In the past week and a half, since my last update, we have had so many different things take place, I don’t know what to include and what to leave out. Of course, as we mentioned in our last update, my nephew Joseph and two nieces (Susanna and Jojo) arrived in the country about two weeks ago. They stayed busy doing a lot of ministry while they were here. Joseph and Jojo headed back to the states a few days ago. Sue was left behind! Sue is a sweet girl, who loves Jesus and loves people, and she can play the piano. Praise the Lord! No doubt, she will be a tremendous blessing to the work here. Lord willing, she will be with us for six months, and you never know, maybe longer!
Please pray for Sue to get adjusted to a new country, a new culture, and a new way of life and that God will use her for His glory for however long she will be with us!
A week ago, a group from Pacific Baptist Church in Long Beach arrived here for the annual Southeast Asia Missions/Senior Trip. Our youth pastor Nathan Ros and his dear wife brought the group here. It is such a blessing to have them here with us. Some of them are staff at PBC and/or PBS. Others are students. Many of them were my students at Pacific Baptist School and/or Pacific Baptist Bible College. It is always a blessing to have them visit here. This was always a dream of my brother’s (Pastor Joe Esposito). I think he looked upon this as a great way to introduce our young people to Southeast Asia, the 1040 Window, and the great need for laborers. I believe his dream was that many would come and choose to one day return.
Please pray that God will use this trip to touch the hearts and change the lives of our young people as well as our staff that are here, and that God will find a laborer or two in the bunch!
In recent days, Man and I have been visiting and sharing the Gospel with a few women who live not to far from the church. The initial contact came because of one of our new converts named Sopha. I invited a few of them over my house for an American meal, which not one of them had ever tried. My daughter made a great meal, and to my utter surprise, one after another, they just kept coming. I kept thinking to myself, “If you will feed them, they will come.” Come they did. All eight of them! We had a great time, shared a little bit of the love of God with them, and now a few of them have been coming to our services faithfully.
Please pray for these dear ladies to trust Christ!
Last Friday, we had a great time of food, fun, and fellowship with our workers from the three churches, as well as the group from our home church in Long Beach. Hearing the many testimonies, especially from our Cham (former Muslim) people, was heart-warming and inspiring to say the least. The food was great. The fun was insane. In the words of missionary Bounna Has (who organizes the games), “That’s How We Roll.” I had the privilege of preaching to close the time of fellowship. I preached a message on “Who or what is holding you back from going all the way with Jesus” from Matthew 19:16-22. I think I might have preached a bit longer than I was supposed to, but God seemed to be moving.
Please pray for these folks to not only continue on for God, but go all the way with Jesus in reaching their country for Christ!
Over the past few weeks Man and I have been working with a woman named Srey-Pech and her husband. About three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with her. She was very open. We left her with some literature, which she read. I also gave her an animated book, which tells the story of the Bible in Khmer. She has been reading it to her children. She has said that her and her family would attend our “Celebration Service.” This past Sunday, after I preached in our morning service, Man and I went by to visit the family. She had a huge smile on her face when we came by, and once again, promised to attend the “Celebration Service.”
Please pray for Srey-Pech and her family to be saved!
It doesn’t get any more emotional than this. This past Sunday evening, immediately after the service, two of the ladies that Man and I have recently been working with approached us and told us they would be returning to their village, a full day’s bus ride away. With tears in their eyes and gratitude in their hearts, they thanked us for sharing the gospel with them, and begged us to come or send someone to their village where there is NO gospel witness. How do you say, “Sorry, we don’t have enough laborers” (Matthew 9:37-38)? You don’t! You just smile, give them a Bible, and other literature, which they cannot read, pray with and for them, say good-bye, and then go upstairs and cry!
Just a typical day in this part of the world!
Please pray that God will do something that we cannot do in the lives of these women, as well as in their home village!
Thank you for praying, thank you for giving, and thank you for caring!!!
Johnny and Denise