Be Still and Know…

Wed nite w Records“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 NLT

Last month, I mentioned that my family and I were feeling very discouraged and exhausted despite (or perhaps) because of many breakthroughs in ministry. Since that time, God has given us some space and time to “be still and know” Him better. When a tree grows taller the pressure of the winds can begin to tear at its roots and can threaten to topple the tree. It is during these times that the tree must grow deeper roots before it can grow taller or it will fall over as a result of its own “success”. Likewise, my family and I have seen a lot of upward and outward growth in our ministries so God has been calling us to grow deeper roots into Him through repentance, reconciliation, and growing deeper in the Word and prayer. This process has been painful but we can now say that it is, worth the pain.

Well intentioned Christians often say cliches like, “Where God guides, He provides.” However for those who are going through a time where God’s provision has not yet arrived, these truisms may cause them to doubt their calling, “If God isn’t providing is He still guiding?” As many of you know my family and I have been going through some serious financial challenges, partly due to the exchange rate between the Japanese Yen and US Dollar, which we will share in future posts. It is during trials like these that it is easy to question our calling to ministry in general and mission in Cambodia.

A few weeks ago, I (Darryl) went to the altar at the International Church with many others who were seeking God’s direction for our lives. There, I received a renewed sense of calling, “Take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people you will never meet, in places you will never go, in languages you will never speak.” This describes the calling that God has given me toward apologetics media ministry and for many years I have sensed that God was calling me not just to minister in Cambodia but to many other nations as well. Recently I have noticed that God has been bringing opportunities to share my materials in other languages and nations as well, including closed countries.

Internationalfishers.com One Year Update:

September 15-October 15th 3,123 Page Views

September 15-October 15th 3,123 Page Views

September 15th to October 15th 644 Unique Visitors.

September 15th to October 15th 644 Unique Visitors.

By faith, I renewed www.internationalfishers.com for another year. Allow me to share some stats that are encouraging. Between September 15th and October 15th, 644 different people visited the website and they in turn clicked on a total of 3,123 different posts, videos, and audio recordings. This is a fairly typical month. Given my personal limitations during the past month there is no way that I could have ministered to 644 people directly, but the website made it possible for me to minister people I will never meet, in places I will never go. As God opens the doors for new languages, then eventually, this ministry may be done in languages that I will never speak. Even though right now, I don’t know how this will take place–It seems impossible. So, I can only trust God who will bring about His perfect will in His perfect time, in His perfect way.

Other Ministries

Kayo continues leading the Japanese Life Group ministry and God has been using the Alpha Course videos to strengthen the faith of the new believers. Please pray for the non-Christians who started attending, various obstacles have arisen that have prevented them from attending. Please pray for them. She also has been quite involved in the worship team at the International Church and in helping prepare the way for other Japanese Christian musicians to minister in Cambodia in the future.

Christian Apologetics Classes

On October 23, Darryl will resume his third round of teaching Christian Apologetics at the Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute. Please pray for the strength and wisdom to be able to equip these pastors and church leaders to “Always be ready to give a reason for the Hope that you have, with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15). At the end of the class the students will give video presentations giving evidence for the Truth of God’s Word.

Please pray for our strength, wisdom, peace, and unity during this time. We are in the process of making some very important decisions which will impact our lives, family, and ministries for many years to come.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin Record

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Joy in Trials

“All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. Matthew 8:32 NLT

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  James 1:2 NLT

Keeping our Joy In Trials: In the past month, we have experienced some “opportunities for great joy”.  Here are a few examples:

    • Darryl started “emergency apologetics classes” to equip a Cambodian pastor and
      Beware of free range cows.

      Free range cows.

      a Filipino missionary so that they will be able to protect and vaccinate their 14 churches who have lost 7 members and an evangelist to a cult and a Bible school student to Islam.  Please pray that they can help restore those who have strayed from the faith.  The day before the first meeting, the Cambodian pastor was returning to Phnom Penh from a weekend of ministry in a a rented SUV (from Lyna Garage), when suddenly a “free-range-cow” charged his vehicle causing $400 worth of damage.  A village leader gave the group a ride, but his vehicle broke down.  By God’s grace, this pastor was able to make it to the first apologetics class.  Right before the third meeting, the faucet in our upstairs bathroom broke in the ON position, which required us to turn off the water to the entire house and make emergency plumbing repairs.

Benjamin bicycle

Benjamin on his bicycle.

Mrs. Lyna Tan, Mr. Meas Savong, and Mrs. Samoeun Intal filming The Bible: God's Instructions for Life video.

Mrs. Lyna Tan, Mr. Meas Savong, and Mrs. Samoeun Intal filming The Bible: God’s Instructions for Life video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A couple of days later, Darryl was getting ready to go to Lyna Garage to film “Bible: God’s Instructions for Life” so Kayo went to pick Benjamin up at school.  On the way home, Benjamin’s training wheel bicycle fell over and he got a deep gash on his chin.  By God’s grace it didn’t bleed much so we could clean and bandage it and he didn’t need stitches.  We had to pray and trust God to heal Benjamin so that Darryl didn’t have to cancel this video shoot that had taken six months to set up and couldn’t be rescheduled for a long time.  Darryl is still editing this video, Lord willing he will release it this week.  In addition, was able to film Mrs. Samoeun Intal’s testimony.  She was the founder of the FEBC Christian radio station in Cambodia and has also paved the way for other kinds of Christian media in Cambodia, including International Fishers. www.internationalfishers.com/samoeun-intal 

 

  • Kayo’s ministry to Japanese speakers in Cambodia has also experienced great breakthroughs and trials.  Mr. I, the 76 year old Japanese man has
    Kayo cutting Ryoken’s hair so that he can learn how to be a waiter (using English) etc. at Gateway Cafe.

    Kayo cutting Ryoken’s hair so that he can learn how to be a waiter (using English) etc. at Gateway Cafe.

    Japanese Life Group

    Japanese Life Group

    made a clear profession of faith.  We have also been able to help a Japanese missionary family get settled in, find a good vehicle, and to overcome some other obstacles and trials.  We have also helped Ryoken, an 18 year old man from Japan, get settled in, plugged in to Gateway Cafe Student ministries, and started studying English and volunteering here in Cambodia.  Please pray that he will learn English, learn employable skills, and most of all that he will come to know Christ in a new way that goes beyond his parents’ faith.    These breakthroughs also came with trials.  Kayo has been sick and exhausted off and on for the past few weeks. We took her to the doctor twice but they couldn’t diagnose anything.  We are treating her at home for amoebas now. Last night she had an allergic reaction to the medicine.  Please pray that she will be fully healed before our trip to the USA on June 11.  Benjamin has also had unexplained illnesses that disappeared after prayer and Darryl got food poisoning after going to a lunch hosted by a Bible School.  There have also been other inter-personal conflicts that are also related to spiritual opposition.

Despite all of these trials we see God’s hand moving in our lives in ministry in ways that we have never seen before!  So, we can have joy that God is using us and that His work through us (despite our weakness) is such a threat that we merit opposition and trials.   If things are happening to us in Cambodia, it is likely that our Senders may also be under some spiritual trails and opposition too.  The enemy’s tactics include: deception, destruction, disconnection, discouragement, distraction, and division.  In the USA, you may not have a cow charge your car, but a co-worker may accuse you unfairly.  This is why we must continually pray for and encourage each other.

USA Trip June 11-August 14:

We are looking forward to seeing as many of our beloved Senders and others who are interested in being used by God to help reach the world for Christ.  We will be in California from June 12-23, Missouri from June 23-July 14, and back in California from July 14th to August 11.

For our friends in California, there is a special Open-House on Saturday June 20th from noon-5pm.  Please e-mail darryl@sgwm.com for more details on this event or to schedule other times to get together (in CA or MO).

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

 

Cambodia Update (Urgent Prayer Request)

…But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught…. 2 Timothy 3:12-17 NLT

Urgent Prayer Request:muslim convert _Fotor

Darryl has been asked to advise, equip, and train the leaders (missionaries and Cambodian pastors) of a group of 14 churches which were planted by the Wesleyans but are now independent.  Recently, seven of their church members and one evangelist have converted to a Korea-based cult operating here in Cambodia.  One more Bible school student has also recently converted to Islam.  There are reports that other churches of various denominations have also been losing their flock to this same Korea-based cult.

The leaders of these churches are concerned that more pastors, members, and leaders will be taken into this cult, and other religions, because they aren’t equipped to be confident in the truth of Christianity (beyond experience, emotions, and a limited knowledge of the Bible) much less defend their faith in the face of trained cultists.   In addition to making sure that they get the books, videos, and other materials that they need to vaccinate their people Darryl will start intensive apologetics training sessions at our house with these leaders next week (until our trip to the USA and then more to follow after our return).

  1. Please pray that as these leaders attempt to restore their wandering sheep that they won’t be deceived.
  2.  Please pray that they will get equipped so that they can vaccinate the rest of their group against cults or other religions.  
  3. Please pray that God will help the leaders of the other denominations, who have also lost their sheep to cults like these to unite on the foundation of essential Christian doctrine and present a united defense of the Truth and will better equip their flocks to be able to keep their faith and share it with confidence and joy.

Japanese Life Group Update:

International Japanese Christian Group

International Japanese Christian Group

Last time, we mentioned an elderly Japanese man that Kayo and other Japanese missionaries were “re-evangelizing.”  This man is well on the path to developing a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ as his Savior (if he hasn’t already).  We are moving slowly with him, because he made a profession of faith as a child and was baptized but there was little/no fruit until now.  Now, this man is motivated to allow Christ to change his life, and he wants to share his limited knowledge of God’s Word, with other elderly Japanese men living in Cambodia (this is a real unreached people group : ) ).

God has also been bringing a variety of people to the group (some as visitors some continue on).  In the past month in addition to Japanese, Americans, and Koreans, we have had Korean/Chinese/Japanese family,  a Ghana/Japanese family, and a Cambodian/French man attend the group.  This is surprising for us because we have not made any attempts to advertise the group since last December but people are finding the old flyers etc. and just showing up.

International Fishers Update:

church planting class

church planting class

In the beginning of April, Darryl taught an (6 hours spread over two days) intensive Christian apologetics workshop to eight students of the Family of Faith Cambodia Church’s church planter training program and he also preached on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at this Church’s Easter Service.  As missionaries, we often feel like we are constantly pouring lighter fluid and lighting matches in an attempt to light the fires of Christianity on the charcoal of Cambodia.  Now, it is clear that the charcoal is burning on its own (not just the lighter fluid).   For the first time, in the past 15 years, we are gaining confidence that God is preparing a great revival in Cambodia (which is why the cults are showing up to plant tares among the wheat in the softened soil).

Later, Darryl was able to produce two videos:  God’s Technology vs. Human Technology and DNA: God is the Author of Life in Spanish (click here to view/download) .   Advancing computer/Internet technology made it possible for Darryl’s friend Fernando (a Guatemalan living in Japan) to translate and record the soundtrack for these videos.  Darryl (in Cambodia) was able to combine this with photos from Pastor Kevin (an American in Japan), Graphics from Donna (in the USA) and music from Pastor Bob (in the USA).

Also, because of the recent onslaught of criticism and attacks against Christianity from cultural and political leaders, Darryl also felt led to combine his skills as a Christian Apologist with his background in Political Science to analyze and defend against these attacks in real-time.  You are invited to read this English-language blog called Apologist In Exile.

Sender’s Encouragement Trip

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Looking forward to connecting with as many of our precious senders in the USA as possible.  Please contact darryl@sgwm.com

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

 

Record Family’s Home Country Encouragement Trip: USA June 12-August 11

Family Roof

For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord.  When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. . . .For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike.  So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News.  Romans 1:11-17 NLT

Home Country Encouragement Trip June 12-August 11

Our family (Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin) are “eager to come to you in”….Southern California and Southeast Missouri.  We have been so blessed in our lives in Cambodia (housing, security, ministries, and even better than expected weather), that this time, Lord willing, we will not need to come the the USA to rest and recharge but instead we hope to be able to encourage and equip our brothers and sisters in the USA who are coming under increasing pressure and opposition.

Here are the key dates of our trip (please mark your calendar).

  • June 12 Arrive in California
  • June 23 Fly to Missouri 
  • July 14  Return to California
  • August 11 Return to Cambodia

While we have been experiencing a new openness in ministries in Cambodia, as if the spiritual oppression is lifting, we sense that our senders in America are struggling.   When things were extremely difficult in Cambodia, we often returned to the USA in need of physical, spiritual, and emotional recharging, but now it seems that God is calling us to use this trip to encourage our senders.   As the USA becomes more and more unstable (and potentially hostile) politically, economically, and even environmentally, we find that our experiences, training, and perspectives as missionaries with contacts and indirect ministries in closed countries become more and more applicable to the future of Christianity in the USA.

Even though Christians in the USA will need to “be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves,” Matthew 10: 5-31 NLT there is reason to be encouraged.  In China Christians were only, “4 million before 1949 (3 million Catholics and 1 million Protestants)” before the communist government expelled the missionaries and shut down religious freedom.  Now there are 100 million Christians and only 85 million Communist Party Members.  Meanwhile Christianity has shrunk in number and weakened in impact in the “Christian” nations of the west.   I (Darryl) believe that it is time for Christians in the USA to start learning from Christians in non-Christian and anti-Christian countries.

So, during this trip, we would like as many opportunities as possible to share our perspectives as missionaries to help as many American Christians to learn how to see their families, neighborhoods, campuses, and workplaces as mission fields.  Even though China expelled the official missionaries in 1949, since then, there have been a lot of unofficial missionaries who are working in educational institutions and businesses.  The ironic thing is that the pre-1949 missionaries were easily trapped in their churches while the more recent Christian “workers” have been welcomed into and even have received part or all of their funding from public educational institutions.  While university professors in the USA have turned many young people away from Christianity, Christian professors in China have pointed many young people to Christ.  As missionaries applied the lessons learned from China, to places like Cambodia and so now we sense that Cambodia is on the verge of a major spiritual awakening.

We really desire that God will open doors for us to serve, encourage, and fellowship with as many people as possible (as individuals, families, or groups).   Please e-mail darryl@sgwm.com with your contact information and your ideas of how, when, and where we can can minister to you and come alongside you as we minister to the USA together with you.  Sometimes people are afraid to spend time with missionaries because they fear that God will call them to be missionaries to Cambodia (or Africa), but we sense that God is much more likely to send them as missionaries to California and the midwest. ; )  Be aware that there will be spiritual opposition to contacting and connecting with us.  The enemy will try to distract, discourage, or even make you fearful, but we know that God fear isn’t from God.  Great journeys of faith begin with one baby-step and God has always carried us the rest of the way.

There are many exciting things to share with you about what God is doing in Cambodia, but if I write it all down now, this message will get too long for you to read.  Lord willing, I will send you our regular update next week.

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

 

Go and Make Disciples

Go and make disciples of all the nations….Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. Matthew 28:19-20

Kayo doing "New Believer's Course" with Mr. Iwamoto.

Kayo doing a “New Believer’s Course” with a 76 year old Japanese Man.

The Importance of Christian Foundations

Sometimes we Christians are so eager to teach what we think are the “deeper things” (meat or denominational distinctives etc. etc.) of God’s Word that we skip over the essential Christian foundations (milk) that are provide the basis for all other doctrines and spiritual development. For example, in the Japanese Life Group Ministry, Kayo and another Japanese missionary are doing a “New Believer’s Course” with a 76 year old Japanese man who was evangelized and baptized as a child by a missionary in Japan. He either wasn’t completely evangelized to the point that he could make a genuine commitment to Christ or he wasn’t sufficiently discipled so that he could live for Christ, because he admits that he hasn’t been living for Christ since being baptized as a child. I’m sure that the missionary wrote a glowing report about a fruitful ministry in Japan but the fruit never grew. We praise God for bringing this man back to Himself and giving him one more chance to really know Christ and live for Him during the last years of his life. Please pray for this man that he will come to truly know Christ as his personal savior and that he will be able to live for Christ in the final years of his life.

Cambodia Bible Institute Apologetics Class

Cambodia Bible Institute Apologetics Class

Darryl taught the Christian Apologetics Class at Cambodia Bible Institute (sponsored by the Assemblies of God) from March 10-20. Once again, he had the students give their final presentations on video. The topics the students chose were (These Cambodian language videos are available at http://www.internationalfishers.com/cbi-2015.html )

  • Evidence that God Created the Universe
  • Prophecies Confirm That the Bible is God’s Word
  • Jesus Christ is God
  • Evidence that Jesus Christ Rose From the Dead
  • Jesus Christ is the Only Path to Salvation
  • If God is Good Why Do Evil and Pain Exist?
  • If God is Love Why Do People Go To Hell?
  • What About Those Who Never Heard About Jesus?

It is very important that these future pastors and Christian leaders are able to effectively teach and defend these (and other) foundational truths of Christianity so that they will be able to transform their culture to Christ, keep the next generation of Christians strong in the faith, and that they will not compromise their faith in the face of persecution.

I believe that the reason that the Christian denominations are compromising their faith in front of political correct movements and that Christians are so vulnerable to attacks in the USA is because the Church has often failed to defend the truth of God’s word in a logical, persuasive, and winsome manner. (see http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/26/the-three-key-components-that-lead-atheists-and-agnostics-to-reject-gods-existence/ ) Our calling as Christians and missionaries is to help people gain or regain their confidence that God’s word is true so that they will be able to 1. maintain their faith in societies that are increasingly anti-Christian 2. confidently and effectively evangelize and disciple others around them. 3. confidently and effectively communicate God’s truth as they transform their culture.

Please continue to pray for us and partner with us as God leads and empowers you. We look forward to seeing as many of our partners in the USA this summer. Feel free to e-mail us at darryl@sgwm.com. We always are happy to hear from you.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin