As most of you know, the Ruppel family spent the first 7 months of 2012 on furlough in America. The last 5 months were spent evaluating the ministry in Cambodia, making plans for the future, and taking steps to move forward.
Furlough was very good for my children. We saw all three of them make solid spiritual decisions, make good friends, and make solid progress in their spiritual lives. This last summer was especially good for all of them.
Becky's health was up and down while we were home on furlough. Her "severe adrenal gland fatigue" was not so severe most of the time we were home, but we felt as if she made very little progress while in the states. Her lack of progress was mostly due to extra stress and irregular schedule caused by travelling, Once back in Cambodia, Becky has made remarkable improvements in her health. Becky has always had so much energy and enthusiasm. It is good to see her getting that back again. Thank you all for praying for her health.
Upon our return from furlough, my plan was to allow Pastor Sakaun to continue pastoring New Hope Baptist Church, while helping me train his son-in-law for the pastorate. God has led Pastor Sakaun not to take the pastorate of New Hope Baptist. He instead is working on building up the church in his own village. Sakaun is also helping me teach institute and travelling to preach some for other missionaries. Therefore the oversight of New Hope Baptist has fallen back to me. With God's help, I will train Wang, Sakaun's son-in-law, to be the next pastor of New Hope by our next furlough. Nothing is set in stone, but this is our aim.
Once we could see how things were falling into place, the Lord started showing me how I might "fill the gap." The main activities planned for this term are as follows:
Lead the church to spiritual, financial, and numerical growth with Wang by my side and involved every step of the way.
Develop material for institute classes that my students can re-teach in the province. We presently have about 15 students, most of which are serving in leadership roles at their churches. Specific subjects have already been targeted for this term.
Develop a discipleship training program and teaching material for the program.
Push on a closed "door" that has been shut for a long time. More about this "closed door" will be mentioned in our next snail mail letter. These letters are only sent to churches, so I apologize to those of you who do not attend one of the churches receiving our letters. The information is sensitive, so caution is being used revealing plans over the internet.
The church needed to be re-energized after our return, therefore soulwinning became a top priority. We doubled up our efforts. Many Bible studies have been set up and taught, but only one person accepted Christ in our Phnom Penh ministry from August to December. However, Chariya is now our first convert to begin the new discipleship program. Pray for her to grow and for us to learn better how to disciple Cambodians to become true disciples of Jesus Chirst.
Material for an Old Testament Survey class has been finished in Khmer. Colossians Bible study is almost finished. 4 discipleship lessons have been written and translated. Two new tracts have been printed.
In October, I had the privelege of laying my hands on one of our young men, Proh. Proh has been helping another missionary plant a church in Ta Kmaw for about 6 years. He has grown to be a great man of God. Many other missionaries joined me in recognizing publicly that God is doing a great work in and through Pastor Proh.
The needs of a radio ministry were presented to me, and God allowed us to start having a part in that ministry.
God also gave me the opportunity to make three trips to push on that "closed door" I mentioned above.
Please pray for God to give us wisdom as He continues to give us opportunities to lead people to salvation in Christ, disciple them, and train leaders to do the work of the ministry.
Thank you all for your prayers and support, Rodney Ruppel