January 27, 2011
We have been very busy these past two weeks and do apologize for the delayed update. Last week we were able to have our first married couple’s outing. It was a blessing to see 7 married couples participate. Sinath’s wife, Sopheap, and Vuthy’s husband, Sareth both attended the event even though they do not attend church. They are not saved yet but we continue to work with them hoping to see them accept Christ very soon. This next week will likely be a difficult time for Sinath and Vuthy as much of the city will be celebrating Chinese new year and engaging in spirit/ancestral worship. Sinath, in particular, is likely to be faced with conflict in his marriage as his wife normally attends these events. Please pray that something will cause Sopheap to loose the desire to go with all the other lost relatives as they sacrifice to the spirits.
This past week we also had our first single ladies outing. It was great to see 7 ladies be able to participate. They were able to spend 4 hours together. None of these ladies are saved with the exception of Miss Eng (4th from the left) and Miss Sok (5th from the left) although they all attend our services. Three in particular seem very interested in the things of the Lord and we hope to see them accept Christ very soon.
As you know the Keo family arrived here nearly a month ago to begin their first term as missionaries. It seems as though God has been allowing them to undergo serious testing almost from day one. We mentioned two weeks ago that Bro. Keo’s mother came with them from the United States in order to help care for Mrs. Keo after she gave birth to their fourth child. However, she suffered a stroke just over two weeks ago. She is now bed-ridden in the Keo’s home and requires around the clock care in order to even perform the most simple of tasks. Pray that God will provide wisdom to the Keo’s regarding this situation.
Last Saturday Mrs. Keo gave birth, pre-maturely, to their baby. Mrs. Keo was just 29 weeks along and the baby weighs around 2.2 lbs. This pre-mature birth came as a great surprise to us all. At this point the baby is in the national government hospital here in Phnom Penh. We have been told that this is the best Pediatrics facility in the country. However, the things that we have all witnessed regarding the standard of care has been appalling to say the least. Were this baby in the United States she would have been immediately admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. One would expect to find, at a minimum, the following items in a pediatrics hospital no matter where it is in the world: water, baby formula, bottles, blankets, a pillow, a clean environment, an incubator, nurses, and a doctor who knows even the basics about medicine and who will provide advice to the family. Sad to say none of these things exist in this hospital. The baby was placed in a wooden box and set on a table in a room with many other babies. The doctor might come around every four hours to make sure the baby is still alive and that is it. In the past week only one doctor showed up who even wore a stethoscope. The baby is unable to breathe on her own and requires 24-hour care. The ladies from our church and two other churches here in Phnom Penh have been staying with the baby and manually pumping air into her lungs. Three ladies stay at the bed side at all times. So far it seems like everyone is “hanging in there.” We are so thankful for the ladies at Missionary Rodney Ruppel and Missionary Kounaro Keo’s churches. They have so selflessly given their time to help care for the baby. Several of the security guards at the hospital have spoken to our ladies and asked why there are so many different people coming to help this one baby. They asked our ladies this question: “Are you all Christians?” We know that people are watching and are curious. Please help pray for the baby, the Keo family, and the ladies to be able to come through this trial with a good testimony.
One of the men who attends our church works at the hospital as a pediatrics nurse. He has shared with us the terrible stress that the medical staff is under do to the volume of patients who must be cared for on a daily basis. The line begins to form at about 4:00 a.m. Every day an average of 1500 children are “cared for” at this hospital. If you were able to see the conditions firsthand you would certainly be more thankful for what you have been given in the United States. We often complain over the slightest things. Yet these hundreds of people who are standing in line from early morning until late evening will consider themselves very fortunate to be able to get their child into this hospital. It gives us all something to think about. Please pray for baby Sophea, the Keos, and all the ladies who are serving the Lord by caring for this baby.
We do have ONE THING here that America does not have – Monkeys in the hospital! Sophea is on the 3rd floor. The other day a monkey came walking into the room and everyone began screaming. (as though they had never seen a monkey before) Someone scared him out of the room. Then about an hour later the monkey returned with some of its friends! Never a dull moment here in Asia!
Please continue to pray for the following people to be saved: 1. Ky (24 year old man with a JW background) 2. Sopheak (29 year old former monk) 3. Sareth (64 year old husband of Vuthy) 4. Sopheap (early 30’s – wife of Sinath) 5. Channa & SreyRoeth (young couple in the early 20’s)
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
January 16, 2011
Last week we asked you to pray for Mrs. Long Vuthy to be saved. If you remember, until three weeks ago she was a vocal opponent of Christianity. Then God began to work in her heart. Two weeks ago she began attending every service here at the church. We are happy to report to you that last Monday morning she showed up at our door and said that she wants to know God! I taught her for awhile Monday morning and asked her to return Monday evening. Monday evening she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour. God has truly worked in her heart. Her salvation has not come without a great deal of spiritual warfare on her part. I will not devote the time to rehearse all that she has shared with me concerning demonic oppression she faced over the past two weeks as she was deciding if she would accept or reject Jesus. The truth is that the majority of western believers would find it nearly impossible to believe her story anyway. Suffice to say that the devil made himself very clear to her and for the first time in her life he revealed to her just how evil and cruel he truly is. In Ephesians 6:12 we read, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” For hundreds of years her Chinese Cambodian ancestors have been blinded by the enemy lest the light of the glorious Gospel should be shed abroad in their hearts. Praise the Lord that, at 60 years old, Vuthy has finally been set free. Thank you for praying for her salvation. Please continue to pray that she will be patient and kind with those in the neighborhood who, just a month ago were her “friends”, but are now mocking her.
Before Vuthy was saved she openly antagonized Sinath because he accepted Jesus as his Saviour and abandoned his idol and ancestral sacrifices. Now that she is saved she is openly showing respect to him as a brother in Christ. It was encouraging to look down from our roof-top this past week and, in public view, to see Brother Sinath teaching Vuthy more about the Bible right in front of his tailor shop. Vuthy’s home is pictured on the right (with the blue chair). The tailor shop/Sinath’s residence is on the left. Please pray for Vuthy’s husband, Sareth, to be saved.
Last week we had the opportunity to meet Samnang and spend some time teaching her the meaning of the Gospel. Additionally she attended our Sunday morning and evening services here in Phnom Penh. She lives in Siem Reip province which is about 8 hours from Phnom Penh. She was only visiting some of her relatives who attend our church. She told me that as a public school teacher she has always been very opposed to Christianity. As her relatives and I helped explain to her what the Bible says about God it seems that her heart was softened. We are thankful for another fellow missionary in Siem Reip who has committed to help reach her. This evening he called me and let me know that she was in their services today and was very receptive. He told me he was surprised just how well she seemed to be responding to the preaching. She will have to take a moped 45 minutes to travel to church each week. Pray that she will continue to respond to the Lord as He is drawing her to Himself.
Chhay is a baby Christian but seems to have a real heart for the Lord. He always has a lot of questions about what he has read in the Bible. Just two months ago his father passed away. For many years his father was a popular witch doctor for the Cham people here in Cambodia. (Cham is an ethnic minority group who are followers of Islam) Even though his father is dead the devil continues to hold captive many of his followers through demonic activity. To my knowledge Chhay is the only believer in his village and bears a great deal of spiritual responsibility. Culturally speaking, the powers of his father were to be passed on to him. I believe that he has been given a great opportunity to reach his people for the Lord. He is presently living in Phnom Penh attending university but beginning next week he will start to travel one and a half hours one way to his home village each Saturday to teach a group of teenagers about the Lord. Because we are Americans it would be very difficult for us to gain access to the people that he will be able to reach due to the perceived tensions between Christianity and Islam. Lord willing I will be teaching Chhay a special lesson during the week which he will be teaching to his people on Saturdays. Chhay has so much to learn still and we are trusting that as he is preparing his lessons each week he will grow in the Lord even more.
