Record Family Cambodia Update (Urgent Prayer Request)

…But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught…. 2 Timothy 3:12-17 NLT

Urgent Prayer Request:muslim convert _Fotor

Darryl has been asked to advise, equip, and train the leaders (missionaries and Cambodian pastors) of a group of 14 churches which were planted by the Wesleyans but are now independent.  Recently, seven of their church members and one evangelist have converted to a Korea-based cult operating here in Cambodia.  One more Bible school student has also recently converted to Islam.  There are reports that other churches of various denominations have also been losing their flock to this same Korea-based cult.

The leaders of these churches are concerned that more pastors, members, and leaders will be taken into this cult, and other religions, because they aren’t equipped to be confident in the truth of Christianity (beyond experience, emotions, and a limited knowledge of the Bible) much less defend their faith in the face of trained cultists.   In addition to making sure that they get the books, videos, and other materials that they need to vaccinate their people Darryl will start intensive apologetics training sessions at our house with these leaders next week (until our trip to the USA and then more to follow after our return).

  1. Please pray that as these leaders attempt to restore their wandering sheep that they won’t be deceived.
  2.  Please pray that they will get equipped so that they can vaccinate the rest of their group against cults or other religions.  
  3. Please pray that God will help the leaders of the other denominations, who have also lost their sheep to cults like these to unite on the foundation of essential Christian doctrine and present a united defense of the Truth and will better equip their flocks to be able to keep their faith and share it with confidence and joy.

Japanese Life Group Update:

International Japanese Christian Group
International Japanese Christian Group

Last time, we mentioned an elderly Japanese man that Kayo and other Japanese missionaries were “re-evangelizing.”  This man is well on the path to developing a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ as his Savior (if he hasn’t already).  We are moving slowly with him, because he made a profession of faith as a child and was baptized but there was little/no fruit until now.  Now, this man is motivated to allow Christ to change his life, and he wants to share his limited knowledge of God’s Word, with other elderly Japanese men living in Cambodia (this is a real unreached people group : ) ).

God has also been bringing a variety of people to the group (some as visitors some continue on).  In the past month in addition to Japanese, Americans, and Koreans, we have had Korean/Chinese/Japanese family,  a Ghana/Japanese family, and a Cambodian/French man attend the group.  This is surprising for us because we have not made any attempts to advertise the group since last December but people are finding the old flyers etc. and just showing up.

International Fishers Update:

church planting class
church planting class

In the beginning of April, Darryl taught an (6 hours spread over two days) intensive Christian apologetics workshop to eight students of the Family of Faith Cambodia Church’s church planter training program and he also preached on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at this Church’s Easter Service.  As missionaries, we often feel like we are constantly pouring lighter fluid and lighting matches in an attempt to light the fires of Christianity on the charcoal of Cambodia.  Now, it is clear that the charcoal is burning on its own (not just the lighter fluid).   For the first time, in the past 15 years, we are gaining confidence that God is preparing a great revival in Cambodia (which is why the cults are showing up to plant tares among the wheat in the softened soil).

Later, Darryl was able to produce two videos:  God’s Technology vs. Human Technology and DNA: God is the Author of Life in Spanish (click here to view/download) .   Advancing computer/Internet technology made it possible for Darryl’s friend Fernando (a Guatemalan living in Japan) to translate and record the soundtrack for these videos.  Darryl (in Cambodia) was able to combine this with photos from Pastor Kevin (an American in Japan), Graphics from Donna (in the USA) and music from Pastor Bob (in the USA).

Also, because of the recent onslaught of criticism and attacks against Christianity from cultural and political leaders, Darryl also felt led to combine his skills as a Christian Apologist with his background in Political Science to analyze and defend against these attacks in real-time.  You are invited to read this English-language blog called Apologist In Exile.

Sender’s Encouragement Trip

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Looking forward to connecting with as many of our precious senders in the USA as possible.  Please contact darryl@sgwm.com

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

 

Record Family’s Home Country Encouragement Trip: USA June 12-August 11

Family RoofFor I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord.  When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. . . .For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike.  So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News.  Romans 1:11-17 NLT

Home Country Encouragement Trip June 12-August 11

Our family (Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin) are “eager to come to you in”….Southern California and Southeast Missouri.  We have been so blessed in our lives in Cambodia (housing, security, ministries, and even better than expected weather), that this time, Lord willing, we will not need to come the the USA to rest and recharge but instead we hope to be able to encourage and equip our brothers and sisters in the USA who are coming under increasing pressure and opposition.

