I thank God for the opportunity to report of the work of Christ in Cambodia for the month of May and June. It truly has been a transitional time for my family and I the past couple of months, due to our recent commitment of doing God’s will here in Cambodia for the next decade or so. We had to prepare and adjust to a few things in order to accommodate for our goals and plan for the future of the church here as well as my family. Before I get into the details, I would like to share some good news about the children of Hannah’s Hope. Two more of our orphans have decided to follow after Christ and put Him on in baptism. So far, we have 7 out of 16 who understood that they are sinners and needed salvation that can only be found in Christ. Hout, Sophen, Piseth, Saray, and Pisey are doing such a wonderful job in instilling God’s word into the children that it shows in their mannerism. They are often complimented by our visitors as to how well behaved they are when the church meets. Although they have no mother and father, they’ve become mother and father to each other and look after one another with tender love. This is all due to our Christian staff in bringing them up in the admonition of the Lord.
I can’t say enough about the good work Hannah’s Hope Children’s Home is doing for the future of the church in Siem Reap. It is such a blessing to see the church grow from the root up and to be a part of it. If any of you were to come meet with us on Sunday morning to worship the Lord, you would see five infants, two toddlers, six children 10 years or younger, six teenagers, about fifteen young adults, five married couple, and a seventy year old grandmother. As you can see, we are a very young and small congregation, but what excites me is that in twenty years, we would have a strong core group of faithful Christians to build off of to serve God in Cambodia! Especially, when we have teachers like Gary Fallis, who’s willing to sacrifice two weeks of his time to come and further our knowledge of God’s word at IBISR. Not only did the students benefit, but the staff learned a great deal as well. We appreciate Gary and his wife Sarah and teachers from abroad like them who come to teach and be a part of the work of Christ here in Cambodia. They truly play an important role in growing the local church spiritually.
In order to accommodate the anticipated growth in accordance to God’s word, my family and I had to make a few adjustments, not only emotionally, but financially and spiritually as well. For us to fulfill our goal of having an autonomous church, we have to first be financially independent, meaning the local brethren supporting the local work. It has to come from the church fund that the members give on a weekly basis instead of a work fund from abroad. The challenge is (as in many foreign works) after the local leaders understand the stewardship aspect of biblical teachings, they need to generate income outside of foreign support. Since my family made the commitment to be here long term, we will also need to find a way to generate income outside of my support from abroad. We want to be the example in this area. I have borrowed some money from my family in America to start up a small business in selling school and office supplies to the nationals. This will be our outside source of income and Lord willing if the business does well, we will not only be able to increase our weekly givings but also provide employment for members of the church so that they can have an outside source of income as well to help with our goals and plans for the autonomy of the church. My family prepared for this plan spiritually through much prayer and bible study. We understand James 4:13-16 very well. We understand that if we are not careful, this could be a stumbling block and hinder our spiritual growth. We seek your prayers concerning this particular issue and pray that what we do brings glory to God.
Again, this will not happen in a year or two. It will literally take ten to twenty years for everything to fall into place. I hope all my supporters can see the vision and have the patience for this work to grow into fruition. I know that the elders who oversee this work (Bear Valley) have the same goals and vision for the work here in Cambodia and that’s why I am confident that our goals will be accomplished because ultimately, this is the vision of our Lord Jesus Christ when He commissioned the apostles to go into all nations baptizing and teaching all that He taught them including what He just taught in commanding them to go to all nations! We have the obligation and duty to teach and continue to teach them of what our Lord taught us. I pray that you will this take commandment seriously and impact your part of the world for Christ!