San is another Cham young man who has a heart for the Lord and for his own people. Tomorrow morning he is planning to meet with a young man and present the Gospel to him. San will often meet with me and ask many questions about the Bible. Here are two of the questions that he asked this past week: 1) Why did Jesus tell his disciples not to preach to the Gentiles but only to the lost sheep of Israel. [Matthew 10:6-7] 2) Why did Jesus instruct the healed leper not to tell anyone that Jesus had healed him but to only show himself to the priest? [Matthew 8:2-4] Please pray for San. He has some very important decisions he needs to make regarding his future. The messages today hit him rather hard I believe. I am teaching systematically through the book of Genesis. This morning we dealt with Genesis 6:1-6 and the consequences that come to God’s people when they go to the world to seek pleasure. Tonight, from the same passage, I devoted the entire message warning of the danger of marrying a non-believer. Half of the congregation this evening were young single adults and I think some of them may have been a bit shocked to hear just what the Bible says in regard to being unequally yoked. Pray that San will have the courage to do what I know God is telling him to do in regard to a pending marriage. Below is a photo of just a few of the Cham young men that God has entrusted to our care.
This week we are adding two new ministries. 1) We are beginning a ladies singing group and a men’s singing group. We actually do not even need special music but we are beginning the groups primarily so that we can have more influence in the new believers lives. We are hoping that this will be just another way to help our new believers grow in their commitment to the Lord as well as in the area of personal standards and separation. 2) We will also begin a “hospitality” ministry. Thursday evening the couples will drop their children off at the church and then will all go to eat together. We are hoping to have 7 married couples attend this event. Then Friday afternoon 6-7 of our single ladies will be going on a 4 hour activity together. We plan to regularly have these events. As these new believers grow in the Lord it is vitally important that we help provide opportunities within the church family for them to build relationships. Pray that these two new ministries will be effective in helping the people grow.
Please continue to pray for Key (24 year old recent university graduate). Last week we mentioned that he has studied with the Jehovah Witnesses for the past year. Brother Keo met him and has been trying to present the Gospel to him. This past Wednesday evening Key brought all of his study materials from the JW’s and left them with me. (I have been wanting to get a copy of the New World translation in Khmer anyway but had never been able to get one) Pray that Key will be saved soon. Last week I also mentioned Kyna in our update. She returned to the church this morning. I was able to speak with her for a time after the service and she said that she wants to continue to come and learn more about what it means to be a Christian before she makes any decision. Pray that Kyna will be saved soon.
Also, please be in prayer for Brother Keo’s mother, Heal Keo. She is just here in Cambodia visiting from America helping the Keos to get adjusted to life here in Asia. This past week she suffered an acute stroke brought on apparently by hypertension and has been hospitalized ever since. She was in ICU for three days and just yesterday they moved her to a regular room. At the present time she has complete paralysis on her left side. Of course the Lord has allowed this to happen. Likewise, the devil would like to use it to bring about discouragement to the Keos. Pray that God’s name will be glorified in this situation and that Mrs. Keo would be able to enjoy a full recovery.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
January 9, 2011
We had a great Sunday. We had our record attendance in both morning as well as evening services. Thank you for praying for our family and new church plant here in Phnom Penh. Also, it has been great to hear from some of you and to know that you are interested in what God is doing among the people of southeast Asia.
Mrs. Long Vuthy lives across the street from our house. She has been somewhat vocal in our immediate neighborhood against our ministry. When one of our neighbor men accepted Christ as his Saviour and subsequently destroyed all of his idols she vehemently withstood him. However, it seems as though her heart is being softened. She has been present in Sunday morning and evening services for the past two weeks. She also attended our Bible institute classes last Wednesday evening. I was told by someone in our neighborhood that she has thrown away her Buddhist altar although she has not made a profession of faith. Perhaps it is her way of “testing the waters” a bit. Matthew 12:43-45 warns of of the potential danger of removing the icons of false religion without replacing them with the truth of the Gospel. Please pray that Vuthy and her husband Sareth will open their hearts to the Lord and be saved. I am trying to encourage Sareth to attend Bible study on Monday and Tuesday evenings with Sinath.
This morning Kyna visited our morning and evening services for the first time. She is in her early twenties and seems to be open to the Gospel. She was especially attentive this evening as I preached regarding the importance of Christians living the right kind of lives in the midst of a perverse society. The outline was based upon Matthew 24:42, 44; 2 Corinthians 5:11 – 1) Watch, 2) Be Ready, 3) Persuade others to believe. She seemed very interested in understanding why Christians would try to persuade people of other religions to become a Christian. Buddhists typically do not seek to proselytize. Please pray that we will be able to connect with Kyna and that she will come under conviction of her need of salvation and be saved soon.
Thank you for praying for the Keo family. They were able to find an apartment in just two days and have already moved in and are beginning to get into the routine of things. They are a very short walk from our home. Their children will start school in the morning. The Keo family is a spiritually stable family and we are greatly anticipating what God will do in and through them. We went out to eat with the Keos 5 days after they arrived. Andrew Keo actually fell asleep in the middle of lunch – which should have been very difficult due to Jason incessant talking. Give them another week and they should fully adjust to the 15 hour time difference.
Key is twenty-four years old and is a recent university graduate with a major in mathematics. Bro. Keo met him this past week while out soul-winning. For the past year Key has been studying with the Jehovah Witnesses. He attended today’s morning and evening services. This is the first time that he has heard that the JW’s are a cult who have perverted the Bible and he is being deceived by their false doctrine. I believe that Bro. Keo will be able to truly connect with Key. Please pray that Key will open his heart to the truth as we seek to assist Bro. Keo in presenting the Gospel to him.
Today was Perum’s second time to join in our services. She recently moved to Phnom Penh from another province. She is a professing Christian but I am not certain about her church background. We met her parents several weeks ago while we were out soul-winning and they told her about the church. Perum is recently divorced and plans to travel this next week back to her home province to go pick up her son and bring him to Phnom Penh to live with her. Please pray that we will be able to effectively reach Perum and her son.
SreyNich (14 years old on theleft) and Lim (right) have attended several services. They are coming as a result of our soul-winning efforts in Stung MeinJay district. Miss Eng (middle) has faithfully visited SreyNich every week encouraging her to come to church. They both come from a very rough background of drugs. Lim is also involved in a deviant lifestyle that is not compatible with faith in Christ. We definitely need wisdom to know how to help reach these two folks as well as several others who live in the same neighborhood. Please pray to that end.
Vesal is sixteen years old and has been attending Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services for the past couple of weeks. This past Saturday he also came out for soul-winning. He is actually a member of a charismatic church in Phnom Penh which only has Sunday morning services. I am surprised at how much of the Bible he seems to know. I believe that he desires to know the truth and we are trying to lovingly have influence in his life. For the time being we are content to welcome him here without directly confronting the errors of the church he is attending on Sunday mornings due to the fact that his mother is a faithful member there and we need to use discretion in our interaction with him. He is very attentive during the preaching and apparently had an enjoyable time going out on Saturday soul-winning. (We sent him along as a silent partner) Pray that Vesal will continue attending our church and that his heart will be drawn to us so that we might help him to become what the Lord wants him to become.
Chyry and his wife, Gei, and their two children travel by moped over an hour one way to come to church on Sunday morning and evening as well as Wednesday evening Bible institute. In recent weeks Chyry has taken some serious steps of growth in his life but God is continuing to reveal areas of his life that need to be yielded. Today he spent quite awhile talking with me after the morning service asking me if I will help him to be accountable in several areas of his life. As a soldier in the Cambodian army he is daily confronted with temptations to compromise his integrity and testimony. It was a joy to watch Gei’s face this evening as she listened intently to the message. As Chyry and Gei continue to grow in the Lord I believe that God is going to use them in a mighty way for His glory. Please pray that they will stand strong in their village and that they will both continue to be sensitive to the Lord’s working in their lives.
