“Tell the students to give up their small
ambitions and come eastward
to preach the gospel of Christ.”
After a brief word about our most recent trip to Thailand and Laos, I would like to take the rest of this update to share with you a little about the importance of young people surrendering their lives to Christ and the cause of Christ in the world and about some of our young singles who are serving here in Cambodia.
As I mentioned in our previous update, our trip to Thailand and Laos was unbelievable. I had the opportunity to preach four times at the camp in Thailand, another four times in Laos for two different churches, and teach another 25 hours for the Bible Institute. Only time will tell, but I do believe that many life-changing decisions were made during our 11 days in Laos and Thailand. Many of the young people were talking about serving God full-time and reaching, not only their own people, but going to other places in the 1040 Window such as China.
Thank you for praying!
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW THAT WE SENT TO MY BROTHER PASTOR JOE FROM OUR TRIP TO LAOS AND THAILAND!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL BRING A GREAT INCREASE TO THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN DURING OUR 11 DAYS IN THAILAND AND LAOS!
Surrounded by so many young people, between the ages 18-25, I was reminded of the words written by missionaries Jake Taube and Mark Tolson over ten years ago in their book On the Edge:
“Until we have young men and young women of God who are willing to do anything necessary to see God’s name glorified, there will be no city-taking. Until there is a generation willing to suffer, willing to bleed, and willing to die for the glory of God, there will be no conquering of the land God has promised us. We may watch walls fall and doors open, but it is our hearts that determine whether or not the cities of this world will be taken. … What will make the difference for the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation? It will be nothing less than the mobilization of student leadership towards God’s worldwide purpose. Only when students realize that God has a powerful plan for their life and abandon their own small dreams, plans, and passions will this world of 6.5 billion people be reached. Only when students cast their aspirations and goals onto the altar of commitment to Christ will China, now at 1.3 billion inhabitants, be evangelized. The message of the need of China must be proclaimed to this new generation. Over a billion souls hang in the balance. We bear a command from our Savior to go into all the world, carrying the Gospel of His death, burial, and resurrection. The question is given to this generation, ‘Who will go for us?’ (Is.6:8) What can be done to raise up a generation of Christian students for China? What can American students do? The students of America must be mobilized to the harvest fields of China. No other group in the world has the opportunity for so much training, so much financial power, and so much life ahead of them. Francis Xavier said, ‘Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.’”
With the above words in mind, I would like to introduce you to a few young people, singles, who have given their all to Christ and the cause of Christ:
Grace Ortiz has been in Cambodia now for nine years. She grew up in Hillside Baptist Church in Los Angeles and came here to the country not knowing a soul and with very little support. For the past two years she has been serving with our team here in Phnom Penh. Her main focus at the moment is working with the deaf in Phnom Penh. She is currently enrolled in the Cambodia Sign Language (CSL) Interpreters Training Course at the Maryknoll Deaf Development Center. In addition to this, she is able to soul win, visit, teach, and disciple the deaf in areas surrounding Phnom Penh: Steung Meanchey, Toul Tom Pong, Boeung Trabek, Chbar Ampou, and Chomroeun Phal.
She is also currently working with 5 saved deaf ladies to create/teach signs that relate to Bible vocabulary and scriptures that are separate from the Buddhist religion. Once a sign is created or taught, it is drawn and recorded as a new sign and kept to be taught to other deaf who attend our church services.
As of today, God has used Grace and our deaf ministry to see eight deaf Cambodians accept Christ as their Savior. Many other deaf Cambodians have attended our church services on several occasions but have not yet made decisions to accept Christ. Grace has had as many as 17 deaf in one of our services.
She has also been given the privilege, with special talents from God, to interpret during our church services and small group teachings. She is still studying CSL and please pray that the Lord will continue to use her to win more deaf to the Lord.
Adrian Torres grew up in Pacific Baptist Church and graduated from both Pacific Baptist School and Pacific Baptist Bible College. Soon after graduating from PBBC, Adrian came to Cambodia with absolutely no support. He has been here in Cambodia for three years and is a vital part of our ministry here. He works full-time in a private school here in Phnom Penh to support himself. He is a tuk-tuk captain and brings about 20-25 poor children to church every week. He is involved with other different soul-winning ministries, teaches English to teen boys on Thursday, assists me with a Bible study on Friday afternoons, works with our Teen Boy’s Ministry on Fridays, preaches to 20-25 teenagers every Sunday, and oversees the church finances here.
Sue Esposito also grew up at Pacific Baptist Church, graduated from Pacific Baptist School, and Pacific Baptist Bible College. She is my niece and Pastor Joe’s second eldest daughter. She has been in Cambodia for just over a year now and her favorite time of the week is when we go to Steung MeanChey, one of the poorest areas in Cambodia. Sue is able to go with one of the ladies and they disciple and teach the Bible to recently saved ladies there, and also share the gospel with the lost.
Sue is also very involved in our Music ministry. She is a part of our ladies’ choir and our English choir. Every Wednesday she has the opportunity to play for our children’s choir practice. They do such a great job! She also gets to play piano for our teen girl’s music group in addition to our English Bible study group on Sunday nights. The teen girls come over on Fridays for a weekly Bible study, which includes a time of games, singing, and sometimes crafts. They also have a small group of young single ladies who come over to our house for a Bible study also. They teach from different subjects in the Bible that will help the girls to grow in the Lord. Every Saturday evening Sue enjoys teaching some of our girls English. They do many different things to help them get some teaching experience also. Each week the girls have the opportunity to learn a Bible verse in English. Soon the girls will be teaching new English songs also.
Joy Esposito is my daughter. Of course, she grew up at Pacific Baptist Church, graduated from Pacific Baptist School, and Pacific Baptist Bible College. She served on staff at Pacific Baptist School for two years, teaching elementary-aged students, until volunteering to come to Cambodia to serve. She came to Cambodia with only a few hundred dollars’ support. Like her cousin Sue, Joy is involved with the Ladies’ Choir, the English Choir, she works with the teen girls, she teaches English to the teen girls, has a Bible study with a few single ladies, and she personally disciples Sokchea and Srey Nich. She has been used by God in a mighty way in these two young ladies lives. Joy has also been working in one of our village ministries for almost the entire time she has been in the country. On Tuesdays, she leaves the house at 6:30 AM and does not return until 6:30 or 7:00 PM. On Saturdays, she leaves at 6:30 and returns about 1:00 PM. Both Joy and Sue are extremely helpful around the house, especially when we have guests over, which is quite frequently! Joy will be leaving Cambodia soon. She was recently engaged to Chris Ayala, another one of our graduates. The two of them, Lord willing, will be serving the Lord in the future in Asia.
We thank God for these three young ladies and for Adrian. They left their family and friends to come to a country that desperately needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You might say, “Much of what they are doing in Cambodia they could do back home in the United States.” Yes, this is true!
HERE’S THE DIFFERENCE: THERE ARE PLENTY OF FOLKS WHO CAN FILL THOSE SLOTS IN AMERICA. OUR CHURCHES HAVE PLENTY OF YOUNG PEOPLE. BUT THERE IS NO LINE OF FOLKS WAITING TO SERVE IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD!
May God continue to call, and may young people respond to the call, to go to the uttermost parts of the world to bring the glorious Gospel of Christ where it is needed most and where the laborers are few!
Denise, Joy, Sue, and I thank you for your continual prayers and consistent support!