Missionary Chad Phillips’ Update Letter
Phillips Family to Cambodia
May, 2011 Update/Prayer letter
Dear Pastors and Praying Friends, May 2011
I am writing from a small apartment in Bangkok, Thailand, just a few blocks from the hospital where, Lord-willing, our third child will be born in a few weeks. We left Phnom Penh just under a week ago on doctor’s orders to see an OBGYN specialist in Bangkok because Linda has been showing signs of a premature delivery. In Cambodia, there is no hospital that is equipped to handle a premature baby; so, seeing Linda’s situation, the doctor expressed to us the necessity of going to Sumitivej Hospital of Bangkok. The specialist here strongly recommended that we remain in Bangkok until the birth of the child. And that is what we have decided to do. Please pray for us as we eagerly await the birth of Emily Faith Phillips. Please pray that we will be useful in the Master’s hands as we spend a few weeks here in Bangkok. We will be attending Bangjak Baptist Church, and will be as active as we can be in this ministry while we are here.
The First Two Months in Cambodia
After getting settle into our house, I immediately hired two Khmer teachers from our church. Until we came to Thailand last week, I was spending 5 days a week, three to four hours a day in language study. Praise God, in these first two months, my language skills have greatly improved, and I am beginning to feel comfortable conversing in the language. Praise God, I am able to go soul winning without an interpreter, and am able to speak to people about Christ. Now, there is still much to be learned, especially in regards to giving a thorough explanation of the Gospel in a way that the Khmers can understand. But I thank God for the progress He has enabled me to make in the Khmer language.
Serving with the Benefield family has proven to be exactly what we needed. Not only are the Benefields the veteran missionary family we are working with, they are also wonderful friends. What a blessing it is to work with someone whom you can laugh with as you serve the Lord together. I am learning one of the great lessons of successful missionary life: have a good sense of humor! Bro. Benefield has given me three opportunities to preach- each time, by the way, I experienced God’s enabling to do what I could not do on my own. He also allows me to lead the singing in our children’s Bible clubs on Saturday and Sunday. Every Saturday morning is spent soul winning with several young men and ladies from our church. It has been so encouraging to see the faithfulness of the Cambodians to take the Gospel to their people. We thank God for the way He has used the Benefield family to plant Good News Baptist Church of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Although this is a spiritually dark land, Good News Baptist Church is one of several lights that are shining brightly for the cause of Christ.
The Sown Seed is Bringing Forth Fruit
In our first two and a half months in Cambodia, seven people have been saved. These are not people that I have personally led to Christ, but they are people for whom Bro. Benefield and the church family have been praying for weeks, and, in some cases, many months. Two Sundays ago, Sombat, a lady in her late 30’s, and Paek, a young man in his mid 20’s, were baptized. Please pray for the other five who have recently received Christ, that they will be baptized, and that they will grow in grace. Please pray for all of these precious people, that they will have the spiritual strength to endure the inevitable criticism and, in some cases, open hostility from family and friends. One may wonder, “Only seven people saved in nearly three months?” Contrary to what some may say, Cambodia is still very much in the sowing stage. I have heard people ignorantly say, “I’ve heard Cambodia is ready for revival!” Revival only takes place in the heart of someone who has been made alive spiritually already. And since the great majority of Cambodians are still lost in their sins, they must first receive spiritual life from Christ before revival is possible. I recently read this quote: “Sowing always precedes the harvest.” We cannot expect a great harvest until the ground has been cultivated and the seed has been sown. That is what our family is committed to doing by the grace of God. We are asking God to empower us, and use us to faithfully sow the seed of the Gospel, invest our lives into those who receive the Gospel, and train them to join us as we endeavor to reach Cambodia for Christ.