See Mike’s most recent update on all things Cambodia below. There’s also a surprise toward the beginning… an unexpected guest joins by phone!
Meet Marin. His polio prevents him from walking on two feet so instead he crawls about on all fours (see brief video below). Marin lives in the Svay Reing Province of Cambodia, just minutes from the Vietnam border. He and his wife have four children, two of which have severe physical handicaps as well. Marin supports his family without begging for help. He crawls in the muddy fields, planting vegetables and rice. One year we gave him money to buy a new wheelchair to replace the rickety, old thing he could barely get around in. We found out later that he bought a new chair and gave it to his handicapped daughter.
Marin is a beggar but not the kind we would naturally assume him to be. He is a beggar telling other beggars where to get the bread: that is he tells the lost about Jesus, the Bread of Life. He is a passionate preacher for Jesus. Marin attends all of our LeaderCare seminars when we travel to the Vietnam border, and he is one of the most knowledgeable Bible students around.
We meet so many in Cambodia who inspire us. And we aspire to be like them in their devotion, commitment, and love for Jesus. Some drive us to “all fours” in humility and gratitude.
Be sure to watch this 30 second video showing how Marin lives day to day. His hand gesture is not that of begging, but rather that is the normal/formal way Cambodians greet others.
One of CCM’s primary ministries is providing free healthcare to the poor in Cambodian villages. Since 2009 we have provided over 150,000 treatments, helping people through exams and prescriptions, dental work, eye checks and distributing eye glasses. Medical professionals from Singapore, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Canada, the US, and Vietnam have joined us to bless the poorest of the poor in Cambodia. And of course, we always provide spiritual help in the villages to any who want to hear about this “Jesus”, who sent us to them.
We have also become well-known for delivering babies… but not in the normal sense of the word! You see, the only motorized vehicles in the villages surrounding CCM Center are motorbikes, and the last thing a woman in labor wants to do is climb on a motorbike and ride 20-30 minutes to the clinic to have her baby. Thankfully, CCM just so happens to have a 15-passenger van. Local dads-to-be sometimes call Sokhom in the middle of the night in hysterics (proper time for going into labor, right?), asking if he can send one of our doctors to take their wife to the clinic to have a baby. Now the word is out! In the last year or so, we have “delivered” over 20 babies. One of them was even born in the back seat of the van!
The surrounding villages love the Jesus People at Jesus Place. I think we win the affection of a lot of young moms and dads along the way as we help bring their little ones into the world.
We thank God for a great January Medical Mission Trip! Our team of doctors, medical personnel, and volunteers worked together to serve thousands of Cambodians living in poor, rural areas. On top of that, 47 people heard and responded to the good news of God’s love in Jesus!
Check out Mike’s presentation, which includes photos and video from the trip. Also please continue to pray for Sokhom, our students and their families, the people of Cambodia, and the church there. God continues to work, and we are thankful to Him for your participation and support!
The flooding in Cambodia this year caused a lot of damage. Crops were washed out, homes, buildings and roads were damaged, and things were very chaotic. But God works in all things!
We have called it a flood of mercy for many reasons. First and foremost, because the Good News of Jesus has spread even more as a result of the flood. Thanks to your support, our preaching students, doctors, and other servants were able to show God’s love to the people with bags of rice to eat, rice stems to plant, and even the occasional water rescue. Beyond this, God is even using the fish that were lost from CCM Center to spread the name of Jesus.
You see, when the dam burst, our fish farm washed out and we lost 50-60 thousand fish! But then people downstream saw the fish (blue catfish and tilapia that are unique to the area) and wondered where the fish came from. Those in the know told the people they were from Jesus Place. Jesus Fish from Jesus Place from the Jesus People.
Jesus used a fish to pay the tax, two fish to feed thousands, and tons of fish from the other side of the boat to show the disciples who he was. Perhaps God isn’t done using fish to spread the gospel!
Thanks again to all of our 2018 Golf Tournament sponsors and participants! The funds we raised will go toward flood relief and the various components of our work in Cambodia (preacher training, leadership seminars, orphan care, water well drilling, medicine and food).
Click here to see pictures from our wet but beautiful day of fellowship and encouragement. If you were able to join us for dinner after the tournament, you heard first-hand how humbled and thankful Sokhom is for all of you. God has truly blessed this ministry! Sokhom returns to Cambodia very soon. Please continue to pray for him, for the work, and for the people of Cambodia!
On the second day of teaching in a mostly Muslim village, this woman really made me nervous. Her expression never changed – she just stared at me. She sat in the same spot and did not move during the class sessions. I was clueless as to what she thought about our teachings about Jesus, but she did not seem very happy to be in the room. As we shared Jesus with these precious souls many laughed at our illustrative stories while others seemed to show great interest in the One we called Jesus. But this Muslim woman just stared at me.
I figured she was mad at me and hoped she did not get violent. I figured I could outrun her but had no idea where I would run to.
I asked the group if they had ever heard the Bible read. None had! So I asked Sokhom to read the Bible to them. Many smiled and showed interest while others were extremely respectful; however, this Muslim woman just stared at me.
Taking a chance, I asked if anyone had any questions, and she raised her hand. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “Here we go!” To my complete surprise, she asked Sokhom and me, “Why are you only going to teach us for two days? Why will you not stay for at least one month?” I was relieved, elated, excited, humbled, and thankful to the Lord. What did I ever do to deserve such an honor as to be the first one to share Jesus with these adorable souls!
This kind of thing happens regularly in our ministry in Cambodia. We share God’s loving truth with Muslims and Buddhists who have never heard the name Jesus. There is no greater honor for a preacher than to be the first to tell the story of our great Savior and Lord.
Terrence owned a mobile phone installation business and had everything going his way until alcohol and drugs interrupted the good life. His life spiraled out of control until he bumped into Jesus and was baptized. Terrence still lives in transition today, looking for life to break the right way for him. Most of his money is actually made by recycling the cans and bottles he finds on his “route” that he rides on his bicycle everyday. Recently, Terrence was touched by the story of the floods in Cambodia and commented on the abundance around him. He gave 60 dollars to feed families in Cambodia. That’s a lot of cans and bottles!
This was contributed by Buddy Gray who serves the Davis Park Church of Christ in Modesto, CA. He is currently on his second mission trip to Cambodia and teaches at CBS as a Skype teacher.
The floods from the typhoon (worst in our province since 1951) devastated the rice crop in Cambodia, which people depend on for food. Thanks to your generous support, Sokhom was able to purchase 15 tons of rice seed for people to plant. In a few months, the harvest will be ready and food production will be back on track. He also purchased 5 tons of rice and will purchase more as it becomes available to give to the hungry. Each of these bags will carry a message of love… a literal message (a note actually attached) and a symbolic message of the love of God through Jesus Christ.
There had been a delay in getting the rice to our CCM Center due to the washed out bridge to the west and the main road to the east. Since it would take months for the government to do the necessary repairs, we finally received permission from a government official to pay to fix part of the road. That allowed us to get the rice in and handed out to the people in need. Price gouging has been an issue as well due to the shortage.
The other good news we are happy to announce is that the school and all of the CCM Center is cleaned up and running smoothly again. Skype teaching has resumed, as has treatment at the medical clinic. Since the buildings are made of concrete (no sheet rock, etc.), the clean up went quickly considering the circumstances.
We still need ongoing funds to continue meeting the needs of the people. $30 feeds a family for a month! We also need funds to restock our fish hatchery and to bring in 1,500 loads of topsoil for our 70 acres (washed away).
If you can help, please contact Mike (214-533-4266) or send your donation to Cambodia Christian Ministries (10550 Marsh Lane, Dallas, TX 75229) with Flood Relief in the memo line. Please feel free to share this update with others.
I met Chamnan April 20, 2012 – I thought Sokhom had lost his mind. He and I were conducting a three day seminar for village house church leaders along with our Cambodia Bible School (CBS) students. As I glanced across the room it looked like we had some very capable men to equip with God’s word. Then I noticed this frail, 90 pound guy who was partially hunched over with crippled up hands. He spoke broken English with the squeakiest voice I’d ever heard. I asked Sokhom why he would bring this unimpressive house church leader to the seminar when funds and space were so limited. Sokhom said, “He is not a house church leader brother. He is a new full-time preaching student.” Then I really thought he was off his rocker.
From there God proceeded to teach me a very valuable and humbling lesson about judging people by appearance. For the next few days I visited with Chamnan, and I was blown away by his Bible knowledge, his love for the Lord, and his fiery desire to share the Good News of Jesus to the people in his village. Before the seminar ended I repented of my ungodly attitude and told Sokhom, “If I moved to Cambodia to do mission work, I would beg Chamnan to be my partner.” Everyone at CBS had the utmost respect for Chamnan, and to this day, he has been our best all-around graduate.
Like many young Cambodians, Chamnan worked in a sweatshop clothing factory when he was in his early 20’s. On top of the pathetic pay, long hours, and poor working conditions, Chamnan touched some exposed electrical wires one day and was electrocuted. He suffered a stroke and blew out his vocal cords. From that day forward his outer man began decaying, but his inner man kept growing stronger.
With that squeaky little voice Chamnan reached a large number of poverty-stricken Cambodians with the Gospel. He held Bible classes every day. He taught his last class Wednesday afternoon, April 18, 2018. He didn’t feel well, went to bed Wednesday night, and fell asleep in Jesus. Sokhom officiated his funeral the next day with several of our guys joining him.
I miss Chamnan’s regular emails with serious Bible questions. I miss his smiling face – even when it was obvious he was in physical pain. I miss his healthy spiritual disposition that overshadowed his physical disability. I miss his tremendous example of faith, hope and love.
A mighty oak tree for the Lord fell April 19, 2018 at the age of 35. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. I thank God we videoed Chamnan a couple of times. Take a couple of minutes to watch this video, and let God use Chamnan to change your life like he did mine.