Monday, April 25, 2011

A Great Sunday

We had a blessed Sunday this week. God allowed me to preach my first sermon in Khmer, and I sensed His enabling. I preached from 1 Thessalonians 1, and used the example of the Thessalonian Christians to encourage our church family in the following three areas:

1. Even though they experienced affliction, they had joy. (v. 6)
2. After salvation, they continued to walk with God and grow in Christ. (v. 7) We see in this verse that these Christians, although they were newly saved, became examples of what a Christian should be.
3. Because their relationship with God was right, their actions were right. (v. 8) We see that these Christians took the Gospel everywhere, so much that Paul said, "Hey, you guys have this area covered!"

Then, on Sunday afternoon, we had an awesome Bible club with 55 children in attendance. Here's one of the biggest blessings about the Bible club: there were over 20 first time attenders, all children whom we met the day before while soul winning. On Saturday morning, about 8 or 9 of us went out soul winning for a couple of hours.

First Khmer Sermon

*Please note: If you choose to watch this on YouTube instead of watching it from the blog, there will be suggestions for other videos on the YouTube website that I do not condone. Therefore, I recommend that you just watch this video from this blog if possible.

*I was told by a couple of people that they could not see the video from the blog. If you are having trouble seeing the video, copy and paste this link into your web browser to watch it on YouTube:

Friday, April 22, 2011

She's Doing Great Today

I didn't know her well. I met Aing, a 14 year old Cambodian girl who was saved at the Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-Awe- Good News Baptist Church- of Phnom Penh. I had the privilege of meeting her and her younger cousins when I took my first trip to Cambodia in 2006. She is the tallest child in the picture, directly behind me. One memory about this family that has stuck with me over the past five years is that these are truly red-headed Cambodians.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gospel Centrality

I have noticed the terms "Gospel centrality" and "Gospel-centeredness" used quite frequently on several blogs and on many tweets as of late. Frankly, I like the terms. The Gospel is the message that changed my life. The Gospel is the only message that has the power to change this world. I am all about having a Gospel-centered life and a Gospel-centered ministry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Observations from Our First Two Weeks in Cambodia

It is hard for us to believe that we have already been in Cambodia for two weeks. It seems like yesterday we were just beginning deputation, and the thought of actually living in Cambodia was only an abstract idea, an event that would take place in the distant future. And now two weeks of living in Cambodia have passed, and we are truly thankful to our Heavenly Father for bringing us this far. The following is simply a compilation of some various observations I have made during our first two weeks in Cambodia.

  • Everyone to whom I have offered a tract has taken one. Now, that does not mean that every person that has received a tract is interested in Christ. In fact, I would venture to say that most people who receive a tract are just interested in receiving something from a foreigner who speaks their language. But in any case, most Cambodians are willing to take a tract, and even listen to an introduction to the Gospel. Sadly, when it comes down to showing serious, genuine interest in learning more of Christ, most will either say, "I'm too busy to learn more," or "I am a Cambodian; therefore, I am a Buddhist."
  • After living in Long Beach, California (a very densely populated suburb of Los Angeles) for two years, I thought that was crowded. Compared to Phnom Penh, Long Beach seems rather rural. (Okay, that is a bit of an overstatement.) I have never lived in a place where there was a higher concentration of people than this place.
  • It is quite hot here. We have had to grow accustomed to living in a perpetual state of sweating- both inside the house and outside. Even our air conditioning unit has a hard time overcoming the heat of this place, although it does help. No complaints; it's just a part of living in Cambodia.
  • I don't think I will ever get over the poverty in this place. In the States, I don't recall ever going soul winning in an area where I had to step over an open sewer to get to someone's house. Here, I did just that two Saturdays ago. Honestly, I am struggling with knowing that when most Cambodians look at me, they don't see a person who cares about them; often times, they see someone who has a lot of money. I am no better than these people. I just want to develop genuine friendships with them, and most importantly, give them the Gospel; but in the minds of many, I will never be one of them, even if I speak their language.
  • I thank God for the family that we are working with. The Benefields have been our good friends for close to five years. I don't know of anyone in the ministry that I agree with more in doctrine, philosophy, and spirit than Stephen Benefield. They have been more than a blessing to us as we have been settling in to our new house and this new culture. Mrs. Benefield has been such a blessing to Linda in so many ways. And their children are just awesome! After being in the country for over ten years, the Benefields have maintained a sweet, humble spirit. I believe that is one of the reasons God is using them in such a great way.
  • I thank God for the church that we are working in. "Grom-jom-nom Baptist Dom-nung La-awe"- Good News Baptist Church- is filled with some of the most wonderful Christians I have ever known. It is an incredible thought to me that just a few years ago, most of these precious people were lost, on their way to hell, and knew nothing of the joy of the Lord. Now, there are young families, elderly men and women, children small and big, and single college students who have been saved by the grace of God, and who are some of the most joyful people in all the world.
These are just a few of my initial observations. I'm sure I will have many more in the future. I look forward to sharing them.