“Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.” Luke 1:64
There have been several months that Darryl has only been able speak and write a little since his mental breakdown/burn out around Christmas 2016 caused by long term stress of bearing various kinds of ministry responsibilities over nearly ten years of our service in Cambodia as a family. Darryl finished teaching classes on a topic of Christian apologetics at two Bible schools in the early part of December. The Lord blessed those classes and beautiful fruit came forth but it seems his mental capacity was poured out as he finished teaching an intensive Christian apologetics class.
Last week we were praying together, tearing down some dark spiritual strongholds which have been hindering Darryl from being all that God designed him to be… and Darryl sensed God restored his ability to communicate. We know that there are no coincidences with God but we as a couple have been reading Luke 1. When Zechariah could speak again, he praised God, Darryl wants that to be true for him too!
We have much to be thankful for despite the discouragements about whether or not our ministries were worthwhile. One of Darryl former students posted this encouragement on the International Fishers Facebook page:
I thank you lecturer Darryl for your practical teaching. It was such a powerful teaching you gave to me at CBI. I made some mistakes there at that time on my presentation, but because of it, I have a better preparation of this kind of message to present to my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ in my area and to my beloved people every time I have a chance to share the gospel. I pray that your biblical materials continue to bless our students in Cambodia.
USA Furlough July 7, 2016-March 25, 2017 +/-
With much prayers, we have discerned that God is leading us through a season of Sabbatical. As a matter of fact, our capacity to achieve external ministry accomplishments has been greatly diminished since the beginning of this year; on the other hand, it has been been a season of spiritual growth in each member of our family including Benjamin. Both Darryl and Kayo (along with other missionary colleagues in Cambodia who have seen and helped us go through this time of weakness and brokenness) still have a clear sense that God’s calling for our family to serve in Cambodia as long term missionaries is not over yet. Nevertheless, Darryl is in need of higher level of medical care that is not available here and also will be able to use some rest and therapy to work things through. In a mean while, Kayo will be able to renew her ten years Green Card that is about to expire. We used to think that we would only take 2-3 months furlough each year but just like many other long term missionaries, we finally seem to need nearly a year long furlough.
As is expressed in the Bible, Jewish concept of “a day” starts from the sunset. For example, the Sabbath day starts from Friday evening right after the sunset and ends at sunset on Saturday. It is interesting that people start their “day” by resting and finishing up their day by working to accomplish tasks. Our family currently is learning how to abide in Christ and rest in His presence. We’ve spent a lot of time in prayers; reading some Christian books, working through them; spending extra time and resources to strengthen our marriage and family relationships; searching, finding and solidifying our Christian identity as children of God; etc; thus, “resting” in God and enjoying our Sabbatical season with Him. Our hope is that as we go through the rest of this Sabbatical season in the US, God will restore, equip, and prepare us to enter into another season of serving in Cambodia with much bigger and better capacity to bring His kingdom on earth with joy in 2017.
In Christ’s Hands,
Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin