“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Greetings to our Senders from California!
Our family will be in the Los Angeles/Orange County area most of the time until August 6 when we return to Cambodia. We are looking forward to reconnecting with current senders and connecting with new senders during this time. We are available to meet with individuals, families, small groups, and larger groups as God opens the doors. Our temporary phone number (until August 6 is (562) 479-8631 or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mark your calendars for July 10! We are happy to invite all of our friends in the vicinity of La Mirada area to a Dessert Gathering (we will eat desserts together, give our latest mission update, and help people get signed up to receive our e-mail updates and partner with us. The Dessert Gathering will be held a Calvary Chapel La Mirada immediately after the Wednesday night service (service starts at 7pm dessert gathering starts around 8pm). The address is 15144 Leffingwell Rd. La Mirada, CA 90638.
We still need to raise more than $900 monthly to cover our rent, utilities, and Benjamin’s tuition this fall. We are thankful for the one-time donations that are covering this gap in the meantime. Please continue to pray that God will raise up new/increased monthly financial partners so that we can continue our mission work over the long term.
Ministries wrapped up very well in Cambodia. When look forward to sharing these updates when we visit with you in person, online, or on the phone.
But at it is written, “They who had no news of Him shall see, and they who have not heard shall understand.” Romans 15:21 NASB
Apologetics Class At Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute:
A testimonial note from Mr. Pov Piseth, Darryl’s former M.Div. student at CPTI.
It was such a great opportunity for me to take an Apologetics class with Professor Darryl Record. Through his outstanding guidance in the class, I gained a lot of better understandings and clear pictures about the real meaning of Apologetics. His lecture notes are very well organized . Even when the contents of the lesson are complicated, he tries his best to simplify it in order to make sure that every student is able to understand fully…. I highly recommend Professor Darryl Record. He is the best professor for me. He is also my great counselor when Ihave something difficult to deal with. He always comforts meand advises me to respect the Lord and trust in Him more.
Darryl continues teaching an Apologetics class at Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute until June 13.
Kayo continues to volunteer with Precious Women ministry. This ministry helps to evangelize and retrain poor women who are at risk of being forced into the sex industry.
Darryl continues teaching English and verse by verse Bible studies for the Chinese Ministry at the international church each Sunday morning. He is also tutoring/evangelizing two Chinese people on weekdays.
Kayo continues to coordinate and develop the leadership team of the 40-member worship team at the international church while the worship leader is on sabbatical.
Darryl has re-joined the board of directors at Kone Kmeng children’s ministry. Kone Kmeng partners with hundreds of rural/border churches to evangelize, educate, and protect (more than 30,000) poor children from child abuse and human trafficking. Please pray for Kone Kmeng’s finances because their largest donor, a well-known mega-church in the USA, has recently gone through major leadership changes. This has led to misunderstandings with the new staff members who have temporarily (for 2019) suspended their funding.
Darryl is now partnering with “Abel” a tentmaker missionary from Pakistan (and many others) to contextualize (to Buddhist and atheist world-views), update (by seamlessly integrating apologetics concepts), and translate (into English, Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Urdu) and distribute a Bible correspondence curriculum which have been very effective at evangelizing and discipling many Pakistanis since the 1960s despite persecution. The curriculum was sent by mail in Pakistan in the past. Now “Abel” has the vision of distributing this updated material through apps etc. to more than 100,000 people by 2030!
Financial and US Visit Update:
We will be in the Los Angeles (La Habra, Chino Hills, La Mirada, and Whittier) areas between June 20 and August 6. We would like to reconnect with as many of our friends as possible during this time. Please e-mail email@example.com if you are available to get together informally during that time. We are also looking for help with transportation during that time as well (borrowing a vehicle, rides, sponsor some Uber/Lyft rides etc.).
We still need to replace around $950 monthly due to Kayo’s parents’ retirement and one of our largest donor’s financial problems. We praise God that around $150 monthly has already been promised from the USA and Japan! We also praise God that through large one-time donations our housing and utilities ($500 monthly) has been covered through the end of 2019! These funds will still need to be replaced with smaller monthly donations from many individuals after that. This still leaves a $450 monthly shortage for Benjamin’s tuition starting in September.
Given the promising opportunities for ministries in Cambodia, we believe that God wants us to stay in Cambodia over the long-term. Please pray for our needs and about your (and other’s) role(s) as Great Commission Business Partners (Senders) whether financially, practically, through encouragement, and/or intense prayer.
Would you consider it a lack of faith to call 911 if a wildfire threatened to burn up your housing, child’s schooling, and livelihood? If not, please read this message as a 911 call from missionaries. Missionaries usually cannot call 911 because either there is no one to call or there is no one trustworthy to call. Therefore, we are taking a risk and a step of faith by calling you through this message. The rest is up to people, just like you, and the steps of faith that you choose to take.
Because our main financially supporting church in the USA is now in a financial crisis and Kayo’s non-Christian parents in Japan are retiring, we have found ourselves in a crossroads trial. This could potentially, end our missionary work in Cambodia, dating back to 2000, before the end of 2019, unless God sends help through people just like you.
We have two urgent financial needs. 1. We need to replace $500 monthly by October to cover the costs for our housing and utilities. 2. We need to replace approximately $600 monthly by September in order to continue to pay for Benjamin’s Christian school tuition. Homeschooling (or finding employment in Cambodian) would be difficult for us and it would significantly reduce our ministry effectiveness just when our ministries are expanding.
Please pray about how God may be leading you to personally partner with us financially in a new or increased way.
Please pray that God bring other Christians, you know, to mind who might also be willing to be Great Commission Business Partners for the first time. Our ministries in Cambodia are to the Body of Christ in general, therefore we are able to be both ministry and financial partners with Christians from a broad range of Christian denominations etc. (similar to Ravi Zacharias or Billy Graham etc.). If anyone wants to check our doctrine, we can send them a free apologetics e-book that Darryl co-authored with a medical doctor by request. firstname.lastname@example.org
I understand many people may consider it to be a violation of etiquette for missionaries to voice their financial needs so clearly. However, after reviewing many Bible passages, I have come to the conviction that it is permissible to do so in certain situations.
Please consider these passages:
Nehemiah 2:3 “I said to the king, “May the king live forever! My face is sad because the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.”
Esther 5:3-4 “Then Queen Esther answered, “My king, if you are pleased with me, and if it pleases you, let me live. This is what I ask. And let my people live, too. This is what I want. My people and I have been sold to be destroyed, to be killed and completely wiped out. If we had been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because that would not be enough of a problem to bother the king.”
Matthew 14:30 “But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me!”
Luke 18:1-3 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’”
John 19:28 “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
In each of these cases where there was a legitimate, urgent, and serious need these people of great faith, including Jesus Christ all communicated their needs clearly and verbally instead of through psychic or telepathic means. I believe that our current need meets these standards. Here is why:
If we are able to raise the funds through monthly financial partnerships, our ministries can continue to expand like never before! For example, some P@k!$t@n! Christians in Cambodia have just started translating Darryl’s www.internationalfishers.com apologetics/evangelistic materials into their language. Also, just one of Darryl’s dozens of videos in Cambodian on the evidence for the resurrection has been viewed by more than 23,000 people!
If we are not able to raise enough funds but must homeschool Benjamin and/or take local jobs to supplement our donations, our ministries will be reduced.
If we are forced to return to the USA or Japan, we have no promising career paths and insufficient resettlement funds to transition back safely and smoothly. Therefore, there is a great likelihood that we could be forced, (against our will and best efforts until we can find employment) to become burdens on family and friends and even dependent of social welfare programs. If God opens up a clear path to return to one of our home countries, we are more than willing to follow Him, but this does not seem to be His best path for us at this time.
There are many other wonderful ministry breakthroughs happening in addition to what I was able to mention briefly. Please pray for God to raise up people just like you to stand in the gap for us financially, “for such a time as this.” Great victories are born out of great adversities. We are trusting God to raise up a new generation of Great Commission Business Partners (Senders) from this adversity!
In Christ’s Hands and Yours,
Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin Record
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
P.S. We are still planning to be in the Whittier/La Mirada/La Habra California area between June 20 and August 6. We look forward to visiting with and talking on the phone with as many of our friends and family members as possible during that time, when our time zones are not completely opposite.
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
We are going through a time which is both “in season” and “out of season” at the same time. On one hand, our various ministries are expanding both in breadth and in depth, which I will share more about in this update. On the other hand, Cambodia is going through its hot/dry season now so daily blackouts of up to six hours nationwide (so far, by God’s grace, we’ve been spared from most of these), highs around 99F, running water cuts and shortages, sicknesses, exhaustion, car repairs, and serious upcoming financial needs, mean that we must choose to keep our eyes on Christ and not the many storms around us as we walk by faith.
Christian Apologetics Classes:
Darryl will finish teaching the Leadership and Christian Apologetics Training Course the end of March. The Pastor wants him to teach more in the future but given the “seasonal challenges” mentioned above, we are not sure whether these trainings will be done before our visit to the USA this summer or in the fall, after we return to Cambodia.
Darryl will also start teaching Christian Apologetics classes again at the Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute between the end of March and the middle of June.
Visiting the USA and Urgent Financial Need
We will be spending some time in the USA this summer between June 20 and August 6. We will be mainly in the LA/Orange County areas of California. We need to take care of some banking needs and to reconnect with our senders and relatives in the US since we have been out of the USA for two years.
Please also pray that God will open doors for us to connect with more regular financial partners. Up until now, Kayo’s parents in Japan have been sponsoring Benjamin’s Christian school tuition. This has been a huge blessing, even though they are not Christians (yet). They are retiring soon and so we need around $600 additional each month to cover the financial gap starting this fall. We have additional financial needs beyond this, but this is just the most urgent.
Light Times Magazine and Christian Videos Update
Darryl continues to write apologetics/evangelistic articles and help with English editing for Light Times Magazine, the only Christian magazine in Cambodia. Because it is a magazine, non-Christians are much more willing to receive and read it than they would be to receive and read a tract. Recently the format has changed to focus on readers younger college and career age readers. Below is a Facebook post from Soksan, LT’s founder.
Darryl has also joined Cambodian Christians along with French, and Indian missionaries in a joint project of producing live-action Cambodian Christian videos for social media through True Media at https://www.facebook.com/mediais4god/
The missionary from India told Darryl that when he was in Bible School in Bangalore, India that one of his textbooks was, Christianity: Reasons for Faith which Darryl co-authored a few years ago! It remains a mystery how the book moved from Cambodia to India.
Partnering With Persecuted Christians
Darryl continues to work to encourage, equip, and partner with Christians from Ch!n@ and P@k!$t@n who have been forced to move to Cambodia for religious freedom. Because of the freedom here in Cambodia, we are planning to develop Christian materials here in their own languages and then send them back to their homelands via social media and underground methods.
Kayo’s Ministries Updates
Kayo also continues to minister to Japanese missionaries and workers in Cambodia who are currently struggling with environmental challenges mentioned above and also have greater difficulty communicating with Cambodians because of language barriers. Kayo is also involved in helping the international church’s worship team learn and use new administrative software. This is even more more urgent because the main worship leader had a stroke yesterday.
“That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:17
Leadership and Apologetics Training Course At Kingsway Community Church
Darryl recently started a six-week Leadership and Apologetics training course to equip the leadership team at Kingsway community church, a church started by Pastor Phanet Kim (see his testimony above). The purpose of this course is to equip the church leaders most of whom are below 30 years old. Most of them are first generation Christians so it is important to equip them with Biblical leadership principles and also to help them have the confidence that they need to evangelize their own families and communities outside of the church. They also need to be able to help their children and the younger generation in their church to be able overcome the doubts and challenges to the truth of Christianity that may come from their public schools and the media.
International Fishers Videos on the NLF App
Great news! New Life Fellowship, the largest church in Cambodia (1,000+ members and 100+ church plants) has made International Fishers Khmer language videos available through their NLF Cambodia App for smartphones and devices. This will help make it easier for Cambodian Christians to share the gospel with their non-Christian family, friends, classmates, and co-workers.
International Fishers Apologetics/Videos Update
Recently, Darryl released a new video in Cambodian entitled, “God Inspired the Bible.” The video gives evidence that God inspired the Bible with these reasons 1. Pre-programmed morality. 2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. 3. Fulfillment of Prophecy. 4. Archaeology confirms the Bible. One of the YouTube viewers commented that it was, “Very Clear.” Darryl is also working to produce a new video in Khmer on the evidence that the Tower of Babel really existed. Last month, we were happy that the Cambodian language video, “Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?” had received more than 12,000 views. Just one month later, this same video has more than 17,000 views!
A pastor in Japan has taken one of Darryl’s Japanese language videos, “Life: Creation or Chance?” and used this five minute video as the starting point for a thirty minute evangelistic sermon in Japanese which he filmed and uploaded on YouTube.
Kayo’s Ministry Update
Kayo continues to work with Precious Women organization, a ministry which retrains and evangelizes women who work in bars and night clubs and who are at risk of being forced into prostitution or other forms of exploitation.
Kayo’s ministry to Japanese continues to go well. Her life group is going well and is an encouragement to Japanese missionaries and workers who live and serve in Cambodia.
Kayo also continues to serve in the worship team at the international church where we attend.
US Visit This Summer
We can’t believe that two years have passed since we left the USA to return to Cambodia. We will spend our time in California. We look forward to visiting our senders and family members in the area. Please pray for a blessed time and that God will open all the doors for us.
“Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16: 23-24
As we enter a new year, it is a good opportunity to reflect on God’s faithfulness during the past year, to thank Him for what He is doing now, and to look forward to His plans for 2019.
Apologetics/Evangelistic Materials Production and Distribution:
We are thankful for the expansion of Darryl’s International Fishers: Christian Evidence Ministries, impact on the Internet and social media. Now, www.internationalfishers.com is equipping 1,988 unique visitors who visit 5,856 pages within the website in a 30 day period who come to visit the website. This is nearly double the traffic this website received one year ago! Here are also some stats for five Cambodian language videos which were posted on YouTube around 1 year ago. This does not include the views and shares on Facebook and Dropbox etc. because they are too difficult to track and count. Currently we have a potential audience of around 45,000 Christian Cambodians and Missionaries on Facebook and have received good feedback there as well.
Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?: 12,000+ views.
Archaeology and The Bible.: 5,900+ views.
Science in the Bible (4 Months Ago).: 2,100+ views.
4. Jesus Christ the Only Rescuer.: 1,600+ views.
5. Those Who Have Not Heard About Jesus Christ.: 1,500+ views.
In December, Darryl released two more videos in the Cambodian Language: 1. How to Know Truth 2. Prophecies that Jesus Christ Fulfilled on www.internationalfishers.com/khmer, social media, and via DropBox.
Darryl continues to share his videos, scripts, radio programs, and the English language book manuscripts via DropBox with other missionaries both in Cambodia and in other countries for them to adapt, contextualize, translate, and distribute in their own ministry circles. Recently a pastor from Japan visited us, he plans to use some of Darryl’s Apologetics/Evangelistic materials to help him in his church there. New developments are also taking place with the Ch!ne$e and P@k!$t@n! ministries as well. There are several other projects and opportunities that are still in the infancy. Please pray for their development during this year.
Kayo’s Ministry Update:
Kayo was very busy in December with various Christmas related events and outreaches for the International Church worship team, the International Christmas Choir, Japanese Ministry, and Precious Women Organization. For example, the International Christmas Choir, organized by a missionary from France, had three concerts: at a Christmas Bazaar, for the International Church’s Christmas service, and at the largest shopping mall (owned by a Japanese corporation) in the country.
Kayo’s Japanese life group ministry is going well. In December she organized a Christmas party. She also has been mentoring some Japanese women. We also praise God that the Japanese family who has been going through major problems since the husband’s break-down is in the process of being reunited in Japan.
Benjamin was very sick for two weeks in December. He still has a lingering cough and is susceptible to other viruses. We are concerned about his health and whether or not the air around our current apartment is too polluted for his health because we live near a major street and the airport. Please pray about this. Darryl’s back pain has gone away completely so he has been able to discontinue physical therapy.
“Peter said to Jesus, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, all those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farms for me and for the Good News will get more than they left. Here in this world they will have a hundred times more homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields. And with those things, they will also suffer for their belief. But in this age they will have life forever.Many who are first now will be last in the future. And many who are last now will be first in the future.” (Mark 30:28-31 NCV)
Since stepping out of the boat (the USA, a stable career, comfort, and safety) in faith to follow Christ on a journey that would lead me (Darryl) on the path to becoming a long-term faith missionary in Cambodia, most of the time since 2000, this passage has comforted me. I could also give more than 100 examples of this passage coming true in my life and with Kayo since our marriage in 2004 and arrival in Cambodia on September 11, 2007 with one suitcase and one computer case each.
We are only where we are today because of God’s faithful provision and the sacrificial sharing of resources and comforts which we have received on both sides of the globe. For example, a couple of years ago when I was sick and needed to return to the USA for treatment, a beloved Christian couple hosted my family and I for three months in their two bedroom condo. During those three months, they insisted that we sleep in the king-sized bed in their master bedroom, while they slept on air mattresses in the home-office. They sacrificed their comfort to bless us so cheerfully that when we announced that there was another Christian house we could stay at, we almost got into an argument with them, because they wanted us to stay longer. If I could remember all of the blessings in detail, I could probably write a book by now.
A P@k!$t@n! Pastor who is writing a Christian Apologetics book
in his language, contacted me on October 3rd. He had already received some of my Christian Apologetics videos on a hard-drive, which he received from a mutual friend in the USA. I sent him PDF English copies of my books, Christianity: Reasons for Faith and Christianity: Discerning Essential Doctrines and Preserving Unity. He invited me to come teach at an Apologetics conference in his country at some point in the future. We are in the prayer stage at this point but haven’t made any plans.
As a result of this connection, I also have made many new wonderful Christian friends at our international church from P@k!$t@n. They are living and working in Cambodia, in part because of the religious freedom here. God arranged it that, leader of the group, Robin, and his wife would move into the same apartment building where we live. On Saturday evening, Robin, arranged for P@k!st@n! food to be delivered to our apartment for supper, because Kayo had been busy in the worship team at a women’s conference and Christmas Choir practice at church all day. P@k!st@n! food is delicious! We had some flat bread called chapati left over, so I used it to make a breakfast burrito with eggs and Mexican salsa the next morning! 🙂
A Newlywed Christian Couple from Ch!n@,
“Dwayne and Kara” came to Cambodia for their honeymoon. On the last Sunday of their honeymoon, they came to the free English class (even though their English is excellent) at the international church. I help teach this class the Ch!ne$e pastor at our international church. During the 90-minute class before the service, we teach English, the Bible (verse by verse), and I include relevant Apologetics evidence. Most of the people are from Ch!n@, a few are from Cambodia, some are Christian some are not Christians…yet. Pastor Samuel has evangelized and baptized many people from his home country who first came to the church because of these English classes. Anyway, Dwayne and Kara attend a house church in their home country, which is pastored by Pastor Peter. Kayo and I met Pastor Peter in California in 2017, at the home of the same mutual friend who gave my new Apologetics Pastor friend in P@k!$t@n the hard drive which included my International Fishers Apologetics/Evangelistic Videos. It turned out that Pastor Peter was a longtime friend of Pastor Samuel in Cambodia!
For about four years, Pastor Samuel and I have been talking about and trying to
produce evangelistic/apologetics materials in the Ch!ne$e language based on some of the materials which I have already produced in English and Cambodian for my International Fishers ministry. So far, it has not worked out because Pastor Samuel and his team have been very busy with other ministries. Amazingly, Dwayne and Kara have a “underground” home studio and have been producing Christian audiobooks and music videos in their language for some time. They were looking for more evangelistic/Bible teaching/apologetics materials to contextualize, adapt, translate, record, and distribute to their people. Darryl sent them with his Reasons for Faith book, the English scripts for all of his Apologetics videos, and the English Scripts for the 26 ten-minute episodes of the apologetics/evangelistic, Anchors of Faith radio program which he wrote for Far East Broadcasting (FEBC) several years ago. They also agreed to give Darryl and Pastor Samuel a copy of any materials that they produce so that we can distribute them both in Cambodia and via other organizations that minister in their country!
A Motorcycle Taxi Driver Who Accepted Christ in 2001, The Rest of The Story! When Darryl was growing up, his mom would always play the Paul Harvey program on the radio during lunch. Paul Harvey’s famous line was, “and now you know the rest of the story!” Many of you know the story about how when Darryl and his team of English teachers first came to Cambodia in 2000, that they met a motorcycle-taxi driver named Phany. The team evangelized and discipled Phany. Darryl and Phany are like brothers. Phany went on to start an organization (completely on his own, in his bedroom in 2006) called Kone Kmeng, which now provides education, dormitories, evangelism, scholarships, wells, and small-business starting micro-loans to around 30,000-40,000 poor Cambodian children (who are at risk for being exploited as child-laborers or child-prostitutes) and their families. http://www.kone-kmeng.org Lida, Phany’s wife, started Precious Women Ministry, which evangelizes and retrains Cambodian women who currently work in bars and nightclubs (and are vulnerable to exploitation and sexual abuse) so that they can have a new life in Christ and a better career. Kayo works two days a week at the Precious Women office plus additional work from home. http://preciouswomen.org
And now for the rest of the story! Soon after Phany accepted Christ
back in 2001, he took the Gospel to his village in the countryside. Many of his friends and family members got saved. One of his friends, Phanet, accepted Christ and worked at Kone Kmeng Organization for a few years. Now Phanet is married and is the pastor of a good sized church outside of the capital city. Phany’s older sister, Sampoa also accepted Christ during that season. When Kayo and I first arrived in Cambodia, Sampoa worked for us as a house-helper (going to the hot open-air market daily, cooking Cambodian food, helping with housework etc.) during our first two years in Cambodia, while Kayo was pregnant with Benjamin and when he was a baby. Sampoa also became a special sister, especially to Kayo. Sampoa’s husband hasn’t become a Christian (yet) but all four of her children attend church faithfully. The two oldest sons have mad strong professions of faith and been baptized. The oldest son, Sok Heng, only 18 years old, a recent high school graduate, is now leading a 50 person cell group (divided into 4 sub-groups with 4-assistant leaders)! This cell group is in the church where my old friend Phanet is pastoring. Sok Heng came to us because he needs financial support to help him apply for a scholarship to study at a Bible School in Singapore. After Bible School, he wants to continue to minister in local churches and then go to the university and study Political Science. His vision is to be a bi-vocational church leader/pastor and also work in the government or in an embassy. Since, Darryl considers Sok Heng as a Cambodian sister, “Uncle” Darryl is very proud of his “nephew” Sok Heng.” Darryl earned a BA in Political Science before coming to Cambodia as a missionary. When Phany was thinking about going into politics, Darryl and Phany had many long talks on the subject. Now Phany is in the process to being appointed to a high ranking postion in the national government while continuing his ministry with Kone Kmeng. Darryl shared a copy Christianity: Reasons for Faith and other videos and materials with Sok Heng to use in his cell group and future ministries.
Divine Schedule Change Reconnects Darryl with Cambodian Friends Lost
For Seven Years, When Darryl’s Phone Was Stolen. Darryl usually attends the International (Christian) Men’s Breakfast which occurs the first Saturday morning of the month. Before, the breakfast moved from house to house, but recently it is moved into its regular location in the apartment of John, an Indian-American missionary who also lives in our same apartment building. The beginning of November, Matt, the missionary from Canada who usually organizes it, and other main helpers were all out of town. So Darryl, Garland (an American man, with a Cambodian wife, who Darryl met at church, who also lives in our same apartment building 😉 ) went to a local restaurant to meet Brandon, another American man who has recently come to Cambodia to be the country director for a Christian organization. When Darryl and Garland walked into the restaurant, they met Mr. Kim Savun, who is now one of the Vice-Deans at the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), where Darryl taught English from 2000-2003 and 2007-2009. Mr. Savun has been Darryl’s supervisor and good friend since the day in August, 2000 when Darryl and his team of English teachers arrived at the airport in Cambodia for the first time. Savun and other administrators from the RULE met the team at the door of the airport and escorted them through the special VIP terminal (which the King etc. uses) and then made sure they got settled into Cambodia.
Darryl, Savun, and other administrators at RULE stayed in contact, even after Darryl stopped working there as an Advanced English Instructor in 2009. One day about or eight years ago Darryl’s phone was stolen. Since he did not have their e-mail addresses or other contact information, Darryl lost contact with them. Because they worked at the big university, it would have been hard to find them, and life got in the way. God apparently, wanted Darryl, Savun, and other non-Christian Cambodian friends from RULE to reconnect, so he arranged for them to meet at the restaurant. Savun was there with his brother, a retired aircraft engineer. Instead of having, their planned breakfast for foreign men living in Cambodia, Darryl, Brandon, and Garland had breakfast with Savun and his brother. Darryl happened to have bilingual copy of his Christianity: Reasons for Faith Book which he intended to show to Brandon and Garland. Instead, Darryl could talk about the evidence for the existence of God, Intelligent Design, Creation, the Archaeological Evidence for the Bible, and the Evidence for the Life, Death, and Resurrection, of Jesus Christ. We all had a wonderful discussion in a very natural way. Mr. Savun’s brother, as an engineer, was very interested in the Intelligent Design evidence which points to a Creator. Darryl gave Mr. Savun the copy of the book that he had at the restaurant.
When Darryl and Garland returned to the apartment, Darryl gave another copy of the Reasons for Faith book to him, to study with his Cambodian wife. Garland texted Darryl, a couple of days ago, “Thank you Darryl for the lovely book filed with insight. My wife and I enjoy checking each other’s interpretations of what we are reading. I really appreciate you taking the time to involve me in some relation reading God’s Word. I was very fortunate to have met you.”
On November 12, Darryl was able to return to visit Mr. Savun, other Cambodian
friends, and he could even meet some of the English teachers from his old organization and share some materials with them. Darryl shared some copies of Light Times Magazine, the only Christian Magazine in Cambodia with Savun and others at RULE. Light Times Magazine is also an effective evangelism tool because it isn’t a tract. Instead it is a bilingual (English/Cambodian) magazine with articles on how to be successful in your career, have a good family, be healthy, and other topics, written from a Cambodian-Christian perspective, but which are interesting for both Christian and non-Christian readers. The magazine is complete with advertisements from major hotels,
supermarkets, and banks. In each issue Darryl includes an Apologetics/Evangelistic article such as, “Why Does God Allow Suffering?” “Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?” and in the most recent issue, “Scientific Facts in the Bible.” Soksan, the founder prints and distributes 3,000 copies of Light Times quarterly. Many are placed in businesses, banks, hospitals, schools, and supermarkets around the city. They are also distributed to churches in the capital city and nation wide. In the rural churches, usually 20 families share one copy of the magazine.
Darryl plans to return to visit more friends at RULE on November 26. Other opportunities to get together with former co-workers without the restrictions of workplace politics will follow. Now, Darryl has the freedom and opportunities to share his life, apologetics materials, and life with them on a whole new level.
Opportunities For Darryl to Share the Gospel with Non-Christian Cambodian Friends As Result of His Mom’s Death. Even though Darryl wasn’t able to go to his mom’s funeral in Missouri because there wasn’t time to purchase a plane ticket and fly there, Darryl still was able to connect with his family. Darryl’s brother, Donald, read a message from Darryl and Darryl’s sister, Rachel, read a message from Kayo at the funeral. Darryl also made a video tribute about his mom for his immediate family, and Darryl’s cousin sent him a few video clips from the funeral. So, Darryl felt connected. Since then, Darryl has been able to have two good, long phone conversations with his Dad, who is doing very well.
Soksan, the Editor of Light Times Magazine, translated an evangelistic Facebook post for Darryl regarding the death of his mother and how as Christians, death is more like a graduation from a school. We miss them, but we know that they do not want to return from heaven to return to the difficult school called life. Many of Darryl’s non-Christian former colleagues and students responded to the post. Sinath, one of the students in Darryl’s Advanced English Class at RULE from 2007-2009 (who also tutored Darryl in Khmer, visited us when we lived in Kampong Chhnang, and who now works for a company that insures aircraft) came to visit Darryl soon after his mom’s funeral. Darryl was able to share his faith with Sinath on a new level because he could talk about how he missed his mom, but that he had hope to see her again. Darryl also gave Sinath a couple of issues of Light Times Magazine. There have been other wonderful opportunities to share his faith with our landlord, and the Cambodian husband, a professional musician, who is married to one of Kayo’s non-Christian Japanese friends as part of Darryl’s remembrance process of his mom’s life.
