May 21, 2018
This past week we conducted our second annual Family Camp. It was a great blessing that 199 of our folks were able to make time in their schedule as well as pay the required fees in order to attend the four day camp. It is very difficult to find facilities that will accommodate a group this size here in this country. Bro. Has and several of our national men worked very hard to find a venue as well as organize the housing, meals, and transportation.
In addition to having combined sessions in the main auditorium, we had some split teaching sessions that were divided according to life stages. It was a blessing for me to be able to teach the sessions for the married couples and to see their hunger to learn everything they can about how God desires for them to lead their families. Our second session together went over by thirty minutes as they had several questions relating to my lesson dealing with the principles of “first-time obedience” and the importance of breaking your child’s will but not their spirit. These two principles are unheard of in this culture, and so, of course, the couples never saw them modeled in their own homes growing up; therefore, they struggle to know how to effectively live them out in the day-to-day life of their family. But by God’s grace, we are seeing many of the couples not just learn Biblical principles but also seek to live them out.
Debbie had the opportunity to teach a session for the ladies. I have no idea what she taught but many of the ladies shared testimonies this weekend about how much they enjoyed her session. Several of them remarked that it was the session that benefited them the most.
While Debbie was teaching the ladies, Jason ran the children’s service along with a couple of national workers that he recruited to help him. I was in and out of that session but it was a blessing to hear him teach them about Samuel and the importance of obeying the Biblical authorities that God has placed in our lives.
For me one of the great blessings of the camp this year was seeing so many people enjoying fellowship together. When we are in our regular daily schedules it is often difficult to find the time to just sit down and spend time together. It seems that several of our young men are working hard to learn how to play the guitar. I was so happy to see the way that Setien is growing in the Lord and in his confidence to joyfully mix with others. I remember how timid he was when he first began coming to church around seven years ago. However, in recent months he seems to be really growing in the Lord as well as in his ability to socialize with others. I believe that his involvement in helping to lead one of our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry classes is really helping him to develop, as well as the individual attention that he is getting from Bro. Vannak during our Saturday evening teen boys discipleship. Before he was saved Setien’s father, Sinath, used to play the guitar for the world. In fact, by his own testimony, the lifestyle that he lived during those years nearly blew apart his marriage. I know that it is a great blessing for him to see that Setien is musically gifted by the Lord and that he is using his gift to bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Socheat and SreyLeak are wonderful examples of the grace of God. We all were touched to hear Socheat sharing of the changes that have taken place in his life since salvation. This young couple has undergone great trials with the health of their young son, Heng. In fact, as I am writing this update Heng is back in the hospital again. PLEASE HELP PRAY FOR HENG TO BE HEALED FROM THE RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS HE IS HAVING. LIKEWISE PLEASE PRAY FOR SOCHEAT AND SREYLEAK TO CONTINUE TO TRUST THE LORD. The enemy is working overtime right now to try and discourage them both.
As you may recall from previous posts, Voeuth was saved while incarcerated in a province quite far from Phnom Penh. She came to understand her need for a personal Saviour when a national Cambodian pastor made a visit to the prison to hold a Bible study with the inmates. As he left the property a tract fell out of his Bible. Voeuth saw the tract and tried to return it to him but he had already passed through the gate and she was unable to reach him. She read the tract and understood the gospel and accepted Christ. The tract that fell out of the man’s Bible was a tract from our church! We still have no idea who the man was but we definitely know that his visit to the prison was a divine appointment for Voeuth. She promised the Lord that once she was released she would call the phone numbers on the tract and travel wherever she needed to go in order to learn more about the Bible and her new life in the Lord. She kept her word and several months later she had served her time and was released. She traveled to Phnom Penh and was with us for a few weeks. During that time she was baptized as well as spent time with some of our ladies learning the Word of God. She then returned to her village far from here and is to the best of her ability living for the Lord. It was a great blessing to see the amount of effort she put forth in order to join with us for family camp. PLEASE HELP PRAY THAT HER FAMILY WILL COME TO CHRIST. To my knowledge she is the only believer in her village.
