The Welch’s Grapevine
For The Glory of GOD!
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia Volume 8, Number 4, April, 2013
Dearest family & friends,
Another month has sped past as we strive to give ourselves to our Lord and His church as we join Him in reconciling all things and all people back to Himself. We are always joyful and grateful to know of your prayers, encouragements and support of our ministries in Cambodia. Oh, how sweet it is to be “in Christ!” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” Eph 1:3.
Here’s what’s news this month:
- CBI News
- New Staff for SNACK
- SNACK Staff Training
- Volunteers Encouraged
- Khmer New Year Holiday
- Reporting Trip to USA
- Prayer Requests
What a blessing it is to give back that which was given to me (Dennis) at the Sunset International Bible Institute (SIBI). I just taught the students at the Cambodia Bible Institute (CBI) the SIBI course on the Levitical Sacrificial System. Much of the Old Testament, especially the old covenant is a shadow of the reality that is Jesus, the Christ. We opened the Scriptures and revealed how all of those Law of Moses sacrifices had/have fulfillment in Christ and His church. For the Christian, his whole burnt offering is his personal sacrifice of, “Lord God, all that I am belongs to You.” And, his grain offering is his sacrifice that shouts, “My Lord, all that I have is Yours.” Please join our prayer that the students…and all Christians commit themselves to the Lord like this.
Brother Dale Lundy from St. Louis is among us again to teach at CBI and also work with the city churches. His passion is mentoring and teaching leadership. At CBI, Dale is teaching the Wisdom Literature course. However, he is also teaching CBI graduates, students and other brethren valuable lessons on effective servant leadership. We all are really blessed that the Lord has once again provided a way for Dale to give of himself in Cambodia. Please pray with us that God will raise-up mature leaders for His churches in Cambodia.
The SNACK program has hired another graduate of CBI. Tola graduated in March, completed a special driver training course for larger vehicles and then began working for SNACK in April. Tola was an excellent student of the Word at CBI. Together with his knowledge of Scripture, his servant heart, and his gentle, compassionate spirit, he will complement the other SNACK servants. SNACK is now operating with seven Khmer staff—a program operations manager/driver, five teacher/drivers, and one teacher. Of those seven, four are graduates of the Bible school. We ask you to pray that these brothers and sister will not only serve the children effectively, but also be fruitful evangelists to their families.
Sharon provided some special training for the SNACK staff that included orientation briefings at the soy milk and peanut butter vendors. They are now able to better understand proper care and use of these products for the benefit of the children. On another occasion, the staff also received additional training for the Bible curriculum they are currently using. Please join our prayer that the staff with effectively use all their training according to the will of God and for the growth of His kingdom in Cambodia.
The children love to meet the numerous volunteers who join the SNACK Program for a day of serving in the villages. Danny and Kathy Moore, Granbury, TX enjoyed their day of ministering to nearly 500 children. They have come to Cambodia toserve as teachers at the Bible & English Study & Training Center (the BEST Center), but carved out a day for SNACK. There were also some Khmer volunteers who helped too. On one occasion, some of Theary’s university classmates asked her if her “ma” could take them out to the countryside to serve the children. “City kids” rarely get to romp and stomp in the countryside so they really enjoyed their day of playing with the SNACK children. On yet another day, Sharon led a team of Khmer volunteers from One Hope to bless the children and help the staff with their teaching techniques. Please pray that each of these volunteers was encouraged to greater love and good deeds by their participation in the ministry of the SNACK Program, serving poor malnourished children in rural Cambodia. Your turn to serve awaits you!
Since we were informed that our fund-raising for newer SNACK trucks had nearly reached the half-way mark toward our $16,000 goal, we were able to purchase a 1999 Hyundai Porter 4-door for SNACK. After some repairs, upgrades and construction of the metal and canvas cover for the bed, we were able to start using it at the last of the month, returning us to full-strength of three trucks visiting nine villages per day. We still need to replace another truck, but that will have to wait until June. Please join our prayer that through the generosity of His children, our Lord will provide all we need to serve the SNACK children and thank Him for the continual providence in all our lives.
Cambodia celebrates three New Years—Universal on January 1, Chinese on February 10 and Khmer on April 13. That seems to be the order of importance to Cambodians too because for Khmer New Year the government designates a three-day holiday. Yet, in practice it can last a full week or more. Since CBI and SNACK took a break, we escaped Phnom Penh for a holiday of sun and fun. Our journey started at the home where Theary lived with her aunt from the time her mother died when she was eight until she came to live with us at age eighteen. Then we traveled to the coastal town of Kep for the best Pepper Crab in Cambodia. Sunday, we worshiped with friends in Kampot before traveling on to Sihanoukville for a couple of days on the beach and a couple of days of SCUBA. Cambodia has so many wonderful places to visit and we still have plenty more to try. Our prayer is that we strike a balance between hard work and taking care of ourselves through little vacations such as these. Please continue to encourage us and pray for us because we are pretty weak at not over-working.
We close our newsletter this month with news that we will be among some of you very soon. We leave Cambodia in time to join the Pepperdine Bible Lectures starting April 30. After that, our travels will take us to Stockton, CA, Lodi, CA, Oak Harbor, WA, Keller, TX, Lubbock, TX, Mt. Ida, AR, Melissa, TX, Kingsland, TX and Crowley, TX before leaving from DFW on June 7. While we will enjoy seeing family and friends, the major focus of this trip is reporting to you about how the Lord is using His servants in Cambodia, because “he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6-7
Eternal love & blessings,
Dennis & Sharon
Please click here to open a .pdf version of our April news.