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THE WELCHS GRAPEVINE
For The Glory of GOD!
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia Volume 8, Number 1, January, 2013
Dearest family & friends,
We ring in 2013 with great joy—knowing of your love, prayers and support for us and for our ministries in serving our Lord in Cambodia. The Lord has poured-out His blessings upon us. We rejoice in our partnership with you in the Gospel message that is saving souls. We pray that all is well with each of you and the Lord blessed you richly during the 2012 holiday season. What a special place each of you holds in our thoughts, prayers and hearts. Thank you deeply for 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
We missed sending-out a newsletter for December so there is lots to report. Here’s what’s in this issue:
- Lots of changes for the SNACK Program
- Visiting Teachers at the Cambodia Bible Institute
- Cambodia Bible Institute celebrates another Graduation
- Local Church Gift-Giving in SNACK Villages
- Baptisms, Weddings, Birthdays, and other news.
- Highlights of 2012
As of the end of November, 5 of the 6 SNACK staff decided it was time to move on. This left Sharon in quite a spot as you can imagine. After much prayer, reflection, and planning, the SNACK Program would begin to hire mostly new staff who have been well-trained in the Bible. The current staff of 4 includes 3 Bible School graduates and another Christian with 3 years experience teaching Bible to children. This means that SNACK is functioning with just 2 trucks. The third truck is so old and in need of many repairs. We hope to announce a campaign to raise funds to replace it and another of the trucks soon. Sharon continues to work diligently to direct this program to be strongly evangelistic toward more disciples and churches. We praise God for this opportunity to touch hearts for the Gospel while providing for these precious children.
The Cambodia Bible Institute continues to be faithful in its mission to train men and women in Bible and ministry. An important part of accomplishing this ministry is the teachers whom the Lord allows to come to teach at CBI. Brother Greg Fleming from the North A Church of Christ, Midland, TX taught the students Jeremiah and Lamentations in January. The best way to keep up with all the CBI news is to visit the Dolan’s blog at randrdolan.blogspot.com.
Before Dennis taught a course on the 12 Minor Prophets, Greg Fleming joined the staff, students, graduates, and friends of CBI for another graduation ceremony as 4 more of our students received certificates from CBI and bachelor’s degrees from Sunset International Bible Institute. By the providence of God three brothers are working with the churches they have planted in their hometowns and the fourth brother is working for SNACK as there is already a church with a local preacher in his hometown.
Brethren from the Lavender Church of Christ in Singapore regularly bring boxes of used clothing and toys for the various churches to distribute according to local needs. A number of boxes of toys were the perfect Christmas gifts for the University congregation to take to the children in 2 of the SNACK villages. The Christians were filled with joy to be able to serve these children in this way. Several specifically mentioned how touched they were by the experience. Praise the Lord!
During the months of December and January there were several new babes in Christ born by the power of the Gospel. Most of these new births took place among the countryside churches. Ronda Dolan and Julie Broyles are faithful in posting news about the new Christians in the city churches. On the right side of our blog there are links to their blogs with stories and photos. Their blogs are also a good place to catch-up on other Cambodian ministry news including the Christian wedding of Try and Rotha. You may recall that Try served Dennis as a translator and like a “Timothy” before and after he graduated from CBI. He now serves as the preacher and evangelist for the University Church of Christ where we regularly attend. We are so delighted to see him grow and mature.
January brought an important birthday. Our daughter, Theary turned 2 years old…as a new creation in Christ Jesus. We celebrate her birthday each year with greater joy and enthusiasm than her physical birth date a couple weeks later. What joy and blessing she continues to bring to us and to all who know her. Theary, we are very proud of you!
During 2012, the Lord blessed us in many ways. When we think of blessings, we tend to focus on what we consider to be good or profitable, and rightly so. Sometimes we forget that the struggles are profitable blessings too (James 1:2-4). Several places in the Scriptures we see the words, “BUT GOD…” followed by something that God has done for us (search your Bible program). Along the journey of our service to the Lord in Cambodia, we have faced many different trials and struggles. But God was always there for us (Isaiah 41:10). We shall forever praise His name!
As 2013 begins, we are hopeful, joyful and growing—in our knowledge of our Lord, Creator and Savior, in our faith in Him, in our love for His church, and in our love for this country and its people. Please join our prayer for greater strength, faith, wisdom and love.
Eternal love & blessings,
Dennis & SharonPhnom Penh, Cambodia JesusServant4U@yahoo.com missioncambodia.wordpress.com