Record Family Cambodia Missions Update: Be Still and Know…

Wed nite w Records“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 NLT

Last month, I mentioned that my family and I were feeling very discouraged and exhausted despite (or perhaps) because of many breakthroughs in ministry.  Since that time, God has given us some space and time to “be still and know” Him better.  When a tree grows taller the pressure of the winds can begin to tear at its roots and can threaten to topple the tree.  It is during these times that the tree must grow deeper roots before it can grow taller or it will fall over as a result of its own “success”.  Likewise, my family and I have seen a lot of upward and outward growth in our ministries so God has been calling us to grow deeper roots into Him through repentance, reconciliation, and growing deeper in the Word and prayer.  This process has been painful but we can now say that it is, worth the pain.

Well intentioned Christians often say cliches like, “Where God guides, He provides.”  However for those who are going through a time where God’s provision has not yet arrived, these truisms may cause them to doubt their calling, “If God isn’t providing is He still guiding?”  As many of you know my family and I have been going through some serious financial challenges, partly due to the exchange rate between the Japanese Yen and US Dollar, which we will share in future posts.  It is during trials like these that it is easy to question our calling to ministry in general and mission in Cambodia.

A few weeks ago, I (Darryl) went to the altar at the International Church with many others who were seeking God’s direction for our lives.  There, I received a renewed sense of calling, “Take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people you will never meet, in places you will never go, in languages you will never speak.”  This describes the calling that God has given me toward apologetics media ministry and for many years I have sensed that God was calling me not just to minister in Cambodia but to many other nations as well.  Recently I have noticed that God has been bringing opportunities to share my materials in other languages and nations as well, including closed countries.

Internationalfishers.com One Year Update:

September 15-October 15th 3,123 Page Views
September 15-October 15th 3,123 Page Views
September 15th to October 15th 644 Unique Visitors.
September 15th to October 15th 644 Unique Visitors.

By faith, I renewed www.internationalfishers.com for another year.  Allow me to share some stats that are encouraging.  Between September 15th and October 15th, 644 different people visited the website and they in turn clicked on a total of 3,123 different posts, videos, and audio recordings.  This is a fairly typical month.  Given my personal limitations during the past month there is no way that I could have ministered to 644 people directly, but the website made it possible for me to minister people I will never meet, in places I will never go.  As God opens the doors for new languages, then eventually, this ministry may be done in languages that I will never speak.  Even though right now, I don’t know how this will take place–It seems impossible. So, I can only trust God who will bring about His perfect will in His perfect time, in His perfect way.

Other Ministries

Kayo continues leading the Japanese Life Group ministry and God has been using the Alpha Course videos to strengthen the faith of the new believers.  Please pray for the non-Christians who started attending, various obstacles have arisen that have prevented them from attending.  Please pray for them.  She also has been quite involved in the worship team at the International Church and in helping prepare the way for other Japanese Christian musicians to minister in Cambodia in the future.

Christian Apologetics Classes 

On October 23, Darryl will resume his third round of teaching Christian Apologetics at the Cambodia Presbyterian Theological Institute.  Please pray for the strength and wisdom to be able to equip these pastors and church leaders to “Always be ready to give a reason for the Hope that you have, with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15).   At the end of the class the students will give video presentations giving evidence for the Truth of God’s Word.

Please pray for our strength, wisdom, peace, and unity during this time.  We are in the process of making some very important decisions which will impact our lives, family, and ministries for many years to come.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin Record

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 

Record Family Cambodia Update: God’s Runway

Wed nite w Records“I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” (John 4:38 NLT)

Always Missionaries:  At Home, On the Internet, and On TV.

We had a blessed time in the USA.  In addition to being blessed by our senders,

Darryl on the "He Is the Reason" radio program.
Darryl on the “He Is the Reason” radio program.

we also were able to encourage and challenge the Body there.  In addition to typical, “home assignment” activities God opened the doors to do some, mission work.  Darryl was interviewed by Pastor Arnold Gonzalez on his weekly radio program, “He Is the Reason,” on KTBN an internet based radio station with that has a global audience, especially those in closed countries.  You Picture1can listen to the interview and Cambodia update here.  In addition, Darryl was invited to teach two one-hour apologetics sessions on Songkuem TV, a Cambodian Christian television ministry that broadcasts Cambodian language sermons over local cable television stations to Cambodian immigrants in the USA.  Darryl taught on “Evidence for the Creator” and “Evidence for the Resurrection.”  Pastor Sonly, a Cambodian-American pastor translated.  This was the first time anyone has taught about the evidence for the truth of Christianity on Cambodian-Christian television in the US (or anywhere).

Back to Cambodia

11898683_10204475637722488_1335683599571026193_nOne week after returning to Cambodia,

while we were still recovering from jet-lag, we hosted a mission-exposure team from Tokyo and Kansai, Japan.  At the same time, the Lopez family came from Hiroshima, Japan to visit Ryoken, their eldest son, who came to Cambodia to study English and gain work experience.  During our time in the USA Matt, a

Ryoken's baptism, with Matt, Nary (Matt's wife), and Fernando (Ryoken's dad).
Ryoken’s baptism, with Matt, Nary (Matt’s wife), and Fernando (Ryoken’s dad).

missionary from Cambodia and his wife, a Cambodian, took good care of him and lived out their faith before Ryoken every day.  This challenged Ryoken, to make a public profession of his childhood faith through baptism, during his family’s visit.  Ryoken has been staying in a hotel near his English school for three months.  A few weeks ago, God opened the door for Nary (Matt’s wife) to start a Sunday afternoon Christian meeting for the Cambodian staff.  One female staff member wanted11888077_10155936776275099_9077445203741669950_n to get baptized in the hotel pool.  This opened the door Ryoken to get baptized too.  Because of this woman’s and Ryoken’s testimonies, another male staff member said he wanted to accept Christ and be baptized too!  God is doing something amazing in Cambodia!

Japanese Life Group

Kayo re-started the Japanese Life Group ministry.  Now, they are going through the Alpha Course in Japanese on Sunday afternoons.  Three non-Christian Japanese are attending, three new/recently baptized Christians are attending, and one Korean-Christian lady who speaks Japanese are attending.  Kayo needs more help!

Kone Kmeng Board

Kone Kmeng board meeting
Kone Kmeng board meeting

Darryl has joined the Kone Kmeng (www.kone-kmeng.org) board.  Fifteen years ago, Jessica, Laura, and the rest of Darryl’s team of English teachers met Phany, a motorcycle taxi driver, who came to church to practice English, even though he thought, “Jesus was crazy because he taught, love your enemies.”  Jesus changed Phany’s heart, he accepted Christ, took the Gospel to his family and village.  In 2006, he started Kone Kmeng children’s ministry in his bedroom.  Today Kone Kmeng empowers more than 100 Cambodian churches to minister to more than 1,000 children who are risk of being sold slavery as prostitutes or laborers.

International Fishers Update

Pray that videos like these will be able to be made available in the Cambodian language.
Pray that videos like these will be able to be made available in the Cambodian language.

Darryl is getting ready for a booth at the Asian Christian Conference, September 17-20.  In addition, God is opening doors for Illustra-Media videos to be translated and dubbed in Khmer probably next year, in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse.  Please pray for wisdom and provision for this and other Christian video projects.  There is another project in the works but it is stalled due to fear of “political consequences.”  Please pray for a breakthrough!

God’s Runway

Despite (or more likely because of) these exciting ministry developments, our family has been experiencing crushing levels (but by God’s grace) of discouragement and spiritual oppression.  We often identify Scriptures like, 1 Kings 19:3, “I have had enough, LORD” or Psalms 22:1 “My God, my God why have you abandoned me?”  When we look at our strength and our resources, we feel like we are coming to the end of our road.  I woke up this morning with an image like this on my mind. Here is my attempt to capture it.

God's runway

Please pray for us so that we will have the faith and courage to fly with Jesus instead of crashing in despair.  By faith, we believe that God is doing something great but the spiritual climate is, “the darkest before the sunrise.”  Please continue to pray for our encouragement, strength, health, protection, and provision so that we will be able to continue to be strong in faith, on God’s runway.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin Record

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Record Family Cambodia/USA Missions Update (Body of Christ’s Joints)

…the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16b NASB

Joints in the Body of Christ:  New Connections

When we think about the “Body of Christ”, which is made up of all true followers of Christ, we often think about big denominations and organizations. In the Body of Christ, churches, denominations, and organizations are a lot like “bones.” They are big and strong but they often lack flexibility and when they try to work together it can be painful.  When bones come in direct contact, “arthritis” usually occurs.  It is becoming increasingly clear that God has called us (Darryl and Kayo) to be “joints.”  Healthy joints are made up of “ligaments” which hold the bones together and “cartilage” to cushion and smooth out the connections.   Even though we are small, we play a role in connecting the “bones” across national, cultural, language, denominational, and many other lines which can cause painful conflicts and divisions in the Body of Christ.

Kone Kmeng Children’s Ministry 522846_312258685508643_796882916_n

 Darryl has been close to Phany, the co-founder of PhanyCD_FotorKone Kmeng since 2000 when Darryl’s team of English teacher met and evangelized him.  Phany went on to take the Gospel to his family and village, and in 2006, he started this organization.  Darryl has been working behind the scenes as an adviser and mentor for Phany and this ministry for many years now.  Glenn, a missionary from the UK was forced to return to his home country due to health problems so he could not continue as a member of Kone Kmeng’s Advisory Board.  Phany invited Darryl to join the board in his place.   Kone Kmeng Children’s Ministry partners with more than 100 Cambodian churches that in turn minister to thousands of children who are vulnerable to human trafficking (being sold or kidnapped and forced into child labor or child prostitution).  Kone Kmeng is involved in many kinds of ministries including: education, micro business incubation, health training, well drilling, latrine building, cleft palate surgeries, and dormitories for high school and university students. They also distribute International Fishers videos and materials through their network of churches.

Samaritan’s Purse Cambodia  IMG_20150717_094923Before departing Cambodia in June, Darryl supplied videos, radio programs, and Power Points to SP Cambodia.  These resources will be loaded on tablets that SP Cambodia will distribute to many pastors across Cambodia.   Samaritan’s Purse has already published the Cambodian language version of The Lotus and The Cross by Ravi Zacharias.   Darryl will serve as a consultant on the project to produce a video based on the Cambodian version of this book.  Darryl is also working to help them connect with other media ministries so that they can produce more videos in the Cambodian language in the future.

Songkeum Khmer Christian Media Picture1 A few years ago,  while a short term team from CC La Mirada was preparing to come to Cambodia, they met Mary Anne a Cambodian-American who had a unique “joint in the Body of Christ” ministry which connects Cambodian-American Christians together by videoing Cambodian church services and broadcasting them on local cable channels and online.   In 2013, the team introduced us to Mary-Anne, her mother, and other Cambodian-American Christians.   The mother and daughter told us an amazing true story of their escape from the Khmer Rouge (Communist Cambodians as brutal as ISIS).   When the KR took control, many Cambodians who were in the Navy of the old regime, fled the country aboard warships.  Mary Anne, then a baby, and her family escaped on a stolen Cambodian Destroyer.

Mary Anne has invited Darryl to join the Board of Advisors of Songkeum TV as well.  Darryl’s role will be to help connect the Cambodian-American Christians to the Cambodian Body in Cambodia.  Both groups have needs that can be met and blessings that can be shared, only through connecting with each other.

USA Home Assignment  

We have had a blessed time in the USA visiting our senders, friends, and relatives in California and Missouri.  We are now in California until we return to Cambodia on August 11.   We can be contacted via e-mail at darryl@sgwm.com or 562-241-6740.

As “faith missionaries” (we depend completely God to supply our needs through free-will donations) our current and future ministries in Cambodia and beyond depend completely on the faithful prayers and sacrificial investments our senders make in obedience to the Great Commission.   If God is leading you to partner with us financially you can  donate online by clicking on the button that says “Become a Financial Partner”    Or, you can send checks payable to Saving Grace World Missions 17451 Bastanchury Rd #203, Yorba Linda CA 92886, 714-993-4801 be sure to include a note that you want donation to go to the “Record Family in Cambodia.”  For our senders who wish to make donations from Japan please e-mail darryl@sgwm.com for instructions.

Kayo and Benjamin in front of a church in a small town in IL where Darryl went to church as a young child.  The church Darryl's father pastored closed because the young people moved away and the older generation passed away.
Kayo and Benjamin in front of a church in a small town in IL where Darryl went to church as a young child. The church Darryl’s father pastored closed because the young people moved away and the older generation passed away.
IMG_0704
Benjamin learned many “Missouri skills” including fishing. Grandpa taught him how to fish and he caught 4.

IMG_0739

Grandma and Benjamin reading a book about Abraham Lincoln.

 

 

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin Record

 

Record Family Cambodia Missions Update (Joy in Trails)

“All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. Matthew 8:32 NLT

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  James 1:2 NLT

Keeping our Joy In Trials: In the past month, we have experienced some “opportunities for great joy”.  Here are a few examples:

  • Darryl started “emergency apologetics classes” to equip a Cambodian pastor and
    Beware of free range cows.
    Free range cows.

    a Filipino missionary so that they will be able to protect and vaccinate their 14 churches who have lost 7 members and an evangelist to a cult and a Bible school student to Islam.  Please pray that they can help restore those who have strayed from the faith.  The day before the first meeting, the Cambodian pastor was returning to Phnom Penh from a weekend of ministry in a a rented SUV (from Lyna Garage), when suddenly a “free-range-cow” charged his vehicle causing $400 worth of damage.  A village leader gave the group a ride, but his vehicle broke down.  By God’s grace, this pastor was able to make it to the first apologetics class.  Right before the third meeting, the faucet in our upstairs bathroom broke in the ON position, which required us to turn off the water to the entire house and make emergency plumbing repairs.

  • A couple of days later, Darryl was getting ready to go to Lyna Garage to film “The
    Benjamin bicycle
    Benjamin on his bicycle.
    Mrs. Lyna Tan, Mr. Meas Savong, and Mrs. Samoeun Intal filming The Bible: God's Instructions for Life video.
    Mrs. Lyna Tan, Mr. Meas Savong, and Mrs. Samoeun Intal filming The Bible: God’s Instructions for Life video.

    Bible: God’s Instructions for Life” so Kayo went to pick Benjamin up at school.  On the way home, Benjamin’s training wheel bicycle fell over and he got a deep gash on his chin.  By God’s grace it didn’t bleed much so we could clean and bandage it and he didn’t need stitches.  We had to pray and trust God to heal Benjamin so that Darryl didn’t have to cancel this video shoot that had taken six months to set up and couldn’t be rescheduled for a long time.  Darryl is still editing this video, Lord willing he will release it this week.  In addition, was able to film Mrs. Samoeun Intal’s testimony.  She was the founder of the FEBC Christian radio station in Cambodia and has also paved the way for other kinds of Christian media in Cambodia, including International Fishers. www.internationalfishers.com/samoeun-intal 

  • Kayo’s ministry to Japanese speakers in Cambodia has also experienced great
    Japanese Life Group
    Japanese Life Group
    IMG_20150519_091729
    Kayo cutting Ryoken’s hair so that he can learn how to be a waiter (using English) etc. at Gateway Cafe.

    breakthroughs and trials.  Mr. I, the 76 year old Japanese man has made a clear profession of faith.  We have also been able to help a Japanese missionary family get settled in, find a good vehicle, and to overcome some other obstacles and trials.  We have also helped Ryoken, an 18 year old man from Japan, get settled in, plugged in to Gateway Cafe Student ministries, and started studying English and volunteering here in Cambodia.  Please pray that he will learn English, learn employable skills, and most of all that he will come to know Christ in a new way that goes beyond his parents’ faith.    These breakthroughs also came with trials.  Kayo has been sick and exhausted off and on for the past few weeks. We took her to the doctor twice but they couldn’t diagnose anything.  We are treating her at home for amoebas now. Last night she had an allergic reaction to the medicine.  Please pray that she will be fully healed before our trip to the USA on June 11.  Benjamin has also had unexplained illnesses that disappeared after prayer and Darryl got food poisoning after going to a lunch hosted by a Bible School.  There have also been other inter-personal conflicts that are also related to spiritual opposition.

Despite all of these trials we see God’s hand moving in our lives in ministry in ways that we have never seen before!  So, we can have joy that God is using us and that His work through us (despite our weakness) is such a threat that we merit opposition and trials.   If things are happening to us in Cambodia, it is likely that our Senders may also be under some spiritual trails and opposition too.  The enemy’s tactics include: deception, destruction, disconnection, discouragement, distraction, and division.  In the USA, you may not have a cow charge your car, but a co-worker may accuse you unfairly.  This is why we must continually pray for and encourage each other.

USA Trip June 11-August 14:

We are looking forward to seeing as many of our beloved Senders and others who are interested in being used by God to help reach the world for Christ.  We will be in California from June 12-23, Missouri from June 23-July 14, and back in California from July 14th to August 11.

For our friends in California, there is a special Open-House on Saturday June 20th from noon-5pm.  Please e-mail darryl@sgwm.com for more details on this event or to schedule other times to get together (in CA or MO).

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

 

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

Cambodia Mission December Update Record Family

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

Japanese Service
Japanese 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

Photo0022Teaching 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?

The English video is available at www.internationalfishers/english  The Cambodian video is available at www.internationalfishers.com/khmer 

Photo0023

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