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