October 2013 Newsletter
For the Glory of God
We dearly love Paul’s letters to the saints. He commonly greets his beloved brethren with words like, “Grace and peace to you from God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.” To that we add, “May you fully know Jesus, filled with faith, joy, hope and love.” God has blessed us all with everything we need for full, abundant life in Christ Jesus, as human beings and as new spiritual creations in the image of our Creator and Savior. Among those blessings are your love, prayers, encouragements, support and partnership in His Good News. Thank you, Father! Thank you, beloved family and friends!
After the excitement of our late spring through summer travels for conferences and reporting, one could say that September and October 2013 were just…well, normal. Can that really ever be said about life abroad in a third-world country? Sharon’s SNACK Program interns had returned to the USA. Dennis was leading the study of his third consecutive course without a break. Students had come and gone at the Bible school. The SNACK Program was ministering according to its mission. It all seemed so…ordinary.
What’s the news?
- Ephesians and Colossians, letters that could easily have been written to the Cambodians
- Harding University’s World-Wide Mission’s third annual visit to SNACK
- Cambodia Bible Institute Graduation Ceremony and new students
- New SNACK trucks and staff
- Volunteers rewarded for their service
- More visitors
- Looming decisions
Following-up courses on Acts of the Apostles and on Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, Dennis spent three weeks sharing Paul’s letter to the Ephesians with just seven students at the Cambodia Bible Institute (CBI). Why so few? With the recent graduation of the oldest students and with a bunch of new students, CBI decided to start the new ones with an introductory course in another room while Dennis studied Ephesians with the balance of the students. Written to Christians in an idol worshiping culture of Asia Minor, this letter has many helpful applications to the church in Cambodia, the first three chapters declaring the majestic glory of God’s eternal plan in Christ and His church, followed by three chapters of practical living instructions to Christ’s body, the church. Immediately following Ephesians Dennis led a study of Colossians and Philemon, other great letters for the Cambodian context. Please pray for God’s Word to sink deep into the hearts of the Bible school students so that God may glorified by what comes back out from their hearts, lips and hands.
Preparations were once again made for the Harding University’s World-Wide Mission’s third annual visit to join the SNACK Program. This year 25 university students, their chaperones and Cambodian guide shared the gift of their time and love with over 450 children in the countryside. We took the group to some of our more remote villages and were pleasantly surprised by the number of parents who were impacted by this great ministry. All had a wonderful experience and the children were blessed with a lot of love and special attention. The students and chaperones continue to be strongly impacted and speak of how they see God working within this program. We are so grateful for these young men and women, for their time, effort and desire to serve in Cambodia. We are grateful for your prayers. Please keep praying for the SNACK Program to bear fruit for the Kingdom.
What a delight it is to see new faces at CBI eager to learn God’s Word. It is equally delightful, yet sad to see them go when they complete their studies with us and graduate from CBI. We recently held a graduation ceremony and party for our four most senior students, Sreymom, Linna, Phally, and Kakada. The best place to read about graduation, future plans of the grads, and about new CBI students is the blog of Rich and Ronda Dolan, http://randrdolan.blogspot.com/ Please join our prayer for God to bless the work of CBI with much fruit and for the graduates to find productive ways to practically use the knowledge they have gleaned from His Holy Word.
We finally completed all the replacement SNACK truck purchases, had them repainted and have begun to have the new decals applied. We also added a new teacher, Srey Khouch. She has a sweet, gentle spirit and loves to teach the children. We are delighted to add another young lady to our staff. Please pray that our staff continues to grow in love and in their ability to share the Good News of Jesus with the villagers.
In all the SNACK villages there are older children who voluntarily assist our staff with teaching, washing cups and assisting with the children. To reward them for their service to SNACK and the children Sharon and the staff presented them with a special, practical gift consisting of a Bible story book, soap, detergent, shampoo, toothbrush and paste. They were thrilled to be blessed in this way. Please say a prayer of thanksgiving for the servant hearts of these children.
As always, we are delighted to receive visitors from the States. Recently, Ashley Close, granddaughter of our Sunset Instructor, Doyle Gilliam was in Cambodia for a short-term work assignment so she looked us up and spent time in our home and with the church. Thanks Ashley for your sweet encouragements to us and to Theary. Please say a prayer of thanksgiving for encouragers like Ashley and that God will pour-out even more blessings on her, His faithful servant.
For more than two and a half years Sharon has dealt with traffic jams and a long commute to the office for the SNACK Program. So, we have decided to move to that area in Phnom Penh and plant new churches in our home and in surrounding communities. Dennis strongly desires to do more personal discipling and this move will give him plenty of opportunities to shepherd the SNACK staff toward greater love and good deeds. We have already shifted the focus of our family home Bible studies toward these goals. Please, please pray for the success of our house selection and that our new works will bear much fruit for the Master.
So, what’s ahead? Lord willing, Dennis will prepare to teach the Gospel of Mark at CBI in December; we will receive two guests from Oak Harbor, WA; we will move by the end of November; and, will start new small groups and a congregation in our new home. The future is exciting and challenging. We hope you will honor our prayer requests and join us in heart as we strive to glorify our Mighty Lord here in Cambodia.Eternal love & blessings, Dennis & Sharon Phnom Penh, Cambodia JesusServant4U@yahoo.com missioncambodia.wordpress.com for a downloadable .pdf version of this newsletter please click HERE