Hem and Som are wonderful testimonies of the power of the gospel! Many of you will recall hearing of their story when we were in the States last year and spoke in your church. For many years Hem was tormented with demonic oppression as well as occasional possession. I won’t go into detail about their entire testimony here, but in order to find relief from the evil powers that controlled their family, Som went from witch doctor to witch doctor seeking help. She traveled from village to village begging anyone who claimed to have the power to cast out demons to help her. Of course she only met charlatans who made their living through capitalizing on the fears of people like Som and Hem. With each ceremony and ritual that was performed came increased fees which eventually left the family bankrupt. After selling all their livestock and land they were left with nothing but emptiness, poverty, hopelessness, and dismay that their religion offered them no true answers. One day Som heard that there were folks in a nearby village who were set free from the power of darkness by trusting in Jesus Christ. To make a long story short, she was saved through their testimony and example. Several months later Hem was saved as well. The radical change that took place in his life after salvation was definitely indisputable and caused his fellow Muslim villagers to take note. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 While the majority of the village still hates Christianity and shuns the believers, they stand in amazement at the new man that Hem has become in Christ. Though we do believe in and practice door-to-door soul-winning, the most powerful soul-winning is not done through cold calls door-to-door. The most powerful soul-winning is done through the radical change that takes place in the life of a new believer once they are saved! Matthew 5:16 commands believers to let their light so shine before men [specifically the lost], in such a way that the world will come to glorify God. The only way that a lost man can truly glorify God is by being saved. Som and Hem are living a life that is shining brightly in their dark village. While their Muslim neighbors are not yet willing to turn to God from the idols they have erected within their hearts and in front of their homes, they are certainly confronted with the truth that, in Christ, Hem is a new man. The change is undeniable.
During our family camp I had the opportunity to sit down with “Mr. L” and answer some of his questions regarding salvation. Bro. San and several others have faithfully witnessed to him over this past year and it seems that he truly understands the gospel and his need for a personal Saviour. The singular thing that has brought him to the point of being willing to speak with us is the example of Hem and Som after they were saved. For many years “Mr. L” had seen the chaos and insanity that controlled Hem and his family due to the influence of the demons. For the past year he has been watching Hem and is so amazed that he is now in his right mind, living in peace with his family and the community, and a zealous servant of Jesus Christ. The thing that is holding “Mr. L” back from being saved is his fear regarding the persecution and shunning that will automatically take place toward him by the Muslims in the village once he turns to the true and living God. PLEASE PRAY FOR MR. L TO YIELD TO THE CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HIS LIFE AND BE SAVED.
We are very blessed to see what God is doing in the lives of the folks who have been saved through the outreach in Romdeng village located in northern Cambodia near the Thai border. VanThy and Channy continue to let their light shine in that very dark and spiritually impoverished village. Each week our workers and the nationals from the village who have accepted Christ meet in VanThy’s home for services. PLEASE HELP PRAY THAT GOD WILL RAISE UP A YOUNG MAN/COUPLE FROM WITHIN ROMDENG WHO GETS SAVED AND WHO IS QUALIFIED TO BE TRAINED TO TAKE THE SPIRITUAL OVERSIGHT OF THE OUTREACH IN ROMDENG.
It was a great privilege for us to hear Sophean share her testimony of salvation during our family conference. Sophean was led to Christ by Makara and Michelle as well as the influence of others who live in Romdeng village. She is part of an unreached ethnic minority group here in Cambodia known as the Kuy. There are approximately 38,000 Kuy living in Cambodia and according to recent statistics only about .53% of them are “evangelical” Christians. Romdeng and some of the surrounding villages is where the majority of the Kuy people are living in Cambodia. Among the group of folks who have come to Christ through our outreach in Romdeng, several of them are Kuy. They have their own distinct language and culture but, from our experience, most of them are conversant in Khmer as well. Several folks have come to Christ through Sophean’s example and we believe that as she continues to grow many more of her people will be saved. PLEASE HELP PRAY A HEDGE OF PROTECTION AROUND SOPHEAN AND THE OTHER KUY FOLKS WHO HAVE BEEN SAVED OVER THE PAST YEAR.
Tin was saved through the outreach in Romdeng village. Bro. Bounna, Bro. Keo, and others spent a lot of time over many weeks witnessing to him and answering his questions regarding Jesus Christ and the Bible. It was a blessing to see Tin enjoying family camp. It has his first time to join together with our folks from Phnom Penh.
When Tin returned to Romdeng he was excited about living for the Lord and about winning the lost in his village to Christ. He had been witnessing to Chanta for many weeks but he seemed to have a renewed zeal to see him saved once he returned from family camp to his village. Thankfully this past week Tin was able to lead Chanta to the Lord! PLEASE PRAY FOR TIN TO HAVE WISDOM AS HE WILL HELP TO DISCIPLE THIS YOUNG BELIEVER IN THE WORD OF GOD. Chanta is engaged to be married to Tin’s niece.
Traveling to Romdeng is not for the faint of heart! This past week our folks got stuck in the flood waters that covered the road as they tried to make it there from Phnom Penh. It’s great to see their huge smiles regardless of the fact that they are standing in filthy, disease-infested water.
Please continue to pray for the outreach in Ondong village located about 45 minutes from the church in Phnom Penh. Every Thursday and Sunday workers go there to spread the gospel as well as disciple those who have been saved. This past Sunday we had 7 adults from the village in the adult service that is held in one of their homes there in Ondong. Srey Ge was saved several years ago through our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry and now lives in Ondong. Her sister, Pisay, is not yet saved but seems to be very close. PLEASE PRAY FOR PISAY AND HER HUSBAND, LIEK, TO BE SAVED. Liek was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
One of the positive consequences of having a church with a good number of young married couples is that we have many young children. It seems that many of the parents are coming to the conviction that they are responsible to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and that part of their responsibility in protecting them from the evil influences is to take stronger oversight of their education. There is starting to be a lot of talk among the couples of the need to have a Christian school where their children can be shielded from the filth that today’s unsaved young people have fully embraced. They are starting to take note of the detrimental effects of much of the social media that has now fully permeated the society here from the city all the way out to the remotest village. There are so many details that must come together if we are to start a Christian school. PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL GIVE DIRECTION AND WISDOM REGARDING DETAILS RELATED TO STARTING A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR CORE FAMILIES.
This picture has no particular reason for being posted other than that we think Mary is adorable, and since she’s our adopted granddaughter, I had no choice but to post it. 🙂
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
April 28, 2018
Here are a few short videos shot this past week that help you get a feel for what it is like to live and serve here on the mission field.
It has been a few weeks since we’ve had the opportunity to post an update on this site. Of course, those of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram have received many updates over the past three weeks. We thank you for your faithful prayers and support for the work here in this part of the world.
We had a wonderful service this past Sunday evening as we enjoyed testimonies, special music, updates on several of our church ministries (the outreach to deportees, the deaf ministry, the ladies Friday night Bible study ministry, and the outreach to Romdeng village), and of course the preaching of God’s Word.
Makara studies in our Bible College and is a wonderful Christian young lady who loves the Lord and is compassionate and bold in sharing her faith in Jesus Christ. She recently returned to her village for a short visit with her family and loved ones. She and her 16 year old sister are the only Christians in their immediate family. In the past it seemed as though some of her family members were opening up to the gospel. During her trip, as she normally does, she handed out gospel tracts to her fellow villagers. She gave a tract to one of the “religious leaders” of her village and he became very irate that she would dare speak to him about his need for a personal Saviour. It is my understanding that he made a formal complaint to the village leaders which then escalated to involve her parents. This caused them to turn on her and it seemed for a time that her physical safety may have been in jeopardy. We are not certain that she will be welcomed back to her village any time soon. During our Sunday evening service she shared a testimony of her joy in the Lord and her thankfulness for having the opportunity to serve Him. Her example is definitely convicting. When was the last time that your physical safety was threatened because you shared the gospel? Acts 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
During our Sunday evening service SreyMohm shared a testimony of the joy that she and her family have experienced since being saved. We have written about her family in the past and you may recall that her husband is a university professor here in Phnom Penh. We recently recorded a video of them both sharing their testimony of how they were saved, and about 30 days ago I posted it on Facebook with the goal of simply encouraging Khmer speaking folks with the things they shared. Much to my surprise the video began being shared and passed on to thousands of Cambodians all around the world. We have currently had over 23,600 views of this post. After watching the video, many folks have rejoiced at the power of God in saving this family from the control of the enemy but others have been quite critical.
