|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on February 27, 2018 at 8:50 AM||comments (9)|
Greetings felloworkers of Christ,
Hope all is going well with you in your part of the world! God is blessing the work here in Cambodia. We started off the new year right with a baptism of Vannak's nephew, Ratana, who will attend IBISR in Sept of 2018. We also had the Regional Director of BVBID Extension school, Mark Reynolds, along with his travelling companion, Norman Light (an elder at TownAcres church of Christ) teaching short courses on "The Preacher and His work" and "2 Corinthians" and both did an excellent job. We benefited much from their studies and were greatly encouraged. They were also a part of our Saturday Seminar entitled "Solid Food for the Soul" where the staff and leaders taught on various subjects from 8am to 5pm on a Saturday. It was a great turnout and great lessons by all who spoke. I was very impressed with Piseth (co-director of IBISR) who prepared his lesson in English and did an excellent job delivering it. It's these kind of activities that help the leaders grow and we are glad that Mark and Norman could be a part of it to help them grow.
Mark Teaching "Weightier matters: Justice, Mercy, and Faith" at the Saturday Seminar
Norman Light preaching
Piseth baptizing Ratana in Sihanoukville Province
Our Saturday Seminar Program
Not only do the leaders work together but we also spend our special moments together! We planned a "Penta Double Date" dinner together on Valentines Day where 5 couples came together not only to show their love for the spouses but to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ!
The Wives (L-R) Sopha, Peun, Ratana, Chakriya, Saray
The Husbands (L-R) Chann, Phanat, Piseth, Darat, Vannak
Another exciting news is that we secured a building in Battambang Province already and will begin the renovating process as soon as possible to get it ready for our work there this coming August. I am nervous about beginning a new work in a new area but at the same time excited to be doing it all over again from scratch! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as I will need to begin raising funds for my family and I to implement the plans we want to do in Battambang for the Lord. If you (or know someone/congregation) would like to demonstrate your love for us and the work of Jesus Christ in Battambang please dont hesitate to ask how you can support us. We believe that God will provide as he has done for the past 10 years we've been here in Cambodia! Please continue to keep my family in your prayers.
Our new building that we will begin our new work with in Battambang Province!
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on December 29, 2017 at 12:10 AM||comments (2)|
As the year 2017 comes to end, I am excited to share with you about the work of Christ in Cambodia moving forward. As some of you may know, I have worked myself out of a job in Siem Reap, now that the local leaders have stepped up to run IBISR, Hannah's Hope, and the local church in Siem Reap. The past year I have been in and out of the country getting my family affairs straighten out with my wife's US citizenship. Our original plan was to move back to the states to work with Partners in Progress in Arkansas but God saw fit to bring us back to Cambodia when my wife decided to support me and follow my dreams in continuing to serve Him here in this part of the world, instead of her trying to acheive the "American Dream." I have been so blessed by God to give me such a wonderful help meet who understands the gospel. The past 10 years have been a blessing to be able to work with the elders of Bear Valley church of Christ and IBISR. I hope that we can continue to grow our relationship and continue to serve God together as my family will spend the next 10 years serving God and working with the elders of Windsong church of Christ and Partners in Progress expanding God's kingdom in Cambodia. Below is our strategic plan, objective, goals and timeline for 2018. I want to emphasize that the brethren at Siem Reap will always have a special place in my heart and i know it will be very difficult in the beginning (although Battambang is only 3hrs away) as we begin a new work, but we have been preparing for the past year and half for this transition.The new work is called "Project E412 Battambang" (Ephesians 4:12). Please read below and keep me and my family in your prayers as we strive to serve God faithfully.
Project E412 Battambang
The church in Battambang to successfully equip the saints physically, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually for the work of service (Eph 4:12). Providing vocational training in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration repairs and Pastry and Bakery so that they can provide for themselves and others (Acts 20:35). Help them develop a heart like God to have compassion towards the poor (Pro 14:31) with our J127 Widow’s Program (James 1:27). Teach them the word of God to grow their faith and share it with others (2 Tim 2:2) through our School for Evangelist program.
By 2028, Battambang church of Christ will have it’s own local preacher and leaders taking over the J127 Widow’s Program, Vocational training program and the School for Evangelist program. (Similar to Siem Reap now). Hopefully, I would have worked myself out of a job again by this time.
From 2023-2028, Have 10 strong Christian core families that supports the Battambang church of Christ with their income, J127 Program would have successfully helped fed, clothed, provided medicine, hearing aids, eyeglasses to 500 widows in Battambang province, School for Evangelist program would have successfully trained 50 capable and confident evangelists who’ll share it with others in Battambang city and surrounding villages
From 2018-2023, Through our vocational training program and other programs (WEI, passing out tracts, etc) get contacts to start having one on one bible studies to begin the church in Battambang, Work with and develop a good relationship with the Provincial Women’s Affairs to see where we can begin visiting widows to gather information on how to help them, Successfully develop a 1 year bible curriculum for the School for Evangelist program.
Jan 2018 obtain building
March -July renovation of building
August- Officially move to Battambang
August-Evangelistic Campaign to establish church
Sept. 2018 establish School for Evangelist curriculum /establish Air conditioning/cooking school
If you have any questions or comment, please dont hesitate to ask. Love you all.
Phanat and Family
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on November 5, 2017 at 10:55 PM||comments (1)|
Blessings to all who reads this blog. We just finished the country-wide camp of churches of Christ with the theme being "United in Christ" (Eph 4) at a new location and it was a success! The church in Siem Reap had the most attendees and travelled the furthest to get there (7 hr drive). We had the most diverse group attending (family, couples, singles, villagers, city-dwellers, children of Hannah's Hope, elderly widows, students and staff of IBISR) totaling 63 people. We are thankful to Julie (missionary in PP) and the BEST center for organizing every year and also to Sokhom Hun and Cambodia BIble School (CBS) who hosted and provided the facility for us to meet this year. The speakers were excellent and the campers were grateful and enjoyed themselves in fellowship of other Christians. Im personally thankful for an environment where i can take my children to learn about God and for them to enjoy good Christian fellowship.
Siem Reap Campers
Students of IBISR leading singing
Vannak (staff of IBISR) leading the 30 yrs and up discussion group
United in Christ
Praise to God for a new brother in Christ from Tapang Svay village in Siem Reap. Samnang decided to put Christ on in baptism at this year's camp.
I will be resuming my Romans class til November 17th. The students are doing really well and are excited to complete Romans. Then I will teach a one week short course on Personal Evangelism to end my teaching quarter. After that I will also fly to Vietnam with Sophean for his follow up examination of his surgery on Nov 30th. Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to serve God here in this part of the world.
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on October 9, 2017 at 1:05 PM||comments (1)|
Greetings loved ones! I've realized that I havent blogged in quite some time and hope you all understand given my family situation. We've been praying a lot and trusting God to give us the answers to what He would want us to do in service to Him. It seems as if He wants us to stay in Cambodia and serve Him here for the rest of our lives! If you've been following me on Facebook then you might have seen that my wife and I have been doing a lot of travelling lately. Weve been to Myanmar and Germany since she decided to forego America and joined me here in Siem Reap. The reason why I took her along with me to these foreign 'field trips' is because one, i want to broaden her view of what mission work is all about, to see other works in other settings so she can understand what i do when i travel and two, is because i want to thank her for her decision to follow me to do mission work in Cambodia. It's not easy for someone to have the full right to live and work and earn a living, hoping to achieve the American dream but instead sacrifices all that to do God's work with her husband in Cambodia. Im so glad that she trusts me and God for her and our children's future!
Iya and Phanat
I will be teaching the book of Romans from Oct 16th-Nov 17th to begin our 1st Trimester of the 3rd year. We have 3 new students who will begin their studies with the next class enrolled so far and Vannak Yeng will be teaching them the fundamental basics of the bible until they can officially enrol next year. One of them is a new Christian from the village of Leang Dai and he is disabled. His name is Sokchea (not to be confused with the preacher in Leang Dai). The other one is Phearom's in law and Vannak's nephew. We appreciate Vannak stepping up to teach these new prospective students.
In addition to our plan in starting an Air Conditioning vocational school in Battambang next year, I'm proud of my wife for wanting to improve herself by enrolling in Paul Dubrule's school (http://www.ecolepauldubrule.org/html/) with a focus on Pastery and Bakery. Her plan is to use the knowledge that she gains there to help train the lady's and widows that we plan to work with in Battambang next year!
In the beginning of November, we will have our annual country-wide church of Christ camp. This year's venue will be in Kompong Speu Province on one of the Cambodian missionary's (Sokhom Hun) new plot of land that was recently purchased to expand his work. The school is excited to attend this camp as we play a part in teaching (myself, Darat, and Chann) will be speaking/teaching on the subject of Unity of the church based on Ephesians 4:1-6. The students and staff of IBISR will join as well as the older children of Hannah's Hope. Will update you with pictures after we've attended.
I hope you enjoyed my update and please continue to keep the work here in your prayers. We appreciate your support financially and spiritually. If you have any questions or comments please dont hesistate to ask.
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on June 9, 2017 at 12:20 AM||comments (1)|
As I reflect on my 10 years of service in the land of Cambodia, I cant helped but be humbled by what God has done. How can a bunch of single, inexperienced, mid twenty-something young men and women develop a strong family oriented congregation, start and operate an orphanage consisting of 45 children and 13 full time staff, surrounding village congregations headed by our Bible school's graduates, benevolent work in providing safe water for poor villagers to drink, and running an intensive bible school producing capable men and women to serve God? The answer is as simple as what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6. Without God, there is no growth! He is the One who is behind the work of Siem Reap, Cambodia!
My family at Hannah's Hope Banquet fundraiser with Brad (board member)
The goal of every missionary is to to grow the work to the point that the local leaders can take over. Siem Reap has leaders that are already taking the lead. The last step in transferring the work to the local leaders is giving control of the finances to them. It's the ultimate sign of trust from the missionary. Darat and Piseth (co directors of IBISR) have handled the finances of the school and Ravy has handled the finances of Hannah's Hope for almost a year now, since July of 2016. Things continue as they were, if not even better, as they have found ways to cut costs and improve on various things. Out of all the works in Cambodia, Siem Reap is the only one that the locals are fully in control. Every other work has a foreign missionary handling the funds and overseeing everything and that is the reason why they can't duplicate themselves and expand. And after 10 years, it's time for us to expand. It's what's best for the work in Cambodia. We plan to start a new work in Battambang province (3 hrs away from Siem Reap). The immediate goal is to duplicate what we have in Siem Reap now (a healthy congregation, a bible school, surrounding village churches, local benevolent works etc) within 5-10 years starting from scratch. We believe God will come through in Battambang as He did in Siem Reap 10 years ago. Please keep our plans in your prayers and support effort.
Fellowshipping with the local leaders of the church in Siem Reap. Vannak, Darat, Piseth, Pros and the students
As of right now, my whole family (wife and children) are with me in the United States. They have been here for almost a year (since September 2016). My daughter, Katesana, has completed her first year at Baranoff Elementary in Austin, Texas. My wife is currently working as a hostess at Chi chinese Sushi and Buffet restaurant as she awaits her U.S. citizenship interview which will be on June 23rd, the same day that I will have to take Sophean, one of our children at HH to Hanoi, Vietnam for his 3rd major surgery. This is why I'll be flying out to Cambodia in a matter of days (with my children) to Cambodia first and once my wife gets sworn in and receives her US passport, she will join us in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I will then teach the students and staff of IBISR my new trade that I acquired while here in the states the past few months, HVAC-R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) in hopes that it will enhance the school's program and empower the locals to have the tools to be self sufficient and provide for their families. I will also be teaching the book of Romans, Personal Evangelism, World Religions, and Christian Ethics in the remaining school year for IBISR. After the 2018 graduation for our students, our goal is to select two graduates to help me and my family expand to Battambang when we move there to begin our new work. We will continue to need your prayers and support because we know how difficult it is to begin another work. We have also learned a lot from our past mistakes that will help us with what we want to do in Battambang. We have a lot of new plans ahead for the work in Battambang but will update you when we get there. I am also excited to share with you something a brother in Christ from the Woodlandoaks church of Christ and I are working on in pertaining to our goal of helping the local brethren be self sufficient by presenting them with opportuniities that will provide them with dignity and self respect while doing so. I will give further details as we progress in the following months. If you have any other questions pertaining to the work and our plans, please leave a comment. Thank you for all these years of support and pray that God will continue to bless you so that you can continue to support our work ahead. Amen.
Spending time with brethren before we come back to live in Cambodia. Sam and Melissa Wilcut and brethren from Bossier church of Christ in Lousiana.
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on October 25, 2016 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ!
The past two months have been such a blessing from God. I was in four different countries (Myanmar, USA, Tanzania, Cambodia) and have met some of you face to face. Next month I'll be in three other countries (Greece, Germany, and VIetnam) serving God. I never thought nor wanted to be a world traveler, (I always preferred to stay located and build and grow relationships) and I must say this new part of my ministry is quite challenging but worthwhile. I thank God for bringing the different people in my life to help me expand my vision for His kingdom at the same time growing my faith in Him. I've learned to depend upon HIm for everything and that it's ok and biblical to lean on my brothers and sisters in Christ in time of need. I appreciate the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who understand this principle and are always willing to help bear each others burdens, thus fulfilling the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).
In early September, my colleague Kevin and I had the opportunity to teach our brothers and sisters in Christ in Myanmar the book of Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah and Christian Evidence for one week which resulted in six new souls being added to the church in Yangon.
"Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life." -Mark 10:29-30
Nine years ago in 2007 I came to Siem Reap, Cambodia as a single, 26 year old missionary all by myself, BUT now I return to the USA a married, with over 50 children and over 50 brothers and sisters to call my family! How awesome it is to live out Mark 10:29-30! My wife and children are in the US while Ill be in Cambodia finishing up the work in training the core leaders of the church in Siem Reap.
In early October, I was invited to speak at the Tanzanian Leadership Conference for the second year! It was made possible by my close friends and family who've sent in contributions to send me there. Thank you so much for help bearing my burden and allowing me to be able to express to our brethren in Africa that not all missionaries are white skinned people and that God can use anybody who is willing to serve Him anywhere! The Leadership Conference was a success and not only was I able to present two lessons on the qualities of an elder but I learned a great deal from our African brothers! I personally learned that not all 'biblical scholars' are white skinned.
Piseth and I, along with a few of the students of IBISR travelling over an 1 and a half every Sunday to help grow a newly established church in Kompong Kleang. Piseth is one of the local leaders who has stepped up to the role of co-directors of IBISR along with Darat. These two men have been with me since the beginning and I fully trust these men with the work here.
Darat (our other co-director of IBISR) is interpreting for our new Bear Valley Extension School's director, Keith Kasarjian. Appreciate Keith's visit and his leadership lessons for the staff and the students. He didnt have to come visit, but because he was in the vacinity, he made time to visit us and encourage us. That's leadership personified and we appreciate that.
These are just a few of the highlights that I wanted to share with you about what's going on in my life and ministry for the Lord. What's going on in your part of the world? Please comment and let me know how God's working in your life so that I too can be uplifted.
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on August 30, 2016 at 12:25 AM||comments (1)|
Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ! It is always a pleasure to inform you the work of Jesus Christ in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The past couple of months have been such a blessing to me personally. We were blessed by Denny Petrillo's (Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver's president) presence and the knowledge and experience he brought to the students and staff of IBISR. We enjoyed him greatly and we hope to see him again very soon but given his demanding schedule we can only hope that he will at least be able to come back for this year's graduating class in 2018.
We were able to show him the many different works that the church here is involved in and one of them was the Safe Water Raft, in which we serve the community of Kompong Kleang safe, drinkable water. We pump the water from the lake onto the raft where there is a water filteration and purification system on board and then freely give it to the people of KK to drink. We also try to spread the good news of Jesus every chance we get so they get a tract with their water as well. We have converted a couple from KK named Pisey and Sophin and now we worship every Sunday at 2pm. Its very important to encourage our new brother and sister so I try to bring a few students with me from the school as well as Vannak to help show them how to worship according to the Bible. This also gives the students experience in how to plant a congregation and what all needs to be done when starting a new congregation. Please pray that the church here grows according to God's will.
Denny and the staff on the Tonle Sap Lake
This is Sophin and his wife Pisey and their daughter Ching Ching worshipping with us upstairs on the Safe Water Raft
John Rice brings a Christian camp to Takam village. Over 400 plus people came! They heard him preach the good news of Jesus Christ in the morning and enjoyed arts and crafts and children's games later in the afternoon.
Darat translating for Kevin Carson in a special seminar on Christian Evidence for our students in the mornings and Piseth translates for me in the afternoon on the book of Ezra/Esther/Nehemiah. These two guys are stepping up big time in taking on more responsiblities. They've already are handling the funds of the whole school's operation and are doing such a wonderful job at it. They will also start to take English courses to gain not only knowledge but confidence in their leadership ability. Please keep these guys in your prayers!
My wife was also granted an Immigrant Visa to the USA which means she will be able to live in the United States legally. Im so happy for her because she waited so patiently for it. We plan to go to the United States in the middle of September and because she's married to a missionary, the government will allow her to be naturalize and become a US citizen within 3 months of stay instead of 3-5 years of residency. When she gets her US citizenship she will be able to freely travel in and out of the US without any hassle so please continue to pray for her. Love you guys and your support emotionally, financially, and more importantly spiritually! God bless,
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on July 3, 2016 at 1:05 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings loved ones! As you may know, the past two months I've been in America, taking my children with me for the first time, and is now back in Cambodia! I appreciate all of your prayers for my safe travels. I thank God for not only taking care of me and my children when i was in America but for taking care of my wife when she was all by herself. It was quite an interesting journey for me the past few months. I needed that break to help me rejuvenate myself for the work that is set before me in Cambodia. It's been 9 years that Ive been living here and out of the 9 years Ive been back to the US a total of 3 months time, so going back was quite a unique experience for me. I was able to give a report of what God is doing in Cambodia to you and hopefully it encouraged you to see that you have brothers and sisters here in Cambodia who are striving to please God and expand the borders of His kingdom as well. As I travel back to Cambodia, i thought a lot about the work and how it can grow even more. I've come to the conclusion that it's time to take the next step in growing the local leadership here. They have shown me that they can take on more responsiblities with their maturity. I have decided to trust them with the finances of the work. It's time for me to give this responsibility to them and watch them grow. As a missionary, the final stage of trust is giving up the financial responsiblity to the local leaders, especially in a third world country where corruption is rampant. I will let my two "Timothys" (Darat and Piseth) take charge of the school's fund. They will be given all the funds and be responsible for the accounting and bookkeeping of all transactions starting this July and onwards. I am excited to see how they handle it and i trust that they will develop into even more faithful men! Please keep them in your prayers as we implement our plan.
My father and I on Father's Day. This is the first time in 9 years that I was able to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day with my parents. I dont know how many more I can with their old age (Mom is 74 and Dad is 84) so im thankful that i was able to.
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on April 30, 2016 at 7:35 PM||comments (4)|
Greetings brethen! It's been a fruitful two months serving the Lord here in Cambodia and I'm very excited to share with you about the work of Jesus these past two months. Right after brother Wayne Burger finished his awesome short course at IBISR, I had my very own seminar to teach at in Phnom Penh. My topic was titled "The Successful Steward; God's View on Money for HIs servants." It was held at the University church of Christ also known as the BEST center. We had about 100 people showed up for it and received some postive feedback.
I was also able to skype with the youth at the Dripping Springs congregation and shared with them a little about what a missionary does and answered some of their questions. They do this thing called the "Missionary March Madness" where they skype missionaries around the time of the March Madness NCAA tournament and just try to encourage them and ask questions about their ministry. Im so honored to be able to share a little bit about the work in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
"We were privileged tonight to be able to skype with Phanat Ouch who is diligently working for the Lord in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Brother Phanat's personal story about his life, and his labors in the mission field were so uplifting. I was so happy that many of your youth could be there to hear about the great things the Lord is doing through him, his family, and the dedicated Christians in that part of the world. We admire him so very much, and tonight our hearts were refreshed by his words, and our appreciation for missionaries tremendously increased. We are so blessed to know someone like Phanat Ouch. God bless you brother. The congregation in Dripping Springs is praying for you and your family." -John W. Moore
March 17th was my 7 years anniversary with my wife Chakriya. We had a family dinner at a new place that just opened up near the riverside. Thankful for a wonderful help meet that God sent my way. Please continue to pray for us to grow in our faith and love for one another.
In April, our long time coordinator Wes Autrey came to teach a short course on "Teaching Methods" and did a wonderful job. His unique teaching style and "yellow" personality always gets our students interested in learning about God's Word. I appreciate his sacrifice and effort in preparing the lessons to teach our students and staff to become better teachers of God's word.
After Wes left back to America, Cambodia started its New Year celebration so our students got 1 week off for the holidays. They all went home to be with family and for our students it was their first time going back after half a year of study in the bible school. This is a very crucial time for them as they will face much persecution and temptations. Most of our students come back stronger in their faith when they see how much they've changed to their family and friends. This is the time where the staff and older Christians help encourage them and tell them that everybody goes through it. We've all been called a traitor to our culture but we still remain faithful to our Lord. I pray that you continue to remain faithful to our Lord regardless of the hardships that you face in your part of the world. God bless and keep supporting this wonderful work!
|Posted by siemreapchurchofchrist on March 3, 2016 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. It's such a pleasure to let you all know about what Jesus is doing in this part of the world. For the month of February, there are many wonderful things that I want to share with you. First, we had a great two weeks with brother Wayne Burger, who taught the students and staff on the subjects of "God's Plan of Salvation" and "God's Eternal Purpose" for our short course at IBISR. We all benefited so much from his experience and wisdom concerning God's word. So much so that the staff and students demand that he comes back again (wink @ Wes Autrey) to teach on the book of Revelation. As a result of his teachings, we baptized 3 new souls into Christ! Glory to God for giving the increase. We welcome Srey Nich, Daro, and Srey Mom into the family of Christ. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to walk a new life in Christ.
Wayne Burger teaching on "God's Eternal Purpose" This is a rare shot of him actually opening up the Bible. He usually just quotes it straight from his head. He is an amazing student of the Bible and has inspired us to be more diligent in our studing of God's Word.
Daro, dying to his old self in the watery grave of baptism and raising a new man in Christ! Amen
My wife and I saved up enough money to build this custom Tuk Tuk specifically for the transporting disabled people in and around Siem Reap free of charge.This service is NOT for hotels to use for their guests or any other money making businesses. Our family just want to provide a service to those who may have been forgotten and needs to get to where they need to go i.e. the market or work or in case of an emergency they need to get to the hospital and such. The inspiration for this project comes from Eph 2:10 and Gal 6:10. Hopefully, we can show the love of Christ to those whom society has forgotten. May God receive all the glory from this work. I also want to thank Vannak Yeng and his family for donating his own personal motorbike to help pull the tuk tuk. Yet another sign of God's word working in him and his family. They are learning what sacrifice for God is all about. We are all striving to have the mind of Christ concerning such situations in life. Please continue to pray for us and the work of Jesus Christ here in Siem Reap. God bless