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
February 4, 2018
Here is a short video we shot yesterday while out making some follow-up visits. PLEASE PRAY FOR NUT TO BE SAVED. We thank God for Bro. Vannak and his workers who faithfully make visits to this part of town. There are souls being saved and new believers discipled because of their service to the Lord.
This past week we had the privilege to have a workers meeting for the folks who are serving in the PsaTricht village work. We had several sessions each directed to specific aspects of the ministry there as well as one joint session where I challenged them to all remain faithful in living for the Lord and in their soul-winning and discipling of new believers. These folks love the Lord and are a great challenge to us. Many of them have paid a price to serve the Lord as they very often are shunned and persecuted by the Muslims in their village. PRAY FOR THE OUTREACH IN PSA TRICHT TO CONTINUE TO MOVE AHEAD IN 2018!
While Bro. Has and Bro. Vannak taught sessions for some of the workers, I taught a session for the nursery workers dealing with why their care during the preaching service for the very small children is perhaps the most important ministry in the church. It is a rare thing to find a church in Cambodia that has a successful nursery staffed by all volunteer church members who joyfully serve every time the doors are open. We thank God for these ladies in Psa Tricht village who love babies and joyfully serve the Lord!
During the day of training we met with the men in Psa Tricht and challenged them to take a step of faith and begin financially supporting the national couple who is overseeing the work there in the village. It was truly a blessing to see the unity that these men have and to be able to lead them in taking this important step of faith and obedience. The men were unanimous in their vote to begin paying a salary to Bro. San and his wife, Yom. While the amount they are able to pay is not enough to cover all of his expenses, it is a great step of faith and will be a blessing to this dear national couple who have faithfully served them and continue to make sacrifices in order to see them come to maturity in Christ.
Debbie and I have an appointment to meet with Sarey and his wife, Ly, Monday evening for dinner. This family is from Elephant Den Village. You may recall that last year we were actively traveling to that village and had a small children’s outreach that met each Sunday afternoon. We had several adults with whom we were working and felt as though some of them were close to being saved. Sarey and Ly were two of those adults. I led Sarey’s 86 year old father to the Lord and he was faithful for about 6 months until one day he suddenly passed away. When he died, the entire village blamed his death on the fact that he had stopped offering sacrifices to the “territorial spirits” that they believe protected the village. After that, our presence in the village was no longer welcome. Sarey and Ly were fearful of fellow villagers and what they would say if anyone knew that they were still in communication with us. This past week he contacted me via phone asking how we were doing and indicating that they would like to get together. PLEASE PRAY THAT THE DINNER APPOINTMENT WILL GO WELL AND THAT WE WILL ONCE AGAIN HAVE A CLEAR OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THE PLAN OF SALVATION TO THEM AND APPEAL FOR THEM TO TURN FROM IDOLS TO THE LIVING GOD.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
January 28, 2018
Click on the video to see a short greeting that we shot after the service this evening. FYI – the marks on my shirt are the result of one of our teen girls accidentally dropping a can of Coke on the tile floor and it exploding all over everyone who was standing near her. 🙂
Click on the video below to hear the folks singing a verse of “To God be the Glory” during the service in Phnom Penh this evening. They love to sing!
This evening we introduced the church theme for 2018 which is “That our God might be exalted.” Much of the preaching and teaching this year will focus on four areas in which we are to exalt the name of Jesus Christ: 1) In our body and spirit, 2) In our families, 3) In our church, and 4) In our community. We believe that focusing on this theme throughout the year will result in all of us walking closer to the Lord as well as in new folks being saved through the testimony of the members of Pacific Baptist Church of Cambodia. Brother Vong did a great job designing the theme banners for us!
We had several of the leaders give reports during the service on various ministries. Sophal gave a report on the outreach to Romdeng Village. It was a true blessing for us to hear of the souls that are being saved and lives changed through the efforts of Sophal and the workers who regularly make the long commute to that remote village. This evening he shared that there are a couple of young adults who have been recently saved and who have expressed an interest in studying in the Bible College. Over the next 6-7 weeks, as they are being discipled, we will be trying to assess if it is the Lord’s will for them to do so or if it would be better to hold off for a few more months. PLEASE PRAY THAT THE WORKERS WHO ARE CLOSELY CONNECTED WITH THESE TWO YOUNG PEOPLE WILL HAVE WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT TO HELP GIVE THEM DIRECTION. We know that, in the long run, there needs to be a national from the village who is called of God and equipped to lead the future church plant. Perhaps these two young adults will become those future leaders.
SoCheat and SreyLeak both trusted Christ this past year and have been growing by leaps and bounds. However, their new lives as believers have not gone without many trials. Their baby son, Hang, has spent many weeks in the hospital and required their 24-hour care by his side. After just being released for a couple of weeks, he was once again admitted to the hospital this past week. Every time this happens it not only causes them great concern as parents but they also take a serious financial hit that they can ill afford to take. Several months ago they opened their own “stand” in the market where they sell noodles. Each time Hang is hospitalized they are forced to shut it down in order to care for him. They are a part of the outreach in PsaTricht village but while their son is sick they are residing here in Phnom Penh and attending the church here in the city. This morning Socheat was in the service while SreyLeak stayed at the hospital. This evening she came to church while Socheat cared for Hang. The truth is that if you didn’t know the trial they are going through first-hand, you would never guess they are going though this trial. They both have the joy of the Lord in their heart and huge smiles on their faces. They are a true testimony of how we all ought to be during difficult times. PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS YOUNG COUPLE TO TRUST THE LORD. (This picture was taken about 6 months ago.)
It was a great joy to begin new believer discipleship with Savuth and Malis this past week. They are a part of the outreach in Stung MeanChey district. We are planning to meet with them each Thursday morning in our home as we invest personal time into their lives. They run their own textile export business and are willing to take time off each week in order to be discipled. PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS YOUNG COUPLE AND THEIR FAMILY TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN THE LORD.
We were blessed to be able to begin new believer discipleship with SokDen this past week as well. We reached him through door-to-door soul-winning several months ago and he is a part of the church here in Phnom Penh. This past week he began a new job that requires the vast majority of his time. Even though his schedule is very tight he is willing to meet with me weekly as we help him learn the Word of God and encourage him to grow in his walk of obedience to the Lord. PLEASE PRAY FOR SOKDEN TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND FOR HIM TO HAVE THE STRENGTH TO MAINTAIN HIS HEAVY SCHEDULE WITH JOY.
PLEASE PRAY FOR MICHELLE AND MAKARA AS THEY HAVE TRAVELED TO MAKARA’S VILLAGE TO DISCIPLE NEW BELIEVERS AS WELL AS TO SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH MAKARA’S LOST FAMILY MEMBERS. They have brought two mp3 players with them that are loaded with evangelistic teaching as well as preaching intended to help disciple new believers grow in their understanding of the Christian life. The village is quite remote and Michelle will definitely be out of her comfort zone this week! Michelle and Makara both have such sweet and submissive spirits and it’s refreshing for Debbie and I just to be around them. They will not return back to Phnom Penh until Sunday evening this next week.