Several months ago we began making some plans to become more intentional in our use of social media as a medium to share the gospel as well as help disciple Khmer speaking folks worldwide. The response from this single video reminds us of the incredible power of technology and of the opportunity to impact the lost with the truth of the Word of God. Please pray that we will have wisdom as we begin making plans to get this new media ministry off of the ground. I have already met with three of our national men who have been saved here in this ministry and who are each teachers. It is our hope that they will be able to become the “face” of this new endeavor. Brother Vong and others will also be involved with some of the technical aspects related to the recording and producing of the videos. We intend to use this ministry to help address common misconceptions regarding Jesus Christ and the gospel as well as use it as a platform for many of our members to be able to share their salvation testimony. Over time, we hope to invite national Cambodian leaders from others churches of like faith to participate as well. We believe that this new ministry has the potential to become a powerful influence for the gospel!
The outreach in Romdeng village continues to move forward. It was a blessing to hear Sophal share a report of new folks who have been saved and others who are growing in their new faith. Perhaps the biggest blessing was for us to hear that five families from Romdeng will be joining with us for our 2nd Annual Family Camp that is coming up in a couple of weeks. For them to travel all the way from the village as well as pay the fee to attend the camp represents a significant financial investment on their part. We trust that the camp will be a profitable time for them to learn more of the Word of God as well as provide an opportunity for them to get to know our folks better.
It was a blessing for me to be able to join with our workers Sunday afternoon and participate in the outreach to Ondong village. This village is located about 45 minutes from our Phnom Penh church. A couple of weeks ago Brother Vannak and his workers started holding a Sunday afternoon service for adults. The first week we had 9 adults from the village and this past Sunday we had 10 adults who participated in the adult group. The adults who have participated in the small group are folks who have made a profession of faith or those who have shown some interest in knowing more about how to be saved. This afternoon we were not able to have the adult class due to the fact that the family who is hosting the group in the village was out of town. The workers have been doing a great job trying to reach out to the children of the village as well. For several weeks they have been holding children’s meetings where they teach the children the Bible. Today we had 60 children in this outreach. Please pray that the outreach to Ondong will produce fruit that remains.
On May 1st some of our men gathered together for a day of prayer and fasting. We all met in a village about an hour and a half from Phnom Penh where we currently have an extension church-plant. It was a blessing to be able to spend about 6 hours with these men as we were challenged by several of the men from the Word of God between sessions of prayer regarding various topics. Lord willing, we will begin having this type of meeting every three months.
This past week some of Debbie’s piano students and English choir members surprised her by pooling their resources together and purchasing a birthday cake for her! These young people are very special and we love being involved in their lives. Please pray for the next generation to grow in obedience and in their walk with the Lord. Young people have always faced temptation and obstacles but I believe that the generation of young people growing up today face some unique challenges that have not been faced in the same way by prior generations. Sadly, materialism, the pressure to succeed, social media, and their sin nature in general have led some of our young people to go down a road that will ultimately result in heartache and a ruined life.
Please continue to pray for the students in the Bible Institute and the Bible College. We are finishing up this term in two weeks and will immediately start the next term. Some of the students in the college continue to face pressure to do things other than prepare to serve the Lord with their whole lives. Yet, we believe that God has a great work that He desires to accomplish through them if they will just remain in a position to be used by Him for His glory.
Working in this culture we are often confronted with strange beliefs and superstitions that have been prominent in this part of the world for centuries. Please continue to pray that we will all have wisdom to effectively reach folks here, many of whom live in fear of evil spirits. I snapped this picture a couple of days ago as Debbie and I were going door-to-door. It represents the superstition that no doubt controls the home owner’s life on a daily basis. There are a minimum of four things in this picture that are believed by many people in this part of the world to ward off demons. Can you identify them?
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
April 1, 2018
We had wonderful services at each of our locations this morning! It was a blessing to be able to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ with so many folks who have been saved here in this country because of your faithful involvement in the ministry. Thank you for your faithfulness over these many years.
We shot a short video update just after the service this morning where I introduced Bro. Vong’s father, Sareth. Sareth and his wife, Vorn, are in the process of relocating from Long Beach, California to Cambodia to be involved in helping to reach their own people with the gospel. I had the privilege of meeting and leading Sareth and Vorn to the Lord back in 1994. We had the opportunity to serve together in Long Beach for many years and we’re looking forward to seeing how the Lord will use them for His glory here in Cambodia. They are not coming here as missionaries but as volunteer laypeople who have seen the need here for workers and have willingly agreed to allow God to use them. Of course they are fluent in the language and many of the customs of Cambodia, and are able to jump right in sharing the gospel with anyone who is willing to listen. PRAY THAT SARETH AND VORN WILL HAVE A SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO THEIR NEW LIFE HERE IN CAMBODIA AND THAT GOD WILL USE THEM IN A MIGHTY WAY AS THEY GET INVOLVED IN OBEYING THE GREAT COMMISSION HERE AT PACIFIC BAPTIST CHURCH.
