“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 NLT
International Fishers: The Ends of the Earth From Our Guest Room
My home-office doesn’t have air conditioning, so in order to give my new computer a fighting chance, I work in our guest room most of the time. Here are some opportunities that God has brought to the International Fisher’s guest room/office/studio during the past month.
God opened the door for Mrs. Samoeun Intal, the founder of FEBC’s Family 99.5 FM radio station to record the Khmer audio for DNA: God is the Author of Life. Samoeun was the one who invited me to write scripts for the Anchors of Faith radio program a couple of years ago.
- After producing the video, on July 15th, I posted it on vimeo, youtube, and Facebook’s International Fishers Page. You can view it in Khmer or English . I was totally amazed (shocked) at the response! The total reach of the IF page was 4,200 people between July 15 and 21! Between July 21 and 27
it reached 1,700 people for a maximum total reach of 5,900 people in less than two weeks! The page was viewed by people from 42 nations including 4 from Saudia Arabia and 1 from Israel!
- I was also able to share the DNA video and all my other Khmer and English videos with Gateway Cafe Ministries. Gateway was the form location of Trinity Institute to share with their students. I have also shared my videos with Cambodians living in the USA so those videos will begin to be used for evangelism and passed from person to person.
- I have also had some opportunities to share my videos in Spanish: Life: Creation or Chance and Jesus Christ: History or Fiction? with some of my Spanish speaking friends in the USA and Mexico.
- As if that weren’t enough, God gave me the opportunity to serve as apologetics tech support/ghost writer for a missionary to a closed country in the Middle East. This missionary, who has to operate under an alias because of death threats was answering a Muslim man’s questions about the evidence for the New Testament and why Christians don’t have dietary restrictions via e-mail.
It is like a dream come true. I can only imagine the actual and potential reach of International Fishers, especially as more and more Cambodians and other language groups around the world gain access to high speed Internet. The younger generation is very open to video-tracts (short evangelistic videos) in their own languages. The great thing is that video-tracts very inexpensive to make and distribute when compared to paper tracts, books, radio programs, or television.
I am also thankful that God has provided a new video camera through some Christians in Hiroshima, Japan. This video camera has a jack for a microphone which (once I get one) will allow me to use live audio and record interviews in HD. This camera packs a big punch despite being about the size of a soda can! Its small size will allow me to film without attracting too much attention and also will be less likely to be snatched from my hand by thieves.
Trinity Institute: My Final Update
In my last post, I mentioned that I had resigned as Vice President of Trinity Institute. I had hoped that I would be able to continue to serve as a board member. On July 15th, I felt God leading me to step down as a board member as well. Since returning from Japan and June, I no longer felt God empowering me to work with TIC as a result, the work became increasingly stressful and I began to feel burned out. Stepping down as VP relieved some of the stress but not all of it. The stress of TIC has often been so great that it has made it difficult to focus on International Fishers. In many ways, I felt like I was spread too thin and I was being pulled in too many directions to be effective any anything. I came to realize that “burn-out” can be a sign that we are doing more than God is asking or empowering us to do.
Both of my fathers (earthly and heavenly) both reminded me that it was God’s calling for me to start International Fishers back in 2003 has led me to be a missionary in Cambodia since 2007. While waiting for the doors to open to pursue International Fishers full-time, I have done my best to be faithful with the opportunities. God has used everything I have been involved in so far (teaching English, helping the Christians in Kampong Chhnang, helping three different Bible Schools, authoring and co-authoring 2 books, writing scripts for the radio station, and helping to launch Trinity Institute) to prepare the way for International Fishers.
I love Trinity Institute because I still believe in the vision and I believe that God wants to use it mightily in the future. If God empowers and calls me to return, I am willing to do so, but I sense that my work there is finished, at least for now. When I started with TIC three years ago I was the only one among the board or executives with any formal training in education (MA TESOL). Now the Academic Director and a new board member both have Master’s Degrees in Education and are highly experienced and gifted educators. They will be able to develop TIC to a level that I never could and I trust that God will raise up others to fill the gap as well.
It is a step of faith for me to leave a ministry that is easy to explain and justify to work on International Fishers, which is completely uncharted waters. Logically it doesn’t make sense, but God called me to step out of the boat and so I obeyed. Since I have started working full-time to develop International Fishers, I can say, for the first time in my life, I not only love what I do, I really enjoy it too! His yoke is easy!
Kayo’s Ministry Update
Kayo started hosting the monthly Japanese Life Group again. This month four Japanese attended. One of them is an elderly non-Christian Japanese man who was brought by his Cambodian Christian wife. Kayo also joined the worship team at ICA after taking a few months of during our time in Japan. She is scheduled to become one of the worship leaders in August.
Last week, Kayo flew to Thailand for two days of a Japanese Christian classical music outreach concert. She was able to continue the networking and laying the groundwork for this group of professional Christian musicians to come and offer a concert in Cambodia at some point in the future. The schedule for this November did not work but we trust that God will open up the timing and provide all of the logistics at the right time.
Benjamin has been home for summer vacation since we returned from Japan. He will start kindergarten on August 11. Last week he attended his first Vacation Bible School at International Christian Assembly.