November 2012 Newsletter from Cambodia
Volume 7, Number 7, November 2012
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Dearest family & friends,
Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is ahead. These are two special holidays in American culture that bring to light how blessed we all are. We are extremely grateful for you. You have blessed us in ways you can’t imagine. Yes indeed, thank you for the love and support you have provided to us to encourage us in our work. Thank you for remembering us, your family and friends in your petitions to God. Beyond those things, thank you that you stand beside us in our work in the army of God to bring light to the darkness in the Kingdom of Cambodia. We are all commissioned soldiers of Christ in a battle against the forces of evil in this present age. May God strongly bless you for your faith and courage to stand firm under fire. We are in awe of your faith and dedication to His will. Please say a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s providence among us all to do everything He has planned for us to do together in His glorious kingdom of light.
Dennis completed teaching the course on the Gospel of Luke at the Cambodia Bible Institute. We have often heard it said that the teacher learns more than the students every time he teaches from God’s Word. That was certainly the case with Luke. Have you sat down and read through this powerful Gospel lately? Wow! The ministry and teachings of Jesus, especially His love and care toward the poor and outcasts have had a profound effect on our lives. Jesus’ teachings concerning worldly wealth and our stewardship over all of our blessings continues to impact us strongly toward simpler lifestyles, recognizing our true needs (and the needs of others), and toward kingdom priorities. How blessed we are to have the Word of God to reveal our Father’s perfect will for our lives. Next up at CBI for Dennis is Minor Prophets Course after the holiday break. Please continue to pray that these students of God’s Word be filled to overflowing with the Word and will of God.
One Saturday we took the CBI students to Peace Water Park, a tiny version of a water park you might find in a big city. It did have one good-size water slide that all of us really enjoyed. The school cook prepared us a take-with-us lunch so when coupled with the $2/person entry fee it made for an inexpensive day of water, food, fun, sun and fellowship.
Sharon continues to oversee the work in the villages through the SNACK Program (Supplemental Nutrition Aiding Cambodian Kids). The work took an interesting turn last month which afforded the opportunity to shift into a higher gear concerning the goals of this program. The SNACK Program is excited to announce an internship program for the graduates of CBI (the Cambodia Bible Institute). By using the graduates we afford them an opportunity to make the sometimes difficult and awkward transition from a student, wherein they were fully supported concerning housing and food, to a self-supporting graduate with an effective ministry. This approach will also provide more expertise in Bible teaching among our staff as they reveal the love of Jesus to the children and their families in the Cambodian countryside. The ultimate goal of the program is to join with our Lord in His work of growing the kingdom of heaven. Please pray for the success of this effective evangelistic benevolence program. Your financial support of the SNACK Program is welcome and needed.
The SNACK Program continues to be blessed by visitors wanting to help serve the children and families in the countryside. This month we had a French nurse from the Ship of Life team-up with us for one week. Anne was a huge blessing as she helped the SNACK staff and many children in the villages.
November allowed Sharon to host the Harding University Asia team once again. This year the group consisted of 36 university students and their chaperones. All had a wonderful experience and the children were blessed with lots of love and special attention. We are so grateful for the time, effort and desire these young men and women have in serving the people of Cambodia which they all demonstrated by their love and actions.
The Bible school and the SNACK Program joined together for a CBI program we call Evangelism Week. For five days in November we traveled to ten different locations to spread the Gospel and God’s love. Six of those ten locations were SNACK villages, four of which do not yet have a church. It was a strong blessing and encouragement to us to see the students and staff work together for the glory of God. Please pray that our partnership between the two will result in more disciples and churches in Cambodia.
After Evangelism Week we blessed the students with a day-trip to the Chambok Waterfall Eco-Tourism Park. One of the largest waterfalls in Cambodia is found at the end of a strenuous two-kilometer hike up a mountain trail. We spent most of the day splashing and playing in the base pool, enjoying a warm day of fun among the beauty that God has created at this location. Praise God with us for His spectacular creation.
Since Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday, it is not typically celebrated here except among the American ex-patriots living and working in Cambodia. Because of this, turkeys are hard to find and expensive. All of the Americans who could do so joined together and enjoyed a delightful meal-time of laughter and fellowship at a Tex-Mex restaurant for our Thanksgiving holiday. On another day we joined with friends for a second feast too. We are so blessed. Please continue to petition our Lord to provide all that we need for the work before us.
Normally, late November brings the Cambodian Water Festival holiday that includes long-boat races on the river in front of the Royal Palace. Because the King Father had died mid-October, the Prime Minister cancelled the races. We took advantage of the days off and traveled with dear friends to the Cambodian coast to enjoy a couple of days of fellowship and fun.
We try really hard to fill these newsletters with exciting or interesting news about how God is using his servants in Cambodia. We report like that to encourage you toward greater faith, love and good works. However, please know that we have plenty of struggles, challenges and pain too. We beg you to remember us in your prayers. Please know also of how precious and dear you are to us. We look forward to the day we stand beside you again singing that “new song” in heaven for all eternity. Until next month…
Eternal love & blessings,
Dennis & Sharon
Phnom Penh, Cambodia