Greetings fellow servants from Siem Reap, Cambodia via Denver, Colorado.
It is our prayer that God continues to watch over all mission work whether it be in Cambodia or the U.S. or other parts of the world.
IBISR (International Bible Institute of Siem Reap)
- The class of 10 has grown to a class of 11 as another soul desired to commit to studying and living God’s word until graduation!
- We are almost finished with our first year of classes and things are going very well. The past graduating class has helped tremendously in aiding the incoming students regarding studies, family issues of leaving, forming new Christian bonds, etc.
- Last month Denny Petrillo (President of BVBI) traveled over to IBISR and taught Hermeneutics for a week solid and then presented a mini course on animism and spirits. It was such a blessing for the students to gain from his knowledge in these area. They are now equipped to study the Bible with accuracy and discuss the spiritual realm to Buddhists who are very curios about such matters.
- In November Bruce Ligon will be teaching short courses on Homiletics and Leadership planing.
- Our staff of 4 continues to teach through the bible in a fashion that allows for young Christian growth while sustaining maturing as they proceed.
Phanat Ouch (Director of IBISR)
- Just this week Phanat and his wife Iya have decided to take on another challenge in God’s mission fields. This new work will require them to move to the U.S. in the summer of 2018. Phanat will remain director in this time frame.
- Phanat and I had already implemented a plan some time back in anticipation of any kind of transition needed at the director level. The most updated plan has been submitted to the Elders at Bear Valley and we will meet in early Sept. to further discuss this transition.
- I believe we already have the correct men in place to fill the role(s) that will be left by Phanat in an administrative capacity. Darat Run and Piseth Rin have previously been training to step up their leadership and are very capable men to do so. They have exemplified great faith in becoming Bible teachers, leaders, caretakers of money, caretakers of souls and concern for the well-being of the church in Sieam Reap.
- We want to encourage Phanat and his wife Iya in every way possible as they begin a huge change in life, but never changing in God’s biblical ministry.
- I strongly believe the trip to Arusha, Tanzania that Phanat I took and spoke at together, had a great impact on how we can handle this transition moving forward. The Andrew Connelly School of Preaching is now being run by native dual directors and, after interviewing them and many of the staff, we gained so much useful information from their experience in this process.
- Prayers are needed for everyone involved, but we forge on with great confidence.
- Wes Autrey (Coordinator of IBISR)
- I have been in constant contact with Phanat and the staff on many items and will continue to do so.
- I will be traveling to Myanmar (hopefully) and then on to Cambodia in early September.
- Myanmar to teach a group of Christians there who study intensely for one week (twice a year). I will be teaching the book of Esther and Phanat has been asked back (he taught there last year) to teach on Ezra & Nehemiah.
- Cambodia to to meet with the staff for a lengthy period of time so that we cover as many items from every possible angle. We want to have a complete understanding as to what is expected of us by God, Elders, students and one another to continue to make this an even better school than we already take pride in.
- I have made a few personal reports to supporting congregations and will continue to do that this fall. I would appreciate your prayers in all my travels and that I continue to work for the Lord with a good heart.
The Siem Reap congregation now fully supports two of our recent graduates as a full time couple of ministry near their local village. This is a very strong showing of giving from a very low income area of the world. The dependency on God and one another is obvious with this group.
We are experiencing some new difficulties within the church and ask that you pray for the men and women involved. Generally speaking, souls who are saved then choose to look elsewhere for earthly comforts and then return to the church, etc. These are things common to us in the U.S. but for these young Christians and leaders it is all a new experience and not always easy or pleasant to enforce God’s will. But we strive on in love knowing that God’s plan is the priority.
Please pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ in Cambodia and a few others:
- Phanat (Pa-not) & Iya (I-uh) that they are encouraged and gain wisdom in their decision
- Darat (Der-ott) and his wife Sarai as they will take on more responsibility in the school
- Piseth (Pih-set) and his wife Ratana (Rah-ta-nah) as they also will be learning the English language and taking on new roles at the school.
- Vannak (Va-nock) as he becomes a staff teacher along with his current role as Dean of Students.
- Chann (the preacher at SR and also local evangelizer in the outlying areas). He is man of great skills in this area and has been with us from the beginning.
- The students at IBISR that they have a very close relationship to God and bond together as a family that is and will continue to undergo great scrutiny by their own relatives.
- Hout (Who-it) Heng, who is one of our brothers and struggles (like the rest of us do from time to time) with discouragement. Hout and his wife Sopen (So-pen) are the wonderful couple that I have mentioned to many of you in presentations about choosing God over family.
- A special prayer for our brother and friend Cy Stafford (Andrew Connelly School of Preaching) who is battling cancer with the strength of our prayers. A wonderful man an example of long term missionary dedication.
Never do the words “thank you” seem adequate as I type. So many people have prayed and so many have sent support. I do not mention names or congregations for multiple reasons, but you all have a special place in my heart as my family and I have reaped benefits that will last into eternity because of you.
At this point I must make a special mention to the 3rd and 4th graders at the Pea Ridge church of Christ who have been consistent in their support! Their example of working to support missions is to be lifted up. For many of you don’t know this little group of children has sent me money, school products, hand written encouraging notes to myself and also to the children at Hannah’s Hope Orphanage in Siem Reap and many other gifts of encouragement. They literally have jobs of cleaning up the church building at the Pea Ridge, Arkansas church building an then give that money to the cause of saving souls in Cambodia! What an example of unselfish giving and spreading the message of Christ! So many of us as adult Christians can learn from you! You guys are awesome!