“Can God spread a table in the wilderness!?”
Thus asked faithless Israel after their deliverance from Egypt (Psalm 78:12-20). Thus also has faithless Jeremy asked (worded a bit more piously, mind you), wondering if or how God could provide for an alien family living in a remote corner of Cambodia. But the answer for both Jeremy and Israel has been a resounding Yes! For every need, his provisions have been abundant, but one particular sphere is much on our minds right now. In this Cambodian context, we’ve wondered, how can eight American children receive the academic, social, and spiritual nurture necessary to equip them to thrive as Christians in this world? But for the past eleven years, God has continually supplied us with resources—material and human—to make this a reality. In June, our two oldest, Abi and Isa, officially graduated from high school in a ceremony to honor their accomplishment. The guest list was itself a testimony to God’s provision: dear friends, old and young, literally from around the world (including my forever young parents), who have prayed, encouraged, and nurtured our children along the way, gathered for a time celebration and thanksgiving.
Many of you, though not with us in person, have faithfully prayed for our children. We owe you a debt of deepest gratitude. Now, please join us in praising God for the feast he has furnished thus far (Psalm 78:5).
Abi and Isa began their freshman year at Bob Jones University this week. And in two weeks, their younger siblings will begin a new school year here in Cambodia. We covet your continued prayers.
The wilderness of Na Ong
Now that I think of it, Israel’s question (Psalm 78:19) is particularly appropriate for nearly any pioneer endeavor. And praise God: in Na Ong village, God is dividing the sea, splitting the rock, turning the desert into a garden …. For the past year and half, our core group of about eight adults and ten children have been working slowly through foundational Old Testament stories. Again and again, we’ve seen Israel’s need (as well as our own) for redemption, and we’ve also heard repeated promises of a coming King who will indeed deliver them, both from their enemies and their sins. Last week, we finally arrived at Matthew’s begats! We’ve been waiting to meet this King for two years! I told them, but Israel had waited over one thousand! A sense of excitement and expectation is evident in several of our seekers.
Again, praise God for what he is doing—your many prayers are bearing fruit. And please pray on. These next few months of preaching and teaching are critical. Pray for saving faith. Pray for baptisms. Pray for our first Lord’s Supper.
Also please continue praying for Proin and Si-ma. They are doing well, but language learning is proving to be a significant hurdle.
One final prayer request in this update. I am working to complete the first draft of a biblical overview for our pastor students, both here in Stung Treng and in Ratanakiri. My goal date is the end of this calendar year. Please pray that I can make the time to concentrate on this project, that the Spirit would give me understanding of my material (Psalms and Wisdom books right now), and that my writing would be accessible for our target readers.
Thank you, dear brothers and sisters, for your faithful prayers for us and the peoples we are serving. May the Lord richly bless you.