Just over a week ago my wife and I celebrated three years as missionaries in the 1040 Window. After just under a year on deputation we left the States for Southeast Asia. It was on March 14, 2013 that my wife and I left Los Angeles, California to start a new phase in our journey with Jesus. On March 16, 2013, as a 56-year old man and a … well, I won’t tell you my wife’s age, we arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After spending three weeks with our team in Cambodia we arrived in Laos and spent 17 months there. We have now been with our team in Cambodia for the past 16 months. It has been a wonderful three years and we couldn’t be here, nor could we accomplish what God is accomplishing through us without your prayers and financial support!
I JUST WANTED TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUAL AND CONSISTENT PRAYERS FOR US, AS WELL AS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT!
Over the past two months Vannak and I have had the privilege to share the gospel over and over again, on a weekly basis, with Grandma Heang and her adult daughter Touch who live in Steung Meanchey. Praise the Lord! Two weeks or so ago Grandma Heang (89-years old) trusted Christ.
PLEASE PRAY FOR GRANDMA HEANG TO GROW SPIRITUALLY!
In our last update I mentioned Ra, a 15-year old boy from Steung Meanchey that Vannak and I recently had the privilege to lead to Christ. Ra has been attending our services the past few weeks now. He has also been bringing a friend. In recent days, two of his buddies have trusted Christ. Interestingly enough, both of his friends are named Sela. Last week Vannak and I had the privilege to lead one of them to the Lord and Man led the other Sela to Christ when he visited our Friday night teen boys meeting.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE YOUNG MEN TO GROW SPIRITUALLY AND HAVE AN IMPACT AMONG THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!
As we have mentioned often there are hundreds, actually thousands, of children and teenagers in Steung Meanchey. The vast majority (97-98%) of them are Buddhists and do not know Christ. And the majority of these have never once heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Last week as Man and I were making a few visits in Steung Meanchey we passed a small dental clinic (NGO) where we met about 20 seventh graders who were there to have their teeth checked. We started talking to them, passing out tracts, inviting them to church, and just having a fun time with them. They were so open and, trust me, they were having a great time and so were we!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE US, ESPECIALLY OUR NATIONALS, TO REACH THE MULTITUDE OF LOST YOUNG PEOPLE IN STEUNG MEANCHEY!
This past Sunday we started our Children’s/Teen Ministry in Steung Meanchey. Dave Board, our team leader here in Cambodia, has set down three primary objectives with these Children’s/Teen Ministries. They are as follows:
- Get the gospel to the children and teens.
- Assimilate the ones who do get saved into the church.
- Give our nationals the opportunity to love and serve their people.
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE THIS NEW MINISTRY IN STEUNG MEANCHEY TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE THREE OBJECTIVES!
As is often the case, when you are working with the poor and the marginalized, they often move without much notice and you tend to lose track of them. This is the case of one mother named Yun and her disabled son Yan. About five or six months ago Vannak and I had shared the gospel with them quite a few times over a month or two period of time and then they just suddenly disappeared. We hadn’t seen them in quite some time, but this past Sunday while we were making a few visits, and I was by myself, the mother (Yun) grabbed me and with a big smile on her face started talking to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand much of what she was saying other than “Teacher, it is good to see you.” I flagged down Vannak and we followed her to her house. Lord willing, now that we know where they live we will be able to get back to sharing the gospel with them!
PLEASE PRAY FOR YUN AND YAN TO TRUST JESUS CHRIST!
Over the past month and a half Vannak and I have been sharing the gospel with a handful of new folks in Steung Meanchey. They are very open and keep asking us to come back and teach them more. One lady named Theara has been especially receptive to the gospel and I think she is very close to trusting Christ. Unfortunately, her husband is a skeptic and a mocker. 😦 The other day when we stopped by Theara’s place-as with many other ladies in SMC-she was trimming strings from new blue jeans for a local factory. These ladies are given pallets with 100 pairs of jeans to trim and when they are finished they receive less than $2.00 (actually $1.75) for finishing the 100 pairs of jeans. From what I understand it takes most of them two days to complete the job. That’s less than a dollar per day. Such is the cycle of poverty in Steung Meanchey! Last month her family was being evicted from their shack because they didn’t have the $20 to pay rent. I had someone bring her the money later from the Lord.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THEARA’S SALVATION!
Our English Only Small Group is doing very well. We meet on Sunday evenings and it is a real blessing in so many ways. We are presently going verse by verse through the Book of Colossians. Last Sunday we had a brand new visitor join us. Her name is Jessica and she is originally from the State of Washington. It looks like Thinus will be heading back to South Africa at the end of April and Jessica will be heading somewhere in May. Not sure yet. She’s a traveler! 🙂 Anya, who is from Russia, may be heading back to Russia in May. Not sure about that yet!
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FOLKS IN OUR GROUP AND THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO REACH MORE ENGLISH ONLY PEOPLE FOR CHRIST OR WHO ARE SAVED BUT ARE NOT PART OF A LOCAL CHURCH HERE IN PHNOM PENH!
Living in this part of the world, you are afforded many opportunities to obey (or disobey) passages such as Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Matthew 25:31-45, James 2:14-16, 1 John 3:16-18, and dozens of other passages that deal with helping the poor. In recent days our family has been given another one of those opportunities to help a homeless mother and her child. Please pray for a woman named Chenda and her daughter as our family are helping her to try to get back on her two feet. My niece Sue is sort of “adopting” her spiritually. First, and foremost, pray for her salvation. I had a chance to share some with her today (she understands English some). But we need to send a Khmer speaking lady over with Sue to share the gospel with her in her heart language!
PLEASE PRAY FOR CHENDA’S SALVATION!
I recently had the opportunity and privilege to preach for Bethany Baptist Church here in Phnom Penh, which is pastored by Ranier Rolda. BBC is a Filipino congregation. They are wonderful people and they love preaching. Brother Ranier has been here in Cambodia longer than any other IB missionary. They also have another church which is all nationals at another location!
PLEASE PRAY FOR BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH AND OTHER BIBLE PREACHING CHURCHES HERE IN PHNOM PENH AND THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA!
In our last prayer update we asked for prayer for Chanty and his friend Chanta. In recent days both of them have trusted Christ. Thank you for praying!
PLEASE PRAY FOR CHANTY AND CHANTHA’S SPIRITUAL GROWTH!
Denise, Joy, Sue, and I would like to once again thank you for your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t be here without your concern for us and compassion for the people of Southeast Asia.
I also ask that you would pray much for our upcoming trip to Laos. I will be preaching seven times and teaching for our team’s Bible Institute for another 27 hours!