Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ,
I hope you are doing well on your end of the world. As for the work of Jesus Christ in this part of the world, things are progressing according to our plan. The International Bible Institute of Siem Reap continues to train and develop men and women of God for service in His kingdom and the local church is maturing quickly as a result of it.
Just to let you know how we are maturing, the local church in Siem Reap is supporting our local preacher $50 per month. They are also supplying $125 per month for the rice for the students at IBISR. They also support a graduate $40 per month for his evangelistic efforts. They also chip in $20 per month for fellowship meal once a month. That's $235 per month that the local church uses for the kingdom's sake on a consistent basis where the average income is $125.50.
We have about 65 that meets and 43 of them are Hannah's Hope children! That leaves about 22 adults, half are students, and about 6 families that meet in Siem Reap. These numbers may not seem all that impressive to you guys in the states but any missionary knows that this type of consistent giving and signs of autonomy is a huge deal! It took 8 years of studying and living out God's word for them to be where they are now. They remind me of the church in Macedonia where they first gave themselves to God and that's why they are able to give more than what they are able to (2 Cor 8:1-5).
Not only do they give of their money, but they give of their time as well. It's not uncommon to see the students and staff of IBISR at Hannah's Hope mentoring and caring for the children there on their own free will. On the weekends they go out to the villages and either help the local preacher there or the local villagers there with their farming.
All of this is made possible by the systematic teachings/curriculum of IBISR and the examples demonstrated by the local leaders. As a missionary, it's so good to be able to leave the country for quite some time and come back and everything is as if I'd never left! Now that we've developed leaders who can stand on their own and know what it means to be a faithful steward of God, I can focus on my personal evangelism and start the process all over again, except this time, I won’t be doing it alone. The leaders will join me in this process to multiply and expand God's kingdom (2 Tim 2:2).
What an awesome feeling it is to grow in God's word and kingdom together. We pray that you are growing where you are and spreading the life changing message of Christ in your part of the world! We ask that you keep us in your prayers for this new year and that you continue to support this good work! God bless.
To see Phanat’s report with pictures, please click here.