Christmas is a blessed time at New Hope Baptist Church here in Cambodia.
The children of our church had the opportunity to present the Christmas story in play form. Some of their parents, who don't usually come to church, came to see them perform and also heard the Gospel.
The church took up a Christmas offering to help a woman in Sakaun's village who is dying of cancer.
New Hope also started "Faith Promise" Missions giving in December. ($60 per month committed) They have supported church planters through their regular giving in the past. They have also given above their tithes to a land and building fund for the past 5 years. All three areas of their giving we're up in December!
New Hope added their first monthly support to a missions project from outside their church. ($25 per month) They have supported church planters going out from among themselves but never from outside their church.
They doubled the proposed regular budget for 2013 by adding the salary of an assistant pastor.
We especially enjoyed our time with the church people on December 25th. Everyone was invited to come for some games, food, and a candlelight service. It really was a great time.
On the last Sunday of 2012, Chariya followed the Lord in believer's baptism. She brought two friends from work to church to witness the event. This is a positive sign that she truly is not hiding her faith at work. Chariya's younger brother and sister also started attending the chidlren's club the last couple of Sundays. Please pray for her to continue to grow closer to the Lord as she follows through with weekly discipleship with Theary, one of our ladies.
Chariya works at a garment factory 7 days a week. It is a pretty hard life, but, as is the case with most of the workers, it would be almost impossible for Chariya's family to make it without the additional income. It is difficult to reach this group of people, because they are always working. If they continually refuse to work overtime when they are asked, usually they will be fired.
On Jan. 7th, a Cambodian holiday, New Hope Baptist Church hosted a conference on parenting. About 75 adults attended from 5 different ministries. Most of the attendees were Christian parents that have received little or no practical, Biblical teaching on how to raise their children. One of our national pastors, who is doing great job training his own two boys for the Lord, taught a session for the younger parents. On the same day, 14 of our young people attended a one day conference for singles hosted be Stephen Benefield and the Good News Baptist Church. Thank the Lord for other faithful missionaries and nationals serving on behalf of our Saviour.
Becky and I escaped to the coast for 4 nights to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We enjoyed extra relaxation and time together. We just returned a few hours ago to our wonderful children. It was a great week, but it is also good to be back home.
Thank you all for your prayers for us and our ministry.