It was a joy this evening to have a group of the young men ask to meet with me after the service. They asked me if we could please take their pictures off of the bulletin board. The pictures were taken the first Sunday that they began attending the church about 5 weeks ago. They said that they were ashamed at how long their hair was. (it truly did look worldly) They asked if I could take new photos to put up on the board now that they have cut their hair the way that they believe a Christian man ought to have his hair cut. It is a blessing to see that these new believers are learning through example how they ought to live. We have also seen a dramatic change in the way that several of our new young ladies are dressing. While I have not preached even one message on dress etc… since we started just a few weeks ago, we are seeing the Holy Spirit bring about conviction on an individual basis. Sadly, Cambodia has been inundated with compromising and worldly missionaries from America and other countries and much of the “church” looks and acts no different from the world. Please pray that our church and a small handful of other churches in this country who are of like faith and practice will continue to make the impact that we ought to make for God’s glory.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
January 3, 2011
Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that it is already 2011. It seems like just yesterday that we were all waiting for the year 2000. We want to thank you for standing with us faithfully in prayer and support over the past 12 months. We are grateful for the role that you play in helping to reach southeast Asians with the Gospel. For sake of space we will not detail the many blessing that God has bestowed upon our family and ministry in the year 2010. We thank you for your part in seeing lives changed and look forward to seeing what God will do in and through us all this new year.
This past Sunday was the eighth week of Pacific Baptist Church of Phnom Penh. We are just amazed to see how the Lord is working in hearts and opening doors of influence. He is blessing far beyond our competence and faithfulness that is for sure. From the first Sunday we began with Sunday morning / Sunday evening services, Wednesday evening Bible Institute, and Saturday soul-winning/visitation. This past Sunday we had 43 in attendance in both morning and evening services. We are not presently able to offer a children’s ministry but we hope to begin one very soon. Below you will see a snapshot of the Bible Institute class meeting on our ping pong table. The majority of those studying with us are baby Christians and are very hungry to know God’s Word. It has been exciting to hear how several of our people have been using what they have been learning to try and win their friends to the Lord.
In December of 2009 I met a monk named Sopheak at the Toul Tumbong Buddhist Temple. I was able to have an extensive conversation with him and asked him a question: “Why are you a Buddhist monk? Do you truly believe Buddhism?” He told me that he had been a Buddhist monk for the past 12 years, not because he actually believed in Buddhism but in order to show gratitude to his parents and to try and repay them for giving him life. The Lord led me to tell him that he was being dishonest to the Buddhists who came to his temple and he was even being dishonest to himself. That made him very upset at me! I assumed that I would never see him again. However, in February of 2010 I received an email from him telling me that he made the decision to leave the monkhood. Over the past month I have had opportunity to meet with him several times and I believe that his heart may be softening to the Gospel. He has not attended any services nor has he been willing to sit down with me for the express purpose of studying the Bible (evangelistic Bible study). He was willing to attend our Christmas fellowship and he told me that in his entire life he had no idea that people had so much fun and laughing as our church people had that evening. He is pictured below in the stripped black and white shirt participating in a Bible verse game. It is a bit funny to see the amazement of the new believers in our church when they learned that he was formerly a monk. They had no idea that a monk could be interested in knowing God. It will be a powerful testimony of God’s mercy and grace when we see Sopheak saved. He is 30 years old and a university graduate. Please pray that the enemy will not have occasion to interfere as God is drawing Sopheak to Himself.
We have been working with Mr. Mat Meas over the past month or so. We had asked you to pray that he would accept Christ. We are happy to report to you that this past Saturday our soul-winners were able to lead him to the Lord ! He was in church Sunday morning with a smile on his face. Mr. Meas is actually from Vietnam and so he speaks Vietnamese as well as Khmer. His profession of faith is just the first step in what God desires for his life. Please pray that Mr. Meas will surrender his life to the Lord and grow the way that God desires for him to grow.
This past Sunday we also saw two Cham (Muslim) young adult men who have been attending services for the past six weeks make a profession of faith. Before they began attending our church they had exposure to the Gospel at another solid independent Baptist church in Phnom Penh where I am confident that one of the leaders, Wang, invested many hours of prayer and teaching into their lives. Thank God for Wang’s faithfulness and love for the Lord and the lost. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither is he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7. We all have a role to fulfill to see folks saved but we know that ultimately it is up to God to use our witnessing and His Word draw the lost to Himself. Please pray that Ly and Ya will be faithful to grow as a new believer.
We have known Mr. Sarouen for several years and have always strove to witness to him. Just recently it seems that his heart has become soft to the Gospel. He has attended the Sunday morning services for the past two weeks. We are still trying to set a specific time to meet with him during the week to clearly present the Gospel to him and answer his questions. We are just waiting for him to agree to set aside the time to meet. Pray that Sarouen will be saved very soon.
Channa and SreyRoeuth have been attending Sunday morning and evening services for the past three weeks. They are not yet saved and prior to coming to our church they claim to have never had exposure to the Gospel. Please pray that this young married couple will be saved very soon. They are expecting their first child in two months.
Thank you for praying for the Keo family to arrive safely. They arrived three days ago with no problems whatsoever. Mrs. Keo is expecting their fourth child in a few months. God has provided a house for them just a very short distance from our home. As they are able to get settled in and acclimated to ministry here in Cambodia we will be able to expand our outreach. Please pray for them to have a smooth transition. Below you will see them pictured on the right side. Their unsaved family members attended the Sunday morning service with them this past Sunday. Please pray, in particular, for Bro. Keo’s 19 year old niece named Kynya to be saved. The Keo’s are making it a point to focus on winning her to the Lord.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
December 19, 2010
We apologize for sending two updates in one week but right now we have such good news that we can’t help but to let you know. There is an ebb and flow in ministry and often we all tend to take for granted the good things that God is doing in our midst. Right now we seem to be having momentum which is encouraging.
Three days ago I heard from a young mane named Sopheak (29 years old). I met him a year ago while I was visiting a Buddhist temple. He was a monk at that temple and had been a monk for twelve years. During the conversation I had with him I asked him this question: Do you really believe in what you are doing as a monk? I challenged him to think about the religious things he was doing and really question whether it was truth or lies. Needless to say he was not very happy with me. I assumed that would be the end of our relationship. Believe it or not three months later he emailed me and told me that he had decided to cease being a monk and was going through the ceremony to remove him from the monastery. I had not heard from him for six months then three days ago he made contact we me and asked me if we could meet. We met and he told me that he desires to know about God. He did not show up to church today but he has promised to attend our Christmas fellowship this coming Wednesday evening. We hope to be able to win him to the Lord. He will be a tough one because he still very much claims to believe in Buddhism. Yet, at the same time, he is apparently not satisfied. Please pray that we will be able to win Sopheak to Christ very soon.
Please pray for a 23 year-old young man named Chan. He works for our internet company and I have had the opportunity to speak with him about the Lord on several occasions. Two days ago he came to our home to talk more about what it means to know God. Please pray that Chan will respond to the gospel and accept Christ soon.
KimHoun is 33 years old and lives a block from our home. I have had several opportunities to talk with him about surface issues but he has not seemed to be open to hearing about God. He seems to be consumed with the cares of this world. This past week he told me that he was turned down during a job interview because his English was not good enough. This was a job that he really wanted and so he is seriously disappointed. He asked me if I could help him sharpen his English skills. It looks like I will be able to have some influence in his life through a new ministry that we plan to start in January. We plan to begin English tutoring some of the members of our ministry one evening a week. We plan to start only with those who are already attending. However, we are going to invite KimHoun to join with us. Please pray that KimHoun will come to know the Lord through this new outreach ministry.
This morning we had five new adult visitors from one family. They returned to the evening service and brought one more adult man with them. They appear to be truly interested in the Lord. We are excited to follow-up on these new prospects but at the same time we sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to find ways to truly connect with them. The husband, Vity, is a nurse at a very large government hospital in town. His wife, Phareth, is a stay home mother. Mr. Phin and his wife, SreyRut, are expecting their first baby in three months. Please pray specifically that we will be able to help this entire group come to the assurance of their salvation. Miss Sok and Miss Eng will be focusing on the two twenty-year-old young ladies, Sopheap and Sophannaly.
We always have a time of sharing testimonies during the evening service which allow the people to share the good things that God is doing in their lives. Although the church is only five weeks old, the people are bold to share. Tonight, Sitha (early 30s) shared about what God is doing in her heart. She has been a public school teacher for years. Tonight she told the entire church that she has been recently convicted about the curriculum she is forced to teach to the students. (Last week during Bible institute I warned the parents about the danger of allowing our children to be taught the lie of Evolution.) She said that God has shown her that she is not honoring Him by teaching the children lies. Therefore she made the decision to quit her job! This is not something that she has ever discussed with Debbie or I. This is something that she says God required her to do. She told the church that God will take care of her needs and she has decided to be content with whatever God provides. Wow! Do each of us have the faith to do whatever it is that He is asking us to do? Please pray that Sitha will not regret following her new-found convictions and that she will see God provide for her needs in a miraculous way!
Please pray for our Christmas fellowship this coming Wednesday evening. We have invited several adults who are not yet saved.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
P.S. I wonder if he volunteered to sit in the back?
December 14, 2010
This weekend we had four first time visitors. Three of them are from a very rough part of town that we have been visiting on Saturdays. Please pray for SreyNik in particular to return. She claims to have been saved at another ministry however she is making some very foolish decisions in her life. Unfortunately she lives in a neighborhood that has been saturated by “churches” and organizations who give away money for going to church. Pray that she will be drawn back to our church and that we will have the opportunity to really help her. Miss Sok and Miss Eng are focusing on reaching her.
Mrs. Rep Ut (in the center) visited for the first time on Sunday morning. We are not sure that she is saved but she seems to have a hunger for truth. She told me that the was so excited to be at church. Pray that she will return and that we will have the opportunity to lead her to the assurance of her salvation very soon.
My language classes with a high ranking government official seem to be going good. I meet with him three days a week from 11:00-11:45 a.m. Of course my objective in agreeing to teach him English is to seek to present the Gospel to him. He is part of a segment of society here that is virtually untouchable through traditional methods of evangelism. Yesterday he was not able to come to study because the Deputy Prime Minister called to meet with him. Today he was telling me about his responsibilities to help organize events in commemoration of an upcoming national holiday on January 7th. This is the day that Cambodia celebrates being liberated from the Khmer Rouge by the Vietnamese. I saw this as an opportunity to draw the attention to eternal things. I told him that the Vietnamese were the savior of the Cambodia people. Likewise, December 25th is a special time when we celebrate the Saviour coming from Heaven to save those who would accept Him. We spent the majority of the class period dealing with why someone would need a Saviour. This man is a very proud, arrogant, and self-sufficient man who denies that he has even sinned once. Humanly speaking I am certain that he has done many commendable things for this country but of course those things can not save him. Please pray that I will discern the doors God is opening and that our conversations will allow the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction in this man’s hard heart and that he will not resist salvation.
I just returned from meeting with my sending Pastor and some of our missionaries in a neighboring communist country. It looks like that God is opening the door for our TEAM to open an English school in this particular country. The school will allow the missionaries to have a “cover” to remain in the country as well as provide access to potentially hundreds of young people each month. I do not have space here to detail all the doors that seem to be opening but please help to pray that God will give clear direction. As more Asian Americans are reached with the Gospel through our home church and the new church plants in the States we believe we will continue to see many called by God back to southeast Asia and we will have many opportunities to gain access to “closed” countries. Here is a picture of a Christmas tree being decorated in this communist country. Above the tree was a sign (which you can not see) that says, “Merry Christmas.” That is quite a contrast to the “Happy Holidays” that one is likely to see in America.
Please pray for the Touch Keo family who will, Lord willing, complete deputation and be arriving here to Phnom Penh on December 31st. We look forward to having them here with us. I know that God will use them in mighty ways to win many Khmer to Him. Once they arrive and get settled in we are planning to begin a children’s ministry as well as an English language outreach ministry targeting young adults. We have several more missionary families who are still on deputation. As they begin arriving over the months ahead we anticipate being able to plant multiple works simultaneously.
Two weeks ago we had a medical situation arise in our family that cost us $2,000. God used one of you to provide for that need in full. That was a great blessing to us. We are grateful for the role that God has called each of you to play in helping to reach southeast Asians with the Gospel. We could not be doing what God has called us to do without your prayers and support.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
P.S. This picture might explain why our internet access is somewhat sporadic!