Here are the key dates of our trip (please mark your calendar).

  • June 12 Arrive in California
  • June 23 Fly to Missouri 
  • July 14  Return to California
  • August 11 Return to Cambodia

While we have been experiencing a new openness in ministries in Cambodia, as if the spiritual oppression is lifting, we sense that our senders in America are struggling.   When things were extremely difficult in Cambodia, we often returned to the USA in need of physical, spiritual, and emotional recharging, but now it seems that God is calling us to use this trip to encourage our senders.   As the USA becomes more and more unstable (and potentially hostile) politically, economically, and even environmentally, we find that our experiences, training, and perspectives as missionaries with contacts and indirect ministries in closed countries become more and more applicable to the future of Christianity in the USA.

Even though Christians in the USA will need to “be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves,” Matthew 10: 5-31 NLT there is reason to be encouraged.  In China Christians were only, “4 million before 1949 (3 million Catholics and 1 million Protestants)” before the communist government expelled the missionaries and shut down religious freedom.  Now there are 100 million Christians and only 85 million Communist Party Members.  Meanwhile Christianity has shrunk in number and weakened in impact in the “Christian” nations of the west.   I (Darryl) believe that it is time for Christians in the USA to start learning from Christians in non-Christian and anti-Christian countries.

So, during this trip, we would like as many opportunities as possible to share our perspectives as missionaries to help as many American Christians to learn how to see their families, neighborhoods, campuses, and workplaces as mission fields.  Even though China expelled the official missionaries in 1949, since then, there have been a lot of unofficial missionaries who are working in educational institutions and businesses.  The ironic thing is that the pre-1949 missionaries were easily trapped in their churches while the more recent Christian “workers” have been welcomed into and even have received part or all of their funding from public educational institutions.  While university professors in the USA have turned many young people away from Christianity, Christian professors in China have pointed many young people to Christ.  As missionaries applied the lessons learned from China, to places like Cambodia and so now we sense that Cambodia is on the verge of a major spiritual awakening.

We really desire that God will open doors for us to serve, encourage, and fellowship with as many people as possible (as individuals, families, or groups).   Please e-mail darryl@sgwm.com with your contact information and your ideas of how, when, and where we can can minister to you and come alongside you as we minister to the USA together with you.  Sometimes people are afraid to spend time with missionaries because they fear that God will call them to be missionaries to Cambodia (or Africa), but we sense that God is much more likely to send them as missionaries to California and the midwest. ; )  Be aware that there will be spiritual opposition to contacting and connecting with us.  The enemy will try to distract, discourage, or even make you fearful, but we know that God fear isn’t from God.  Great journeys of faith begin with one baby-step and God has always carried us the rest of the way.

There are many exciting things to share with you about what God is doing in Cambodia, but if I write it all down now, this message will get too long for you to read.  Lord willing, I will send you our regular update next week.

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

 

Record Family in Cambodia Update

Go and make disciples of all the nations….Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. Matthew 28:19-20

Kayo doing "New Believer's Course" with Mr. Iwamoto.
Kayo doing a “New Believer’s Course” with a 76 year old Japanese Man.

The Importance of Christian Foundations

Sometimes we Christians are so eager to teach what we think are the “deeper things” (meat or denominational distinctives  etc. etc.) of God’s Word that we skip over the essential Christian foundations (milk) that are provide the basis for all other doctrines and spiritual development.   For example, in the Japanese Life Group Ministry, Kayo and another Japanese missionary are doing a “New Believer’s Course” with a 76 year old Japanese man who was evangelized and baptized as a child by a missionary in Japan.  He either wasn’t completely evangelized to the point that he could make a genuine commitment to Christ or he wasn’t sufficiently discipled so that he could live for Christ, because he admits that he hasn’t been living for Christ since being baptized as a child.  I’m sure that the missionary wrote a glowing report about a fruitful ministry in Japan but the fruit never grew.  We praise God for bringing this man back to Himself and giving him one more chance to really know Christ and live for Him during the last years of his life.  Please pray for this man that he will come to truly know Christ as his personal savior and that he will be able to live for Christ in the final years of his life.

Cambodia Bible Institute Apologetics Class
Cambodia Bible Institute Apologetics Class

Darryl taught the Christian Apologetics Class at Cambodia Bible Institute (sponsored by the Assemblies of God) from March 10-20.  Once again, he had the students give their final presentations on video.  The topics the students chose were (These Cambodian language videos are available at http://www.internationalfishers.com/cbi-2015.html  )

  • Evidence that God Created the Universe
  • Prophecies Confirm That the Bible is God’s Word
  • Jesus Christ is God
  • Evidence that Jesus Christ Rose From the Dead
  • Jesus Christ is the Only Path to Salvation
  • If God is Good Why Do Evil and Pain Exist?
  • If God is Love Why Do People Go To Hell?
  • What About Those Who Never Heard About Jesus? 

It is very important that these future pastors and Christian leaders are able to effectively teach and defend these (and other) foundational truths of Christianity so that they will be able to transform their culture to Christ, keep the next generation of Christians strong in the faith, and that they will not compromise their faith in the face of persecution.

I believe that the reason that the Christian denominations are compromising their faith in front of political correct movements and that Christians are so vulnerable to attacks in the USA is because the Church has often failed to defend the truth of God’s word in a logical, persuasive, and winsome manner.  (see http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/26/the-three-key-components-that-lead-atheists-and-agnostics-to-reject-gods-existence/ )  Our calling as Christians and missionaries is to help people gain or regain their confidence that God’s word is true so that they will be able to 1. maintain their faith in societies that  are increasingly anti-Christian 2. confidently and effectively evangelize and disciple others around them. 3. confidently and effectively communicate God’s truth as they transform their culture.

Please continue to pray for us and partner with us as God leads and empowers you.  We look forward to seeing as many of our partners in the USA this summer. Feel free to e-mail us at darryl@sgwm.com.  We always are happy to hear from you.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Quick Record Family Cambodia Missions Update

We can’t believe that it is March already and we will be coming to the USA (California June 13-25 and Missouri June 25-July 13) this summer!  We really hope to connect with as many people (as individuals, families, or groups) during this very precious time that we have.  Please e-mail darryl@sgwm.com to help us updated contact information and to start the process of organizing our schedule.  There is so much to do between now and then, but we trust that God will give us the time, energy.

Lights!, Camera, Action:  Screen Test at CPTI

Christian Apologetics Class at CPTI.
Christian Apologetics Class at CPTI.
Apologetics Students prepare for their video presentations.
Apologetics Students prepare for their video presentations.

The Christian Apologetics Class at Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute ended on February 12.  Instead of a standard exam the students prepared Christian Apologetics presentations, which Darryl video-recorded, produced, and posted at http://www.internationalfishers.com/cpti-2015.html and https://www.facebook.com/InternationalFishers/videos .  This was Darryl’s first time to use his video camera, lights, and microphone for ministry videos.  The students said they learned more because they had to prepare for the presentations.

Darryl will also be teaching an intensive 30 hour class at the Cambodia Bible Institute between March 10-20.  Lord willing, he will be able to video these students’ presentations as well.

Family Update:

Please continue to pray for our family’s health and strength.  It is starting into the hot season and our ministries, (International Fishers, Kayo’s Worship Team, Japanese Life Group,) and Benjamin’s school all need special prayer cover.

Please pray for our upcoming time in the USA.  It is very important that we deepen our roots there so that we can continue God’s work in Cambodia.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Cambodia Missions Update: Record Family

But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. Matthew 20: 25-27 NLT

Meaningful Leadership Moment: “You are my cow manure!”

Leadership Tree:  Leaders are roots mentors are fertilizer.
Servant Leadership Tree: Leaders are roots mentors are fertilizer. (Phany’s Notes)

Darryl has been meeting with Phany for several weeks now to coach him on Christian leadership. A few weeks ago, Darryl illustrated the Biblical model for servant-leadership as a tree in which the leaders become the roots of the tree and other followers take various roles as the trunk, branches, leaves, or fruit. The taller a tree grows it must deepen its roots to match its height or it risks being blown over by the winds. In this model the leaders PhanyCD_Fotorserve the followers instead of use the followers to serve themselves. This is completely opposite from the world’s view of leadership in which the leader rides on the top of the pyramid (corporate organizational chart) and the followers exist to serve the leader.

Biblical servant leaders like Phany, as the co-founder and director of Kone Kmeng children’s ministry must (as the roots) draw their spiritual and emotional nourishment from the soil (God) and then pass that nourishment on to their followers. The followers as leaves and branches of the tree also collect the energy from the sun and combine it with the nutrients from soil to make the tree grow. Darryl emphasized that unless leaders are diligent in drawing the nutrients from the soil that they will burn-out and become dry if they give more of their spiritual and emotional strength than they are taking in from God. Without thinking it through, Darryl told Phany that when trees are young they often need some fertilizer in order to give them a boost and to help them grow deeper into the soil where they can draw nutrients directly. At that moment, Phany’s eyes lit up, “You are my cow manure (fertilizer).” Despite the comedy of this statement, it is so accurate that it stuck. Darryl was part of the team of English teachers who evangelized and discipled Phany beginning in 2000. Since then, Darryl has been an informal mentor/ coach/ spiritual older brother to Phany so he has been serving as Phany’s “cow manure”. Leaders who mentor other leaders must often take the role of fertilizer for them so that they in turn serve as fertilizer for others. Darryl is also thankful for those who have served as fertilizer (coaches and mentors etc.) for him.

Kone Kmeng Organization’s Annual Pastor’s Conference: “Should we call you teacher or cow manure?” 522846_312258685508643_796882916_n
A few days later Kone Kmeng hosted their yearly conference for around 125 pastors and church leaders who partner with the organization to develop ministries to children who are at risk of child labor or being sold as child KKC2015_Fotorprostitutes and their families. Many of these children’s parents leave the children with relatives or friends while one or both parents go to work in Thailand or Vietnam for months or even years at a time, leaving the children alone and vulnerable. Phany shared Darryl’s servant-leadership tree/cow manure illustration and told all of the pastors that Darryl was his mentor (cow manure).

When Darryl came to the conference to lead a devotions, the pastors and Kone Kmeng staff members, thought it was great that Darryl referred to himself as cow manure. Normally in those situations, the staff would refer to Darryl as “lok kru” (teacher) and they would also give the same title to Phany, (the organizational director). This time, in a humorous attempt to give Darryl additional respect as Phany’s mentor, one of the Kone Kmeng staff members asked Darryl, “should we call you teacher or cow manure?” This comical story is a precious milestone for Darryl because in Cambodian culture the leaders tend to “lord it over” the followers, sadly this is true in many churches as well. Darryl has been working with these young Cambodian leaders to really become servant-leaders despite their cultural background. Having all of these leaders to begin to aspire to be “cow manure” (mentors) for others instead of being the top of the pyramid really is a breakthrough.

International Fishers Update: Equipping Hundreds of People to Share the Gospel with Thousands
IF made some progress in January. First, it was great to be able to share around 158 CDs full of videos and MP3 apologetics recordings from www.internationalfishers.com/khmer with the pastors, staff, and other leaders at the conference. Please pray that each one who received the CD will us the materials to share the Gospel with their family and friends and that they will also share the resources with others in their churches to so that they in turn can share the Gospel with their co-workers, classmates, friends, and family members who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as theri personal savior.

In addition God brought unexpected offers for help and partnership in order to encourage and help move International Fishers toward the long-term vision of becoming a viable multi-language Christian apologetics media ministry that can equip many Christians in Cambodia and in other nations to share the Gospel in their own languages, families, and communities.

Japanese Ministry Update:
The weekly Japanese service completed two full months before needing to be re-organized. During those two months they group attempted to have a typical church service with worship and preaching. There were some blessings but there was also heavy spiritual opposition, sicknesses, fatigue, and other stresses (Japanese tend to very perfectionistic and sometimes work too hard). The Japanese missionary who was preaching weekly felt burned out so he needed to step back out of that role so that he could concentrate on his regular ministries at his children’s

Kayo and Hyun (a Korean who speaks Japanese fluently) sharing the Gospel with Kayo's mother.
Kayo and Hyun (a Korean who speaks Japanese fluently) sharing the Gospel with Kayo’s mother.” 

home.  He may try to start a Japanese church service at that location in the future. Meanwhile, Kayo and Darryl will continue the weekly meetings which are co-sponsored by the international church and hosted at they Korean church down the street from our house. In this new chapter the group will function more like a cell group than a church service. This format will help to foster relationships in the group and will also reduce the stress and expectations of calling it a “church service.”

Kayo's parents and Mr. Yamazaki, who attends the Japanese Life Group.
Kayo’s parents and Mr. Yamazaki, who attends the Japanese Life Group.c “church service.”

Kayo’s parents visited us from Japan and they attended the first meeting in the Life Group format. It was very good for them and they could have some meaningful conversations with Korean Christians who speak Japanese and other Japanese as well.

Family Pray Request:

Please pray for our health. Since December at least one (sometimes two

Benjamin with his Japanese-American buddies at the Life Group
Benjamin with his Japanese-American buddies at the Life Group

or all three) member of our family has been sick with some minor illness (viruses, bronchitis, food poisoning etc. etc.). This has been exhausting and discouraging. Also, please pray for us to be able to make meaningful connections in the USA so that we can have a good schedule for our home assignment to the USA in June and July.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin