We have been back home in Cambodia for a couple of months now, which is crazy to think about because it feels like our America trip was nearly a year ago. Cambodia has that way about it, making time stop completely and then the next thing you know it’s going to be 2018.
People often ask us, “Do you love living in Cambodia?” It's a difficult question to answer because that is really two questions in one. We adore Cambodia. We miss it when we are gone. Cambodia is incredibly charming in a truly nontraditional way. Living in Cambodia is a different story, especially since we are here to spread the Gospel and make disciples in a culture that literally summons demons out of Hell. The Enemy will do anything…and we mean anything…to deter us from ever wanting to come back.
That being said, our recent return has been a little rough:
- Every rain our house completely floods with sewer water.
- We have black mold growing in the bathroom upstairs due to a leak in the wall that our landlord thinks is not a big deal.
- Both of our dogs fell ill (if you know Bre, you know that they are her fur babies).
- Our motos keep breaking down.
- We have lived many days without electricity because water keeps getting into our power breaker.
- Honestly, the list goes on and on.
None of this is complaining, just factual and our reality, but this is how we know it’s just the enemy: God’s ministries that He has given us are completely unaffected and thriving!
That’s not to say our ministries are a breeze - they have their fair share of obstacles - but the Word is being taught, and even better the Word is being received. The Lord has been pressing more and more on our hearts about the purpose of our lives. This past week the Lord has been using questions from the Children of Hope kids and Scripture to remind us that we are here for Jesus. We know that we are called to disciple and to make sure everyone we come into contact with will see or hear of Jesus.
Water of Life is on a reading plan and the Scriptures just jumped off the page this morning: Psalms 46, 2 Timothy 4, and Isaiah 45-46. We encourage you to set aside some time today to read these chapters.
“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
2 Timothy 4:17-18 (NASB)
So let’s talk about the ministries because that is way more exciting!
Curtis, Pastor Rith, two older girls from Children of Hope, and Bre went out to Svay Rieng Province, and it was awesome! After 5 weeks of being gone it was really fun to see everyone. They all had a great time talking about how fat America made us. They were eager to get started and dig into the Old Testament. Curtis and Rith taught through Genesis 16-17: the story of Abram, Sarai and Hagar. The village pastors are so grateful to be studying through the Old Testament. They tell Curtis that they have heard the stories of the Old Testament, but did not really understand how to read it, let alone how to teach on it. Needless to say, Genesis has been blowing their minds. Their excitement is contagious - it makes us want to go out there more than once a month, but this is the schedule they gave us so we will slow down and take it month by month.
We love these guys and they never ask anything of us, but before we left for the States they did mention that they would really appreciate a few backpacks since it is so very dusty and muddy out there that their Bibles are being ruined. How could you possibly say 'no' to that request? During our time in America our amazing church helped us raise funds for new backpacks and some heavy duty raincoats for those we minister to in Svay Rieng. We were insanely blessed by the hearts of everyone who contributed to these guys to make their lives a tad bit easier. Their eyes lit up and they were like kids on Christmas morning! They were so excited to pick out their favorite color and style, and they immediately started using their new backpacks. Bre is a sucker for older people and these guys grip her entire heart – “They are the cutest!”
Water of Life Bible School is coming together very nicely! It is ridiculously difficult to get minor tasks done here so it feels like nothing will ever come to fruition, but it’s finally happening! Curtis found a place to make a glass whiteboard for the school and it has been installed. A few days later the desks arrived! We have 20 empty desks just waiting for students to arrive in October. Curtis has been working tirelessly on government paperwork and a solid curriculum, and we are all eagerly awaiting the Fall when we will launch the Bible School with its first students. There is still a lot to accomplish and plenty of “ducks to get lined in a row” so your prayers are absolutely appreciated!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for the mission out here in Cambodia. We truly believe this is a team effort and we are continually grateful for the team the Lord has placed around this ministry. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or things we can pray for you about. We would love to hear from you.
Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Curtis and Bre Johnson