February 8, 2015

God has been so good to my wife and me in these early days back in Southeast Asia in general and Cambodia more specifically. We are grateful for all of our faithful praying and supporting friends who have enabled us to be here. Without God, and without you, we would not have the blessing of serving in this needy part of the world.

Thank you for your sacrifice of your time and treasures for the furtherance of the Gospel around the world!

This past week has been both a busy and blessed one to say the least. On Saturday, we had a small “baby shower”, actually, it was more of a nice meal and passing out of gifts. They don’t really have baby showers here in Cambodia.  The party was for Srey-Jae, I have mentioned her in previous updates. She was saved, and at one time very faithful in the ministry here until her parents pulled her out of church at the age of 13 or 14 years old, so she could work and help support the family. This is a common problem here. After being out of church, she eventually married an unsaved man. She recently had a baby. It was good to have Srey-Jae, Nak, her husband, and the little baby, Ravy, come to our place and enjoy themselves. I am grateful for Man, Vannak, and their wives Kanha and Samantha helping to make the party happen.

Please pray for Nak to get saved and for Nak and Srey-Jae to get in church!

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Srey Jae is in the purple

On Sunday, I continued my series “If God is greater, He deserves our Greatest Love and Devotion.” The responses to the messages have been great. It was exciting to see Meanghuan, who I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with six weeks ago and see her trust Christ, earn her first Bible by completing a 56-page workbook that we gave her. Praise the Lord!

On Sunday afternoon Kosal and I went by to visit Sambath. We have been working on building a relationship with him for the past few weeks, taking over for Brother Board after he left for the states. When we showed up his head was shaved, his grandmother had just died. I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him.

Please pray for Sambath’s salvation!

Meanghuen with the Bible she received

Meanghuen with the Bible she received

On Monday, we had the chance to start discipling four Cham (former Muslims) men at my house. It is amazing how hungry these men are. They take notes, they ask questions–tough ones at that–and they are so grateful for the opportunity to learn the Bible. I am so grateful for Man’s willingness to interpret for me, I’d be lost without him. Immediately after spending and hour with these four men and Man, we all went next door for Bible Institute. It is such a blessing to be able to teach “The Beatitudes” every Monday to a group of men and women who desire to know the Word and be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

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Men that come from the village for discipleship

Please pray for Man, San, Chanty, Sen, and Sin that God will use them mightily to reach the Cham and Khmer people!

On Wednesday morning, I had the privilege to preach in our English chapel. Later that evening, it was a joy to see Paul show up for our midweek service. He is one of the university students who we have been requesting prayer about. It was so exciting to see him show up. Over the last few weeks we have been meeting many university students at their dormitories and Paul was the first one to come to a service. We are presently in the process to get approval to start an informal English class at the dorms.  This would be a huge step to seeing a harvest at the dormitories!

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Paul and Kosal

Please pray for God to open up the door for us to reach many of these university students!

On Thursday, as always, I had the blessing to spend time discipling two of our men. And we had four different young ladies come to our place, primarily for relationship building and discipleship. One of the young ladies is Narin. Narin is not saved; she is a manager at Coffee Bean here in the city, and we have been getting to know her since arriving in the country. Narin has come to our place a few times, and on this past Thursday we shared a little bit more about Jesus with her. Narin is 28-years old, but when we opened up a Bible in her presence, she said it was the first time she had ever seen a Bible. In fact, she claims to have never heard of the Bible. Can you imagine? On Thursday evening, it was a blessing to go upstairs and spend a few minutes with Brother Adrian and his new students. He has just started a new English class. I asked the boys if they would like pizza next week. What do you think they said? 🙂

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Adrian’s English Class

Please pray for Narin’s salvation and for the English class to be used for the good of these young men and for God’s glory!

On Friday, more discipleship! Started the afternoon off with Brother Sinath (Man interpreting for me), while my wife was discipling his 19-year old daughter Srey-Nech. Immediately afterwards another two hours with Man and Vannak. All three of these men are good and godly men, they are national leaders in the ministry here. Well, the week’s not over. We have the weekend coming up, including our “Celebration Service” on Sunday.

Please continue to pray for the ministry here in Phnom Penh, as well as the various village ministries!

In closing, I am looking forward to my daughter Joy, my youngest, arriving here in Phnom Penh to assist us in the work. She will be arriving on Friday, February 20. We are so proud of Joy in taking this step of faith at this time in her life. She could still use some support. If you are interested please let us know!

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Joy with some of the children from her previous trip here

We definitely covet your prayers for Joy as she says goodbye to family and friends, and all that is familiar to her and tries to adjust to a new culture!

For daily updates follow us on Instagram @johnny_espo!!!

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