Upcoming Visit To The USA!

Celebration of 100 Years Since The First Evangelical Missionaries Arrived in Cambodia

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

1 Samuel 17:45

Visit to the USA

As each new year started since 2019, we kept asking ourselves, “Is this the year that we can visit our loved ones in the USA or Japan?” In 2021 and 2021, the answer was “No.” Finally, in 2022 we could visit Japan for the first time since 2018. Finally, the doors have opened for us to visit the USA! We have booked tickets to arrive in California (Los Angeles/San Bernardino/Orange County areas) between June 6 and August 1. Lord willing, we want to also travel to Missouri (St. Louis area) but we are waiting for some more doors to open for that trip. We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible. We also need to take care of some legal/banking business things while in the USA as well. 

Please contact us by e-mail or Messenger if you think you might be able to meet us so that we can start thinking about our schedule. We may not be able to contact you because the contact information we have for many of you may be out of date or buried in 4-year-old emails. We are available to meet individually or in groups etc. 

Ministry Update

Ministry in Cambodia has gotten increasingly busy and fruitful. From December 22 to February 9, I have been teaching Christian Apologetics every Thursday morning at a Cambodian seminary founded by Korean missionaries. On December 31, I spoke on “True Joy in the Midst of Suffering” at a local Cambodian church’s New Year’s/Christmas celebration. I continue to co-teach the Chinese ministry’s English/Bible class at the international church, and on January 22, I preached on Isaiah 28 “Christ the Cornerstone” at the main service. I also continue to edit English articles for Light Times Magazine and help produce and edit videos for Precious Women Organization.

Kayo has been busy with Precious Women Organization as a board member, leading devotions for the staff and clients, helping with administrative work, and preparing and organizing Precious Women’s booth for the Centennial Celebration (see photo above). As many as 30,000 Cambodians and foreign Christians and non-Christians gathered for the event (FEBC Australia). Special guests/speakers included the Prime Minister and other top government officials. She also is busy in planning, organizing, and starting the Women’s ministry at the international church. 

Financial “Goliath” Situation

For a few years now, our monthly donations have not met our monthly expenses but God provided enough one-time donations/stimulus to keep our account balanced. However, since COVID, the one-time donations/stimulus have not been able to keep up with our monthly expenses. At its worst, our financial reserves/savings were draining at a rate of around $1,500 per month. Our accounts are now at an 18-year low and so we must take action.

To correct this problem, so far, we have been able to raise $400 monthly and cut our expenses by around $550 monthly by getting cheaper health insurance. These provisions and the fruitfulness of our ministries encourage us that God wants us to continue serving in Cambodia. We still need to raise/cut/earn (locally through part-time work) approximately $550 (or more) monthly in order to continue our ministry in Cambodia. There are drawbacks to cutting expenses further or attempting to earn more money here in Cambodia in terms of our effectiveness in ministry here. We also recognize and are grateful for the fact that many of our most faithful senders have already maxed out their capacity to give. Right now, we don’t see any open doors in any direction so we can only LOOK UP!

Please pray for wisdom and provision from whatever sources God wants to provide. This is a “Goliath” situation and so ultimately, only God can make a way for us. He has brought us through even more serious trials than this and so we trust Him to carry us through this trial as well! 

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

A New Season

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5 NKJV

We are in a new season of life and ministry now in Cambodia. It took a while to get going because of a two-week non-Covid sickness for Benjamin and myself but now we are all healthy and are getting into the new season.

I have been active in editing English articles for the bilingual Light Times Magazine. I also wrote an article for the upcoming issue entitled, “How Can We Give the Gift of Life-Long Faith to Our Children?” I also helped connect the founder Soksan with a major international Christian magazine/website that invited him to be a freelance writer, but I am not sure if he has the time or energy to pursue that direction or not.

I continue to help Precious Women Organization to make videos of the testimonies of their staff and clients in Khmer with English subtitles. These videos are quite inspiring. Here is one of the two videos we have finished so far. 

I have not been able to produce or release any new Apologetics/Evangelistic videos in the Cambodian language since my last update. However, God arranged a divine appointment for me to meet another Christian media ministry here in Cambodia at a local coffee shop. They took copies of all of my old videos (56 total!) and scripts in the Cambodian language and they will distribute them to their audience! Distributing videos on social media has become less fruitful since Covid ended here.

I am also gearing up to teach Apologetics again starting in December at a local seminary sponsored by Korean missionaries. Kayo and I are also considering opportunities to reach out to, equip, and encourage other expats through the international church.

Kayo continues to be very active in various roles at Precious Women Organization. She is also active in the worship team at church. Benjamin continues to do well as an eighth grader at a Christian international school.

We are also looking forward to visiting the USA next summer. I will probably start making plans in January. Right now, I am in the process of renewing our Cambodian visas. Please pray for a smooth path in this process.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Back in Cambodia from Japan

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are also doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

We spent from June 13 to August 2 in Japan. We had a blessed time there! We were able to visit and share our ministry at more than a dozen churches (and a Bible School) all over Japan. We were also blessed to be able to spend some quality time with old friends and make new friends. 

Benjamin spearheaded two long conversations about Christianity with his non-Christian grandparents in Hiroshima. He also helped me edit some of the articles for Light Times Magazine’s first print edition since before COVID forced the magazine into online-only for more than a year. He also taught himself quite a bit of Japanese from a book and only asked Kayo’s help when he got stuck. Now that we have returned to Cambodia he has started 8th grade at Hope School.

There was a new openness to and interest in my Apologetics/Evangelistic materials in Japanese and English. I was able to share materials with a few individuals and the Bible school we visited. Please pray that they will be contextualized and translated into the Japanese language as needed. 

Kayo was the busiest of all in Japan. She was kept busy with travel arrangements, translation, and communicating with churches, etc. Still, she had a good time with her friends and loved ones that she had not been able to see for four years. 

We have just gotten resettled in Cambodia and are just starting to resume our ministries here. Please pray for wisdom and strength for us for this new season.

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Our Great Sustainer

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

Christology Class

Preparing for our Time in Japan, June 13-August 1

Thanks for praying for our home assignment in Japan this summer, (please don’t stop : ). We will be visiting more than a dozen churches in multiple cities across Japan and visiting Kayo’s family in Hiroshima. Please pray for opportunities to be a witness to Kayo’s unsaved relatives. 

Kayo has been busy making travel arrangements and communicating with our senders in Japan. Please pray for continued strength and wisdom for her. I have been working on preparing a few sermons to go along with Kayo’s missions presentation for the churches we will visit. Thanks for praying for my visa to Japan it went through smoothly. Please pray for wisdom, protection, and provision over our finances as prices for some of our air tickets etc. have greatly increased. Japanese churches, while generous and faithful are also struggling financially, and the Japanese currency has been devalued against the US dollar in the post-COVID economy. This is also a concern as we are planning to visit the USA next summer.

Christology Class

Thanks for praying for my Christology class at a local Bible School. I spent two weeks teaching the intensive class and another week on grading their intensive assignment. The class went very well, especially for my first time teaching this subject. The verse above comes from one of the passages that I taught on during the class. It is a good reminder to have peace in troubled times because Christ is holding everything together. If Christ is in control, we don’t have to be afraid or worry because we can trust Him to take care of everything. The students asked a lot of good questions in the class and were very engaged. Going forward, I will probably teach Apologetics one year and Christology the following year at this Bible school and Apologetics at another seminary. 

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Reconnecting in Cambodia and Visiting Japan

Riding on a Train Made of Bamboo

“… and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you.” Romans 15:23b NLT

I could not include the first part of this verse which reads, “But now I have finished my work in these regions.” because our work in Cambodia is not finished. Many new and exciting projects are already lining up after our return from Japan at the end of summer.

Reconnecting in Cambodia

Now that COVID is reducing in Cambodia, we have been able to reconnect and visit with some of our Cambodian and missionary friends that we haven’t been able to visit for a long time. We have been able to reconnect with friends in Phnom Penh and even in Kampong Chhnang, where we lived between 2009-2011. We hadn’t been able to see some of our friends there for several years.

Visiting Japan this Summer

We will be visiting Japan this summer for the first time since 2018. It will be good to reconnect with our friends and family there. We will spend some time in the Tokyo area, the Osaka area, Hiroshima, and other parts of Japan as doors open. We will be sharing our ministries in churches as the doors open. This means that Lord willing, we will be visiting the USA during the summer of 2023, so we look forward to seeing our friends and family there too. Please pray for all the logistics and doors to open smoothly for us, especially my (Darryl’s) visa to Japan.

Christology Class Begins in a Couple of Hours

I will start teaching a two-week intensive Christology course this afternoon. Normally, I teach Apologetics, so this will be my first time teaching this course. Please pray for this class to go smoothly and for my students and me to learn together. I will be able to use some of my videos as supplemental materials.

Family Update

During April, Benjamin had some time off from school so we were able to travel to Kampong Chhnang and Battambang to see friends and also have some family time away from Phnom Penh. Kayo continues to lead the devotions at Precious Women Organization monthly. She is also getting busy preparing for our trip to Japan. After Japan, she will get more involved in other ministries here in Cambodia. It is hard to believe that Benjamin will soon be finished with 7th grade. He is doing well but sometimes, managing and juggling all the homework is a challenge for him.

In Christ’s Love,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Looking Up

“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28.

A lot of “things” are happening in the world right now. I don’t know if they are “these things” or not. : ) Regardless, I am reminded that it is always a good time to “straighten up and lift up your heads.” By lifting up our heads we will find that we are looking up to God and therefore we have reason not to be discouraged because God is greater than any problem that we could possibly face.

A selfie with my Apologetics class at a Cambodian seminary

Finished an Apologetics Class

This past week, I finished teaching, assessing, and grading for an Apologetics class I have been teaching at a Cambodian seminary. The class started in January but we had some interuptions when students caught Omicron. Thankfully, everyone recovered in time to make final videos and scripts. The students also serve in local churches on the weekends and they told me that they were using the lessons learned in those classes to help equip the churches they serve and also with their unbelieving relatives.

Preparing to Teach Christology

Another Bible school, where I usually teach Apologetics, asked me to teach Christology because their regular teacher cannot fly in to Cambodia this year due to Covid restrictions. So, I am studying so I can teach this class for the first time in a two week intensive module the end of April/beginning of May. I have learned a lot during this process. There actually is a lot of overlap with Apologetics because I will be teaching on the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, heresies, and cults.

Video Update

Since my last update, I released the video: If I Become Christian Will God Heal All My Injuries and Sickness?. As always, the video is in the Cambodian language. It was reasonably popular on Facebook but not so much on YouTube. I have decreased my video production to about one video per month because my teaching and other ministries are more active than during COVID.

Omicron Seems to be Waning

Now, all the cases of Covid in Cambodia are Omicron but the daily official numbers and unofficial reports we hear all indicate that it is decreasing. The government has indicated that they are not planning more restrictions or lockdowns so this is a relief. Now we just trust that in time, the current restrictions will be lifted.

Summer Trip to Japan Looking More Likely

Even though we are still not 100% sure we can go to Japan this summer, some doors are beginning to open. As of March 1, Japan opened to foreigners on business or with family in Japan (not tourists). So, I can probably get a visa. We will have to go through 3 days of quarantine, unless they lift it before then. The only remaining thing to pray for is that the churches in Japan will be ready and able to invite us. If we go to Japan this summer, we will definitely be planning to visit the US in the summer of 2023.

Family Update

Kayo is almost finished with her coordination work with the local international church’s worship team. She will take a rest and then look for new opportunities to serve and minister. Please continue to pray for her health as she frequently has minor sicknesses.

Benjamin continues to do well in school and with friends. He is growing quickly and is learning a lot. He enjoys reading theology and apologetics books in his free time. 

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

A Home Yet To Come…

“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14 NLT

Graduation Ceremony at Cambodia Bible Institute, one of the places I teach Apologetics.

Not being able to visit either of our passport-countries since 2018 and 2019 respectively, has made me think about the concept of “home.” Cambodia isn’t really “home” either because our presence here depends, in part, on whether or not the government will renew our visas each year. We never feel a sense of being fully rooted anywhere in the world. But, the good news is that this world is not our home. Heaven is our home and so that is where we find our root and permanence.

Omicron Takes Hold In Cambodia

Overall, Cambodia has been spared some of the worst of Covid but now the Omicron variant seems to be taking off. Just this morning, I was informed that my weekly Apologetics class would be moved to online because four students tested positive for Covid at the seminary. The big question and concern is what the goverment’s response will be. Please pray that churches, schools, and businesses etc. will be allowed to stay open and that we don’t go through more lockdowns like last spring.

Summer Travel Plans Still Unknown

Due to Omicron in Japan, many churches have returned to online services. We also do not yet know how difficult it will be for me to get a visa to visit Japan this summer. We will make a final decision the end of April. If, we cannot go to Japan, we will make every effort to go to the USA (California and Missouri). We will let you know when we know.

Ministry Update

Ministry continues to go well. I continue making apologetics/evangelistic videos in the Cambodian language and sharing them online (Facebook, Youtube, and website). I also use the videos as teaching materials when I teach apologetics at Bible schools and seminaries. I have been told that others are using my videos when they teach at Bible schools etc. as well. Kayo leads the devotions at Precious Women Organization each month and she has been using the videos as well.

Since my last update, I was able to release one video entitled: How the Bible Helps Us Avoid Fake News and Deception. I have two more videos in process, one is almost ready for release. Please pray for wisdom in selecting topics that will impact the lives of Cambodians.

As I mentioned above, I have been teaching Apologetics in-person at a local seminary. But, for at least one week, the classes have gone online due to Covid. I have also been helping with the Chinese ministry at a local international church.

Kayo is in the process of reducing some of her activities with the worship team at the local international church. Please pray for her to have a time of rest and then for God to open new doors of ministry for her.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

2022?!

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

It is hard to believe that 2022 is already here. God was faithful to us in 2021 and carried us through that strange year. Now, as we start 2022, we know that even though our plans may not go as we expect, but no matter what happens, God will be exalted among the nations. 

Summer Plans: Japan or USA?

We have not been able to visit Japan since mid-2018 and the USA since mid-2019, so this summer we will attempt to go to Japan. If that doesn’t work out for some reason, we will try to come to the USA. So, we may be seeing you, depending on where you live and what doors open up. So far, Omicron has been kept under control in Cambodia so they don’t have any expensive and stressful quarantines that would make it difficult/impossible for us to leave the country and return. Please pray that God will open the doors for this summer’s plans whatever they may be.

Helping to Relaunch Light Times Magazine’s Print Edition

Thanks for praying for our Cambodian visa renewal process-they were approved! Light Times Magazine, where I (Darryl) volunteer, provided legal documentation and a letter that was essential for my visa renewal. I have been working with LT, the only Christian magazine, since 2017. During COVID, they were forced to stop printing. Now in 2022, they need funds to buy a new computer that is powerful enough to run their specialized layout software, for printing costs, and eventually to rent a new office, (we are all working from home). If you are interested in helping with this effort and want to know more about Light Times’ ministry in Cambodia, please visit: https://www.internationalfishers.com/blog/an-opportunity-to-help-relaunch-light-times-magazine .

Apologetics/Evangelistic Ministry Update

In December, I researched and wrote three scripts for future apologetics/evangelistic videos on social media and got them in the process of being ready for video production in January. I wasn’t able to release any videos on social media due to the holidays and the need for a time of rest for the whole family. On January 13, I will start teaching a semester long Apologetics class at a Cambodian seminary here in Phnom Penh. Please pray for this class and for the students that they will be equipped with a greater understanding of the truth of Christianity and that this will help them to evangelize others with more confidence and boldness. I also continue to help teach the Bible to Chinese and others on Sundays in partnership with Pastor Samuel, a Chinese pastor.

Family Update

Kayo is beginning to wind down her time of being very active in the international church’s worship team over the next few months. After that, she will start looking for other ministry opportunities after some much needed rest. Please pray for her health as she has been frequently ill and weak recently. Please pray for wisdom about how, when, and where to seek medical help for her.

Kayo continues to serve as a board member for Precious Women Organization and also leads the staff devotions for the organization once a month. In December she used one of my videos in the Cambodian language, God and the Value of Human Life.

Benjamin continues to do well in school even though the seventh grade workload is sometimes pretty heavy. Please pray that the schools will stay in-person. A couple of his closest friends have returned to their home-countries and are uncertain about whether they will return or not. 

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Domino Effect

“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

Starting and maintaining the only Christian apologetics ministry in the Cambodian (and other) language has sometimes felt like trying to start a campfire with a box of matches but damp firewood. Recently, God has allowed me to receive some positive feedback and encouragement from my former students and viewers. Here is one example that I haven’t shared before.

“…I was grateful to learn how to defend our faith from you when I saw in CBI (Cambodia Bible Institute) Phnom Penh. I also formed a small group of four people to continue to teach the course I learned from you…”

Since the last update, I was able to release two Apologetics/Evangelistic videos in the Cambodian language. These videos were: If I Become Christian, Will God Take Away All My Problems? and If I Become A Christian, Will God Make Me Rich? I also researched and started writing the scripts for three more scripts for future videos.

Reopening

Cambodia has taken a lot of steps toward Reopening since my last update. Now, churches, schools, and other places that have been closed/online since March have been allowed to reopen with restrictions. The government has indicated that it intends to keep things open. Please pray that no variant or outbreak will cause the government to shut things down again.

Future Travels!?

With Reopening, the Cambodian government has taken away the up to 14 days quarantine with around $2,000 per person associated fee, which made international travel too expensive and stressful for us to pursue. So, it is beginning to look like we will be able to travel internationally in the summer of 2022, LORD WILLING. We haven’t been able to visit Japan since 2018, so we will try to go there as the first option. If we cannot go to Japan next summer, we will try to visit the USA, since we haven’t been able to visit there since 2019. We look forward to visiting with as many of you as possible as soon as possible.

Resumption of Ministries

Now that Cambodia has reopened, I have been able to resume helping with the Chinese Ministry at the international church on Sundays. Also, Light Times Magazine is planning to resume print-edition magazines in the first part of next year. Please pray for wisdom as I help them develop fund-raising materials for the relaunch.

Kayo has been able to go to Precious Women Organization to lead devotions with the staff and clients there. She is also happy that the church is back in-person so the worship team does not have to make videos for the online service anymore but can worship with the congregation.

Visa Renewal

Please pray for our Cambodia visa renewal process during the month of December. Each year the process gets a bit more complicated and strict. Please pray for wisdom and favor during this process.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Reopening!?

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,” Let Israel now say—... ” Psalm 124:1

The Cambodian government seems to be on the trajectory of reopening the country. They have already begun to reduce some of the travel restrictions which have made it too difficult for us to leave the country since 2019. Lord willing, we really desire to visit the USA or Japan in the summer of 2022. Please pray that some more barriers will be removed to make that possible.

Benjamin started in-person school this morning. He was online-only from March to August, 2020 and then had some more online-only times between then and when he went back to online-only in February of this year. Please pray for a smooth restart of in-person classes (despite many restrictions). Please pray for health, protection, and wisdom for the administrators, teachers, and students.

This month I was able to release a video entitled, “The Bible and Ghosts” in the Cambodian language. Please pray for me to have the inspiration, wisdom, and creativity as I choose and research new topics for future videos. Here is an edited version of some encouragement that I received on my videos from a viewer:

“Thanks for sharing these video clips for us… They are a great reliable source of information from the Bible. God bless you and your mission.”

Light Time Magazine Print Edition Re-Launch Meeting

During Covid, Light Times magazine, the only Christian magazine in Cambodia, went into semi-hibernation, with online-only activities. Soksan and Linat, the founders desire to restart print-editions in early 2022. As always it will be a bilingual magazine. My volunteer status has been upgraded from assistant English editor to English editor because the former editor in Australia has retired. Please pray for Light Times to raise the funds and volunteers that they need to not only resume operations but also to thrive. This magazine ministers to families and others in ways that other Christian media cannot.

Please continue to pray for Kayo’s partnership with Precious Women Organization. Lida, the founder and her entire family are recovering from Covid. Please pray for a rapid recovery and that we will be able to partner with them in new ways as the Covid restrictions subside.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin