So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 1 Corinthians 3:7-8
Praises from the Steep Path
In my last post I shared about my recent struggle with exhaustion and vision of a steep path. God has been carrying us up the path! One of the biggest tests of faith was our finances. Between April and June we have been blessed with many large one-time donations. These donations have put our mission accounts back in the black. This means that once again we have sufficient financial reserves for things like emergency air travel, medical expenses not covered by insurance, ministry projects and equipment, and other unexpected expenses (if our car/computer/refrigerator breaks down etc.). It is really encouraging because during the time God was challenging me to increase my faith and trust in Him, His provisions were increasing as well.
We have also seen some encouraging signs that our monthly/repeat donations may also be increasing. This is really important because our monthly expenses are increasing as well. For example, Benjamin’s preschool tuition and transportation was around $370 per month last year, which was a financial stretch. Next year they will be around $500 per month as he enters kindergarten. Other monthly expenses such as health insurance etc. are likely to increase as well. From our experience of God’s faithfulness and our renewed sense of calling to continue our mission work in Cambodia, we trust that He will provide for our monthly needs as well.
Trinity Institute Update: Moratorium on New Universities
When I returned to Cambodia I was informed that during the time that I was in Japan the Minister of Education had announced that no new universities will be allowed to register with the government until further notice. This move is part of a move to reform the education system in Cambodia in which degrees, diplomas, and certificates issued by Cambodian universities are not recognized internationally and have limited value locally. While the broader reforms are positive, this new rule has caused TIC to change many of our plans so that we can continue to develop and grow until the government starts allowing new universities to register again.
On a positive side of things, the school was able to function and launch English and Leadership classes while I was in Japan. Even though Mr. Kimhong, our only administrative staff member, had to quit so that he could take a better paying job, God quickly provided a new administrative staff member, Mr. Hak. In addition, Andrew and Josephine Kwong, who have started and managed other schools, have more time available to devote to TIC. They have the experience, background, and vision to really take TIC to the next level.
Since returning to Cambodia, I have felt a lack of peace about my future role in TIC especially because I felt torn between my work at TIC and International Fishers. This week, I finally realized that God was calling me to make some major changes. In December, 2010, I felt led to help Andrew (Dr. Kwong) start a Christian institute of some kind. Since then, I have been spending most of my time being obedient to that calling. I realize now that, that phase of my calling is complete. Trinity Institute has started! It was only a vision then but now it exists, even though it is small. God is calling me to have the time, energy, strength, and flexibility to really launch International Fishers. As a result, I will be stepping down as Vice President, Language Department Coordinator, and all other administrative duties as of July 15. I will continue to serve as a board member where I will focus my work on revising the constitution, bylaws, and polices to match the new organizational changes are coming soon. There are many exciting plans that are in the works that I look forward to sharing in later posts. I am more optimistic about the future of TIC now than ever before!
Since returning to Cambodia, I was able to take a few hours to make Spanish language versions of my oldest videos Life: Creation or Chance and Jesus Christ: History or Fiction. You may wonder, “How/why are you making Spanish videos in Cambodia? “ I minored in Spanish in college and so when I was attending CC La Mirada I often attended the Spanish service. While visiting California last December I met Pastor Gustavo and he said that he was looking for apologetics materials in Spanish. I suggested making short Spanish language videos. I sent the church some video scripts in English. They translated the scripts and recorded them in Spanish and sent them back to me through the Internet. I used the Spanish audio to sync with my existing videos. You can see the videos at www.vimeo.com/internationalfishers www.vimeo.com/99210247 and www. vimeo.com/99211184 or www.facebook.com/internationalfishers Lord willing, we plan to make the Khmer version of the DNA: God’s Living Software in July and start working on God’s Technology: Birds vs. Airplanes.
We visited Kampong Chhnang last weekend and spoke at Toul Ksaich Church. It was encouraging to see that Pastor Moeun has been carefully reading and highlighting the book Christianity: Reasons for Faith and then teaching his church members the evidence from the book. Lord willing, we will be able to publish an English-only version of this book as a resource for missionaries to other countries.
We are thankful for all of our co-laborers who share in God’s work through us in Cambodia through prayer, investment, and encouragement.
In Christ’s Love,
Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin Record