. There is no church in his village or anywhere near to his village. He desired to return to Phnom Penh so that he would be able to attend church and once again be part of the youth group and serve the Lord. What a blessing it was to have Brother Vannak work out the details with Keang’s mother and travel to the village to transport him back to Phnom Penh. We are thankful for Bro. Adrian who has joyfully allowed Keang to live with him. Adrian is helping to fill the void in Keang’s life of not having a Christian father and it has been a blessing to watch. Please pray for Keang to continue to be faithful to the Lord.

11.12.15-Childrens-GroupMrs. Has has been diligently working with the children’s singing group to prepare for their special song this month. You can click on the video below to hear their special they sang this past weekend. The video was shot during their rehearsal before the service.

We also enjoyed an English trio special – I’ve included the video for the benefit of the grandparents! πŸ™‚

11.12.15-UryIt was a blessing to meet Ury this past Sunday morning. He was referred to us by one of our team members in Thailand. He seemed to know all the songs we sang by memory and he smiled the majority of the service as though he was extremely happy to be there. I have an appointment to meet with him this coming Saturday morning where I hope to hear his testimony of salvation. He hope that he will become a part of the church and that we will have the opportunity to serve along side of him. Please pray for Ury to be sensitive to God’s leading in his life. He is originally from a village very near the Vietnam border.

11.12.15-SreyGaEach Wednesday Brother Sinath and I go soul-winning in Stung Mean Chey district. Last week we met SreyGa and had the opportunity to witness to her for an extended period of time. We left her with materials to read and assured her that we would see her the next week. It was a blessing to be able to visit her again yesterday and see her trust Christ as her personal Saviour! Please pray for her husband, Chetra, to be saved as well. She invited us to stay for lunch and during lunch she told us an interesting story. As a young girl of around 6 years old she remembers the time when her grandmother stopped following the religion that she had faithfully followed for many years. She began doing “strange” things like praying to thank God for her food before she ate. She prayed before she went to bed at night. As a young child who had never been exposed to Christianity, Srey Ga didn’t understand what had happened to her grandmother. She often after her why she stopped offering sacrifices to the spirits and idols, and instead she prayed to some God that she could not see. She didn’t remember getting a clear answer from her grandmother. Then at the age of 15 Srey Ga moved to Phnom Penh to work. Her grandmother would often come and visit her. In the home each night she would request that Srey Ga read the Bible to her because her eyesight was too poor to read the small print. So, as a 15-16 year old girl Srey Ga would read page after page of the Bible out loud to her grandmother. As she read her grandmother would say “Amen” and “that’s the truth” out loud. This really confused Srey Ga and she couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her grandmother. She shared with us that she now understands what her grandmother was so excited about – salvation is a free gift and, though we are sinners deserving of eternal punishment, God sought us and drew us to Himself. We plan to visit her again very soon to give her an MP3 player and a Bible. Circumstances involving her husband may, for the present time, prevent her from attending church. Please help pray about that.

11.12.15-OudomMy weekly discipleship time with Oudom is going very well. It has been a blessing to see his spiritual growth and his desire to be faithful to the Lord at work as well as within his family. Pray that we will be able to see a church or perhaps a small group formed in his village very soon that would provide Christian fellowship and accountability. Bro. Has and Bro. Vong have been working on several prospects in Oudom’s village as well and have seen at least one other young man trust Christ. Please pray for a young couple with whom they are working, Bora and Sophea, to be saved.

11.12.15-SarinEach Tuesday morning prior to meeting with folks in Prek Pnou for discipleship we spend time handing out tracts and seeking to meet people. Three weeks ago I began going to a new village where I had never been named Elephant Den Village. I was able to meet a number of folks. Sarin is 23 years old and had never heard the gospel. I was able to spend time with him the first two weeks. Last week as we met I asked him if his parents knew what we were discussing and he responded that they did not. They likely assumed I was teaching him English. He seemed to want to keep it quiet that we were studying about Jesus… However, when I arrived there to meet him this week I was greeted with the sad news that his father had passed away a few days prior. It isΒ  sad thing to think that the gospel likely did not reach him in time. Please pray that the passing of his father will not close the door in Sarin’s life but that it will rather cause him to think all the more about the importance of knowing that his sins are forgiven.

Please pray for a couple who lives in Elephant Den Village named Bonny and Saroeun. I was able to meet them in their home this week and give them a tract. Bonny told me that he has never had anyone give him a tract in his entire life but that he was always interested in knowing what Christianity was all about. It often takes a bit of time for folks like him to comprehend and accept the fact that they need a personal Saviour. The gospel is not difficult to understand but it is impossible for them to understand it as long as the devil has control of their lives. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us,In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Please pray that as this couple reads the materials and thinks about the things I taught them the Holy Spirit will awaken them to their need to be saved.

11.12.15-keyboardIt was a blessing to receive a special gift from friends in Iowa this past month which enabled us to be able to replace our broken keyboard. The weather as well as extreme wear and tear take its toll on electronics over here. We are grateful to God’s people who care about the work here in Cambodia and are willing to do their part to help make a difference!

11.12.15-couples-retreatDebbie and I were blessed to be able to travel to a neighboring country a few days ago and conduct a couple’s retreat. This is just one of the couples who has been reached through the ministry in that country. It was a true blessing to see how the work has grown since the last time that we were there despite the fact that they are situated in a “creative access” country where traditional methods of soul-winning, discipleship, and church-planting are not easily used. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to meet with their college age young people on Thursday evening as well as to speak for their service on Sunday. Please remember to pray for the work that our fellow team members are doing not just here in Cambodia but also in other places here in Southeast Asia.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

P.S. Did you ever see a 300 pound hog on the back of a small moped being taken to the market? Check out the video below and you will see two of them! We shot this video close to our church.

 

 

 

October 18, 2015

October 18, 2015

Dear friends,

Thank you for your continued prayer and support for the work here in Cambodia. It has been good to correspond with some of you. Thank you for doing your part to help the gospel go forth in this part of the world!

10.18.15-Teen-Girls-SingingThis morning we were blessed to have special music and testimonies during the service. We are grateful for all the different folks who work so hard practicing throughout the week so that we can glorify the Lord together through the singing of songs.

10.18.15-Family-Picture-DayWe are just coming off of a festival that lasts for 15 days here in Cambodia. It is a time when nearly the entire country performs special ceremonies that they hope will benefit their loved ones who have died and gone to Hell. Indeed, the devil is very cunning and cruel in his deception. For the last several days of the festival nearly everything in the country shuts down as people return to their villages for 4 days to be with family. Even though, as Christians, our national believers do not take part in the festival, many of our folks in Phnom Penh returned to their villages as well. It was a good time for them to share the gospel with their lost loved ones. We were blessed this morning to hear the testimonies of those who had the opportunity to witness to family members. It can sometimes be discouraging during festivals like this for those who do not have family orΒ  do not have the means to return to their village and are stuck here in Phnom Penh alone. We did several special things this past week to help encourage Christian fellowship for those who were here. We had a special time for families to get dressed up and take pictures together. We then printed the pictures and handed them out. We also had two special evenings when we showed Christian films at the church. Even with so many people gone, each of the events were packed! Thank God for an active church family who desires to be together.

10.18.15-JasonTwenty five or thirty of our young men had the opportunity to go to camp this past week and spend two nights and three days together. Bro. Vannak, Bro. Man, and Bro. San did a wonderful job of organizing the event. They did all of the preaching as well. Many of the teen boys shared testimonies during the Sunday evening service of decisions that they had made for the Lord. It was a blessing to hear Jason share, in Khmer, a couple of decisions that he made regarding his personal quiet time with the Lord each day. We are blessed to have him as our son!

10.18.15-ChantaThis morning Chanta, 19 years old, shared a special testimony during the service from Jeremiah 1:5 which says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” He shared about the difference that it made in his own life when he realized that just as God had a special plan for the prophet Jeremiah’s life, He also has a special plan for each of our lives. Chanta has only been saved a few months but he shows an unusual interest in the things of God. Please pray for Chanta and his sister, SokChea, to continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. SokChea will give birth to a son in a couple of months.

10.18.15-Narin-LayHoutThank you for praying for LayHout to be saved. We are happy to report that he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour a couple of weeks ago. Please pray for Bro. Bounna as he seeks to disciple him. It has been such an encouragement to see the testimony of this new family. Tara (in the yellow shirt) and SreyMohm (in the red dress) as well as their children have been faithful to nearly every church service, including our Wednesday prayer meeting at 6:30 AM, since they have been saved. Narin shared a very touching testimony this past week of the changes that have taken place in his heart since being saved. He challenged other young people in the church to live for the Lord as well as to honor their parents. Before being saved he lived a life that caused a lot of pain to this family and to those who love him. He openly shared about his remorse for causing shame upon the family as well as his gratitude for God’s forgiveness. Tara is a professor in a local university and teaches, believe it or not, around 900 students. He recently shared how that over the past couple of weeks he has been burdened to share his faith in Jesus Christ with his students. We don’t know how the Lord will lead but it would be wonderful if God would use Tara to help reach many university students with the gospel. Please pray for Tara to be faithful to grow in the Lord as Bro. and Mrs. Has, as well as others, invest in this family.

10.18.15-SusannaThis past week it has been two years since our Pastor, Dr. Joe Esposito, suffered an aneurysm and went into a coma. Although he is no longer in a coma, he is still in much need of prayer. It was a blessing to have one of his daughters, Susanna, share a testimony about Pastor’s love for the Lord and for the Cambodian people. After her testimony we showed a short clip compiled from three different sermons that Pastor preached in recent years. Each clip relates to his desire to see the members of Pacific Baptist Church of Long Beach be faithful in the area of missions, and in particular, missions outreach to this part of the world. You can see the clip that we played by clicking on the video below.

10.18.15-Justin-on-pianoEach week Debbie invests several hours teaching young people to play the piano. It is a blessing to see how their skills are growing to the point where they are able to play for the services. Of course the primary goal in training them to play is so that they can play for the various ministries in the church here in Phnom Penh as well as the ministries scattered throughout other villages. Justin did a great job playing a special number during the service this evening. It was evident that he had worked very hard to play the piece he played.

Last Sunday evening Jason played a special number. You an click on the video below to hear his special. (I included this video for the grandparents! πŸ™‚ )

10.18.15-Vannak-PreachingOne of our greatest joys is seeing the national believers grow in their ability to serve the Lord. This evening it was a blessing to have Bro. Vannak preach. He preached a great message on the importance of living close to the Lord in the last days. Please continue to pray for our national leaders as they are taking on more and more responsibility in the ministry. As we continue to spread out to new villages and add new ministries, it is increasingly important that there are national believers who are equipped and willing to reach their own people. Pray for those who devote hours each week to discipling our national believers.

10.18.15 Two New TractsWe were able to publish two new gospel tracts this week thanks to a special gift from friends in Ohio who love the Lord and desire to see His Word spread throughout this part of the world. We are grateful for their friendship and willingness to stand with us in the work here in Cambodia. We were able to print 10,000 copies of both of these tracts as well as 10,000 copies of another tract that we had published in the past (“One Minute After You Die”). The first tract is entitled, “Quiet…Don’t tell anyone!” The second one is entitled, “Is there a true God?

Those of you who read Khmer can read the two new tracts below.

Quiet - CoverQuiet - panel 1Quiet - panel 2Quiet - panel 3

Real God - CoverReal God - panel 1Real God - panel 2Real God - panel 3

10.18.15-SreyMohmPlease pray for Srey Mohm and her husband, Pov, to be saved. I began systematically witnessing to her several weeks ago and it seemed like she was getting very close to receiving Christ as her Saviour. Then, for some reason unknown to me, she closed up and didn’t want to meet together any more. I was able to go and see her a couple of days ago and this time she was friendly once again and told me that very soon she wanted to begin meeting with me. This time I am hoping to be able to meet with her husband as well.

10.18.15-SalyPlease pray for Saly to be saved. I was able to meet with him a couple of times several weeks ago, then his schedule changed and he has not been willing to make the time to meet. This evening, out of the blue, he showed up at church with his wife and two daughters. I am hoping to be able to rekindle a relationship with him and see him saved.

10.18.15-Christmas-Drama-PracticeIt is hard to believe that the Christmas season is quickly coming upon us. We are planning to have a special Christmas drama that will be edifying to those who are saved as well as present the gospel to the lost. This year there are around 25Β  folks serving on the drama team. Bro. Has and others have invested many hours in heading up this ministry. Lord willing, we will perform the drama here in Phnom Penh as well as in one of the village churches. Please pray that it will all come together and be used by God to see people saved.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Dear friends,

9.27.15-SinceThank you for your faithful prayers and support for the work here in Cambodia. It has been great to receive emails from some of you. Thank you for keeping in touch. It is an encouragement to us.

We opened the Sunday morning service with a special song from some of the men. They sang the hymn, “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.” It is always great to hear men sing in church! We’re thankful for the great group of men and teen boys that we are blessed by God to serve alongside!

We try to use this blog to expose you to life and ministry here on the mission field. If you would like to hear a couple of our opening songs and see the folks singing you can click on the video below. It will give you a taste of the spirit and tone of our services here in Phnom Penh! We thank God for the folks who work so hard serving the Lord every time we have a service here at the church. You will recognize the first hymn entitled, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.” The second song is a Khmer hymn entitled, “Praise and Thank God.” After hearing a short excerpt of these two songs you will hear a man named Ra open the service with prayer. Before being saved Ra was a lay-leader in the Mosque in his village and was going to be made an Imam within a short amount of time. He recently told me that when he would see me, ten years ago, entering his village with the gospel, he hated me – though he had never met me. He really believed that we were bringing in a “foreign” religion and destroying his culture. It is interesting, however, that he encouraged his son, Ly, to study with us. He desired for his son to learn how to be a good person but he warned him not to believe the things we were teaching. Thank God for the power of the gospel that can save even the hardest of hearts. Now not only is Ra saved, but his wife, all his children, and many of his relatives are saved as well! Thank you for having a part in seeing them reached for the Lord!

9.27.15-I-Will-GoOur English speaking choir sang the song, “I Will Go.” Please read the words to this song:

– Verse 1 –

See all the people crying out to know the Lord, Searching for the simple truth given in God’s Word,

Bound by chains of sin, longing for release. Who will share the gospel now and bring them peace?

– Chorus –

I will go, I must obey, for Jesus is the answer. I know He’s the way,

He calls me now. His voice I know. While there are lost who need to hear, I will go.

– Verse 2 –

Hear people crying, see the hurt in every face, Finding only empty things in their downward race,

How will people hear? Who will point the way? Who will take the love of Christ and go today?

9.27.15-TeenGirlsIt was nice to have some of the Phnom Penh teen girls dress-up in traditional Cambodian dress. They have a genuine beauty that radiates from within. Thank you for doing your part to help reach the younger generation of folks here in Cambodia. We trust and pray that each of these young ladies will remain faithful to the Lord!

9.27.15-KLTwo more young people worked hard to complete the Gospel of Mark booklet with 140 questions in it so that they could receive their own copy of God’s Word. It was a joy to be able to present KimLeng and LyHeang with their very own Bible during the morning service.

We were thrilled to be able to hear a short testimony from Dara and SreyMohm. Dara shared a bit about his past and was especially transparent about the various “good works” that his family has done over many years in order to try and earn salvation. He then stressed that all those things were in the past and now he realizes that none of his good works could have ever saved him. It took a lot of courage for them, as brand new Christians, to stand before such a large crowd. We are thankful for what God has done in saving them, and what He is doing in helping them to grow. Please continue to pray for Dara and SreyMohm and their children to be obedient to the Lord. No doubt God would desire to use them in a mighty way to reach out to a segment of this society that perhaps the rest of us could not effectively reach. Pray for their eldest son, LayHout (21 years old), to be saved. Those of you who speak Khmer may want to click on the video above to hear Dara’s testimony. (I did not have time to translate English subtitles.)

It was a blessing to have 16 folks follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this weekend. We had Brother San take a few minutes and remind the congregation of the meaning of Baptism. It is important to take a few minutes and teach on Baptism each time we baptize due to the fact that the majority of “churches” here in Cambodia teach the false doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. If you speak Khmer you may want to click on the video below to hear San explaining Baptism in the Khmer language.

9.27.15-SopheaSophea is from a village near the Thailand / Cambodia border. To his knowledge there are no Christians in his village. He was saved here at the church several weeks ago and was baptized Sunday morning. He has a desire to be trained in the Word of God so that he can take the gospel to his own village. At only 18 years old he still has a lot of maturing to do but it is very encouraging to see his desire to follow the Lord. Please pray that Sophea will be faithful to grow the way that God desires for him to grow.

9.27.15-PovBrother San and some of his workers have been focusing on a village located a little over two hours from Phnom Penh. A number of adults have come to Christ over the past several months. We are so blessed to see them taking steps of growth despite the persecution that they have begun to receive in recent days. Pov is from that village and was baptized this morning.

9.27.15-SonySony received Christ as her Saviour several weeks ago. It was a blessing to see her follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism Sunday morning as well. She has a very difficult life with very little hope, humanly speaking, of it getting much better. It has been humbling to see her desire to grow in the Lord and her willingness to stand for what she knows to be true despite receiving mocking and ridicule from those who live around her. Please pray for Sony to be encouraged in the Lord!

9.27.15-VannyIt was great to see Vanny follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism as well. She is a talented young mother of two who has a bubbly personality that could be used greatly by the Lord. Please pray that she will faithfully walk with the Lord so that she might bring glory to Him and be used to see others come to Christ. Pray for her husband, Saly, to be saved.

9.27.15-BunSeangBunSeang and his wife, SreyIem, were both saved several weeks ago through door-to-door soul-winning by some of the Children’s Ministry workers. BunSeang had attended some type of church back in his village several years ago. He was even involved in helping in various aspects of their ministry. Yet, he never understood salvation until he was reached by the personal workers here at the church. It was a blessing to see him and his wife both trust Christ within several days of each other. Pray for BunSeang and SreyIem to grow in the Lord.

9.27.15-LyLy accepted Christ back in 2012 but had never followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism until this weekend. It is a blessing to see how he and his wife, Chut, are growing in the Lord. Please pray for Ly and Chut to be faithful to the Lord as they live among their Muslim neighbors.

9.27.15-PheapPheap is the mother / mother-in-law of one of the faithful couples here at the church. When her daughter and son-in-law became Christians they tried to keep their new faith hidden from her because they believed that she would disown them and they would be left destitute with nowhere to live. Through a series of events God worked things in such a way that she was able to hear the gospel and get saved. It is a huge step of courage for her, as a former Muslim, to be publicly Baptized. We are so blessed to see her desire to obey the Lord by publicly identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Please pray for Pheap as she continues to try and witness to her lost family members.

9.27.15-HousanHousan, at barely 5 years of age, woke up one morning and told his mother that he did not want to go to Hell. He had been listening to the preaching in church and came to understand that he was a sinner who needed to be saved. It was a joy for Jason and I to lead him to Christ. By his own verbal testimony before the entire congregation he declared that he has trusted Christ as his personal Saviour! We pray that he will be used by God to reach many people with the gospel! Please help us to pray for Housan to have a hedge of protection placed around his life that he might be protected from the influences all around him that would seek to diminish or destroy his capacity to be used by God.

It was a great blessing to hear some of the children sing a song entitled “Jonah! Jonah!” Mrs. Has and some of the ladies have been working with these children for several weeks to prepare for this song. You can click on the video below to hear them sing! I translated the singing into English subtitles so that you know what they are singing. They did a great job!

9.27.15-GrandmaIt is always a blessing to see Grandma’s smile! I remember the time, ten years ago, when she would openly mock me while I was teaching in her village. She would stand off to the side and make little comments during the preaching. I distinctly remember turning to her one time and saying, “Grandma, wait and see. One day you will be a Christian also!” I reminded her of that incident just before I snapped this photo Sunday afternoon. She said she remembered saying some pretty bad things but that now she is God’s child and on her way to Heaven! Since being saved she has been very consistent in walking with the Lord despite persecution such as having rocks thrown at her house on several occasions in an attempt to “scare her back to Islam.” Thank God for her unwavering faith. Pray for Grandma to enjoy good health and to continue to walk with the Lord.

Sunday morning some of the Cham believers sang a song entitled, “How Can I Compare?” It is a song that proclaims their thankfulness for salvation. You can click on the video below to hear them sing. I have translated the words into English so that you might know what they are singing. Every person who is singing in this video was saved through the evangelistic outreaches of Pacific Baptist Church. Thank you for doing your part to pray for our missionaries, national workers, and various ministries.

9.27.15-DenePlease pray for Dene to be saved. This was his first time to step foot into a church. He attended the service in order to witness his wife getting baptized. Brother San and some of the village workers have invested many hours in teaching him the gospel. After our morning service I asked him what he thought of the service and this was his response: “My religion is a lot different than what I saw today. I really love what I saw. I understood the preaching and I agree with the things that you said. You know, in my religion, I am never allowed to mix with the rich people. Because I am poor and dark-skinned I am not welcome to eat with them either. However, today I see everyone, rich and poor, enjoying food together.” I asked him what was keeping him from accepting Christ and he responded, “Nothing is keeping me from being saved. I just need to understand it a bit more. I now believe in Jesus 50%.” I encouraged him to accept Christ and assured him that people will be praying for his salvation. Please pray that Dene will be saved!Β  [It is common for folks here to say things like “I believe 30% or 50%.” Of course we know that salvation is not something that happens gradually, over time. However, their understanding of their need and understanding of what it means to be saved can sometimes be a process. In fact, the vast majority of Cambodian Buddhist and Muslim adults who come to Christ do not do it after hearing the gospel once or twice. It is almost always a process that they go through which requires, first and foremost, that the Holy Spirit works in their hearts and illuminates the truth they are being taught and brings about the conviction necessary for them to be saved. Secondly, it requires soul-winners to faithfully and patiently follow-up on them as they seek to gently persuade them to believe the gospel. Many, after fully understanding the gospel, will take a bit of time to “count the cost” of what it will mean to become a Christian in this society. Becoming a true Christian will mean automatic persecution. For some, this is the thing which causes them to delay being saved.]

9.27.15-ChannyChanny is a wonderful young lady who has a radiant testimony for the Lord! Several weeks ago I said that ChannyΒ  and the rest of the students in her public school were required to sing a solo in front of everyone. She asked the Principal if she could choose any song she wanted. The Principal said that would be fine…She sang one of the songs that she learned at church in front of the entire assembly! I don’t know if I have ever done anything in my life that requires as much courage as that…How about you? I wanted to include this picture from this weekend because the picture I showed of her a few posts ago was somewhat blurry. Please pray for Channy and the teen young people who live out in the countryside to be faithful to the Lord.

9.27.15-Vanna-ThanI want you to meet Vanna and Than. They are Channy’s parents. They’ve both been saved and love the Lord. Their life is very difficult as they struggle to survive on the meager wages they are able to gather from farming. Yet, I have never heard them complain. They have such a sweet spirit about them. They are taking a stand for the Lord where they live. Recently they refused to participate in an ocultic ceremony that took place in their village. Thank God for their faith. Please remember this dear family in your prayers.

9.27.15-SreyNovSreyNov is 14 years old and lives in Prak Pnou. We had lost contact with her for quite some time but recently Bro. Has was able to meet up with her. It has been a blessing to have her in church for the past two weeks. Bro. Hem and Jeremy traveled 40 minutes one way to pick her up for the morning service. I’m so thankful for faithful national men, such as Bro. Hem, who love the Lord and who love their own people enough to get up super early on Sunday morning to pick up just one person for church!

9.27.15-campWe saw this group of young men off to camp Monday morning at 4:00. The theme this year is “Endure Hardness as a Good Soldier.” This camp was only open to certain young men who have proven themselves to be faithful over several months. They have been saving money for some time to be able to go on the trip. They are scheduled to return on Wednesday afternoon. This coming Sunday evening we have set aside time to hear testimonies from the young men of how God worked in their hearts while they were away. Pray for the teen young men to be faithful to the Lord and to walk in spiritual victory. Everyone in this photo was saved through the outreach ministries of the church here in Phnom Penh.

9.27.18-Sothy-OeunSeveral weeks ago we received a phone call from this family who lives in Pursat Province. Their home is approximately 200 kilometers from Phnom Penh. (3.5 hour one-way commute by moped) They had received one of our gospel tracts and were very interested in speaking with us. Brother Vannak, pictured on the left side of this picture, and his brother, Man, drove to their village to meet with them and “feel them out.” Sunday evening I had the opportunity to spend some time with them over dinner here in Phnom Penh and discuss the things that are on their heart. They have been saved for 10 years but have only been faithful to the Lord for the past 3 years. They are burdened to see their own people be saved and they do their very best to witness but they have never been discipled and lack the knowledge to know how to answer questions about their faith. According to them, they have approached their pastor and asked for assistance and training but were told that he was too busy to train them. He told them to just trust God and everything will work out fine… According to Oeun, it seems that their church is not interested in helping to reach his village for the Lord. I don’t know exactly how the Lord will lead in this situation but Oeun is seeking advice about what he should do. He is attending a church that does not have doctrine that is compatible with our church and ministry and we have told him that we will not be able to really help him much unless he is willing to step away from his church. We have encouraged him to speak to his pastor and try to discern God’s will in this matter. He did request tracts and we gave them to him. Perhaps the Lord is opening a new door of opportunity with this family. It seems that they have for some time been burdened to get out of their “dead” church but they have not known where to go since there is no other church in their area. In fact, the church they are attending is 10 kilometers from their village. That does not sound far, but here in Cambodia it is considered quite far. Especially as they think about trying to reach their village with the gospel. Please pray that God’s will might be clearly seen in this matter. They are business people and have the ability to fully support themselves financially. All they need is training. We have men who are able and willing to make the commitment to train them if this is the Lord’s will.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

 

September 13, 2015

September 13, 2015

Dear friends,

Our update this week will be very short. There are many things to report but my time is very short this morning. However, I wanted to give you a brief report of some of the blessings from this weekend.

9.13.15-SreyMohm-BibleAfter only being saved for less than three weeks, Srey Mohm completed the study booklet on the Gospel of Mark and answered around 140 questions in order to receive a new Bible. She was so excited that she couldn’t wait for Sunday morning to arrive! We are blessed by her spirit.

9.13.15-HengIt was a blessing to have Heng and the entire family, except for grandma Pheap, in church on Sunday morning. Grandma was planning to come as well but was having issues with her health that prevented her from attending. It is always a blessing to see an entire family come to Christ at once! Please continue to pray for Heng, Bopha, Grandma Pheap, and the children to grow in the Lord. We pray that they might be instrumental in seeing many Vietnamese families here in Cambodia come to Christ in the future. This family was reached as a result of the Children’s ministry.

9.13.15-DaraWe were also blessed to have Dara and his entire family in church, with the exception of their 21 year old son, Tan LayHout. Dara accepted Christ as his personal Saviour less than a week ago. He shared a testimony during our Sunday evening service that touched each of our hearts in regard to his long search for the true God. Again, it is a blessing to see an entire family come to Christ at once. Please pray for Dara, Srey Mohm, and the children to grow in the Lord. Likewise, pray that Tan LayHout will be saved soon. This family was reached as a result of one of the teen age boys in the church sharing the gospel with them. Though they did not accept Christ right away, a seed was planted that opened the door later on for Children’s Ministry workers to connect with this family and lead them to Christ.

9.13.15-SunSeangBunSeang and Srey Iem began attending the church a couple of months ago. They initially thought they were Christians but later realized that they never understood what it means to be saved. They both accepted Christ as their personal Saviour and are eager to grow in the Lord. They have a difficult life in many regards and it is a particular blessing to see their willingness to obey the Lord in spite of the obstacles they face. Again, it is a blessing to see an entire family come to Christ at once! This family was reached as a result of Children’s Ministry workers going door-to-door and sharing the gospel. Please pray for BunSeang and his family to be faithful to the Lord.

9.13.15-Teen-ServiceIt was such a blessing to step into our 11:00 teen service and see about 60 teens enjoying being at church! (This service only includes teens. Younger children meet downstairs and meet in two separate groups according to their respective ages.) Brother Vannak, Kosal, and their workers are doing a great job of reaching out to the teen young people. As you will recall, one of the objectives of the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry is to see teen young people reached with the gospel and then make the transition from the Children’s Ministry to the “main stream” of the church. Many of the teens in our regular church services were reached through the Children’s Ministry and now serve the Lord in various ministries of the church. Some help lead in the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. Others travel to remote villages on Sunday afternoons and during the week to share the gospel as well as to lead small groups in the countryside. The small groups normally range in size from 10-50 people. Without a doubt, the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry is a worthwhile investment of our time and resources! Please continue to pray for our workers to be faithful in their own walk with the Lord.

9.13.15-Jason-teachingIt was a particular blessing to be able to witness Jason teaching the Bible verse for the teen service. When I was 14 years old there was no way that I could have stood before that many people and taught anything! Let alone do it in another language. As parents we are so pleased to see our sons involved in the Lord’s work!

9.13.15-ButhButh did a great job Sunday evening as he continued teaching short lessons dealing with the deception of Evolution. His lesson this week pointed to the direct correlation between Evolutionary beliefs and many of the holocausts that have taken place in recent history. Next week he hopes to show the glory of God in Creation as he shows planet earth in relation to the solar system in which we live. Lord willing, he will provide a Biblical prospective that is new to many Cambodian people and one that will help to further equip our new believers to “give an answer of the hope that is within them.”

9.13.15-SinathBrother Sinath gave a great ministry report Sunday evening on the church in Prey Bang village as well as the outreaches to Poom VeathearSua and Poom Dall. It is always a blessing for the church to hear reports on our satellite ministries. Thank God for faithful Christian workers who are willing to serve in remote areas for the cause of Christ.

9.13.15-ChamrunIt was a blessing to once again see Chamrun in church eager to learn more of God’s Word. This week she brought her daughter (in the yellow shirt on the right hand side) and her daughter’s friend (in the white shirt on the right hand side). Chamrun is disabled and not capable of walking up the stairs to church. Thank God for Brother Vong’s great spirit in helping to carry her on his back all the way up the stairs and then back down after church. Pray a hedge of protection around his back! It doesn’t look easy!

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015

Dear friends,

We had a fantastic weekend! I never cease to be amazed at how the Lord is working in the hearts of people here in Cambodia and changing them for His honor and glory. Sunday morning as a congregation we sang the following chorus that is based upon Psalm 92:1, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.”Β  We sang in the Khmer language but here is the English translation:

I sing praises to Your name, O Lord, Praises to Your name, O Lord,

For Your name is great, and greatly to be praised

I sing praises to Your name, O Lord, Praises to Your name, O Lord,

For Your name is great, and greatly to be praised.

As I led the congregation in singing this chorus, I began looking at the faces of the people as they were singing. The auditorium and overflow room were jam-packed with people to the point where it was actually a bit uncomfortable. In fact, there were several people standing up in the overflow room as well as outside on the stairs leading into the auditorium. As I looked from person to person I was suddenly hit with the reality of what was actually happening – There were scores of people, who just a short time ago were slaves to the devil, without hope, and without God, but who were now singing praises to the Lord Jesus Christ with faces filled with joy and peace. The emotional impact was too much, and in order to keep my composure, I forced myself to stop thinking about what I actually saw. God has been so good to the people in our ministries and we give Him all the praise, honor, and glory! I wish you could have the opportunity to know each one of the lives who are being changed by the power of God.

For thousands of years this part of the world has been under the influence and the control of the “god of this world.” At his will he has held people prisoner to superstition and demonic oppression. (2 Timothy 2:26) As the light of the gospel has shone here in Cambodia, lives have been changed and the devil is not happy. Thankfully we have the promise given by the Lord Jesus Christ found in 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

This morning we sang a song that our people love so much because of the truth which is contained within it.

αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž‚αŸ’αžšαžΈαžŸαŸ’αžαž‡αžΆαž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž“αŸƒαžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ† αžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ†αžαŸ’αžšαžΌαžœαžαŸ‚αžŠαžΎαžšαžαžΆαž˜αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž’αž„αŸ’αž‚

Jesus Christ is my God, I must follow Him

αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ„αŸ‡αž’αžΈαž’αžΆαžšαž€αŸ’αžŸαžœαžΆαžαŸ†αž›αŸ’αž”αž½αž„αž›αŸ’αž”αž„ αžœαžΆαž˜αžΆαž“αž”αŸ†αžŽαž„αž²αŸ’αž™αžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ†αž…αž»αŸ‡αž…αžΆαž‰

The devil tests me, he wants me to fail.

αžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ†αž˜αžΆαž“αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž‚αž„αŸ‹αž‡αžΆαž˜αž½αž™ αžŠαŸ’αž”αž·αžαž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž‘αž»αž€αžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ†αž‡αžΆαž˜αž·αžαŸ’αžαžŸαž˜αŸ’αž›αžΆαž‰αŸ‹

I have God with me, For He has made me His friend

αž‘αŸ„αŸ‡αž”αžΈαž’αžΆαžšαž€αŸ’αžŸαžœαžΆαžαŸ†αž•αŸ’αž…αžΆαž›αž•αŸ’αž…αžΆαž‰αŸ‹ αžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ†αž˜αžΆαž“αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž‚αŸ’αžšαžΈαžŸαŸ’αžαž‡αžΆαž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αžˆαŸ’αž“αŸ‡

Though the devil tries to harm me, Jesus Christ is my Victor.

αžαŸ’αž‰αž»αŸ†αž™αž€αž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž‡αžΆαžαŸ’αž˜αžŠαžΆ αžŠαŸ’αž”αž·αžαž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž˜αžΆαž“αž«αž‘αŸ’αž‹αžΈαžαŸαž‡αŸ‡

I’ve taken Him as my Rock, For He is all powerful

αž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž”αžΆαž“αžŠαžŽαŸ’αžŠαžΎαž˜αž™αž€αž‡αŸαž™αž‡αž˜αŸ’αž“αŸ‡ αž”αžΆαž“αžˆαŸ’αž“αŸ‡αž›αžΎαž˜αŸ’αž…αžΆαžŸαŸ‹αžŸαŸαž…αž€αŸ’αžŠαžΈαž„αž„αžΉαž

He has taken the victory over the lord of darkness

αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž‚αŸ’αžšαžΈαžŸαŸ’αžαž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž”αžΆαž“αžŸαŸ’αžšαž‘αžΆαž‰αŸ‹ αž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αžŸαŸŠαžΌαž”αŸ’αžŠαžΌαžšαž”αž„αŸ‹αž–αŸ’αžšαŸ‡αž‡αž“αŸ’αž˜αžΆ

Jesus Christ loved us, He gave His life

αž‘αž»αž€αž‡αžΆαžαŸ’αž›αŸƒαž›αŸ„αŸ‡αžšαžΌαž”αž™αžΎαž„αž‚αŸ’αžšαž”αŸ‹αž‚αŸ’αž“αžΆ αž²αŸ’αž™αžšαž½αž…αž•αž»αžαž–αžΈαž’αŸ†αžŽαžΆαž…αžŸαŸ’αž›αžΆαž”αŸ‹αŸ”

To redeem each of us from the power of death.

Perhaps a song like this does not mean much to those living in the west. The devil is alive and active in developed countries just like he is alive and active here in Cambodia. He may deceive and blind through different methods, but he is just as real. Here in Cambodia his power is more blatantly obvious. Over the past couple of weeks there have been a number of instances of demonic oppression take place among those to whom we are witnessing. I won’t detail here in this update. Even if I did take the time to describe them to you, the vast majority of you would perhaps be incapable of believing that they took place.

In between one of our congregational songs I afforded the congregation a chance to briefly share with all of us what changes have taken place in their lives since they have been saved. One by one people responded with things like “I am free from the bondage of sin,” “I have a home in Heaven,” “I used to live for myself but now I love those around me,” “I love to read God’s Word,” “I have a new family in the Lord.”

9.6.15-Sina-SovanThere was one testimony in particular of which I took note – it was of Sovan, the father of one of our faithful young men, Veasna. This man has just been saved in the past few months. His testimony was this, “I no longer fear the devil!” One would, of necessity, have to live in a place like Cambodia in order to understand the implications of that statement. For many people here in this country nearly everything they do is in some way influenced by the power of darkness over their lives.

The devil has taken note that lives are being changed by the power of the gospel and he has not given them up easily. It is the prayers of God’s people that make the difference between spiritual defeat and victory. It is obvious to me that someone is praying for the lost here in Cambodia who are being dealt with for salvation. There are battles being won! Was that person you? If the eternal destiny of the souls of the Cambodian people were dependent upon the prayers that you have offered up over the past week, how many battles would you guess would have been won here on the front lines?

I would like to tell you the story of one man who was set free from the bondage of Satan when his name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life this week. I will strive to give you the “short version.” πŸ™‚

9.6.15-Heng-Bopha-savedHeng and Bopha are the parents of two of our teen young people who came to Christ through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. Various ones have been reaching out to them with the gospel for the past several months. Heng has always been polite and willing to listen to the gospel but has been resistant to believe it. Several weeks ago I met with them and discussed the importance of choosing Jesus Christ and rejecting demon worship. We discussed at length the vanity of worshiping idols and expecting them to help us. I pointed out to them that idols, according to Jeremiah 10:5, can neither help us or hurt us. The only power behind the idols is the destructive “power” of the devil. (1 Corinthians 10:20)

I never recommend that someone throw out their idols unless they turn to Christ to be saved. However, several days later, on their own they took their altars and idols and smashed them and threw them away. When they told me what they had done I asked Heng if he had been saved yet and he responded that he was not yet saved. I warned him of the potential consequences of “cleaning house” without accepting Christ. (Matthew 12:44-45) About a week later Heng was hit with a serious illness that left him unable to get out of the bed for several days. He had tried traditional Khmer medicines which involve witchcraft but he was still very ill. (You will notice the mark on his forehead. The mark is the result of traditional treatment that he sought to receive healing. In some cases it also involves incantations and spells. In some cases it does not.) Saturday morning Debbie and I went to the home to visit him. As I dealt with him upon his bed it was obvious to me that his illness was more than must physical. He was experiencing heavy demonic oppression. By his own testimony he told me that the devil already threatened him for throwing out the altars and that for several days there were things going on within the family, of which I will not go into detail, that were demonic in nature. I reminded him that his only hope to be free from the power of the devil, whom he had served for nearly 40 years, was to turn to Christ for salvation. However, he was still too afraid of the devil to turn to Christ. *Remember this – the devil only has two methods to deceive people: 1) The promise of Pleasure and 2) The threat of Pain. Heng was definitely experiencing the physical and emotional pain that results in the lives of some people who have been the slave of the devil for many years, but who choose to disobey him. I could tell you many instances where this has happened. He continued to languish throughout the night. His entire family (wife, two children, and mother-in-law) was very scared because they knew what was going on and, as new believers, they did not yet understand their position in Christ and Christ’s command to “submit to God and resist the devil.” (James 4:7)

Sunday afternoon Heng was finally able to get out of the bed and he came to my home to return an item that he had borrowed from me. As he returned the item to me he said, “Thank you Pastor, and thank the Lord.” Apparently the Holy Spirit had been working in his heart throughout the night and he had begun to listen. He spoke some words to me briefly in our home that were something along the lines of “God healed me and I have accepted salvation.” I did not really comprehend the implications of his statement and assumed he was simply speaking “religious” talk that he had heard us use many times while witnessing to him. However, perhaps for a short period of time the power of darkness that was oppressing him had been bound, thus allowing him an opportunity to have a clear mind to think about the condition of his life and soul. Perhaps early Sunday morning, in the privacy of his home he had accepted God’s free gift of salvation.

Monday morning at around 11:00 a.m. Brother Vannak went to go meet with him and had the opportunity of leading him in the assurance of salvation. Monday evening Heng and Bopha attended a small fellowship that was held at the church and they could not wait for me to arrive so they could tell me that Heng was truly saved. That was a big blessing to all of us! This is our very first Vietnamese family to accept Christ. Please pray for Heng and Bopha as we begin to disciple them. I hope and believe that they will be instrumental in being used to see many Vietnamese folks come to Christ here in Cambodia! Bopha has made a profession of faith and we can only take her at her word. We will know her by the fruit of obedience that is produced in her life over the next several months.

9.6.15-specialSunday morning some of the teen girls sang a special medley of several hymns. I know they practiced this song for several weeks with Mrs. Has and they did a wonderful job! Thank the Lord for young people who are willing to serve God with the talents that He has given them.

9.6.15-MohmSrey Mohm accepted Christ as her Saviour last Sunday. This Sunday morning she saw Brother Man and his wife, Kanha, in the service. Man used to rent an apartment next to Srey Mohm’s house when he first got married. As Man greeted her and told her that he was glad she was saved and in church, she asked him this question – “When you lived next to me, why did you never tell me how to be saved?” Wow! Man was shocked and embarrassed by her question. He said, “I was intimidated of you. Your house is big (meaning – you are rich and I am not) and I was too scared to talk to you.” She responded by saying, “I have spent many years searching for the truth. I’ve spent a lot of money on false religions. All I ever wanted was to know God but I didn’t know where to find Him.” They fellowshiped and laughed together and Man apologized for not being bold enough to approach her in the past. (Man is the one who relayed this story to me and gave me permission to share it with you.) How many times have we all been guilty of not speaking to someone about the Lord because we wrongly assume that they would reject the gospel? Thank God that He is good and His mercies are everlasting. He is the One Who pursues the lost in order for them to be saved but He always uses His Word and another believer to tell the lost how to be saved. May we be reminded that we need to be alert to the spiritual needs of those around us and bold enough to speak a word when God opens the door.

9.6.15-DaraBrother Bounna and I have had an appointment to meet with Srey Mohm’s husband, Dara, today at 2:00 p.m. to explain the gospel to him. After some discussion we posed to him the question, “Are you ready to believe upon Jesus to save you?” He answered that God had been working in his heart for the past 4 years and that he was ready to be saved. It was special to hear him pray to receive the Lord. Thank the Lord for faithful soul-winners who have been planting the seed of the gospel of a long time! Dara is a professor at a university here in Phnom Penh and has the potential to have great influence for the Lord as he grows in his new faith. Please pray that Dara and Srey Mohm will be obedient to grow! Likewise, please pray for their eldest son, Tan Lay Hout (21 years old), to be saved.

9.6.15-SronSunday morning Sron shared a testimony during the service from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 which says, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” He reminded us that we are saved, not just that we might escape Hell, but in order to live for the Lord. He reminded us to open our eyes and look for opportunities to help those around us. Sron was disowned by his family several weeks ago because he refused to renounce his faith in Christ. He has been living with one of the men in our church since the day his mother threw him out of the house. It has been a blessing to have him join our Saturday evening men’s accountability group and to see the changes that are taking place in his life. Please pray for God’s comfort to be real in Sron’s life and for him to continue to grow in his walk with the Lord. Also, pray that his family will come to Christ.

9.6.15-JustinJustin Keo has only been taking piano lessons for just over a year but he is doing a fantastic job. God has given him a gift for music. Through his natural God-given ability as well as his faithfulness to practice he is quickly becoming an accomplished pianist. Sunday evening he played a special arrangement of “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” We are blessed to see the growth that is taking place in his life.

9.6.15-SreyRoueth-Ly-HornIt was a blessing to be able to present new Bibles to these two young ladies Sunday evening. They are new believers and worked very hard to fill out the nearly 150 question booklet over the Gospel of Mark that we gave them in order to earn their Bible. We have probably 6-8 other folks who are currently working on earning a Bible as well. We are grateful for last year’s Senior class of Pacific Baptist Church of Long Beach for providing us with a stock of Bibles for new believers. For many of our people it would be virtually impossible for them to save the money it would take to purchase a Bible. We are blessed to see Srey Roueth and Ly Horn’s love for the Lord and the changes that have taken place in their lives since being saved. Both of these young teen girls were reached over the past several months through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry.

9.6.15-Childens-MinistryAs we have mentioned in the past, the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry as well as our children’s ministries scattered throughout several other locations, is now totally run by national believers. Many of the leaders in our children’s ministries are teenagers who have been reached through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry themselves. Nisa is 16 years old and is such a sweet and godly young lady. We are blessed to see her spirit of humility to serve wherever she is needed.

9.6.15-SokCheaSok Chea is 19 years old and is the older sister of Nisa. She recently began teaching the younger children during the 11:00 a.m. hour every Sunday. This Sunday she taught on the story of Creation and did a splendid job. Sok Chea is presently a freshman in college and is studying Accounting.

Here is a short video of one of the “tuk tuk” routes dropping off a few children at the church. Remember these children and the many other children who are taught God’s Word each week. The vast majority of the hundreds of children who study with us each week in various locations come from homes that are ambivalent at best, and hostile at worst toward the gospel.

9.6.15-Ta-Skov-VillageEach Sunday at 12:00 noon a group from the Phnom Penh church loads up and makes the long trip to Ta Skov village to teach folks about the Bible. Taiwan, the man standing on the left side of this picture, is leading the group in prayer before they take off. Taiwan was originally from Ta Skov village and has a burden to see his fellow villagers come to Christ. “Fake churches” (I will explain that some other time…) and unscrupulous Christian workers from various denominations have virtually ruined the name of Christ in this village. The giving away of money, food, medicine, and education by these groups in exchange for “getting saved” has made it substantially more difficult than usual to earn a hearing in this village. Please continue to pray for Brother Taiwan and his workers as they strive to faithfully serve in Ta Skov village. Taiwan works as a private chef for a wealthy business man and volunteers his afternoons every Sunday to serve the Lord. Thank God for his example!

9.6.15-flashlightSunday evening one of our faithful teens approached me and in the context of our conversation he mentioned that it is difficult for him to read his Bible at home because it is too dark and he can’t read the small print in his Bible. He told me, “I read my Bible and pray every morning before I go to school but I am afraid to turn on the light because my family will get angry with me for waking them up.” (His entire family sleeps in the same room.) He said, “I have a small flashlight but it is not does not shine bright enough for me to see.” I had the privilege of going down to my own room and giving him our flashlight. He turned it on and said it was much stronger than his light. After I gave him the new flash light, I asked him what time he normally reads his Bible each morning – his reply – “I usually read my Bible and pray every morning at 4:30.” … hum … I wonder how the “average” professing Christian in America would answer that question…

8.30.15-GrandmaPheapIt was a blessing to have Grandma Pheap in the service on Sunday morning. She speaks Khmer fluently but is only able to read Vietnamese. The Vietnamese Bibles are written in a font so small that basically anyone over the age of 40 would have difficulty reading it, especially here in the third-world. We are working on preparing the Books of John, Romans, and 1-3 John for her in a font large enough for her to read. Over time we hope to add other Books of the Bible to the collection. It takes a long time to prepare something like that but she is hungry to grow as a Christian and loves to read so it is worth the time invested.

9.6.15-Ou-SeyhaIt was a blessing to have Ou share a testimony in our Sunday evening service in Phnom Penh of how he was able to lead his 94 year old grandmother to Christ this past week. Thank God for his faithful witness to her over the past several months. Both Ou and Seyha were reached through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. Seyha just recently told one of our leaders that he knows that any day now his mother is going to kick him out of the house because of her disdain for Christianity. She has warned him several times already but has not yet carried through with her threats. Pray for Seyha to have wisdom and boldness to be faithful to what he knows to be true no matter what the consequences.

9.6.15-Vannak-WitnessingMonday evening Brother Vannak and his workers hosted a small fellowship for some of the young people on their “tuk tuk” route. He invited only those who have been attending for a while but who are not yet saved. The purpose of the fellowship was to demonstrate the love of Christ toward them as well as have an opportunity to once again present the plan of salvation to them and seek to persuade them to be saved. (2 Corinthians 5:11) We are so blessed by Vannak and Samantha’s testimony and their zeal for the things of the Lord. Please continue to pray that Vannak will be faithful to the Lord and that God will continue to provide for their needs. I have included a short video clip of his teaching time and translated it into English. You can click on the video below to hear him teaching on Revelation 20:15.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

August 30, 2015

August 30, 2015

Dear friends,

8.30.15-MensGroupWe had a great weekend. The services were all packed and the spirit was encouraging. We are constantly amazed to see God’s hand at work here in our midst. We thank God for His faithfulness and for allowing us to be a small part of what He is doing in this part of the world! This morning I continued in a series dealing with The Costs and Rewards of Discipleship. The people were challenged from the Word of God to live lives that are committed to loving and obeying God and loving those around them.

You can click on the video below to see a video update from this weekend.

8.30.15-OfferingWe were blessed to be able to take up a benevolent offering for the poor this weekend. It was touching to see how the folks responded to the challenge. We had enough food products to prepare packages for 18 different families. Some of the gifts will be used to bless some of the members in the church, but the majority of the packages will be distributed to people who have no connection to our church whatsoever but who are in serious need of help. We pray that this demonstration of love will be used by God to help soften their hearts to the gospel. We plan to make this offering a regular part of the “DNA” of our ministries here by taking up an offering for the poor the last Sunday of every month that has 5 weeks in it.

8.30.15-Offering-VolunteersThese folks volunteered to come and help prepare the baskets to be distributed to the poor. It’s such a blessing to serve alongside so many people who love the Lord and joyfully serve Him!

8.30.15-ManBrother Man preached a great message tonight from Matthew 26 and challenged us to be faithful in not just giving an offering to the Lord, but to give our entire lives to the Lord’s service. It has been such a blessing to see how Man, and others, have grown in the Lord and in their ability to teach and preach God’s Word. The hope of any nation is not the missionary. It is nationals who are won to the Lord and trained to obey and serve Him. We thank God for the host of men, women, and young people who are being won and discipled for God’s glory. Please continue to pray that our team will be faithful and diligent to keep the main thing the main thing!

8.30.15-SMIt was a special blessing to be able to meet Srey Mom this morning. One of the young men in the church, Bundit, reached out to her some time ago with the gospel. In recent months Bro. Bounna and Thy have been working with her. Others from the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry have been faithfully working with her children. After the service was over this morning she approached me and asked if she could be saved. Those are the kind of questions you love to hear! Mrs. Has had the opportunity to sit down with her and help lead her to place her trust in Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. Srey Mom returned for the evening service and even stood up and thanked God for her salvation during our testimony time in front of the whole church. After the evening service she shared with me the struggle she has had for many years in order to find the Truth. With a huge smile of appreciation to the Lord she said, “This morning I found the Truth that I have been looking for. Now I have peace with God.” Please pray for Srey Mom to be faithful as she grows in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray that her husband, Dara, will trust Christ as well. He is a professor in a university here in Phnom Penh and maintains a very busy schedule with very little time off.

8.30.15-BunditBundit is the young man who initially witnessed to Srey Mom and her family several months ago. For more than three years his mother has discouraged him from following the Lord Jesus Christ. At times his life has been quite difficult because of his desire to obey God while at the same time trying to honor and obey his parents. On Saturday Bundit’s mother gave him an ultimatum – “Stop going to church or stop living in my home.” She told him that if he went to church this weekend then he was to pack all his belongings and take them with him because he was no longer welcome in her home. This evening he came to church with all of his personal belongings in a backpack and a small box. He had made his choice to take up his cross and follow Jesus no matter what the cost. Please pray for Bundit to experience the unconditional love of his heavenly Father. He is a good young man and I believe that he has pure motives to honor the Lord with his life. He is currently living with Bro. Adrian and Sron, another teen boy who has been “kicked out” of his family for choosing to follow Jesus Christ.

8.30.15-GrandmaPheapWe are thankful to report that Grandma Pheap has accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour! Thank you for faithfully praying for her. Please continue to pray for her daughter, Bopha, and son-in-law, Hang, to be saved.

8.30.15-SalyThis past week I had the opportunity to meet with Saly for breakfast one morning and present the gospel to him. Lord willing, I will meet him again this coming Saturday. It was great to have him in our service this evening. Please pray that he will be saved soon.

8.30.15-TournamentThis past Friday evening was the last game of our Soccer tournament for this year. Brother Vannak and his workers did a fantastic job of organizing it. There were 4 young men who came to Christ as a result of the tournament this year. It was a blessing to have Zen(back row on the left hand side in the black shirt) and Ly (back row on the right hand side in the white shirt) involved in coaching this year. Zen was saved this past year and is a faithful single man. He serves primarily in our ministry outreaches in Kompong Chhnang province. I had the opportunity to lead Ly to Christ several years ago but he strayed away from the Lord until recently. Within the past year he returned to the Lord and his wife, Chout, got saved as well. Brother Keo has invested many hours over the past several months discipling Ly and Chout and they are both growing in the Lord. Please continue to pray for Zen, Ly, and Chout to be faithful to the Lord.Β 

You can see a short video clip from the game this past Friday evening by clicking on the video below.

8.30.15-SreyMohmI had the opportunity to begin meeting with Srey Mohm (not the same one previously mentioned) this past week. She has had some exposure to Christianity but is confused in regard to salvation, baptism, and a couple of other areas. Srey Mohm’s son, Lyma, was one of the teen boys who was reached through the soccer tournament this year. He has become one of our most faithful teen boys and has a burden to see his parents saved. I have met with Srey Mohm on three different occasions this past week for many hours. Lord willing, I will meet with her again this coming Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Please pray that she will be willing to turn to God from idols and be saved.

8.30.15-αžœαŸ‰αžΆαž“Please pray for Van and his wife, Roun, to be saved. They live in a province a couple of hours from here and have apparently never been exposed to the gospel in their entire lives. Van is the maternal uncle of Brother Vong. I had the opportunity to lead Brother Vong’s parents to the Lord over 20 years ago. It is such a blessing now to have Brother and Mrs. Vong serving the Lord here in Cambodia. It’s especially a blessing to see that they are making contact with family members who have never heard the gospel. Pray for the Vong family as they hope to take a trip to Van’s village in the next few weeks with the goal of presenting the gospel to their lost family members.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

 

 

August 9, 2015

August 9, 2015

Dear friends,

8.13.15-Sun-AMPsalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”Β  We had wonderful services this weekend. It was wonderful to have the opportunity for many of our folks to gather together for singing, testimonies, preaching, and fellowship! We thank God for the blessing of allowing us to serve Him here in Cambodia. Indeed, God is good.

8.13.15-Ladies-GroupThe ladies sang a beautiful song this morning. Thank God for their desire to glorify the Lord through their voices! It was a special blessing to see the young girls in the front row at church in their new dresses this morning. Thank God for one of the ladies in the church who was burdened to provide them with new clothes. She recently had these dresses custom made for these young girls. I thank the Lord for fellow team members and nationals who are allowing their lights to shine!

It was a blessing to have our English ensemble sing the song, “Even in the Valley God is Good.” They did a great job and the song was a blessing to us all. Of course many in the congregation can not understand the words in English. Before the song was sung one of our men translated the basic meaning so that they would know what the song was about. You can click on the video below to hear a small sample from this song.

8.13.15-Hem-playing-the-DrovIsaiah 9:2 “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” It was a particular blessing to have these folks sing a song about the change that has taken place in their lives since they have been saved. Mr. Hem, the man playing the stringed instrument on the left hand side of the picture, was saved out of Islam. For many years he was a slave to the devil and was literally possessed with demons. His testimony of coming to Christ is truly an amazing one and a testament to the power, patience, mercy, and love of the God of creation in calling sinners to Himself.

You can hear a sample of their song from this morning by clicking on the video below…it was a bit of a challenge for them to sing in the same key as the man playing the instrument – but that’s okay. πŸ™‚

8.13.15-Mora-OudomIt was a blessing to see 15 folks follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this morning. The Lord allowed Debbie and I to lead Mora and Oudom to Christ and so it was a special blessing to see them obey the Lord this morning by publicly proclaiming their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for Mora to be a strong testimony for the Lord at her work place and in her own family. She works for a popular coffee shop here in Phnom Penh and was chosen by her co-workers and boss this past month to represent the country of Cambodia in a regional barista competition that was held in Indonesia. It was a blessing to hear her tell us that she desired to be a good testimony for the Lord while in the competition. Please pray for Oudom to be a good testimony to his family as well. Oudom lives in Prek Pnou and is the son of a high ranking military officer. I meet with Oudom one-on-one every Tuesday morning for discipleship and accountability. This past week we began studying from a book entitled, “New Life in Christ.”

8.13.15-P-TomlinsonIt was a blessing to have Pastor Tomlinson and his wife visiting us from California this weekend. Their love for the Lord and for the Lord’s work was a blessing to so many of us. We were particularly blessed to see them investing their retirement years for the cause of the gospel in the 10/40 window. The time that we were able to spend with them will not soon be forgotten.

8.13.15-ZZen shared an awesome testimony this morning about how he came to Christ and about the changes that have taken place in his family because of the power of the gospel. He shared about the fear he lived under for many years because of the oppression of the devil upon his family. For many years his father, Hem, was known as the “crazy” man in the village due to the fact that on a regular basis he became possessed by demons and terrorized those living in the village and surrounding villages. Zen came to Christ because of the testimony of his father’s changed life after being saved. Pray for Zen to continue to walk with the Lord and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

8.13.15-San-and-YomWe are thrilled to see what God is doing in the lives of San and Yom! This morning San shared a testimony of his salvation and calling to serve the Lord. Please pray for this young couple as they are taking steps to begin serving the Lord full-time. God is using them in a phenomenal way in the village ministries in Kompong Chhnang and I know that as they are able to increase the time that they are able to serve the Lord, there will be much eternal fruit that remains.

8.13.15-TaiTaiwan and SokEang have grown in the Lord so much over the past year. God used Bro. Keo to lead them to Christ several years ago and it has been a blessing to see how they have slowly and steadily become committed followers of Christ. During our service this morning Taiwan read a prayer letter from one of the national missionaries that our church supports and then led in prayer for God to provide for their needs. Pray for Taiwan, SokEang, and their three children to continue to live lives that are honoring to Christ.

8.13.15-PheapI was surprised to see Grandma Pheap at church this morning. To my understanding this is the first time that she has ever stepped foot into a Christian church. Her grandchildren came to Christ several months ago through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. Over the past month I have been able to spend quite a bit of time with her in her home. This past week I was teaching her from the Book of Isaiah about the vanity of a man or woman taking a piece of wood, creating an idol from it, and bowing down to it, believing that it can help in any way. I asked her this question, “Grandma, does God carry you, or do you carry god?” (Isaiah 46) I began to explain to her that the God of Heaven is the Creator and Sustainer of all life and it is vain to try and create your own god. While I was teaching her this truth from God’s Word, she looked up at me and asked me the following question, “I am 74 years old. All I have ever known is ancestral worship and idols. Why have my religious leaders lied to me for so many years and not told me about the Creator God? Why did I have to wait until I was 74 years old to hear this for the very first time?” That is a sobering question! How would you answer that question if she would have asked you? How could I possibly explain to her that there are thousands and thousands of Christians around the world who know the truth but who have never seriously considered leaving their lives of comfort in order to take the gospel to people like her? A famous pastor once said, “No one has the right to hear the Gospel twice while there remains someone who has not heard it once.Romans 10:14 says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? If we know Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour then God has called each of us to have a part in world-wide missions. Thank you for doing your part in praying and giving so others may go to places where you have not been called to go. Has God called you to take the gospel to some other country where there are people who are blinded by darkness? What are you waiting for? They are waiting for you to obey God’s call – hopefully they will live long enough to hear the truth at least once before they die…

8.13.15-HorHor is a 24 year-old deaf man who visited church this morning for the very first time. Miss Grace and Sina have been working with Hor and his wife for awhile and have invested many hours in helping them to understand the gospel and their need of salvation. It seems that his heart is softening. I had the opportunity to speak with him for over two hours after our morning service. Miss Grace has truly been gifted by God to be able to speak Khmer sign language, and she was interpreting for me. We read John 3:16 to him and then I asked him an important question, “Did Jesus die to pay for the sins of just foreigners or do you think He paid for the sins of Cambodian people as well?” His answer was quite sad. He said, “I am sure that Jesus died to pay for the sins of Americans but I’m not sure if He paid for the sins that Cambodians commit as well.” He was so happy to hear that his sins were paid for as well and if he would only believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ he could be saved. He was not ready to get saved yet but it seems that he might be close. Please pray for the salvation of Hor and his wife.

8.13.15-DeafIt was a blessing to have 18 deaf folks in the service this morning. Please continue to pray for Grace and Sina as they invest many hours each week in trying to see these people come to Christ.

8.13.15-CompetitionThis Sunday we had each family cook a special dish at home and then enter it into a competition here at the church. It was a blessing to see so many ladies participate. These three ladies were the winners. I can promise you that if any one of them opened a restaurant I would be there! Thank God for the fun time we were able to enjoy during this competition!

Below is a short video of our fellowship time after the morning service. It is always a joy to see the folks enjoying a meal together!

8.13.15-BunSeangIt was a blessing to have BunSeang and SreyEam back in church this morning. We wrote about them several weeks ago. (https://goodnewsfromafar.com/2015/06/21/june-21-2015/) They both claimed they were saved. In fact, BunSeang had been involved in working for some type of church in the past back in his village. However, it seemed as if when we would speak with him and SreyEam, they did not truly understand salvation. It has been very difficult to catch them at home and to find a time to speak to them. Several folks from the church have been trying to get close to them as well in order to present the gospel. It was a blessing to receive a report from Bro. Vong and Man that BunSeang made a profession of faith this week. Please pray for him to grow in his walk with the Lord. Likewise, please pray for SreyEam to be saved. She admitted to Man that she is not yet saved.

8.13.15-ChievPlease pray for Chiev to be saved. I have been going to meet with her each Tuesday morning in Prek Pnou for several weeks. She told me this past week that she understands the gospel very clearly and desires to be saved. However, she is not yet willing to stop offering sacrifices to her ancestors. She very clearly understands, from the Bible, that her ancestors can not receive any benefit from her sacrifices and that she is actually offering sacrifices to demons. (1 Corinthians 10:20) I am thankful that she understands that she must turn to God from idols in order to be saved and not simply pray a prayer. (1 Thessalonians 1:9) According to the Bible she must make that choice. She admitted to me that there is a strong spiritual battle going on within her heart. Pray that God will in a very clear and definite way bring her under conviction of her need of salvation and that she will repent and be saved!

8.13.15-Map-SreyOuenDebbie and I, as well as others, are working hard to get close to Map and SreyOeun. They sell vegetables from this stand down the street from our house. Yesterday Debbie went to purchase tomatoes from them. SreyOeun asked what she would be making and Debbie told her that she was making tacos. Of course SreyOeun had never heard of tacos. We had the privilege of making a plate of tacos and presenting it to them. They were so excited to be able to try our food. We had been told that each night they listen to the mp3 player we loaned them and they listen to preaching in the Khmer language. Please pray that Map and SreyOeun will be saved very soon!

8.13.15-Outreach-to-VietI am hoping to be able to start a small children’s group in Prek Pnou this next week. Recently I had the opportunity to go meet the parents of these children and let them know of my intentions. They all seemed to be in favor or me going to their village and teaching their children about Jesus. Although, one lady, when she saw me, ran into the house and yelled something to her children in Vietnamese for about two minutes straight…at which point her son came out of the house and made the hand motion for me to please go away… It’s sad how fast the smile was wiped off his face by an angry mother. It is our goal to just gather a group of about 15 Vietnamese children in this village and begin teaching them stories from the Bible with the goal of planting the seed of the gospel each week. Pray that we will have God’s direction in this new outreach.

Life in this village is quite a bit slower than life in Phnom Penh. You can click on the video below to see a quick view of the village.

8.13.15-Workers-TrainingIt was a blessing for us to be able to have our annual church worker’s meeting this past week. We were able to rent a room at a hotel not far from the church. The training went from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The majority of our younger leaders were not able to participate due to the fact that they had to be in school but we were still thrilled to have over 40 of our leaders at the training.

8.13.15-Prayer2

8.13.15-Prayer1We began and ended the day with small group prayer. It was great to be able to pray with my group and to hear them pour out their heart to the Lord for His favor, direction, and provision for our time of training. We are so blessed to be surrounded by so many nationals who have come to Christ and who desire to do whatever God wants them to do.

8.13.15-workers-training3I taught the opening session on “Seven Important Characteristics of a Good Bride.” The church is espoused to be married to Christ one day. What type of a bride does He desire?

8.13.15-workers-training4Pastor Tomlinson taught two sessions that were very practical in regard to working together as a team and not giving up during the tough times. He reminded us of the spiritual disciplines that are imperative to be found in our lives if we are going to be able to minister to others. I know that his lessons were a blessing to everyone who heard them.

8.13.15-workers-training5Bro. Esposito taught one session from Luke 10:38-42 on the importance of spending time at the feet of Jesus and not just merely being busy doing, doing, doing. The session was practical and was a good reminder that we can only give to others what we have already received from the Lord.

8.13.15-voicesDuring the training we played a short game that illustrated a spiritual truth. The team member that was blindfolded had to try and color the rainbow on the picture through receiving instructions from their team members. At the same time they were to be listening for the voice of their team member, rival teams would try and confuse them and get them to color outside of the lines. The game illustrated the fact that we must learn to be careful and exercise discernment as there are many “voices” all around us, each one calling us in a different direction. We must be certain that it is the voice of the Holy Spirit that we are listening to and not our emotions, the crowd, or the world.

The game got very loud…You can click on the video below to see the workers having fun.

8.13.15-lunchAt lunch time we all enjoyed a good time of fellowship together at the restaurant there at the hotel. It seemed like everyone enjoyed getting to spend time together in this setting.

8.13.15-fellowshipOne of the things that helps the church grow and encourages young Christians to go on for the Lord is the special efforts that so many of the nationals make to see that happen. This past week Bro. Vannak hosted a special fellowship for some of the young people who are on his “Tuk Tuk” route. It was a blessing to hear them up in the auditorium laughing and enjoying a time of fellowship in the Lord. We are blessed by Vannak’s love for his own people and for the Lord.

8.13.15-PovertyOften times in life it is easy to grow discontent with our circumstances in life. It is always good to have reality checks every once in a while. While trying to reach out to a new family this past week it dawned on me that their family of 5 likely each had only two sets of clothing – the clothes they were wearing and the clothes that were drying on the line. The next time you grow discontent with your closet full of clothes, take a look at this picture! It’s a good reminder!

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Dear friends,

8.2.15-Teen-NightLast Sunday evening the Phnom Penh teens ran the entire service. They did a wonderful job! We are so blessed to see the spiritual, mental, and emotional growth that is taking place in the lives of these young people. After the service we all went out for donuts!

