Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Update

Dear Praying Friends,
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,  Prince of Peace... (Isaiah 9:6).  As you are getting ready for the Christmas celebration, we wish a blessed and joyous holiday season.  Jesus Christ is the reason we celebrate this season!

You have been praying for the Poipet ministries, and here are some events that took place as a testimony that God is at work.  On Dec. 10, we had a regional quarterly youth rally at Living Water Church.  About 240+ people from three different provinces attended.  The Living Water Church was packed!  We ran out of plastic chairs to seat everyone.  And because there was not enough space for all the chairs, all the youth decided to sit on the tile floor throughout the entire service!  As usual, the youth from different villages had carefully prepared and rehearsed their special songs and or dramas to perform on this special event.  And every group did a great job at their performance!  During the service, opportunity was given to those who wish to share about what God is doing in their lives.

A young lady from Batthambang Province went up to the stage and boldly told the crowds about a miraculous healing (from asthma) and how her life has been effectively used by God for the past few years!  Another young lady from Malay, (a successfully professional wedding singer), has recently felt convicted that her life style was not honoring God.  So she decided to quit her current job in order to live a life worthy of God's calling. She is praying for clear directions for "what's next" in her life.  After the sharing, Soeuth spoke a Christmas message based on Luke 2.  "Of all the people in all Judah", he told the group, "The good news of the Messiah's birth was first announced to the shepherds, the most ignored and the lowest of the people group!  Yet the Savior of the world chose to make His announcement to them".  Comparing to the shepherd story, many of the youth felt they were among of the left outs, the ignored ones, due to their poor decision making and peer pressure.  But the message encouraged the young people that they are NOT forgotten by God!  Because of His great love and His concern for their salvation, God chooses to reveal Himself to them!  So, upon altar call, about 20 youth went forward to recommit their lives to the Lord Jesus.  Many broke down in tears as they confessed their short comings before God.  Please pray for the youth ministry as God is at work in their lives.

Shortly after lunch, Dec. 10, the youth committees quickly arranged for the Bible quizzing session  in the afternoon.   Some groups left after the morning service, but many chose to hang around to cheer  and support the quizzer friends.  Altogether, we had 6 teams from Battambang and from Bontey Meanchey provinces.  Once again, the youth did exceptionally well.  We are especially proud for those who were first time quizzers!  Seeing how things were done, many new kids are being challenged to try on the next quizzing meet!  Please pray that the Word of God would take deep root in the hearts and lives would be transformed as young people memorize verses for the competitions.
For the past few weeks, all of us experienced some kinds of spiritual attacks in so many different ways.  December 3-6, we drove to the capital city, Phnom Penh, to join some team members there for a discipleship conference and a team Christmas party gathering.  While there, one team member (International Worker)felt very sick with high fevers and the "worse headache" in her life!  When taken to a local clinic with some blood works done, the illness was ruled out to be viral meningitis!

At about the same time, another team member, back in Poipet, also felt very sick.  Our team in Phnom Penh took time to pray for two IWs.  And God heard our prayers.  Now, a week later, both IWs are back on their feet again.   Praise the Lord!!!  At about the same times in different locations, however, our KEC church families also experienced spiritual warfare.  One home-alone elderly lady in Svey Sisophon was drugged and robbed in broad day light!  Still in another location, one KEC key church leader was on a night bus going toward Phnom Penh, when at 1 am, while the bus was in full speed and loaded with sleeping passengers , one of the tires had a blow out!  The bus driver managed to take control of the steering wheel and was able to stable the bus to a safely parking position! On Sunday morning of Dec. 7, at Living Water Church, right before the service began, a few church members experienced a number of medical problems and had to be rushed to the hospital!  Then at 4 pm on the same day, two church leaders, in an attempt to clean up the church yards (as preparation for the Dec. 10 youth event), got deep cut wounds that required immediate stitches: one person was had a cut between his eyes, another person with a cut on his forearm!  And the list of incidents keeps adding on as we are getting closer to the Christmas events...  At times like these, we could hardly wait to see what God is going to do within the next few weeks as the church families are coming together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  In every village, people are being invited to join the Christmas celebrations!  Believers are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives to join the celebration.  We strongly believe that God is going to do some amazing thing in people lives these next couple weeks.  And Satan, our arch enemy,  knew this as well.  That is why we are being attacked.  PRAY that we would overcome these hard times.  God is victorious!  He is on our side.  And He has already overcome it all.

Many of you who have been financially supported the Bethlehem KEC Church building project, thank you!  The generous donation you gave now reached to 47% of the total amount need!  Meing Pheap and the Bethlehem church committees are very grateful to your support!  And they wish to extent their gratitude to you all.

We are very grateful to God for you!  Thank you for Living Call together in partnership in the effort of bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to lost people in this part of the world.  Your continual support to the Great Commission Fund enables us to keep on serving here.  Thank you!  No matter what the world is saying, Jesus Christ is still the Reason for this Christmas season!  As you come together in celebration the birth of our Savior, may you truly experience the meaning for  this season.
Merry Christmas!
Soeuth and Syna Lao

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Update

Dear Praying Friend and Family,

Greetings!  As the Thanksgiving holiday (for Americans) is approaching, it is our prayer that you would find many reasons to be thankful for this year. Going with the holiday theme, I want to share with you a story of a beautiful lady who has been very dear to my heart…

“Then the King said…, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’.”  (Matthew 25: 34-36)  

The passage has been a daily theme for Chhee, a believer from Poipet. She peddles her old bicycle along the paths and bumpy roads, moving from village to village, with a basketful of market fresh goods. In Chhee’s portable market, she sells fish, chicken, and other food items, for a living.  At age 33, married and a mother of four small kids, Chhee is an active member of the Living Water Church.  Every morning, she crosses the border to Thailand to buy food goods from the border market and then returns to sell them in local villages in Poipet.  On a good day, she makes about $5.00 to $7.00 of profits, enough earning to feed her family of 8 per day.  However, her “good day,” depends heavily on what her customers were willing to pay for the items they buy.  Many would give her the money up front in exchange for the items purchased; some of her customers, however, asked if they could buy them on credits; but very often, these people ended up moving away, or they just simply could not pay back, so Chhee never got paid as the result.  Also, lately with heavy rains, her sell was not always good.  But no matter how the day turns out to be, cheerfully and with a heart of gratitude, Chhee would often thank God for her daily provisions, always expressing “Aark-une Preah Aarng” (thank you, Lord)…  Chhee’s customers are the same: poor villagers who live far away and are often too poor or too sick to make regular trips to local markets.  As she bicycles around selling her goods every day, Chhee has many opportunities to tell her customers about the Good News of Jesus.  She often prayed for those who are sick, visited those who are lonely, listened to their sad stories, encouraged and invited them to come to church…  Chhee, having a very low self-esteem, does not consider herself pretty enough, good enough, or smart enough to do anything right.  In June 2005, however, through medical interventions and encouragements from church families, Chhee and her husband, Daa, accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!  (Chhee, her mother, and her two older kids got baptized on June 28!)  Remembering what Christ has done for her and for family, Chhee is always passionate about sharing Jesus with others!  She is quite an evangelist!  Every chance she had, Chhee was always pointing people to Jesus.  As the result, many have come to church and received Christ as their Lord and Savior, all because of Chhee’s ministry…

