Sunday, August 11, 2013

A blessed Sunday

La's salvation
I just want to share some of the wonderful blessings from our Sunday here in Ta Khmau, Cambodia. First, La, the 15 year old young man that I mentioned in my previous post, received Christ as his personal Savior during the morning service. Today was the third Sunday that Pastor Proh and I taught La the Gospel- I have been teaching him during the Sunday school hour while Pastor Proh teaches the Sunday school lesson, and Pastor Proh has been teaching him during the second hour while I preach the morning message. This morning, I taught La about the chasm between sinners and Holy God, and that good works and religion cannot reconcile us to God. Pastor Proh picked up from that point during the second hour, and after spending 45 minutes with La thoroughly explaining the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and the necessity of both believing in Christ and receiving Him as Savior, La decided to stop trusting in himself and placed his faith in Christ alone. Right before we dismissed, Pastor Proh brought La back into the church's meeting place, and had La announce to the church the decision he had just made. I cannot put into words the joy that was on La's face and in his voice as he told the church family about his salvation. He said, "I am so happy! Now I know God! Now I have God in my life!"When I took La home, I talked with his grandparents about his decision. I made sure that they understood this was La's decision, and that he was not coerced in any way whatsoever. Frankly, I was a bit concerned that they would not be too happy about La's decision- but praise the Lord, they seemed to be supportive of La. They both told me, "La likes going to church. Come and get him as often as you want. He has nothing to do here at home but get into trouble. If he wants to follow God, we will let him. Just take him and teach him the right paths." I have not talked with La's mother yet, but she will probably not have a problem with what her parents said. Please pray that God will open up the grandparents' hearts, as well as La's mother's heart, to the truth of the Gospel.

Our church's new theme
In our morning service I introduced our theme for the upcoming year in our church. The theme is taken from Acts 16:5- "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." Our focus this year will be on having an established, healthy church. We want to see each current member grow personally in his or her faith, and as a result I believe we will see new people added to the church. I have not set a specific number goal. I believe that a healthy church will grow, and I want to see true growth with fruit that remains. Please pray that God will bless our church as we seek to be more grounded in the Word of God.

Another good day in our children's ministry
About 6 weeks ago we started an afternoon children's service for the children in our immediate area. For 4 weeks we saw an average of about 8 kids, for which I was very thankful. Two weeks ago we started a small promotion to try and generate some interest in the hearts of more children in our area. I am teaching through the "Do You Know God?" book- the supplement (written by veteran missionary in Cambodia Rodney Ruppel) that we use when giving the Gospel, basically a very detailed and thorough Gospel tract that is 37 pages in length, chalked full of Scripture, illustrations and explanations to clearly explain the Gospel to people who have been brought up in a Buddhist culture. The promotion lasts 8 weeks, and the kids can get 3 points each week- one point for attendance, one point for coloring the picture of the week, and one point for memorizing a short Bible verse. When the promotion is finished, I will have a small school supplies shop set up there in our church, and the kids will be able to choose which supplies they want based on the number of points they accumulated. Last week we had a total of 28 kids with most of those being first time visitors. Today all but one of those kids came plus a few more, giving us a total of 34 kids today. And best of all, they listened very well during the lesson. Please pray that we will see some fruit that remains as a result of this children's ministry.