For The Glory of GOD!
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Volume 8, Number 7, July, 2013
- Family Arrives
- Cambodia Elections
- CBI News
- SNACK News
We welcome you to another addition of our monthly news from Cambodia. July starts the second half of 2013 and we wonder in what new ways we will see the Lord working in Cambodia. One thing we know for sure is that we are grateful that you have chosen to spend a few minutes with us, learning how your servants are using all that God has given us to glorify and spread His name in Cambodia. Quite simply, thank you! We are really thankful for your love of the Lord, His church, the lost, and us. By loving us through prayer, encouragement and support you have personally influenced many lives for Christ Jesus in Cambodia.
Cambodia is a beautiful country. As the rainy season nourishes the fields, the landscape is carpeted with the beauty of new rice. We wish you could see it in person because the pictures are inadequate. Creator God declares His majesty in this place.
Our grandson, Ethan and his mother, Sarah arrived to share a couple of weeks with us. As with any visitors to Cambodia, there adjustments to be endured—12-hour time difference, strange foods, different culture and environment and of course, a language barrier. Sarah and Ethan enjoyed trying new foods and observing cultural and historical facets of Cambodia. They shared relaxing time and meals in our home, shopping for unique souvenirs, traveling to sight-see, local cuisine, and the SNACK Program with Sharon and her staff. We pray that their experience among us has been positively eye-opening to the radical difference in the blessings of the US in contrast to the struggles of Cambodia.
Their stay among us was complicated by national elections held on 28 July. Because most Cambodian must travel to their hometown to vote, the capital shut down for three days. Travel in Phnom Penh was often snared by political parades, protests and rallies. When the results of the election turned violent, streets were barricaded. We are grateful that Cambodia pursues democratic process to comply with the will of the people. Moreover, we long for the day when the majority of Cambodians strive to comply with the will of the Lord, their Creator and Savior. Please pray that whatever the final results of the elections, Cambodia will be a nation of seekers of the saving gospel.
Concerning that Good News message the work at the Cambodia Bible Institute ends July with our evangelism campaign week in the countryside. While other work is regularly done to spread the gospel in the city, this campaign focuses on helping small countryside churches to grow and also to go share the good news in villages without a church. The church-planting model page on our weblog explains it in more detail. We are excited that the GRACE for Cambodia SNACK Program identifies seekers of grace and truth so that the CBI students and grads can teach them the life-changing, soul-saving message of Christ. In other CBI news Dennis completed the five-week course on Acts and is preparing a two-week course on Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. What will we learn about our Father from these books? Please join our prayer that CBI will continue to fulfill its mission to teach others, who can faithfully teach others also, so that the church in Cambodia can rapidly overwhelm this nation.
Nearly every month we are blessed to receive visitors from abroad. About 25 staff and interns from a multitude of nations journeyed from Chiang Mai, Thailand to participate in the Lord’s work. They shared a meal with the church and an evening of singing praises to God and King Jesus. This strongly encouraged the young Christians of the local church. Also, Sharon led them to the countryside to join in the blessing of providing lessons and nutritious SNACKs to the children. We pray that their time among the church, the children and the lost of Cambodia made a lasting difference in the lives of all.
We were delighted that Dan and Ravy Wilson who are currently studying at Sunset International Bible Institute came to spend the summer serving the Lord in Cambodia. They stayed very busy serving in numerous ways, even taking our interns to a couple of orphanages and to bless the children in a local slum. Please join us in praising God for these two servants.
July was an unusually busy month for Sharon and the SNACK Program. In addition to hosting family in our home Sharon had the added blessing/challenge of directing the work of her two Abilene Christian University mission interns. Mallory Wilkins and Shanleigh Clinton have been a big help to Sharon as the three of them and the SNACK staffers sought to bless poor, malnourished children in the name of Jesus and for the glory of God. Shanleigh and Mallory have helped the program in administration, management, feeding the children, evaluative measuring/weighing, encouragement and vision casting. They had a great time playing with the children, showering them with love and building relationships! In addition to serving the SNACK Program, we wanted our interns to see a Kingdom perspective and allow them an opportunity to explore the many ways God is working in Cambodia. Both Shanleigh and Mallory enjoyed various programs while assisting in several orphanages, a child care facility which is located in one of the “slum” areas. They also joined Bible classes and chapel at the Cambodia Bible Institute; they met and fellowshipped with students studying English using the Bible at the BEST Center and a number of other works in the city. This, our first opportunity to share the work with interns, has been a positive experience for all. Rest assured we did give them a few breaks, time to visit Siem Reap, the Temple ruins and various places to learn and observe Cambodian culture. Our prayer is that both they and the Cambodians they encountered moved a little closer to the Lord from the meeting of two cultures, religions and lives.
Finally, in other SNACK Program news we share an update about how the Lord and His church have blessed us concerning the SNACK trucks. We started a campaign in March to replace the two oldest original trucks used to start the program. We put the first replacement into service on the last day of April and sold the oldest truck. After our return from our reporting trip we purchased the second replacement truck. However, in the meantime the third truck was severely damaged in a crash (no one was physically injured—praise God!) so we needed to keep using the second oldest truck while repairs were completed. While that was going on two other things occurred. 1) We decided to have all the trucks painted to match and to be distinctive to SNACK, and 2) a donor step forward to replace the crashed truck too. All of these donations for buying replacement trucks, repairing the crash damage and for repainting the fleet were one-time special contributions outside the regular GRACE for Cambodia budget. We are delighted to maintain our record that every dollar donated to SNACK goes directly to administer the nutritional feeding program to the children and not for salaries for us or for special capital purchases like these trucks. Please join our prayer of praise and thanksgiving that through His church our Lord has provided the tools necessary to bless these children in the precious name of Jesus.
Three SNACK trucks going to three different villages each weekday, or 45 visits per week the SNACK Program served 1362 children near four times each week at a cost of $10,330. With regular monthly contributions to the program at $4200 it won’t be long before our reserves are depleted. Please consider beginning or increasing your donation to this ministry of the Word and mercy of Jesus to His precious little children in Cambodia. Our fervent prayer is that God, through His servants like you, will provide all we need to accomplish His will in Cambodia. We trust in Him alone!
Eternal love & blessings,
You can download a .pdf version of this post HERE.