Our family has successfully transitioned back to life in Cambodia since our return on July 7. We’re glad for the chance to begin ministry with the Brown family to further reach Kampong Cham and Tbong Kmum with the gospel.
We met 17-year-old Net while out witnessing. He is learning to work on motorcycles. Net listened intently as we introduced him to the true God during our second visit with Him. As we return to his house in the next few days, please pray for his heart to be open to listen to the gospel. Please pray for there to be no distractions or hindrances as we visit him again.
Map is a young man we met who had been exposed to the gospel as a small child through the children’s ministry of a missionary in Phnom Penh years ago. He has not forgotten what he had learned about the Savior. We had the chance to water that long-sewn seed today. Please pray for Map as we meet him tomorrow for lunch to share God’s word with him further. Pray that God would open his heart to the gospel and remove any distractions.
Please pray for Kim. She is an older lady that we met who lives both here and in California. She has chosen to live in Cambodia part of the time because the weather here is better for some of her health issues. We had met her previously several years ago. Today, we had the chance to witness to her in English (with a small smattering of Khmer for completeness). She seemed open to the prospect of joining us for church on Sunday. Please pray for the Lord to keep the door open to witness to her, to open her heart and make her see her need for the Savior.
Please pray for Ket Loang, Sithaa, and Naren. These are other people that we have had to opportunity to witness to recently. They all need to be saved. They have various levels of interest in Christ and various hang-ups to trusting in Him.
In the coming weeks, we are planning to take survey trips to the “Red Dots” that we have mentioned in the past. We have some 12–14 places to visit. We ask you to pray that God would give us wisdom and boldness as we move forward with this work. More than anything, we ask you to pray that God would show his power in making the gospel known and lead us to the “son of peace” in each place whereby the gospel could be made fully known.
Thank you for your prayers.
Adam, Alison, Joshua, Anna, Abigail, Charity, Mary-Lynn, and Isaiah Wood
In mid-June we arrived back in the US to begin our furlough. We have enjoyed getting reacquainted with family and friends, as well as our church. Our children especially have taken joy in meeting grandparents for the first time (as far as they remember).
The first few weeks here were spent preparing materials for coming meetings at churches, which now are in full swing. The Lord has already blessed in the churches we have visited. In the coming months we have plans to visit churches in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Rhode Island. Please pray for our travels and meetings.
As part of our preparations for furlough Brother Matt Brown and I put together a video presenting the true-to-life Cambodian religion and the reason why Christians should consider taking the Gospel there. We are currently showing this video in churches that we visit. We would love for you to watch the video and prayerfully and seriously consider its message. You can view it below. Please pray with us that, if He is pleased, our Lord would use the video to call some of His people to preach the Gospel in Cambodia as missionaries.
Back in Cambodia, Grace Baptist Church is moving forward with the help of Brother Matt Brown. The Lord continues to take care of His church! A few weeks after we returned to America, Navy and Kanan, two kids whom we had been teaching, made professions of faith. Now Brother Brown is following up with them and their families, and seeing more opportunities to share the Gospel with them. Please keep Navy, Kanan, and their families in your prayers. There might be opportunity to start a kids ministry in Navy and Kanan’s village. Please pray for wisdom and fruit in this endeavor.
If you remember, I reported that Ming At’s husband was in jail. He has since been released, for which we are thankful. Please pray for him to be saved. Another lady I have mentioned previously, Poch, is seriously ill. Please pray for her to be saved. One more soul who needs God’s salvation is Piev. He is Rith’s brother. He has been involved in witchcraft and has suffered under the devil’s control. He seemed to have opened up to Rith’s witness recently, so please don’t forget to pray for Piev.
Thank you for your unceasing prayers for our family and work.
So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Coincidentally enough, in my personal Bible reading I just happened to be at the well-known place in Isaiah in which the Lord is talking about his “righteous servant,” who is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. I love and appreciate when the Lord’s timing in my Bible reading is spot-on.
In this verse (Isaiah 52:15) I was struck by such a clear declaration that Christ would save the Gentiles. To the Jewish mind in the New Testament times, it seems that was totally not on the radar, even a point of great contention (Acts 22:21-22). Yet, in the Scripture it is plainly recorded. Praise the Lord! The word “sprinkle” hearkens back to the sacrifices in which the priests would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices on the various instruments in the performance of their duties (Leviticus 1:5; etc.).
Another thing in this verse that was a blessing to read was how that the ignorant would see and consider. In the context, it seems to be referring to the Gentiles and their kings. If there is a verse of Scripture that rings true in the country to which I have been called, it is this one. Here in Cambodia there is so much misinformation about who Christ is and what He has done. I seems like almost no one understands how our Lord “sprinkled many nations,” notwithstanding all of the crusades, Jesus movies, etc. Yet this is exactly what this verse is saying.
Some seven hundred years before Jesus Christ was born, God led the prophet Isaiah to proclaim that the Gentiles would hear that which they had never heard, see that which they never seen, and consider that which they had never considered. This is being fulfilled in our very day here in Cambodia and all over the world. It is being fulfilled in places awash with ignorance about Christ’s great sacrifice. Of course, many people around here know a little about Jesus, but what Christ truly has done is almost totally unknown.
However, there are some that have heard and seen. There are some that have understood and considered. For dozens of generations, their forefathers have dwelt in darkness. Yet now, in a moment, they see it! They understand it! They believe it! This is the joy of being in God’s field: showing people that Christ has already sprinkled them. It is illuminating the truths of the Gospel, the great truths found in the 53rd of Isaiah.
So, I’m curious. Why haven’t you seriously considered going out into the field to tell those “many nations” what Christ has done for them? Why haven’t you put your strength to the task of piercing the darkness for the name of that righteous Servant whose soul was made an offering for sin? Why haven’t you taken, personally, the Gospel light to those in darkness (Matthew 4:16) that they abide not still in the midnight of ignorance?
Image courtesy of Luc B
The hand of the Lord has been evident here was we observe His persistent and great work in the lives of the people of Grace Baptist Church in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. In general we have seen a surge in personal growth of the people here. Not too long ago, several of our folks were having a hard time being faithful to church. When they didn’t show, others were discouraged, and so on. Those same people are now regulars and the Lord’s molding of their lives; in their attitudes, apparel and goals; is easily discernible. This has, in turn, encouraged others to become more faithful to church. Now, faithfulness to church, though important, is not an end in and of itself. We are constantly trying to ensure that they have a personal and private walk with the Lord as well. It is wonderful to see God’s work.
Chendamony has been inviting her friends to church regularly. One in particular, named Wuech, has been coming on Wednesdays and seems truly interested in the Lord. I ask you to pray for her to be saved. We are looking for a time to sit down with her and explain the Gospel to her. Monorith (Rith for short) had an opportunity to possibly attend one of the U.S. military academies for the 2014-2018 term. After much prayer, he decided that God wanted him to put it off for a year so that he would have a chance to serve the Lord, and that he has been doing indeed. Rith and I have been going weekly to a village called Tuol Srae to teach several folks there about Christ (This is Wutee’s village.). Rith has been especially teaching the children and a teenage young man who is very open to the Gospel. This fellow even reads the literature we gave him by candlelight at night because his village does not yet have electricity. During the week I am teaching Rith how to share the Gospel, and on Fridays he is going out there and putting it into practice. Please pray for our evangelism in Tuol Srae, that God would make Himself and His power known to the listeners. Myen is another lady whom I have been teaching about Christ. She is very poor, does not read or write Khmer and has HIV. She sometimes has a hard time following what I say. Nevertheless, I hear the Lord reminding me to continue to be patient in teaching her as long as she wants to hear. Please pray for her and another lady that have been listening to God’s Word.
As I mentioned before, our attendance in our services is improving as people have been inviting their friends and loved ones. Most exciting, though, is seeing our own folks making a point to seek Lord in the church, listen attentively and give offerings to God. We also have a single lady missionary, Grace Ortiz, and her friend Sina, that have been attending our church. They live here in Kampong Cham as well. Their regular attendance has been an encouragement to others to come faithfully as well. Since the rainy season is over, and the river level has dropped, in the near future, if God is willing, I am planning on leading our people to start some day-long outreach ministries to some other areas around our city. I could certainly use God’s wisdom, through your prayers, to know where, when and how to move forward.
I think I can safely say the work on the Khmer Bible concordance is moving forward. After a long hiatus because of some pretty difficult issues, we are moving forward with preparing a final version that will be sized suitable for print. For those interested, the Khmer concordance is at least twice the size of the English Strong’s Concordance, which creates a major printing problem. I hope we have resolved that. I know for a fact that some Khmer pastors will find a great deal of use in a tool like this, which does not yet exist for the Khmer Bible. Again, please pray for God’s wisdom in the steps forward.
Our family is well, despite some recent sicknesses. The Lord Jesus continues to sustain us and our family. We are all eagerly looking forward to a first-time visit by a family member (Adam’s dad) in December, Lord willing. Before we conclude, we want you to know that we would love to hear from you anytime. Fare ye well.
Greetings in the name of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What an honor it is to be bearers of His name to a dark land! We trust you all are enjoying the Lord’s abundant blessings. I would like to bring you up to date and request your prayers for several things.
A number of people have asked about the mother of a young lady in our church (Mony) who was sick unto death. She passed away just a few days after my previous update. My daughter and I attended the funeral. What a sad time it was! We are thankful to the Lord, though, that Mony honored the Lord by helping where she could in the funeral without defiling herself with the idolatrous practices so common here. Her father didn’t even give her a hard time about it. Praise the Lord.
Cultural Note: Usually, when a mother or father dies, all sorts of worship is performed by the family of the deceased. This is so prevalent that frequently one of the first questions I get when meeting new people is, “I have heard that when a Christian’s mom or dad dies they are not allowed to ‘honor’ them. Is this true?” As you can imagine, this question is loaded. By honor, they are referring to worship in the form of burning incense. Yet they say honor. So if you don’t worship them, you are accused of dishonoring your parents after their death. It is a sort of confusing custom that is often inconsistent. Add to that the fact that there are “Christian” groups that forbid their members from crying, keeping the ashes of the deceased, keeping a picture of them in the house, attending the funeral in any way, etc. So, the question is partly justified. I had the joy of telling an older lady just the other day that it was the Lord Jesus Himself who wept at the hearing of the death of a friend.
Going back to Mony, her father has since torn down his huge altar inside his house that was primarily to worship spirits to make his wife better. He told Mony that it was “worthless.” Now, however, he is visiting spirit mediums to attempt to contact his wife even though she as passed away. Please pray for him, named Sak, that the Lord would open his eyes and that our Lord would provide an opportunity for me (or someone) to show him the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I thank the Lord for a opportunity to teach another family about the Gospel on Sunday afternoons. I met them while out visiting and they seem interested. They are all related in some way or another with each other. I don’t have names right now, but please pray for them to receive God’s Word as taught and for the Holy Spirit to convict them. I’ll try to get the names to you if I can.
There is another family that I met while out visiting that might also be interested in learning more about our Lord. The father, Chaylieng, and his wife have 7 children, the oldest of which is a 20-something. The Lord blessed to allow me to talk to them for probably 45 minutes about the Lord with nearly the entire family and several neighbors listening. Please pray that the Lord would open the door to teach them further.
As for the people in our church, I ask you to pray for Rut. I have begun teaching him English because of some problems he had at his school. Outside of the obvious benefit to him, it has allowed us to get to know each other better and for me to lead him in the way of the Lord. I trust that the Holy Spirit is leading him in His way. He has yet to be baptized, so that is on the agenda to do soon.
I am also working with Davy and Huv, whom I mentioned in our last update. Davy called on the Lord to save her, but her work as a hairdresser keeps her busy. I am working on sitting her and her husband down to discuss her being baptized. Her husband is still a mystery, as to where he stands with the Lord. Please pray for them both, and for me to have wisdom to know how the Lord would have me to help them.
Lastly, a number of you have asked about and shown concern for our son Joshua and his neck problem. This matter stands about the same as before. The next step for us is a trip to Thailand to have a pediatric orthopedist check out his neck. I ask you to pray for us to have wisdom to know when to go and that the fix would be non-surgical. I’ll try to keep you posted on this issue as well.
Thank you so much for praying for us. Please, please keep in touch. We love to hear from you!
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We have begun doing some evangelism in a new area called Kah Paen (you can see it on the map here). Some of you may remember a video we made from that island a number of months ago. You can view it here if you haven’t seen it. I haven’t the slightest clue how many people live on this (more…)
We thank the Lord for more open doors of opportunity to continue to teach the Gospel of Christ to those who do not yet know Him. A number of times per week, we leave the house with the express purpose of getting the Gospel out to any and all that will listen. We pass tracts, talk to people about the true God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and about (more…)
Though the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most witnessed events in history, and certainly the most important, there are some differences of opinion concerning the timeline of the resurrection. Admittedly, the exact timeline is less than perfectly clear in the Scripture, as attested by the fact that there is (more…)
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have officially begun having church services on Sundays. Actually, today was the third week we have held meetings. There is a funny story surrounding the way the meetings began. A few weeks ago I wrote to you about the lady, Kum At, that recently received Christ. Well, the very next Sunday morning I was in my office preparing for a service with just our family like we had done before. I got a phone call from this lady telling me that she was at our gate for the church service, with her two daughters. So, needless to say I quickly prepared to change gears to teach in Khmer instead of English. We have had a service every Sunday since. We hope to add some more meetings during the week soon.
Kum At seems to be growing. She has already read the book of John that gave her. She now has a Bible and has begun reading Genesis and Exodus. In the near future I hope to talk to her about baptism. Praise the Lord for His work in her life.
Please pray about our visiting work. It can be a slow process here to get people to put aside their many preconceived ideas about Christ and Christianity and open up to hear the truth. Recently I have had several solid opportunities to explain the Gospel clearly to some people. Praise the Lord for that. Pray that the Lord would open hearts and save souls as we go out and broadcast his Gospel.
A little over a week ago Abigail (6 years) was scalded pretty severely with some hot tea. There were no complications and her hand has been healing nicely. Other than that there is little else to report concerning our family. Everyone is healthy and well, for which we thank our God.
As always, and sincerely, thank you for your prayers for all of us.
Here you have it: the final installment of our three part series on perceptions that Cambodian people have of the United States and Christianity. This one should be the funniest.
Many Cambodians think that:
The U.S. government pays missionaries to come here and teach about Jesus Christ.
Now, that is funny. If there is anything that the United States government wants to avoid it is the perception that it is propagating a particular religion. Of course, we know that our government is becoming increasingly averse to things Christian. This, however, should not bother us so much because we that believe the Bible know that true Christianity is pilgrim in nature. We neither need nor want an endorsement from any government, be it the United States or any other.
In the first two parts of this series we saw that many Cambodians think that all Americans are Christians and that the national religion of America is Christianity. So it stands to reason that when Christian ministers come from America to Cambodia, they would be endorsed and supported by the government, just as the Buddhist monks doing something similar in the United States would have the sanction of the Cambodian government.
Hardly a day passes in which a Cambodian person does not have a question or statement for us regarding money. We are viewed as rich, though there are many, many Cambodians with more money than us. They ask how much our rent is, the cost of our power bill, how much we paid for our car, what our salary is, etc. Further, since America is a heaven of sorts to many here, and we are the U.S. government’s officially commissioned religious ambassadors, we probably get a big salary from our wealthy Uncle Sam. I laugh just thinking about that.
I will give one true story to illustrate. A missionary here needed a permission from the Ministry of Cults and Religions here. During that process, he was required to get a letter from the U.S. Embassy stating that he was a recognized missionary from the United States. So, knowing full well it was in no way, fashion, or form possible to get a statement like that from the Embassy, he made an appointment. When he arrived and was interviewed, the officer told him immediately that they could not do that. So instead he offered to give him a “self-stated affidavit.” This is basically an official piece of U.S. government paper stating that this missionary stated that he was a missionary in the presence of an officer of the U.S. Consulate. Read that again and you will see it means basically nothing. You see, the Ministry of Cults and Religions did not understand that this was not possible. (By the way, the missionary got his permission).
Brethren, the three essays in this series are humorous but at the same time serious. These ideas truly do affect individual’s reception to the Gospel of Christ. Many people will perish in the lake of fire due in part to these preconceived and false ideas. This is the very reason it is so important to have a right understanding of what the Bible teaches is the place of born again Christians in the world. I don’t expect to change the fact that many false religions name the name of Christ. But we that do belong to Him should do our best to obey His Word to fill our place as pilgrim-witnesses of the risen Christ.