This was written by Dustin, a fellow volunteer, during the Preah Vihear Evangelism. You can find the link to their blog on the sidebar.
May you be blessed as you read
We have now been in Cambodia 4 busy months! Let me share a few highlights:
This note at a glance…
1. Skipping School for a Month – Amazing answered prayer giving clarity and
transporting us off to a different province for a month.
2. Student-Led Evangelism – Innovative and multifaceted evangelistic programs led out
3. People Hungry for Hope – Testimonies of God at work to bring Buddhist people
closer to Him.
4. God’s Future Funding – Moving forward in faith and praying for God to provide the
5. Unmuting God’s Word – Students making a decision that could impact their lives
6. Training Trainers – Dozens of hours paying off when seeing the first peek into my
dream for Cambodia coming true.
7. “Illustrating” the Gospel – Caitlin provides new tools to help spread the Adventist
message to Buddhists and Christians in Cambodia.
8. A Changed Life – God changes the life course of oneof my students
9. The Greatest Book Ever Written – Lessons in English literature from the Master
10. Prayer to Share – 10½ hours in the Bangkok airport was just enough time for a
amazing Divine appointment.
Skipping School for a Month
Since May 1, Caitlin and I have been in another province(Preah Vihear) on an evangelism mission trip with the 11th and 12thgraders. The fact that we have been able to come has been an incredible answer to prayer. Few volunteers could go, since school would still be in session. It looked like Caitlin would not be able to go because of her specialized classes.I (Dustin) had been involved in the planning with the students and was invited to go but didn’t feel clarity from God about spending a month away from Caitlin. For several weeks we prayed that God would make it possible for both of us to go, although it seemed very unlikely. Then one day about a month before the trip, Tim told me, “I think it will be possible for both you and Caitlin to go on the trip. It will be a very good experience for both of you.” A substitute teacher was found for Caitlin’s classes, and we praise God for this amazing answered prayer!
Student-Led Evangelism Program
Cooperating with God to share the hope of Jesus with unreached people is God’s desire for every believer. A major goal for this trip has been giving the students experiences to lead, grow, and share. Every student is in charge of one aspect of the multifaceted program that includes health expos (2 locations), vegetarian cooking lessons, Christian book selling and tract distribution, home visitation and natural remedies treatments, children’s programs, and radio broadcasts. The students have been using all of these opportunities to connect with people and invite them to the nightly meetings at the Seventh-day Adventist church that begin this Friday, May 9. The students will give health lectures, lead music, preach evangelistic sermons, show Biblical films,and run a vegetarian restaurant.
Please join us in praying for God to work powerfully in the lives of students and call many of them to service as missionaries for Him in Cambodia.
People Hungry for Hope
Preah Vihear city has about 24,000 in population and an Adventist church of about 30 active members. It has been inspiring to see God at work to draw people to Himself:
God providentially opened the door for us to put on a health expo in a nearby village in His perfect timing. A crowd was already there to go through the health expo as they waited for their ID card photos to be taken. In1½ days nearly 100 people eagerly learned the NEWSTART health principles. At the last station, “Trust in God,” many learned about God and prayer for the first time. “One woman shared with me how she is living in the present but her mind and heart are in the past,” Chhorvy shared. She could not move on from a painful experience in the past. Chhorvy talked to her about the loving God of heaven who could help her as she put her trust in Him. She shared how God could help her forgive the person who had wronged her and give her peace. “I want that! I want that!” the woman shared as they cried and prayed together.
During a prayer walk through the city last Friday, some students conversed with a shop owner in town. As they invited her to the health programs, they were surprised to discover she was already vegetarian because of her Chinese religion. They were also delighted to find out that she had a Bible and was open to learning more about it. Two students have continued visiting her and giving her Bible studies.
Please pray with us that God will continue to work in the lives of the people in this city and brings many out to the meetings to hear His Word and surrender to Him.
God’s Future Funding
This mission trip has been an exciting test of faith in the area of finance. The estimated costs for the evangelism trip are $8,000-9,000.The day we left, $1,500 had been donated toward the trip, yet we continue to move forward in faith that God provide the money. “We need to do what we know is God’s will. Providing the money is God’s problem,” Tim shared with the group just before we left.
Please pray that God will touch people’s hearts to join us in the evangelistic effort through their finances.
Un-muting God’s Word
In preparation for the evangelism trip, I was invited to take 15 sessions of Evangelism Class with the 11th and 12thgraders to train them how to preach. From a survey I conducted with the students,I discovered that 2/3 of them spent less than 15 minutes a week in personal Bible study (2 min. or less per day). Without an ongoing daily devotional life,it is difficult for anyone to stay faithful to Jesus, especially in the pressures of a Buddhist country. I brought the concerning results to Volunteers’ Prayer Meeting and we made the students’ devotional life a special matter of prayer. As we united together as one to pray for the students, I couldn’t help but praise God for answering another prayer by bringing unity among the volunteers. A couple days later during the training, I made an appeal, challenging the students to spend at least 10 minutes each day in God’s Word to prepare for the evangelism. Nearly everyone stood. The volunteers continued to encourage the students in their devotional lives. Although some have struggled, many have experienced incredible revival. One student shared,“After learning with you, I now try to spend more time with God then before.
Thank you for sharing with us.” Praise God for this answered prayer!
The preaching training experience has been a tremendous highlight for me here. I poured thought, time and prayer into the presentations and activities and God blessed in wonderful ways. Along with testimonies about personal spiritual growth, many students expressed their excitement about preaching more in the future. I love dreaming about how God will multiply the sharing of His Word all over Cambodia through these students.
“My dream is that you all not only become powerful preachers, but that you become trainers that raise up many more preachers in Cambodia,” I shared with my students. Last weekend, I was delighted to see the first step of this dream come true. We conducted training with the local church members in preparation for the evangelism. I sat there beaming as two of my students each gave interactive presentations on how to share Jesus with Buddhists through friendship evangelism. They had heard me present the same topic sin Evangelism and English class and then made them their own. I praise God in faith that this is only the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s multiplying impacting the future.
“Illustrating” the Gospel
“We have the program, but no one knows how to use it.” This was the response given to Caitlin when she asked why the studio staff used Photoshop instead of the more efficient and specialized Adobe Illustrator to create graphics. The media center creates evangelistic resources in the Khmer language for Adventist churches all over Cambodia. Run largely by self-taught graduates from Wat Preah Yesu, Caitlin discovered a way she could help. She began training Niet how to use Illustrator, and through these experiences and many others they have formed a meaningful friendship. The manager of the studio asked Caitlin to provide training in Illustrator for more of their staff. Caitlin guided three more workers through a basic orientation to jump start them into learning the new program. We pray that God will bless the media ministry with effectiveness and efficiency to add to the severely limited Adventist (and Christian) media resources in the Khmer language.
Last Sunday here in Preah Vihear City, we visited several Christian churches and gave them a newly released DVD series of 10 Adventist Evangelistic Presentations. The gift was very gratefully received.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit continues to lead our Christian brothers and sisters into all truth(John 16:13).
A Changed Life
“I feel like I have grown so much closer to God in the last year.” I was humbled as one of my 12th graders, shared with me that I had played an instrumental role in her spiritual development. “Last year I wanted all the nice things and clothes that other people had, so I wanted to quit school and get a job so I could start making money.” But God didn’t give her peace with that decision and through answered prayers led her to come back for one more year at Wat Preah Yesu. “Now I have started praying and reading the Bible more. When I wake up early to pray, I feel really good afterward.” Through that journey, God has changed the course of her life. She feels called to go to the Light Medical Missionary Training School in the Philippines next year.Her dad was uncomfortable with her decision and denied her permission. Through much prayer and a tactful visit by some volunteers, God has opened the door to make this possible for her, even providing the initial money needed for her to apply for a passport. Lin is on fire for God and lovingly shares her faith with others often. “I used to feel really scared to share my faith, but now I feel like God helps me do it.” Since learning in my English class about the FORT(Family, Occupation, Religious Background, Testimony) method of sharing Jesus in a conversation, she has put it into practice several times, finding meaningful ways to share with others what God has done in her life.
When given the assignment to interview a volunteer about their walk with God, she chose to interview Caitlin. She and Caitlin have also enjoyed working together to create the flyer for the evangelistic programs. Caitlin and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and have been inspired by what God is doing in her life.
The Greatest Book Ever Written
In my high school English classes, I often struggled to find the significance of studying many of the books that my teachers assigned. I never imagined that years later I would be in the teachers’ shoes. For the literature section in my 10th grade English class, I decided to teach a unit on “The Greatest Book Ever Written” – The Bible. We first looked at how the Bible was written and the various literary genres in the Bible. Then we read and studied the book of Ruth to learn more about historical narratives.I thoroughly enjoyed doing creative activities with the students while giving them a deeper understanding of the story of Ruth and the lessons we can learn from it. I was inspired to seek out the many more Ruth’s in the world ready to fully accept God and be used by Him to bless others. I was inspired to share with the Naomi’s in the world about the hope that God can restore even when it seems all is lost. I was inspired to point people to the antitype of Boaz–Jesus Christ–our Redeemer who has bought us back and provided us with sustenance,protection and a future.
Prayer to Share
“This is my first time sharing in front of people about Jesus,” Peith, my 11th grade student, shared with me about his nervousness just before speaking for student week of prayer. I offered to pray with Him and asked God to give Him peace, courage and boldness. “After you prayed for me, I felt a lot better and was not nervous anymore.” Peith told me afterward. Praise God for another answered prayer! In his sermon he spoke about the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 about going to all the world with the Gospel. He encouraged the students during the upcoming vacation from school to share the Good News with their Buddhist family members back home. That gave mean idea…
In English class the day before the students left on their vacation, we spent my English classes laying hands on and praying for each student to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have opportunities to share over the vacation.
When Caitlin and I left on our vacation to Thailand, I prayed that God would also give me an opportunity to share with someone about Him. God’s answer came in the Bangkok airport during our 10½ hour layover. A friendly man sitting across from us started up a conversation with me. It turned out that he was from Portland, OR. He thought he would never come to Southeast Asia after fighting in the Vietnam war, but now lives in Thailand with his Thai wife and son. He shared that he had made a lot of bad decisions in life and felt he had bad karma coming his way, so now he is doing his best to make good choices and be a good husband and father. “I read the Bible because I have found it helps me make better decisions in life, and the book of Proverbs talks a lot reaping what you sow. Our choices matter,” I responded. “But also we are affected by the choices of other people. On top of that we are affected by the choices of the Supernatural. But I am so thankful that God gives us the chance to start over, to have a clean slate, to be forgiven. There are so many people in Southeast Asia with no hope. They feel they will never be good enough to reach nirvana. But I’m so thankful that God gives us hope. It is not by us trying hard because we can never be good enough. As we rely on God,He gives us the power to be a new person. He can give you the power to be a good husband and father as you surrender to Him.” I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through me (Matthew 10:19-20). We spoke for several more minutes and at the end I prayed for Him.
He asked for my email address and I readily gave it to him expecting nothing to come of it. A few days later, I received a lengthy email from him. He shared that he had grown up in church but turned His back on God for many years after some painful experiences. The night before our conversation, he had felt a deep conviction to come back to God. His email read, “So there I sat with this overwhelming desire to speak to God. I spent quite some time begging for his forgiveness for the many sins I have committed for so many years to so many people and God himself. I prayed for my soul and I cried like a newborn baby. Almost suddenly I felt as though a great burden had been removed and a feeling of total peace came over me. I prayed some more and asked God to help me – show me the way – help me to be the person should be and on it went for some time – and when I was done I knew God wasn’t – he was with me and he wasn’t going anywhere without me. I thought about this encounter most of the rest the night and early the next morning – I was truly amazed. This brings me to the airport…” He shared how he was sure that our interaction was much more than a coincidence and had been very meaningful to Him.
God is working on the hearts of people all around us. He invites us to work with Him in the precious endeavor of saving souls because He knows that we ourselves will be strengthened and blessed.
Try praying for God to give you a Divine appointment today. Ask Him for the opportunity to share with someone and experience the amazing blessings that result from it.