November 27, 2010
We wanted to give you a quick update in regard to the starting of the new church in Phnom Penh. Tomorrow will be our third Sunday. We feel like things have been progressing at a good pace. We are beginning with Sunday morning and Sunday evening services as well as a Wednesday evening service. We have also begun a Saturday morning soul-winning/ visitation program. Additionally, we teach a new believers class every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evening at 6:00 and again at 7:00. Normally we are done by 9:30. We will continue these classes as long as it is necessary.
Many of you have likely heard about the tragedy that happened here in Phnom Penh this past week where several hundred young Cambodians were killed in a stampede. This has shaken the whole country and driven many of them to offer regular sacrifices in order to “scare off the ghosts” that they believe are haunting the city. None of our people were hurt although one of our young men was near the bridge when the stampede happened and he saw many people being pushed into the river and drowned. Today while out visiting met a man whose responsibility it was to transport 80 of the corpses back to their village for the funerals. He is so traumatized that he has not eaten food for several days. This tragedy has made it even more difficult for our new believers to stand for Christ as there is a lot of pressure put on them to participate in offering sacrifices to the spirits to avoid bringing another catastrophe. Please pray for the new believers as they try to live lives that are honoring to Christ. Here is a picture of 300 monks that gathered at the scene to perform various rituals that are believed to ward off the spirits.
We are excited to tell you that Sinath accepted Christ two weeks ago. He immediately went home and began to destroy his Buddhist altars and other icons that he used to protect his home from demons. Pray that he will continue to be sensitive to the Lord. He is one of the men I am teaching every evening. Pray for his wife, Sophiep, who is still not saved. Included in this photo is Oudom (14 years old) who accepted Christ this past week. Please pray that his family will not prevent him from participating in the various events of the church.
During the Wednesday evening service this week Vandy shared with the congregation that she had just destroyed her Buddhist altars because she wants to be faithful to God. Her unsaved family members are not happy with her and likely think she is being brain-washed at the church. Please pray that she will have courage to continue to take a stand for the Lord in her own family. Navy is not yet saved but is attending services seeking to learn more about what Christians believe. Pray that she will be saved soon.
Please pray for our next door neighbor, Sokha. She is not saved yet but has expressed interest in knowing more about salvation. Please pray that Sokha will be saved very soon. Her daughter, SokLynn, claims to be saved and has attended some other type of church in the past. Please pray that she will continue to come and that she will come to understand why we don’t do some of the things that other “churches” do such as speak in tongues, roll around the aisles, dance with rock music during the services, etc… She is pretty confused right now to say the least.
We were amazed this past Sunday to have 12 Muslims show up to the church. (There are approximately 600,000 Muslims in Cambodia and we are told that there are less than 50 who have converted to Christianity.) They traveled two hours from their village just to find out what we are teaching here. LyJah’s 21 year old son lives here in Phnom Penh and has been studying with us. Recently he began witnessing to her and the family. LyJah’s husband just passed away a month ago. He was supposedly a very powerful Muslim witchdoctor and has followers all over Cambodia who would travel for hours to have him perform various rituals on them or to cast spells. The whole family is scared because he is supposedly coming back and haunting them and threatening them not to follow the “foreign” religion of Christianity. The son realizes that the spirit is not his father but rather a demon. After the morning service was over we held a special two hour meeting just for them where I taught from Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazarus. I stressed the fact their deceased loved one is definitely interested in seeing his family come to know God. In fact, that is the thing he wants most. We will need wisdom to know how to best deal with this group. They appear to be open to listening to the Gospel. It is obviously not practical for them to continue to travel two hours to Phnom Penh to come to church so we will plan to go to them. For security reasons we can not hold Bible studies in their village as it is controlled by Islam. Therefore we have secured a meeting place about 10 minutes outside of their village where we will be able to hold services. Please pray that they will remain open to the Gospel and that we will have clear direction from the Lord in regard to this outreach.
Today I met Mat Meas (53 years old) while we were out soul-winning. He is from Vietnam originally but he speaks Khmer as well. He has agreed to allow me to go to his home beginning this Monday to begin an evangelistic Bible study. Please pray that he will open his heart to receive the teaching and that he will soon accept Christ.
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason