In Everything Give Thanks

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This verse has been on my heart a lot lately. Especially, from the middle of August to the beginning of September when Benjamin and Kayo were sick with C0VID. By God’s grace, I never had any symptoms so either I was immune or asymptomatic. Despite the discomfort and inconvenience of those weeks, I felt thankful. 1. We didn’t catch it when the symptoms were more severe. 2. We didn’t catch it when the government required hospitalization which could have led to extremely expensive and/or uncomfortable situations for multiple weeks. 3. We had friends here who were willing and available to help us as needed. 4. Others around the globe covered us with prayer.

Before the sickness, I was able to edit and release one video in the Cambodian language entitled: Can Christians Take Medicine? which gives a Biblical perspective on medicine and medical treatment. I also researched and wrote the script for another video, Is Faith Belief Without Any Evidence? I am almost finished with editing this video and will release it soon.

Now that C0VID has reduced in Cambodia, I have been sensing the need to pursue more in-person/team-based ministries. I will continue making apologetics/evangelistic videos in the Cambodian language, probably about one per month instead of the three per month that I was making when I could not do most in-person ministries due to restrictions. For example, I have agreed to make two videos per month to help Precious Women Organization in partnership with their staff. I have also started helping a Cambodian/Filipino missionary couple develop Bible-based teaching posters/banners for the churches they help in the countryside. There are other in-person projects/partnerships that are still in the development stages that I will share about when I have more information.

Please pray for wisdom, strength, and health for all of us so that we can maximize the opportunities that God is giving us during this season. Lord willing, we are planning to visit the USA next summer, so please also pray for open doors and provision for that trip as well.

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 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 for 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 to teach this course. Please pray for this class to go smoothly and for my students and I to learn together. I will be able to use some of my videos as supplemental materials.

Family Update

During the month of 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 on a monthly basis. 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 Bejamin

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

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

YouTube Milestone and Apologetics Class on Zoom

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

Giving God the glory for 100,000+ views on www.youtube.com/evidencecambodia.

I would like to thank God, my Cambodian ministry partners, senders, and viewers for helping my YouTube channel reach 100,000+ views! This channel only has Apologetics/Evangelistic videos in the Cambodian language. Based on the mostly positive comments I have received, it has reached Christians and non-Christians. One person told me recently that she sends my videos to equip her Cambodian parents, who are new believers. These videos are also used as teaching aides in evangelism classes at a Bible school in Cambodia. In addition to YouTube, I also share my videos on www.internationalfishers.com/khmer and in several pages and groups on Facebook. I do not know how many views these videos have received, but most of my videos are more popular on Facebook than on YouTube. Since my last update, I was able to make one more video in the Cambodian language entitled, “Is God Imaginary?”

My Apologetics Class On Zoom

From September 6-17 I taught an intensive Apologetics class primarily on Zoom. I had never led a Zoom meeting before so Benjamin and Kayo had to teach me what to do. The class went well in terms of teaching and the students were actively engaged despite some technical issues with the computer and internet. The students asked a lot of questions such as, “Why did God create humans knowing that we would sin?” and “What happens to those people who never hear the Gospel?” etc. For their assessment the students wrote scripts and made videos answering questions about the truth of Christianity.

During my two week intensive class, Kayo was busy taking care of the family and supervising Benjamin’s online schooling. She is also busy with the worship team at the church and helps local Cambodian organizations. Benjamin continues to do well in online school. The government is beginning to allow some schools to open but their requirements are so strict that Benjamin’s school has not yet been able to open yet. Please pray for Benjamin’s school to reopen.

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” Psalm 127:4 NKJV

Please pray for my next Apologetics class via Zoom (September 6-17)

Thanks for praying for Benjamin’s summer break from school, especially since we couldn’t visit the US or Japan (Lord willing, summer of 2022). Benjamin, totally on his own initiative, started helping with my International Fishers apologetics/evangelism ministry! He improved the graphic design of the title slides and Cambodian language Bible verse slides of my videos using skills (and software) he learned in school. He even wrote the rough draft (which I reviewed and edited) for a video entitled, Fact or Fiction: the Battle of Jericho. You can watch the video in the Cambodian language at: https://youtu.be/Bp172pctWGo and read the English script at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7m5x8mottu2qyjw/Fact%20or%20Fiction%20Jericho.docx?dl=0

Thanks for praying for our health. It has improved so my video ministry could be more productive again. Since the last update, with Benjamin’s help, we could release three Apologetics/Evangelistic videos: 1. Covid 19 and the Bible 2. Fact or Fiction: The Battle of Jericho 3. Love and Sin.

Please pray for my Apologetics class, September 6-17 (via Zoom) at the Cambodia Bible Institute. Pray for wisdom, stamina (it is an intensive class), and the ability to communicate well over Zoom.

Kayo continues to be active helping organize the worship team for the online services. I video the worship team and help with the video editing. In Cambodia, only 15 people can gather so small churches/cell groups can meet but large church services must be online.

Kayo also continues to help local Cambodian organizations which help poor children and at-risk women in various ways. We were able to go to the countryside with one organization. Kayo shared her testimony to the group of children and parents at a food/clothes give away to help them make it through COVID-related poverty which compounds their previous economic problems.

Please pray for the safety of US citizens who live outside of the USA, not just missionaries but everyone (Christians and non-Christians). The situation in Afghanistan may encourage enemies of the US to attack or abuse US citizens abroad more now because they may think that the USA will not actively protect its citizens abroad (just stating my honest assessment, trying not to be political here). Of course, we trust God for our ultimate protection but many Americans abroad are not believers so they don’t have the same hope that we have. This is why we are mobilizing prayer cover and also will be a bit more vigilant (Cambodia is reasonably safe right now).

In Christ’s Hands,

Darryl, Kayo, and Benjamin

Phnom Penh, Cambodia