Divine Detours and the Message of Christmas
“A priest…passed by. A levite…passed by. A Samaritan….saw the man, he felt sorry for him. He went to him, poured olive oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them.” Luke 1o:25-26
It is easy to overlook the powerful impact this passage can have on our lives and ministries if we only think of it as, “a Bible story for children.” I’m sure the Priest and Levite were both good, upstanding members of their communities. I’m sure they were on their way to do something, “important.” But, by failing to stop and show compassion, they missed an opportunity to do the most important thing. It is good to be goal-oriented but we have to remember that our highest goal is to, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (Leviticus 19:18) (Luke 10:27). If this is our highest goal, then we will be able to keep our eyes open for the special opportunities that God places along our paths to be the gloves that Jesus wears as He touches the lost and broken through us. This is the essence of the Christmas Message: “The Word became a human being. He made His home with us. We have seen His glory.” (John 1:14a) Jesus did not allow His Divinity to prevent Him from taking on Humanity. Likewise, the Good Samaritan did not allow his Ethnicity to be an excuse to avoid his duty to Humanity. Therefore, we cannot make any similar excuses (socio-economic, political, or racial etc.) for failing to reflect God’s love for our neighbors in the whole world. As we love God with all of our lives and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we are reflecting the glory of Jesus Christ who was born to make His home with us and in us and He will touch others through us. Merry CHRISTmas!
Japanese Ministry: The First Weekly Service
Kayo and her team launched the first weekly Japanese service on Saturday, November 29 (9am-10:30am). The service, which is sponsored by the International Christian Assembly’s Life Group Ministry is being hosted by the Korean Methodist Church in Phnom Penh, located one block from our house. The Methodist Church’s pastor’s wife speaks Japanese fluently, one Japanese man attends the church, and some of the Korean members speak Japanese fluently. Kayo played the piano to lead the worship time and Taka, a Japanese missionary to Cambodia (his wife is American-from Missouri) preached. Taka was saved as a young man in Cambodia while he was here serving as a volunteer. Twelve attended including Darryl and Benjamin, one Cambodian, three Koreans, and six Japanese).
International Fishers Update
Teaching Apologetics at CPTI: Darryl was unexpectedly invited to teach Christian Apologetics at the Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute for the second year in a row. His class began on November 27 and will run until the beginning of February. This time he only has ten Master of Divinity Students instead of 39 from all levels so the class is held in a small air conditioned classroom which is nice. This time, Darryl is teaching around 80% of the class in Khmer with one of the students standing by to step in and translate when Darryl is unable to explain complex concepts from science, history, mathematics, or theology which are all related to apologetics. Darryl really wasn’t expecting to teach more but God sometimes places unexpected opportunities in our paths.
Politics and the Bible Coaching: Another unexpected opportunity is that Phany, Darryl’s long time friend asked him to help him understand the relationship between the Bible and politics. Phany has had some burden to make an impact on Cambodian politics for several years now and he senses that God wants him to get prepared for whatever may come. For a Christian to engage in the political system in any nation without compromising their faith or placing themselves and other Christians at risk is a major challenge. In Cambodia the challenges are multiplied! First of all, please pray for God’s guidance and protection over Phany and his family as he seeks to be obedient to God’s call in this area of his life. Second, please pray for Darryl to have God’s wisdom, discernment, and sensitivity to be able to equip Phany from his background in Political Science and Apologetics with what Phany really needs to bring God’s love to his culture.
When Phany was a boy, his job was to watch his family’s cows. Sometimes when he was thirsty he would drink the water that collected in footprints of the cows. One night he had a dream that he would be in his village speaking English with a white man. He rode his bicycle two hours (one-hour each way) for a one hour English lesson. Later when he came to the capital city for work he met other English teachers in Darryl’s team and through the prayers and influence of the team; Phany, his relatives, and many in his village became Christian. He went on to found Kone-Kmeng (http://www.kone-kmeng.org) now is helping around 100 churches in rural Cambodia develop ministries to minister the children (around 10,000 total by now) in their neighborhoods who are most at risk of being sold into child prostitutes or labor. Some of those children are now coming to the capital as university students and are living in Kone Kmeng’s dormitory. If God can bring Phany to this level by his early thirties, HE may bring Phany to even more things later.
In their first session on November 28, Darryl and Phany discussed how the belief in God as the Creator and the correct understanding of Human’s Image of God relates to morality, human rights, abortion, euthanasia, the definition of marriage, and environmental management.
International Fishers Media Update: www.internationalfishers.com/khmer continues to grow in popularity. Darryl was able to make and post a new video in English and Khmer entitled Jesus Christ the Only Rescuer. This video answers the question is faith in Jesus Christ the only way to be saved? It also answers the common objection to the Biblical answer (Yes) by asking the question: If you were drowning and only one lifeguard came to save you, would you ask for more options?
In addition, Darryl was able to give out around 86 CDs full of this video, other videos, and the Truth Talks MP3s at the Evangelical Fellowship of Cambodia conference, to CPTI students, and to students at the Cambodia Bible Institute (AoG school, where Darryl taught two years ago, they may be have another class in the next year or so).
Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and partnership. We will have a team from Calvary Chapel La Mirada visiting and working with us from December 9-16. Please pray that God will bless and use that time for His greatest glory.
In Christ’s Love,
Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin