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|
Seng’s Abundant Harvest…
|Seng's abundant crops|
|Seng studying Firm Foundation class with Syna|
|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|
|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 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