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“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Recently Joyce has been challenged by God to pray dangerously.  What does this really mean though? For us, we have taken it to mean that we need to intentionally prayer bigger and more specific prayers. Prayers that we know only God can answer or rather we need God to answer because we recognize that our answers and solutions will not cut it. And we expectantly await answers that will be… well, bigger than we expect.
So, as we enter into this season of prayer for ourselves and our ministry, we want to invite you into this prayer journey with us.

Pray for our next steps – We have been in Siem Reap now for about 7 months and over this time we settled into a rhythm of ministry (although this rhythm keeps changing ☹).  As we look towards the future of our ministry among the Vietnamese people in Siem Reap, there is excitement about what the future may hold.  We have dreams and ideas for the church side of things as well as the tutoring centre side of things. But what we yearn for is a unified God-given vision for our next steps.  Our team will be entering into a time of research and discernment over the next few months.  We want God to speak to us clearly throughout the process.  We are praying that our hearts are receptive to the plans that he lays upon it.  We are laying everything out before God and asking Him to help us see his priorities for our ministry here in Siem Reap.  I (David) have come to discover that I can be stubborn and resistant to the unknown so please pray that God gives me a boldness to step forth into his plans for us.  So our big prayer is that God gives us a clear vision of our next steps and that we cast aside all fears and step into whatever direction He calls us and this ministry to go.

Pray for our ministry to the children – God has blessed us with many children who come to our tutoring centre during the weekdays and to our children’s service on Sunday. There are days that we are honestly overwhelmed with not just the number of kids, but we struggle with knowing how to minister to them in the midst of what is often the chaos of kids doing… well, doing what kids do best.  Please pray with us that we can implement some effective methods in order to create more order in our free-play as well as teaching times.  Pray for us to be able to consistently show God’s love and patience, even as we sometimes need to physically separate kids from fighting.
We see so much hope in and potential in many of these kids.  Even this past Sunday one of the normally rowdiest pre-teens was one of our best helpers in the young kids’ class.  He was helping to calm the younger kids down but it only took a comment from another young boy to make him lose his temper. So our big prayer is not only for ourselves but also please pray for the kids.  Pray for God to work in their lives and build in them Godly characteristics that are Christ-like.

Pray for our teachers – All of the teachers that we have for our tutoring centre are teens between the ages of 14-20.  It is honestly a very tough job that they have as they teach the children Vietnamese and math each week.  These are the same children that we talked about above.  It is also every easy for these young teachers to lose their temper or become frustrated when the kids do not want to listen or learn.  These young teachers also sometimes can exhibit the behavior of conventional teenagers (no need to go into further details if you have been a teenager yourself).  Our big prayer for the teachers is that God gives them encouragement and strength to continue forth.  We pray as well that God also transforms them and deepens all their relationships with Him.

Pray for our leaders – We have a few individuals, teens and adults, that have been stepping up as leaders in the church.  Our big prayer for these leaders is two-part.  Firstly, please pray for us to have wisdom in how we can best disciple and mentor these leaders.  Pray that we can know how to best do it in a cultural and spiritual context that glorifies God.  Our team is often teaching in a language that we are still learning day by day so pray that God’s grace be upon the words that come from our lips.  The second part of this big prayer request is for the leaders themselves.  Pray that in the midst of the busyness of work and/or school, the leaders will still have a passion to serve God out of a love for him and not out of obligation. We also pray that God will give them confidence to take on more leadership roles that we are mentoring them towards.

Pray for our family – Our family has also fallen into a good rhythm of life here in Cambodia, but our prayer is that we do not just settle.  Our big prayer is that we continue to remain open to whatever things, relationships or whatever it is that God may have ahead for us here.  Praise God that we are all safe, healthy and happy but pray that we constantly listen to what God is saying to us.  We also praise God that our kids our starting to see the need for prayer and will ask us to pray when they see a need before them.

We thank you all for your continued prayers for us.  God is indeed answering prayers.  We just want to highlight one specific answered prayer.  We have a Friday Bible study that meets weekly at a house near the church.  Initially we had a difficult time scheduling our weekly studies but a short while ago the father said to us that he can’t commit to coming to church on Sundays because of work but if we can commit to coming every Friday, he will commit to being home on time for the Bible study.  We were cautiously excited for this invitation, but we didn’t know if it was done out of politeness or a desire to study the Bible.  Fast forward a few months, this man and his wife have faithfully been home every Friday for our studies.  As we start a new Bible study series, they are excited to learn and his wife eagerly keeps the bible verse print outs every week so that she can read it on her own. Praise God!!!

Thanks again for journeying with us!

David, Joyce, Jadon, Elisabeth and Josiah.