Dear Pastors and Praying Friends September/October 2011
The past two months have been a whirlwind! I don’t know if I have ever worked harder than I have worked over the past two months; but I will tell you that serving the Lord in Cambodia, while there are certainly challenges, is a most rewarding work. Thank you for all who pray for us. I have sensed God’s grace to do things that are far beyond my capacity, and I readily give Him the honor that is due to Him and Him alone.
On September 21, I took the Benefields, the family we are working with during this first term, to the airport. They left for a ten-month furlough, and I must admit that driving back home from the airport without them was a strange feeling to say the least. Every time I have visited Cambodia in the past, it was the Benefields who picked me up from and took me back to the airport. As I drove back home from the airport that night after dropping them off, I must admit that I felt a sense of temporary loneliness as well as a feeling of momentary panic. “What am I doing here on the other side of the world?” “I think I have bitten off more than I can chew.” These were some of the fleshly thoughts running through my mind. But thank God for the precious Holy Spirit Who, in His still, small voice corrects our wayward thinking. That night I made a decision to trust the One Who saved me and called me into the work of the ministry. Thank God He not only saved me and called me, but He also enables me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be and do all that He has called me to be and do. Although I have taken on some new responsibilities at Good News Baptist Church in Phnom Penh, and although I am not strong enough to handle them, I have sensed spiritual strength that I know is not of myself.
I thank God for this incredible opportunity to help my dear friend, Stephen Benefield, while he and his family are in the States for several months. God used Bro. Benefield to start Good News Baptist Church of Phnom Penh about 8 years ago. Like any brand new church, the first few months were very slow. But with patience came a harvest, and people started getting saved, baptized, and discipled. During the first couple of years, Bro. Benefield led many people to Christ. People that before had zero knowledge of God or His Word were now saved and growing in Christ. Many of those people are still faithful members of the church to this day. Today, they are faithfully co-laboring with Bro. Benefield to reach Cambodians with the Gospel. I count it an incredible privilege to know and work with such committed Christians, and I thank Bro. Benefield for granting me the opportunity to serve in this capacity while he is away.
My responsibilities are pretty basic. I conduct the church services, teach a men’s Sunday school class, preach the Sunday morning messages, help conduct the children’s services, and take a faithful group of soul winners out every Saturday morning to spread the Gospel. Two of the members of the church rotate with me teaching the children’s lesson every week, and two missionaries, along with two Cambodian pastors, help me by preaching the Sunday and Thursday evening services. Praise God, several weeks ago a lady in her 20’s trusted Christ as her Savior after the morning service. One of the faithful ladies in the church had been witnessing to her, and she was able to lead her to Christ about 30 minutes after the service. I am preaching a series on the fruit of the Spirit out of Galatians 5:22-23. That morning I preached on the love of God, and the love that comes from God to us so that we can display His love to others by the power of the Holy Spirit. That morning, that young lady experienced both aspects of God’s love: she saw the love of God in the life of the lady who led her to Christ, and she personally experienced God’s love when she received Christ as her Savior.
Thank you again for your love, your support, and your prayers!