It was a great blessing to have two of our new tuk tuks arrive this week! We are still awaiting the arrival of one more. Lord willing it will be competed sometime tomorrow. We want to again say a special thank you to those who made the purchase of these tuk tuks possible. We trust they will result in many being reached for Christ.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
January 15, 2018
We had a wonderful weekend here in Cambodia. Thank you for praying for the new believers in this ministry to be faithful despite the difficult circumstances wherein they often find themselves. As we go into 2018 we are anticipating a year of victory but we know that the enemy is unhappy with the souls that are being snatched from his grip. He is especially displeased when believers take a stand to faithfully obey the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution and so we are not surprised when trials come into the lives of believers because of their stand for the Lord.
I just finished meeting with one of our national leaders who oversees one of the village outreaches. In that particular ministry there are several young adults, one of them being one of our Bible College students, who are experiencing serious pressure from their parents to compromise. It is a sad thing to see the sinful and dysfunctional family situation in which so many of our people live. Within the next couple of weeks one of these young people is going to have to make a decision whether they will follow the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives or whether they are going to compromise and make their parents happy. It is likely that if they choose to follow their biblical convictions they will be forced to move out of their home. Please pray for all of our members, but especially for the young adults, to be faithful to obey what they know is God’s perfect will for their life and not to settle for the things the world seems to be offering them.
It was a special joy for us to see Borey playing the piano for the Sunday morning service yesterday here in Phnom Penh. I know that it is not an easy thing to do in front of so many people but she did a good job. Debbie has been teaching her and several others piano for some time now with the primary purpose of equipping them to serve the Lord through music in the various outreaches here in Cambodia.
One of the primary responsibilities that we have as missionaries is to disciple new believers to know God and to effectively serve Him. It is always a great blessing to see the national believers take on more responsibility within the church. My primary focus in discipleship is to train men for the ministry but I was very encouraged to step into one of our children’s classes during the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry yesterday and see Tina up front and boldly teaching the children a Bible story. Tina is 14 years old and was reached with the gospel when she was only 7 years old through our children’s ministry that was held every week in her Muslim village. So many folks have played a significant role in helping to train her to serve the Lord. Thank you for praying for the teenagers who are actively serving here at Pacific Baptist to walk with the Lord and to be faithful to what they know to be godly.
It was a joy on Sunday evening after our services to have these two children track me down to show me their coloring page from their class. These siblings live in a very challenging family situation. Several years ago they were sold by their mother for $400 as child slaves and sent to a neighboring country where they were forced to work on a chicken farm. The abuse they suffered as very young children would break your heart and would certainly put our trivial problems as westerners into proper perspective. Thankfully their aunt was able to track them down and borrow $1,000 in order to redeem them back to freedom. We met them when we led their aunt to the Lord and she began attending our church. They are still very young and I’m not certain to what extent they truly understand the gospel but I do know one thing – they know that they are loved here at the church and it is the love of God’s people that I believe compels them to attend virtually every service. Pray for these two children and the several hundred other children who attend our various children’s ministries to continue to see the love of Christ through the actions of the believers here at the church.
You can watch a short video clip of a few of the children arriving at the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry by clicking on the video below. The young man helping them get out of the tuk tuk is named Noi. He was reached through the children’s ministry around 6 years ago and now, as a 20 year old young man, has given his life to loving and reaching children who are just like he was! Praise God for faithful young adults who are seeking to put God first in their lives and who live to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.
We thank the Lord that He has provided the funds to be able to purchase some new tuk tuks. This week we are in the process of negotiating prices with the seller and we expect to have the new units within a week or so. I want to thank those who made it possible for us to purchase the new vehicles. They will be used to transport soul-winners to various villages for evangelism and discipleship as well as help transport folks to church who do not have the means to get there by themselves. We plan to begin using one of the old tuk tuks for the outreach in Psa Tricht village. Another one of the old tuk tuks will be used to help with the outreach in Stung MeanChey. Over the next month the church will be raising money to replace the engine in that tuk tuk so that it will be more reliable.
Brother Sinath and I led SokDen to the Lord a few months ago. During that time his school and work schedule was extremely tight and he had very little free time. A couple of months ago he completed his training and he is now looking for a job but is having no success. It seems that he is getting pretty discouraged. Please help pray that he will put his trust in the Lord and that he will be led to a job that will allow him to have the time to begin discipleship with me.
The Lord allowed us to meet Samon and SunNeang in Long Beach, California and lead them to the Lord over 20 years ago. They have been faithful friends and co-laborers in the ministry for many years. A few weeks ago, after an extended illness, Samon went to be with the Lord. Before he passed away he gave some money to SunNeang and asked her to pass it on to me. It was his desire for the money to go to a Cambodian Christian family that was faithful to the Lord and in need of financial help.
It was a great joy for us to be able to be a conduit of blessing as we met with Navy a few days ago and shared with her Samon’s testimony of how he came to Christ and of his service for the Lord these many years. As I told his story she listened intently and with tears in her eyes expressed her joy that he is now in Heaven and no longer suffering. After I shared his testimony I told her that he had left some money and that the Lord had impressed upon our hearts to pass that money on to her. She just could not believe her ears! Before Navy was saved she was, by her own admission, the village drunk. Now, by God’s grace, she is a bold Christian who is not afraid to witness to anyone she meets. We thank God for Samon’s love for the Lord and his desire to bless those in need!
God is truly blessing in a mighty way in the outreach to Stung MeanChey. Brother Man and his wife, Kanha, as well as the workers are doing a wonderful job of loving the people who live in that part of town. Each week hundreds of tracts are passed out and the seed of the gospel is bearing fruit. Please help pray that there will be, not just much fruit, but especially that there will be fruit that remains!
Chantha and Lakana accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour a few weeks ago. (This picture was taken before they were saved.) Brother Man and others had been reaching out to them and sharing the gospel with them for many months before they were willing to turn to God from idols and be saved. (1 Thessalonians 1:9) It is always amazing to see how the gospel not only saves a sinner but it begins to immediately make changes in the life of the one who is willing to listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. This young couple, like so many others in today’s society here in Cambodia, have been cohabiting. Just after being saved, and by their own instigation, they expressed their desire to honor the Lord in their relationship. They said that they are willing to make whatever changes that the Word of God would tell them to make in order to honor Christ as well as allow their light to shine to the lost. This week Bro. Man will meet with them and we will make arrangements for them to separate for a period of time while they are both discipled as new believers. We would anticipate beginning some premarital counseling with them before having a simple wedding at the church. Please pray for Chantha and Lakana as they go through this time of spiritual growth and accountability. It is possible that Lakana’s mother might try to stand in the way of her obeying the Lord and becoming legally married. Please pray that we will all have wisdom and prudence as we deal with the implications of culture while at the same time striving to be obedient to the Word of God.
God continues to do amazing things as lives are being changed in Romdeng village. If you follow the work here, you will recall that Romdeng village is remotely situated many hours from Phnom Penh. It was through the soul-winning efforts of a 70 year old Cambodian Christian friend from California who was visiting Cambodia that our team first gained access to this village.
On a regular basis several times a month workers from Phnom Penh, Stung MeanChey, and PsaTricht make the long and treacherous commute to Romdeng village. We rotate workers so as to not burn anyone out but also to allow many different folks to be given the opportunity to invest in the ministry outreach there.
Sophal is a real blessing. He was saved here at Pacific Baptist Church several years ago and has a real desire to live for the Lord. He is one of our few members who owns an automobile. Each time the workers go to the village he drives them in his car. Though the church covers the price of fuel, the wear and tear on his vehicle is substantial. Yet, he joyfully uses his car for the glory of the Lord! Perhaps one of the greatest blessings we have seen because of the new outreach in Romdeng is how Sophal is growing spiritually as he not only serves as the driver but also wholeheartedly hands out tracts, shares the gospel with the lost, and helps to disciple the new believers.
The Lord seems to be really working in the lives of Channy and Vanthy. They are growing in their knowledge of God’s will for their lives and their light is shining brightly in their spiritually dark village. Our services are held in their home.
Yesterday Bro. Sinath led Phin to the Lord. Phin’s wife, Poeul, accepted Christ several months ago and has been faithfully attending the services as well as striving to live for the Lord at home. Please pray that Phin and Poeul will continue to grow and one day become a family that has great influence for the Lord.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie Board
November 20, 2017
In the video below I discuss our Romdeng Village outreach with Brother Vong. You will not want to miss the clip of the road on the way to the village!
It has been great to have the opportunity to see many of you and report in person about a few of the things that God is doing here in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Over the past four months we have traveled thousands of miles without any major problems with the rental van. We are thankful for the kindness that has been extended to our family by so many special friends and family who are scattered around the States.
I am back in Cambodia for about ten days between our meetings in churches in order to meet with our leaders as we are making plans for what we pray will be a very fruitful 2018. I plan to return to the States the week after Thanksgiving and will finish up our remaining meetings then get on a plane and fly right back over here. Flying on the plane for 20 hours is the part I don’t really care for too much!
It has been such a blessing to hear from so many people how our blog updates and videos are being used to challenge folks in regard to their particular role in missions and the importance of “holding the ropes” at home. It has been great to learn that the regular bi-weekly updates and occasional videos are being used in churches to help remind believers of the power of the gospel to change lives. Thank you for investing the time to read and pray over the updates. It is the prayers of God’s people that continue to open doors in this part of the world and allow the “glorious light of the gospel” to shine where darkness has reigned for centuries.
The first group of folks I saw when I arrived back in Cambodia was a group of our Phnom Penh teen girls. They are all smiling from ear to ear – I assume it is because they are happy to see me and not just because I brought them candy from America!
So many of you have asked us about Brother Man and Kahna over the past four months as we have been reporting in the States. It has been such a blessing to hear you say that you pray for this young couple on a regular basis! They have both experienced several significant challenges over the past couple of months. It is evident that the enemy is doing everything that he can to try and frustrate the work of the Lord. Lord willing, I will be taking them out to dinner Thursday evening and will have the opportunity to spend some time with them. I often tell our leaders here in Cambodia that I begin to be concerned when we go for more than a few weeks without obvious resistance from the devil. Any believer who is truly living for the Lord and any church that is truly invading the kingdom of darkness can expect to garner the attention of the “god of this world” or, at a minimum, his minions who will always seek to frustrate the delivery of the message of the gospel. Thank you for upholding Man and Kahna in prayer as they continue to faithfully serve the Lord in the Stung MeanChey extension ministry of Pacific Baptist Church.
Kahna is such a blessing to Debbie and I! We had the privilege of having her live with our family for two years when she first accepted Christ and we view her almost as our daughter. The thing that struck me Sunday morning was how much joy she has in serving the Lord and being a help meet to her husband. Though she has experienced some significant persecution for her faith over the past couple of months, she continues to wake up each day, put a smile on her face, and serve the Lord by serving others. I snapped a picture of her just after the morning service as she immediately went to the kitchen to begin making lunch for about 15 of the folks from Stung MeanChey who participate in weekly soul-winning every Sunday at 2:15 p.m. Take a moment and pray that as God continues to strengthen Kahna she will continue to serve with joy. She has great influence for the Lord among our teen young ladies.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 4 It was a blessing to hear Brother Kosal preach the Sunday morning message in Stung MeanChey. He preached from the Book of Proverbs on the wise, foolish, and simple man and the importance of not being stagnant in our spiritual growth but to be continually growing. Kosal was the first Cham young man that the Lord allowed me to lead to Him and it is a great joy to see him faithfully serving the Lord and leading his wife, Phalley, and their daughter, Abigail, in the way of the Lord. He works full-time as an English teacher in one of the best English schools in Phnom Penh and carries a great deal of responsibility yet he doesn’t allow his work schedule to prevent him from serving the Lord. Pray that Kosal and Phalley will continue to be led by the Holy Spirit and bear much fruit that remains.
Sochun and Malis were both saved through the outreach in Stung MeanChey. Sochun faithfully drives the TukTuk to pick up folks who need transportation to get to the services. He is also being mentored to become a leader in Stung MeanChey. Pray that this young couple will continue to have a tender heart of obedience as they are discipled by Brother Man and others.
We believe that teenagers ought to have a heart to serve the Lord and that we need to provide ample opportunity to exercise the spiritual gifts that they have been given and that are being developed as they grow in their faith. Samnang was reached through the soul-winning ministry in Stung MeanChey. He has a submissive heart and enjoys serving the Lord. It was a joy to see him leading the song service on Sunday morning. I know that as a teenager he faces many temptations to compromise. Pray that Samnang will continue to obey the Lord and that his influence for the Lord will grow as he is faithful.
A couple of months ago, Srey Nea accepted Christ as her personal Saviour and she is now being discipled by the Stung MeanChey ladies. Her bubbly personality and contagious smile is truly refreshing! I was encouraged to see her washing the dishes in the kitchen with a big smile on her face because she had the opportunity to serve the Lord by serving others. Nea is 17 years old and studies in a good quality private school in Phnom Penh. I asked her what she thought she might do after high school graduation. She told me that she has a “sponsor” in Chicago who helps to support her and that they want to sponsor her to go to college in the United States when she graduates next year. I then asked her if that is what she thinks the Lord would want her to do. She said that she didn’t know but that she wants to do whatever God wants her to do. I then said, “Maybe God would want you to go to Pacific Baptist Bible College and train to serve Him.” She got a huge smile on her face and said, “That is what I really want to do!” Wow! Not a bad answer for a young lady who has only been saved a few months and who has no Christian parents to encourage her to follow the Lord’s will for her life. Pray for SreyNea to remain submissive to the Lord’s will for her life. I believe that she is going to make a difference in the lives of many here in this country if she will remain faithful.
It is always a blessing to see young people who have a burden for others to be saved. After the morning service I observed Dany teaching her Aunt, Sophal, how to be saved. Sophal has attended several of the church services and desired to know how to have her sins forgiven and become God’s child. It’s a blessing to report that she called upon the name of the Lord to save her. Pray for Sophal as she is discipled by Dany and others in Stung MeanChey.
