The Welchs Grapevine
for the Glory of God!
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia! March 2015
We are delighted to bring you news about what the Lord is doing through His servants in this distant land. Without His mighty right hand we couldn’t be here. We’re grateful to God that He uses you to bless us and our work through your faith, love, encouragement, prayers and support. We always pray that the Lord blesses you for helping us serve Him and you in Cambodia.
THE HOLISTIC SNACK PROGRAM
From the beginning we have prayed that the SNACK Program ministry to the children would result in villages full of faith-filled children. Furthermore, we have experimented with several different methods of engaging the families of the children too. A few months ago we initiated an evangelism team to go house-to-house in the SNACK villages and the results have been really encouraging.
Have you ever participating in a door-knocking campaign? What were the results? When we did this in Lubbock, TX we were excited if we had an opportunity to share the gospel with one in twenty households. Because of the goodwill and trust created by the SNACK Program staff continuing to bless their children, our brothers are getting invited in, sharing the gospel AND getting invited back to nearly 50% of the households they visit. That’s about one in two houses who are asking them to come back and share more about Jesus.
When they travel with the regular staff and trucks, they are tied to the truck; meaning, when the truck is ready go to the next village, they must depart from someone’s home and their efforts to share the good news to travel with the truck to another village of children and their families. So, while we were in the States in January we mentioned this to two congregations and the Spirit of Jesus convicted both to provide funding for motorbikes so our guys could travel to and stay in one village all day.
Therefore, when we returned we set about searching for two more evangelists to add another team. We have found one so far and his name is Daen (driving, with lead evangelist, Vanna on the back). We’re looking for just the right combination of extrovert and humility. Please join our prayer that our new additional ministry for the SNACK Program of sharing the good news about Jesus with the families of the SNACK children will result in much fruit for the Kingdom of God and also pray for the Lord to send us the right servant for this ministry.
9TH ANNUAL ANGKOR OF FAITH
What a blessing it is to those of us who have the opportunity to bless children in a special way. It sometimes seems as though it is we who receive the greater blessing. Such was the case when Sharon and Theary traveled to Siem Reap to join fellow mostly Asian disciples as they ministered to street kids during the 9th Annual Angkor of Faith. They came from Japan, China, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, New Zealand, Australia, England and the USA.
Angkor of Faith was started as an outreach to the Cambodian children who sell souvenirs to the tourists visiting the fabulous temple ruins of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, both World Heritage Sites and wonders of the world. Some kids have been forced to quit school to help support their families but know enough English to work the streets and tourists.
While the children are indeed blessed by the annual gathering, it seems that those attempting to minister to them receive even greater blessings from serving alongside their brothers and sisters from other nations. There were fun and games, skits and role playing, teaching and mentoring, cooking and eating, building and renovation, trash pickup and beautifying, etc, etc. The days were hot, the hours long, but all was done with a joyful smile in the glorious name of Christ.
Angkor of Faith 10 next March will be the last time the event will be organized by foreigners. Perhaps another venue will be selected where the need is equally great. Perhaps it is time for the Cambodian brethren to continue this good work on their own. Will they/we step-up to the challenge? We ask you to pray that much fruit will be born from the the nine-plus years of striving to build faith in the souls of these precious children and for every servant of the Lord Jesus Christ who unselfishly gave of themselves in this ministry to the glory of God.
THE MYANMAR CALL
Dennis had the opportunity to share God’s Word in Tachileik, Myanmar. Please read the story here.
SNACK STAFF RETREAT
Cambodia has many national holidays. On the weekend of International Women’s Rights Day holiday Sharon and the SNACK staff planned to travel to the home of Theary’s aunt in Kampot Province to sleep over a couple of nights. This provided them an easy opportunity to travel to Kep, a coastal town and spend Sunday at the beach, worshiping together surrounded by sand, sun, ocean and palm trees. Sadly, Sharon got really sick the night before departure and had to miss the fun, but that didn’t stop the staff from enjoying a well earned break from their ministry to the children. We pray that the servants of the SNACK Program always view this program as a ministry and not a job. We also pray there will be adequate times of refreshing, celebration and fellowship to encourage their faith to grow and grow.