 Like many Cambodian women of her generation, especially those from poor families, Chhee had never been to school. She had never learned how to read.  We’ve been encouraged her to study in adult literacy class.  And she has been trying!  For the past few years, she had gone through a total of six different teachers!  Every one of them, with good intention, all wanted to teach Chhee how to read.  BUT, at every attempt, after a few weeks of trying, both teacher and student simply quit.  “I just can’t teach Chhee how to read!”, as they all seemed to say…  Since March of this year, however, Chhee has been sitting beside me, three afternoons a week, learning how to read.  And the journey has been both, a joy and a challenge.  If given the opportunity to be seen by a professional or being tested, I think Chhee would qualify as having at least one or more learning disabilities.  But no matter the difficulties, through constant encouragements, along with her own determinations, conviction, and persevering, Chhee is learning how to read by memorization!  And she is encouraged to the idea that she is able to “read” and write up to lesson #33 this week! (This Bible-based adult literacy program has a total of 80 lessons).  This is a tremendous milestone for such a special someone as Chhee!  It is my constant prayer for Chhee, as her “reading” is improved, that she would truly see and accept herself worth, her true identity, and her value in Christ.  Will you join me in praying for Chhee?

We are very GRATEFUL to all of you for praying for our family, especially for or children!  It has been a bitter-sweet journey for us, this year, having our children going away to school, one in Minnesota and one in Malaysia, while we are here in Cambodia!  But GOD has been very gracious to us!  Justin is doing really well in his first semester at Crown College, and Jonathan is having a very successful semester at Dalat International School!  Both of our children are surrounded by loving and caring people who are always there for each of them in time of needs.  GOD, our Jehovah-Jireh, has been faithful in providing every detail of our kids’ needs, even when they are away from home!  THANK YOU!

As shared in our last writing that, Soeuth and I went to the central New York district, Sept. 9- Oct. 16, speaking among Alliance churches of the areas.  We had a great visit there, meeting new friends, and reconnecting with former ones.  We are THANKFUL to GOD for allowing us the opportunity to share with the greater Alliance family about what HE is doing in Cambodia! Throughout the entire trip, it has been a very interesting observation to see that, within the Alliance family, if you sit and chat with someone long enough, you would bounce to meet someone who knows you from the past, or someone who knows someone else of your connecting circle.  That’s exactly what happened to us during this trip to the Central New York!  We met a number of Soeuth’s former classmates from the “good old days” at Nyack College!  And we were very encouraged to learn that many of them are serving God in full-time ministries!  Way to go, Nyack!

It was such a hectic time, back in August, we were so busy getting all the last minute things done before departing for America, that we did not get a chance to tell you of the ministry events and prayer requested shared…

On August 29 was our first Bible quizzing match for the KEC youth ministry, since June 2002!  We had a total of 8 teams from only two provinces!  All of them were first time quizzers; and they did amazingly well!  Inspired by all the excitements that took place, other young people are being encouraged to take on the challenge!  Now, many more teams, from other provinces, are being trained for the next quiz meet, December 10, at Living Water Church, Poipet!  The youth committees, who are mostly volunteers, are also being encouraged as the products of their hard works are being used.  Our challenges, however, are to try to get more questions written and ready for the future meets, and to find more workers to help.  There are so many works to be done, but only few workers are available.  Please pray that God would send us more workers to this ready and harvesting field…
September 8 was our latest youth rally for the northwest region KEC youth.  Wanting to strengthen the weaker churches, we relocated the meeting place to Beong Beng Village, in Malay District.  Because of the new site and isolated place, we did not think that many would show up.  Yet the youth committees were quite surprised as a total of 137 young people showed up!  Since the surround fields were not safe enough for the youth to go exploring, we decided to stay in door for all day activities!  The small church building was packed with people!  Seeing all the excitement of that meeting, other adults from the areas decided to join the group as well.  Even a 78 year- old grandmother was found among the group!  When it was sharing time, many of them took turns to tell about what God is doing in their lives!  But this grandmother told about the healing miracle that God had on her life!  Everyone sat still and paid special attention to ever she spoke!  At the end of the day, everyone agreed, that was the best youth rally we had so far.  PRAISE GOD!  Please be in prayer for the next youth rally which is scheduled for the morning part of December 10, at Living Water Church.

December is approaching FAST!  And the KEC church leaders are planning for the coming Christmas events in each of their local villages.  For the churches in Poipet, we‘ll three main events:  Living Water Church (Dec. 25), Santepheap Church (Dec. 26), and Ondong Thmar Meas (Dec. 27).  The remaining smaller house churches will all join the Living Water Church on Christmas Day!  Church families are encouraged to bring their unbelieving friends and relative to join each of the services.

Please pray that God would touch hearts as people are coming to these events.

We are THANKFUL for you continual support in partnership with the Poipet ministries!  Your faithful and generous giving to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) is what kept us serving here, making a difference in people lives, shining the Light of Jesus in this dark place, pointing Lost People to Christ…

Thanksgiving Day is coming, what you are thankful for this year?
With a grateful heart,
Soeuth & Syna

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August Update

Dear Praying Friends,

Greetings from Poipet!  We trust you all had a great summer.  By now schools have already started for some children, including ours. Thank you for your prayers from all the events that took in the past few weeks/months.  Our God continues to be at work here and everywhere in world.  Here is an update…

As the people were preparing to get baptize (June 28), we had warned them that they would soon be tested, and that as part of living a Christian life, persecutions and trials are unavoidable.  2 Timothy 3: 12 boldly tells us that, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."   And true to the Scripture, many of the newly baptized people have undergone some severe testing times of their own.  But thank God for He also promises us that, “Never will I leave; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13: 5).  We praise Jesus that many of the new believers are still walking with God today. 

Despite of the testing, however, Mrs. Sivourn (as shared in our June’s update) continues to live passionately for Christ in her family and community, telling everyone she meets about Jesus Christ!  So far, she already brought four people into God’s Family including her sister and some friends.  And this past Sunday (August 17) she brought another one, her husband!  After Sunday service, Mrs. Sivourn asked if I would pray for her husband to receive Christ.  Considering his age and being culturally sensitive to a woman’s role, I asked Mr. Chean (a leader from Living Water Church) to sit with me, and together we’d shared the privilege of leading Mr. Thavaro, aged 52, to the Lord!  But before we actually prayed for him, we asked him some questions concerning his background and his motive of coming to the Lord.  And this is what he told us (in my own paraphrases according to what I understood of him)…  Mr. Thavaro is a prominent figure among the Cambodian government officials with 30 years of experiences in the military fields.  He is in charge of over 300 Cambodia soldiers.  Having fought in many battles (some of them along the Cambodian border), Mr. Thavaro had encountered many dangerous situations, but God silently kept him safe thus far. Since Buddhism is a state religion, Mr. Thavaro, as a leader, is required to lead his men to seek spiritual counseling from Buddhist priests or monks, especially before going into battles.  But Mr. Thavaro told us that, “I only did it out of duty.  I never had any strong feelings or interests in Buddhism.  I don’t really believe in those religion stuffs."  A few years ago, however, a friend introduced him to Jesus as the Truth and Living God!  Mr. Thavaro was immediately interested.  But he quietly kept the news to himself.  However, he began to ponder in his heart about this new God Jesus.  During the past few years, when he found himself in difficult circumstances, he would often call on the Name of Jesus for help.  “And Preah Yea-sue (Jesus) seemed to have always shown up every time I needed Him," Mr. Thavaro proudly told us.  In fact, a few times already, Mr. Thavaro told us that he had personally experienced a few miraculous incidents that took place in his life! And on that Sunday afternoon sitting across from me, I asked him one last question, “So, why do you want to Thvay Kloun (give your life) to Jesus?”  He sat up straight, looked directly into my face, and said, “I believe with all my heart that Preah Yea-sue is the One True and Living God.  And I want to be part of His family too”.   After we prayed for him, Mr. Thavaro, though very new in his faith, asked many good but hard questions especially in regards to his role as a new Christian working in military fields.  We answered him to the best of our knowledge, encouraged him to keep in touch with us, and exchanged phone numbers.  Since he already has a Bible, we instructed him on where to begin reading, and encouraged him to spend time with God through daily reading and praying.  Please PRAY for Mr. Thavaro to remain faithful to God.  He will return to his locations of work at the end of the month.  

On early Saturday morning (August 16), we squeezed 22 sunday school teachers from Poipet (plus the van driver and 2 toddlers) into a 15-seat van and drove 2 and half hours to Thmar Koul in Battambang Province!  We had a full day of activities and lessons planned for Sunday school teacher training seminar.  I (Syna) was so glad to see Laalyn and Pheap come along with the Poipet group.  Being part of the committees for the Sunday school ministry, Laalyn, now in her fourth month of pregnancy, was able to put some smiles on her face as she joyfully led the group of excited teachers (about 35 teachers) in games and activities related to Sunday school classes.  Her passion in reaching kids for Christ is evidenced in her well- planned and organized games and activities that she led on that day.  By the grace of God, both Pheap and Laalyn are able to move on with life, now without their little besides them.  Please continue to pray for this dear couple.

At the beginning of the year when we were anticipating the idea of sending our two boys (Justin and Jonathan) to Dalat International (Boarding) School at Penang, Malaysia, we were wondering how to deal with early “emptiness” living in a house without our kids.  But God had other plans for us.  The week that we were about to send off our sons to Dalat, God gave us two “daughters” to care for and love for a season.  Both Danaat (21) and Srey Roth (17) are from broken families, and they’ve been living with us since January 2014.  The girls are believers and are thriving well in their walks with God.  At home, Syna mentors and works closely with them: guiding them to walk in God’s way, teaching them cooking, baking, and cleaning skills, in hope to prepare them for better (future) housewives.  Outside skills:  Danaat still enjoys studying at a beauty school, and Srey Roth is taking computer and English classes in the evenings.  Growing and services: Both girls are studying in Abundant Life class with a church leader on Sunday afternoons, got baptized recently, attend weekly youth group, and are being trained on how to teach children Sunday school classes.  Living and finances: Srey Roth works two afternoons a week at a missionary’s home doing house cleaning and is helping Syna teaching adult literacy class.  She will soon begin teaching Khmer language/lessons to local missionary kids.  Danaat (for her practice) gives free/ or low charge hair- cuts, manicure and pedicure works  to any interested and volunteer costumers (at their own risk). The girls carefully save up their monthly allowances and other small incomes earned and give some of the savings to their needy families at homes. Please pray for the future needs and directions for these precious girls.
Some of you took personal interests in ministering to our children through your faithful prayers, encouraging emails, snail mails, and sending them care packages.  THANK YOU! The hardest thing to do as parents, so far, is sending our kids away to schools.  We had to do it twice in these past few months! We’d prayed much about this and God has been given us peace.  We know that God love our kids more than we, and He is take great care of them by sending His faithful servants to love and to care for and to guide them along the way…

Some of you probably have already followed the story of “Meing Pheap” (July 15)  (http://www.alliancelife.org/aritcle.php?id=924) in the Alliance Life Magazine.  THANK YOU for responding to the need with your finance.  If you have not, please consider doing so by sending your donation to the approve project.  The building is in a terrible shape now that it is rainy season, again.  The Bethlehem church committees cannot begin any construction plan until all the money raised.  
Please pray also for these events:

Northwest region first Bible quizzing August 29 at Svey Sisophon, Bontey Meanchey province
Poipet ministry key church leaders ‘next meeting at Living Water, August 26
Next quarterly youth rally, Sept. 8, at Boeng Beng village in Malay district.

Sept 9- Oct 17, Soeuth & Syna will go to US for Fall Inter-District Tour, Mission Conference Tour
Thank you for partnering with us in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to lost and needy people in Poipet and around the world.  Lost people still matter to God and He wants them to be found.


Soeuth & Syna 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Update Cont. Baptism

Dear Praying Friends,

We could not wait to share with you the excitement of the day!  The KEC Poipet churches came together, June 28th, for a joyous celebration -- 60 people came forward to publically baptize in a local pond!  Though the service was scheduled for 9:00, church families, with great anticipation, began to show up at our front door as early 6:00 on a Saturday morning!  Throughout the month, being that we are right in the middle of a heavy rainy season, some concerns were raised as to if the roads would be passable for most villagers who normally travel on bicycles, motorbikes, and or trailers.  But the God who ordained the seasons and nature answered our prayers by holding off the rain for two days!  And HE even added a bonus by allowing it to be such a beautiful breezy day! 

As the people came together, the leaders led the happy crowds in songs of worship.  With all the excitements surrounded the event, we completely forgot to do head counts!  At least 100 people were packed like sardine inside our house, and many were standing outside!  Since none of the Poipet church leaders are yet ordained pastors, the leaders invited Pastor Nhan from Siem Reap Province, president of the KEC Peayop (northwest) region, to help Soeuth officiate the baptism ceremony.  After a short message by Pastor Nhan, in an attempt to clear out any previous conception, Soeuth gave a short quiz to those who were prepared for the event, testing their knowledge and understanding why they chose to be baptized.  As a few people were given opportunities to share brief testimonies of what God is doing in their lives, one lady, Mrs. Sivourn, boldly stood up and told us her story.  After being a newly believer for only 28 days, she not only courageously sharing the Good News of Jesus to EVERY person of her neighbors and friends, she already led one person to the Lord!  Her love for Jesus is already contagious and an inspiration to everyone! 

After the service, the people excitedly marched across the dirt roads passing a local karaoke shop and a restaurant to a nearby pond.  What a parade it was!  At the pond, cheered and encouraged by supporting family and friends, believers lined up into two rows, where Pastor Nhan and Soeuth were already waiting to receive them in the water.  Then, one by one, each person publically stepped into the water to be baptized.  And no parent could be more proud than we, as one of those that waded down into the water is our precious son, Jonathan!  Since Jonathan, aged 12, has been living in Poipet most of his life, how fitting it is that he decided to get baptized with some of his Khmer friends as well!  Oh, what a beautiful day for such a joyful celebration!!!

The church ladies had worked hard, since the day before, to prepare delicious food for the big crowd, a Khmer traditional meal of rice noodle and green curry!  Not knowing exactly how many will show up, they’d planned to prepare enough to feed 100 people.  But more people showed up than expected that we need to go to the market for more noodles—a total of 60 kilograms of noodles!
Thank you for praying! 
God is good!  All the time!
Soeuth and Syna Lao

Friday, June 27, 2014

June Update

Dear Praying Friends,
“She was so young!”  “Why is God taking her now?”… These are among the many comments made by people who attended a recent funeral for the daughter of a KEC church leader…
ME-SABETH, a precious little girl, an only child of a key church leader, first grandchild for both sides of the families, was accidentally ran over by a truck and instantly killed, on Wednesday, June 18.  She was only one year, 9 months, and 5 days old! Her parents, devotedly and humbly serve as key church leaders (father-- Pheap) at Ondong Thmar Meas church in Poipet, and Laalyn (mother) as a National Children ministry for the Khmer Evangelical Church (KEC).  We had the privilege of disciple (a new believer then) Laalyn, in Siem Reap Province (1998-2002), in many Christian Education classes as well as TEE and in Sunday School teacher- Training program.  And when we moved to Poipet, July 2003, God allowed us the honor of leading Pheap to Christ and to disciple him in various leadership classes.  In a culture where arranged marriage is commonly practiced and young girls are encouraged to marry as early as 14 to 16 years old, Laalyn courageously decided to defile all cultural expectations for her life! She was willing to trust God to give her the right guy.  Even at the age of 28 when she was considered as “old maid” by her relatives and friends, Laalyn was willing to wait on God’s timing.  So, as a reward to her faithfulness, GOD sent Pheap into Laalyn’s life.  Once again, during their 5 month- engagement periods, Soeuth and I had the privilege of guiding and walking them through in the premarital counseling secessions.  The couple took a Christian wedding on January 2011.

Early in their marriage, Pheap, strongly convicted and inspired by the testimonies of the three Jewish guys (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) determined to lead his family, committed to live the rest of their lives following the examples of his three Biblical heroes.  So, upon the arrival of their first born, Pheap, with the agreement of Laalyn, creatively named their daughter “Mesabeth” as a reminder of their commitment to live faithfully and boldly honoring God no matter the cost!  Little did they realize that only a short time later their faith would be put to the very same test…

It was a heart wrenching experience the funeral!  Among the 80+ people, there was not a dry eye to be seen!  At the grave site, before laying down the coffin into the dug ground, Pheap took his little girl all wrapped in funeral cloth, one last time, lifted her limped body as an offering to God.  In anguished, Pheap cried his heart out to his Lord, begging for forgiveness, reminding God why “Mesabeth” was named in the first place, pleading for inner strength to endure their darkest trials, and renewed his commitment to follow Christ no matter the cost!  Such a powerful testimony!

CHAOTIC BORDER:  For the past few weeks, due to continual political unrest in Thailand, many Cambodian emigrants (both legal and illegal) from Thailand are being redeployed into Cambodia!  So far, according to a local authority, the total amount of those returning to the homeland is 250,000 people!  And more people kept on coming out of Thailand every day!  There has been an exodus of refugees packed up like sardines in trucks, at the Poipet border!  The Cambodian government issued a state emergency!  In response to the needs, many local NGOs as well as local churches are being flooded to the border to offer counseling, basic helps including, medicines, transportations, food, and drinking waters.  Even our CAMA ambulance trucks are on stand- by ready to offer help when in need!  Every day, hundreds of military trucks loaded up thousand upon thousands of people, offering them free rides to return to their towns.
In the midst of the chaos, some people are reported to have missing small children and family members.  The Christians not only responded to the basic needs, they reached out in prayers and spiritual supports.  Many counseling secessions and prayer opportunities were given.  According to Mr. You Chan Seyha, a KEC church leader from Santepheap Village, that so far, a total of 14,550 Christian literatures/ tracts have been handed out!  In these times of desperation and confusion, however, people are witnessing the amazing love of God being poured out through the actions of His children, and desolated refugees are finding hope in Jesus!  Despite the chaos and confusion at the border, many people took the time to read the hand-outs!  The seeds of the Gospel have been planted.  Pray that they would sprout wherever these people go…

While we were visiting our children at Malaysia (May 30th –June 8th), our medical team mates in Poipet were busy treating many sad cases of church people with all kind of medical problems!  One young man from Santepheap church, BO-REY, aged 26, newly married, was contracted with a disease called Japanese Encephalitis.  According the medical team, JE is a viral disease contracted from mosquito bites transferring contaminated blood from swine to human, affecting cerebral systems, causing terrible seizures.  Once contracted (without previous preventative vaccinations), the case is hopeless.  As in Borey’s case, there is no cure by modern medicines!  Unless, God decides to step in…
Borey, a well-like, had a well-paid job, a good looking  and an athletic young man, was full of hope for his family.  He attended the Santepheap KEC church for many years, but later chose to walk away from his faith.  When he met and fell in love with his wife, he reluctantly agreed to take on a Buddhist marriage.  As a result of his recent disease, some young people from the KEC churches are speculating that God is punishing Borey because of his wayward decisions.  Yet, for the non-believers, this is a time for them to lash out their rage against Christianity, saying, “If this Jesus is so great, then, how come He allows such things to happen on his children?”  There is no answer.  Borey is, indeed, in God’s hand.  But our God is in a habit of turning something beautiful from ashes.   Meanwhile, the Christians are taking turns to help caring for Borey and his family needs.  Seeing how Christian families are pouring out their helps toward the family, Borey’s young wife has recently accepted the Lord Jesus as her savior!  As only God knows the true motives of human hearts, please pray that her decision is a genuine one.
Updates on Mrs. MOUM: Before we left for Malaysia, we were able to visit Mrs. Moum and attended a weekly Bible study class at her house.  Before the class began, however, Soeuth challenged the entire family to take some times confessing their sins before God and before each other.  As a result, her three older daughters began to cry as they, one by one, admitted their sins against one another, and they each asking the other for forgiveness!  It was very moving.  Everyone in the entire house was crying and hugging one another, including Mrs. Moum, her children, and grandchildren, and even some of the neighbors who happened to attend that class as well!  It was miracle to behold!  Right before our eyes, we witnessed the many walls of bitterness and rage began to crumble down!  And the shield of forgiveness and love was immediately rebuilt!  Mrs. Moum’s journey has a long way to go yet, but and her family, now, have many more reasons to celebrate the joy of knowing Jesus in their lives…

June 10-14, our entire family, along with a few youth leaders, made a 16 hour- trip (each way) to RATTANAKIRI PROVINCE, for a regional youth conference among the tribal people.  Despite of down- pouring rain 2-3 times a day, walking in paths full of red dirt muds and puddles, sleeping in the cramped congested huts, and using outdoor facilities, 196 tribal youth cheerfully attended the 2 ½ days biannual youth conference! With all the many difficulties accompanied the conference, there was not even a hint of complaining from anyone!  The services began as early as 6:30 in the morning and lasted until 11:30 at night with short breaks in between.  Yet, in every secession or seminar, the meeting room was always packed!  Although the worship services and messages were done in multiple languages with the help of some translations between  Khmer, English, and Jaria, all agreed that, we’d experienced a taste of heaven in that conference!  What a privilege to be part of the greater Body of Christ!

June 18, (before the death of Mesabeth), the northwest region had another quarterly regional youth rally, in Siem Reap Province. Because of the distant location and with the raining season in full swing, only 120 youth attended the rally.  Yet, everyone seemed to have a great time… Up until at 3 pm, upon completion of the day, when a pastor’s son, backed up his truck and accidentally ran over Mesabeth.  Measabeth’s father, Pheap, and many youth saw the whole thing!  But there was no time to react! It happened too sudden.  She did not have a chance.  Many young people who had witnessed the entire incident are still having a hard time coping with this tragic loss.  Please pray that God would calm their hearts and healing would soon take place…

As planned, the northwest KEC churches had a one-day husband and wife seminar, June 21, in Svey Sisophon church.  Many who were involved helping out at the border and those who were strongly affected by Mesabeth’s tragic loss could not attend the seminar.  Yet, despite of the many absents, we had a great turn- out for the event.  About 80+ people came!

It has been a VERY, VERY BUSY and STRESSFUL MONTH!  Yet, more excitement is yet to come!  This Saturday, June 28th, 8 am, the KEC churches in Poipet will come together for a joined celebration of baptism for new believers!  The church ladies are getting together to prepare a feast to feed the large group.  The leaders are expecting at least 100 church people will show up at the front of our house! Among these, about 45+ people have been disciple, trained, and prepared to part-take this public event, declaring their commitment to follow.  Since lies and rumors were being spread in various communities because of the many tragic incidents that took place within the Christian community, however, pray that these new believer who are committed for the baptismal event will follow through with their decisions.  God is truly at work among the believers in Poipet.  Pray that we will overcome any obstacles.

Our God is in control!
Syna and Soeuth Lao
with Justin and Jonathan

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May Update

Dear Praying Friends,
Just want to tell you that the celebration for Mrs. Moum’s release went really well!  67 people from around the northwest region came!  It was so moving to the points of tears as concerned friends took turns to share and reflect about the impacts that Mrs. Moum had on their lives.  All of them seemed to acknowledge of her deep love for God and of her caring and concerns for others around her.

Recalling to our first visit with Mrs. Moum at the Svey Sisophon Prison, shortly after her arrest (May 2011), we had cried with Mrs. Moum wondering what God had in plan for her life.

Before we left that day, despite of the uncertainty of her future, we’d encouraged Mrs. Moum to bloom where God planted her.  And throughout the years that followed, Mrs. Moum did bloom!  She courageously took her strong Christian faith into that prison!  She boldly shared the Gospel with the inmates.  At the end of her captivity (three years later), Mrs. Moum led 61 people to the Lord!  Not only that, Mrs. Moum started the first prison children!  Upon her release on May 9, many Christian inmates expressed a sense of great loss, as Mrs. Moum, their key leader in their weekly Bible studies, is no longer there.  Even the head jailer was concerned of what might become of the children ministry after Mrs. Moum leaves.  But she promised her friends that, as soon as she settles her family affair in Malay, she would find ways to go back to prison, as a free person, to keep the ministry going.  Such courage!

During the service, Soeuth spoke encouraging word to Mrs. Moum (and to her unbelieving children) by comparing a story of a young man named Joseph, who, like Mrs. Moum, was falsely accused and imprisoned.  As God was with Joseph, however, He was also with Mrs. Moum helping her to endure the darkest times of her live.  And as God has a plan for Joseph sending him to Egypt ahead of time in order to prepare the way to save his family, so God also sent Mrs. Moum prison to lead those 61 inmates to the Lord, and to start the children ministry there!  Reflecting on the promised word from Jerimiah 29: 11, Soeuth challenged the listeners that God still has a plan for each of our lives.  Please continue to keep Mrs. Moum in prayer.

Thank you for praying for the recent motor bike tours among the northwest region youth ministry.  Altogether, we had 31 people went on this trip with 15 bikes!  During the trip, we encountered one accident with few minor injuries.  Having to deal with two broken bikes on the ways, the trip was a bit delayed.  At the end of the first day, just minutes before we reached the designated village, heavy rains began to pour down us!  Everyone made it safely into the houses, but all was soaked to the core! During the evening service that night, about 10+ people took turns to share what they had learned from this experience.   It was encouraging and humbling experience to the young people seeing villagers, though poor as they were, these villagers had welcomed the visiting group with their best of everything!  Many of them live in such remote distant places, that they long for any kind of visitors.  One dear lady from a very isolated village, in her excitement for finally having guests into her house, had given 3 of her best chickens and a duck to the visiting group!  And she prepared a feast for the hungry crowd!  Last week, we had asked you to pray that this would be a good learning opportunity for the young people.  And it did!  Thank you for praying!

 Soeuth and Syna

Friday, May 9, 2014

May Update

Dear Praying Friends,

Many of you have been praying for Mrs. Moum, and we want to give you updates on her case.  According to the local authorities, her times of captivity will come to a completion this month.    She is scheduled to be released from the Svey Sisophon Prison on May 12.  Some of the KEC church families of  the northwest regions will come together on May 13, at Bontey Meanchey Province, for a celebration of her release.  The leaders are planning to raise fund, through a love offering on that day, for her needs.  During her three- year time in prison, her children had sold most of their family valuable goods and heirlooms, and they even sold some properties in order to survive!  Except for the empty house remained, Mrs. Moum is going home, to start a new chapter of her life, empty hands!  Pray that the giving would be generous.  Pray also that the authorities would keep their promises and that they would drop any other charges against her.

So much is happening lately among the church families!  It seems like Satan, our archenemy, is working overtime against the Body of Christ!  The believers are being tested in every way.  In respond to the needs, the Poipet church leaders are gathering for a day or Fast and Prayer on May 12.  Please pray for the good outcome of those who plan to attend.

May 17-18, the KEC youth from the northwest region areas will take a motor bike tour visiting about 10 KEC churches in remote areas of Battambang Province, Malay and Pailen Districts.  Please pray for safe traveling for all.  The main purpose of this trip is for learning experiences for young people.  Pray for opportunities to encourage the local churches as well as opportunities to share the Gospel with those who are in need of salvation.  We are expecting about at least 20 bikes with two people on each bike will go on this trip!  We are praying that from this experience, the youth would have a revival of faith, develop a new commitment and an increasing passion for following Christ!

In responding the needs, the National youth committees have strong desire for the KEC youth to resume Bible quizzing ministry this year.  Unfortunately, the last time we had any quizzing activity was in June 2002!  And out of the 7 committees, only two of them had any quizzing experience!  Nevertheless, the committees, out of faith, are moving forward with the plan!  For a start, the first quizzing match is scheduled for August 30, for the northwest region churches, covering the Book of Mark chapters 1-3.  Many young people are already very excited about this quizzing event!  Pray that God would raise more interests from among youth, especially from the other regions.  Pray for wisdom and encouragement on the committees as they are putting things together, learning about the quizzing procedures and rules, writing questions, and so on.

We look forward to seeing our boys at the end of the month!  Justin will graduate from Dalat school on June 2.  After that he will have about one month left in Cambodia before he will head back to America for re-entry seminar.  It will be a huge change for all of us this summer!  We appreciate your prayers for our children.

Soeuth and Syna

Monday, April 14, 2014

April Update

Dear Praying Friends,
Happy Khmer New Year!

You’ve been praying for the recent National KEC youth conference, we want to share with you some ministry updates…

Since we needed to get to the camp site and get things ready a head of time, our family left Poipet early on Tuesday morning of April 1 to Kampong Cham Province.  Altogether, we drove about 9 hours, going through Battambang Province to picking up 200+ mats and other supplies which were on the way there.  We were about an hour before reaching K. Cham, when we were confronted with a huge sand/ dust storm which lasted about 20 minutes! At one point, we had to stop at the side of the road because we could not see anything! Then a terrible rains storm followed us the whole way through!  About 5 or 6 trees felt on in front and behind us!  And though we had a big plastic sheet to cover the mats on the back of a truck, by the time we’d reached our destination, part of our suitcases and all the mats were drenched with rain waters!  “Oh well”, Jonathan said, “at least the conference does not start until the next day”.  And while we were still driving and trying to get through the storm, we received multiple phone calls from church people in Poipet—all saying the same thing, at that very moment, a big rain storm, in Poipet, was knocking down trees and houses!  At the same time, we began to wonder what God had in plan for the coming conference.  The theme for this year conference was based on Revelations 3:16, “So, because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth”.

By late evening and upon arrival (April 1), we received more bad news:  Four members of the National youth committees could not make it to the conference due to family emergencies.  And the camp director (we’d rent a camp) made some last- minute changes that had some significant effects on the conference!!!  Having no other alternatives, we proceeded as planned.

In late afternoon on the next day, April 2, the first day of the conference, everyone arrived safely, and all seemed very excited to be at the conference at last!  The registration time went until late in the evening.  Although the number of those who actually registered and paid for the conference fees were only 528, more than 550 people showed up at every meal time! The committees had to do the head counts at each meal so that we would not be over charged by the catering people!
Throughout the entire conference, we’d encountered a number of problems.  We had no electric power from 10 pm to 5 am every night!  Since all the indoor- running waters were operated by electric power-- some people went to bed without any shower! With the average temperature of mid 90’s with humidity, there was no power to turn on the fans!  We received a few complain from young people, but the conference went on as planned. Despite of the facts mentioned, everyone seemed to accept and comply with the situations well.

About 11:30 am on the third and final day, while the joined service was going on, another rain storm hit the camp very hard!  The strong winds nearly knocked off the tents!  This was very unusual for April!  It should be the hottest and driest time of the year!  And yet, here we had two thunder and rain storms in one week! However, instead of complaining and grumping as we had expected, the youth leaders turned the whole event into fun time for everyone; it became a raining party!  The worship leaders led the group with a number of popular, fun songs. And many young people, feeling encouraged by their peer, went out to dance in the rains! It was so amazing and fun to watch!

Around 3 pm of that last day, we received yet another bad news!  Chamroeun, one of the worship leaders, received a shocking report that his house in Phnom Penh was burned to the ground!  The fire destroyed everything they owned, including their whole life saving!  Everyone was very upset!  That evening during the final worship time, the youth committees decided to give a special offering for Chamroeun and his family.  We realized that the giving probably would not be much, being that it was the last evening of the conference, and that the young people most likely had already spent their every last penny on snacks and souvenirs.  But in respond to the needs, the committees decided to take the collection anyway.  All the money was collected and immediately counted.  The currencies received including US dollars, Khmer Riels, and Thai Bahts—altogether it was $570.00!  That was about $1.00 from every person attended that conference!  This amount may not sound much to people living in the West.  But in Cambodia, bases on average income, this amount is about 5- 6 month salaries!  As one young man exclaimed, “Who says that the young people don’t have money?”

Staying with the conference theme, all pastors and seminar leaders spoke variety of toptics all related to “Hot or Cold? Lukewarm, No More!”  Every night the guest speaker, Rev. Nareth May, challenged the young people to make a decision to follow Christ.  The first two nights, there were about 10-20 people raised their hands up showing that they were willing to make that decision.  But on the third night, about a 100 people went up to the front stage to answer the altar call!

The afternoon rains brought cooler weather for that last night.  But who wants to sleep when you won’t be seeing some of your friends again, until next year?  That’s what most young people did!  Some stayed up all night chatting with their new found friends.  Some even encouraged one another to stay true to the commitment they’d made during the conference.  Early the next morning, April 5, young people loaded up onto their designated vehicles.  One by one a bus or a van exited out of the camp.  The remaining committees stayed behind to help clean up the camp.   By the time we left the camp site, it was almost noon time!  We went directly to Siem Reap province, taking a long two youth committee members, dropped them off at their places, checked into a hotel at 4 pm, and crashed!  Never a dull moment with the Lao family!

And did I mention that our boys, Justin and Jonathan, were with us the whole time, taking along their suitcases and other personal belonging, attending parts of the conference, waiting for us to take them back to Dalat School after a week off from their spring break?  They were such a good sport playing along with all that went on.  Jonathan even enjoyed playing in the rains with the other Khmer kids!
Last week (April 6-11), we were in Penang, Malaysia.  We came directly from Siem Reap to Penang.  Justin and Jonathan started school that Monday (April 7) while we stayed in the school guest house and rested...  Being located on the school campus, we were able to visit with the boys during the lunch hours, saw how they interacted with their peers and dorm siblings, met and chatted with their teachers, and joined with their dorm meetings.  The boys even slept, a few times, in the guest house with us!  We counted blessed to be able to celebrate the boys’ birthday parties, with their dorm family, two parties in one week!  Jonathan turned 12 on April 9th, and Justin’s early surprised birthday was celebrated that next night!  The Jackson Dorm has a very fantastic birthday tradition where dorm members take turn to give meaningful tributes to the birthday person!  We were so moved to hear all the wonderful and heartfelt tributes including words of blessing and encouragement that every person in that room was giving to our sons! We’re so thankful to God for such a great week!

For quite sometimes, Meing (Auntie) Pheap had consistently asked Soeuth to preach at a new church site, in Doung Mear Village, Battambang Province.  Meing  Pheap (founder of Bethlehem Church, in Battambang) has been excitedly sharing with us about a daughter church that she and the leaders from Bethlehem church had planted since December 2013!  Every time we go teach a leadership class in BTB, Meing Pheap would often repeats the same request.  But time did not permit, until now…  So, while in Penang, Soeuth was working on an Easter message as requested by Meing Pheap and some elders.

This Palm Sunday, April 13, we went to Doung Mear Church!  Upon arrival, however, we’d noticed that a place of worship, surrounded by dried rice fields and grass huts, was located under the shades of mango and coconut trees with 50+ colorful plastic chairs all lined up the adults, and 5 large blue plastic sheets, on ground, for children to sit. A number of respectful village men and women, along with the village families and their many children were already presented at the site!  Older children had lovingly and carefully decorated the service area with palm leaves, seasonal flowers, and balloons!  Everyone was excited about this special event!  Having arrived early, we had sometimes to meet and chat with people before the service began.  That was when Soeuth felt led to preach an evangelistic message instead!  During the service, many different age groups of children and youth took turns to perform their special songs. Everything was so beautiful!!!  The children truly sang and worshipped from their hearts! In the sermon, Soeuth challenged the audience to think about the origin of Earth and everything on it, including the origin of mankind.  He‘d asked, “Since everything on Earth seemed to have a beginning, then, who is the Maker of all things?”  Everyone seemed to pay close attention to every word spoken.  Even the very small kids sat still throughout the entire service!  Amazing!!!  We had never seen such good behaviors as in these kids! At the end of sermon and upon altar call, 10 ladies went to the front and asked to receive Jesus!  The church families celebrated this special occasion with very tasty green curry with rice noodle!

This week, April 14-16, is Khmer New Year!  As in every religious holiday season, this is a testing time for church people, especially for new believers.  Many people already left Poipet to visit their hometowns.  For those church people who are not traveling, they will come to our place on April 15 for a full day of games and fellowship.  The Living Water church will do the same on April 16.  Please pray for protection and safe traveling for all.  PRAY that believers would stand strong in their faith.
According to Mr. Bo Samoeun, the lead member of the Svey Sisophon prison ministry team, Mrs. Moum is due for release on May 13!  This is the most anticipating moment for Mrs. Moum and for all her friends and family!   Please PRAY that the authorities will keep their words.
Thank you for praying. Happy Easter!  Our God is alive!  Hallelujah!!!

Because He Lives,
Syna, Soeuth, Justin, and Jonathan

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March Update

Dear Friends,

GREETINGS from the land of the tropics!  As some of you receiving this newsletter are experiencing some extreme cold weather, we are going through heat waves with a daily average temperature in the mid 90’s degrees F!  Our upstairs part of the house is unbearable during the day time hours!  Even with continuous running fans in the evening hours, it would only circulate hot airs! Despite of the extreme heat that would normally accompanied March and April, however, we look forward to the best time of the year that is yet to come, the mango season!  For those of you with a sweet tooth and are craving for some juicy mango with sweet and creamy sticky rice for dessert, this is the best time for a visit! And all around our yards, we got about 12 trees full of mangos ready and waiting for you!

LENA: You have been faithfully praying for and financially supporting Lena and her family, and we want to update with you on their situations.  Throughout the month of February, Lena has made a few trips the capitol city, Phnom Penh, to the eye hospital, where she received reconstruction surgery on her left eye.  She will need to make a few more trips for more cosmetic surgeries.   During the recently Poipet quarterly women seminar, Lena was excited to be part of the women group… 

Lena’s oldest daughter, Danaat is enjoying studying at a beauty school.  Danaat is so grateful to God for what HE is doing in her life that she is NOT ASHAMED to tell everyone whom she met about Preah Yeasu (Jesus)!  Every evening meal when we often asked, “How was your day?”  “What did you learn today?” Or, “Who did you meet?”  Danaat was always excited telling us about the many opportunities she often had in sharing the Good News at this school!  On Thursdays evening after class, Danaat often brought home some friends from the school to whom she has been witnessing.  The friends would come and chat with us for a while asking more questions concerning Christianity.  Though no one has made any decision of accepting Christ yet, their strong interests are noticeable.   In respond, we often sent with Danaat some reading booklets and tracts to share with her friends.  Danaat herself is enrolling in a discipleship class on Sunday afternoons.  She is very excited about the upcoming National KEC Youth Conference in Kampong Cham Province, April 2-5.  This will be her first time attending the youth conference!  While Lena was busy traveling to Phnom Penh for her eye’s need, Danaat was also busy visiting a local dental clinic where she had some dental works done on her front teeth.  Instead of hiding and feeling shamed because of her missing teeth, Danaat now smiles with more confidence showing off her beauty white teeth! 

Some of you have been asking about Mrs. Moum.  By agreements of the Cambodian “laws”, her time of captivity should come to completion by May 2014!  We are praying and trusting God to work HIS will on her case.

CLASSES:  Every other week on Tuesdays, we travel to Battambang (BTB) Province to teach all- day classes.  Despite of the fact that it’s a very long and tiring day for us, spending more than 13 hours on road trips and teaching, after hearing what was shared, however, we often feel encouraged at the end of the day. Altogether, we have 26 students from the BTB areas, and many of them are key church leaders.  Since the missionaries exited out of the province , and with the church people constantly moving in and out (in search for jobs), most KEC churches from the areas  began to decrease in numbers, and in some places the church became weaker.  In addition, the leaders from the BTB Province expressed a sense of isolation and lonely, and they persistently asking for a class to start!   In respond to the needs, we began a leadership class in June, and then another class in July 2013. 

Currently we have two classes going on, “Spiritual Leadership” and “How to Preach” at various locations upon request.  This is one of the most exciting classes we have!  The students, mostly farmers, give up one day of work, come to class with great anticipation, all assigned lessons prepared, and with their minds eager to learn and hearts ready to receive!  We often have a rich sharing time when students take turns to tell one another what God is doing in their lives. At the end of the classes, everyone went home feeling encouraged as the result.  Every meeting, students and teachers, alike, packed their own lunches and even brought extra ready to share!  The common expressions that we often heard, “I can’t wait until the next class!” Or “Why can’t we have meetings like this more often?”

On Monday evenings at our house, we also have a leadership class where 22 students attended.  The students come from various backgrounds: some are key leaders from the nearby churches, others are full-time staffs from local NGOs, and some are university students.   Because of their diverse backgrounds, the discussions were always lively.  Currently we are studying the “Spiritual Leadership” class.  Please pray for the students.  Some of them are going through some severe testing times.  Five students from this class have recently lost their jobs (their contracts ended with local NGOs).

Sport Ministry: The Living Water Church was very excited, on February 23rd, when one of their soccer teams (under 16- year old) received First Place for the season!  Because the match took place on a Sunday afternoon (after church), many church families were able to come and cheered for the games!  What made the game so exciting was that, this team was the underdog throughout the entire season!  And although many of the key players are not yet professed Christians, they were willing to be part of the KEC team abiding by all our rules, especially against gambling!  In Cambodia, gambling is a very common practice, especially among athletes!  Having these non- Christian players willing to join the KEC team speaks volumes about the testimony of the church as well as of the KEC team!  Since the championship match, more young people from the Poipet community asked to be part of the KEC teams!  While we are excited about the out-reach ministry for the community kids, we also have great concerns for our youth leaders.   Please PRAY for Joshua, aged 24, who is the head coach for all 8 KEC teams in Poipet.  He is a person of significant influence from among the athletes in Poipet.  Being a Christian and a very good athlete, many young people look to him with respect and admiration.  And a number of youth came to church (and some had already accepted the Lord) because of his influence. At the same times, however, Satan, our arch enemy, also has his eyes on Joshua and other sport leaders!  Pray that when the targets of temptations heading their ways that God would guard their hearts against the evil ones.   Much thanks to many of you who are supports of the sport ministry!

YOUTH MINISTRY:  The most anticipating event for young people is coming on April 2-5, when the Annual National KEC Youth Conference will take place in Kampong Cham Province!  The National youth committees are expecting about 650 youth from all over Cambodia!  Pray for the speakers of seminars and main events.  The fact that we are in the midst of the HOT season (average daily temperature now is in the mid 90’s), we are anticipating some potential problems with electricity and water supplies.  Please pray for the committees as they oversee the entire conference.  Pray for good health and protection for those who will travel from distant places.  Among the 45 + of the KEC youth from Poipet, about 20 guys (from the soccer team) will attend this conference for the first time!  Please be in PRAY for the overall needs and potential problems that may arise.  Pray for safe traveling of all the youth and leaders from around Cambodia.  Many of the young people attending this conference are first timers.  Please pray for receptive hearts.  This year’s theme conference is based on Rev. 3:15, “Lukewarm.  No more!”

Family news:  Justin (aged 17) is busy finishing up his senior year at Dalat.  Lord willing he will attend Crown College, Minnesota, in August 2014.  But before that, Justin will enroll in the Re-entry Seminar for MKs at Biola University, in California, on July 13-25.  Jonathan (will be 12 on April 9th) is still adjusting to the Dalat International School. We praise God for placing some amazing and godly people around Jonathan’s life at the Dalat School!  Please pray for the dorm parents and teachers at the school, who, because of the Call and their great love for the Master, are using their gifts and skills and talents to serve at Dalat School with passion, conviction, commitment, and a devotion to love and care for our children.  This summer will be huge adjustments for our family!  PLEASE PRAY for smooth transitions.

THANK YOU!  We are grateful for your continual support to the GCF which enables us to serve God in this part of the world, bringing lost people into God’s Kingdom.  Please do share with us what God is doing in your life.

Because He Lives,
Soeuth and Syna
with Justin and Jonathan Lao