Missionary Chad Phillips’ Update Letter
New Christians Growing in Grace
Rhanny, a lady in her early thirties, was invited by Bro. Benefield to come to Good News Baptist Church over a year ago; but she wasn’t interested in the least. But a few months later, one of her friends invited her to a church, and she reluctantly went; but God began doing a work in her heart. About seven months ago she decided to start searching for Good News Baptist Church because of its closeness to her house (the church she was attending with her friend was quite a distance from her house). She remembered the description of the location that Bro. Benefield had given her initially, and she found the church on one Monday morning. I happened to be home that day (we live right next to the church), so I was able to talk to her and answer some questions. She began attending church the following Sunday, and I could see that she was having some serious spiritual struggles. Namely, she was constantly plagued by an intense fear of ghosts and demons, a common struggle for the average Khmer (Cambodian) person. God gave me the opportunity to counsel with her and use her struggle as an opportunity to teach her the Gospel. After many weeks of faithfully coming to the services and listening to the Gospel taught by me and Karona (one of the faithful ladies in the church), she finally received Jesus Christ as her Savior. And she hasn’t missed a beat since!
She comes every Sunday and listens to the preaching intently. She has read through the entire book of John and answered all the study questions, resulting in her earning a new Bible, which she received with much joy. Praise the Lord for His grace that is at work in her life. And Rhanny isn’t the only new Christian who is growing in grace. We praise the Lord for the spiritual progress that is being displayed in the life of Srey Neung, a young lady in her early twenties who was saved just over a year ago. She comes every Sunday from another province, and she has found godly friends and an environment for spiritual growth at Good News Baptist Church.
Bouy Someth, a 49 year old faithful man in the church, was led to the Lord by another missionary, Rodney Ruppel, just over a year ago. The circumstances in which he was saved were difficult to say the least. He trusted Christ in the hospital after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His wife, Sakun, had been saved for a couple of years already and was a member at Rodney Ruppel’s church. But because Someth and Sakun lived so close to Good News Baptist Church, Rodney advised them to join with Stephen Benefield and the Good News Baptist Church, which they did about one year ago. Someth came to church faithfully, despite his intense struggle with cancer. He never complained. Even though he was looked down upon by his mother, brothers and sisters for his decision to follow Christ, he was a man filled with the joy of the Lord. On June 14, he entered the hospital that is 3 blocks from our house. I had several opportunities to sit with him, read Scripture to him, and pray with him for two or three days. But in the early hours of Sunday, June 17, Someth went to be with His Saviour. We thank God for the strong stand that his wife, Sakun, has taken for the Lord. Despite pressures to have a Buddhist funeral, she asked Pastor Sakaun (a seasoned Khmer pastor who serves with Rodney Ruppel) and me to help her coordinate a funeral that honored the Lord. I thank God for the leadership of Pastor Sakaun, and for the God-honoring service that was held. Many unsaved family heard a clear presentation of the Gospel; and then they saw the love of God that was displayed by the many Khmer Christians who came, comforted, served, and sang praises to Jesus Christ at the funeral. In fact, Someth’s father-in-law said this the week after the funeral when I went to visit Sakun: “Jesus is good; the Christians are good people. Their words and actions are not like other Khmers. And the pastor who preached (Pastor Sakaun) spoke good words.” I recently witnessed to Someth’s father-in-law again, but he fears that if he trusts Christ he will be hated by his family. Please pray for his salvation.
Pray for the Benefields’ Safe Return to Cambodia
Lord-willing, the Benefields will return from their furlough next week. We are all thrilled to see them again! We will continue to work with them for another year, learning from their wisdom and experience that comes from ten years of faithful service in Cambodia. After that, we will take an eight- month furlough, probably beginning in August 2013. When we return from our furlough, we will start the process of planting a new church. Please pray that we will have wisdom from God in knowing the location for the new church plant. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support! Thank you for co-laboring with us in the harvest field of Cambodia!
Chad, Linda, Elisabeth, Judson, and Emily Phillips