We are back in Dallas!!
Thank you all so much for your prayers! We have all arrived safely and happily to Dallas. With other teams here to greet us, we were all eager to talk about our trips. After eating some chicken nuggets and showering, we are ready to go to bed.
Thankfully, the team is not overly jetlagged. We are ready to begin the process of debriefing tomorrow. This will consist of learning how to tell their stories and continue strong with what the Lord has taught them. We encourage you all to ask the students about their stories and what great things God has done in Cambodia this summer.
Look forward to seeing you all soon!
Jesse and Danielle
Well, what an amazing journey it has been. Our last full day in Cambodia is now over and we are sad that it has come so quickly. However it ended very well. Today, as you know, we were able to go to Angkor Wat, an amazing site filled with many ruins of temples and kingdoms from a few thousand years ago. The temples were originally built for the kings, who were believed to be a god and each time a king would die the next one would be a god and they would build a temple. The kingdoms were Hindu and much of the art reflects that. However, since the country is almost completely Buddhists, they have added much of their own views. From just looking you wouldn’t know that these are two different religions being shown at the temples but that is because Buddhism originally derived from Hinduism so they have many of the same characteristics.
Today the sites of these ruins were so breath-taking, the detail and work put into these temples were so great. It was incredible to see but it was also a good reminder knowing that these people did all of this work for their fake gods and now it is falling apart but the Work that we do for our God holds up forever, and we are storing our treasures in heaven not on earth.
We were able to climb on and around about four main temples and see many more. It was such a blast but it sure took a toll on our bodies. After much sight-seeing, climbing, taking pictures, and feeding monkeys some our students were able to ride on an elephant to the top of a mountain with a wonderful view. After the long full day in the sun the team came back to the hotel, ate dinner, and prepared for our departure tomorrow. The team is now sleeping and rightly so after the long day and how worn out they were because of it.
Tomorrow we have a pretty good size van ride back to the capital, Phnom Penh. We will then depart from the airport their later tomorrow night and begin the long journey back to Dallas. Pray for sweet and full rest tonight, strength, patience, health, and unity for our long travel back. We will post as soon as we can but that may not be until we are in the States again.
Thank you so much for your encouragement, support, and prayers throughout this summer!
1 Cor. 15:58
Jesse and Danielle
Hello from Siem Reap! Yes we have made it to the city of the temples (meaning Angkor Wat). Today has been a long day but a great one. This morning God actually gave us the opportunity to do the drama one more time for the Battambang Assembly of God church. It was so encouraging to get to participate in this church service. Even though the songs and preaching was in Khmer, we were filled with the Holy Spirit and still praised Him despite the language difference. The church was encouraged and very thankful that we were able to perform our drama for them and we were excited just to be able to do it once more and worship God through it.
After that we left for Siem Reap. Our ride wasn’t too long but significant and we had a great time of fellowship during the travel. Once we arrived in this city, the students were allowed to split up into groups to go eat lunch and have a time of shopping for souvenirs. This was such an exciting experience. The students were able to engage in the culture by bargaining for the best price. Most of them were very talented at it and very much enjoyed just being able to get a low price for their things. We are continuing to look for opportunities to share God’s love with the people by starting conversations with people we run into and handing out tracts. Pray that God will still use us.
Tonight we have some yawning youngsters. The students are very tired from the long fun-filled day. They now have gone to bed a little early because we have another long fun-filled day tomorrow. Tomorrow we will get to go to Angkor Wat, a landmark filled with huge ruined temples. This place is breath-taking and Cambodia takes so much pride in it that one of the temples is on the national flag. We know we will have a wonderful time and will post pictures of it as soon as we are able to. Again, pray that will have so many opportunities to share the Gospel, and that we will remain happy, healthy, and hydrated.
Jesse and Danielle
Hello all! As you know today was our last day of drama ministry not only in Battambang but in Cambodia. It has been an incredible time here in Battambang and the Xperiences God has given us has been so amazing.
Today we were determined to lean fully on God and finish strong. We went to several schools today, two of which had Buddhist temples on their grounds. Even though these temples were there God claimed the grounds for Himself and Worked in incredible ways. Today at one of the sites there was a joyful mentally handicap man. One of our students felt led to pray over him. So he did so and when he said ‘amen’ he looked up and was surrounded by a multitude of children. He was obedient to the Spirit’s prompting and started to share the Gospel with these children and many of them came to know Jesus. Our God is so great! He knows what He is doing.
Another one of our students got to share the Gospel with an 86 year-old woman who came to know the Lord. It was so encouraging to see that experience and to know that if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation, the old has passed and the new has come! So even though this woman was 86 years-old, she is a new creation!
God just has continued to bless us with Xtravagant Xperiences and evidence of His great power. Another student was able to share the glorious hope of Christ with a large group of Buddhist Monks. Though none came to know the Lord, we can be assured that our labor is not in vain and that His Word does not return void.
Even though our scheduled drama ministry is over, continue to pray for many opportunities to do the Lord’s Work. That He would give us people to talk to and even more opportunities to present the drama even though it’s not scheduled. We know that God has used our Work this summer and that it is completely by His doing and none of our own. We just pray that the Lord would continue to Work in this beautiful country, that He will continue to use and grow us, and that we can walk away from this summer changed forever.
Tonight we celebrated by spending time in fellowship and getting pizza! We had a wonderful evening and we are now ready to leave for Siem Reap tomorrow, the home of Cambodia’s pride and joy, Angkor Wat. Pray for safe travel and many ministry opportunities.
Good night/ good morning!
Jesse and Danielle
Hello friends and prayer warriors!
Today marked another day of seeing God’s glory shine in Cambodia. The team faces the bittersweet reality that our time here is coming to an end. God has given us a love for this country and a strong desire to see the people here receive Him.
Many of our students were encouraged by meeting Cambodians who were fellow believers. One of our students even had the opportunity to meet a Christian who lives here in Battambang who works to plant churches all over Cambodia! The student was excited to know that God has raised up people who love this country and who will continue to join Him in His work long after we leave. The work that is still neccessary in this country is so obvious, and we are all thankfull to serve a God who is faithful to complete the work He has started here.
As the students step out in obedience to God and offer themselves as willing witnesses for Christ, God brings opportunities for divine encounters. Many times today students were led to share the Gospel with one or two specific people, but as they shared, crowds began to form around them. As a result of their obedience, God touched more people then the students expected. One student in particular experienced this three different times at a single ministry site. The Lord is teaching us that when we step out and obey the call that He has placed on our hearts, He blesses that and reveals His glory in ways we never expected.
The students weren’t the only ones willing to step out of their comfort zones today. Our translators blessed the students by performing in the drama with them. Everyone enjoyed the fun twists they added to the drama and seeing their worshipful hearts played out in a new way. The friendship that have been built between the team and our translators can only be explained by God’s power and perfect planning. The love that He has given us for one another is one that will last long after this summer is over and into eternity.
We finished our day with a teaching on how incredible God’s sovereignty is. The team took some time to reflect and marvel at the greatness of our God. We talked about how big He is and how small we are. We are so blessed that He chooses to use us in this country even though He doesn’t need us to accomplish His will.
Thank you all so much for continuing to pray for us as we strive to finish strong. Please pray for boldness and more divine encounters tomorrow!
Your Team Directors,
Nick & Allison
Happy Thursday everyone!
Praise the Lord for He is doing in the lives of the people here in Battambang and in the students. As ministry days are nearing the end, the team is eager to do as much Work as possible and are doing so with willing hearts. Battambang is a hard city to do ministry in for so many reasons but the team presses into the Lord and knows that He has all authority.
This morning, the team went to two schools and the Lord continues to provide students, teachers, and people from the city for us to minister to. At one of the schools, a ministry team had the opportunity to talk with a couple of Muslim girls. They listened intently as out students shared the gospel and told the story of Christ’s love. They ultimately did not pray to receive Christ but the seed was planted. We would have never expected to see a muslim in southeast Asia where the main religion is Buddhism but the Lord continues to see fit to allow our team to minister to other nations and people while in this country.
After lunch, the students went to two more schools. Not only do our students find complete joy in sharing Christ with so many generations in one location but also enjoy the time of fun with the children. One of the ministry teams was talking with a couple of girls when their father came up to join the conversation. When the students asked if he had seen the drama, he replied that he had seen it last year. Our immediate response was asking him if he had accepted Christ but he said no, that he hadn’t known how and was waiting. So our students got to lead a father and daughters to the Lord! Our God continues to lead people from last years ministry to this team and allows divine encounters for all generations.
To finish out the night, our team enjoyed stories from Pastor Mony about His ministry to the people in Vietnam as well his family and how God is using him everyday to impact people because of our drama. He talked about how victorious our trip last year was. He continued to call this visit to Cambodia victorious as well because the Lord was using what happened last summer and providing new ones this summer and all for His praise. Our team then split up into guys and girls to enjoy some fellowship before turning in for the night and preparing for more encounters to show the Lord’s glory tomorrow.
Please be praying that we would continue to finish strong and continued health. The night is coming so we must Work!
Jesse and Danielle
Happy 4th of July! Today was another wonderful day of Jesus ministry with great responses. The whole team is really focusing on finishing strong and being obedient to whatever God desires us to do. This morning we went to another high school to share the Gospel. Through God’s strength He used us to lead several students to Him! After we were finished doing ministry at the site, we stayed there for a short time of teaching. We talked about getting dirty for the Lord. In John 9 it talks about how Jesus met a blind man and spat on the ground to make mud and cover the blind mans eyes with mud. After He did this and the man went to go wash in the pool of ‘sent’, the man was healed. Today the team learned that it wasn’t so simple to make mud with spit. We made our own personal mud balls out of spit and it took a lot of work and a lot of saliva. This may seem gross but it was a great eye-opener that Jesus got His hands dirty and He expects us to do the same thing. He doesn’t want us to be a Sit-Tight but rather a Spit-Tight. Jesus did the blood and it’s up to us to do the mud. The students kept their mudballs as a reminder of what God is doing in Cambodia and as a reminder that we need to get our hands dirty for God wherever He places us.
The team just continues to grow in unity and we all have expectant hearts and know God is at Work in this city. So we continue to press on with urgency. We desire to keep working for the night is coming when no man can Work (John 9 as well) and the time is coming where we can no longer Work in Cambodia, so we press on with urgency.
We continued the day by going to more schools. The children at one of these were so eager to see the drama. At the beginning of the drama we had a big stage but by the end of it the children had crowded in so much the we barely had a stage at all. So many opportunities are being presented and we just want to be used and give God all of the glory. He is at Work here folks, you have heard this many times but He is an overwhelming God. We just pray that He won’t relent and that He’ll use us to do all that we can for His name while we still have time.
We ended the day in celebration of the 4th of July. Tonight part of the celebration included a talent show on the team. The talents included songs, improv, skits, reciting books of the Bible, poems, karate, and much more. It was a great night of fellowship.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers, please continue.
Jesse and Danielle
Wow! God is incredible! Today, as you know, was our first day of ministry in Battambang. How amazing is our God?! We knew before we started ministry that God was going to move in mighty ways in this city. This is our last ministry city and the whole team just knows that even though the trip is starting to close, we still have time. Because of this our focus was so great and so was the urgency. We were curious how the day would go as we started because it took awhile to find a place to perform the drama. It is much more difficult to get permission to the drama in the city and we saw the proof of that as we started the day and couldn’t get permission from anywhere. Finally God provided us a place to do His work. This place happened to be a high school. After we did the drama our groups went out prepared to do Work. One of our ministry groups went to a group of girls without a translator but it didn’t matter because God was in control and the whole group of girls spoke English well. Most of the girls came to a saving knowledge of Christ. One of the girls was named Morraco. Morraco was already a Christian and she had an amazing testimony. She was raised in a Buddhist home and someone shared God with her at a young age and she believed. Her parents would not accept this change in her life and were cruel to her and forced her to go to the Buddhist temple to worship with them. Morraco has had many struggles with her family through her life, but God is working in her life and her parents life. Her parents now allow her to freely believe and worship God but there are still struggles.
We were thankful that we met Morraco but the ministry group moved on to another older lady in a wheelchair. They started to talk to her but it was hard to communicate effectively because of the language and our translators were still busy. So the group was able to use Morraco to translate and the woman came to know the Lord!
At that same site every ministry group had such a significant story. It was so amazing to God work in such an amazing way at the very first ministry site in Battambang! Our team was already encouraged but this built us up even more. As the day continued we continued to struggle with getting permission at sites but our unity kept growing and God continued to provide ministry sites and amazing stories.
There were so many great stories that happened today! I can’t tell them all but I just can’t express enough how excited we are for the continued ministry in Battambang and we know God will continue to work as the trip is winding down. We ask that you please pray for so many ministry opportunities in the city, that we will get permission from everyone we need, that the stories will keep coming, and that God will get the glory for it all.
Jesse and Danielle
Hi friends and family!
We have arrived in Battambang! We have spent much of the day traveling but we have made it safely. The team enjoyed the time to get to know one another better, share stories and testimonies, and spend some time in the Word. This province is larger than anything we have been in and the team is excited about the opportunity to do ministry in this province.
For lunch, we got the chance to eat our peanut butter and jelly on sliced bread. A delicacy here in Cambodia! Well… A delicacy for us. We also enjoyed some cookies with our lunch and the opportunity to stretch our legs.
With each new province, there are differences to the food even though it’s always rice and noodles. After dinner here, the students are very eager to continue eating here. so much of the team has developed a liking for the hot tea here. They always ask for tuk ti gadou with skasaw.
Everyone was so thrilled to get to call home tonight. They were all talking about their family and are eager to tell stories. As we begin ministry, pray that the team is focused on continuing His Work. Each one of us were called here for a purpose and we are looking forward to what God has in store.
Jesse and Danielle
Today was the team’s rest day this week in the town of Kirevong. The team received some quality and rejuvenating rest that was well-deserved. This morning we got a little extra sleep and then also had time to spend significant time with God through prayer and His Word.
We then went to eat lunch at a restaurant rather than having our daily PB & J sandwiches. It was so wonderful stuffing our faces with rice and noodles. Then this afternoon the team was able to split up into their designated groups and explore the beautiful town. Kirevong is a small rice worker town connecting to the Vietnam border so the experience the students had on this day was very different from the experience in Takeo. They were able to experience even more of Cambodia’s culture by being surrounded by this different kind of environment today.
We were able to walk through some more temples today. Each time we are able to it weighs heavy on our hearts because these temples are the evidence of how blind many people are in this country. However, we believe God is bigger than the strongholds in this country and that He will continue to break barriers.
God has continued to use us on our free days. Even though we didn’t have ‘scheduled’ ministry, God’s Work is never ceasing and we must continue to look for all the opportunities to Work. We had many encounters today. One team member was able to talk to a man that saw our drama last year and remembered us. Our member was able to share more Jesus with him and even though he did not accept, it was so encouraging to see how God continues to move and Work, and he will continue to move in this mans life.
Tomorrow we are traveling to Battambang to do Work. This trip will be significantly longer than the other trips that we have taken so pray that we have safe travel and that we can stay encouraged and focused. Battambang is one of the larger cities in Cambodia so it will be a very different experience than the one that we have had in Kirevong. Pray that God will go ahead of us and prepare the ministry and Work that we are about to do and also pray that we can give him our all and work eagerly for Him as we are approaching the departure of this country and the ministry God has called us to.
Thanks for your prayers, comments, and encouragement
Jesse and Danielle