Thursday, December 13, 2018

December Update 2018

Dear Praying Family and Friends,

Christmas greetings! May you and your loved ones experience the true meaning of the holiday season, and may Christ fill your hearts with faith, hope, and love...

December in Cambodia is full of Christmas activities! The Khmer Evangelical Churches (Alliance) in the northwest region (and the entire country) had scheduled various dates throughout the entire month so that believers have options to participate at various churches' holiday celebrations. So far, we attended six village-church Christmas celebrations! Although we still have a few more events to go, we still want to share with you some stories now, before they all get piled up…

Manger scene at the rally.
December 3: First Christmas Celebration at Sanchey Village… 

We were deeply touched by the simple and humble, yet most God honoring Christmas event we had ever attended! Of the 32 adults who attended, 28 of them were first timers with spiritual ages ranging from 6 days to eight month old Christians! When it came time for “special songs," a few church members stood up to sing their favorite selections. Each of the songs chosen was not necessary a Christmas song, but the lyrics of these chosen songs gave special meanings as to reasons why these believers chose Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Of the 32 adults that attended the Christmas celebration, 28 of them were first timers
Lena, a six month-old believer, filled with joy and gratitude to God, shared the meanings of her selected song that, “Jesus is indeed the Jehovah-jireh, the provider God!” Lena went on to share that immediately after she accepted Jesus, her family experienced tremendous persecutions and hardships, but Lena clung tightly to Jesus! Full four months, she and her young family of four could not find any work and thus received no income at all, no saving money left, and in addition that this their rice crops failed miserably. Concerned about what become of her family, she held on tight to the promised words found in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." The couple roamed around daily at a local market hoping to hire themselves as labor workers and continued living a Christ-life in everything they did and said. At last, one kind business lady took notice of the young couple’s honesty and godly characters.

When the lady learned about Lena’s crisis, this complete stranger offered the young couple a field full of ripe rice saying, “Go ahead and harvest all the grains in my field and keep them for your family!”  Rejoiced, they did and collected 12 sacks (1200 kilograms) full of grains! With a grateful heart Lena continued her story, “In all my years of farming, we had never collected this much rice before! But this year when our crops failed, God cared for all our needs as He has promised, giving us much more grains than we could ever ask for or imagine!”

Lena sharing her song of gratitude for the Lord's provision
December 7-8: First Christmas at Mak-hoeun Village…

Families and members of Mak-hoeun Alliance church.
We had to spend a night in Poipet before we could join another first Christmas event in Mak-hoeun village! Although this small group of believers had been meeting as a church for a number of years, due to lack of supplies and inadequate funding, they kept finding reasons/excuses to postpone any major events or celebration until recently. BUT very early morning on the appointed date, unexpected heavy rains with thunder storms poured out continuously for nearly three hours! Since the church site is located about 3 kilometer off the main road, we were worried about how to get everyone to the village. While all the believing villagers were troubled and concerned, one brave young man, Chantha, volunteered to transport all passengers on his “mechanical cow” (a huge trailer pulled by a big engine). After we packed our vehicles on the main road, everyone climbed up to find seats or a place to stand in the trailer while each were whispering prayers for protection and hoping that Chantha would drive us safely to the church. He did! Chantha made four round trips, back and forth, safely delivering all passengers on his mechanical cow! Around 80 of us, all members and representatives from seven different Alliance churches of the Poipet areas, came to participate in this adventurous and exciting Christmas event. At the end of the service, one church leader stood up to pray and to give thanks to the guests for coming, but overwhelmed by the tremendous love and support from other Christians, (because even with difficult and muddy roads many people came to visit her remote village!), she could barely finished her speech. It was a beautiful service! To some visitors, it was their first time to ride in a mechanical cow!