8.2.15-Bun-Bou-VanBundith shared a testimony of how God has changed his life since he got saved. It has been a blessing to see the growth that has taken place in his life because of those whom God has used to help guide him spiritually. Bundith was saved here at the church about three years ago. BouKong opened the service in prayer. We have written in the past regarding the persecution that he has experienced at home because of his belief in Jesus Christ. BouKong accepted Christ this past year here at the church. Vannak led the song service. He and Jason practiced several times during the week to get it just right. Vannak accepted Christ about two months ago here at the church and we anticipate him receiving Believer’s Baptism this coming Sunday morning. All three of these young men were reached through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry.

8.2.15-SronLymaSron gave a report on one of the ministries here at the church. He accepted Christ as his personal Saviour here at the church this past year. A couple of weeks ago he was given an ultimatum by his family – Choose Jesus or choose your family…He chose to follow Christ and was physically kicked out of the house. He is presently living with someone who is a part of the church. Please pray for Sron as well as for his mother’s heart to be softened to the gospel. Lyma shared a wonderful testimony of how he came to Christ and of the growth that has taken place in his heart since he has been saved. He accepted Christ this past year here at the church. Both of these young men were reached through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry.

8.2.15-AlecNisaAlec was responsible for handling the time during our evening service when people from the congregation share blessings. He waited the entire week in anticipation for Sunday evening and took his responsibility very seriously. Praise God for the growth we have seen in Alec’s life despite the obstacles he faces on a daily basis. He came to Christ here at the church this past year. Nisa shared a testimony of salvation and the joy that she has serving the Lord. It has been an encouragement to see the spiritual growth that has taken place in her life over the past several months. Nisa was saved here at the church about three years ago. Both of these young people were reached through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry.

8.2.15-BoreyJasonBorey played a beautiful special number on the piano. She has been taking lessons from Debbie for the past two years and has shown herself to be a diligent student. Borey and her mother were both reached about a little over two years ago through door-to-door soul-winning here at the church. Jason played for the congregational singing and did a great job! As his parents, we are blessed to see his heart for the Lord and his love for music. He truly gives it his very best every time he plays for one of the services.

8.2.15-ButhButh taught a short lesson dealing with the deception of Evolution as it is presented in the textbooks here in Cambodia. God has blessed him with a sharp mind that enjoys Science. He devotes hours and hours to researching books dealing with Creation and Science. To date, there is no real effective voice speaking in defense of the Genesis account of Creation here in Cambodia. We trust, as God leads in his life, that Buth will become an expert in defending his faith in the Word of God. He has a strong burden to see his people understand that the Bible can be trusted and that they are being taught lies when they are told that their lives are merely a product of nature. I have asked Buth to prepare perhaps 15 weeks worth of lessons that he will present during our Sunday evening services dealing with Creation and Evolution. Each lesson will last for 8 minutes. Joshua and Buth are working together to prepare sharp PowerPoint presentations in Khmer to go along with each lesson. Buth was reached with the gospel about two years ago while studying English in a private school. His professor is a member of our church and led him to Christ through personal soul-winning.

8.2.15-NoiVeasnaWe were privileged to have two young men preach Sunday evening. Noi and Veasna both did a fantastic job of preaching the truths that God had placed upon their hearts. We are so blessed to see the growth that has taken place in the lives of both of theseΒ  young men! They both were reached with the gospel here at the church about four years ago through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. Thankfully, Veasna’s mother and father have both made a profession of faith recently. This is in part due to Veasna’s godly testimony at home. Please pray for their spiritual growth as Bro. Vong works on discipling them.

8.2.15-SomphasSomphas, one of the deaf ladies in our church,Β  continues to be a blessing to each of us. Sunday evening the individual who normally picks her up for church was unable to do so. Despite the fact that it was pouring down rain, Somphas got on her bicycle and rode for perhaps 30 minutes or so in order to get to church! The Tuk Tuk was able to take her and her bike back home after the service. She has been experiencing serious persecution since she made some decisions to obey Christ in recent weeks. Her unsaved family tries their very best to keep her away from the church and any Christian influence. Please pray for Somphas to continue to trust the Lord and obey His will. Also, please pray for her mother to open her heart to the gospel.

Phnom Penh was deluged by rain this weekend. You can click on the video above to see what it was like directly in front of our house and the church. Many of our members homes were flooded with water up to their knees.

8.3.15-HangBophaPlease pray for Hang and Bopha to be saved. They live down the street from the Phnom Penh church. Both of their children have accepted Christ and are very faithful to church. Hang repairs electronics out of his home for a living and Bopha sells soft drinks on the street. They both work so many hours that it is difficult to actually find them at home. We recently had the opportunity to take them out for dinner and spend a few hours with them. I hope to meet with Hang very soon to discuss the evangelistic booklet we have asked him to read.

8.2.15-SMohmSrey Mohm, 16 years old, attends our church in Psa Tricht village (about 2 hours from Phnom Penh). It is amazing to see the faith that this young lady has in the Lord. Her grandfather is the man standing to her right and he is blind. Srey Mohm came to Christ through his example. Her public school recently hosted a special event and required that each student come up on the platform, one by one, and sing a song for the entire student body to listen to. As could be expected, the students each sang popular worldly songs. Many of the songs were obviously dishonoring to Christ and would be totally inappropriate for a Christian to sing. When it was Srey Mohm’s turn to go up front she asked if it would be okay for her to sing any song she chose to sing. Her principal said that it was totally up to her. So, she went up to the platform and sang one of the songs that she had learned at church! I can only imagine the mocking and ridicule that she endured for taking that stand for the Lord. It’s humbling to even be around many of the folks here in Cambodia who have been forced to take a stronger stand for the Lord than most of us have ever thought about taking! Pray for SreyMohm and the folks who are a part of the outreach to Psa Tricht village and about 10 villages near Psa Tricht.

8.3.15-Soeun

8.3.15-OudomWe recently began going back to Prak Pnou village (about 40 minutes from Phnom Penh). Myself, Bro. Vong, and Bro. Has have been going there each Tuesday now for several weeks. It has been a blessing to be able to renew fellowship with two folks the Lord allowed me to lead to Him some time ago, Grandma Souen and Oudom. I began discipling Oudom once again three weeks ago and Bro. Vong is working with Grandma Souen. Please pray for Oudom’s father, Pheap, to be saved. He is a high ranking military officer. Likewise, please pray for Grandma Souen’s husband, Chang, to be saved. We are also pursuing new prospects in Prak Pnou as well. Please pray for Chiev and her 20 year old daughter, Kim Houa, to be saved. I hope to meet with them in the morning and review the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16. Unfortunate circumstances in Prak Pnou forced us to step away from the work that was started there, but now after about a one-year break we believe that God is once again opening the door to begin reaching out to folks in that city. Prak Pnou is a city that has been heavily influenced by “fake churches” that are so prevalent in this part of the world and by NGO groups that are notorious for literally paying people to join their “church.” Pray that God will direct us to people whose hearts are already being softened by Him.

8.3.15-ChanruthFor the past two years soul-winners from the church have been going to Stung Mean Chey district. We have a decent group of children coming to Children’s Ministry from this district. In recent months it seems that several adults are opening up to the gospel as well. Chanruth was won to the Lord by one of the teen boys in the church. Each Saturday Bro. Adrian meets with her to teach her the basics of the Christian life and to encourage her in the Lord. It is very difficult for her to get out of the house due to the fact that she is handicapped. However, she is hoping to come to church this Sunday morning in order to receive Believer’s Baptism. Our hearts were touched this past week when, despite her severe poverty, she donated about $5 worth of cookies to the Children’s Ministry.

8.3.15-Theary A few weeks ago Theary was encouraged by Chanruth to accept Christ as her personal Saviour. She called me on the phone and asked if I might go and explain to her how to be saved. Brother Man and I rode on the moped through pounding rain to get to Chanruth’s house in order to meet with her. We thank the Lord that we had the opportunity to explain the gospel to her and see her place her faith in Christ.

8.3.15-BongWhyBong Why is the daughter of Grandma Long whom we wrote about several weeks ago. Grandma Long is the former Buddhist nun who accepted Christ and is a part of our church in Prey Bang village (about two hours from Phnom Penh). Through Grandma’s infuence, Bong Why was willing to listen to the gospel and accept Christ. Brother Sinath led her to to the Lord. Each Wednesday morning after our English speaking Christian school chapel service, Sinath and I go to Stung Mean Chey to disciple Bong Why as well as make new contacts with the lost. Please pray for Bong Why to grow in the Lord. It is a bit challenging to teach her due to the fact that she is illiterate. It has been a blessing to be able to leave an mp3 player with her full of preaching in the Khmer language.

8.3.15-SarenSaren is Bong Why’s landlord. Sinath and I have had the opportunity to spend many hours witnessing to her over the past several weeks. We have had the opportunity to teach her what God says in regard to reincarnation, spirit worship, ancestral worship, as well as the gospel. She told us last week that she totally understands the gospel but she is afraid to accept Christ for two reasons: 1) She knows that those living around her will hate her and accuse her of abandoning her national religion, 2) She fears retribution from her ancestors. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to convict her of her need of salvation and that she will yield to His calling and be saved.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday morning several folks from the church go to Stung Mean Chey to go soul-winning and meet with new prospects. We believe that the Lord would have us to start a new ministry in this district sometime after the first of the new year. Please pray that God will give us clear direction in regard to the starting of this new work. We look forward to sharing more with you in regard to Stung Mean Chey in the months to come.

Poverty is a very real part of many lives here in Cambodia. The video above shows the reality of poverty that we see day in and day out here in Cambodia. This lady will work from morning until evening with the hope that she can find enough recyclables to be able to buy food for her family for one day. Pray that our team will have wisdom as we serve among many folks just like her.

Because of God’s grace,

Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason

 

 

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