Thursday, November 5, 2009

God's Economy

A couple of people have commented to me about the discouraging fact that "this is a horrible time for a missionary to start deputation." On the contrary, I can't think of a better time; because right now, I am not trusting in the affluence of the churches, but in the supernatural provision of God.

I have been amazed at several of the churches we have been in while on deputation during this recession. On more than one occasion, churches that have had several of their men lose jobs increased their faith promise commitments by substantial amounts. One church in South Carolina- a church of about 300- jumped from committing $130,000.00 per year to over $200,000.00 this year! "Well, they are probably a very wealthy church to do that," one might say. But this church is feeling the brunt of the economic downturn as much as any. But praise the Lord, the Holy Spirit worked during the missions conference, and the people responded in faith. I believe, according to Philippians 4, that this church is going to be just fine during this economic crisis. Why? Because they are functioning according to God's economy, not our governments economy.

Over these first two months of deputation, God has given us over 20% of our support. He has provided for our every need. He has allowed us to be in some of the best-spirited missions conferences I have every had the privilege of being in.

I have been so encouraged by the faith of God's people. I pray that churches all over America will see this economic downturn as an opportunity to see God keep His promises. We have stepped out by faith to begin deputation at this time, and to go to Cambodia with the Gospel. I pray that pastors and Christians all over America will step out by faith as well, and not take a step backwards in the area of missions, but a step of faith forward. May we learn to function according to God's economy. The number one requirement to succeed in God's economy is faith.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Blessed

Without a doubt, one of the most precious moments of my 2006 survey trip to Cambodia was seeing Candace, Deborah, Emma, and Faith Benefield as I opened up that suitcase. That suitcase was solely dedicated to bringing long-anticipated goodies from the States- Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, children's books (Candace and Deborah are avid readers- I'm sure by now Emma has become one as well!), various types of chocolate, and a plethora of other things.

One of the coolest items in the suitcase was some Patch the Pirate tapes that Shelley Hamilton personally gave to me a few days before I flew to Cambodia. Ron and Shelley Hamilton attended my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary at the campus of Bob Jones University. I was to depart just four days after that event, and my grandfather was telling everyone to pray for me. When Shelley Hamilton heard of the trip, she offered to take me over to the Majesty Music store and let me pick out some gifts to take to the missionary kids.

I will never forget the look on Candace's face when I said, "Candace, Sissy Seagull (Shelley Hamilton) personally gave me these tapes and wanted me to deliver them to you." Her face lit the entire room with joy.

I have so many fond memories of my first trip to Cambodia; but none that equal the joy I experienced in my heart that evening we opened up that suitcase. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where We're At & Where We're Goin'

Just a quick update on where we are and what we are doing. So far, we have been in the following churches:
North Hollywood Baptist Church- North Hollywood, CA
Central Baptist Church- Houston, TX
Victory Baptist Church-Loganville, GA
Zion Hill Baptist Church-Greenville, SC
Bethel Baptist Church-Hampton, VA
Harvest Baptist Temple- Jonesboro, GA
Vision Baptist Church-Alpharetta, GA
Fannin Road Baptist Church-Montgomery, AL
New Life Baptist Church- Conyers, GA
Western Hills Baptist Church- Kennesaw, GA
Crooked Creek Baptist Church- Athens, GA

Praise the Lord for giving us the following meetings that we will be in starting next week and going through mid-December.

Whitfield Baptist Church- Dalton, GA
Victory Baptist Church- Charleston, SC
First Baptist Church- Long Beach, CA
Lancaster Baptist Church- Lancaster, CA
Sequoia Baptist Church- Visalia, CA
Gospel Light Baptist Church- Selma, CA
First Baptist Church- Castaic, CA
McKee Road Baptist Church- Bakersfield, CA
Bible Baptist Church- Victorville, CA
Bible Baptist Church- Gardena, CA
Lighthouse Baptist Church- Santa Maria
Los Angeles Baptist Church- Los Angeles, CA
Berean Bible Baptist Church- Duarte, CA
New Testament Baptist Church- Armona, CA
Liberty Baptist Church- Norwalk, CA

Linda and the kids are doing wonderful. Ellie is definitely the most challenging part of our deputation right now, but it's not really her fault. How would you like to be a year and a half old and have to be dragged from church to church and state to state, and not have your own room to play in or a consistent schedule? With that being said, she is actually doing great. Just pray that we will be patient with her. As for Judson- well, he just goes with the flow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Precious Than Gold

Oskar Schindler was a man who understood that life is more than simply aquiring silver and gold. He was a wealthy man to say the least- he was a successful German businessman who moved to Poland in the middle of World War 2 to take financial advantage of the German takeover. He did much more than that.

Schindler purchased an old factory, and, because of his powerful connections with certain Nazi officers, was able to bribe the commander of a nearby concentration camp to allow Jewish prisoners to work in this factory. In the end, approximately 1,100 Jews escaped death at the hands of the Nazis because of the work of Oskar Schindler. Untold tens of thoundands of dollars were spent by Schindler to purchase the factory and bribe Nazi officials so that these 1,100 Jews could live.

After the Germans surrendered, Schindler, still a "part" of the Nazi party (in name only), knew he had a better chance of surviving if he dealt with the Americans as opposed to the Russians. Just before his departure, he addressed the 1,100 Jews he had rescued. Just before boarding his vehicle, it has been said that he wept, and in self-condemnation lamented that he didn't save more.

"This car- if only I had sold this car! I could have payed for five more workers in my factory! Five more people would be alive! This ring- at least two more people if I had just sold this ring! I could have done more!"

The onlooking crowd of Jews- now known as the Schindler Jews- comforted him and thanked him with tears as he departed. Today, over 6,000 people, including the children and grandchildren of the Schindler Jews, are alive because of the selflessness of one man who wanted to make a difference.

Christian, what are you doing with your time, talents, and treasures, to make an eternal difference in the lives of people all around us. Our cause is much greater than preserving life on this temporary earth. We have been called to use what God has given us- our lives, our time, our talents, our treasures- to rescue people from spiritual death. Will you come to the end of your life and say, "I could have done more!" Truly, the value of one person is much more precious than gold.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God Is Blessing

God is truly blessing our deputation so far. We have been in eight meetings, including the following:

North Hollywood Baptist Church

Central Baptist Church

Victory Baptist Church

Zion Hill Baptist Church

Bethel Baptist Church

Harvest Baptist Temple

Vision Baptist Church

Fannin Road Baptist Church

God has faithfully taken care of us financially, giving above and beyond what we every thought possible. I have preached two times, and we have had the opportunity to minister in Sunday school and in the Christian school classroom. We have met so many wonderful Christians who love missions and missionaries, and we are so happy and blessed to be serving the Lord on deputation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

God's Confirmation

Two months ago, our calendar was completely empty during September and the first half of October. In the past month, God has filled our calendar by giving us five unexpected missions conferences and a Sunday night meeting.

Two months ago, January through March was one big blank spot on our calendar. In the past month, God has written some things in that blank spot by giving us nearly ten meetings in those three months.

All in all, God has blessed us with over 50 meetings scheduled for deputation. It is awesome to see God confirm that we are in the center of His will by continuing to open doors that we never thought were possible.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Now that our Bible college days are over, and there is no one to ask, "Did you do your devotions today?", it is vital that we keep our focus on what God has called us to do. Below are the elements of my life that I am asking the Lord to help me stay focused upon:

1. My walk with Christ- without this, going to Cambodia is futile. After taking Homeletics, Eschatology, Ecclesiology, Theology, Harmotiology, Anthropology, and Greek in Bible college, I have learned something that is far more important than anything I gleaned from these subjects: if I don't walk with God, nobody is going to do it for me.

***This first focus is directly linked with a passion for souls. When I am walking with Christ, a fruit of that relationship is a passion for the lost and hurting. But, when sin hinders my relationship with Christ, that passion really cools down. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

2. My walk with Linda. I have learned that if I am not right with Linda, I am just not right. God, help me to be the husband that you have called me to be.

3. My walk with my children. I have been taught that it is never too early to start building a close relationship with your children. God, I cannot in my flesh meet all the requirements that are involved with being a father. Give me the wisdom, discernment, love, patience, and character to be the father that You have called me to be.

4. My walk with my family. I praise the Lord for my parents and my sister with whom we are living right now. I also praise the Lord for Linda's family. Lord, help me to be the son, son-in-law, grandson, nephew, cousin, and brother that you desire for me to be.

5. My focus on the field. This involves deputation, of course, but more importantly for me is the keeping of the commitment I have made to the Lord to GO! And while I am preparing to GO, I am asking the Lord to help me be a light in Loganville, Georia. I praise the Lord to witness to several people over the past few weeks. "The light that doesn't shine in the America won't shine in Cambodia."

There are probably other things I need to mention, but those are the "Big 5" in my life right now. Lord, please help me in these things.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Opportunity of a Lifetime

Pictured above are some of Linda's relatives in Cambodia. Next to me stands Boo Pan, Linda's uncle; in front of him stands Jing, Linda's cousin; to Linda's left, holding Elisabeth, stands Ming Chea, and on the end is Ming Chea's husband, Boo Tap.
Linda's parents escaped Cambodia in 1980, and eventually found refuge in the United States. The people pictured with Linda and me, with the exception of Jing, were some of the survivors of the Killing Fields. Boo Pan was just a boy, Ming Chea and Boo Tap were teenagers. Because Linda was born in the States, she never had a chance to meet her family in Cambodia, until 2006.
In March of 2006, Linda, along with her mom and sister, Dena, took a month-long vacation to Cambodia. For the first time, Linda was able to finally meet her "distant" relatives (distant geographically, not biologically- it's a pun). Linda's mom was reunited to her mother, brothers and sisters for the first time in nearly 30 years. What an opportunity it was for them to see each other again, espcecially considering that the last time they saw each other was during the Killing Fields.
Linda and I also have the opportunity of a lifetime. We have the opportunity to introduce Linda's family to the King of Kings, the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. I have already witnessed to Boo Pan and Ming Chea. Please pray that we will have the opportunity to "reunite" Linda's family with the God from which we were all alienated from at one time, until someone shared with us the glorious gospel message.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Much to Offer

I can usually handle horrendous smells. My gag reflex is pretty stable, and it takes something quite putrid to cause me to lose control of myself. However, the Phnom Penh city dump actually pushed me over the edge. As soon as I stepped out of the truck, I nearly "lost my cookies" all over the place. And that's when I looked up and saw these two girls digging through the very source of the stinch that was abusing my senses.
I gained control of myself, and felt compelled to meet these two girls who were burrowing through the mountain of waste. I asked them their names ("Bpa-own ch'mooah aye?"- "What is your name?" in Khmer, when speaking to someone younger than yourself), and asked them what they were doing. They were, in short, supplementing their parents' income. These girls were so poor, their Goodwill was the city dump.
As I continued talking with these girls, I realized that I was still holding on to the doughnut I had just purchased and had not yet taken a bite from. I gladly offered it to them, and they jumped at the opportunity to eat some "American" food.
No doubt these girls were craving for something to eat. But they were craving for more than food; they were craving for love, significance, purpose, peace, security, and most importantly, truth.
I wonder if we are as ready to provide people with the truth of Jesus Christ as I was to offer those girls that doughnut. The funny thing is, they had to split that doughnut, because I only had one. Doughnuts run out. The temporal things of this life that we are glad to offer people will fade away. But the love of Christ is limitless in abundance, and there are billions waiting to receive it. We certainly do have much to offer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Killing Tree, Living Tree

In the fields of Choeng Ek, Cambodia, just a few miles outside Phnom Penh, stands a tree- probably more than one, but this one is forever embedded in my memory- that was used for something for which it was never created. From 1975-1979, because the Khmer Rouge did not want to waste their valuable ammunition on small children, this tree was used as a "killing tree."
The soldiers would grasp these babies whose parents had been executed in a nearby death prison and would beat them against the tree until they were dead. They would then toss the bodies into mass graves, often times filling the grave with thirty to forty little bodies.
Many Cambodians know about this tree. This tree represents brutality, hatred, sin, and death. But God has called us to tell the Cambodians of another tree- a "living tree"- that represents the love of God toward all of us. Yes, this tree was used to bring about an agonizing death to the One Who was nailed to it; but it has brought light and life to untold millions of people around the world.
Please pray for us as we tell them of this "living tree", for it is their only hope of salvation.
Also, check this out...
2009 Expository Bible Teaching and Preaching Conference
August 20-21, 2009
Vision Baptist Church
Thursday August 20th
12:30 Lunch served at Vision
2-5 pm I John with Bob Dalton
5:30 Dinner
7-8 I John with Bob Dalton8-9 II John and III John with Nathan Deatrick
Friday August 21st
8-10 II Peter with Nathan Deatrick10-12 Jude with Bob Dalton
12 Lunch is served
We will be glad to get housing for those that are coming in from out of town. I hope you will make plans to be with us!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When Broken is Good

The very first morning that I awoke in the land of Cambodia durning my first survey trip three years ago introduced me to something I had heard about, but did not really believe actually happened.

Bro. Benefield told me to take a walk if I so desired on that first morning. His only request was that I wait until sunlight. We were to meet together at nine o'clock that morning, but since I was suffering from jet lag, I was wide awake at about four.

As soon as there was light enough to see, I took a shower and excitedly rushed out the front door into the country that I had been longing to visit. I only knew two phrases: "Jom-ree-up-sewa"- a formal greeting that you say with your palms together in front of your face as a sign of respect- and "Sok-sabye"- a phrase that basically means, "Are you doing well?" When I hit the streets of Phnom Penh, I was greeting everyone I saw. They must have been thinking, "Bproh saw nung nayuk nah? Goaht ch'cooat nah!"- "Who is that white boy? He's crazy!"

As I strolled up and down the streets of Phnom Penh around the block near the church, a lady who was squatting in the front doorway of a small shack similar to one in the picture above called me over. Thinking that she wanted to converse with me, I gladly went to her with palms together in front of my face and said, "Jom-ree-up-sewa, Ming!" She sneered, paying my sign of respect no attention, and proceded to call someone from the back of the little shanty. She called several times, and finally a young girl, 12-15 years of age I suppose, came to the doorway.

This girl immediately began smiling very flirtatiously at me, and began physically enticing me. It took me a second to realize what was happening, and then it hit me. "No!" I shouted, throwing my hands up. I quickly walked away, feeling filthy. I went straight back to my room, sat down on my bed, and thought, "What just happened to me?" And then I thought about that girl. Who was she? What was her name? Who were her parents? Why was she in that position?

And then the Holy Spirit smote me. "Chad, she has never known what real love is. Her parents obviously haven't shown it to her. But I have called you to come to these people and to live out the love of Christ that constrains you." I was broken that day. That is when broken is good.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Evidence of Commitment

Christians in 2009 struggle with commitment. We give up to easily. Hardships come, and we run the other way. Instead of asking God to teach us through trials, and strenthen us through trials, we ask God to remove the trials, and we have no interest in what God wanted to teach us. We just want life "our way."

The following is a quote by Adoniram Judson, the first missionary sent from the United States to a foreign country. He and his wife, Anne, left for Burma in 1812. Here is the letter that he wrote to his future father-in-law before he and Anne were married. Pay close attention to the level of commitment that Judson possessed.

I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to see her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

There was no Plan B in the Judsons' life. His commitment would pay off. Although it took nearly seven years to see his first convert, he remained faithful to God's call upon his life. By the end of his life, the were over 8,000 believers and 63 churches. He also translated the entire Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Burmese, along with a Burmese-English dictionary.

Anne died in Burma, along with her and Adoniram's first two children. Sarah Boardman, the woman whom Judson married several years after Anne's death, died on a ship en route to the States, the only trip that Judson ever made back to America, thirty years after his initial arrival in Burma. Throughout all of these hardships, he remained committed.

How is your level of commitment? I must ask myself this question: "How much will it take to make me quit?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Their Lives: Life Testimonies of Christians in Cambodia

When my family and I landed in Cambodia in June of 2008 for our month-long survey trip, there were two people waiting for us with the Benefields: Ta, my dear friend and Bro. Benefield's "right hand", and Karona, the lady you see pictured here.

Karona has been my Khmer language teacher both times I have been there, and she is a magnificent teacher. But more than just being a great, effective teacher, she is a commited Christian who has a passion for her fellow-Cambodians.

Karona shares an apartment with one of the other young ladies from the Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-awe (Good News Baptist Church), and her gifts and talents are invaluable to the ministry there. She works faithfully with Bro. Benefield and Ta with translation (Bro. Benefield is constantly producing materials: tracts, books, children's material, and a monthly devotional called the "Daily Light"). God has brought Karona from the "infant" stage of Christianity just a few short years ago to being a leader amongst the ladies of Good News Baptist Church.

When I see the commitment and faithfulness of people like Karona, I am humbled at the thought of my own lack of commitment and faithfulness. Karona and Ta may look at me and think, "This man is from America, and he can teach me much about Christ." In reality, I believe they teach me much more about the Christian life and how to live it than I teach them. God is truly using them.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

From Their Lives: Life Testimonies of Christians in Cambodia

Ree, the young lady in the bottom right of the bottom picture wearing the pink shirt, is such a joy to be around. During my first survey trip in 2006, I didn't even have to know Cambodian to see that she had a joyful spirit. Bro. Benefield led her, her mother, and her father to Christ.

I visited Ree's home three years ago with Bro. Benefield. She was embarrassed to have me, a "sophisticated American", in her home. Honestly, at that time she lived with her parents in a small shack in an ally similar to the top picture above. While most American kids have their own bedroom, Ree had her own corner of one of the two rooms that composed this house. There was no mirror for her to use to fix her hair. She had no closet in which she could keep her clothes. She had no computer. No TV. She had a corner. The only privacy she had was a bedsheet that was used as a curtain around her little corner of the room.

Although her father made a profession of faith, he still struggled, like the majority of men in Cambodia, with alcohol. Ree's mother came to church while I was there in 2006, but her husband's destructive ways kept her discouraged. Ree's older brother was arrested for threatening to abuse his parents if they did not give him money.

It seemed to me that Ree's only escape from this existence was the life she found at the "Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-awe" (The Good News Baptist Church). There, anyone who did not know her family situation would think that she did not have a care in the world.

Please pray for Ree. When I made my second survey trip, I only saw her at church one time. Obviously, she had become discouraged, and as a result had become less faithful to the Lord and to His house. I believe that God has an amazing plan for this young lady's life. But Satan has an amazingly destructive plan of his own.

Pray for Ree, that she would allow the grace of God to penetrate her heart, and that she will become all that God wants her to be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From Their Lives: Life Testimonies of Christians in Cambodia

The next few posts are going to take glimpses of the lives of several of my friends in Cambodia that I have made on my two survey trips. They are all members of the "Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-awe" (Good News Baptist Church) of Phnom Penh, Pastor Stephen Benefield. Bro. Benefield is the missionary that I will work with during the first half of our first term, Lord-willing. He planted the "Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-awe" about five years ago, and God has added many precious people to this local, independent Baptist church.

Ta is probably my closest Cambodian friend (besides my wife, of course). We became good friends in 2006 under the funniest of circumstances. At that time, I spoke a word or two of Khmer, and he spoke about one or two words in English. One time, he tried for about five minutes to either tell me something or ask me a question. After several hilarious attempts to communicate through our own made-up sign language, and after several minutes of frustration, we both looked at each other and laughed, and then went our separate ways.

If my memory serves me correctly, he had been saved for a couple of years when I first met him; and yet in spite of the fact that I could not understand his language, and in spite of the fact that he was a fairly young Christian, his humility and simple faith challenged me.

In 2006, Ta was working with Bro. Benefield as an assistant who helped with various small tasks around the church. When I went back in 2008, Ta was preaching in children's church, leading singing at Vacation Bible School, and preaching in the adult service. Praise the Lord, I was able to communicate with him in Khmer, and our friendship was strengthened.

I am praying that God will continue to use this 26 year old man; and that he, if it be the Lord's will, will become the pastor of the "Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-awe".

I went to Cambodia thinking that I, the American missionary, would boost these Cambodian Christians to a new level spiritually. The fact is, when I look at the life of Ta, I am humbled. He challenged me spiritually. He edified me. He encouraged me. He helped me. Let's pray that God will keep using this young man- my friend, Ta.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Sobering Thought from Philippians

Do you have "life verse"? You know, a verse that has had a special place in your heart that you use when you sign your name. Many Christians claim to have a "life verse", and many Christians do not. Regardless of whether or not you claim to have a life verse, you do have one.

"How is that?" you may ask. "What if I don't claim to have a life verse- you can't say that I have one if I don't have one!" It depends on your definition of a life verse. While we may not all have a verse that we use when we sign our name, we do all have a life verse according to another definition. Here is the definition: "Life verse- a verse that describes your life."

The book of Philippians contains two key verses, and one of these verses is your life verse. Philippians 1:21 reads, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." What an awesome verse. Notice that Paul did not say that Christ was a major influence in his life: he said that Christ is his life. Is this your life verse?

Skip to the next chapter. When you read Philippians 2:21, you see quite a different verse. "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." Oh, how I pray that this is not the verse that describes my life. But how often does it describe my life?

So, which is your "life verse"? Which verse describes your life? Are you a Philippians 1:21 Christian or a Philippians 2:21 Christian?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Deputation- Keeping Things in Perspective

I am just beginning the arduous 1000-300-100 plan. You know what that is, right? Sounds like some kind of whacked out insurance policy, doesn't it?

Actually, the 1000-300-100 plan is a major part of a missionary's life before he gets to the field. It simply means this: I must call 1000 churches to schedule 300 meetings- this means that approximately 700 churches that I call will not result in a scheduled meeting- and of those 300 meetings that are scheduled, only 100 will probably actually take us on for financial support.

Now, let's make things very clear. I am NOT complaining. This is just how it is. Obviously, not every church that a missionary calls can take him on for financial support. But sometimes a missionary can be in the middle of this process and become very selfish- a sort of, "What can I get out of this" mentality.

I want to share something that the Lord allowed me to experience the first day I began calling pastors. I believe He allowed this to happen so that I could keep things in perspective during the 1000-300-100 plan.

It was about the third call of the morning, and I was calling Pastor Bryce Hager in Taylors, South Carolina. I talked with him briefly, and he said that at the time they could not take on any new missionaries. Obviously, I was a little bit disappointed to hear this; but nothing compared to how I would feel just a few seconds later.

He went on to tell me that I could call him back in a few weeks, because the next day he was leaving for Australia. When I inquired about the purpose for his trip, he said, "My two year old granddaughter passed away a couple of days ago. My daughter and son-in-law are serving in Australia. I will be back in a few days."

I did not know what to say. I felt the Lord was leading me to simply have a short word of prayer with him, and I did. I asked, "Pastor, can I just have a quick word of prayer for you and your family?" "Sure," he replied.

Here is the bottom line: we as missionaries need to realize that what we are doing is not about us. We do not begin the ministry when we get to the field; we are already in the ministry, and we have an opportunity to minister to hundreds and thousands of people before we even get to the field to which God has called us.

Let's pray for Pastor Hager and his family. And let's keep things in perspective.

Friday, July 10, 2009

About Linda

Linda's parents, Phary and Mom Svay were refugees from the country of Cambodia. They fled their native land in 1980. (Just a side note, Cambodia rarely drops beneath 75 degrees in temperature. When Linda's parents arrived in America, their first stop was New York City- it was December.)

One might ask, "Why did they have to flee?" That is a good question, and one that I did not know the answer to until I was 22 years of age. The reason can be summed up in two words: Killing Fields.

There was a brutal civil war in Cambodia between two factions: the pro-American Cambodian National Army, led by Lon Nol, and the Communist forces, aka the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot. Linda's dad fought for five years against the Khmer Rouge, but to no avail. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Linda's dad, along with millions of others, had to lose his identity- because if they had found out that he was a soldier in the former regime, they would have executed him with no hesitation.

From 1975 to 1979, over 3 million Cambodians perished at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Education, religion, and family were all abolished by Pol Pot. Everyone worked- the children, adults, and the elderly. The Khmer Rouge's favorite phrase was, "To keep you is no profit; to destroy you is no loss." During that time, every day was a twelve hour work day, and the ration of food, which consisted of one bowl of watered down rice, was given twice a day.

Linda's parents survived this horror. After arriving to America in 1980, they spent a few months in New York City, and eventually moved to Long Beach, California, with about 100,000 other Cambodians.

Linda was born shortly after their arrival to Long Beach. She was the first-born child in America. Her two older sisters never made it out of Cambodia. They perished there as babies. Linda grew up in "Little Cambodia" or "Cambodia Town" as Long Beach has been dubbed.

Her family fled Cambodia in search of a better life. They found it. Linda, however, did not just benefit from her parents' escape in a physical way, but she also benefited in the greatest possible way. She not only got a "better" life, but she received eternal life, because Pastor Sambath Mao, the Cambodian pastor of First Baptist Church of Long Beach, California, visited her house and shared the glorious Gospel of Christ with her.

Now Linda is going back to the country her parents had escaped from nearly thirty years ago. Lord-willing, after years of serving the Lord there, Cambodia will be known as the "Living Fields."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

We had a fun 4th of July as a family. We just went up to the park- Linda, Elly, Judson, my mom, my dad, my sister, and I- and had a relaxing time watching Elly on the playground and then watching a firework show that took place at a nearby church. It was a comforting thought that we live in a country that gives us the freedom to have such times. How blessed we are to live in America.

Monday, June 29, 2009


We had a wonderful Sunday at Victory Baptist Church yesterday. The morning message from Pastor Lawrence was great. It came out of 1 Timothy 6, and the message was directed at the men of the church. The points were: we must flee sin; we must follow righteousness, patience, meekness, etc.; and we must fight for some important things in our lives.

Last night was a sweet service. Bro. James Allen, veteran missionary to Brazil, preached a great message on God's provision. I appreciate seeing a man and his family who have been faithful serving the Lord.

We are getting ready to start deputation. Pray for us, that God will give us wisdom and that He will direct us to the right churches. "Right churches" does not necessarily mean churches that will support us financially- it could be that the "right church" is a church that we can be a blessing to.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Praise the Lord, on June 25, 2009, the executive board approved for us to be a part of the Macedonia World Baptist Missions team! We had a great week of orientation, and learned many valuable lessons that will certainly help us on deputation. Dr. Wade, Bro. Hamby, Bro. Kindhart, Bro. Fenley, and Bro. Howeth were all a great blessing to us. Bro. Howeth is an awesome deputation director, and his personal challenge to me really motivated me to hit the phones hard in calling pastors this summer.

I want to thank my pastor, Derik Lawrence, for being willing to allow Victory Baptist Church to be our sending church. I also want to thank Pastor John Wilkerson for allowing me to work in the ministry of First Baptist Church of Long Beach, CA, for the past two years.

Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me a Godly home as a child- I don't think we would be where we are today without them.