80 plus church families visiting the Christmas celebration at Mak-hoeun village.
Ang Salaa church families came to join Christmas celebration at Mak-hoeun Alliance.
December 10: Regional Quarterly Youth Rally at Thmar Koul…

We knew that the trip from Anlong Veng to Thmar Koul, the Eden Center, in Battambang province, would be long, and thought that it may not have been worth the effort to drive there for just a one-day youth rally. But because the young people from the Anlong Veng areas were so excited and had anticipated about this trip, we did not want to disappoint them. At 4 am on the appointed date, we loaded up 29 youth into two vehicles and drove to the rally. After changing a flat tire on the way, a few restroom stops, in addition to two police check-points, we made it safely to the rally, driving more than five hours! By the time we arrived, the rally already started, but we got there early enough to participate in other events. Although some young people that went with us had participated in other youth events in the past, the rally at Thma Koul Eden Centre was everyone’s first time! Altogether, 215 youth and leaders from four provinces of the northwest region attended this rally.

29 youth from the Anlong Veng area joined the rally

215 people attended the youth rally.
Youth participating in games at the rally.
Noun and Kane’s Excitement…

With the busyness of the Christmas activities, all of our other weekly discipleship classes were postponed, except the Firm Foundation class at Toul Prich. Noun and Kane, new believers of the village, insisted that the class must go on. “We are so hungry for God’s words. Please don’t stop the class,” said Noun, age 40, a wife and mother.  In their excitement after discovering freedom in Christ, this newly believing couple constantly shared the Good News to all their relatives and friends!
And God, in His great mercy for saving the lost, chooses to reveal Himself by allowing signs and wonders to happen so that new and young believers may see and experience His miracles.
Syna teaching weekly Firm Foundation class at Toul Prich.
This allows opportunities for those who have not made the decision to follow Christ to see evidence and hear about stories that prove His existence, and that He is alive and active! All of Noun’s five adult siblings and her own mother knew that Noun had suffered chronic illnesses for many years. They all knew that, many times in the past, when Noun was too sick to get up, she would lay in bed for days and weeks at a time. However, in a just a few short weeks after her conversion, they all could not understand or believe the fact that Noun appeared much stronger and healthier! “What is happening to you? You were so sick before, but now you seem better! What medicines did you take? Who healed you?” These are the common questions and remarks that Noun kept receiving from her relatives and friends. All that Noun could respond was that, “It was Preah Yea-sue (Jesus) who healed me! I believe in Jesus, and He took away my sickness!”Noun and Kane eagerly invited those curious relatives to come to church. This week, Noun’s 78- year-old mother “Nancy” came to Syna’s Firm Foundation! She stayed to listen tentatively to the entire class! During a class discussion, Syna shared, “Because Jesus is alive and active, He is here with us as we are studying this class together.  He can hear you! Tell Him all your thoughts and concerns." With these words, the mother, when in prayer time, prayed in a soft yet audible voice, “Preah Yea-sue, if you are real, please show me yourself, as you did to my daughter."  She seemed reluctant when asked if she was ready to receive Christ saying, “I want to wait for a while, first." Nancy was invited to join us in the next class meeting. Please pray that God would honor Nancy's request by revealing Himself to her…

Kane helping Noun sounding out words as they read the Bible

Noun's mother praying to Jesus for healing.
More Christmas stories to be continued…

Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year to all!

Soeuth & Syna

Friday, November 23, 2018

November Update 2018 (Part 2)

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Thanksgiving greetings! Wishing you the gift of faith and the blessing of hope this thanksgiving day!

It’s rice harvesting season in Cambodia. Church families, needing extra time to harvest, requested that the weekly discipleship classes be postponed for the time being. Traditionally, for families with few smaller plots of rice fields, farmers take turns to help each other harvest crops. Upon agreement, the working parties come together to harvest crops in a ready-to-harvest field one rice paddy at a time, while the field’s owner is responsible for providing lunches for all workers.

Farmers harvesting rice at Toul Prich village
Sheaves of grains collected at harvest season
This practice goes on until every farmer’s field is harvested. It can last anywhere between a few days to 5-6 weeks long!  Since every helping hand is needed at the field, some rural public schools even give students times off so the young people could help their parents with harvesting. This season is also a good opportunity for local farmers and/or for students to earn extra money. The available, willing workers would go to the fields’ owner and offer themselves as hired harvesters expecting to earn 20000 -30000 riels (about $5.00 to $7.50) per day. Some young people from Srae Kandal and Srae Nouy villages are taking advantage of this opportunity to make extra money to save up for the coming annual KEC youth camp, (April 5-8).

Seng’s Abundant Harvest…

When it was time for the workers to harvest in Seng’s fields (a young believer from Toul Prich church) every harvester was amazed at the abundant crops the fields produced! When asked why her fields yielded more crops than any other farmer’s fields, Seng quickly responded, “It is because I talked to Preah Yea-sue (Jesus) every day! I always asked Him to protect and to bless my fields and He did!” At threshing time, Seng and her family collected nearly double the amount of grains compared to the amount of grains collected by her neighbors whose fields are the same sizes as Seng’s fields!

Seng's abundant crops
Every farmer in Toul Prich village is amazed at Seng’s abundant crops! Like all her neighbors in that village, Seng attends the Toul Prich church for the past six years, but she was not growing spiritually, until this past year when she enrolled in a Bible-based adult literacy class and then in a discipleship class. Currently, Seng and four other villagers are studying in Firm Foundation class with Syna; and Seng was one of the 33 people who got baptized last month.

Seng studying Firm Foundation class with Syna
Seetha’s Priority…

Seetha and family from Srae Kandal village
Seetha, aged 26, a young believer from Srae Kandal Village-house church (Alliance), a wife and mother of two small kids, is also a very passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Having no fields of their own, the young couple did farm works on her parents’ properties. In between planting and harvesting rice, the couple goes about to find odd jobs as construction workers, cashew orchards or other plantation workers, or as hired laborers at any available work sites, while leaving their kids to the care of Seetha’s parents. Like most poor rural families in Cambodia, this family depends entirely on their daily income. Because every day’s earning ensures food and other basic needs to the family at home, people work every single day. Even as a young believer, Seetha’s love and devotion for the Lord Jesus is evident in her daily life. Seetha often prayed for and encouraged her husband to do what was right according to God’s word. Every week while studying in Firm Foundation class, she is involved in class discussions and often shares what she learned with her husband. At harvest time, there is a temptation for this poor family to skip church, so they could find work opportunities and earn money, but worshiping Jesus is Seetha’s priority! Her own husband often tried to persuade her, but Seetha gently reminded him the importance of keeping a regular Sabbath day, saying, “God gives us six days to work and to earn money, but we must honor God by not working on Sunday." Because hard, loyal, and faithful workers are hard to find, once hired, the field’s owner would do anything to keep the workers satisfied. And knowing that some Christian workers of the Srae Kandal village may not show up on Sunday, one field owner did something so drastic; he gave his workers with advanced payments for Sunday’s working fees and then tempted Seetha with this remark, “If you work on Sunday, I will make fried pork for lunch! (Average poor families eat mostly fish and rice; pork and other meat are for special occasions). But Seetha smartly responded, “I am sorry to disappoint you, Uncle. But even if you offer to pay me double on Sunday, and even if you give me a fancier meal than fried pork, even then, I will not take Sunday off from worshiping Preah Yea-sue!” She then added, “The Lord Jesus is more important to me than any fancy meals you could give. AND there is no amount of money that can take me away from my God!” Since we met her (September 2017), through rain or shine, Seetha and her children had rarely missed a Sunday service at Srae Kandal village house church!

Kane and Noun’s Searching…

Noun & Kane and son, new believers recently joined the Toul Prich church
Early November at Toul Prich church, Kane, Noun, and their young son, Chidra, came to join and stayed for the entire church service! At the end of the service, the couple eagerly asked Soeuth to pray and lead them to receive Christ. Their story is the following… Both Kane and Noun had suffered unexplained chronic body pains and many other illnesses. Being the oldest son of a Chinese family, Kane (the husband) was obligated to keep the ancestor worship. For years this family had spent all their money on medicines and doctors’ fees hoping to find relief and healing. They also spent money on food offerings and gift offerings to their ancestors’ spirits pleading the same requests: to be healed and freed from their suffering. But no matter what they did, nothing and no one can help them. Finally, in October, being fed up with all the miseries, Noun (the wife) finally called a distant relative who lived in another village nearby Srae Kandal and said, “We have had enough with our old beliefs! We want to follow a new God called Preah Yea-sue (Jesus)." Kane and Noun were traveling to visit this relative when they providentially “bumped” into a believing couple-- Reth and Sophie, members of the Srae Kandal Village Alliance church! At this surprised meeting, Reth and Sophie lovingly explained to the seeking couple that true hope and answers to all life’s problems can only be found in Jesus Christ! At Reth’s persistent pleas, the couple stayed a few extra days in Srae Kandal as Reth and Sophie continued to explain Scripture to the seeking couple. When Kane and Noun finally said goodbye, Reth gave the couple his brand new Khmer hymnal book! Reth and Sophie also encouraged the new couple to seek an Alliance church group in Toul Prich village. They did... Last week at their request, we visited Kane and Noun’s house for a prayer service. At their home Noun said, “Since you prayed for me to receive Jesus, I am feeling a lot better! I still have some minor aches and pains now and then, but they are not as severe as I used to have." Then Kane joined in, “As soon as we came back from church, we removed all the shrines and high places and gave them all away! Now, our entire family believes only in the One True God!” Both Noun and Kane attend the Toul Prich village church and recently joined the Toul Prich village’s Firm Foundation discipleship class.

Kane & Noun & son removed and burned all their old worship items as they started a new life in Christ
Pheap, a lady in yellow sweater, visiting Noun, Kane and son-- Chidra at Toul Prich village
Moul’s Determination…

This past week during a visit to a bimonthly leadership class in Poipet, we continued to be amazed by stories of commitment and of determination from the Poipet church leaders in addition to their contagious powerful testimonies. Twenty-eight leaders and representatives from five different village- Alliance churches came to the bimonthly class! They came ready and determined to absorb and pay special attention to every new information learned so that they could take back to share with others at their home. Like most farmers at this time of the year, Moul was extremely busy and was needed at home. Many people would easily and understandably find excuses for not showing up in class, but not Moul. Prior to the appointed class meeting, Moul had firmly told his wife Phally that “I cannot be absent from the leadership class this weekend. I will help you all that I can this week, with housework as well as with harvesting, but I must attend Lok Krue (pastor) Soeuth’s class." Being a one-legged amputee (Moul had lost this leg to landmine accident in early 2004), Moul relies on Cham, (his ministry partner and close friend) for transportation. Normally Cham drives his raggedy old motorbike while Moul holds on tight in the back as the pair travels about an hour distance from Ang Salaa village to class at Living Water Alliance church. This past week, however, Cham was needed at home so Moul had to find his way to class alone! He began his day at six o’clock in the morning, peddling on an old bicycle with one good leg, riding more than two hours to arrive on time for class!
Moul and Phally from Any Salaa village, Poipet

Immediately after class, Moul, with a pocket calendar in one hand and a pen in the other, cornered us with a question, “We want you (Soeuth) to speak at our Christmas celebration this year, when can you come?” Soeuth responded, “We are very busy in December. Can you find someone else locally to speak?” Not satisfied with the answer Moul responded, “If you can’t come on weekends, then come on a week day. Any day you are available, we will schedule the event accordingly." When asked why us, Moul replied, “You led me to the Lord (2004). We are gr
ateful that you taught us God’s word and then helped us to start a church service in Ang Salaa village. But since you moved to a new place, you hardly had time to come to visit us! Don’t you want to see for yourselves what God is doing in out midst?”And then he added, “You came all this way (3 hour-drive each way from Anlong Veng) to meet us in Poipet. Why can’t you drive just another hour to see us?” With such determination, we complied with Moul’s request to join the Ang Salaa Alliance church’s Christmas celebration on Friday December 14.

Praises and prayer requests…

- Praise God for the recent workshops for children ministry, a Sunday School Teacher-Training seminar done at three different locations: at Preah Vihear Province (32 attended), at Odar Meanchey Province (9 attended) and at Bontey Meanchey Province (56 attended).  Traveling from place to place with Lalynn and Pheap and teaching two workshops at each place was physically and mentally exhausting for Syna. Praise God that was all done and behind us now. We rejoice that many new teachers showed interest in reaching kids from their community for Christ. Pray for these new teachers to remain faithful with their decision to work with the kids in their own church and community.

- We are taking advantage of extra resting days as the villagers need time off from weekly classes because of harvest, to get our bodies, mind, and messages ready and prepared for the upcoming “Christmas’ marathon." So far, we are expecting to preach (Soeuth) and attend at seven Christmas celebrations in December! Pray for safe traveling. Pray for many who will attend Christmas for the first time this year. Pray for opportunities to share about Christ to those whom God sends our ways.

- While God continues to work mightily through performing miracles and wonders among believers at Srae Nouy Alliance church, the Enemy is also at work causing all kinds of illnesses and chaos among believers of the areas. This week, Pastor Dy and some of the Srae Nouy church families are sick of all kinds of illness. Please pray for protection against the evil ones and for healing for the church members.

We are very grateful for your on-going prayers and support! Your generous financial contribution toward the Great Commission Fund (GCF) enables us to keep serving our King in this part of the world sharing the message of true Hope and of Love to lost people that only Jesus Christ could give.  The field is ripe for the harvest, but the workers are few. We’ve been praying for the Lord of harvest to send us workers. Recently, we learned from our leader that, this year, a record of 60 new International Workers (IWs) have been trained, prepared, ready, and waiting to GO to mission fields! But we are a bit short on GCF funding. If you have not done so, please consider giving your 2018 year-end offering to the Alliance, so that more workers could join us in the fields.

With a Thankful Heart,

Soeuth & Syna

Friday, November 2, 2018

November Update 2018

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Autumn greetings! We trust that the Lord has been good to you. So much has happened since our last update. Here are some of the recent events that took place…

First Baptismal Service…
Because many family members normally come home for a religious holiday (Bon Pjum Ben), the church families persistently request that a joined baptismal service be held at Srae Kandal on October 11. And since there was no pond or any body of water nearby, some church members dug up a trench, the night before by the main road.  Next, they put up sheets of large plastic taupe into the hole and then filled up the man-made “pond” with well water where the baptism took place. Many Khmer Evangelical church (Alliance) families from nine different villages came to join the joyful celebration! Because the “pond” was too small, Soeuth volunteered to be the one baptizing new believers while Pastor Dy and other church leaders prayed for them. During the entire service, many curious villagers came to watch. Because the “pond” was dug by one of the village main roads, every time a motorbike load off or a trailer full of passengers passes by, people would slow down or stop by long enough just to watch. Some villagers even stayed long enough to watch the entire service! This was the first baptismal service done since we began church ministries in Anlong Veng. Among new believers who attended, 33 people got baptized! The festive event was celebrated with delicious traditional rice noodles served with green curry lovingly and generously prepared by godly women from Srae Kandal village.

Soeuth sharing a message to new believers before baptism

33 new believers baptized at Srae Kandal recently
Soeuth baptized a new believer in a trench.
Worship time at a baptismal service at Srae Kandal village
People waiting for their turn to get baptized

Church families celebrated baptism with traditional Khmer meal.
VBS and a Surprise Visit…
Thanks to the encouraging ministries from Leeward Community church from Hawaii, vacation Bible school (VBS) was held at Sra Em, at Toul Krasang, and at Srae Nouy villages where a total of about 120 kids attended. The children enjoyed learning about the Armors of God…

About 80 kids attended VBS at Srae Em village.

Children enjoyed learning about the armors of God in a VBS class at Srae Nouy village
A little girl tried on big shoes at Srae Kandal village
VBS at Toul Krasang village
October 18: As we were about to finish the day with VBS ministry and a leadership seminar at Srae Nouy, some children accidentally discovered a cobra hidden behind an opened door of the church!  The snake had been quietly hidden inside the church throughout the entire time while we were worshipping inside the church for more than three hours! But God kept all of us from harm.

A live cobra was quietly hidden behind this blue door during the entire church service!

This man killed a cobra inside the Srae Nouy church.
Mart Klaa Floating Village…
On Sunday October 21, while visiting the church families at Mart Klaa floating village, we learned some discouraging news about the church families from the area. Due to jealousy and some internal conflicts from within church members, some families not only left the fellowship but spread bad rumors about church leaders. This resulted in hurts and distrust among remaining church families.  Please pray for Mr. Kean (and his wife) who are key leaders for this small remote congregation. 

A prayer service for Mr. Kean, a leader for Mart Kala floating house church.

Due to miscommunication, only a small amount of people attended the recent youth leaders’ workshop at Svey Sisophon. For those who attended, they were blessed by encouraging messages from a visiting team from Pine Knoll Alliance (PKA), from upstate New York. As young leaders, they can relate well to the messages on “Our identity in Christ” and how to follow those of good biblical examples and to avoid following those of bad examples.

The PKA also led other workshops on Bridge out of Poverty and Conflict Resolution at Srae Kandal and Srae Nouy villages.

Leadership seminar at Srae Nouy village
In the midst of hosting and translating for visitors, we enjoyed having Jonathan home for a week of fall break. By the grace of God, Jonathan, aged 16, is thriving well in grade 10th at Dalat International School. While at home, Jon enjoyed some of his favorite dishes of cooked meals. For those of you who take great interests in our children’s need, we appreciate and are grateful for your prayers for Jonathan, Justin, and our beautiful daughter-in-law Katie and for our expecting first grandchild (early March 2019).

Thank you always for your prayers and support. Your generous financial support to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) enables us to keep service God in this part of the world bringing the message of Christ’s love and hope to lost people in Cambodia. We are very grateful for your on-going partnership in the Cambodian ministries. Please share with us what God is doing in your life.

Soeuth & Syna Lao

In the midst of poverty there is beauty in the sky.

Monday, October 8, 2018

October Update 2018

Dear Friends and Family,

Bon Pjum Ben…
As many of you (in North America) enjoy and celebrate fall holiday season, Khmer people celebrate a religious holiday called Bon Pjum Ben. Although the actual three-day holiday is October 8th, 9th, and 10th, the long meticulous and ritual preparations began since October 1st! This is a time where Khmer families make special food offerings to presents to Buddhist monks and Buddhist priests at local pagodas.
Variety of traditional food especially made for Bon Pjum Ben holiday
Rice cakes specifically made for Bon Pjum Ben
Because it is a family obligation to celebrate this holiday, Bon Pjum Bin is one of the testing times for new and young believers in Christ. The believer's dilemma is either moving forward fully with Christ by taking the risk of being labeled by family as a “traitor” to the long-time family custom/tradition OR turning around to their old ways of life to avoid family pressure. Despite persecutions, however, it is “No turning back” for many of our friends! Please pray for courage as well as for protection for many who are committed followers of the Way!

Youth Rally…
September 24th was a blast for the northwest regional quarterly youth rally at Living Water Alliance church in Poipet! We collected a total of 41 young people from seven different villages from around Anlong Veng areas, riding in three vehicles (two vans and a pick-up truck), and driving over 3 hours each way to join the fun and most anticipated youth event. All of the young people who went with us were first timers in Poipet, and many of them were first timers participating in a large youth event!

Srae Nouy kids joined youth rally for the first time

Srae Kandal youth attend youth rally
Toul Prich youth: first timers at youth event!
We had rains and thunderstorms along the ways, to and from, but everyone was kept safe and dry…

Syna and her "grandchildren" watching game activities at youth rally
The first part of the rally day was filled with special songs performed by various youth groups, two powerful testimonies, hilarious short video clips from previous youth events, relay games, competitive activities, a challenging message, and a great fellowship with meals. In the late afternoon, we broke out into smaller groups for volleyball games (four teams), soccer friendly competitions (four teams), try-out for first timers-Bible quizzing (three teams), and a variety of different relay games.

Three teams competed in Bible quiz at youth rally in Poipet
Young people from five different provinces within the northwest region attended the rally. Altogether, 196 youth participated in this rally…

196 people attended youth rally in Poipet
On that appointed day, we left Anlong Veng at 4am to pick up youth along the ways and then dropped them off after the rally. By the time we got home it was after 10 pm! It was a very long day, but seeing all the joy and excitement written all over their faces is worth every effort. We would gladly do it again. Next regional youth rally is December 10th, at the Thmar Koul Eden center, in Battambang province.

23 soccer kids attended youth rally for the first time
Long trip to youth rally
Uncle Toun…
Last week, during a visit at Srae Krasang village, it was very encouraging to learn about young believers' commitment and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Villagers eagerly greeted us during a recent visit to Srae Krasang
Soeuth shared an encouraging message to new believers at Srae Krasang village
Srae Krasang village: Uncle Toun and wife, former witch doctors are now children of God!
We stopped by Uncle Toun’s house, a new believer who used to be the most sought after “medicine man” (a witch doctor) for his community. Upon arrival, we noticed that his many other family members (from the capital city) also visited him and his wife. One of the visitors was his oldest daughter. Assuming her parents were still devoted Buddhists Toun’s daughter had spent over six months of her precious time delicately making a beautiful cross-stitch picture of a Buddha. Having traveled in a cramped shared taxi for nine hours, the daughter carefully hand-carried the golden framed picture of Buddha and then presented it to her elderly parents as a gift appropriately for Pjum Ben holiday. But her parents politely turned down the gift. “I am sorry, child, for disappointing you," Uncle Toun gently apologized to his daughter. “We appreciate your loving gesture" he continued. “But your mother and I no longer worship Buddha. We are now children of the new God, Jesus
Uncle Toun turned down a daughter's gift
Martha’s Lost and Found…
In September after a weekly class at Andong Chan village, Syna noticed that something was not right with Martha, one of the Abundant Life students. From our weekly interactions, we learned Martha suffers chronic high blood pressure in addition to some problems with her heart. Due to lack of finance, however, Martha had unwisely stopped taking her all prescription medications. After praying for her, Syna gave Martha some traveling money and encouraged her to visit the Siem Reap provincial hospital. She did. As they were riding on a motor dupe (motorbike taxi) on the busiest streets of Siem Reap city, Martha’s infant daughter began to fuss uncontrollably. In the process of trying to calm the baby, Martha must had accidentally dropped her money. They had already crossed at least 4 major intersections before Martha realized that the entire money was gone! Panic, Martha pleaded the motorbike driver to turn around, but he argued, “Look lady, this is a big and crowded city! By now, your money is long gone.” But Martha insisted, “No! I need that money! Jesus gave it to me. And He will keep it safe for me. Just go back to the same place, please.” The driver reluctantly turned around. Sure enough, just as Martha had believed, she found all her money!

Discipleship Classes…

Kids entertained themselves while their moms study in Syna's discipleship class
1. The 16 school aged children at Srae Noy village had successfully completed the five-week course of Living Water class! The class will move to the next level, a 19-week course of Abundant Life class.

2. Considering that most students could hardly read and write, all 17 students at Andong Chan village did very well on their recently mid-term exam of Abundant Life class! The beauty and highlight of this class is seeing students eagerly applying every lesson they learned to their daily lives!

3. We had a lively class discussion recently in a Firm Foundation Wednesday morning class at Srae Kandal village. God has truly been using the tragedy of Baby Keziah’s death (see August update) and turning it to something beautiful and very good! Mr. Reth, Keziah’s grandfather, is a changed man!  He has not missed one class since the funeral and was always eager to participate in every class discussion! Last week, he was moved to the point of tears when we discussed about the redemption plans that God has for human race.

Firm Foundation class at Srae Kandal Village
4. Slowly but surely, God, in His mercy for the lost, is calling some sincere seekers from within Toul Prich village. Syna has been teaching and discipling three ladies in Firm Foundation class. After learning that there is a baptismal service that will be at Srae Kandal (Oct. 11), two ladies were interested in getting baptized as well.

5. At their request and with everyone's agreement, a new Firm Foundation class will begin after Bon Pjum Ben to new believers at Srae Krasang village. This class will take place on Wednesday afternoons, after Srae Kandal weekly classes. Please pray all would go as plan.

Please share with us what God is doing in your midst. And thank you, as always, for your faithful prayers and support. Your on-going partnership in the Cambodian ministries is much appreciated.

Soeuth & Syna