Over the past four months many of you have heard me tell the story of how God is opening an effectual door for the gospel in Romdeng Village in Preah Vihear Province. Until recent months Romdeng was just one of several thousand villages with no true gospel witness. It takes about 7 hours to get to Romdeng by bus and around 5 hours by private taxi. Actually, a taxi only goes up to the edge of the village then everyone has to get on mopeds for a very bumpy 20-30 ride on dirt roads. If you watch the video we posted this week you will get a small glimpse of what it takes to get in and out of Romdeng! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart!
Several times a month Bro. Keo, Bro. Has and Thy, Bro. Vong, and Michelle make the long and grueling trip to Romdeng to share the gospel as well as disciple the folks who have come to Christ over the past several months. Several of the national believers have been going as well. We are very thankful for this door that God has uniquely opened for us to get the gospel to a very spiritually dark and isolated part of Cambodia. Lord willing we will see a church planted in Romdeng sometime toward the end of the first quarter of 2018.
As exciting as it is for our team to have this opportunity, for me it is equally exciting to see the burden and zeal that the national believers from Phnom Penh and Psa Tricht have to be a part of this new outreach.
Sophal was saved here at the church about 4 years ago and has over the past year been growing by leaps and bounds. He attends secular college in addition to running his own private taxi business. Yet he never misses an opportunity to go to Romdeng every time a group leaves from Phnom Penh. This past week he spent several hours explaining the gospel to an older man who has been studying with our small group there and was able to lead the man to place his faith in Christ!
A country is never truly reached with the gospel unless national believers are properly discipled and equipped to reach their own people. Furthermore, they must feel an urgency that compels them to take the Great Commission as their own personal mandate. By God’s grace we are surrounded by young believers who are committed to win their friends and loved ones to the Lord as well as take the gospel to villages near and far. As a team we bear a great responsibility to the nationals who have been saved. Romdeng is just one of several new areas that is presently being evangelized by the folks who are a part of Pacific Baptist and we covet your prayers as we strive to mentor new believers and model Biblical Christianity before them.
Thank God for the gospel that has changed and is changing the lives of the folks you see in the pictures below!
We just began a new term in the Bible college this past week. It is such a blessing to have two more young adults enroll in the college.
Seyha was saved through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry in 2012 and is the only believer in his family. Everyone else in his family is openly hostile toward the gospel and does whatever they can to discourage him from being faithful to the Lord. He told me this weekend that he just desires to serve the Lord in whatever capacity God desires whether that means serving in full-time ministry one day or serving the Lord as a businessman. We are encouraged by his faith and example. Please pray for Seyha’s family to come to Christ.
Thida’s younger sibling began attending services in Stung MeanChey last year and invited her to come as well. She was actually saved in another church but it was not until she began attending Pacific Baptist Church that she came to understand that her prior church was not sound in doctrine and that the ways she had been taught were worldly and did not bring honor to the Lord but rather brought reproach on the name of Christ. It was during our recent youth revival that she felt the call of God to attend Bible College. She is such a blessing to be around. I believe that God will use her in a mighty way as she remains faithful to the Lord. Please pray for Thida as she is adjusting to being in Bible College.
Please pray for Vuthy to come under the conviction of sin and respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to be saved. One of our national men, Sinath, and myself had the opportunity to witness to him quite extensively this past Saturday. His sister-in-law is a faithful member of our church and is a good example to him I believe.
Pray for Vuth and Malis as they are considering becoming a part of our church. They both have professed to be saved and looking for a church where they can feel like they connect. Brother Man and several of the folks in Stung MeanChey met them recently while out in the community handing out tracts. This young couple run their own business and I imagine have a rather packed schedule. They attended our Married Couple’s small group on Sunday evening and are planning to return this week for our mid-week service in Phnom Penh. I am certain that they come from a church background that is quite different from what they are finding here with us, but we believe that if the Lord is calling them to be here He will make it known to them.
Chivon and Sarvath live in Crocodile Village here in Phnom Penh. This village is a new area that the Stung MeanChey folks are currently evangelizing. Chivon told me that she is saved already but since moving here to Phnom Penh from a distant Province she has not been able to find a church. Sarvath is not yet saved but seems to have an open heart and is willing to learn. Pray that the national ladies will have wisdom as they reach out to Chivon and Sarvath.
In closing we want to ask you to continue to pray that Brother Adrian and Bounmee’s legal paperwork will continue to move along allowing them to get married. Adrian is from our home church in California and we have known him since he was in elementary school. After graduating Bible College and serving for several years on the staff at our home church he surrendered to the mission field and has now been here about 4 years. Bounmee is a member of our team member’s church in a “creative access” country and has lived with American missionaries for a number of years. She recently had the opportunity to visit Cambodia for a couple of weeks. Bro. Adrian is a valuable member of the team here in Cambodia and has been faithful as a single missionary but I know that he is ready to get the paperwork thing over and done with!! I know that our teen girls here in Cambodia are ready for Bounmee to get here now! Pray for everything to move ahead in the Lord’s timing and for their future marriage to be a tool that will result in many many young people coming to Christ and being discipled to serve Him because of the example of this young couple!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave & Debbie
September 3, 2017
Greetings from Long Beach, CA! We have been reporting to churches over the past several weeks about just some of the miraculous things that the Lord is doing in Cambodia! It has been a blessing to share with churches and friends how many lives are being changed by the power of the gospel. In more than one church we have seen tears flow down the faces of American believers as they listen to the testimonies of some of the national believers while watching our dvd. Thank you for being a part of seeing many Cambodian, Cham, and Vietnamese folks turn from darkness to light.
“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30
It was a real blessing for us to have the chance to see these four ladies in the Cambodian service this morning. We have known each of them for over 25 years and have a rich history with them and their families. An unfortunate reality for missionaries is that we are constantly saying “good-bye” to those we love and those who love us. These four mothers not only know the Lord but they are burdened to see their own people come to Christ as well. Each of them are blessed to have one of their adult children serving on the mission field alongside of us in Cambodia. I know that they miss their children and grandchildren but I’m thankful that they have an eternal perspective and have not sought to be a stumbling block to God’s will for their children’s lives. Their prayers and support for their children are reaping blessings in this life and will reap eternal rewards in heaven one day. What would be your true response if God called one of your children to the foreign mission field?
