I just returned from a 2 week trip to Cambodia Friday the 8th of March. As always it was a wonderful experience to teach and preach the word of God to these young Christians. The photo tries to show that there are 10 students currently enrolled, 6 men will hopefully become preachers and teachers of the word. I taught for 8 days on a course entitled “Old Testament Lessons for New Testament Christians”. Michael Hite, an instructor from the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver accompanied me and taught a course on 1 & 2 Peter.
While visiting we had one Saturday free to go and visit one of the villages on the large Ton Le Sap Lake where many Vietnamese refugees have made their home. We have two graduates living on a boat outfitted with a water purification system. Word is getting out that free fresh water is available through this system where they evangelize to the Vietnamese and Cambodians while they load up on fresh water. It is an outreach that has lots of potential and we are hopeful that it has many good returns in the future.
I always spend time at the Hannah’s Hope Orphanage to renew my energy and see what these young children are learning from the Bible. Although the orphanage is not affiliated per se with the Bible school, there is a close connection as many of our past graduates have found work running a nearby orphanage. This could very well be a big part of God’s plan for the church in Cambodia.
Over the course of two weeks many things take place. I continue to try and learn more about the culture so that I can relate to the people. Most of our church members are young and have a very good sense of respect for an older American teacher. I am trying to use that to my best advantage while teaching, preaching and bringing lessons. However, I believe one of the best ways to take advantages is by way of an “active encouragement”. Since the “kids” (as I call them) are new Christians, have had no role models, no teaching experience and are shy in nature, I sense a strong reason to “be a Barnabas” and encourage growth in wisdom and maturity in the Word through love. I cannot stress enough how important this is in the growth of the church there.
I should also mention meeting with the staff and church leaders about goals and plans for the school and the church in Siem Reap. We currently are working on plans for a “Saturday School” to take to the villages and also the city where locals can come and learn the basics about the Bible and Christianity. Obviously this has many benefits to the lost, but also will give us a slightly deeper foundation for those wishing to enroll at our Bible school.
We currently have 3 staff members teaching at the school, two of which graduated in our first class 3 years ago and are teaching without any support but for the love of God and His Word.
- 2 Baptisms within 3 days of each other of our arrival
- Witnessed a Christian wedding (this makes 7 Christian married couples in a land where that is not approved of ). This is another example of a foundation that is being built for the Lord’s church in Cambodia.
- One Sunday’s Worship Service had many denominations and Buddhist in attendance for the weeding including one families province Baptist pastor. My lesson was about the characteristics of a Christian and Michael’s sermon was about the church. So, needless to say we gave them a lot of God’s word to think about.
- Conducted a skype-devotional between the students at IBISR and the teens at the Bear Valley church of Christ - very enlightening for both sides of the world and it went very well. I would recommend that experience to your congregation, especially for the young folks.
As always I continue to thank God for your support and belief that the seed is being planted and watered in the Siem Reap, Cambodia area. My family here and my family in Cambodia thank you for your support and prayers. You demonstrate the love that Christ has shown and commanded that we actively provide for one another.
To see Wes’ report with pictures, please click here.