More Translators, Narrators, and Video Production Partners for International Fishers. More highly skilled translators are volunteering to translate Darryl’s Apologetics Video Scripts and Cambodian Language Blog Articles. Mek, Darryl’s long time translator, has been very busy with much needed extra work. His wife just had their second baby and so they need more income now. Mek, has been recording all of Darryl’s Cambodian language video scripts in his house. However, now with the new baby and a 4 year old, he cannot find 10 minutes of silence necessary to make a good recording without a baby crying or some other noise :-). So he has taken a break for a few months. But, God provided a new partnership with Veasna and Mary, two young Cambodian Christians who have a Cambodian Language Video Ministry Called True Media. They are willing to narrate Darryl’s videos and now, Darryl can have video narration instead of only audio. Other projects are in the process. Now the Cambodian language blog articles go out via Facebook and other social media platforms to more than 30,000 Cambodians. The website, www.internationalfishers.com has increased its traffic from a little over 1,000 unique visitors per month to more than 1,600.
Equipping Other Missionaries With Apologetics Materials. Darryl has also been able to share his Christianity: Reasons for Faith book and other materials with other missionaries to help them integrate apologetics evidence into their regular ministries. For Example:
Benjamin’s teacher, to help the Christian home children in the school to become confident in the truth of Christianity and the Bible so that they will not leave the church when they leave home to go to the university or start their careers.
A Japanese missionary couple who lead a children’s ministry in a Cambodian Baptist Church.
The Director of a multi-national university student ministry.
A counselor at Christian counseling center.
Kayo’s Ministry to Japanese Living In Cambodia. Kayo’s Japanese Life Group ministry is increasingly active, even though it is only a monthly meeting. One Japanese Christian family, who are not missionaries recently went through a major crises. The husband, a manager at a factory in Cambodia had serious health and burn-out related problems and had to resign his job and return to Japan for treatment. The wife and two young children could not close down their apartment, sell their belongings, wrap up the older boy’s education, and find a place to live, job, and new life back in Japan that fast. So, the wife and the two children have had to stay in Cambodia for a month or so before returning to Japan. The company stopped subsidizing the family’s expensive apartment, so we helped the wife, kindergarten aged son, and two year old daughter to rent and move into a low priced studio apartment in our building. The situation is quite complicated so Kayo has been helping to arranging counseling and therapy for the family both in Cambodia and Japan. Darryl has been giving the boy a ride to and from school along with Benjamin.
Darryl’s Health Problems and Amazing Recovery. By now, most of the readers, including the writer (Darryl) are thinking. You guys really need a vacation! The ironic thing was that in the midst of all of this drama, we actually took about a week of a “staycation” (no work, relax, swim or bicycle with Benjamin) the week of October 7th. We really needed the rest in order to prepare us for what was to come. Kayo had several days on and off of exhaustion and various minor illnesses. On October 13, Benjamin had to go to the hospital to be treated for a severe eye irritation.
Then the big one hit. On October 25, Darryl started having stomach problems
and back pain. He took a sick day and thought he would get better. The next day he got worse from both conditions. By Friday afternoon, he could barely drive the car without nearly screaming from the back pain every time the car went over the numerous bumps to and from Benjamin’s school. He could only sleep 3-4 hours per night, rolling over or getting out of bed was agony and he could barely walk. Combined with the severe intestinal problems, he was miserable. Of course Kayo got exhausted too because Darryl disturbed her sleep when he had to get up in the middle of the night and try to get a little more sleep propped up on the hobbit sized sofa. Even though Darryl wasn’t able to help the Japanese family move to our apartment building, Kayo and two strong church men from Fiji stepped in and helped out. Darryl still was able to watch the kids during the Japanese Life Group and even though he couldn’t teach English at the English class at church, he could still attend.
Because Darryl had such a terrible night, on Monday morning, Darryl decided to
drive himself to a nearby hospital to get checked out. Benjamin had a holiday from school so Kayo had to stay home with him. The car battery was dead. So, Darryl took a tuk tuk taxi to the hospital and arranged for our long time friend and Christian mechanic to come to the apartment and replace the car’s battery. At the hospital, Darryl had complete lab work done, an abdominal ultrasound, and a back X-ray done. One doctor couldn’t find any specific cause of the intestinal problem and wanted to do more tests but gave Darryl some medicine for the symptoms in the meantime. The orthopedic doctor diagnosed Darryl with scoliosis (curved spine), prescribed some heavy duty pain medicine and a back brace. When Darryl asked if there were any additional treatment options, the doctor said, “No.” Darryl returned home by tuk tuk around 3:30 pm, and despite the brace and the medicine his pain was only decreased by 10-20%. The good thing is that a fellow missionary saw, Darryl’s prayer request on Facebook and recommended a Physiotherapist. Darryl contacted them and was able to get an appointment for the very next day.
During supper, Benjamin suddenly felt nauseous and suddenly got, “sick” right in front of the bathroom door! Benjamin couldn’t clean it up. I couldn’t bend down to clean it up, because of the back pain and Kayo was too exhausted from caring for Benjamin, myself, and running the house and an intense ministry weekend that she couldn’t move quickly. Just as she started to clean up the mess, the water pump in our apartment broke and we were without water for 18 hours. Kayo could only clean a little bit with wet wipes. Needless to say it was a miserable night.
Early the next morning, Darryl went across town in the car, leaving a sick Benjamin, an exhausted Kayo, and a smelly apartment behind. It worked out the Physiotherapist clinic was located close to the Christian mechanic shop so Darryl took the car for repairs and them made his way over to the Physiotherapy clinic. By God’s grace, the Physiotherapy worked! After the first session about, 80% of the pain was gone! After a few more sessions, nearly all the rest of the pain is gone. The intestinal problems also went away. Exactly two weeks after the pain first started, Darryl was back to regular activities and was able to ride his bicycle again. He continues to do stretching and strengthening exercises and will return for a follow up appointment on November 26.
Banking and Financial Challenges and Praise Report. In our last month’s
update, we said that we were in a financial emergency situation. We thank God that situations changed and new sources of funds came in and we are no longer in an immediate financial crisis. However, we really need your prayers regarding our financial situation, because this is an area of great vulnerability, especially during a time of intense ministry.
Darryl’s Medical bills look like they will cost around $1,000. Our health insurance has a $750 deductible and we are not sure how much/any of the physiotherapy treatment will be covered.
On October 16th, Kayo and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary with a nice lunch. Afterwards, when I tried to withdraw money from the ATM machine, the ATM machine malfunctioned and refused to release the ATM card. This card was the only card we have for one of our two accounts (ministry and personal) that we have in Japan.) When I called the bank, they would not send anyone to help so we could not get the card back for two weeks. As a result, Kayo had to report the card missing and so the bank in Japan deactivated it. We probably cannot get a replacement card for this account until January when a pastor from Japan is scheduled to visit Cambodia. This adds a little more stress and complication to our lives.
The ATM machines used to give us $800 at a time with out any additional charge. Now they charge $5 and only allow us to withdraw $400 at a time.
In January the Cambodian government will begin charging a 10% tax on top of our $400 monthly rent. We cannot really downsize too much more to save money because we currently live in a one-bedroom apartment and Benjamin sleeps in the living room. Eventually, we probably need a two bedroom apartment, so this is a concern.
Due to the changes in the laws related to our visas and work permits we will need to pay nearly $900 for visas between December 2018 and June 2019. We will also be required to pay another $600 for work permits for Kayo and myself.
We are concerned about the funding for Benjamin’s tuition which is more than $500 per month.
We are also need to start saving up some funds for Benjamin’s return to the US to start college or a career in a few years. We also need to start saving for retirement again. We haven’t been able to save anything for several years. But we praise God that we have remained completely debt free.
I do not share these things to pressure you to feel like you are required to meet these needs or solve these problems. That is God’s responsibility. Our responsibility is to pray, trust, and obey. I just needed to write these needs down so that they can stop taking up space on the tired hard-drive of my mind and so that when God meets them, that we can join together and praise Him. He has always been faithful, even with bigger challenges than these.
Thanks for your faithful prayers, encouragement, and partnership. May God continue to bless you! There is more that I could share, but I am getting tired of typing! Thanks for reading this long update!
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NASB
Darryl’s mom’s funeral was held on October 1. We couldn’t attend because we could not have found an airline ticket and flown to Missouri in time. Since she was a committed Christian, Darryl thinks of her funeral as a graduation ceremony. He misses her greatly but is proud of her accomplishments in life as a pastor’s wife, nurse, strong missionary sender, and mother of 7 (Darryl is the youngest). Just as none of us would want to return to high school or college after graduation, Darryl is comforted in knowing that his mom is much happier in heaven than she would be if she had to continue living on earth. Darryl’s sister-in-law requested that he make a video about his memories of her. You can watch it here.
“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 NASB
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense (apologia) to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” 1 Peter 3:15 NASB
Darryl’s International Fishers Christians Apologetics media ministry continues to grow. Darryl has made so many evangelistic/apologetics videos in the Cambodian language that he has pretty much exhausted most of the topics covered in the book he co-authored with a Medical Doctor a few years ago entitled Christianity: Reasons for Faith. The only way to find new challenges against the truth of Christianity, for new topics, was to join a few apologetics and Christians debate Atheists Facebook groups. Mostly Darryl just observes the debates for video ideas. However, a few times Darryl has felt led to post or comment. On at least three or four different occasions in the last month, belligerent atheists have come at him with a lot of prejudices and hostility but little evidence or logic. In all cases, Darryl applied 1 Peter 3:15 in his responses (sanctify Christ+defense+gentleness and reverence (respect). After a few rounds, the conversation invariably led Darryl to post something along the lines of, “salvation is a free gift. It must be freely given and freely received. I have no intention of forcing anything onto you. etc.” In all these exchanges, the atheists’ anger was so blunted that they thanked Darryl for his kindness and told him that he was a rare example of the Christians that they usually encounter. Usually, after that, the atheists would stop the conversation before they could be given the Gospel, but their minds had been opened a little bit, their hearts had been softened a little bit, and a few seeds had been planted.
In the past month, Darryl has been able to write a few video scripts on the following topics: 1. How to Know the Truth 2. Prophecies the Jesus Christ Fulfilled 3. Did the Tower of Babel Really Exist? 4. The inspiration of the Bible. Darryl has found four Cambodian Christians who can volunteer to translate his scripts or translate them for only $5 per page (university students). In addition, Darryl still has his partnership with his Khmer narrator and has made additional connections to other Cambodian Christians who can help with videography, acting, and post-production. In other words, Darryl finally has the opportunity to make professional quality videos! However, in order to fully take advantage of these opportunities, Darryl will need more financial resources because some of these Cambodians can afford to volunteer and others will need a small stipend (poor college students etc.) and there is also a need for funding for props, locations, and equipment rentals/purchase.
Last week, Darryl attended a three-day video training course at our International Church. Christian media experts (one was a Ph.D. professor who has made videos for Disney and the United Nations) came and trained around 70 Cambodians and Missionaries in video production and social media.
Darryl’s team produced a two-minute video to minister to women who have had abortions before they received Christ but still feel guilty. The script idea came fro m a Kenyan Christian lady. She had never used video editing software before. Darryl showed her the basics and she did 95% of the editing. You can watch it here.
Darryl was invited to give his testimony about growing up in a Christian home and nearly leaving the faith in college (88% of Christian home kids do). He also shared about his books, radio program, teaching, videos, website, and social media. Several missionaries and Cambodian Christians are interested in partnering with him in the future. Please pray that God will open and close the doors for these partnerships.
Kayo continues to be more and more involved with Precious Women ministry which evangelizes and re-trains women who work in bars and nightclubs who are at risk of sexual exploitation. She also is planning a large outreach/fundraising concert for Food for Hungry Japan and Kone Kmeng Children’s ministry (evangelizes and educates children who are at risk for child-labor and child-prostitution) in June 2019. A Christian, world-class flute player, will come from Japan for the concert.
Benjamin is doing well in school and is making friends. He enjoys frisbee club and is learning some unusual throws. 2 1/2 years ago, we had to sell his bicycle before he was ready to take off the training wheels. We finally got him a new bicycle last week. Within a day, he was riding on his own like a boss!
Please pray for our finances both in the short term and in the long term. Many of our most generous and faithful financial sponsors are either close to the end of their lives or are retiring. As a result, their financial donations will either end or decrease soon. We need to replace between $400-600 monthly ASAP just to break even in the short-term (more is needed over the long-term). Please pray that God will raise up new/younger senders and churches as well as give wisdom about alternative funding streams.
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8
We spent from June 20 to August 8 traveling around Japan reconnecting with our friends, family, and senders there after being away for four years. We spoke at around 20 church services and meetings and were able to reconnect with many but not all of our friends there as well.
We shared updates about what God is doing in Cambodia as well as encouraging and equipping the Japanese and international Christians there with apologetics based messages on topics such as the “Evidence for the Resurrection,” “Evidence for the Exodus,” and “Evidence from Prophecy.” Japan’s national and church demographics are both getting older so it was also important to help them to be aware of some of the different perspectives and needs between first generation Christians and Christians who come from Christian families. We also talked about the importance of equipping young people with apologetics evidence so that their faith will not be shaken by challenges that they encounter in school, media, and social groups. In Daniel 1:8, we see that Daniel and his friends must have had their faith based on a firm foundation so that they could continue to stand for their faith even though they were in a foreign land. Sadly, we see in modern times many young people who grow up in church leave their faith when they go away for college or careers.
This pattern is not something that happens only in the USA but we met Japanese Christian young people who also struggled in the same way. As Cambodia develops both as a nation and in the church, this pattern is beginning to happen here as well. This is why Darryl has been developing (in many cases the only) apologetics materials in the Cambodian language to equip church leaders and parents so that when their young people have doubts about their faith that they will be able to point them to reasonable answers. Unlike older generations that would primarily seek answers to their faith-challenges from their families or the church, many young Cambodians are seeking answers on the Internet and other media. We are encouraged to continue developing apologetics materials for distribution via the Internet and social media. Darryl’s Cambodian ministry partner recently reported that one of the videos that they produced together in the Cambodian language had received more than 18,000 views. Darryl also shared 26 scripts with another Cambodian ministry to produce into short video dramas for Internet distribution. This ministry, made up of Cambodian young people, has produced high-quality videos in the Cambodian language that have received more than 22,000 views. The International Fishers website is regularly visited by around a thousand people each month and many of Light Times Magazine’s 3,000 copies are read by twenty people each, especially in the rural areas and in businesses.
As we return to our regular work/life pattern in Cambodia, Kayo will continue to serve with Precious Women Ministry to help them evangelize and transform the lives of young Cambodian women who are working in high-risk jobs in bars and night-clubs and give them a new life in Christ and the opportunities they need to pursue more sustainable careers and take care of their families.
Benjamin will continue into the 4th grade at Hope International School.
As we continue to reach out to Cambodia’s next generation, we are reminded that many of our Senders in the US and Japan are from an older generation. Some of our largest financial sponsors are getting to an age where they won’t be able to continue their financial support for mission work for much longer. Please pray that God will raise up a new generation of senders who will be willing and able to regularly invest in mission work to help Cambodia’s Body of Christ to not just grow and make an impact for one generation but for the future as well.
Thanks for your faithful prayers, encouragement, and support. We are always encouraged to hear from people at home so don’t be shy about e-mailing us.
“The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” Philippians 1:6
We thank God for his faithfulness to us during this term. We look forward to our time in Japan to encourage and reconnect with our senders there. It has been four years since we were there. We will be in Japan from June 20 to August 12 when we will return to Cambodia to continue our ministries there. During the summer in Japan, Darryl will be able to continue writing apologetics scripts and producing short evangelistic videos in Cambodian language and sharing them via social media. So, even though we won’t be physically present in Cambodia, the ministry will continue.
Because we got our work permits just in time, Darryl was able to renew his Cambodian visa for another year. The Cambodian government is tightening regulations on foreigners from visas to driver’s licenses but we thank God for preparing a path for us through these changes.
Darryl finished his apologetics class at the Cambodian Presbyterian Theological Institute on May 24th. His students prepared and acted out dialogues on various apologetics topics which Darryl video recorded. Darryl’s external microphone broke some time ago so the sound of these videos is not very good. Please pray for wisdom and provision for Darryl to replace it for future class presentations. Still, the most important thing is that these 20 students are well equipped to defend their faith in their own churches and communities.
Darryl continues to write and edit articles for Light Times Magazine. For the next issue, he wrote an article on “Scientific Facts in the Bible.” Please pray for Soksan, the founder, and his family as they pray about their future and the future of the magazine.
When we return to Cambodia from Japan, Darryl will probably get more involved with the Chinese ministry at the international church. According to a Chinese pastor and many news reports, the pressure against Chinese Christians is increasing. Some of them may be forced to leave China and emigrate to other nations around the world, including Cambodia. As this happens, there will be more opportunities and need to minister to Chinese expats in Cambodia.
Kayo has been more involved in helping with the administration of Precious Women Ministry. They are making a positive impact in changing the lives and evangelizing women who by their economic circumstances are trapped in jobs in bars, karaoke bars, and nightclubs that often put them at risk for being exploited and trapped into prostitution etc.
Thank you for your faithful prayers, encouragement, and support during this term. We believe that God will use our time in Japan for his glory.