It is hard to believe, but a couple weeks ago was already the second Christmas that I have celebrated in Cambodia. I took the final exam for my language right before Christmas, so I have now completed the year long Khmer for foreigners program at the Institute of Foreign Languages. I am thankful that God gave me endurance to finish the program. I am encouraged by the progress in learning Khmer that I have made in my time here so far, and I hopefully can continue to progress in my ability to communicate.
The New Year began with my next step in ministry here. I moved from Phnom Penh to a village in Kampot province. Missionary Esther and some of her students have been teaching English and Bible stories to a group of elementary and high school students at the village for the past several months on Saturdays and Sundays. The attached picture is of my new house. My roommate compared staying in the village to a never ending camping trip. With no running water and electricity, I think that it is a good comparison. But we do have a generator that we can run for a couple hours per day to recharge electronics and during the evening, we can use lights powered from a battery. It seems every time we use a computer or throw a football outside, a group of curious villagers gather to watch us.
I’ll be spending my time in several different ways: I’ll be continuing to study Khmer, preaching a few times per month at a church plant 7 km away in Missionary Esther’s village, gathering information about the village where I am living, and teaching English to Khmer grade school students.
Please pray for the following:
-adjusting to life in the village.
-that God would use my preaching at the church plant to convert and conform His people.
-that I would be able to form relationships with my neighbors and students.
-that God would give me a heart of compassion for the villagers that Ilive around that have no hope without the gospel.
Our team has been working on revising our core values, mission statement, and vision statement. Below is the new edition:
1. We value Christ Centered Churches
• We believe in planting reformed covenantal churches
2. We value Discipleship
• We believe in training national elders and deacons to lead church planting movements.
• We believe in training nationals to support church planting movements.
3. We value Word and Deed ministry
• We believe all our word and deed ministries are distinct and inseparable.
• We believe all our word and deed ministries should be strongly connected to the local church.
To see vital, Christ-centered churches worshipping the true God, transforming Cambodia, and spreading God’s kingdom throughout the world.
“Vital” – We envision Spirit-led, thriving churches engaged inwardly and outwardly for the cause of Christ.
“Christ-centered” – Christ is the center of all aspects of the church including the justification, sanctification, and glorification of believers. He is the center of our message – we preach Christ and him crucified.
“Churches” – a church is defined as a body of at least ten (10)* believing non-missionary adults, gathering regularly for worship which has a pastor. These churches should hold to or work toward the reformed distinctives, including preaching the Word, administering the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and exercising church discipline. Our goal would be to have self-sustaining, self-governing, and self-propagating churches.
“Worshipping the true God” – As the people of God gather together we will focus our
attention toward God with all our heart, mind, and soul, simply revering, and honoring God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
“Transforming” – Our vision is that as the lives of the members of these churches are transformed by the gospel, the society will also be transformed. We believe the gospel affects all areas of our lives – our families, our work, and our roles in society.
“Spreading God’s kingdom” – We seek to establish churches that from the beginning have a heart for planting daughter churches. We desire to see our churches sending and supporting missionaries to neighboring countries and even to the end of the earth. We envision establishing churches that heed Christ’s Great Commission out of a heart of gratitude, worship and obedience.
* MTW defines a church plant as having at least 10 believing non-missionary adults with an identified church planter meeting regularly for worship with the intention of becoming a self-sufficient, self-governing, self-propagating church.
Called by God to seek and equip disciples who in turn make other disciples, leading to a Christ-Centered Church Planting Movement.