For The Glory of GOD!
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Volume 8, Number 8, August, 2013
Dearest family & friends,
Our five-week reporting trip in May and early June really encouraged us because we were among you; beloved family and friends who blessed us just as our Father said would happen to those who seek Him. In like manner, traveling annually to the Asian Mission Forum is a refreshing retreat from our work and into an environment of fellow-servants in Asia of the God Most High. While we all know that God is working everywhere to call people back to Himself, it strongly encourages us to personally know many of His servants blessing the peoples of nations throughout Asia.
This year’s theme for the forum was “In the Beginning.” Our keynote speaker shared from God’s Word how so much of what we read about in the first few chapters of God’s Word has some direct applications in the church and in the individual lives of God’s children. We praise God for the keynote lessons and the break-out classes we attended contextualizing God’s Word in other cultures. They asked us to share about our personal lives and journey of faith to encourage others. Please join our prayer that as we all continue to study God’s Word, that we will be wide-open to His Holy Spirit revealing His heart and His will for us individually, and as His bride, the church. By the way, the servants working China are planning to host the 2014 forum in Cambodia, YEAH! It would be a great time for any of you considering a visit to come and be blessed by attending the forum with us. Please pray about that too.
Do you remember the first time you flew? Our first airplane experience brings anxiety or joy or both. What will it be like? And for some, there are those control issues with which to deal. Our daughter, Theary just experienced her first flight in an airplane as she joined us for the Asian Mission Forum, this year hosted in Chiang Mai, Thailand. With help from our God she conquered her nervousness. With praises to God she loved the experience. Can you remember your first time?
While in Chiang Mai we stayed a few extra days and visited a few of the tourist spots including “walking street,” a road lined with local vendors selling anything and everything that they think a tourist might like. Along the road the Buddhist temples allow vendors to sell food so we stepped inside to shoot this brilliant photo.
We can now check-off riding an elephant from our list. As part of a full-day package, we travelled an hour out of the city to an elephant farm to experience an ancient tradition of using elephants as beasts of burden. Our elephant loved to throw her trunk back over her head for me to hand-feed her bananas as we journeyed along the trail. Great fun! After that they transported us further up river to raft the rapids. Because the rainy season is full-on the river was raging. You already know how much we love this sort of activity so you know how much fun we had (and surprisingly not so sore afterwards). Please join our prayer that we will use other times like our extra few days in Thailand to spend some time away from the never-ending needs of Cambodia to refresh our spirits, rekindle our hearts and relax our bodies. Thanks—we really need help with this one!
While in Chiang Mai, Sharon and Theary spent lots of time shopping and doing a little buying too. This gave Dennis the opportunity to study and prepare for his next class at the Cambodia Bible School. Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther represent the conclusion of Old Testament history before God’s Son began to walk among us. All three of these books reveal some great stories and important truths about God, our relationship to Him, to each other, and to those other peoples around us, including our enemies. Dennis really enjoyed sharing these application points with the students at CBI during the two-week course. At the end of the month, Dennis began teaching courses on Ephesians, a letter from Paul to the churches that dealt with remarkably similar problems to those which Cambodian Christians must face in this culture. This represents the third time Dennis has taught this course in Cambodia and it was two years ago that Dennis began teaching in Khmer language with this course. Please pray that our language ability will be adequate to reveal God’s love, mercy and truth to all who will listen.
August brought us many new students at the Cambodia Bible Institute as other students complete their training and move into ministry. Seven new students have joined us from various villages, most of them sent to us by countryside churches planted by our students and graduates. This gives these “young-in-the-faith” Christians an opportunity to grow quickly as they study God’s Word day-by-day. Please, please pray for their faith to grow into an overflowing river of blessing to all people.
Do you love little children like Jesus loves them? We are certainly trying. Our modest ministry to a couple of thousand of pour, malnourished children is blessing their bodies and their spirits. We always pray that God will use any of us who will to bless the children wherever we are so that they can begin early in life to love, honor and obey their loving Father and Creator. The Supplemental Nutrition Aiding Cambodian Kids or SNACK Program is ministry of GRACE for Cambodia to provide training in health, hygiene, nutrition and Bible to deserving children in rural environments of Cambodia. Sharon has volunteered to serve our Lord by blessing these kids with love, nourishment and true “soul food.” With the help of eight Cambodian Christians using three trucks they visit nine villages each weekday to teach and provide a nutritious food supplement to the children. For August the SNACK Program taught 1200 children an average of about 4 times per week for a total cost of $9507. This breaks down to about $0.50 per supplement or about $8.00 per child per month. Current regular monthly contributions for the program are less than half of the monthly expenses. Please join our prayer that God will provide all we need to sustain this ministry to the children He so dearly loves.
The SNACK Program has offered us an incredible opportunity to reach out to many children and their families. We clearly see how God has opened doors through this benevolent program by first, feeding these hungry, malnourished children; secondly, building relationships of trust through showing them and their parents how much we care; and most importantly, reaching out to them, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, giving them great hope for a brighter future. Recently, Sharon encountered a very small child in a SNACK village, severely injured by a motorcycle. The medical care in Cambodia is very limited, especially in these remote villages. While it was certainly a blessing to care for this child, the greater blessing was yet to come. Several visits to care for this child later, Sharon evangelized to three of ladies who now want to start studying the Bible. This is an ideal opportunity for our SNACK staff and Bible school students to work together once again. We are excited to see how Jesus and His Word will transform the lives of those who seek Him. Please join us in prayer that the faith of these villagers will grow by the mighty power of God’s Word and the help of those who serve them.
We live in an age of unprecedented blessings. God has strongly, abundantly blessed America and other nations who have sought to follow after Him. One of those blessings is digital media that allows us to report about God working half-way around the world. We pray that our news reports encourage you to share the love of Jesus with others while God, in His merciful patience has allowed us time to do so. The prophet Haggai said, “Build the house!” which has direct application towards building-up the church. Nehemiah said give to those who don’t have anything to eat or drink. Ezra studied, practiced and taught God’s Word. Esther was willing to die to save others. What will we do in the name of Jesus to serve our Lord?
Eternal love & blessings,
Dennis & SharonPhnom Penh, Cambodia JesusServant4U@yahoo.com missioncambodia.wordpress.com
you can download a .pdf copy of our August 2013 Welch’s Grapevine Newsletter HERE.