Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 6 update

We are all sitting in the Phnom Penh airport waiting for our flight to Incheon/Seoul, South Korea. We have a very long layover and we plan to explore Seoul for a few hours.

This has been an amazing week. I believe that our team has grown close and our lives have been changed.

It was sad to leave the kids at the orphanage today, but I know we will see them again. As a pastor, I am so proud of our team and our church. I am blessed to pastor a church that wants to go. I am blessed to know partner churches that want to give to make trips like this happen.

Today, I was able to be apart of a baptism service. Henry (missionary to Cambodia), Kevin (missions pastor of FBC Broken Arrow) and myself baptized 77 new believers.

We were able to give out noodles, water, rice, mosquito nets, bread, and mattresses to over 300 villagers who attended.

This week over 600 lives were changed forever because of Jesus. It's is amazing that God chose us to be a part of His work.

These verses from Romans have become very real this week:

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" - Romans 10:14 and 15

Thank you all for your prayers! You were a vital part of this trip. Continue to pray for our trip back to Vancouver.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 5 by Pastor G

What was the best thing about the day?
There were many good things about today. We went to the market and got to experience Khmer culture at its finest. From the great deals to the street food, the market was great. We were also able to visit two existing churches. We were able to teach and encourage both adults and children. At one of the villages all of those who came were already believers, but at another, 17 villagers became followers of Jesus. The number of people who have accepted Christ this week is now over 500.

What was the hardest part of the day?
I am continually overwhelmed by the poverty. Village by village food is limited. Village by village clothing is limited. Village by village safety is limited. These villages are so remote that access to most everything is limited. I held a baby today who was only being cared for by other children. It breaks my heart to see kids in this environment.

How did God speak to you today?
God reminded me that I am selfish. From our air conditioned building and comfortable chairs, I don't feel we have as much as these Khmer Christians. They are overwhelmed with the joy of their salvation. I have walked barefoot through villages and sat on dirt floors and have sweat profusely. It has not bothered me one bit.

How do you see God working?
God is working deeply in the staff of the Home of Grace orphanage. These are the first Christians in this area. These guys are doing all the ground work. They are delivering food. They are leading worship. They are praying. They are serving both these village churches, but they also deeply care for the children at the orphanage. 

Henry and Nari are amazing. God is using them to find new villages, to train new believers and continue to lead this orphanage. Henry will be spending nights out in these villages over the next month following up on all the salvations. God is multiplying His kingdom throughout rural Cambodia.

I also see God working in our team. Seeing Anthony, Lawrence, Logan and Jessica step up to teach, preach and/or encourage has blessed me. They have not complained any and have always been willing to jump right in and do whatever needed to be done.

Tomorrow (Friday in Cambodia) we will baptize over 200 new believers. We will celebrate with the children. They will eat pizza for the first time ever. After dinner we will begin our journey home.

Continue to pray

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 4 by Logan Holmes

What was the best thing about today?
Today was an amazing day. We went to two villages and saw maybe 350 people come to Christ. It was amazing to see the people accept Jesus and listening to the people as they prayed was very cool. It is just great to know that those people aren't going to hell and will go to heaven.

What was the hardest part of the day?
Today it was hard to see the people and how poor they are. It is heartbreaking to see how skinny some of the people are. It was sad to see the kids in their clothes with holes in them or that they didn't have any clothes at all. It makes me appreciate what I have a bit more. 

How do you see God is working?
I can see God working in the villages by saving all those people. It shows that there is hope for Cambodia. All the new believers will be able to share Jesus with other villages or other people in there village. It's just great to know that today there are plenty more people going to heaven. 

How did God speak to me today?
In the villages I saw how poor the people were, but all the people were so joyful. It just shows me that it doesn't matter what physical things you have. If you have Jesus he will make you happy. I also saw the kids and I could see what a future those kids will have for there village. If we teach them about Jesus now they can lead up the next generation as Christians. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 3 by Jessica and Anthony Ho

Today's post is written by Anthony and Jess. Jess shared her testimony and Anthony preached about the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son. I followed them up and invited the crowd to follow Jesus. Over 100 people accepted Christ today.

What was the best thing about the day?

We went to two new villages today! Nari and Henry laid the relational groundwork which allowed us to come and witness to the people. 

The Canadian team helped out with the kids at the first village. We told the story of Daniel and the lion's den and the children really enjoyed the story. It was great to see the children so engrossed by the story. 

In the next village we witnessed more than half of the crowd (about 100 people) accept Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit was working in our hearts as He was with the crowd. God transcends language and cultural barriers! 

What was the hardest part of the day?

Speaking in front of a crowd of over 100 people and just being hopeful that someone in that crowd will come to believe in Jesus.

How did God speak to you today?

He continues to use this broken and unworthy vessel to do his work. I am continually amazed by the outcome and power of his Word!

How do you see God working?

For a person like myself who stutters and gets super nervous when it comes to public speaking, God was with me using me to speak to the people in the village of His awesomeness. It felt like a Moses moment.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 2 by Lawrence Kwok

Today's post is written by Lawrence Kwok. Pray for our team tomorrow as we travel 3 hours into the mountains to bring the Gospel to a new unreached village.

What was the best thing about the day?
Today we had a young man come to Christ. Although number-wise it doesn't compare to the 22 who were saved yesterday (the village was smaller and many were already believers), just like the Parable of the Lost Sheep says, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner saved than 99 already saved.

What was the hardest part of the day?
In addition to keeping dry and hydrated, the hardest part of the day was witnessing the high school where people were tortured and the Killing Fields. We could still see blood stains on the school floors and teeth and clothing in the dirt in the Killing Fields. Learning about how evil man can be reminds me of how much we need God.

How did God speak to you today?
When I saw villagers in the countryside sitting in the heat or walking seemingly to nowhere, I wondered what their goal into life is. I imagined how long it would take to reach first-world status like Canada. But then I realized I was thinking in terms of worldly success. Even if Cambodians live like kings, there is still no purpose to life without God. Money does not last forever and ultimately our purpose is to worship God. 

How do you see God working?
In a smaller village we visited, we saw a young man run up to the front of the crowd when we asked who wants to accept Jesus as their saviour. You could see the smile on his face and his genuine happiness. It makes me hopeful that a new, young generation can build a stronger and better future Cambodia.  

Back at the orphanage, we handed out loaves of bread to each child. They were holding the loaves while singing enthusiastically about Jesus. I was touched by the fact that despite having so little that bread makes them smile, they are able to praise God.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Day 1

I started the day with some Cambodian coffee at a restaurant across the street. The rest of the team met up with me and we had some noodle soup for breakfast. We took a 1.5 hour ride to the Home of Grace Orphanage and worshipped with the kids and staff. Our team from #tbcrcbc sang Jesus Loves me for the kids. Lawrence had an opportunity to share his testimony and I preached a very short message from Psalm 8. After a quick snack lunch we drove over to Bati Village church and worshipped with those brothers and sisters. Jessica Ho shared her testimony and my friend Kevin preached and 22 villagers from Bati accepted Christ. It was an amazing experience. After that we fed them lunch and then went back to the orphanage to play with the kids. We are all very tired. Tomorrow we will visit the Killing Fields, go to the orphanage and take a 3 hour trek into the mountains to bring some good news to those who need to hear it.

Garrett Holmes

Welcome to Cambodia

Late Saturday night (Friday afternoon for you in North America) we landed in Phnom Penh. God was very good to us as we arrived safely and had no trouble with our flights or immigration. Our team of 5 did have to pretend that we were on "The Amazing Race" because when we landed at Incheon Airport in South Korea we had to run. We made it and met up with our friends from Oklahoma. We were on planes yesterday for approximately 16-17 hours. When we arrived the local missionaries and two drivers met us and took us straight through the city to our hotel. Logan and I rested well and I hope the rest of the team did too. I woke up at 5am because of the time change. We all met for breakfast (dinner time for most of you) and then headed to the Home of Grace orphanage and to Bati Village. Please continue to pray for us!

#can2cam #tbcrcbc

Garrett Holmes

Friday, September 25, 2015

Leaving on a jetplane...

I will do my best to periodically post updates through my email to this blog. Our team will share highlights, prayer requests, fun facts, etc. to keep you engaged on our trip. Feel free to email or text to 604-754-9557.

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