Friday, March 4, 2016

March Update 2016

Dear Friend,

Here are some more updates concerning Poipet ministries and our family...

First of all, we are deeply grateful for your many prayers and support for Jonathan and for his recent nose injury!  Because the air ticket (to Malaysia) was purchased in a rush, we did not have many options.  As a result, Syna had to wait 6 hours in Kuala Lumpur!  When she’d finally arrived into Penang, Malaysia, at almost midnight, she’d waited another 6 hours before seeing  Jonathan!  Jonathan’s nose surgery, on February 18, went very well!  He was put under general anesthetic, and after a few hours of waiting while the hospital staffs worked on him, Jon was soon wheeled back to his room some bandages and a nose brace!   He was able to return to his dorm a day after surgery, and Syna returned to Poipet a day later...  According to what was being reported about the nature of the accident, it could have been much worse! Thank God for sparing Jon’s life!  And we THANK YOU for praying!!!

Earlier in February before leaving for Phnom Penh, and while playing soccer at Living Water church, a group of young girls from a nearby community, aged 9-11, boldly approached Soeuth and asked, “Do you only have boys to play soccer?  How come there is no soccer team for girls?” “We don’t have many girls who show interest in playing soccer”, Soeuth answered and then added, “But if you find 15 girls, come and see me later.  Maybe we can form a team for you”. The next day, February 4, we’d left for our long road trip to Phnom Penh and to other provinces across the country as mentioned in the previous newsletter.  And with all that took place last month, the thought about soccer ministry in Poipet did not cross our mind, nor did we think about these girls… Two weeks later as we were back in Poipet, the exciting news about soccer ministry was being reported…   The news was that, shortly after we left, a small group young girls were seen wandering around the church ground for a number of days!  When finally asked by some church members of what they were looking for, one of the girls answered, “We are looking for the man who drives (Soeuth).  He’d told me that if I find 15 girls, I was to come and see him.  Well, this week, I found 11 girls already!  Can he give us a coach and teach us to play soccer now?”  As this request being shared among the church leaders, in respond to the need, SOKHARY, a young lady from Living Water church, was willing to lead this new girl soccer team for U14!  From what we’d learned, these young girls are not yet believers but are willing to abide by our Christian rules and conducts just for a chance to play soccer! Please pray that hearts would be opened to the Gospel as these girls keep coming to play at the church ground.  Please pray also for MAKARA & SOPHAEK, a young married couple from the same church, who are working closely with a boy team.  We now have a total of 22 boys, all from the same community, aged 11-14, who have been coming to church every week!  And MAKARA has been teaching them on a weekly LIVING WATER discipleship class.  As of February 2016, we now have a total of 18 soccer teams, from U11 to U16, representing all KEC churches in Poipet! The next friendly tournament will be March 26 at Living Water Church!  As usual, we will have a short evangelistic message before the start of the games.  Please pray for a good outcome of the day and that hearts would be responsive to Christ.  Pray for a newly formed sport committees, five members from different KEC churches in Poipet. Pray for a spirit of unity as they serve God together in working with these young people.

As mentioned in a previous update, a team 7 people from Crossroad Alliance, Minnesota, came to Poipet, February 17-26, to help constructing/building a FUTSAL field for an on-going sport ministry!  To help cut down the cost, many local church members came to help and offered free labor services, including many kids from soccer teams and even little children also helped!  Some church ladies took turns to cook meals for the visiting team while some other ladies generously donated food items and snacks and cool drinks for the working crews!  Praise God, the Living Water Church now has a small but new FUTSAL field for the growing sport ministry! THANK YOU Crossroad Alliance for you generous support!!!!

At the completion of a FUTSAL project, we took the visiting team to yet another church site, at Maak Hoeun Village, to help with some manual labors, where a construction church building project has been taking place.  This village church, a small group of about 20 adults, has been meeting since August 2006 in a small grass hut belonging to a church leader!  

Last year, two different visiting teams (from First Alliance Church, PA, and from Community Alliance, MN) also came to Poipet and had opportunity to visit this church site.  Seeing the need for a church building, each of the teams willing donated certain amount of fund so we could start a construction building project which began since June 2015 but to postpone due to rainy season…  Again, to help cut down the cost, local volunteer church workers were encourage to give free labor service to the work site.  Mr. Hout Heng, a leader from Living Water Church, is overseeing this church building project!  The building itself may not be grand, but it will be the BEST building the villagers ever had, and the FIRST church building ever constructed in this village! Lord willing, we hope to have an entire construction project completed by end of April.

Maak Hoen Church Building

February 22-24, another team of 9 Alliance church leaders, from San Francisco, CA, also came!  This team, accompanied by very own Field Director, Rev. David Manfred, came to Poipet for church visitation and for future ministry opportunities.  During their visit, however, we had some mechanical difficulties with our “OLD FAITHFUL”, 1993, Land Cruiser! We’ve been using this truck as the main ambulance vehicle to pick up patients from distant villages.  After countless repairs, at 12:30 AM of Feb. 23, this old beat-up car finally died!  And the ambulance team was still in the middle of the roads somewhere on the way to Ang Salaa Village!  A backup vehicle from a referral hospital was immediate called to pick up a stroke patient at Ang Salaa village!  Soeuth was called to help with this broken truck! But because of a distant location and bumpy roads along with some other challenges driving in the dark night hours, it took sometimes before a rescue team arrived!  And after towing a broken vehicle back to a Poipet’s garage, Soeuth finally got home safely after 2 O’clock in the morning!  No more sleep for the remaining night…  The next morning, after hearing about our “rough night”, this group of visitors was so convicted by what they had heard and seen about what God is doing among the Poipet ministries, their team leader boldly declared, “This is a matter of life and death!  And we are called to help people in Jesus’ Name! Go! Buy another truck!  And our team will cover for the cost!” WOW!  And just like that, God answered prayers for the need to raise fund for an ambulance truck!

Looking ahead, we will be very extremely busy for the next few weeks/months.  In addition to on-going ministries, please be in prayers for these coming dates and events…
-        March 4, we will be heading to Phnom Penh, again, for a wedding (March 5) where Soeuth will preach and officiate. 

-        March 8-9 Field Leadership Team (FLT) meeting (Phnom Penh)
-        March 8, next northwest district regional youth rally at Svey Sisophon.  All International Workers will be at the prayer retreat in Phnom Penh. Please pray the regional youth committees as they will oversee the many youth at this rally and Bible quizzing.
-        March 10-11, annual missionary prayer retreat (Phnom Penh)
-        March 12, an all-day youth leadership workshop/ seminar (Phnom Penh)
-        March 19, church membership seminar/ workshop at Living Water Church (Poipet)
-        March 26, Friendly soccer tournament for the KEC teams in Poipet
-        March 26- April 2, our son, Jonathan will be home!!!!  (spring break)
-        April 2, Soeuth will preach and officiate at a wedding at Living Water Church (Poipet)
-        April 3, Jonathan returns to Dalat School
-        April 6-9, next annual national KEC youth camp at Kampong Cham province
-        April 14-16, National Khmer New Year
-        April 16, first- time Bible quizzing at Rattanakiri Province!
-        April 23, National KEC youth committees meeting (Phnom Penh)
-        April 30, first- time Bible quizzing for the Phnom Penh youth!
-        April 30, Next quarterly women seminal (Poipet)

We appreciate your continual prayers and support! Your faithful and generous giving to Alliance Great Commission Fund (GCF) enables us to keep on serving God in this part of the world, bringing the Good News of and the message Hope in Jesus to Lost People.  Thank you!  Please share with us what God is doing in your life!


Soeuth & Syna