The second half of the video is a clip that I took from a missions class that I taught this past week at Pacific Baptist Bible College in Long Beach on the topic of discipling new converts on the mission field. The class was live-streamed here from Cambodia which meant that I was teaching from midnight to 1:00 a.m. our time. In the clip I share a short testimony of how one of our faithful teen boys, BouKong, was saved and is now faithfully serving the Lord.
It is ironic that today is Resurrection Day and all around the world Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Saviour which proved Jesus’ power over the devil and the grave. Yet, today all around Cambodia thousands of Cambodians gathered at graves to worship the devil and ask favors of their deceased ancestors in observance of a religious festival. (សែនផ្នូរ) It was a great blessing this evening to be able to hear many folks give testimony of how God has changed their lives since they have been saved and are growing in the Lord. Several gave testimony of how blessed they are to be free from the bondage of the devil, and of their burden to see their loved ones saved as well. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE NEW BELIEVERS HERE IN CAMBODIA TO BE SHINING LIGHTS OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AS THERE ARE SEVERAL OCCULTIC FESTIVALS THAT WILL TAKE PLACE. These festivals always involve demon worship, ancestral worship, drinking, gambling, and immorality. For some of the new believers it will be the first time in their life that they do not partake in this part of their culture, and they will be under great pressure from their unsaved family.
Tomorrow we will begin our 9th term in the Bible college. We are blessed to see how each of the young people faithfully serve in the various Children’s ministries and village outreaches that are a part of our church. PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STUDENTS TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE LORD AND TO COMPLETE THE THINGS THAT ARE REQUIRED OF THEM AS A PART OF THEIR TRAINING.
It is always a blessing to see how God is working in the lives of the new believers who live in Romdeng village. You may recall that Romdeng village is located about 5 hours from Phnom Penh. Yet, each week faithful workers from Pacific Baptist travel there to spread the gospel as well as disciple new believers. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE NEW BELIEVERS IN ROMDENG TO WALK WITH THE LORD AND BE A BOLD WITNESS. We are hoping and praying that there will be young men from Romdeng who will get saved and be willing to enroll in the Bible college. We know that in the long run this new outreach needs to be led by nationals who are living there full time and are able to lead their own people. Help us pray to that end.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
March 28, 2018
It was a blessing to have the opportunity to preach the morning service at one of our extension ministries this past weekend. The majority of the folks who are a part of this outreach have been saved out of Islam and are shining as bright lights in their very dark village. PLEASE BE IN PRAYER FOR THE FOLKS WHO ARE A PART OF THIS WORK AS THEY CONTINUE TO STAND FOR THE LORD DESPITE PERSECUTION. The enemy would love to frustrate what God is trying to do in this village and the surrounding villages by causing the leaders to be discouraged and weary in well-doing.
Here is a short video that I shot after the morning service.
Kahna lives near the open sewer a few blocks from our church in Phnom Penh. Brother Vannak and his workers have been reaching out to her with the gospel for several months now. Until recently she has been restricted in her ability to spend time with the soul-winners or attend church due to the hostility that her husband has toward Christianity. A couple of weeks ago he left to go work in Thailand and that has freed her up to attend church services. Though she is not saved and does not have much of a spiritual understanding of what is preached and taught at the church, we do believe that God is working in her heart to show her that she is a sinner in need of a personal Saviour. This past week some of the workers gave her an MP3 player loaded with teaching and preaching on the gospel and she has begun to listen to them in her home. PLEASE PRAY THAT SHE WILL RESPOND TO THE GOSPEL AS THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS HER OF HER LOST CONDITION AND HER NEED TO BE SAVED.
Sopheap (on the left) was saved around seven years ago, just a few months after I led her husband, Sinath, to the Lord. SeiYak is Sopheap’s mother. This past Sunday evening she attended our married couples class. I remember the cursing and anger that flowed from her mouth when Sinath and Sopheap turned to God from idols and were saved. She hated the gospel and accused them both of betraying their country and their ancestors. Her relationship with Sinath and his family has been very strained since that time. That is why it was such a surprise for me to see her in church with a smile on her face this weekend. I was able to sit and talk with her for awhile after class and share with her that we all love her and that God desires for her to be saved. She asked me when I was going to visit her in her village. I told her that if she invites me – I will go! She lives in Kompong Cham province very far from the city but we are looking forward to going to see her very soon, Lord willing. PLEASE PRAY THAT SEIYAK WILL BE OPEN TO THE GOSPEL AND THAT SHE WILL BE SAVED VERY SOON. Her other adult children who live with her in the province want nothing to do with the gospel and will likely do their best to keep her from spending time with us. PRAY THAT GOD WILL ORCHESTRATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE WILL HAVE FULL ACCESS TO MEET WITH HER WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM THE REST OF THE FAMILY.
Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet Tach and his wife. We are in the process now of trying to forge a relationship with them and have had the chance to meet with them twice. At the end of this week we are planning to visit them in their home for the first time. PLEASE PRAY THAT WE WILL HAVE WISDOM TO KNOW BEST HOW TO CONNECT WITH THIS YOUNG COUPLE THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED.
We recently had the opportunity to meet with our entire team for a time of refreshment and training in Bangkok, Thailand. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to serve alongside of these faithful men and women. I invited Pastor and Mrs. Tomlinson to come and speak for us and the messages were a challenge to each of us. Though this group looks large, there is still a need for many more laborers here in this part of the world!
As many of you already know, Debbie was hospitalized for a week with Typhoid Fever and a fever that reached 104.7. We are so grateful for the many many folks who contacted us to let us know that they were praying for her complete healing. Two days ago we had her one-week follow-up blood test and the results came back negative for Typhoid. There is still a slight issue with her liver that is likely a side-effect from the fever or perhaps the many medications that she was administered. The doctor said that within two months her liver should return to normal. We thank God for her healing and we thank you for your prayers!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
March 4, 2018
We had a wonderful service this morning here in Phnom Penh with great singing, inspiring testimonies, a challenge from the Word of God, and blessed fellowship!
You can hear a bit of the music from our service this morning by clicking on the video below.
It was a blessing to see 15 new believers follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this morning. There were two more folks scheduled to be baptized but they were unable to come to church this morning. PRAY FOR THESE FOLKS TO CONTINUE TO WALK WITH THE LORD.
Our hearts always hurt for those believers here in this part of the world who are persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ. After the service I had the opportunity to encourage SreyVouth as she shared with me how nearly everyone in her family has turned on her because she has become a Christian. She doesn’t understand why they hate her. Some of her family told her that they are going to try and get her admitted to the mental ward of the hospital because they literally think she has gone crazy because of her faith in Jesus Christ. She wept as I prayed with her that God would surround her with His presence and comfort. After I was done meeting with her I asked Mrs. Has to go and give her a hug and comfort her as well. It was a blessing to see that the ladies are doing their best to remind her to keep trusting the Lord and not become bitter towards those who have decided to hate her. PRAY FOR THE NEW BELIEVERS IN CAMBODIA WHO ARE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
February 25, 2018
Here is a video shot yesterday while out soul-winning in Prek Pnou. Please pray for Brother Sakhan as he strives to live as a shining light in that dark city. We would love to see God open the door to start a church in Prek Pnou.
We had a wonderful service this morning here in Phnom Penh. Our ladies choir opened the service with the hymn “Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One.” It is always a blessing to hear our folks singing from their hearts and to realize that it is the grace of God that enables them to joyfully serve the Lord despite their circumstances. This morning in our series on the book of Ephesians, we were challenged by the example of Aquila and Priscilla as they were used of God to help edify Apollos. Though they were not “full-time Christian workers,” they realized that God had called them to use their godly influence and the truths they had learned and were living in order to help strengthen the lives of others. I challenged each of our folks with the truth that God has not saved any of us so that we can become “spiritually fat” but so that we can serve Him with our lives. By God’s grace we have seen a high percentage of folks who are a part of Pacific Baptist Church of Cambodia involved in the outreach and discipleship ministries, but there are still some who seem to be content to simply be saved and fill a chair each service. PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING THAT DURING 2018 WE WILL SEE EVEN MORE FOLKS BECOME OBEDIENT TO THE GREAT COMMISSION AND SERVE SHOULDER TO SHOULDER ALONGSIDE THOSE WHO ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR THE LORD HERE IN THIS COUNTRY.
