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
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