God is doing some amazing things through our three teams in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand). My wife and I are so looking forward to our return to Asia in about eight weeks. The picture above (photo credits missionary Bounna Has) is JUST A FEW OF OUR MANY SOUL-WINNERS IN CAMBODIA. In this picture, they are having an Asian style breakfast at 6:00 AM, just prior to heading out to share the Gospel with their people. Many of them will spend over 12 hours out sharing the love of Christ. About half of those pictured above, are students in our new Bible college in Phnom Penh.
Just curious, I wonder if you could figure out which one is Michelle Hardesty? 🙂 Michelle and her family are long-time members of Pacific Baptist Church and she is a graduate of Pacific Baptist School and Pacific Baptist Bible College. She is one of four singles serving with our team in Phnom Penh, Cambodia!
PLEASE PRAY FOR DAVE BOARD, OUR TEAM MEMBERS IN CAMBODIA, AND OUR FOLKS IN CAMBODIA, AS THEY FAITHFULLY BRING THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST TO THE PEOPLE OF CAMBODIA!
As I typed most of this update, I was sitting at the airport in Hartford, CT. I had been in New England for the past 11 days. And, let me tell you, it was cold. Yet, despite the cold, we had some wonderful meetings. After preaching and presenting at Fairfield Baptist Church on a Thursday evening, I had the privilege to spend four days with one of our supporting churches. White Oak Baptist Church has always been a missions’ minded church. Their former pastor, Michael Peslak, served on the mission field for a few years prior to coming to White Oak Baptist. The conference was four days long, I had the chance to preach four times, and had a wonderful time fellowshipping with other missionaries, church staff, and members of the church.
The new pastor of White Oak Baptist Church is Pastor Le June. My brother and I went to college with his father, who is still faithfully serving the Lord in New England. Pastor Le June has a heart for the Lord, for his people, and for the lost. He is doing a great job at White Oak. After the four-day conference was over, the two of us went to a basketball museum and just enjoyed a great time of fellowship. Pastor Le June and I both love the game of basketball and are both former basketball coaches so we had plenty to talk about. 🙂
While in New England, I also had the privilege of teaching a combined (adult and teens) Sunday School class and preached for another one of my wife and mine supporting churches. First Baptist Church of Groton has been faithfully supporting Denise and me for nearly five years now. Pastor Faulk, my brother, and I all attended Bible college together. I am grateful for a man who has stayed faithful over the years. He took over a church that had literally died about five years ago and God is using him to see it bought back to life. Praise the Lord!
It was a real treat to be able to report at Emmanuel Baptist Church of Newington, CT. Our dear friend of many years Pastor Cary Schmidt, he has been pastoring the church now for nearly five years and words cannot describe what God is doing in the ministry since his arrival. My wife and I had the privilege to be in his very first service five years ago. I cannot begin to describe how much the church has been revitalized!
Just prior to heading off for chilly New England, my wife and I had the privilege to report and preach (well, actually, I did the preaching) for two of our supporting churches in the northern part of California. On Sunday morning, my wife and I were with long-time friend, Pastor Steve Nichols, and the Regency Baptist Church of Orangevale, CA. Pastor Nichols has faithfully served as pastor of this church despite a crippling illness of twenty years. He now preaches from a wheel chair. One of the staff member’s at Regency is Vathana Mao. Vathana, a former bus kid, graduated from our school many years ago and was one of my better basketball players. He is doing a great job with the youth and helping bus kids raise the funds to attend Christian school!
On Sunday evening, my wife and I were able to be with another one of our long-time friends, Pastor Rick Stonestreet and the Calvary Baptist Church. As always, it was a joy to preach for the church family, to fellowship with pastor, his wife, and the church family. A real treat was to spend some time fellowshipping with the Missions’ Secretary of the church and to our surprise she pulled out a few newspapers with our name on it. Apparently, when they highlight a missionary of the week she puts together a newspaper with articles and pictures about their ministry!
A few days ago, one of our fine young Cham men (former Muslim) from Cambodia sent me a few pictures and videos, along with a personal greeting from himself and grandpa Pun (pictured below). Grandpa is blind and has been saved for a few years now, loves Jesus, and has been responsible for seeing many of his family members come to know Christ. I loved visiting in his home, teaching his family the Word, and sharing the Gospel with his wife, who eventually trusted Christ when one of our Cham brothers witnessed to her. Zen, who I had the privilege of discipling for about a year or so while in Cambodia, is a fine young man who is now enrolled in our Bible college in Phnom Penh!
Not quite sure who this is climbing the tree in the video below, Zen sent it to me. Yet, when I watched this video, I was reminded of one of our young teen boys, many years ago, even prior to my arrival in Cambodia, who died when he fell out of a tree much like this. His home (shack) was the very first that I ever visited in Southeast Asia. Visiting his mother, right after his death, broke my heart for the people of Cambodia, and the rest of Southeast Asia, and it was one of many experiences that helped to convince me of the need to leave America and “GO” to the needy places in the 10/40 Window!
- Please continue to pray for all three of our teams in Southeast Asia [Cambodia, Laos, Thailand].
- Please continue to pray for our new Bible college in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
- Please continue to pray that God will open doors for future ministry in China.
- Please continue to pray about the recent increase in persecution in China.
- Please continue to pray that God will bring an increase from all the seeds that we have been sowing through our preaching, teaching, reporting, and presenting these past few months.
- Please pray that God will provide the necessary funds for my wife and I to relocate.
- Please pray for my wife’s recovery from recent surgery!
- Please continue to pray for my brother, Pastor Joe, and his wife Mary!
Denise and I want to thank you for your faithfulness in praying and giving for our ministry. As we often say, we would not be able do what God has called and led us to do without your prayers and without your financial support!
Johnny and Denise
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light” — John Keith Falconer