Thirty-three years ago God allowed us to begin working with Cambodian refugees in Des Moines, Iowa through the bus ministry of our local church. Each week we would invest countless hours with them in their homes, learning the Khmer language and culture as well as striving to help them understand their inability to earn God’s favor and their need for a personal Saviour. Every Sunday our bus would pick up scores of Cambodian, Lao, Vietnamese, and Hmong children and parents for church. It was a great blessing for us to see Mary in the services today! She rode our bus back in Des Moines when she was only 3 years old! She has been away from the Lord for many years but recently came back and is allowing God to make changes in her family life that would bring honor to the name of Christ. We are so happy to learn that her daughter will be attending the Christian school this year. Mary’s older brother, Vattanak, rode our church bus as well and today he is serving as an assistant pastor in a church in northern California. Some of you who read our blogs were faithful workers and supporters of the bus ministry at the church we were a part of back in the early 80’s. It is impossible to know all of the fruit of the investment that you and many others made into the lives of refugee families, but we want to remind you that your labor was not in vain! There are still folks serving the Lord who were reached with the gospel many years ago – back when none of us really had a good understanding of how to effectively minister in a cross-cultural setting. Thank God that His Word does not return void and thank you for your spiritual investment into the lives of Southeast Asian believers over these many years both in the United States as well as overseas!
I had the opportunity to share the gospel with Sareth for an extended period of time this weekend. He is the father of Bounna Has, one of our faithful missionary team members in Cambodia. He wept for nearly the entire time that I taught him, yet he would not yield his will to the will of God and accept the free gift of salvation. I have arranged to meet with him once again in two weeks after we return to Long Beach from reporting in several churches in southern California. Please pray that he will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit of his inability to earn salvation and for his need of a personal Saviour.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
We are so excited to report to you that Bountoeun and his wife, Srey Touch, have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour! They are the parents of SreyLeak whom we wrote about in a past update. They came to Christ as a result of the testimony of their daughter and son-in-law and the miraculous change that took place in their personal lives and marriage after they were saved. Bounthoeun and Srey Touch are already growing in the Lord as well as getting “plugged in” to the ministries of the church and we look forward to seeing them follow the Lord in believers baptism very soon. Please pray that Bounthoeun and Srey Touch will continue to let their light shine so that their unsaved family members and friends will see their good works and come to glorify their Father Who is in heaven!
The gospel is continuing to be sown and bear fruit in the Stung MeanChey outreach. Over the past several weeks there have been a number of folks come to Christ through the efforts of Brother Man and his wife, Kanha, as well as the faithful soul-winners and workers who are a part of that extension ministry. Srey Neath is just one of those who have come to know the Lord and who are now faithfully being discipled. Thank you for praying for this new ministry. There is so much potential in that part of town to reach thousands more with the gospel. Please pray for the workers in Stung MeanChey to remain close to the Lord and continue to have the compassion and strength that is required to see the multitudes come to Christ.
The new outreach to Romdeng village (150 miles from Phnom Penh) is bearing fruit! Thank the Lord for a faithful Cambodian believer from America who is in her 70’s but who has a true love for the Lord and for the lost! She attended our church in Long Beach many years ago but we had lost contact with her over the past 20 years or so. About two years ago she found us in Cambodia while she was visiting her family in Prek Pnou and learned that missionaries from Long Beach were there handing out tracts and sharing the gospel. She has become a true friend in the ministry, and though she does not live in Cambodia, she is burdened to see her people come to Christ. A few months ago she put us in contact with a family in Romdeng village who was hungry to know the truth about God and His Word. By God’s grace there is an open door into the village and Bro. Keo and some of our national believers are making regular trips to that village and planting the seed of the gospel. There have been 6 or so adults now who have come to know Christ and are being discipled. Sophan is the most recent prospect to be saved from that village. We look forward to seeing the new believers follow the Lord in believer’s baptism very soon. By God’s grace we hope to see this small group of believers become a church in 2018. Please continue to pray for the extension outreach to Romdeng village and Preah Vithear province as a whole.
Brother Sinath and his wife, Sopheap, have been reaching out to Rathana and SreyWan with the gospel for several weeks. It is a great blessing to report to you that Rathana recently humbled himself and called upon the name of the Lord to be saved! Sinath is now working to disciple him in his new faith. Please pray for Rathana as he is growing in the Lord. Likewise, please pray that SreyWan will come to see her need to be saved and turn to God from idols.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua , Jeremy, and Jason
July 10, 2017
We had a wonderful weekend here in Cambodia! Thank you for praying for the ministry here in Southeast Asia. God is doing some amazing things in this part of the world for His glory.
Thy is the mother of one of our faithful teen girls named NeyNey. She has been attending our married couple’s class for the past several Sunday evenings and I believe that she is close to accepting Christ as her Saviour. Please pray for Thy to be saved soon.
SreyRoeuth is the mother of two of our faithful folks here in Phnom Penh. Her son, Noi (20 years old), recently began leading our Sunday morning song service and her daughter, SreyNak (16 years old) faithfully services each week in the Phnom Penh church as well as one of our village ministries. Both Noi and SreyNak were reached several years ago through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry. We are so blessed to see that their mother seems to be opening up to the gospel. Please pray for SreyRoeuth to be saved soon.
Savong lives just a couple of blocks from the church and has been witnessed to by several of our ladies over the past few weeks. Last night she attended our married couple’s class and was welcomed by everyone. This week she will receive an mp3 player loaded with evangelistic teaching that will help her to more clearly understand her need to be saved. Please pray that she will allow the Holy Spirit to work in her heart and that she will be saved soon.
This past month our Bible college students were able to go on their very first foreign missions trip to a “creative access” country. The purpose of the trip was to expose them to the needs here in this part of the world and to help direct them to other cultures and people groups who are in need of the gospel message.
The students were able to experience what life is like in another culture and in a place where they don’t understand one word that was spoken. Each student shared a testimony in church this past week of how the Lord worked in their hearts as they saw the needs outside of their own country.
While we were in the “creative access” country our students were able to experience what it is like to attend an underground church service. Because most of our students don’t speak English, I preached in Khmer for the benefit of our students and the missionary serving in that country (who is from Cambodia) translated the message into the language of the people there in the village. It was definitely an experience that none of us will soon forget. Thank God for the freedom that we currently enjoy here in Cambodia.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
June 18, 2017
Greetings from hot and humid Cambodia! We had an awesome weekend here at Pacific Baptist Church Cambodia.
Our update this week is a video that we shot this morning just after the morning service where we were blessed to hear a lot of special music, witness the baptism of 17 new believers, hear 3 challenging testimonies from folks who were saved within the past several months, see 6 couples dedicate their newborn baby to the Lord, and hear a convicting message from the Word of God! It was a packed service but it was a wonderful time together with God’s people. After the service we enjoyed a time of fellowship as we ate lunch together.
You can view the video by clicking on it.
Thank you for your prayers and support for the work here in Southeast Asia. God is doing some amazing things for His glory.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
May 23, 2017
We had a great weekend here in Cambodia despite being drenched with rain. So many of the folks have to make great effort to get to church in the type of weather we are having this time of the year.
It was a blessing to be able to present SokDen with a new Bible during the Sunday morning service after he completed a Bible study on the Book of Mark and answered about 100 questions. As you may recall, we had the opportunity to lead SokDen to the Lord about a month ago. His work schedule makes it so that at this point he is only able to be at church on Sunday morning but we are hoping that his hours will change in the future. He works in a local restaurant as a cook. Our Saturday morning soul-winning group met him while going door-to-door with gospel tracts and after being rejected by hundreds of other people in his neighborhood. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT SOKDEN WILL BE FAITHFUL TO THE LORD AND THAT HIS WORK HOURS WILL CHANGE SO THAT HE WILL BE ABLE TO BE MORE INVOLVED IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH.
You can hear one of our special songs from the Sunday morning service by clicking on the video below.
This past week we had the opportunity to hold our first family camp. There were 175 of our folks who were able to get time off of work and attend. We we able to find the perfect location in Kep which is located a little over 3 hours from our church.
Our family camp lasted for four days and was filled with many teaching and preaching sessions, times of competition, great food, and a couple of field trips to visit local attractions. We have heard many testimonies over the past few days of how much the camp has meant in the lives of our church family.
There were just over 50 folks in our married couples split session. I taught on the topic of “The freedom of forgiveness and the bondage of bitterness.” Many of our folks have expressed that the Holy Spirit dealt with their hearts as a result of the lessons.
Bro. Has taught the teens and singles during the split sessions. He taught on the importance of having a heart that is right with God. Thankfully our young people are flexible and were willing to meet outside on mats.
The food was awesome and we all likely ate more than we should have. For many of our people this was the biggest trip that they have ever been on in their entire life. I know that there were memories made that will last for a lifetime.
Leng is a real blessing to all of us! She is over 70 years old but at times she is the life of the party. She loves the Lord and regularly shares her faith with family, friends, and strangers alike. Sunday night it was raining very hard yet she rode her bike to church as she always does. She told me that she had to ride through flood water that was nearly up to her knees. She is a great testimony of the joy of the Lord. It was a blessing to be able to spend some time with her at family camp.
In our last update we asked you to pray for SokCheat to be reconciled to his estranged wife, SreyLeak. I am happy to be able to tell you that God has answered your prayers. SokCheat convinced his wife to attend family camp and she did. Not only did she attend camp but she also trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour after one of the services! They have been separated for 9 months but are now back together and rejoicing at what God has done in their lives. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE TWO NEW BELIEVERS TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE LORD. They both plan to follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism in a few weeks.
In our last update I asked you to pray for Chhay and the various contacts that he and others are making in the city of Oudong. I am happy to report to you that Chhay was able to lead Leng to the Lord this past Sunday afternoon! Chhay has been witnessing to him for quite awhile and has been very patient in allowing the Holy Spirit to work in Leng’s heart, convincing him of his need to be saved. PRAY FOR CHHAY AS HE NOW HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DISCIPLE LENG IN THE WAY OF THE LORD. We look forward to seeing many more folks come to Christ in Oudong in the future. Chhay and his wife are planning to move from their present residence to another location in the near future. Part of the reason they are moving is to be able to more effectively reach out to the lost in Oudong. PRAY THAT GOD WILL OPEN JUST THE RIGHT DOORS TO ENABLE THEM TO MAKE MANY MORE CONTACTS.
In our last update we introduced you to a family that has traveled on several occasions from Preah Vithear Province to meet with us. Their village is located about 220 kilometers from Phnom Penh and it takes them many hours just to get here. This is their fourth time to come and see us. They come for one reason – they are hungry to learn the Word of God.
This weekend they came to see us once again but this time they brought another family to meet us as well. This family lives about 4 miles from their village. They profess to be saved for nearly 10 years but they readily told me that no one has discipled them and they are baby Christians. They expressed their desire to have someone help them grow in the Lord. SokKim is a member of an ethnic minority group here in Southeast Asia known as Kuy. They have their own language and culture that is separate and distinct from Khmer. Her husband, Brat Sok, is Cambodian but also speaks the Kuy language. Myself, Bro. Keo, Bro. Vannak, and a couple of our Bible College young men are planning to take a survey trip to their villages in about a week. PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL GIVE US CLEAR DIRECTION IN REGARD TO HIS WILL. It may be that He is opening a great door to be able to reach into the Kuy people group with the gospel. This weekend they also brought with them their niece from Vietnam. Her name is Nyong (ញុង) and she is open to the gospel.
The key to reaching any country with the gospel is in effectively discipling national believers. We have so many open doors but are in desperate need of more leaders. So many of the folks are actively serving right now but we need to increase the number of laborers who are able to go into the harvest field. We were previously told that there are 8,500 villages here in Cambodia without any gospel preaching church. However, this past week I read a report from a large ministry that reported there are actually 11,000 villages in need of a church. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT OUR TEAM WILL BE FAITHFUL TO DISCIPLE NATIONAL MEN AND WOMEN TO REACH THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
Sunday evening our married couples had a great time playing Charades during our small group time. You can see a short clip of one of the new couples competing against each other. The men won once again!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
April 30, 2017
We just came off of the extended Buddhist holiday season here in Cambodia. It is a legally recognized holiday that is only supposed to last about 3 days but like every other year it seemed to drag out longer than that. Of course the believers in our ministries don’t partake in the majority of the cultural aspects of the holiday that are associated with the occult but the holiday does affect the ministry here because if interrupts momentum. It is always a challenge to get folks to return back from their home villages and get back on track with our regular church schedule. I feel like we are just not getting everyone back on track.
The Cambodian New Year corresponded this year with Resurrection Day. Thankfully as God’s children we don’t need to depend upon the “blessing” of deceased relatives because we serve a risen and living Saviour Who hears and responds to our prayers. You can click on the video below to hear some of the folks singing the hymn “He Arose.” They definitely sing from their heart and just listening to them reminds us that the gospel has made an eternal difference in their lives! Thank you for doing your part to help support the work here in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
SreyGa was saved several weeks ago and has been faithful to the church services from that day on. This morning I was able to present her with a new Bible after she completed our 100 question booklet about the gospel of Mark. She was so motivated to earn her new Bible that she worked all night and was able to complete the booklet in just one day. It normally takes folks a couple of weeks to complete all the questions.
We were blessed to have baby Joanna in church this morning for the first time since being born. Her parents, Taiwan and Sokeng, are a great example of the power of the gospel. Before being saved they both hated Christianity but are now both bold witnesses of His mercy and grace. We sure love this family of six and count it a privilege to serve along side of them to help reach this Country with the gospel. PRAY FOR JOANNA’S HEALTH. She just spent more than a week in the hospital and is presently on some medication to treat the effects of having ingested the wrong medicine just after being born.
Three of the young ladies in the Phnom Penh church recently sang a new song. Mrs. Has and Susanna worked with them for several weeks to help them learn this song. You can hear the song by clicking on the video below.
This morning we enjoyed hearing some of our ladies sing a new song they learned. You can hear the song by clicking on the video below.
It is always a blessing to see the folks enjoying fellowship together after the Sunday evening service. They come from different economic and social backgrounds but they are made one through their faith in Jesus Christ. Thank God that there is a church where they can fellowship together!
Our Phnom Penh church had a special service last year where we honored mothers. We encouraged many of our teen young people to invite their unsaved mothers to participate in the service. SreyLeak’s mother, Ya, did attend and we were all happy to see her. At that time she was not open to the gospel but she didn’t try to prevent her daughter from being a faithful Christian. Over the past year her mother has been watching her example but she was always burdened down by the trouble her teenage son, Pov, caused her.
Pov was quickly headed down a road that would end in prison or death. One day a few months ago some of our national leaders began reaching out to him and he responded by accepting the gift of salvation. At salvation his heart was radically changed and he began getting involved in church activities rather than running the streets causing trouble. His mother obviously noticed the changes in his life and God began to use his example to show her that she needed a Saviour as well. Three weeks ago Ya called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved! It is such a blessing to see her in our Sunday evening services and to see the joy on her face that has come since being saved. Last week she shared with me that her co-workers have begun to persecute her, insinuating that she should find another place to work because at her job “there is no room for Christians.” Last Sunday evening after our Married Couples class I asked her how she felt when they told her she needed to find another job and she told me, “I cussed them out!” 🙂 I was trying really hard not to laugh but as I looked at her face I just couldn’t help it – after gaining my composure I reminded her that she is supposed to be a light that shines in the darkness and that God would not want her to cuss them out. She told me, “I know, Pastor. After I cussed them I felt bad and knew that I was not a good example.” She has such a tender heart and I know that she is going to become a great testimony at her job, assuming that she is not forced out. PLEASE PRAY FOR YA TO GROW IN THE LORD.
My Saturday soul-winning team recently spent around 3 months handing out tracts in a certain neighborhood in Phnom Penh located about 15 minutes from our church. Though we went door-to-door and handed out several thousand tracts, we didn’t have anyone who expressed interest in speaking with us. In fact, many people tried to avoid us. About three weeks ago a young man, SokDen, who lives in that neighborhood began to express interest in knowing more about the gospel and Bro. Sinath and myself began meeting with him and sharing the gospel with him as well as answering the many questions that he had. Over the past three weeks we have invested around 14 hours teaching him. Many of you have been praying for him as you read about him on our Facebook or Instagram posts.
I am so pleased to be able to tell you that SokDen trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour yesterday morning in my office! I really believe that he is going to grow by leaps and bounds as he is discipled and as he gets plugged into the life of our church family. SokDen is 26 years old and works as a chef. During the recent Cambodian New Year festival he brought an mp3 player loaded with preaching to his home village which is located 4 hours from Phnom Penh. He had his family listen to some of the preaching.
His mother, who is a devout Buddhist (កាន់សិល៥), has dedicated herself to the precepts of Buddhism hoping to one day be reincarnated and have a better life. The five basic precepts of Buddhism are 1) Not cause harm to any animal. (“Animal” means animal the way we would view animals as well as human beings.) 2) Not to steal 3) Not to lie 4) To be chaste (For her “Chaste” includes refraining from all intimate relations in her marriage) 5) To be temperate.
SokDen told me that she is working hard to be a faithful Buddhist but that she has no joy in her life whatsoever. As Christians we know that peace in the soul does not come from trying hard to adhere to the rules imposed upon us by religion. Peace of heart is the result of having our sins forgiven and being reconciled to God. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus… According to SokDen, his mother was very interested to listen to the preaching and would have listened to more of it had her adult daughter not turned it off and told her that she should not listen to that type of teaching. PRAY FOR AN OPEN DOOR FOR SOKDEN TO INFLUENCE HIS LOST FAMILY FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
It is the power of the gospel that is changing lives! Our English ensemble sang a great song this morning reminding us of the importance of preaching the cross and the blood of Christ. You can listen to the song by clicking on the video below.
It was a real blessing to preach in our PsaTricht church this past week. It is simply amazing to see so many lives there that have been changed by the power of the gospel. All of these ladies have been saved out of the spiritual bondage of Buddhism and Islam. Several of them have paid, and are presently paying, a great price for their decision to live for the Lord. Your hearts would break if I were to tell you of the situations these folks face because they refuse to betray the Word of God. One of them was recently beaten severely by a member of her family because of her dedication to the Lord and her desire to honor Him with her life. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR BELIEVERS IN CAMBODIA WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH.
SokCheat was recently saved and is taking a very strong stand for the Lord. He comes from a very rough background that includes drugs and crime. He is well known by law enforcement and villagers alike. His sister and mother are saved and faithful to the Lord and his brother-in-law is a student in our Bible College. It has been a blessing to see the immediate change that has taken place in his life since he has been saved. PLEASE PRAY FOR SOKCHEAT TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN THE LORD. Also, PRAY FOR HIM TO BE RECONCILED TO HIS ESTRANGED WIFE. He is working hard to win her heart. Sadly, because of his past life she is not real interested in returning to him. However, I believe that as she can see how his life has changed, over time she will be saved and they will be back together.
Thank you for praying for our students who are studying in the Bible College. We just began our third term of study. We are gearing up for this group to take a missions trip in a few weeks to a “Creative Access” Country where we will visit two different ministries in two different cities at opposite ends of the Country. The students will spend nearly 45 hours traveling in a bus to get from Phnom Penh to the various places we need to go. The goal of the trip is to expose them to other places here in Asia that are in need of the gospel. Without a doubt there are thousands of villages here in Cambodia that do not have a solid gospel-preaching church but there are also other countries nearby that have great needs as well. PRAY THAT THIS TRIP WILL BE USED BY THE LORD TO HELP AWAKEN THE HEARTS OF THE STUDENTS TO THE NEED FOR MORE LABORERS IN THE HARVEST FIELD.
For many months myself and a few of our folks were working to build relationships and witness in Elephant Den village located about 40 minutes from our Phnom Penh church. This past year when one of the new believers passed away just a few months after being saved, the whole village became very cold to us and to the gospel. Even though the man who died was nearly 90 years old, they blamed his faith in Jesus Christ and his refusal to offer sacrifices to the territorial spirits as the cause of his death. Almost overnight all of the children who were coming to the ministry stopped and our adult contacts wanted nothing to do with us whatsoever. Elephant Den village and the villages surrounding it are very dark places where the devil seems to have complete control over their hearts and minds. Many of the families in Elephant Den village support themselves by carving idols from wood and chiseling them from stone. There is an actual altar in the center of the village that is used to offer sacrifices to the devil.
As we think of Elephant Den and so many other places here in this part of the the world we are reminded of the Word of God that tells us “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. 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.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves: if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26) “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:15)
The only believer in the entire village is Bro. Sakhan. This past week I went to visit with him and found him quite discouraged and isolated from everyone. His adult children have taken away his phone and basically confined him to this room 24 hours a day. They are very unhappy that he is not following the same traditions as the other villagers and that he refuses to turn his back on Jesus Christ.
While I was there I was able to purchase some snacks that he enjoys but was only able to visit with him from outside the window. I hope to return soon and bring him a new mp3 player loaded with preaching and music to help lift his spirits. PLEASE PRAY FOR SAKHAN’S SITUATION TO SOMEHOW CHANGE AND FOR US TO BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH PLAN TO ONCE AGAIN HAVE CLOSE CONTACT WITH HIM.
This is the entrance to a Muslim village located about 29 miles from our church in Phnom Penh. Eleven years ago when God first brought us to this village there was not one believer there. Now there are many folks in this village ranging from the age of young children to nearly 80 years old who are saved and faithfully living for the Lord. To our knowledge this is the only Muslim village in the entire country with this type of a Christian presence. What God has caused to happen in this village is nothing short of a miracle and we know that the devil is not happy.
This village is only one of more than 14,000 villages in Cambodia. According to the statistics that we have been given there are more than 8,500 villages in this country without any gospel witness whatsoever. It is also evident that even among the villages that have a “church,” in many cases the leaders in that church are not even close to qualified to shepherd the flock IF they are even saved in the first place. In many cases these churches teach baptismal regeneration and other works-based salvation if they even bother to discuss the topic of salvation with their members. I can’t begin to tell you how many times we have met people here who have attended “church” for years but have never heard that they need to be saved or that have been taught that salvation is earned by following the Ten Commandments.
Meng Oeun was reached by Bro. Man and the workers at our Stung MeanChey outreach. Our soul-winners have been going to her neighborhood for nearly two years now and around 9 months ago we rented a building and have begun holding public services several times a week right near her house. Over the past 9 months several cults/religious groups led by Korean and Indian missionaries have moved into the neighborhood as well. Meng Oeun told the church this afternoon that every one of her neighbors have begun going to these churches because of all of the things they give away. I know that you will find it difficult to believe, but these groups literally use money to bribe people to go to their “churches.” A new group that was just started by Indian missionaries is paying adults $15 per week to attend their church. Needless to say, they are causing a lot of damage to the cause of Christ and we count them as enemies of the gospel. They are just one of several false churches in the neighborhood who are preying upon our folks. Not only do we not bribe people to come to church – furthermore, we teach them that God desires for them to honor Him with their time, talent, treasure, and influence. Meng Oeun is really troubled to see people she has been witnessing to for the past several months suddenly lose interest in the gospel and turn to these groups. Like it happens so many times here in this country, these groups will eventually either run out of money or accomplish their purpose (whatever it is) and either close down altogether or move on to another neighborhood and start their racket all over again. They move on, yet the damage remains…Like Stung MeanChey there are so many other villages that are in need of a true gospel-preaching church. We are presently looking at three new locations as possible church-plants where we have some converts but are not yet holding public services.
The PsaTricht church has been going soul-winning in Oudong City for several weeks now. Oudong is located just a few minutes from the church in PsaTricht and is a fairly good-sized city.
I was blessed to be able to help lead Chhay to the Lord about 10 years ago. Since then he has become a married man and now has three children. It is my privilege to disciple him on Saturday afternoons. His family is faithfully involved in the outreach in PsaTricht as well as other villages throughout the week. Bro. Chhay and his family live and work in Oudong and he has a real burden to see something started there in the near future. Chhay is an English teacher with a couple of hundred students and has been on purpose reaching out to his students in recent months. There are two young men, Heng and Leng, who seem to be opening up to the gospel. PRAY FOR CHHAY TO HAVE WISDOM AS WE AND OTHERS STRIVE TO BE A LIGHT IN THE CITY OF OUDONG.
Oudong City does not seem to have a gospel-preaching church but it does have lots of religion. Here is a short video clip of the only hope that this village presently has.
Three years ago we had an open door in Prak Pnou and were going there every Sunday afternoon as well as Tuesday mornings to teach prospects. Over time several folks made a profession of faith. However, through a series of unfortunate events that door closed. Bro. Bounna and Bro. Vong have continued to keep some contact with a few of the folks who were saved. We are considering returning to Prak Pnou and would love to be able to see a real work established in that city should the Lord permit.
Sinath is one of the adults who lives in Prak Pnou and who accepted Christ. I know that she would be thrilled if the door was open for our team to begin a work in her city. PLEASE HELP PRAY THAT WE WILL DISCERN GOD’S WILL AND TIMING IN REGARD TO ONCE AGAIN TARGETING PRAK PNOU. This particular city has many Vietnamese families, some of whom would be more effectively reached with the gospel in the Vietnamese language if God would send us a team member who is burdened for the Vietnamese people and who, hopefully, speaks Vietnamese.
Phnom Den village is located nearly 7 hours from our church in Phnom Penh. Over the past 3 months a family from that village has been in contact with us and indicated that they are hungry to know the truth of the Word of God.
VanThy and his wife, Channy, have traveled to meet us in Phnom Penh on three separate occasions now. They were put into contact with us by a Cambodian-American friend of ours who, while visiting Cambodia, happened to go to their village. While there, she was witnessing to some of her relatives and Channy happened to overhear what she was saying. Channy told our friend that she and her husband have been Christians for nearly 3 years but that the things she was teaching regarding the gospel and the Word of God were things that they had never heard. She then asked our friend where they could learn the Word of God and our friend put her in touch with us.
It was almost unbelievable to hear Channy share about her experiences in the one-and-only “church” that is anywhere near her village. It is located almost 7 miles away in another village. During rainy season it is impossible to get to that village but during the rest of the year they do their very best to go to church. She shared with me what they do at church…brace yourself…The “pastor” stands up in front of the congregation, opens his Bible and reads one verse. He then closes the Bible and tells the people that if he were to preach it would be really boring and he knows that no one wants to be bored. He then pumps music through the sound system and the entire church spends the rest of the hour dancing “unto the Lord.”
Channy and her husband (she seems to be the real go-getter in the family) have led several adults in their village to the Lord but they are too ashamed of their church to invite them to go there. I can’t imagine why… Last month, on their second trip to see us in Phnom Penh, we gave them an mp3 player loaded with preaching and encouraged them to listen to it everyday. Not only have they been listening to the preaching but they also began sharing it with the other families in their village. Several other families loved it so much that Channy purchased mp3 players and memory cards and began copying the files and sharing them with these families. It is my understanding that another family is planning to make the journey to Phnom Penh in the near future to meet us as well.
We don’t know exactly what God would have us to do in regard to this village. I don’t believe that we have met them by accident but I also can’t say that I know for certain that Phnom Den is a door that God is opening for us. We plan to take a short survey trip there within the next month and hope to bring a couple of our college young men with us. It is my understanding that there are many families from the ethnic minority group known as the Kuy who live in this village and who are friends with VanThy. According to Joshuaproject.net only .53% of the Kuy people profess to be evangelical Christians. (https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19055/CB) PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD’S WILL MIGHT BE MADE EVIDENT REGARDING WHAT ROLE OUR TEAM AND CHURCH FAMILY OUGHT TO HAVE IN HELPING TO REACH THIS DISTANT VILLAGE.
Our Sunday evening small groups continue to prove effective in the discipling of new believers here in Phnom Penh. The targeted teaching, the fellowship, and the accountability is helping our teens, single adults, and married couples become equipped to live for the Lord in this dark world. In our married couples class I am presently teaching on child-rearing which is a very needed topic seeing that our group can’t seem to stop having babies… 🙂 Each week in our Married Couples class we have a short time of competition between the men and the women. This evening we began a 4-week competition and the winners will all go eat together in June. The women tried hard – but still lost 41 to 39!
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason