Cambodia Update: July

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” Psalm 126:5 NASB

July was a month full of trials that brought tears but also the joyful harvest from tearful sowing in the past.  We trust that the Lord Of The Harvest will turn the tears of this past month into a harvest of joy.

Kayo’s Music Ministry:  Meaningful Trials

Practicing the flute at Tokyo Chapel

Kayo has been looking forward to joining the worship team at the international church that we attend.  She wanted to join back in February but Darryl’s schedule was too full so he had to delay until after our home assignment in Japan from April to June.  July finally came, and all of the pieces fell into place for her to start practicing with the worship team on July 7.

It is very difficult to plan special events such as birthdays or anniversaries etc. in Cambodia because things seem to go wrong on the actual day.  To make sure that Kayo’s birthday was properly celebrated, Darryl celebrated her birthday early.  On Kayo’s actual birthday, July 2, the kitchen got moved into the living room to prepare for repairmen who didn’t come, Kayo fell down on a wet floor, nearly fell down the stairs, and then the real trial hit.  While chopping chicken with a meat cleaver, she accidentally chopped her finger leaving a 2 ¼ inch 2.5cm gash nearly to the bone.

Early birthday celebration. Kayo and Benjamin love green tea ice cream cake, a mystery for Darryl, a chocolate aficionado.

God arranged it so that Darryl was in the kitchen when the accident occurred so that he could stop the bleeding before Kayo fainted and lost too much blood.  There is no reliable ambulance service or blood transfusions in Cambodia so simple injuries like this can be life threatening.

Kayo is very committed to her music ministry.  She was practicing the flute even before the 6 stitches were removed and she attended her first worship practice on July 7.  Kayo’s next worship team event was a Bible study on July 18. On that day she came down with a high fever and couldn’t go.  She had to cancel another meeting related to an outreach concert as well.  Her fever went down for a day and then spiked back up to 102.7 F, on July 21 so she could not attend her second worship team practice. Since she had fever for 5 days we began to suspect dengue.  We asked for prayer both in Cambodia and around the globe.  The next morning, Kayo’s temperature miraculously returned to normal and she was strong enough to go to church.  She has been healthy and has been getting stronger ever since.

Kayo says that God has been teaching her a lot through these trials.  Even though we believe that these trials were attacks from the enemy to prevent her from moving forward with her music ministry, God has been using them for God.  Kayo learned about worshiping through suffering, about balancing family, marriage, and ministry, and about waiting for God’s timing.  Even though her finger is still healing and she hasn’t been able to practice very much, she says that her skill is as already back to where it was before the accident.

Anchors of Faith Radio Program Update

 The Anchors of Faith Radio Program began its 6 month broadcast cycle on July 1 on FEBC’s Family 99.5 FM. We are thankful that God has provided all of the funding, even though it was beyond our 2012 budget.

Affordable smart phones like this one place Internet, radio, recordings, and video in the hands of Cambodians in even the most remote locations. FEBC no longer needs to provide so many expensive solar/crank powered radios and MP3 players as in the past.

All of the pieces are falling into place for the Anchors of Faith Seminar a one-day event to be held on Saturday, January 5 at Trinity Institute of Cambodia.  Since the Anchors of Faith Radio Program’s last broadcast day will be December 30th, this event will serve as a follow-up meeting for the listeners.  The program will introduce them to more resources that can help them grow in their faith and become more confident in sharing the Gospel.  FEBC plans to unveil their new Voice of Love Mobile ministry which will distribute audio Bible teaching to cell phones, MP3/MP4 players, and computers via micro SD cards, the Internet, and other formats.  The Anchors of Faith Radio Program will continue its ministry as the first radio program to be distributed through this system.   Darryl has also invited Fount of Wisdom Publishing to join the event, set up a book table, and, if it is ready, to unveil their new Cambodian language e-book/audio book system for smart phones.   It is an amazing time in Cambodia, when Christians are poised to use cutting-edge technology to communicate the Gospel to a new generation!

 Facts for Faith Videos: 10 years as a vision. . .5 months to reality.

 We are very excited because FEBC has also agreed to distribute Darryl’s apologetic’s videos through their new Voice of Love Mobile ministry.  FEBC has a well established Christian media distribution network in Cambodia.  Only God could open the door for a radio station to distribute videos!  Darryl has started working on a 3-minute Facts for Faith video called “You Are A Special Creation.”  This video will illustrate Psalm 139:14-18 with some of the amazing evidence for an intelligent creator that comes from recent scientific discoveries about DNA.  After that, Darryl wants to make another video called, “You Are Valuable.”  Darryl plans to relate the value of currency (a $1 bill vs. a $100 bill etc.) to illustrate Genesis 1:26 which is about humans being created in the image of God who have a value that is greater than animals and which cannot be taken away by disabilities.

The purpose of these and future videos, which will be produced in English and Cambodian languages, is to provide a resource that Christians can use to help them share the Gospel with their loved ones with more confidence.  For example, if Christians have access to these videos through their smart phones they can use them to help them gain momentum or overcome objections during evangelistic conversations.  This is important because one of the main reasons why we Christians do not share our faith is because we are afraid that someone will ask us a question or raise an objection that we cannot answer.  Lord willing, these tools will help to overcome that disabling fear.

Christianity: Reasons for Faith Book Update

Christianity: Reasons for Faith’s front cover

 The combined work of Darryl and Doug Since 2010 has come to maturity.  Today, July 26, the book, Christianity: Reasons for Faith English/Cambodian Bilingual Edition is set to be distributed to bookstores!  For the first time, Cambodian Christians have access to evidence and answers that supports the truth of Christianity in their own language!  We trust that God will use this book to help bring the lost to salvation and breathe new life and excitement into Cambodian Christians and missionaries.  The next step is to pursue publication in the USA through a Christian print-on-demand publisher.  This step will make the book available in bilingual format for Cambodians refugees and emigrants around the globe in places like Long Beach, CA.  Darryl and Doug are also thinking about making an English-only edition designed for missionaries to other countries.  This edition could be used as the basis for customized translations to many other languages.

 Trinity Institute of Cambodia Update

Despite some setbacks and disappointments related to our spring classes, Trinity Institute of Cambodia continues to move forward.  In September, Darryl is planning to offer a special class called Evidence and Evangelism this class will use Christianity: Reasons for Faith as its textbook and will help equip missionaries and Christian leaders to incorporate Christian apologetic’s evidence and answers into their existing ministries and evangelistic efforts.

Alex, one of our friends from Mitaki Green Chapel in Hiroshima,

Visiting Alex Mejia in Hiroshima

Japan is a leading diplomat with the United Nations Institute of Research (UNITAR).  His work takes him to places like Afghanistan and Iraq to provide seminars and training to help develop the government and business leaders.  He has wanted to provide training in Cambodia for some time, but has not been able to find a reliable local partner.  The door has opened for him to provide training in partnership with TIC.  This will help give TIC greater exposure, credibility, and it can help prepare the way for TIC’s accreditation process with the Ministry of Education in the future.

We are also excited that Benjamin, a Christian management consultant from Singapore has agreed to offer a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Growing Business Management through TIC.  This will give students in Cambodia access to world-class training from a Christian perspective, without leaving Cambodia, for affordable price.  Other programs such as an MA in Leadership and and Education program are also in the works for 2013.

Prayer Requests

 1.      Please pray for protection, health, and strength for our entire family.  The trials of the past month have frequently hindered our work and have exhausted us at times.

2.      Benjamin is set to attend preschool on August 8.  Please pray that the disease that has killed 50 children in Cambodia will be stopped so that schools can open again after being closed by the Ministry of Education.

3.      Please pray for the Body in Kampong Chhnang.  Scandals (adultery, divorce, and unethical stewardship) have destroyed the credibility and testimony of Christians and have left the Christians vulnerable to discouragement, cults, and compromise.  Darryl is planning to take a missionary, Chuck, who in the past planted the most successful church network in Cambodia before falling into adultery several years ago.  He has since repented, found reconciliation with his wife, family, and church, and has been restored.  He has been sharing his failures and restoration process with Christian men in Cambodia to help prevent others from falling and to help those have fallen to repent.  Please pray as Darryl and Chuck travel to Kampong Chhnang on August 21 to start exploring men’s ministry there.

4.      Please pray that God will resolve the lingering problems from the spring classes at TIC.  Pray that God will give special wisdom, unity, and courage to the leadership so that we can serve our students with integrity.  Pray also for the upcoming classes and events.

5.      Please pray for the development of the Facts for Faith videos and the Anchors of Faith Seminar set for January 5.