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