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
March 21, 2017
Thank you for praying for our family, for the TEAM, and for the ministry here in Cambodia. It has been awhile since we wrote an update and so this one is likely to be a bit longer than usual. 🙂
We had great services this past weekend! It continues to amaze me how God works, and to Him be all the glory. It’s a blessing to remember that it is the grace of God that is at work in the lives of new believers and not something that is dependent upon our own efforts, wisdom, or strategic planning! We are seeing men and women move from darkness to Light, and as a ministry we are all blessed to be a small part of God’s larger plan. Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Three weeks ago I started a new Sunday morning series on “The Church that Glorifies Christ.” The first Sunday we were reminded that our church must be built upon the Solid Rock of the Word of God and not on the silly shallow fads of this world. Two weeks ago I focused on the importance of the church family maintaining close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is impossible to do if we love the world and the things the world has to offer. This past Sunday we considered the truth that a church that glorifies the Lord is a church that enjoys close fellowship and mutual edification. We considered Galatians 6:1-9.
It’s amazing how God’s timing is always perfect. He knew which week I would be preaching which message and perfectly orchestrated the truth of His Word to meet the immediate need of our congregation. In Galatians 6:1 we read, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. It so happened that we had to deal with a matter of public church discipline on Sunday morning after my message. It provided a great opportunity for the church family to put into practice the truth they had just been taught as we all, together, seek to help spiritually restore the individual who was brought before the church for discipline. Thankfully she is repentant and desirous to return to close fellowship with the Lord and with her church family.
Our English ensemble did a great job singing the song “Each One Can Reach One.” This song challenges us all to do what we can to reach those around us with the gospel. You can hear them sing by clicking on the video above.
Noi was reached with the gospel through the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry several years ago. He is now a 20 year old man who faithfully serves the Lord alongside his younger sister, SreyNak. A few weeks ago we began having Noi lead the song service during our Sunday morning service. We are training him to become an effective song leader. It’s always exciting to see young people grow in their desire and ability to serve the Lord. Pray for Noi and SreyNak to continue to be faithful to the Lord.
Jason has been given several opportunities recently to preach in the Cambodian language. We are thankful to have three sons who all desire to live for the Lord and serve Him with the talents they have been given!
Please continue to pray for the teen girls here in Phnom Penh. They all have very busy schedules with school and other activities in which they are required to participate. Yet, all of these girls are faithful in not just attending all of our church services but they also serve in various aspects of the ministry. As I am writing this update, one of these young ladies is upstairs in the church auditorium all by herself, cleaning the restroom. She cleans it every week and most of the time no one is around to see her do it. She does it because she loves the Lord and loves her church. Several of these girls help teach in the Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry every Sunday. A couple of them travel two hours one-way every Sunday after our morning service to help serve in one of our village ministries. They return to Phnom Penh Sunday evening just in time for our evening service. Of course, each of these young ladies takes their turn serving in the church nursery!
The Lord is really using our Sunday evening small groups to help disciple our church members. It’s always a blessing to hear folks share testimonies of how the singles class is helping them to stand for the Lord. Every week we hear married couples share how they are grateful for a class that helps to equip them to lead their families for the Lord. We are privileged to have a part in their lives.
Sovann and Sina both came to Christ this past year. Their son, Veasna, was reached through our Phnom Penh Children’s Ministry several years ago. Today he is a student in our Bible College preparing to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He chooses. Sovann is working hard to save money to be a part of our church’s Family Camp in May. The other day Veasna told me that he has seen major changes in his family since his parents have been growing and putting into practice the things they have been learning in our Married Couple’s class. For the first time in his life Veasna is seeing his parents pray together and express their love for one another. Please pray that Sovann and Sina will continue to allow the Lord to make the changes that need to be made in order that their lives might bring glory to the Lord.
Phan and his family were won to Christ by the folks in our PsaTricht village church over a year ago. A few years ago Phan went blind due to complications with diabetes that went unchecked for too long. Phan loves the Lord and everyone around him knows it! It is a blessing to see that he often takes part in our church-wide soul-winning each week in PsaTricht village. Even though he is blind he understands that God desires for the gospel to go to every person in his village and the surrounding villages. Please pray for Phan and his wife to continue to be faithful to the Lord and let their light shine in Jumga Village.
Bro. Ra and some of our men in PsaTricht began going soul-winning in a new village. They met Soun and have been faithfully witnessing to him for several months. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go with them to Soun’s village as they made a follow-up visit. The Lord opened the door for me to be able to witness to him for quite awhile that morning as well as answer some of his questions. It was a blessing to see him submit to the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart and accept the free gift of salvation! Thank God for the faithful men who have planted and watered the seed of the gospel week after week. Please pray for Soun to be a strong testimony in his village and especially to his own wife.
Ra asked Soun two questions before we left his house that morning:
1) How many years have you lived here in this village? and,
2) How many times has someone come to your house and told you of the gospel?
Imagine that! Thank you for helping to make it possible for the gospel to get to places like Wat Village and thank you for praying for our team as we strive to preach in many places that presently do not have access to the simple plan of salvation.
Bro. Shainghi was led to Christ by Bro. Vannak about a month ago. It has been a blessing to see him in church as well as attend our Married Couple’s Small Group. Soul-winning in Cambodia is normally a long-term project that requires a lot of follow-up and return visits in order to clearly explain the gospel to the lost. The problem is not that the gospel is complicated – The problem is that the heart of lost man is hard and often rejects the Good News. I am certain that Vannak and others have been to see Shainghi on multiple occasions in order to see him saved. Please pray that Shainghi will allow the Word of God to change him and that he will now grow to become the man of God that God desires him to be. Likewise, please pray for his wife to be saved.
Bro. San and others have been witnessing to Cheat but he has always rejected the gospel, and in fact took part in persecuting the believers in his village. Several weeks ago some events happened in his life that caused his heart to be opened to the gospel. San was able to lead him to the Lord. He immediately had the desire to go and win his friends to Christ. He has become San’s new soul-winning partner. His unsaved friends and family have begun to sharply criticize him for leaving Islam. Please pray that Cheat will be faithful to the Lord and faithful to church as he grows in his new faith.
Zen is a student in our Bible College and is a wonderful young man. He recently began going soul-winning in a new village and met Chhay. After meeting with him several times and witnessing to him, Chhay accepted the free gift of salvation. It’s a blessing to see our national men putting into practice 2 Timothy 2:2 as they not only grow in the Lord themselves but they faithfully disciple other men who can teach others also. Pray for Zen as he and others help to disciple Chhay in the Word of God.
The Lord continues to bless in our Stung MeanChey outreach. Each week there are new visitors in the services and things are exciting. Stung MeanChey offers some unique challenges when it comes to presenting the true gospel, but Bro. Man and Kanha, as well as Bro. Kosal and his wife, Phalley, are being used by God to make a difference in the lives of many people! Please pray for Kanha as she is expecting their first baby very soon. She has a high risk pregnancy and so she is supposed to be staying in bed and resting for her last 5-6 weeks of pregnancy. This is not an easy thing for her to do but she is trying her best.
Please continue to pray for Socheat and his wife, Noun, as they grow in the Lord. They were both reached with the gospel through the outreach in Stung MeanChey. Though Socheat works long hours he is still faithful to all the church services in Stung MeanChey as well as our Phnom Penh Married Couple’s small group. Because of Noun’s work schedule she is not able to attend church as much as she desires. I fully expect this young couple to become core leadership in Stung MeanChey as they walk with the Lord and grow in grace. It’s always exciting to see young couples reached with the gospel before they have lived long enough to really mess up their lives…
Touch is also a part of our Stung MeanChey outreach. She was saved at another church in her village some time ago but since moving to Stung MeanChey had not been a part of any church. When our workers were going door-to-door they met her and invited her to attend the services and she has been faithful ever since. Her teen daughter attends with her as well. It was a blessing to see Touch follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism a couple of weeks ago. Please pray for Touch and her daughter as they grow in the Lord.
I met Vannak a few weeks ago as Debbie and I were out going soul-winning one Saturday morning. I was able to spend quite awhile witnessing to him and he seems to be opening up to the Lord. Please pray that he will allow the Holy Spirit to work in his heart and show him his need for a personal Saviour. He is willing to believe that Jesus is God but is having a difficult time believing that God does not require the lost man to earn his salvation through doing merit. I hope to be able to see him again this week.
Please continue to pray for Sok to be saved. We led his wife, Navy, to the Lord several months ago. He works Sunday mornings but has been attending our Married Couple’s Small Group on Sunday evenings and has heard the gospel many times. This last Sunday he actually approached Bro. Sinath with some questions about the gospel. He is originally from Vietnam. Much of his family still lives in Vietnam and are Catholics. Catholicism often synchronizes with pagan religion and whatever superstitions are prominent in the culture. He has been exposed to a brand of Catholicism that is very heavily involved with the occult and is just now coming to understand that what the Bible teaches about God, sin, Heaven, Hell, and the devil is totally different than what he has believed his entire life. We can not open his spiritual eyes but God can and we believe that Sok will be saved. Please continue to pray for him as the devil will definitely do all he can to keep Sok in spiritual bondage.
I had the opportunity to meet Heng and witness to him a few weeks ago. Bro. Bounna and Bro. Vong have been reaching out to him and his wife for awhile now. We were able to have a great conversation with him that lasted perhaps a couple of hours. He had some very good questions and I could tell as I answered his questions and reasoned with him from the Word of God he was coming under conviction. As of yet, he is not willing to be saved because he fears the persecution that he knows awaits him when he turns his back on idols and false religion. He told me, “I am a Vietnamese man living in Cambodia. I have to follow the religion of Cambodia. I don’t believe any of it but I must still go to the Temple and take part in the various religious festivals of Buddhism in order to fit into this culture. I could never have the courage to be the only Christian in this village.” We know that it is only God who can change his heart. Please pray that Heng will respond to the working of the Holy Spirit in his life. He has been exposed to the gospel and he will be held responsible for the Light that he has received.
Chantha was reached here at Pacific Baptist Church a couple of years ago and is now a student in our Bible College. His mother, Navy, used to be the village drunk until she got saved. She shared a testimony the other day that the moment she accepted Christ as her Saviour she immediately lost her desire for the alcohol that had controlled her life for nearly 40 years! She is happy to see Chantha faithfully training in the college and desires to see him serve the Lord by one day taking the gospel back to their home village which is located several hours from Phnom Penh. Besides Navy, there are no other Christians in the entire village. Please pray for Chantha to be diligent in his studies and for his needs to be met. He took a huge step of faith by quitting his job in order to attend Bible College.
SreyMohm and her family were reached with the gospel in a miraculous way that I won’t take time to detail here in this update. They have been faithfully attending the church in PsaTricht. When we announced that we were starting a Bible College SreyMohm immediately expressed interest. The Lord worked in the heart of her parents and they allowed her to enroll. Even though we have only been holding classes for about 10 weeks, she is already benefiting greatly from the things she is learning and from the example she sees while living in the dorm with Susanna and Michelle. It is such a blessing to our national young ladies to be able to see what a Christian home is supposed to be like – they are able to experience a Christian family through living in the dorm. A couple of nights ago Debbie and I heard the girls in the dorm laughing and enjoying a time of fellowship in the evening and it brought great joy to our hearts to realize that they are experiencing something that they would not have had the opportunity to experience were it not for the opportunity they have to live in the dorms. Please pray for SreyMohm to continue to be faithful to the Lord and diligent in her studies and involvement in the various ministries in which she serves.
Sokun was reached with the gospel through the outreach in Stung MeanChey about 8 months ago. This past week she enrolled in the Bible College and has expressed a burden to know the Word of God and to be able to reach her own people with the gospel. Please pray for Sokun to be faithful as well as for her family to come to Christ. If anyone would like to help assist her with some basic expenses related to her education please contact me.
This last month Debbie and I had the opportunity to assist our fellow team members in a “creative-access” country by conducting a family conference for them. We had a great time and it was a blessing to be able to invest into the lives of those who have been reached through our co-laborers in that country.
During the conference Bro. Adrian asked Bounmee to marry him and fortunately she said yes! 🙂 Bounmee is a wonderful Christian young lady who was won to Christ and discipled for several years by faithful believers there and she will be a wonderful partner for Adrian as they serve the Lord together. Please pray that all of the paperwork will progress in a timely manner. There are a lot of hoops that they have to jump through in order to get things rolling over there and the natural tendency is for government paperwork to get bogged down and drag on for no real reason. They are hoping to get married in June and so that is what we are all working towards.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
February 26, 2017
Here is a view update from this morning. We had a wonderful service and were blessed with several testimonies, many special songs, preaching, witnessing 16 folks follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism, and great fellowship!
Thank you for praying for the work here in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
Click on the video below to watch the update.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
February 21, 2017
Here is our update for this past weekend. Thank you for praying and supporting the work here in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
February 5, 2017
This week we shot a short video as our update. Just click play in order to view the video.
Thank you for your prayers and support for the ministry here in Cambodia. There are several folks who are very close to being saved both in Stung MeanChey as well as in one of the new villages that folks from the church are targeting. Lives are being changed by God, in part, because of your faithfulness in “holding the ropes” there at home.
Please be reminded that we have scheduled a short return to the States late this year and may be available to report to you in person should you so desire. Please make contact with me if you are interested and we will do our best to make it happen.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason
January 23, 2017
We had a great weekend in each of the four locations where we hold morning services here in Cambodia. Our English choir sang a song entitled “Without the Cross.” They worked hard on it for several weeks. I know that singing in English is not easy for several of them and so I really appreciate their diligence in giving their very best. You can click on the video above to hear them singing yesterday morning in Phnom Penh.
Maldy and Sitha were in our very first service back in November of 2010. They came faithfully for several years up until about a year and a half ago. While Sitha was expecting the birth of their son, David, they got out of the habit of coming faithfully to church. I think it was difficult for them due to the distance that they have to travel in order to get here and the fact that they all rode on one moped. As is the case most of the time, when someone gets out of church they also begin to slip spiritually. Over the past several months they have been going through some difficult times that may have caused them to realize that there is no real walk with the Lord when we choose not to obey God by being faithfully involved in a local church. Over recent days they have gone through some issues in their family that has caused them great pain. God may be using their trials to bring them back to Him. Bro. Keo has reached out to them and it seems that God may be working in their hearts. They were in the Phnom Penh morning service last Sunday, and yesterday they came in the morning as well as the evening. PLEASE PRAY THAT MALDY AND SITHA WILL ALLOW US ALL TO BE A PART OF THEIR LIVES AND RETURN TO CLOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.
Thank you for praying for Malis (Maly) to be saved. (We wrote about her on https://goodnewsfromafar.com/2016/12/05/december-5-2016/ and asked you to pray for her salvation.) We are happy to tell you that both Malis and her sister-in-law, Noun, accepted Christ as their personal Saviour this past Tuesday. Their husbands, Sokchun and Sokcheat, were both saved several months ago and are faithfully involved in the Stung MeanChey outreach. Malis is a week overdue in the delivery of her first baby and should give birth sometime this week hopefully. PLEASE PRAY FOR MALIS AND NOUN AS THEY GROW IN THE LORD.
We are happy to tell you that the younger brother and sister of Chhayry recently accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour. Somphahs is 17 years old and Veha is 14. They are part of the church in Psa Tricht village. PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE TWO YOUNG PEOPLE AS THEY GROW IN THEIR WALK WITH THE LORD.
We were blessed to have a great opening day this current session of Bible Institute. We are offering three classes this term: Spiritual Warfare, Bible Doctrine 1, and the Book of Matthew. It is a blessing to have 48 of our folks attending the classes. There are others who desire to be a part but who are unable to because of schedule conflicts. Believe it or not, only a small handful of these students are teenagers. The rest are adults – even if they do look like they are 14 years old. 🙂 If we are able to offer a nursery in the future I am confident that there will be several young mothers who will be able to attend as well. Anyone want to volunteer to come here and oversee the Bible Institute nursery? 🙂
Pacific Baptist Bible College got off to a great start as well with 12 students enrolled full-time and a few more who are studying part-time. We are thankful for those who have responded and taken action to help provide some financial assistance to the full-time students who are in need of help. We still have a couple of students who are in need of a scholarship to help with their basic living expenses. We are not charging any of the students tuition but they do need to cover their food, travel expenses, and book purchase fees. If you would like to have information regarding how you can be a blessing to the next generation of young Cambodian and Cham leaders here at Pacific Baptist Church please get in touch with me.
Also, in regard to the Bible College – Please pray for one of our young adult ladies who desires to attend Bible College. I am not at liberty to give her name here or discuss much of her circumstances but it is my understanding that her parents have basically given her an ultimatum. If she chooses to go to Bible College to train to serve the Lord then, according to them, she has turned her back on them. This is a very touchy situation and we are definitely encouraging her to seek God’s will for her life. Basically her parents, who are still young and strong, place virtually all the financial responsibility for the entire family on her shoulders. It is a terrible position to be placed in as the oldest child in this culture. Unless something changes she will likely be trapped in this situation until the day she has the courage to make a change or until per parents pass away. (This is not a situation where the parents are invalid and unable to work.) Sadly, this type of a problem is quite common here in this culture and has several of our young believers trapped as virtual slaves for family that by and large is ungrateful and expects more and more from them. PLEASE PRAY THAT THIS YOUNG LADY WILL HAVE THE WISDOM TO DISCERN WHAT GOD WOULD HAVE HER TO DO. There is a good chance that if she chooses to attend Bible College to train to serve the Lord that her parents may totally cut her out of the family. Most of us from the West have no idea the price that is paid by many believers in places like Cambodia when they decide to allow God’s will to be first place in their lives. It’s certainly humbling to try and lead folks like her.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason