Then Mary said, “…let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
…”Father if it is your will, take this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Sooner or later, as Christians, we are forced to say to God, “not my will.” We have to trust Him to do what is best for us even if it goes against all our desires. So far, December has been a month of great blessings and, to be honest, great stress all at the same time. Here is an example of both happening at the same exact time!
Every year, at this time, we must renew our Cambodian visas so that we can legally live and work in the country. Each year, the process seems to get more difficult in terms of the documents required. After returning from a prayer meeting, my visa agent informed me that we didn’t have the right tax document for renewal. I asked our organizations if they had the requested document and they both said that they didn’t. Without renewal, we might have been forced to exit the country by January 1 in order to obey the law.
Kayo had peace that somehow we would be able to find a way to renew our visas. I didn’t! I could only sleep 30 minutes that night. Finally, I came to the conclusion with God that even if we had to leave Cambodia permanently on January 1, He would take care of us and that He was not finished using us for His purposes. I was still stressed but I at least had my conviction of God’s sovereignty and goodness.
The next morning, I had an appointment with Dara, a younger Cambodian pastor who helps me translate the scripts for my International Fishers apologetics/evangelistic videos into the Cambodian language. I got to the coffee shop early so I mobilized prayer for our visa situation via Facebook and Messenger. I also connected Soksan, the founder of Light Times magazine, who studied law but has not yet taken the Cambodia bar exam, with the visa agent to discuss our situation and “fight” for us.
Meanwhile, Pastor Dara, told me that his church is full of young professionals and college students who have apologetics-related questions about the faith. He invited me to speak on True Joy and Suffering at his church’s Christmas/New Year celebration on December 31. We are also planning to meet bi-weekly and partner together to equip him and his church to be stronger in evangelism and apologetics. I have been hoping and waiting for opportunities like this for many years. Some short-term opportunities to partner have opened up in the past but this seems to be a long-term opportunity! As soon as the meeting was over and I arrived at our apartment’s parking area, I received a message from Soksan that the government would accept the tax document that we already had and that they would renew our visas! Soksan said, “God has planned for you to stay.” This brought tears of joy to my eyes!
Here is a brief rundown of some of the ministries that we have been involved in since the last update. Kayo continues to serve on the advisory board, help with administration, and teach the Bible and life skills at Precious Women organization. I continue to help make testimonial videos in Cambodian with English subtitles for them. Light Times Magazine has a new issue coming out this month so I was active in editing the English part of this bilingual magazine. I will start teaching Apologetics at a Cambodian seminary, founded by Korean missionaries, weekly, starting on December 22, so I am preparing for that. I received approval to start a Christian Foundations (apologetics-based) Sunday School class at the international church starting in February so please pray for the promotion and preparation process for that 7-9 week class. I will have to take a break from the Chinese ministry during that time due to a schedule overlap. I also will speak at the international church on January 22. Kayo is transitioning from the worship team to developing and starting a women’s ministry at the international church as well. Benjamin has been informally debating and witnessing to a classmate at his international Christian school who has turned to atheism. Please pray for all these ministries!
Summer 2023 Visit to the USA
We have not been able to visit the USA since 2019 due to COVID. In addition to visiting family and friends in California and Missouri etc., we need to take care of some financial/legal arrangements as well. So, we really need (and want!) to visit the USA this summer. The challenge is that our finances at this time are pretty weak both in terms of funding for the trip and our long-term financial situation. We are looking for ways to cut our expenses and we are also trusting God to provide the funds we need in His way. We believe that God will make a way to overcome this situation (and others we face too!)
In Christ’s Love!
Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin