Monday, July 28, 2014

May/June 2014 Prayer Letter/Update

Ministry Update
                  Freedom Baptist Church continues to go forward, praise God. The people are showing signs of possessing a faith that is growing, and there is visible evidence of their ever-growing desire to hear and do God’s Word. For that we are eternally grateful.

                  One blessing in regards to the ministry here is our Sunday afternoon children’s service. The Lord led me a little over a year ago to start this important ministry, and I am glad that I heeded His leading. A 14 year-old girl named Srey Noich received Christ as her Savior nearly a year ago. Her mother will not allow her to be baptized, but continues to allow her to attend the children’s service. A few months ago, because of the love that she experienced when attending our church, she decided to join our regular Sunday morning services. There are no games or candy- only the worship of Christ through song and giving offerings, the fellowship of believers, and the preaching of God’s Word. These are the things that bring Srey Noich, as well as the other members, back to our church week after week.

                  Srey Noich’s 14 year-old cousin, Lee Da, has attended the children’s service since its beginning. Her father, who is a Muslim, has not been a part of Lee Da’s life for several years now. Thankfully her mother, who is a Buddhist, allows Lee Da to attend the service. Lee Da is truly one of the brightest kids I have ever met in Cambodia. She is the only one who quotes her memory verse perfectly every single week. When I am teaching, I will sometimes as questions that require some analysis in order to answer- and she is always the one who “gets it” before any of the other children. Over the past few weeks, she has shown signs of interest in the Gospel. Please pray for her, that she will respond not only to my voice, but more importantly to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He shows her of her need for the Savior.

                  We have adjusted our weekly schedule to allow for more ministry opportunities. I thank God for three teenage young men that faithfully attend our church- Dara (Pastor Tho’s son), Vannsak, and La. Pastor Proh, Pastor Tho, and I have started using Thursday evenings as a time of discipleship with these young men. We meet together at 6:00, play some volleyball, and then spend some time in the Word. I believe that this will prove to be invaluable for all of our lives, as well as for the life of this church. Please pray for these young men.

Blessed to have Visitors!
                  In May we were privileged to have the senior class from Tucson Baptist Academy- a ministry of Tucson Baptist Temple in Tucson, Arizona- visit us for one week. Pastor and Mrs. Armstrong led this group of three young ladies and one young man, and I cannot put into words the blessing that the entire group was to my family and to Freedom Baptist Church. We hosted a mini youth conference that included two other churches in Phnom Penh, and had an attendance of around 80 people. Pastor Armstrong preached two helpful and needed messages, and Mrs. Armstrong and the four seniors fellowshipped with the Khmer believers, many of whom speak conversational English. The group was also able to bring much encouragement to the village church in Kampot led by Pastor Tho. We thank God for the wonderful memories that were made, and for the spiritual benefits that were received as a result of their visit.

Family Update
                  Our family is doing well, praise God. Linda is healthy and expecting our fourth child in September. We are excited about the arrival of Evelyn Joy in just a few weeks. Elisabeth, Judson, and Emily are all growing and healthy. I can’t imagine my life without them. Elisabeth is on her way to finishing 1st grade, and Judson is on his way to finishing K-5. Emily is finally potty-trained!

Thank you for your love for our family,

Chad Phillips

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Some Thoughts on Bearing Fruit on the Mission Field

This entry is merely a documentation of some of my more recent musings regarding missions in the Independent Baptist world. This is not directed at any particular pastor or missionary.  

I have tried to be transparent in this entry. But I want to assure you that by God’s grace, I am still as sure of my call as I was nine years ago.

Some Thoughts on Fruitlessness on the Mission Field
So what is a young, struggling Independent Baptist missionary supposed to do? He has been conditioned to think that a lack of progress on the mission field is most likely evidence that he isn’t really cut out for missions work. This weighs heavily on him from week to week. He has given his life to learning another language and culture. He has spent himself physically, emotionally, and spiritually in getting the Gospel to his city. Dozens of churches have entrusted monthly financial support to him. And three years into his mission he finds that the task to which he has committed his life is far more formidable than he could have ever imagined. He knew that the soil was hard. He had heard others’ testimonies about the hardness of the soil; but he had never worked the soil with his own hands. Now the blisters are starting to show, and the pain is palpable.