. . . Jesus . . .saw a large crowd and He felt compassion for them. . .His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But He answered them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred (days wages) on bread and give them something to eat?”And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” . . . They said, “Five, and two fish.”. . . And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.” Mark 6:30-44 NASB
Two weeks ago at Kone Kmeng’s board meeting,
Phany gave us the update that in 2016, Kone Kmeng is planning (by faith) partner with 190 local Cambodian churches to equip them to minister to 30,000 at risk children! This is amazing considering that the Director Pang Sophany, “Phany” co-founded this organization in 2006 in his bedroom. Since then the phrase, “You give them something to eat.” has been rolling around in my heart. Kone Kmeng works with the churches to meet the children’s physical needs for food, shelter, clean water, and education etc. . So instead of feeling called to give them “physical food,” because Kone Kmeng is already doing that, I feel called to give them spiritual food. I long to help these 30,000 young people to know Christ as their personal savior, to become confident in the Truth of their faith, so that they can be bold in their witness to their family, friends, classmates, and community. But I only have one video for children in Khmer called “Real Joy.” For the past few years I have desired to make more videos like this on more topics like creation, the Bible, Jesus, and salvation in the Cambodian language and other languages as well. In order to do this I will need a team or staff and increased funds to distribute the video. These children live without electricity or Internet. The cheapest way I can distribute videos is on CD-Rs (not very efficient for these children) but blank CD’s cost at least $0.30 each so 30,000 copies could cost $10,000 at least and it still wouldn’t satisfy their need. So, like the disciples I have come to the place of understanding that the needs and opportunities are too big for me. So, I am waiting for Jesus to multiply the five loaves and two fish that I do have.
Training and Equipping Cambodian Pastors and Church Leaders
Since the end of October, I have been teaching Christian Apologetics 8
Cambodian Bible school students at the Cambodian Presbyterian Theological Institute. The class is 4 hours every Thursday from 10am to 3pm until December 17. I plan to video their Apologetics presentations and post them on the International Fishers website, as I did this spring. Between December 7 to the 17th, I will also be teaching Christian Apologetics at Cambodia Bible Institute and they also will be making videos like they did last year. A few months ago, I mentioned I shared all of the International Fisher’s Cambodian language videos and audio files with Samaritan’s Purse Cambodia. They have been purchasing tablet (computers) and filling them up with as much Christian resources in Khmer as possible, including International Fishers’s Khmer resources. It has been wonderful to partner with these other ministries and organizations to equip the leaders who will be able to equip the Christians of Cambodia for decades to come.
Knowing the Times We Live In:
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:10-12)
From the time I was four years old, I followed US politics like most “normal” kids follow sports. Instead of being a professional football player, I dreamed of being the President. So, when I went to college it was natural for me to major in political science. I tested in the top 3% of political science majors during my year, and after an internship in the state Capitol, I graduated in 1999 magna cum laude with a BA in political science. Then God called me to abandon it all to serve as an English teacher, missionary, and Christian apologist in Cambodia. Since then I have often wondered if this major was a mistake.
So, for more than 15 years I did my best not to pay attention to or comment on US politics. Last spring, I felt led to start a blog so that I could respond to the politically motivated attacks that were coming against Christianity, mainly in the USA. As a college student I remember having lively debates and disagreements with others from a wide range of political views on every possible issue and we all stayed friends. My freshman year I had a roommate who was a Muslim from Bangladesh since there were not many other people from Bangladesh at Truman State University in Kirksville Missouri, my roommate’s new best friend was a Hindu from India. I remember discussing the virgin birth of Jesus Christ with both of them at the same time in our dorm room. We all stayed friends. Later I helped my roommate get a job in the Vice President’s office as a student worker with me. After fifteen years away from US politics, I realized that the culture has shifted so that political debates were very toxic and divisive. I wondered why, so I started to read and research so that I could find the best way to help Christians deal with it and also to prepare to vaccinate the Cambodians from spill-over. In my view, radical/nihilistic ideologies are gaining ground in many areas of the US’s society. This is not based on one person or even one political party, it is spreading everywhere. This ideology divides, dehumanizes, and destroys societies, traditions, and institutions. The antidote to this ideology is Romans 13, Luke 6:20-46 and other related Scriptures. We need to start memorizing Scripture so that we can live scripturally every day.
I am beginning to sense that God is integrating my political science, cross-cultural, international, multi-language, and Christian apologetics backgrounds, “for such a time as this.” Please pray for me to have grace, patience, wisdom, and discernment so that I can understand the new culture and even help equip Christians to view these new political challenges as witnessing opportunities by applying the basic ideas of business as mission to “politics as mission.” I believe that God is giving us some some opportunities to help some “Sauls” be transformed into “Pauls”. “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
Here are some recent posts that may be helpful in helping you to understand the times we live in and still have a peace that passes understanding. Here are some links to some of the articles that I have written that may help you understand the times we live in as I share my thought processes.
Hateful Words=Murder Weapon How to Deal with Divisive People Vaccinating Ourselves Against Logical Viruses Sola Scriptura and Sea Levels Intelligent Design by Aliens Aliens, Ghosts, Angels, and Demons Old Testament Genocide? Politics as Mission Where do Human Rights Come From? Tenant’s Rights for the Unborn Were the NAZI’s Christian? Christian Unity and Radical Islam Creation and Climate Change
Preparing for the Next Chapter: Helping to Prepare the way for the Gospel to Spread from Cambodia to the rest of the World.
There are two parts to my calling. 1. Equip the Cambodian Christians to take the Gospel to their own nation. 2. Help prepare the way for the Gospel to spread from Cambodia to the rest of the world. God is already bringing about part 1 so by faith, I trust him to fulfill part 2. So, by faith we are moving forward to expand International Fishers so that it can spread the Gospel not only across Cambodia but across the globe, especially in closed countries and unreached people groups.
As I mentioned in my last update, my family’s personal/mission finances are about $1,200-$1,500 short each month for ministry work funds and health insurance partly due to the 40% drop in the value of the Japanese Yen against the Dollar. (this is draining our financial reserves more information here.). We praise God that so far we have received faith promises for 10% of this amount! Of course faith promises are like eggs until they hatch in our account so while, “we can’t count our chickens before they hatch,” we can count on God. We understand that the economy is tight, church budgets are tight, and other missionaries have needs. So, I have been looking for ways for people to save money (on coffee, eating lunch out, credit cards etc.) so that they can have extra money to invest in their Heavenly Rewards Account (like an IRA but without the IRS). Check out these ideas at Daily Investments for an Eternal Impact. To partner with us in expanding International Fishers: Christian Evidence Ministry, Japanese Immigrant Ministry, Worship, and Mentoring Locals, please click here to make a donation (Heavenly Investment).
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.” (Ephesians 6:10-19)
In Christ’s Hands,
Darryl with Kayo and Benjamin Record
Phnom Penh Cambodia.