Not in Vain

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. That Thy ways may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations. ” ~ Psalm 67:1-2 ~

These holidays have been productive, but also included a couple of very sad occasions last week..

We lost two students.

1.
Khon got sick about a year ago. He went to the hospital here and they said it was tuberculosis and gave him medicine. Well the medicine didn’t work, so his Aunt (who is a house parent and teacher here ay WPY) took him to a hospital in Thailand, and they said it was a form of leukemia. They said it was quite advanved and treatment would be expensive. He comes from a poor farming family. Well he sold his share of the farmland to purchase medicine and treatment, but worsened and died the morning of Monday the 22nd August. He was 19.
We held the funeral service at his home in the village, but buried him here at WPY on Tuesday, as per his wishes. He wasn’t baptized, but in the words of his family, “He wasn’t a Buddhist.” and never attended the pagoda with them. The whole village got to hear the gospel preached to them from the 4 or so sermons over the 2 days of the funeral. We spoke about sin, death and the hope of the resurrection. We used the local custom of loudspeakers. We pray that seeds have been planted that will bear fruit and his death won’t be in vain, and are glad they allowed us to do a Christian funeral.

Khon was always a good, quiet student for me. A bit shy, but would talk when he warmed up to you. He got along with all his classmates, never rude or crude to girls, and although not the highest academically, always applied himself to his work. I remember one time being in the back of the ute going to the airport to farewell a volunteer, and the other boys were talking about how many girlfriends they have had, currently had, or wanted to have. Khon turned to me and said, “Teacher, I don’t want a girlfriend…. I want a wife!”

Khon - red shirt

Khon – red shirt

2.
David got sick about 2 months ago. He was a HIV positive orphan that has been here since he was about three years old. He had a bad reaction to a change in his medication, and lost most the skin on the upper half of his body. They took him to hospital, where he contracted a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria which affected his intestinal tract. The poor boy suffered from chronic, explosive diarrhea, and it took a while for them to get on top of the bacteria. The first antibiotic they tried, he had a bad reaction too. He improved and came here for a week. Although we then got the diarrhoea under control, he was finding it hard to eat, due to a thrush infection from his mouth all through his intestinal tract, and lost weight. The hospital decided to admit him again when he went for a check-up, and sure enough the diarrhoea started again, as well as possible internal bleeding. He continued to lose weight. We aren’t sure if he caught another bug at the hospital.
Tuesday early morning he slipped into unconsciousness and was admitted to ICU and died early that afternoon. He was 14 years old and weighed less than 25kg. We buried him late Wednesday morning.

I once disciplined him with a cane to the hand when he was making class unbearable for Ely. But after that we got along quite well. When he came to ride the horse he looked very proud of himself. He always used to greet me when we would pass each other by the way.

David

David

Khon wasn’t expected to die just yet, the herbs he had been taking were actually making the lumps in his neck go down. David wasn’t expected until the day Khon died, and even then we were praying he would pull through. I am glad that they aren’t in any pain anymore.

I am so glad for the Bible’s teaching on death. We can know that our loved ones are sleeping in Jesus and will be awakened at His Second Coming, where there will be no more pain, suffering, tears, or death.

The following Sabbath we attended another funeral. The father of one of our students passed away. He wasn’t a Chrisitan,  but his family are and wished to do a Christian funeral. There, in that village, the Gospel was again preached to some who may not have heard of our hope before. Again we pray for a harvest from among those villagers, and for each family who suffered the loss of a loved one last week.

In other, better news, we also had three new volunteers arrive this week. Kim, she is from Germany; Conchis from Mexico, and Matthew from the USA. We are very thankful they arrived safely, and thank God for sending them.

Less than one week and then school will start again. Ely and I not only have some classes in the school, but will also commence teaching Hooftrek. Our first students will be from our Special class. These kids struggle academically, and some behaviourally, and a couple are physically disabled. We are excitred to have a chance to help the students in this way.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ue know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58 ~

Changes

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ~ Romans 10:13 ~

New Year’s Greetings to you all. I hope you had a blessed Christmas and a wonderful beginning to the new year!

I spent Christmas here at WPY with Laura and Emily. We attended and participated in the annual Christmas Program at Riviera Hotel in Siem Reap. The children’s choir was absolutely wonderful – a credit to Niet, Wendy, and Claudia’s hard work in preparing them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Laura, Emily and I also went with Tim and Wendy to a village nearly two hours from here, where the local Adventist Church was putting on a Christmas Program and meal for the villagers. Tim and Wendy had been invited to speak. We had a lovely time seeing some of our dorm students who live out that way, and some other friends whom we had not seen for some time.

I got to visit the Happy Horse Ranch twice (just to pet the horses :P), once on New Year’s Day with Emily and Laura. It’s true that “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man (or woman!)” ~ Winston Churchill ~  Here are some pics from New Year’s Day – sorry in advance for the horse spam!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking of horses – here’s some pictures from the HoofTrek project. The house is almost finished and the fencing has started. We praise God and give Him all the glory for His leading. We know this program will help all the students who participate to better know the love that God has for them, and the value He places on them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just before the Christmas Holidays began, the group that had gone to PAFCOE in the Philippines returned. It is so good to have them back with us again. They have had an awesome experience there and learnt so much which they are excited about putting to use here in Cambodia to the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. Soon the group who went to study at LIGHT in the Philippines will return. We look forward to having them among us again.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Another project that will begin here at WPY this year is a 10-month International Missionary Training school. It is a co-operation between SALTMinistries, LIGHT, and Sebastien Braxton’s ministry. The aim is to have the course run every year for local and foreign participants. The co-ordinators will soon arrive to begin set-up, with the course hopefully commencing in March or April. Please pray for God’s leading in this new program.

Campmeeting begins on the 2nd of February, and will last one week. There is lots of preparation still to do. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and be with us and lead all who come into a closer relationship with God.

Thank you all once again for your prayers, encouragement and support this past year. May God bless you all greatly in this new year, and may every aspect of our lives bring glory and honor to Him.

No Scriptures!

“The character of Wycliffe is a testimony to the educating, transforming power of the Holy Scriptures. It was the Bible that made him what he was. The effort to grasp the great truths of revelation imparts freshness and vigor to all the faculties. It expands the mind, sharpens the perceptions, and ripens the judgment. The study of the Bible will ennoble every thought, feeling, and aspiration as no other study can. It gives stability of purpose, patience, courage, and fortitude; it refines the character and sanctifies the soul. An earnest, reverent study of the Scriptures, bringing the mind of the student in direct contact with the infinite mind, would give to the world men of stronger and more active intellect, as well as of nobler principle, than has ever resulted from the ablest training that human philosophy affords. “The entrance of Thy words,” says the psalmist, “giveth light; it giveth understanding.” Ps 119:130″

Here’s an update on the languages of the world, by region, that likely still need a Bible translation. Many of these groups have never heard the Gospel or even heard of Jesus!

10888879_10152518494451302_7515796695891119344_n

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” ~ Romans 10:14 – 15 ~

Satan Told Me Not To Read The Bible

A Testimony
~ by Andrew Michell ~
http://www.hewantsfruit.com

Motivating youth to read the Bible

Motivating youth to read the Bible

When I was in jail the first thing Satan said to me was

Do not read the Bible.

Well it was too late. I had just been arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery and was alone in a cell in solitary confinement. There was nothing to read except for the obscenities and gang symbols which former prisoners had written or scratched on the walls of my cell.

After a few days another prisoner walked by my cell and gave me a book to read. It was the Bible. I had to read the Bible. What else could I do? I was in solitary confinement with only that one book. So I read the Bible.

That’s when I heard Satan say to me

Well if you are going to read the Bible, do not believe any of it.

Fine, I will not believe it. But you should read some of fantastic stories that the Bible contains! They were so amazing I swear that I was lost in this book and no longer in solitary confinement. Daniel saved out of the lions’ den, the walls of Jericho crumbling, and Jesus resurrected from death.

Then I learned that Matthew, John, and Peter were very real historical figures who really lived and knew Jesus. They were not writing fiction but their own eyewitness testimonies of Jesus’ sufferings, death, and resurrection. They believed so much in what they saw and heard that they were willing to be tortured, imprisoned, and killed rather than be quiet. These eyewitness testimonies were so compelling I began to believe them also!

Satan said “Ok so you believe the Bible, just do not pray.

Well by now my life was a complete wreck. I was 16 years old in jail for seven kidnappings and armed robberies. This was a time of intense misery and despair as I realized my life was over and there was no hope. I was a high-school-dropout-drug-addict felon. The only future for me was prison and death.

As I read stories in the Bible of God answering prayer and changing peoples’ lives, I found hope. I knelt on the floor of that cell and prayed to God to change my life. He did. He gave me a new heart and new desires. I found peace and freedom as I prayed.

Satan would visit me often in that cell. He persisted, “You are reading the Bible and praying even though I told you not to. I do not think you should do that but I will not stop you. That is okay, just have your own experience with God and do not ever go to church.”

As I continued to read the Bible I found that I was becoming a better person. The Bible was changing me and giving me a desire to give, learn, and help others. I no longer wanted to steal, use drugs, and commit crime. This was so wonderful! I wanted to find others who were also reading the Bible and praying. I wanted to join them. I wanted to benefit from interacting with a community of Bible readers.

Satan was ready of course, “Well fine, it is okay for you to join a church. There are over 33,000 denominations for you to choose from. Choose from any that you like, just do not go to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In summary, when I learned the truth about the Sabbath Day and the truth about what happens when people die, I decided to become a Seventh-day Adventist. Why? Here is the easiest and simplest answer: Because 10 equals 10 and the dead are dead. Everybody always says “10 commandments” but they only really mean 9. Everybody always says that Mr. SoAndSo is dead but what they actually mean is that Mr. SoAndSo is alive somewhere else. However the Bible says that the dead are dead and that the 10 commandments are 10 commandments.

You-know-who came to me again and sought to persuade me “Hey, you did not need to join a church, especially the SDA church. Anyways just enjoy your faith by yourself and do not share it with anyone.

Actually it is not that hard to be quiet about your faith. I think I could have succeeded if I only stopped reading the Bible and praying. If I stopped reading the Bible I would have lost perspective on the value of a human soul. Other people would have then become less important and I would not value them as God values them. But God does want all people in every nation to know what great love He has for them.

Listening to Satan this time was impossible. For many years now I had been consistently reading the Bible and praying every day. This interaction with God’s Word had so dramatically changed my life that people who knew me previously were asking me how my life had changed. When I shared how God had helped me so much other people wanted the same thing. How could I withhold something that been such a benefit to my life, my family and community?

Now Satan really started to plead with me, he really urged me “Ok you are sharing your faith with people at home. That’s good and you should just do only that. But do not ever, I repeat, do not ever go to an area of the world where is Christ is not known and share what you know about Jesus. Do not show any interest whatsoever in foreign missions.

In the Bible is an interesting story about the disciples of Jesus asking the question about the end of the world.  Jesus then tells them specifically in Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Jesus then commands his followers in Matthew 28:18-20 to go into all the world and share the good news and teach others about Jesus.

How amazing! It is God’s will that everybody has access to the gospel to learn about God’s love for all of humanity. All people everywhere should have opportunity to learn about Jesus. It is the express will of God. When I learned here that 2.9 billion people are still without access to the gospel I became motivated to be involved. This is what God wants. How could I live any other way?

Satan said “Ok Andrew you are involved with foreign missions, but don’t encourage anyone else to be involved.”

This time I thought about what Satan said. Why should I not tell anyone else about foreign missions? Because when every nation and every people group has access to the gospel then Jesus will return with power and great glory. When Jesus returns all sickness, war, rape, crime, evil, corruption, pain, and suffering will come to an end. Satan will remain in power as long as foreign missions are ignored. Suffering, war, and evil continue because missions do not.

Organized religion is the greatest blessing to humanity.
 God has organized the believers of the Bible into an organized church to take the gospel in a very organized way to unreached people groups. That is the overall plan and purpose for the church. God brought the church together to do this work well so that nobody in this generation anywhere in the world need be ignorant of Jesus.

The results of sharing? Just recently I met a man in SE Asia who said to me “Because of your example I have brought my family here to share Jesus with the unreached.”

And Satan? Well I just heard him say the other day “Ok you did not listen to me and you have motivated people at home to be involved in missions…but whatever you do, please do not publish any of this.”

 

Andrew Michell, who has worked for many years as a full-time Missionary in Thailand. A book has been written about his incredible life story and amazing transformation. It can be found at the Adventist Book Center and is titled, “Convicted!“. Andrew has visited the Jesus For Asia studio before, has been on MissionTV (Episode March 31, 2014) and has spoken at Southern Adventist University.
Sabbath Blessings to you all

Always Say A Prayer – Breaking News

Sharing this email that I received today. It is rather exciting. Please pray for the meetings, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all involved. Oh and watch Pastor Phally’s testimony! It’s very exciting.
Dear Prayer Team,
Please pray earnestly right now and throughout the weekend for over 150 Sunday church pastors and over 100 of their members in Cambodia who are meeting this weekend to learn about the Sabbath and the state of the dead, along with other unique Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.  During the first meeting, the conference hall was packed, with people standing in the back.
 
 
Pray for God to send His Holy Spirit to strongly convict each person of truth in His Word. Pray also that the Lord will anoint the lips of Pr. Sophat Sorn and Pr. Lim Pheng who are preaching. (This amazing opportunity came about from ASAP Church Planter Prek Phally sharing with his former colleagues. You can see his story at the link below)
Please also pray that God will open the windows of heaven and pour out not only spiritual blessings, but provide the $100,000 needed by December 31 so that ASAP can send the workers their stipends and provide for all the ASAP project needs. It says in Desire of Ages, pg. 668, “He is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises.” If you would like to get involved with ASAP you can find out more information at this link: http://asapministries.org/involved/

Thank you for taking the time during this busy holiday season to pray.
Gratefully,
Julia O’Carey
ASAP Director

P.S.  This urgent email was sent to the entire ASAP family, not just our email prayer team, so that the meetings in Cambodia and the needs of our workers are saturated with prayer coverage.  If you are not a member of the ASAP Prayer Team and would like to join, please visit the following link:  http://asapministries.org/united-prayer/join