October 2012 Newsletter from Cambodia
Volume 7, Number 6, October 2012
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Dearest family & friends,
As you read this newsletter and catch-up on all the latest happenings in Cambodia, please join us as we praise God for His faithfulness in our mission and His guidance as we strive to offer a brighter future to the people of Cambodia. Thank you for your continued financial support toward the work, your encouragements, and most importantly, your prayers!
In this issue:
- Cambodia Bible Institute (CBI)
- SNACK Program
- Staff Training
- Churches in the Countryside
- Visit to Battambang
- Death of King Father Norodom Sihanouk
- Cambodia Bible Institute (CBI)
Cambodia Bible Institute
Dennis and Rich have recently had a very busy teaching schedule. They both have had back-to-back classes for several months; Dennis most recently teaching Ezekiel and Luke with Rich teaching Hebrews, Greek and Christian Family. The Bible school continues to go through periods of needing more instructors. Therefore, we are always thrilled when we have visiting teachers at CBI. A recent teacher visiting and teaching at CBI was Mark Hooper from North Richland Hills, Texas. Mark also works with Mission Resource Network and was a missionary to India. We are grateful that his schedule allowed him to come and teach the students “World Religions.” Phil Jackson, who also works with Mission Resource Network joined Mark during a one-week visit. While here, Phil strongly encouraged the Bible students, the Christians and learned more about the different works that are going on here in Cambodia. Currently, visiting instructor John Breeden is teaching 1st Corinthians. We appreciate the help and efforts of these Godly servants. Please join us in prayer that the students will be bold and courageous as they reach out, teaching and sharing the Good News.
Malnutrition continues to be a common cause for major health problems and often causes death among children. Some of these problems result from a lack of work and insufficient cash to buy food for an adequate diet and other basic needs such as shelter, clothing, healthcare and education. As the SNACK Program continue to reach out to many children and villages, feeding nutritional snacks, teaching good health and hygiene and teaching the children Bible stories, we look for ways to improve the program. The last few months have been busy with evaluating new villages, meeting with village and commune leaders, hosting community meetings and measuring children. Sharon often expresses her joy and sadness as she gets more involved in the lives of the Cambodian families. Just seeing the poverty of these people is overwhelming, but seeing the lost state of their souls and their hopelessness brings tears to our eyes. Oh how we long for everyone to experience the peace and joy that comes with knowing our Lord and Savior! We are grateful for the numerous visitors who join the SNACK Program to serve and experience the joy and excitement of helping these children firsthand as they share the love of Jesus. Thank you!!!
The SNACK staff recently participated in their very first training seminar! This two-day conference focused on topics such as Leadership, Behavior Management Skills, Team Building, Community Health and Nutrition. This particular seminar is presented annually and designed to help in building Cambodia’s future. We were all encouraged and excited we had this opportunity. Please join us in prayer as we strive to serve the children and families in the countryside more effectively!
Churches in the Countryside
Christian fellowship is so special and we look forward to the opportunities we have to meet with our fellow brothers and sisters in the countryside. Oh what a blessings to assemble with the saints and see the great ways the Lord’s church is growing. Although their living arrangements are meager (homes, food, clothing, etc) including a lack of running water and electricity they appear to be filled with joy. We are reminded of having so much and that we don’t often realize it, taking our many, many blessings for granted. Furthermore, we are getting to see the fruits of many of our graduates from CBI who have returned to their villages to preach and teach. One of our visits included meeting with the church in the little village of Saang where two of our graduates, Sovann and Sokna live and work. They have now been married for almost 1 ½ years and are actively reaching out in their village, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and also teaching Bible and English classes. They have done a great job having some of the new Christians helping and leading parts of the worship service. We had a wonderful time gathering with them and pray they were as encouraged by us as we were by them. While taking a much needed trip for rest & relaxation (see more below) we joined with another small village church where our graduate Sokun and Soklee have started a church. We were extremely encouraged to see the good work they are doing for the Lord. While we were there we delivered a box of clothes that had been donated and watched as the clothes were handed out to the very poor. The people were encouraged and very grateful as they selflessly shared the items with one another! Please pray that God will continue to pour out His blessings on these students and the church.
Visit to Battambang
We recently made our 1st trip to Cambodia’s 2nd largest city, Battambang for a few days of much needed rest and relaxation. The last few months we have been putting in 14-16 hour days and needed a break. The Buddhist National holiday for Dead Ancestors is celebrated during the month of October so everything is shut down for a week. Therefore, it was a perfect time to travel. Furthermore, we were able to join one of our employees, Rasmey, who was celebrating his engagement with a party in his hometown near Battambang.
Death of King Father Norodom Sihanouk
The charismatic former King Norodom Sihanouk, who the people of Cambodia dearly loved and honored, died of a heart attack in Beijing, China on Monday, October 15th. His death has been a great loss to the Kingdom of Cambodia! Over the past few weeks there have been thousands of people mourning his death and honoring him. The Prime Minister declared a three-month mourning period to celebrate the late king’s dedication to the Cambodian people and his legacy as a great leader. If only all the people in Cambodia would celebrate and honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His death on the cross for our sins, acknowledging Him as their King! Please join us in prayer for the Kingdom of Cambodia.
We pray God’s richest blessings on you! Thank you again for your love and your great sacrifices for our Lord.
Eternal love & blessings,
Dennis & Sharon
Phnom Penh, Cambodia