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Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia!
We pray that all is well with each of you and the Lord is blessing you richly. What a special place each of you holds in our thoughts, prayers and hearts. Thank you deeply for embracing us with your love, support and encouragement of our work here. ”We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thess. 1:2-3
During the month of July we once again have been blessed in so many ways! Therefore, we begin this newsletter offering a prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord and Savior. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross we have great hope. Through God’s providence He has given us everything we need for life and godliness according to His divine power at work in us. Cf. 2 Peter 1:3
We are grateful to be reunited once again after a long month of being apart! Most of you are aware we made a trip to the States late March through early May specifically as a fund raiser for the SNACK Program. Unfortunately, this did not allow time for family visits. Therefore, Dennis graciously insisted Sharon return to the States for some one-on-one reunion time with loved ones. Sharon’s month was filled with fun as she spent time with family and friends (which included the grandkids, our son Michael and her sister in Arkansas). This visit also allowed her the opportunity to teach a few classes and meet with some of the folks’ interested in assisting in the work in Cambodia! We are so grateful for the ways so many bless us. Sharon’s time with each of you made her trip to the States all the more special. She returned home deeply encouraged and we pray she was able to encourage many while visiting.
Meanwhile, Dennis was busy in Cambodia…covering for Sharon, overseeing the SNACK Program, continuing studying Khmer lessons and teaching at the Bible school. Dennis taught a course on sermon preparation, specifically using Old Testament stories as a launching pad to the Good News. He enjoyed listening to the students display God working throughout time to bring salvation to His creation. We hope you will join with us in sending prayers of thanksgiving to our Father for all the opportunities we have been granted to teach the Good News and serve the people of Cambodia. We pray that God will use us to build faith within the church and among the lost toward love and salvation.
We are excited to announce a new sister in Christ. Paul and Debbie Pinckley of the Ship of Life met and began studying with Dane (da nay) while serving the people of her village along the river northwest of Phnom Penh. Later, our daughter Theary joined the teaching team, providing teaching, encouragement and the example of a young Cambodian girl who has fully given her life to Jesus. We all celebrated with the angels as Dane joined the Kingdom mid-July. Please join us in prayer for her growth in knowledge of and devotion to our Lord. Paul said it best in Ephesians 3:14-21.
Immediately after Sharon’s return, she was back out in the countryside, excited to see her staff and the children. We love the opportuntity to take visitors out to help with the children, encourage the SNACK staff and experience the joy of serving these precious souls physically and spiritually. Sharon was glad to take four girls who were visiting from America and who were eager to join and help the nutrition staff! These four young ladies came to serve in a variety of ways. Besides serving the children of the SNACK Program and other benevolent work with children, there are other works such as teaching Engish at the BEST Center, volunteering on the Ship of Life, teaching at one of the Bible Schools, disciple making and church planting. Look on our blog for links to these works. We pray you will consider how you can use your gifts also, partnering in helping us share the love of God with the Cambodian people and serving our Lord and Savior.
Our schedule soon had us traveling again. Directly following Sharon’s return from her visit to the U.S.A., we flew to Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia for the 51st Asian Mission Forum. This is the first time the AMF (Asian Mission Forum) has been hosted on Borneo Island and was well attended as many missionaries gathered together for faith-building and bringing honor and praise to God. This year’s event was hosted by Joel Osborne from Mito, Japan and we were blessed to have Jim McGuiggan as the keynote speaker. To be sure, we were encouraged by the lessons. However, most encouraging were the brothers and sisters, missionaries and nationals, who openly proclaim their faith. Furthermore, we were deeply touched by the testimonies of many who have been bold and courageous as they have experienced persecution as well as amazing stories of faith from native Japanese who had first-hand experience during the 2010 tsunami in Japan. God has been strongly using these individual as they serve on the Disaster Relief Team in Japan. Their stories brought tears to our eyes as they relived this horrific experience. Please offer a prayer of thanksgiving for them and their love, service and sacrifices made to the hurting and suffering people of this tragic event. Let’s not forget the plight of these people! We were strengthened, as we witnessed the faith and courage of these brothers and sisters.
While we were in Kuching, we visited the Sarawak Cultural Village and a River Cruise which was part of the special activities planned as part of the Forum. Malaysia is a beautiful country! After the conference ended we took the opportunity to visit some of the magnificent caves in the area and then took a couple of days to do some personal planning and goal setting. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and are thankful for the time of being refreshed. We are so thankful for the faith of all these disciples who join with us to learn about their loving Creator and Savior. Please pray “at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication for all the saints, and also for me (us), that words may be given to me (us) in opening my (our) mouth(s) boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel…” – Eph 6:18-19
The future holds much excitement as we anticipate how God will use us. Thank you for the effort and sacrifice each of you has made!!! Please continue praying for our efforts to join God in growing and maturing His mighty Kingdom among these precious souls. We treasure your prayers and love! “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5
Dennis & Sharon