Monday, September 10, 2012

July/August 2012 Prayer Letter/Update

 The Benefield Family is Back!
We are so thankful to God that He brought the Benefield family safely back to Cambodia from their furlough. We, along with four men from the church, picked the Benefields up from the airport on July 16. We are looking forward to learning from this faithful family over the next year as I finish my preparations for the new church plant that will take place at the beginning of our second term- most likely June of 2014, after our 7 month furlough which will begin November of 2013. I thank God for the many blessings I received as a result of working in this ministry during the months that Bro. Benefield and his family were on furlough. Because of so many preaching and teaching opportunities, my language ability has definitely increased. I also count it a great blessing to have worked with so many wonderful people in the ministry here- people who just a few years ago did not know God, but now are people who know Him and are serving Him with all of their hearts. We are anticipating great things in the upcoming months as we continue to work with the Benefields.

God is Working in Hearts
What a joy it has been to witness first hand the undeniable work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of people. Om Srey is a lady in her 60’s in the village where we have a children’s service every Saturday. She is also the grandmother of one of the faithful men in the church. A few months ago, that young man told me about Om Srey’s recent finding out that she has stage 3 cancer; so I started going to visit her nearly every Saturday after the children’s service to talk with her about salvation. She has not only been battling cancer, but she has also been raising four of her small grandchildren by herself- she is a widow, and her children are all working in distant provinces. Before the Benefields returned, I had several opportunities teach her the Gospel. I did my best to teach her about the reality of her sinful condition and her need for Christ. But she simply could not bring herself to admit that she was a sinner deserving God’s judgment. When Bro. Benefield returned, he continued teaching her the plan of salvation, but she still could not admit that she needed Christ to save her. She said that she believed God- but when pressed about whether she herself was a sinner, she always answered, “I am a good person.” We were all praying for her, because it becomes more evident every week that her time on earth is running short. Praise the Lord that He answered our prayers. Last Saturday, Bro. Benefield, Ta, Hawn (two faithful men in the church), and I visited with Om Srey again. Bro. Benefield asked Ta and Hawn to give their personal testimonies of how they realized that even though they were trying to do good works in their lives, they in fact were sinners in need of Jesus Christ. After those testimonies and the reading and explaining of Scripture by Bro. Benefield, Om Srey finally admitted that she is a sinner; and shortly after she called upon the name of the Lord to save her! Now we are no longer worried about her death; we know that for her, death will be the beginning of her eternity with Christ!

We thank God for others, like Bay and Srey Layuk, a father and daughter who were recently saved. Shortly after Bay’s salvation, he returned to his home province; but Srey Layuk is continuing to live in Phnom Penh, and she has faithfully come to church since the day of her salvation. There are several others right now for whom we are praying that God will work in their hearts. Please pray particularly for an 18 year-old girl named Tay. She is the oldest daughter of Someth, the man in the church who recently passed away. Someth’s wife and youngest daughter have both received Christ as Savior; but Tay has been closed to the Gospel for several years. Please pray that God will use Tay’s father’s testimony to soften her heart to the Gospel. Pray that we will have opportunities to build a relationship with her so that she will understand that we truly care for her, and so that she will have a heart that is willing to listen to the Gospel. Right now Tay’s grandmother, as well as many of her aunts and uncles, is doing her best to convince Tay that her parents and sister are fools for having forsaken Buddhism. There is tremendous pressure on her to not associate or listen to those “foreigners” or to the Cambodian Christians.

Thank you again for the love that you have for our family, and thank you for your faithful prayers and support. Thank you for being our co-laborers as we, by God’s power, preach the Gospel of Christ in Cambodia.

The Phillips Family
Chad, Linda, Elisabeth, Judson, and Emily 

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