Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

Life in the COVID-19 World

It’s been about 7 months since our world has turned upside-down. Self-imposed lockdown, social distancing, and tons of zoom meetings. Masks has always been a way of life here in Asia. Although initially a challenge to lose the few social outlets, the boys quickly adjusted and their academic progress continued on as usual. The initial reprieve from hosting visitors and teams was welcome but we miss the fellowship, partnership and encouragement (not to mention the supplies).

Weekly Tues Theology Class & Monthly Pastor Wives Bible Meetings – COVID style

It was amazing to see the creative ways to adjust to our new lockdown life. Monthly team meetings became weekly Zoom meetings with visiting pastors giving us a word of encouragement. MTW NEXT (ministry to our youth) held online youth group meetings. MTW turned canceled mission trips and conferences into virtual ones. Scout Troop meetings, training, and even campouts went online. Friends met with the boys to play online games, like Code Names. Birthdays were celebrated via Zoom cross multiple time zones. We are thankful for the love and support received, even as friends and churches themselves were suffering and struggling.

Virtual Meetings including Caleb the Senior Patrol Leader conducting a First Aid training to his Troop 73

Now life seems like it went back to normal, almost. Travels bans have lifted but now require prior-obtained visas, mandatory testing, quarantining for varying lengths of time and a $2000 deposit per person. Schools have slowly reopened, with new protocols and requirements and extracurricular activities suspended. Most places of businesses have re-opened, except gyms and KTVs. Yet things are not the same.

Cambodia’s economy has been hit hard. The tourism, manufacturing exports and construction sectors, which contributed more than 70% of the nation’s growth, has been most affected. Thus making 2020 the slowest year of growth since 1994. Factories, hotels, and many businesses have been shut down. We have yet to see the full effects on the everyday people. 

There has been a mass exodus of expats over the past several years due to the governmental instability, difficulty in obtaining visas, and, given the current situation, the lack of reliable medical care. Yet God is still at work. There is still hope. We see the strength of the Khmer people persevering. We see both local and expats working to bring relief and aid. 

As a team, we have been praying and discussing with our partners and with each other to see how we can be of tangible help. One of the ways we have been helping is to work with our local church(es) to start a Food Bank. We recently started this at our home church, Khmer Christian Church (KCC). The church started with our church members and the dorm students. Then slowly reached out to about 12 families in the community who Pastor Thet and his wife, Marady, have been trying to build relationships with for years. Every Sunday afternoon, the families were invited to receive the rice or staple food, followed by a short worship. This past Sunday, they were invited to join our usual Sunday worship and they are hearts are open.



  • Our Team
    • Wisdom and strength to respond to the needs of the churches and people while remaining faithful to the already-existing ministries. 
    • Well-being and protection – Many on our small team are struggling with different physical, mental, and relational needs. 
    • Renewing our team registration (every two years) with the government. We are facing a lot of obstacles. Pray for favor and that the process will go quickly and smoothly.
  • Surviving COVID
    • Wisdom for government and organization leadership in knowing how to help this country respond to the desperate needs of the people in Cambodia.
    • The poor, the orphans, the widows – That people would respond obediently and faithfully to be the hands and feet of Jesus in caring for them.
    • The economic hit affects the country, including our churches. Pray that God would provide the needs of the church (eg. being able to pay rent) and have wisdom to know how to minister to their flock.
    • Food Bank Ministry – His love and power be experienced through this ministry. Through it would be an opportunity to effectively share the Gospel and the Spirit would change hearts, turn people to Christ. 
  • Cambodia
    • Rainy season each year brings needed rain but also causes floods and damage. Pray for many whose deal with its severe effects.
    • Garbage collection strike – We take many things for granted until it’s taken from us. After a week-long strike, we are reminded how important these workers are. Pray for a quick resolution, for protection against all the pollution and filth, especially in the midst of flooding.
    • Pray that God would be working to raise up leaders who would rule this country with justice and righteousness.
    • Pray that the Church would stand firm and be a light in the darkness. Pray that the church would be faithful and his people remain unswerving and committed.  

