Dear Supporters: On Oct. 11th the “Siem Reap 6” team left Denver for Cambodia and returned on the 21st. I’m going to do my best to give you an overview of our trip. Suffice it to say that our journey was faith testing, rewarding, uplifting, and full of hope for the kingdom. Despite the worst flood in history (with one noted exception) and almost not getting the group in and out of Cambodia for passport reasons (another long story for another time), it was a tremendous trip for all of us. Anytime any of you would like your cups filled, then let me take you to meet our brothers and sisters in Cambodia. The hand they have been dealt in this world, coupled with the anti-Christian attitude of the prevailing Buddhist and Muslim religions in the land, makes me praise them ever more.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13
Takam Village: We were unable to get to the villages of Takam and Leang Dai where there are two established congregations because of the historical flooding that was taking place. We are excited to note that Chouey, our recent graduate, current staff member and preacher in his home village of Takam, is helping the church grow rapidly. On my first visit in the fall of ’09 there were approximately 13 members, all women. Now there are more than 45 members with two adult men serving the Lord (important to note as they now take on much responsibility and hardship because of their decision). This is an exceptional window of opportunity as this village has many children that attend regularly and the doors and hearts have been opened to The Word.
Leang Dai Village: Sokchea, another one of the recent graduates continues to work exceptionally hard at the work in Leang Dai. He ministers to the growing congregation their with love and devotion to the likes of which are way beyond just good servanthood. The small congregation has grown from around 9 or 10 in ’09 to about 25 or so currently with one male adult being saved. Sokchea is not a native of Leang Dai, so he chooses to work extremely hard for the Lord. He is doing a great job and he hopes to send young men from the village to school so that they can return to their home and teach the truth and show the change that can take effect in peoples lives.
Svey Ring Village: After graduating last year, the young Christian threesome of Saran, Ussa and Sophal returned to their home of Svey Ring near the Vietnam border. Ussa is the sister to Sophal and married to Saran. Ussa recently gave birth to a baby boy. I was concerned about new Christians going so far away from Siem Reap, to start a new congregation and take on the ridicule of their Buddhist families. However, In a little over a year, the church of Christ in Svey Ring has 13 members, most of whom are the family members that have actually witnessed the change in their lives! What a powerful message the Lord can bring! It is my hope that someday I might visit this group and be able to bring their encouraging news back to the states.
Overall News: Brothers and sisters, I could write you much more on all of the news but I understand limiting reports. Suffice it to say that the school is very challenged but we are confidently training young men to be preachers and teachers in their homeland. Young women are training as well to be teachers of the youth and to know their roles as Christians with much to offer as well.
The “Siem Reap 6” came back as the “Siem Reap 7” because Phanat agreed to fly back with us and meet the elders at Bear Valley, who are the sponsoring congregation of the school. I might also mention it was his first time back in over 4 years and he left his wife and 17 month old baby for the first time. He stayed with us for about 5 days and then was able to go visit his folks in Austin before returning home. Nowhere else on earth have I had my cup so filled as in Cambodia. I’m so grateful to my mother and daughter who also went and offered me support as it was my first time to lead a group. Kathy Pollard, her son Dale and Sheryl Turner also went to teach and encourage for long hours every day. But this is mostly a time to thank each of you for your continued prayers and financial support that makes all of this happen. God is using your talents to make the kingdom grow in Cambodia - I love my work and hope you will continue to support it and spread the good news about Cambodia.
If you would like to read the full report with pictures, then click here.