I am constantly amazed at how God works in ways that we could never imagine. We had the pleasure of meeting SreyVouch this morning and then spending a little more time with her this evening after our married couples group. SreyVouch is from a village located several hours from Phnom Penh. Humanly speaking, we should have never met her. So how did she end up in Phnom Penh, sitting in our morning service?
Two and a half years ago she was arrested for a crime and was sentenced by the courts to prison. Just about two months after being incarcerated she met an older Cambodian pastor who had gained access to the prison for the purpose of reaching out to the inmates. It is my understanding that after one of his visits to the prison, while he was leaving the grounds, a gospel tract fell out of his Bible and on to the ground. SreyVouch saw the tract and picked it up. After reading the tract she vowed to God that one day after she was released she would call the phone number on the tract and give her life to the Lord. The tract that she read was a tract from our church! We have no idea who the pastor was and how he obtained one of our tracts hours from Phnom Penh. Over the past two and a half years she has held onto the tract and read it often. About five days ago she was released from prison, having completed her sentence. She immediately contacted the phone number on the tract, and that is how she found our church! She traveled all the way from her province with the express purpose of finding our church and learning more about what it means to be a Christian. She told me this evening that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour while in prison and that the entire time she was there she only met one other believer. For the time being she is staying with a relative here in the city so that she can be close to the church and other believers. I am not certain how long those arrangements will last. I know that it is her desire to be able to remain in Phnom Penh and to become a part of the church family. Lord willing she will follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism this coming Sunday. SreyVouch has an eight year old daughter but because of her past life she is currently estranged from her. As I spoke with her this evening I cast a vision to her of one day being reunited with her daughter and seeing her daughter know the Lord and grow up in the church. As we spoke of the things that God is able to do in her family her eyes lit up and she said that is what she really desires to see happen. PRAY FOR SREY VOUCH TO GROW IN THE LORD AS SHE IS DISCIPLED BY SOME OF OUR LADIES. LIKEWISE, PRAY THAT THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED FOR HER TO REMAIN IN PHNOM PENH LONG-TERM SO THAT SHE MIGHT BE GROUNDED IN HER FAITH. Though she has only been out of prison for less than one week, her family and friends are already mocking her for her faith in Jesus Christ. She is shocked that they are not happy to see the wonderful change that has taken place in her heart and life because of the grace of God and the transforming power of the gospel. Thank God for faithful believers overseas and friends of the ministry who have provided the funds to produce as many gospel tracts as we can use! Thank God for obedient believers here in Cambodia who believe that God’s Word will not return void but that as the seed of the gospel is spread through the various soul-winning ministries of our church a great harvest of souls will be brought in.
We wrote about Tara in last week’s update. You will recall that he is a university professor and teaches around 900 students each week in all of his classes combined. For the past two years he has not only been a bold witness before his students but he has also, on purpose, sought to reach out to his fellow professors with the gospel. This evening Tara shared a testimony that this past week two of the professors who teach at his school approached him with questions about the Lord and about what it means to be a Christian. He had the opportunity to clearly present the gospel to the two men and he testified this evening that they seem as though they are counting the cost right now of what it would mean if they were to become Christians. Humanly speaking, they will face persecution and risk being ostracized by family, friends, and co-workers alike. PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE TWO PROFESSORS TO BE SAVED AND FOR TARA TO HAVE WISDOM AND BOLDNESS FOR THE LORD AS HE STRIVES TO LET HIS LIGHT SHINE AT THE WORK PLACE.
Yesterday morning we traveled to Elephant Den village to drop off an MP3 player loaded with evangelistic teaching and preaching to Sarey and Ly. After that we headed to Prek Pnou village with the intention of going door-to-door before we met with Brother Sakhan, the only believer in that particular neighborhood. The first and only door that we got to was that of SokCheat. It seems as though God specifically directed us to meet her and we were really surprised at the way that she received us. She told us that she has never one time had someone confront her with her need to be saved let alone tell her of Jesus and the finished work of Calvary to be the propitiation for her sins. She was quite transparent about her disillusionment with her current religion. For some time she has been perplexed as to why she is working so hard to follow everything that her religion tells her she has to do to gain merit for her next life (reincarnation) but things continue to go wrong in her life. It is evident that she is a lady of some means yet her wealth has only given her emptiness. We were able to spend a long time with her explaining the good news of salvation and I believe that she understands it completely. We are planning to return to follow-up with her sometime early this week. PLEASE PRAY THAT SOKCHEAT’S HEART WILL BE TENDER TO THE GOSPEL AND THAT SHE WILL HAVE A GROWING DISSATISFACTION WITH HER RELIGION OF WORKS THAT GOD CAN USE TO DRAW HER TO THE TRUTH.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
February 18, 2018
This past week we had the opportunity to lead a married couples seminar in a “creative access” country with our fellow team members who serve in that country. It was a wonderful opportunity to invest into the lives of a group of believers, many of whom have paid a great price to be a Christian. Below you can view a short video update that we shot while at the seminar.
Those of you who follow us on social media are perhaps aware of some of the health issues that Chantha, a student in our Bible college, has been facing. He recently underwent open heart surgery here in Cambodia. I know that some of you have been praying for him and so we wanted to let you know that his health has been stable over the past month. This morning he read the Scripture before I preached. For the time being some of his physical activities are restricted so as to allow him a better chance of making the best recovery possible. Chantha’s great desire is that he might one day be able to return to his home village, located several hours from here, and take the gospel to his fellow villagers. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR CHANTHA TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY.
I am presently preaching through the Book of Ephesians on Sunday mornings in Phnom Penh. This morning we were challenged by the example of those who came to know Christ in Ephesus and subsequently publicly burned all of their occultic books and idols as testimony of their faith. (Acts 19:8-20) It just so happens that we are just coming out of a nearly week long celebration of the Chinese New Year here in Cambodia. (It always amazes me how many people in this part of the world all of a sudden become “Chinese” during Chinese New Year 🙂 While there may be some aspects of the holiday that are not necessarily contrary to the Christian faith, much of what goes on each day during the celebration is deeply rooted in ancestor and demon worship. This morning Sinath and Sopheap shared a timely testimony during my message of the joy they have enjoyed since being saved and freed from the spiritual bondage of ancestral and demon worship. Sinath shared with us how that after accepting Christ seven years ago, he immediately destroyed all of his altars as well as anything else that was not honoring to Jesus Christ. His actions infuriated Sopheap! As a Chinese-Cambodian, Sopheap and her side of the family placed great value upon their idols and the various rituals and customs that their culture dictated to them. Sopheap watched Sinath’s example as he endeavored to live for the Lord despite her constant berating. After several months she too finally turned to God from idols. Thank God for the power of the gospel to not only save lost sinners but to give spiritual freedom and joy from the bondage of false religion and darkness.
It was a blessing to meet Sila this morning. He is a university student here in Phnom Penh studying computer networking. Tara is a professor at the school where he is studying and he heard about our church as Tara was sharing his faith. Tara has around 900 students total in all of his classes and by God’s grace he is a bold witness for the Lord. PLEASE PRAY FOR SILA TO GET GROUNDED IN THE THINGS OF THE LORD AS WELL AS FOR GOD TO CONTINUE TO OPEN DOORS FOR TARA TO SHARE HIS FAITH WITH THE STUDENTS.
This past week it was a blessing to get an unexpected visit from Channy and Sei. Both of these ladies live in Romdeng Village which is located several hours from Phnom Penh and not far from the northern border of Cambodia and Thailand. They were both reached with the gospel through the efforts of many different folks from the church here in Phnom Penh. It was a blessing to meet with them for about an hour and a half and answer questions that they had from the Bible. Sei’s husband, Jung, is the district chief in the village. Various team members and nationals have witnessed to him and he understands the gospel but as of now is unwilling to stop trusting in his religious traditions and turn to the Saviour. Each week a group from Pacific Baptist travels to Romdeng to disciple those who have accepted Christ as well as to share the gospel with the lost. PRAY THAT JUNG WILL BE SAVED AND BECOME A GREAT TESTIMONY IN ROMDENG VILLAGE.
This afternoon, due to the Chinese New Year festival, we cancelled Children’s Ministry here in Phnom Penh as the majority of the children come from unsaved homes and would be back in their respective villages with their parents for the holiday. This gave us an opportunity to take the workers out for a time of fellowship. We split the workers into two groups and sent them to two different coffee shops not far from the church. Here is a short video of some of the workers playing games and enjoying a time of fellowship.
We had a great time in our Married Couples small group this evening. It is always a blessing to hear their testimonies of how God is changing their families for His glory. Here is a short video that I shot just before our teaching time began.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie