Last night was the 4th week in our guest preacher series at church. We had the opportunity to hear Bro. Adam Wood, who is one of the newest missionaries in Cambodia. He and his wife, Alison, have 6 children. The Woods have been working for the past two years with the Ruppels, and Adam is currently working on a concordance for the Khmer Bible. This has been a huge project, but it will be a help to many when it is completed. Also Mrs. Wood has taught piano lessons to a number of people here in Cambodia, including our three oldest daughters. We are very glad to have this family serving with us in Cambodia.
Adam was raised in a non-Christian home in Greenville, South Carolina. He tried a few different churches in his childhood and teen years, but did not get saved until he went to a week of teen camp with an Independent Baptist Church at the age of 17. A couple of days after returning from teen camp a church member volunteered to pay his way through the Christian school for his entire senior year! Adam says he went back to the public school for one day to tie up loose ends and transfer to the Christian school, and suddenly everything in the public school seemed so weird to him.
Adam enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the start of his senior year of high school, and went off to boot camp following his graduation. During his senior year of high school, God called him to preach. He regretted joining the Marines simply because it meant delaying the new-found purpose that he had found; nevertheless, he had to fulfill his commitment to the military. Adam married his wife, Alison, and then spent the majority of his 6-year enlistment on reserve duty which allowed him to go to Bible college full-time at Tabernacle Baptist College in his hometown of Greenville.
In his second year of Bible college, God called them to Cambodia as a result of a missions conference, but they had to wait until Adam's military commitment had ended. He didn't waste that time though! He got busy teaching himself the Khmer language via books, the internet, and anybody he could find who would help him. Consequently, when they arrived in Cambodia 2 years ago, he already had a very solid foundation laid for his language training. They will be spending the first half of 2011 in the U.S. seeking to raise some additional needed support, and then moving directly to a province in Cambodia which is in dire need of Gospel-preaching missionaries.
Last night he preached from Luke chapter 6 on "The Two Builders". His main focus was on people who hear the Word of God but do not obey it. Several of the things he said last night really stood out to me as helpful to all of us. He warned that the two builders' houses probably looked similar from the outside. The difference was not obvious at first. It was not really revealed until the storm came. So it is with the Christian life. The difficulties and the hard times will reveal whether we are a person who simply hears the Word of God or someone who actually follows what we have heard. The wise man (the man who obeys the Bible) is building with the future in mind. Obeying the Word of God is harder today, but gives security for tomorrow. Disobedience is easier today, but dangerous for tomorrow.
He also brought out a phrase which I had never noticed. He contrasted the 2 builders with the 4 kinds of soil in the parable of the sower. The Bible says all 6 of them are people who "heard the Word", but there is an interesting difference between the 2 builders and the 4 soils. The Word was taken and given to the people in the parable of the sower, but in the parable of the 2 builders, it says they came to Jesus (Luke 6:47). He said that sometimes the biggest hypocrites of all are church-going people...people who go to church and listen all the time, they just never do what the Bible says to do.
One final thought from his message is that over and over in the Bible God promises to bless people who obey His Word. When we disobey God's Word, we suffer so much loss! He challenged the people to not be satisfied with a life of disobedience to God's Word. It was a powerful message which greatly challenged our people.
As I stated before, the Woods will be in the U.S. raising some additional support. If anyone reading this article (particularly in California or in the southeastern part of the U.S.) would be interested in having this family in your church, please contact him via his blog by clicking here. There is also additional information about the Wood family, the Concordance project, etc at this site.