Greetings in the Lord! There is not too much to report this time. The PATC has been off for a week due to the Khmer new year (April 13-17). We decided to take a trip to Battambang Province, which is a six hour drive from Prek Ambel, to see the town and meet with some of our students’ families. Six of our students are from the area. We took only three with us because that’s all our car could hold. We stayed in the area four days. It was a blessed time.
We traveled along Road #5 out of Phnom Penh
Some interesting points along the way. On the second day, we visited Keng’s home (Keng is a PATC student) which is close to Pailin City (another two hours away!). His whole family was there, which was over twenty people including uncles, aunts, and cousins, and we shared a meal together. Keng really wanted me to meet his family and share the Gospel with them. He has shared with them in the past but he wanted me to throw some more seed and compel them to come to Christ for forgiveness. They all gathered round and I asked them if I could share my testimony with them. They consented and I began to tell them of my drunken ways and wicked heart before I believed upon Christ and the great work God has done in my soul and in my life since. I pleaded with them to think about their sin and their helpless and hopeless end before God without the Savior’s help. Afterward, the floor was opened for questions and Keng’s mother said, “I don’t have any questions…I am just a poor, foolish woman.” I encouraged her, “Jesus came to call the foolish, the poor, and the sick.” He came for someone like her. More on their reaction in a minute.
We then left Keng with his family and returned to Battambang. The road was a really bumpy, gravel road and we had to take it for two hours. We thought our little car was going to fall apart! But thank God it held up ok and we arrived safely.
Something happened next that has never happened to me. We went to a restaurant for dinner that was supposed to have great western style food. We walked in and the waiter, an Aussie, looked at us a bit funny and said, “Yes?” We said, “We want to eat.” So he took our order and then brought our drinks. He then started to ask us questions. “Where do you guys live?” We said we lived in Cambodia. “Oh, where in Cambodia?” We said in Kandal province. “What do you do there?” he asked. We said we were teachers at a small Bible school. He quizzed, “You are missionaries?” We answered, “yes, we are.” At this time he walked away from the table and said, “We don’t serve missionaries! You will have to leave.” I thought he was joking at first but he wasn’t kidding. He refused to serve us. We got up from our table and we told him, “no problem at all.” We left and for about two or three minutes I wanted to hate him in my heart. We had had a long day and Jennifer and Katherine were really hungry. But the Spirit within us both told us to be thankful for being persecuted. To repay good for evil. To pray for those who persecute you. I can say honestly that we prayed for his soul and that the Lord would forgive him for mistreating His people. We ended up eating hamburgers at a different place. It’s pretty funny that we come to a nation of Buddhists and get refused service by an expat.
Back to Keng’s family. There is not a happy ending to this story, at least not yet. When we met with Keng again, I asked him if his family had anything to say about what we shared. He said no one spoke about it again except that his sister was pretty upset that Keng didn’t participate in the idol ceremonies of the day. She even threatened to not allow him to study at our school anymore. She sends him money once a month and is in general a kind young lady. I shared with him that sometimes those who are in great opposition to the Gospel end up being saved and God is glorified greatly. He said in English, “I hope God choose her.” His grammar was off but his theology was on. Keng is only twenty years old but he has a good grasp of what it takes for a sinner to come to Christ. Thanks be to God!
Finally, here is a link to the April newsletter. Enjoy!