For 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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