February 23, 2015

Well, what a blessing it is to have our youngest daughter Joy join us here in Phnom Penh. She will be such an asset to the work here, especially with the children, the teens, and college age girls. Joy has a great love for the Lord; she loves people, especially children, teens, and college age young ladies. Here at Pacific Baptist Church of Phnom Penh, as well in the city here, we have a boatload of children and young ladies, so the harvest is definitely plenteous. Joy will be going with Srey Nech and a few others from our team to one of the villages weekly, she will be assisting with the children and teen ministries here, and Lord willing, her, my wife, and possibly, my niece Susanna, will be teaching teen and college age young ladies English. Lord willing, our niece Sue will be joining us in just a few weeks. Our once “empty nest” is filling up real quick!

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Joy arriving at the airport

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Joy during visitation

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Joy and Susanna

Please pray for Joy’s quick transition to this new phase in her life and for God to use her for His glory and for the good of many here in Cambodia!

Speaking of English, Adrian’s English class is doing well. I think they have now met for three weeks in a row. We mentioned his English class in our last update. Teaching English here in this part of the world is a great tool. Nearly everyone wants to learn English. It enables them to get a better job in the future, and for many of them, get out of the rut of dire poverty. We bought some pizza for the boys in Adrian’s class; from what I hear they loved it. Most young people in Southeast Asia love pizza. Funny though, they have many different toppings that we have never thought of in the USA. 🙂

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Adrian’s English Class

Please continue to pray for Adrian’s English class and that God will use it, not only to help these young men to learn English, but also to grow closer to the Lord Jesus!

One thing, as an American, which you just never get used to, being in this part of the world, is the dire poverty. Of course, as missionaries, we are here primarily for the poverty of the soul–these folks need Jesus Christ–but at the same time we cannot ignore and be indifferent to the immense poverty that we witness on a daily basis. There are times, while visiting and beholding the conditions these folks are living in, I literally almost lose it. Grandma Da (pictured below) is just one of many examples that could be given. She is saved and she loves Jesus. Her last words to us, as we were leaving, were “when I die I am going to heaven.” She is sick and she lives along the sewer outside of her daughter’s house (which isn’t a whole lot bigger or better) on a 4 by 6 wooden bed 24/7. A hole is cut into the bed for her toilet and she uses a big bowl to bathe with and that’s it!

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Grandma Da

Please pray for grandma Da’s health and living conditions!

It has been a real blessing to have Phalla attend our church services the last three weeks. He is one of the university students that we have been visiting over the past month or so. Two weeks ago, he and two more of the male university students also came out to play basketball with a few of our guys. I treated them to a meal afterwards. Lord willing, we will be able to see something come from spending this time with them.

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Phalla and Kosal

Please pray that God will open the doors for us to reach many of these university students for Christ!

I don’t speak the language here, so I am grateful for men like Vannak, Man, and Kosal who I visit with on a weekly basis. I have plenty of opportunities to share the Gospel because they will interpret for me. This past Saturday, while visiting in “the sewer,” I had a chance to share the Gospel with Grandma Jia-Heng. She is over 90-years old. She said she had heard of Jesus, but wasn’t quite sure who Jesus was, why Jesus came, and did not “remember” what sin was. I shared with her for a while about whom Jesus is, why Jesus came, what sin is, and the consequences of our sin, and then, as I often do, turned it over to Vannak. While grandma didn’t get saved, she was very open and attentive. As we walked away from her house, Vannak said to me, “I am praying that grandma will get saved before she dies.” Vannak will continue to follow-up on her in the days to come.

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Vannak with Grandma Jia-Heng

Please pray for grandma Jia-Heng to get saved!

This past Sunday, I had the privilege to preach for missionary Ranier Rolda and the Bethany Baptist Church in Phnom Penh. I taught Sunday school and preached in the morning service, as well as preached for the evening service. It was a tremendous blessing. Brother Rolda has been here in the country for over 15 years and is doing a good job. I preached for the Filipino congregation he pastors; he also has two Cambodian congregations that he has started, which are presently pastored by nationals.

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Bethany Baptist Church Phnom Penh

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Please pray for the Bethany Baptist Church in Phnom Penh! 

My wife and I would like to thank the dozens of you, probably many more, who prayed for our daughter Jessica Aquino while she was having an emergency surgery about a week ago. We are grateful to God that the surgery went well. Unfortunately, she has once again, been readmitted to the hospital, and may have to have another surgery.

Please pray for Jessica, her husband Joshua and their four small children at this time! 

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