Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Year In Review - 2012





I am trying something new. While I was thinking about writing a "year-in-review," I realized that I had already written a summary of my year...via twitter. And because twitter was written as the year happened instead of after it was over, I like the freshness of it. So I have taken selected twitter updates and repurposed them as a summary of what 2012 was like for our family and ministry. 

Those of you who use twitter and follow me may not want to spend time on this post, as it is all information you have probably already seen. On the other hand, for those who do not read our twitter updates, you may be interested in this "diary-style" perspective of our ministry. 

I am aware that there are many who do not use twitter, so let me give a couple of words of clarification. First, the reason every post is so short is because twitter limits the characters in a post to just 140. Second, when you come across symbols like @ and #, just ignore them. They are used by twitter users to connect with other twitter users. 

God gave us a wonderful year, and we hope our friends and family will enjoy hearing about some of the things they might have missed.


January

2nd
Spent New Year's Day in services at Grace Baptist Church of Flower Mound, TX. We sure have been blessed with some great supporting churches!

4th
Good to see some old friends this week. He taught me in high school & she was my piano teacher. Thankful for their investment in my life.

Six really cool kids at the Alamo: 


5th
Wonderful service last night @ Trinity Baptist, Arlington, TX. I got the sense that they truly do pray for our ministry. That's encouraging!

Attended a fellowship mtg this morning. Heard great preaching & was blessed to hear them conduct their church-planting business w/ passion.

9th
Wonderful day at Southwest Baptist in Oklahoma City yesterday. Pastor Gaddis and the entire church were incredibly gracious hosts.

A large, packed-out auditorium belting out "And Can It Be" & "How Great Thou Art" = proof that you don't have to use CCM to build a church.

Sold 130 books to 3 different pastors in the past 3 days, and got an email today from a new church taking us on for support. Amen!

10th
We're in Grants, New Mexico. It's 22 degrees, snow everywhere, and this missionary family from Cambodia is FREEZING!

14th
Glad to be back in California! Enjoyed breakfast and prayer with the men in our home church this morning. So blessed to have good friends.

16th
Enjoyed being in a brand-new church yesterday ( @lbcoakdale ). The hope for America is more Bible believing, Christ-proclaiming churches!

22nd
Wonderful day all day @ Gethsemane Baptist, Long Beach! Thankful 4 opportunities 2 teach & preach today & 2 speak Khmer w/ several people.

24th
At Coast Hills Baptist, Santa Maria 4 miss. conf. Enjoyed seeing many old friends last night, encouraged 2 see they are still "keeping on."

28th
Enjoyed taking my 4 older kids on a school trip to tour the state capitol in Sacramento yesterday.


29th
Taught SS & preached at my home church this morning. Met several new families! Looking forward to hearing @mikefarrell1975 preach tonight.

Praying 4 @TimBenefield & Golden Valley Baptist Church today 4 their charter-signing service. Looking forward 2 hearing a report of the day.

31st
Thoroughly enjoyed teaching in our Bible Institute tonight. Encouraged to see people give an extra night per week to study the Word of God!

Got sad news today that a little girl in our village ministry drowned over the weekend. Please pray for her family and for @Chad_A_Phillips.

Please pray for the family of GIBF missionaries to Mexico, John and Wanda Casias, both murdered today in a home invasion there in Mexico.

February

1st
Great Bible study 2night @ Sequoia. After 35 years of pastoring, my dad still has absolute confidence in the Word of God. I appreciate that.

2nd
Recently heard someone disparaging missionaries in Mexico as "wanting an easy field, wanting to stay close to mama." How utterly uninformed!

How I thank God for every missionary to Mexico - true soldiers of Christ, hazarding their very lives for the sake of the Gospel!

6th
Presented our ministry to Golden Valley Baptist in Patterson yesterday morning. @TimBenefield and his wife are doing a great job there!

Thankful for the opportunity to report & preach at Regency Baptist in Orangevale last night. Pastor Nichols always encourages & inspires me.

12th
Preached all day 4 Pastor Mike Ray @ Hopewell Baptist in Napa. So good 2 see all our old friends. It was an awesome day from start 2 finish!

15th
Hopewell's choir all day Sunday, now 3 straight nights of Sequoia's choir. I could get used to this! Looking forward to the next two nights!

Tremendous message by Charles Sanders tonight. Nothing like listening to a man who's been preaching 50+ yrs and still has a tear in his eye.

20th
My friend, Pastor John Gillespie of Flower Mound, TX went 2 Heaven on Saturday. He was just 51. Please pray 4 his hurting family & church.

Sad & hurting today for the Cretzman family in the sudden homegoing of little Azlynn. Praying God will strengthen them in this deep valley.

Drove for 6 hours today. Couldn't hold back the tears every time I looked at my children in the mirror. They are truly a gift from God!

Heaven is sounding sweeter all the time.

21st
Sunday a.m. we were at Landmark Baptist, Santa Rosa. Pastor Opferman & his people have a big heart & sacrificial spirit for the Lord's work.

Sunday p.m. at New Hope Baptist, Santa Rosa. Had a great service! Enjoyed fellowship w/ Pastor Maricle B4 church & a church family after.

Enjoying the book "50 People Every Christian Should Know" by Warren Wiersbe...and I still have some of the most intriguing people ahead!

26th
Spent the day at Immanuel Baptist, Delano, CA. Always a privilege to report back to faithful supporters. Glad to see God working in Delano!

If there had been Nike's in the 1st century, I think their slogan would have been "Perform the doing of it!" (II Cor. 8:11)

March

1st
Helping my three girls with their Science Fair projects tonight. We are hoping to solve some of life's most puzzling & perplexing problems:)

If my calculations are right, I'll never have all six of my kids doing a Science Fair project in the same year, for which I am thankful.

3rd
Had a great time soulwinning today with a man in our home church. People are basically the same everywhere...empty, hurting, and searching.

4th
Enjoyed being at Sequoia Baptist today. Great teaching & preaching. I appreciate a pastor who preaches the Word of God without apology!

"The Word of God has been accurate to the degree that it can only be divine." -Robert Benefield

5th
Spent the day w/ some men from church removing light fixtures worth thousands from a building set 4 demolition. Americans sure waste a lot!

6th
Great to see my sister, brother-in-law, nephews and niece from Estonia tonight. Haven't seen them in 5 and 1/2 years.

@Ron_Winkler @Rachel_Winkler @mikefarrell1975 @mikeandbeckyf It's official...Winklers are tall. Benefields are medium. Farrells are short.

8th
Had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a Muslim woman from Iran today. She did not get saved, but she listened & that's a good start!

10th
So excited to hear how God is working in Patterson at GVBC! 1 saved last Sunday, 1 saved on Wednesday, 2 saved on Friday. Praise the Lord!

In honor of the Indian chief who cut the end off his blanket & sewed it 2 the other end 2 make a longer blanket, I've just changed my clock.

12th
Great day at Lighthouse Baptist, Moreno Valley! @PastorJPreston & his people have an obvious desire to know about & pray for our ministry.

A teen told me last night that the teenagers on our video encouraged him 2 take a stand 4 Christ at his public high school. Praise the Lord!

21st
Enjoyed being at Bethel Baptist w/ Pastor Davidson in Santa Ana this past Sunday. Such gracious people! It's always encouraging to go there.

22nd
My 6 yr old son is learning about even & odd numbers. Today he said in exasperation: "I just don't see what's so odd about those numbers!"

26th
Preached @ New Testament Baptist in Hanford yesterday am & pm. Great spirit in services & we enjoyed the fellowship w/ Pastor King's family.

30th
Enjoyed spending the last 4 days at a school competition w/ 3 of my girls. They did awesome, as did my nephews & nieces. Proud of them all!

April

3rd
Saw part of @Ron_Winkler's video report about Estonia today. It's awesome! I hope some new churches will get behind this exciting ministry.

6th
Claiming to be a Christian while denying the Resurrection is like removing the bottom floor of a skyscraper & expecting it to stay standing.

If Christ be not risen, we are of all men most miserable. But Christ IS risen, so we should be of all men most joyful!

9th
Thoroughly enjoyed Resurrection Sunday at Mountain View Baptist in Modesto w/ Pastor John Simmons. What a great spirit and friendly folks!

Yesterday was the first time I've ever preached in a 6:00 am service. Impressed by the crowd & the sharp, smiling youth choir that sang!

11th
My daughter is heading out for her first youth conference. Hoping she loves it & praying God will use it in her life. Thanks @wcbc_today

Started a missions conf. tonight at Tabernacle Baptist in Concord. Nobody wanted to leave afterwards. I think church should be like that!

After church a 74 yr-old man said: "I've prayed for missionaries my whole life, but tonight I told God that I want to pray more." Amen!

Ate at Five Guys for the first time tonight. I give them an A for flavor and an F for price.

12th
Another great service tonight at Tabernacle Baptist. It's such an encouragement to see people tenderhearted about the lost around the world.

13th
Got home today after 4 days on the road without my family and Seth (2) said, "I've been looking for you, daddy!"

Had a chance today 2 witness briefly 2 a young man from Afghanistan and invite him 2 church. Perhaps God brought him here 2 learn of Christ!

Talked w/ @Chad_A_Phillips for over 2 hours today re: our ministry in Cambodia. Thankful 4 his love 4 our people & his service 2 the Lord!

14th
Perfect weather today for driving through No. Cal. & Oregon. It's been fun travelling with @Ron_Winkler and family, but I sure miss my own:(

15th
Great services today at two great churches: Willamette Valley Baptist of Salem, OR, in the a.m. and Faith Baptist of Tacoma, WA, in the p.m.

16th
I love this faith-filled sentence from an email I just received from one of our Cambodian church members:"Whatever in future, he know all."

17th
Flew into Fresno today. I met two Cambodians at the airport, and I just happened to have a few Cambodian tracts in my bag! Thank you, Lord.

Read a good little book today on the plane - "Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married" by Gary Chapman. Very practical material.

18th
My wife, the philosopher: "I don't read book introductions. It just makes the book longer." Well, I guess I can't argue with that:)

Heard tonight that a new convert my dad is currently discipling drove to Sacramento last week and led his ailing grandfather to Christ!

22nd
"I am convinced that many Christians come to a point in their lives where absolutely NOTHING is done by faith." -Pastor Robert Benefield

29th
Thoroughly enjoyed the day at Barstow Baptist. Glad we got to see not only Pastor Lundy & family, but also former Pastor Hampton & his wife.

Haven't been to Barstow Baptist in 7 years. Met both veteran Christians & new Christians, all of whom are excited about the Lord & missions!

May

3rd
Great mtg last night at Central Valley Baptist in Manteca w/ Pastor Tharpe. They were very responsive to our video report & the preaching.

Bro. Mel Hall has been reaching kids for years with Gospel magic. This morning he gave me a bunch of new stuff to use. What a blessing!

4th
Enjoyed some time today w/ Candace & some of her friends celebrating her 13th birthday. I'm officially the father of a teen. Yikes!

8th
Good services this past Sunday a.m. at Calvary Baptist in Oroville. Pastor Taylor & his people have been faithful supporters for many years.

Privileged 2 B w/Pastor Ruhl @ Pleasant Valley Baptist in Chico this past Sun. pm. Thankful 2 call them partners, proud 2 call them friends!

Thinking about Bro. Hudson (missionary to the Ukraine) & his 3 kids. Tomorrow is Mrs. Hudson's Homegoing Service. Please pray for them.

14th
Wonderful time at Hopewell in Napa yesterday. Such a precious church to us! Privileged to fill Pastor Ray's pulpit while he is overseas.

My wife, looking at a goofy Mr Potato Head creation by Gabby: "It looks like daddy." Gabby: "No it doesn't. Daddy doesn't have a green hat."

18th
Heard 5 outstanding messages at Master's Men today. Great fellowship too. Looking forward to tomorrow!

19th
Very challenged by the preaching today at Master's Men. My favorite message today: "Ten Times Better" by Lou Rossi. Powerful!

When I was a kid, we prayed often 4 R next-door neighbor 2 B saved. I saw him today @ Master's Men. He got saved 2 yrs ago! Unbelievable!

21st
Good day yesterday in Merced/Atwater. Met Pastor Miller for 1st time & reconnected w/ Pastor Doss. Two sharp men doing good work 4 the Lord!

24th
Great night last night in Reno...in church:) Encouraged by the kindness of Pastor & Mrs Ralstin and the people of Lighthouse Baptist.

26th
Privileged 2 present our ministry thurs. night 2 a brand new church, Victory Baptist in Fresno. God is using Pastor Owens & VBC greatly!

I read this extremely well-put little nugget of wisdom yesterday: "Let's not be so openminded that our brains fall out!"

27th
With Pastor Graves @ Liberty Baptist in Norwalk this a.m. So happy 2 see the facility that God has provided 4 them since we were last there!

28th
Stopped @ McKee Rd Baptist last night on way 2 Visalia. Pastor Fies put gas in my tank & bought corndogs, sodas 4 my kids. What a guy!

30th
Had brkfast ystrday w/ my parents & 3 siblings. Probably 15+ yrs since just us 6 went out together. So thankful 4 a family that serves God!

31st
Just finishing up a really fun day visiting the Reagan Presidential Library with my daughter, Candace (13). What an awesome place!

Saw Pres. Reagan's mother's Bible today. Next to II Chr. 7:14, she had written:"A most wonderful verse for the healing of the nations."

June

3rd
Proud of my 4 oldest children and 9 nieces & nephews who sang with a bunch of other children in the youth choir this morning. Beautiful job!

7th
Dropped in for services at Victory Baptist in Burbank tonight. Enjoyed meeting @PastorBadger & family. What an exciting ministry!

10th
Glad to be at Bible Baptist Church in Delano this a.m. for the Grand Opening of their new facilities. Pastor Serrano is doing a great job!

I was suspicious that the kid in front of me in church wasn't paying attention. Then he started doing the macarena and I knew for sure.

Tremendous service tonight @ Calvary Baptist in Temecula. Wonderful people! Also enjoyed great fellowship afterwards w/ Pastor & Mrs. Rench.

11th
Excited 2 B at #rootedconf in Lancaster w/ my wife. Our 1st one in 12 years. Looking forward to tonight's service!

12th
Great opening service at #rootedconf! Also enjoyed reconnecting with friends before and after the service.

13th
Wow, what a day at #rootedconf! Outstanding preaching, teaching, music, and fellowship all day long.

14th
Loved Leadership Conference! If I lived in the U.S. I would make it a priority to go often if not annually. #rootedconf

16th
Please pray 4 @Chad_A_Phillips as he deals today w/ a family in our church whose dad died a few hours ago. PTL he was saved!

I don't like being so far away when friends and church members are hurting:( Glad I can still pray!

22nd
This past Sunday we enjoyed participating in Missions Emphasis Day at Lancaster Baptist Church. LBC always challenges & encourages me!

Just got home from teen camp. Thankful 4 the opportunity 2 preach 8 times 2 some great teens. Praise God for 2 saved & many other decisions!

24th
My dad preached on the rapture this morning with both passion & compassion. If I wasn't saved already, I would have gotten saved today.

"We can't solve our sin problem. Only Jesus can solve our sin problem, but boy can He solve it!" -Robert Benefield

26th
Tried garlic ice cream today in Gilroy. I guess culinary adventures are not only for the foreign mission field:-)

29th
Re: Supreme Court - We can get over our disappointment w/ those who sit on the bench if we will keep our eyes on Him Who sits on the throne.

July

17th
We're back in Cambodia! There's no place like home!

Most people's 1st errand after moving is probably to pick up a few groceries. In Cambodia, the first errand is to go get a can of Raid!

20th
Not long ago Ming Heung (mom of 3 church members) was antagonistic 2 the Gospel. Last night she was in church. Please pray 4 her salvation.

21st
Got to witness to 2 people today. Both have promised 2 B in church tomorrow where we'll assign workers 2 continue teaching them the Gospel.

What a joy to reunite with the children in our village ministry! Great crowd today. @Chad_A_Phillips has done a terrific job in my absence!

22nd
We've been praying for Ming Heung for a long time. I was informed today that she got saved Friday! Her 3 young adult children are thrilled!

Enjoyed church so much today! Very little stirs my soul like hearing a church full of Cambodian believers belting out "There Is A Fountain."

24th
Saw a package of garbage bags at the store today that said: "degradable garbage bags." Apparently you can call them mean names.

25th
Enjoyed spending a few hours this morning w/ @thompsrus giving him a thorough report on our ministry and the grand tour of our "Jerusalem."

Picked up a Vietnamese Bible today for Ming Heung who got saved last week. Looking forward to giving it to her tomorrow night at church.

26th
In past 10 days, 3,000+ Cambodians have travelled 2 a village where a 40 ft log, recently pulled from pond, is believed 2 have magic powers.

A man named Mr. Dork was quoted in today's paper. Sometimes spelling foreign names with English letters leads to very unfortunate results.

28th
Had good visits this a.m. a great service in the village this afternoon. Looking forward to having @thompsrus preach for us tomorrow.

29th
Had a good crowd, a great spirit, and 4 baptisms this morning. Also enjoyed our quarterly potluck & song/testimony service. I love church!

@thompsrus preached on "worry" from Mt. 6. Many testimonies this afternoon were about how God spoke 2 hearts through this morning's message.

If it were possible, I think our church would be happy to start singing on page 1 & not stop until we had sung through the entire hymnbook!

@thompsrus and @chanthachhim treated my family to a very nice dinner tonight. Thank you both very much! We really enjoyed the fellowship.

August

2nd
They never taught me in Bible college what to do when your son gets the offering bag stuck on his head 15 minutes before the service begins.

3rd
Visited a family this morning with 5 kids: Neek, Nich, No, Noch, and Nut. More great Cambodian names here: http://www.themissionarymemo.blogspot.com/2010/06/lang-hang-sang-mang-and-chang.html …

Got 2 witness at length to a former Khmer Rouge soldier today. He is open 2 the Gospel & agreed 2 read the material I left him. Pray 4 Nee!

5th
I led Karona to Christ 9 yrs ago. Karona led Sopia to Christ 3 yrs ago. Sopia led Srey Moch & Chiavay to Christ today! II Tim. 2:2 at work!

Gave out some awards to 30 church members today for quoting 2,125 verses while I was on furlough. 16 of them quoted all 100 on the list!

Especially proud of 5 of our young adult men. Last year they hardly tried & quoted almost no verses. This year between them they quoted 150!

7th
I wonder if Cambodia is the only country where people trim their trees with a meat cleaver.

Enjoyed lunch today w/ my wife & the Phillips & our longtime friends, the Shulls. Thankful for godly examples and encouraging friendships!

11th
Spent some time in the village today witnessing to a woman who is dying of cancer. Praying for God to convict her of her need for a Savior.

12th
Good day in church yesterday. Loved seeing a man who had fallen and been restored beginning to experience the joy of the Lord once again.

14th
2 people from PETA sat in a chicken coop in front of KFC today. All the Cambodians that gathered around were looking at them like "What...?"

I think PETA's message might be a tough sell in a country that transports live chickens hanging upside down from a motorcycle's handlebars.

15th
Driving down the street today, I saw a new restaurant named Chuck Norris Dim Sum. I wasn't really hungry, but I was afraid not to eat there!

18th
Driving to the village today I passed a guy in a wheelchair being towed by a rope tied to a motorcycle. I didn't ask how he planned 2 stop.

20th
The Prime Minister's record-setting 5 hour speech from last week is now available on dvd! My kids are going to LOVE family night this week:)

22nd
Spent several hours today making some great visits w/ @Chad_A_Phillips . We currently have a good list of prospects and it is growing daily!

Had a huge storm today which turned roads 2 rivers, cars 2 boats, motos 2 jetskis. It's fun but only until your "jetski" stalls "mid-river!"

24th
We've had a major problem w/ our visas this week, and it has done nothing but grow in the past 24 hours. Please pray for a swift resolution.

Hoping to finish salvation studies with 3 different adults today. Please pray for Ohm, Bay, and Srey Laek to trust Christ as Savior today!

25th
Thankful that Bay and Srey Laek (a dad and his adult daughter) both got saved this morning! Thanks to all who prayed for them.

26th
6 visitors in church today! All of them were either co-workers, neighbors, or relatives of our church members. Looking forward to follow-up!

Leaving w/ family 2 drive 2 Vietnam border. Have 2 exit Cambodia then re-enter 2 solve visa problems. Please pray 4 a safe and smooth trip.

28th
Just returned from Vietnam/Cambodia border. Trip took longer than planned, but praise the Lord our visa problems are now resolved!

Went 2 the cemetery tonight w/ a family 2 sing and read Scripture at the grave of their husband and dad who died while we were on furlough.

September

2nd
Good day in church ystrday! 6 new adult visitors, several returning visitors from last week, and a couple of "wanderers" showed back up!

5th
Just had the amazing privilege of leading my oldest son, Stephen, to Christ! He went to bed with a huge grin on his face! Thank you, Lord!

6th
Witnessed again to a cancer-stricken woman in the village. Her health is failing quickly, and she still doesn't grasp her need for a Savior.

Sobering:"all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags...we all do fade as a leaf...our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."(Is.64:6)

Started a salvation study today w/ 3 teenagers, including the son of one of the ladies in our church! Please pray 4 Bee, Sopaek, and Sreyla.

9th
I've been asking many 2 pray 4 the salvation of an elderly woman who has cancer. She finally got saved on Saturday! Thanks 2 all who prayed!

14th
Witnessed to an elderly Buddhist nun today. She listened with interest until I told her that Jesus can wash away our sins. Then she got mad.

It's indescribably sad 2 see people who think that if they're going to be saved they'll have to do it themselves. It must break God's heart!

15th
A man told me 2day that he saw Jesus crucified on a movie but didn't know why he had 2 die. What a joy 2 answer his question! Pray 4 Samien.

The woman who got saved last week was in tremendous pain from her cancer when we visited her today. Felt so helpless. Thankful for Heaven!

Wonderful morning in church today! New and returning visitors, solid crowd, great spirit, and two teen boys (Sopaek and Bee) got saved!

16th
It was a joy to present two new Christians with their first Bibles in the service today!

One of the boys who got saved this a.m. took home our Gospel of John study booklet and had completed all 210 questions by the p.m. service!

17th
Just told my boys we're getting haircuts this week. I asked my 6 yr-old if he wanted a buzz and my 3 yr-old chimed in, "Can I have a Woody?"

19th
Was just informed that the woman w/ cancer out in the village no longer has cancer...she's in Heaven. So thankful she got saved 11 days ago.

20th
Got to lead a 27 year-old man named Souv to Christ today. He visited our services last week and was very open to the Gospel. What a joy!

21st
Went to the village today to see family and friends of the woman who died Wednesday. Got to witness some, and had a sweet time w/ believers.

23rd
Had several more first-time adult visitors in church today, including a man I met yesterday on soulwinning. Visitors keep church exciting!

A teen boy who got saved last week was back in church today WITH his new Bible and a haircut and WITHOUT his earring.

Seems like almost every day I am hearing of yet another Baptist church starting in my home state! Could California be the new Bible Belt?!

25th
“You cannot get a harvest if you are afraid of disturbing the soil, nor can you save souls if you never warn them of hell fire." -Spurgeon

26th
My 3 yr-old son's comment regarding the black eye he got while playing today: "I like my black eye because it makes me look like a bad guy!"

Cambodia's Prime Minister, in a speech yesterday: "I have to clarify for the stupid man." He definitely knows how to get his point across:)

27th
Reporter:"Why isn't there 24-hour traffic police?" High-ranking official: "It's not necessary. Between 10 pm and 6 am, people are sleeping."

28th
Had an encouraging time w/ fellow missionaries at last night's English service. Bro. Ruppel preached a good message on the Goodness of God.

29th
Asked a 12th grade young man in our church what he wants 2 do w/ his life. He said, "Get a job and follow God." That's a pretty good answer!

I told Seth (3) to go get a book for me to read to him before bed. He ran off excitedly and came back with "My First 1,000 Spanish Words."

30th
Thankful for another good Sunday! One lady got saved and a young man I led to Christ years ago moved back to town and came back to church!

Cambodia has some awesome restaurant names, like this one I saw today: "Fate Blessing Buddha Vegetarian Restaurant!"

"Brother worker, are you getting a little weary? Never mind, rouse yourself, and plough on for the love of Jesus, and dying men." –Spurgeon

October

2nd
While picking up my van from the shop today an employee asked, "Could I ask you a question about Jesus?" I love it when that happens!

Challenged by this verse today: "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." (Psalm 27:8)

"Of the 100's of spiritual failures I've counseled the thing they all had in common was an absence of the Word in their daily lives."-LaHaye

5th
Had an encouraging time of prayer this morning w/ several fellow missionaries. I appreciate the godly friends God has given me in Cambodia.

"One second in Heaven should take care of anything we have put up with for our Lord." -Joseph Cannon

Rereading one of my favorite books:"For Missionaries Only" by Joseph Cannon. Reading this book is like getting encouraged by an old friend.

"If you want a short, unhappy stint on the mission field, then take a wife with you and neglect her." -Joseph Cannon

7th
Heavy traffic around every Buddhist temple due to 2-wk Festival of the Dead. Hoping to someday see traffic jams around Cambodia's churches.

10th
One of our newest converts is moving away tomorrow:( Glad we have discipleship materials to give him. He is very hungry for the Word of God!

13th
Today begins the final 3 days of the Festival of the Dead. Happy to see the church full today of people who have found true hope in Christ!

@Chad_A_Phillips preached an outstanding message this morning! God met w/ us, and I believe many believers were strengthened in their faith.

14th
Cambodia's former king Sihanouk dies in Beijing - Yahoo! News http://news.yahoo.com/cambodias-former-king-sihanouk-dies-beijing-001718306.html … via @YahooNews

18th
King Sihanouk's body was returned to Cambodia yesterday. 1 million people lined the road from airport to palace to pay respects. Sobering.

A teen girl came to church tonight and asked for a bunch of tracts to hand out when she visits relatives in another province tomorrow.

19th
After 2 weeks of a Buddhist festival and a relatively empty city, it sure was nice today to go soulwinning and actually find some people!

Samien told me 3 wks ago to come back after Pchum Bun Festival. True 2 his word, today he invited me in and let me begin sharing the Gospel.

21st
We had 5 adult visitors in church today, 3 of whom were men I met while soulwinning. Praying for Samien, Ra, and Preeng to get saved.

"Lord, You have the strength and I have the weakness - let's team up!" -Vance Havner

All over town tonight people are excitedly staring at the moon where it is reported that the face of the recently deceased king can be seen.

24th
Went soulwinning w/ @Chad_A_Phillips today. Most of the people we intended to visit weren't home, but we made several good NEW contacts!

25th
In the wake of King Sihanouk's death I'm rereading the book "Cambodia: Report From A Stricken Land" by Henry Kamm. I highly recommend it.

Read today:"After the Pol Pot years, in which schools were abolished, only 300 Cambodians with a higher education were left in the country."

Reading Henry Kamm's '98 assessment of Cambodia (just 2 yrs before we arrived) sheds a lot of light on why some things are the way they are.

26th
Translated "Apples 2 Apples" for a game night w/ our church tonight. They loved it!. Think I'll call my new Khmer version "Mangos 2 Mangos."

Today I introduced 2 of our church ladies to 2 ladies I met soulwinning this wk. They had a great visit & started a salvation study w/ them!

Thankful 4 the opportunity to witness at length to 2 men this a.m. Pray 4 Hak and Too. They expressed real interest, asked great questions.

28th
Bittersweet day in church today. Great crowd, visitors, 1 saved, but had to say goodbye to the Phillips as this was their last day with us.

"Temporal things can't solve spiritual problems." -Chad Phillips

Last week I went down a wrong road while making visits. 4 people I met on that "wrong" road were in church this morning! God is in control!

31st
Privileged to participate tonight in the ordination of one of the young men out of Rodney Ruppel's ministry. What an encouraging service!

November

1st
Great to have a church member back tonight after working past 2 yrs as a maid in Malaysia. She soaked up every second of tonight's service!

Watching 4 children for some missionary friends while they go to Thailand for medical tests. We're now a family of 12 for the next few days!

2nd
My wife recently learned to make homemade Fabreeze and 409 cleaner, and now she is making brown sugar from white sugar. Pretty resourceful!

4th
Great day today in church! AM: 2 new Bibles presented, 3 returning visitors. Afternoon: 2 saved, 4 teen visitors, PM: 4 adult visitors.

In the Spring I don't really mind that we don't do time change in Cambodia, but in the Fall it makes me a little jealous.

6th
Disappointment? Yes. Despair? No! God still holds the highest office of all. "Why art thou cast down? Hope thou in God." (Psalm 42:5)

8th
Was asked ystrday to help someone learn a phrase in English. Expecting something important, the desired phrase was "You stepped on my foot"

Good crowd for Bible study last night. Taught on the 2 & 1/2 tribes who replaced God's will with their own. Lots of good application there.

You will always encounter forbidden land before you arrive at the Promised Land. Don't settle for less than God's best.

If this week's election will drive Christians to their knees like never before, then it will be a net gain for America.

9th
12 years ago today our family arrived in Cambodia. So thankful for the privilege of being an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ!

Always encourages me 2 hear that a pastor just shared 1 of R letters w/ his church and I bet I'm not the only missionary who feels that way.

10th
Only in Cambodia can you see a guy driving his moto down the road while simultaneously cooking waffles over the open fire in his sidecar.

13th
My 3 yr. old is turning into a cynic! He's been walking around lately singing a song he made up: "Who Doesn't Care About The Muffin Man..."

16th
Pray for 14 yr-old Bun Teem. He's been attending church 4 awhile, but today while visiting in his home he expressed interest in the Gospel.

17th
The ASEAN summit starts tomorrow in Cambodia. Heads of state are arriving from all over Asia. Kind of exciting...despite the road closures!

President Obama is arriving here on Monday. This will be the first time ever that a sitting U.S. President has visited Cambodia.

18th
Thankful 4 several teen boys who indicated their desire today 2 know how 2 B saved. Praying 4 open doors 2 share the Gospel w/ them this wk.

Never use the words or actions of lost people to justify ungodly behavior in your own life. God expects more from His own children.(Eph 4:1)

19th
Air Force One touched down in Cambodia a couple of hours ago. Praying for Pres. Obama to have wisdom in his talks with other world leaders.

Seems kind of strange to think that Pres. Obama is staying just a few blocks from our house. We should have invited him over for dinner:)

I agree w/ Pres. Obama's admonition 2 Cambodia's Prime Minister re: human rights. I'm a little surprised he went there, but I'm glad he did.

20th
Discovered a new definition 4 the word "futile": trying to get a 3 yr-old boy to take a nap while a helicopter repeatedly circles your house

Proud of my 3 older girls (Candace, Deborah, and Emma) for working hard this afternoon doing some deep cleaning @ the church. They owned it!

True...Obama & Clinton looked sleepy @ ASEAN summit, but honestly, I felt bad for them. Jet lag + extreme humidity + long speeches = brutal!

"If you think Independence Day is America's defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title hands down." -Tony Snow

21st
What a thrill to see 100 people (3 churches) crammed into our church last night singing heartily to the Lord & testifying of God's goodness!

22nd
Had a nice Thanksgiving Day with 3 other missionary families. 27 people in our little house! So thankful for God's unending goodness to us!

23rd
Murphy's Soulwinning Law: A man who is uninterested will live in the same house for 100 years. A man who IS interested is moving next week.

26th
Over 100 precious souls perished in a fire in a garment factory in Bangladesh yesterday. I wonder how many of them were ready to die.

27th
My 4 yr-old daughter, Gabby, while eating breakfast this morning: "Mmmm...these eggs taste like eggs!"

28th
Reading "Today's Gospel - Authentic or Synthetic" by Walter Chantry. The part I've read so far has been excellent.

"Do you declare in your witnessing that God is holy? Every part of your message rests upon the character of God." -Chantry

"If you rush into four easy steps to heaven with a man who has a defective view of God, you will deceive him and yourself." -Chantry

"In the twentieth century the church has tried to see how little it could say and still get converts." –Chantry

Finished "Today's Gospel" this morning. Disagreed with some things in the 2nd half of the book, but nevertheless, a thought-provoking read.

29th
Started a salvation study with 14 yr-old Bopata today. He has no parents. Lives with his aunt. Praying he will soon have a Heavenly Father.

Sokia visited our church Sunday and loved it so much she was back again tonight and brought her two teen brothers, Tonglang and Seehua!

30th
Last month I gave my barber an evangelistic booklet-The Fun Train. When I went to get a haircut today, that was all he wanted to talk about!

December

1st
Heartbreaking visit this evening. 6 teen & young adult siblings wanting 2 come 2 church & hear about Christ, but dad said a very adamant NO!

2nd
Overheard a guy tonight whispering to his friend about my kids: "Wow! They speak great English!" Not sure what he was expecting:)

4th
Had a great time last night with missionary friends watching our kids perform "A Christian Christmas Carol." They did awesome!

7th
Transparency International released their annual report on corruption yesterday, and Cambodia ranked 157th out of 176 countries.

In today's paper: a new report on "land grabbing" around the world highlights two countries as prime examples...Mozambique and Cambodia.

9th
A visitor from 2 wks ago came back today w/ 5 friends! One of our ladies began a salvation study w/ all 6 of them during the preaching time.

Two week in a row, tragic deaths in the NFL. I wonder if those who cried out against guns last week will cry out against alcohol this week.

13th
Good day! Continued a salvation study with Bopata, started one with Bunteem and his mom, Paek, and got a promise from Makara to start one!

While I was teaching @ a house today, a rat was feasting boldly & sumptuously on bread left at an altar a few feet away. A bit distracting:)

16th
Had 90 kids in services ystrday & today. Many of them were visitors and heard the story of Christ's birth for the first time in their lives.

18th
Finished "In The President's Secret Service" by Kessler. Learned a lot about the character of our 10 most recent presidents. Some surprises.

19th
Read ystrday that the cremation ceremony for Cambodia's late king will cost $5 million. Today that was changed to $1.2 mil. Either way, wow!

Got to start a salvation study today with 2 brothers named Piarine (12) and Piarong (16) who have been coming to our church.

We have a sandwich shop here called Fatboys. Problem is...they answer their phone with broken English: "Hello, fat boy, may I help you?"

20th
Ystrday a man in R chrch w/ an unexpected day off came by 2 wash van, fix broken light. 1 of the all-time best ways 2 encourage your pastor!

23rd
Thankful for a full house at church this morning and great participation by our people in our annual Christmas offering for others.

Thoroughly enjoyed our annual Christmas concert tonight! Great crowd, beautiful music, and spirit-filled preaching by Bro. Rodney Ruppel.

Just finished "Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs Of Christmas" by Ace Collins. Very interesting! Here's a summary: http://themissionarymemo.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-stories-behind-songs.html …

25th
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." Hard to believe, but I'm sure glad it's true! Merry Christmas!

My 3 yr-old son opened a plush Buzz Lightyear today, then he opened a cool light-up sword w/ sound effects and immediately executed Buzz.

Had @knvbc playing the entire day today in our home. Every song was perfect!

26th
Legos, coloring, Monopoly, Mad Gab, Apple to Apples, Miracle on 34th St, junk food. Wow...sometimes relaxing tires me out more than working!

27th
Piers Morgan says the Bible is "inherently flawed." The Bible says Piers Morgan is inherently flawed. I think I'll stick with the Bible.

28th
I'm thankful for General Schwarzkopf's life of service to our nation. We need more men like him! I pray that he knew the Lord.

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.” Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

30th
Thankful to end the year w/ a great day! Nearly 70 in attendance this morning, 2 saved, 10 baptized, and many visitors! 


One of our church members brought 8 of her fellow university students to church today. None of them had ever heard the Gospel.

"Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will." -Jonathan Edwards

31st
"New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time." -James Agate

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." -Bill Vaughan

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