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New Beginnings

The new year has ushered in new activities and ministries. Please pray for spiritual protection, wisdom and strength for the our teammates and for our local partners.


Every Tuesday, we have a Tuesday night Theology Class. Students come after their long day of work or school, hungry to learn for about two hours. Paul just started and will be teaching on Marriage this new semester.

Pray for these young students who are or will be the future leaders of the church. It has been a place of growth as well as community.


Lots of new beginnings this year for KCC.

The most joyful is the recent baptism of new believers. Some of whom are people Pastor Thet and his wife, Marady, have been evangelizing, befriending and loving for years. Included was the confirmation of their eldest daughter, Nesa, who is also on the new praise team.

Thankful for Marady, the pastor’s wife, who has led praise over the many years and persevered to raise up a team. Thankful for the ways God has been raising up new leaders, with the support of visitors and short-term teams who have come alongside us in creative ways.

In January, KCC started new outreach classes, offering classes in English, Chinese and Computers as well as a Sunday children’s/youth program and service in the evening. All of these classes are taught by members of our church. Please pray that this would be an opportunity to build relationships and share the Gospel.


We first began fundraising the purchase of land and building for RCC in 2017.  After fundraising and countless meeting, RCC had their dedication service on Feb 2.

Please pray for them as they continue to work to build community at their new location.


This year also meant the start of two new church plants, Phnom Penh Livingstones Church (PPLC) and Door of Hope Church (DHC).

Phnom Penh Livingstones Church (PPLC) is led by Pastor Vanna, who was recently ordained at the end of last year, along with his wife, Vannary.

Door of Hope Church (DHC) is led by Pastor Sam Ath & his wife, Vanvina. They have been praying, evangelizing, meeting with people, and having bible study for a while now but recently started formally meeting for Sunday worship at a cafe.

We are always engaged in a spiritual warfare. The enemy is continually scheming ways to distract and lure us away from our Lord and to attack His Bride. P

PLEASE PRAY for Spiritual Protection. Pray for

  • These ministries and leaders, servants and members, both in the villages and city. Those mentioned in this update and those in previous updates.
  • Overall health, safety and unity of our team, the presbytery, the church plants, families, etc.
  • Encouragement and wisdom – in the midst of excitement and hope, there is always disappointment, struggle, weariness and doubt.
  • Our focus, confidence and hope be on Christ alone. In our weakness, may Christ be exalted and glorified.

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We want to praise God and thank all of you who have helped through your prayers and funds towards the Redemption In Christ Church (RCC) building project.


We have recently purchased the land and are currently working with a local architect to help design and construct the building that will be used for the church and dorms.

Please continue to pray alongside RCC as they make this big transition.

Please Pray

  • Transition – The new church site will be in a different section of Phnom Penh. We hope with the purchase of its own land, we hope there will be more stability to build a continued community but please pray for this transition. The relocation is in a different area of Phnom Penh. Most members are unable to move. Please pray for wisdom in dealing with these changes.
  • Outreach – RCC has already begun outreach activities in the new area. The challenge but also the wonderful opportunity is this land is located on railroad tracks. One side of the tracks are the poor while on the other the more wealthy.  Pray for wisdom and leading in knowing how to reach and bridge people of a diverse demographics. Pray for spiritual protection and that God would use them to be a light in the area.
  • Pastors & Family – We’ve noticed our pastors and families go through a lot of stress, challenges and spiritual warfare. Please pray for Pastors Hong & his wife, Ratanak, and Pastor Pheakdey & his wife, Kunthea, and son, Nathaniel.


Pastor Hong & Rachel at their wedding, later at RCC Sunday worship
















Pastor Pheakdey & family; Nathaniel was recently baptized at RCC



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Ordination Ceremony

Praise our Father who is doing wonderful things in the midst of challenges. Today two brothers, Sophearek and Pheakdey (siblings), were ordained in the village where Sophearek serves, Kampong Trach. Pheakdey, along with his wife, Kunthea, and their newborn son, Nathanael, serves at RCC in Phnom Penh, alongside Pastor Hong and wife.

Please pray for them and the other pastors in the Presbytery – for spiritual protection, faithfulness, strength and wisdom to shepherd His flock and to be the light in this nation. Pray that God would provide their needs as all of them are bi-vocational. Pray for their church plants and ministry, in a nation where less than 3% are believers.


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Spiritual Warfare – A term we hardly used when back in our passport country. A term reserved for…others. Although we’re still learning, we can’t but help to be alert to the constant spiritual warfare that’s going on around all of us.

Perhaps when everything coincidently is going wrong or perhaps your ministry is growing and is fruitful but then troubles starts brewing out of nowhere…We’re not always certain how to discern what exactly is a result of spiritual warfare but we know we need to be alert, put on the full armor of God, and to pray.

The next few blog posts will focus on different areas of needs of prayer.

Prayers for Our Pastors

Our national partners, like all people in public ministry, are under incredible amounts of stress and face many challenges. All of our pastors are bi-vocational pastors, juggling between raising a church plant with all its joys and struggles and making ends meet, in a developing country. Not to mention, all the usual that we all face – health battles, dealing with gossip and disunity, striving to forgive, discouragement and loneliness, fighting against temptations of money and pride.

For the sake of privacy and security, we will not post pics or share names of everyone but we ask you to intercede along with us for our national partners who we work with and serve alongside in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

This post will focus on one of our church plants, Khmer Christian Church (KCC),  which had its first service on January 1, 2012, and where our family worships every week.


Sam Ath (Lead Pastor) & Vina

Samath & Family

Vanthet (“Thet”, Associate Pastor) & Marady
(recently just gave birth to their third child!)

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Vanna (Associate Pastor) & Vannary


PLEASE PRAY for The Pastors:

  • Relationships between pastors that they would mutually submit to each other and be an example of servant leaders to the congregation.
  • They would receive encouragement through times of trials and difficulties and continue to trust in God and his leading.
  • They would trust in God during times of financial instability, knowing that God will meet all their needs.
  • Generally, please pray for continual wisdom and humility as men called to shepherd God’s people and build God’s church in Cambodia. Pray for their health.


  • The church would bear the fruit of the Spirit, bearing the Light in the midst of darkness, in the midst of challenges.
  • The members of the church would grow in their knowledge, faith and love for their Lord Jesus and for one another.
  • The members would remember their first Love, be faithful and committed, and know their Shepherd’s voice.

Pictures from Susan’s English Class and
Prayer over an expectant mother of the church.

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It’s already March 2016!

The last couple of weeks has been a lull after hosting back-to-back visiting teams. It’s been a time of catching up on with family and with our day-to-day ministries. Susan has been keeping herself busy with the usual, driving around town on her moto (sorry, no pic!), and would love your prayers and encouragement.

Most of Susan’s time is filled with typical housewife duties and homeschooling responsibilities. What’s exciting has been seeing how God provide opportunities to form new relationships or how He is deepening existing ones with people in our block or in our everyday lives.

Please Pray:

  • Be a Light – Pray that our family can be a Light in the darkness. Ironically as missionaries, we too can be busy with ministry that we forget to utter the Good News and share with love. Pray that we can be a witness in both word and in deed.
  • Juliette – Susan recently shared the Good News with someone in our homeschool co-op. Pray that the Holy Spirit would change her heart so she could see the light of the gospel.
  • Nisah , Michael & Sah Sah – Three of the boys’ friends (cousins with each other) who live on our block. Pray that God would give us an opportunity to share and that we’d be ready with boldness, confidence and love to share.

This month she restarted her English classes at KCC after taking a year break in 2015. Although her weekly Saturday and Sunday classes means she is teaching something and someone everyday, she is genuinely thankful to have a venue to express love and build relationships with her students.

Please Pray:

  • Susan’s Health – Please pray that she can keep up with her daily responsibilities. Pray that she has the wisdom and strength to be consistent and faithful.
  • Effective Teaching – May the Lord provide the ability and wisdom needed to teach and communicate well and with patience. Through her weakness may God be magnified.
  • Above all, Love –  More than everything else may Susan love her students genuinely, pointing ultimately to Christ.
IMG_1954Celebrating a student’s bday – his first time ever.

There has been a lot of growth in the work God has been doing with MTW Asia Pacific. With growth and opportunities come challenges. Susan has been asked to be a part of a Redesign Committee that hopes to prayerfully assess what God is doing and where He’s leading and how we can build each other. Susan leaves for her first set of meetings in Bangkok this weekend.

Please Pray:

  • Susan’s Health – She is currently sick. Pray for healing and strength hopefully in time for her departure on Thursday. Pray that God would grow and stretch her, be used according to His will and be an encouragement to the others.
  • Paul & The Boys – Pray for Paul who will be holding down the fort back home and homeschooling the boys while Susan is gone. Pray that their time together would be a time they can grow closer to each other.
  • Paul – Pray for Paul’s health as he continues his work and cares for the boys. He will also be flying out for his 5-day Asia Pac meeting the same day Susan returns.

The boys continue to keep her busy with homeschooling, co-op, and extra-curricular. The boys are slowly kicking their way up to black belt. They switched to an Advanced class full of boys that focus on sparring and they just passed their green belt test.

We’re thankful for the many different resources that are available here. We’re especially thankful for our homeschooling coop. Caleb is enjoying a Robotics class while Nate is learning about various cultures from our fellow co-op families who are from all over the world, including Holland, French & Spain, etc.


Please Pray:

  • Culture of Grace – Oftentimes the busyness of life causes a lot of stress that is put on the children. We’ve been intentional in slowing down and taking needed breaks. Pray that we can all have a posture of humility and grace with one another. Pray for wisdom for all of us as we learn to be faithful with who, what, where God has given us.
  • Learning Khmer – We have been committing more time for the boys to learn Khmer. They meet with their tutor, a student from one of our church plants, RCC. Pray for diligence but also encouraging progress.




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Praying for Myanmar

It’s only the beginning of February but it’s been intensely busy for our team. It’s been an opportunity to be encouraged by our team’s unity and collaboration, by visitors and teams’ sacrifices to serve the mission field, by your prayer and support, and, ultimately, by God’s amazing power, presence and love.

Paul’s role as Regional Director over Vietnam and Myanmar provides a wonderful opportunity for him to see and be a part of what God is doing in these closed countries. Currently he is in Bangkok meeting with our national partner in Myanmar.




1. God would raise up more leaders for the church in Myanmar.
2. New missionary candidates to reach more people groups, especially Mru people as well as other Chin groups and the Burmese.
3. New mission field – That God would open doors for Taung gyi.


1. Health – His frequent travels takes a toll on his health and his back pain. Please pray for healing and strength.
2. Wisdom & Love – He’d rely on the Spirit as he serves alongside the national partners. May God grant him needed wisdom and love to humbly and effectively serve alongside our national partners, specifically in Myanmar but also in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Thank you for your continual support and prayers. We honestly believe it is through your prayers that God sustains us and works in all that we do, according to His good will and love.

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February Happenings

This month is also filled with exciting events. We need your prayers!

New teammates have just arrived on the field. Karen & Steve McClure, who have been here many times before, have joined our team. They will serve on the field 8 months of the year and return to the States for four. Melissa Fulton is your newest intern who will be here for six months. Please Pray for their transition and adjustment. Pray that our team would be able to welcome and support them. Pray for for their time here to not only be fruitful but one that draws them nearer to God and allows them to be a light.

Prevention, a means of fighting against human trafficking, is often overlooked or minimalized. When we think of anti-trafficking we often think about brothel raids, rescues, and aftercare shelters. Yet the opportunity to prevent is powerful and vital. One of those ways is getting people educated and communicating about relevant topics.

Over the past 5.5 years we’ve been here, we’ve seen Phnom Penh adopt many of the western world’s culture, including Valentine’s Day. But it isn’t just about roses and boxes of chocolate. It’s often a day where the youth are often pressured, sometimes forced, to have sex.

This month, Mary Flo Ridleyan international speaker and author of Simple Truths and God’s Very Good Design, will be coming to speak with young adults about sex, marriage and love. What does the Bible say about sex? What do we need to know about sex for ourselves and our future families? How can we best prepare for marriage? What are the dangers of sex? She will be speaking at different venues to our team, to our Cambodian university students, and to Cambodian parents. 

Please Pray for Mary Flo who is traveling all the way from Texas. Pray for her protection, health and strength. Pray that she can effectively communicate, being wise and sensitive to the cultural context. Pray for the Cambodians who will be most likely discussing this for the first time. This is just the start. Pray that this would continue to fruitful impact in their lives, families, churches and communities.

Our team is hosting a large medical short-term team the first two weeks of February. Please pray for the team’s safe travels, health, unity and humility. Pray that God uses them to not only bring medical services but encouragement for the patients as well as the Cambodian medical students who will work alongside them. Pray for our teammates, Dale & Nancy Knutson, who are the main coordinators and hosts. Pray also for all the site leaders and church plant sites, both city and village, that are hosting clinics.

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Pastors’ Conference

This week, our team is hosting a Pastors’ Conference both in Cambodia and Vietnam. We are excited to have Professor Joel Kim, Assistant Professor of New Testament, and Pastor William Chang, come and teach our national pastors from the Prison Epistles of Paul – Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.

IMG_0678Will, Joel, Paul & Alex during our 2015 HMA

Please pray:

  • Safe and healthy travels – Whether from the States to Cambodia, within Cambodia, or to Vietnam, please pray for safe travels and health & protection. Please pray for Paul and his teammate, Tim, who will be traveling to Vietnam.
  • Conference – We hope it will be a fruitful time of studying God’s Word together with our national pastors both here and in Vietnam.
  • Team Worship – This Thursday is our monthly team worship. We are so thankful the team will be able to worship with Joel, Will, and Alex, our dear friend and former teammate. Please pray that we will all be mutually encouraged and spurred on to serve our Lord.
  • Families – Please pray for all the families while the husbands are traveling and away from their wives and children.

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Pastors’ Retreat

Happy New Year! The year has begun and we’re already getting busy. We would love your prayers.

Pastor’s Retreat, Jan 6-8

Our team is hosting a retreat for our national pastors and their families. It’s been over two years since our last one. We’re so thankful for Pastor Ben Kim and Elder George Chong from CCPC in Daly City, CA, who have come to preach and encourage our national partners in Cambodia



  • Times of Refreshing – We hope this short time can be one of rest and encouragement for our hardworking brothers and sisters as well as fellowship, building long lasting friendships and partnerships in ministry. We also hope our family can continue to grow closer and show love, overcoming language barriers.
  • Pastor Ben & Elder George – Please ask God to help them overcome or work through their jet lag as they preach or teach. Pray that they will be healthy and mutually encouraged.

IMG_1653Pastor Ben with Pastor Bunsam as Translator

  • Child Care – A handful of our young Cambodian sisters from a couple of the church plant sites have come to help with child care to relieve the parents. Pray that they’d have energy and love for the children.
  • Caleb and Nate – We hope they’d be able to connect with some of the other children but also serve by caring for the younger ones.

IMG_1636  Caleb & Nate with some of the children

IMG_1654Unexpected visitor…Jerry!


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