by Debra Crook
What an exciting day! Last month I attended the dedication of the Cambodian Pentecostal Holiness Church’s headquarters/church facility. Sammy and Merlyn Lamanilao, missionaries from the Philippines, planted a church in Phnom Penh in 2000. This church has always been a church on the go… willing to go anywhere, do community outreach through feeding programs, and plant new churches.
But the other aspect of being a church on the go involved the challenge of having to find new meeting places. Suddenly the landlord would announce they had sold the building they were renting. Often someone else would come along and offer a higher price so they were forced to move again. We are so thankful the 6th move is to their own property.
We are so grateful the International Pentecostal Holiness Church blessed the Cambodia ministry with this wonderful building. This nation is still considered one of the poorest nations in Asia and an average daily income is less than $2.00. I was so encouraged to hear the Khmer congregation had started a building fund several years ago and contributed around $3,000.
The officials of that district accepted the invitation to join the ribbon cutting ceremony. Russell Board, WMMD Continental Director of Asia, challenged the ministry with a timely word and it was an opportunity to sow seeds in their lives. The District Chief also spoke; it was rewarding to hear him express his appreciation of the work of churches in his area and made himself available when they needed assistance.
Please pray for the Cambodia Pentecostal Holiness Church as they continue to sow into the people of Cambodia; less than one half of 1% are Christians. The district where the church is located has a population of 180,000 and the entire city has 1.7 million residents. So much to do and we pray God gives them wisdom and creative ways to impact this nation with the Gospel.
NEW CHALLENGE IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippines has been put in the spotlight by the United Nations AIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. The country is now #1 in the rate of new infections daily and the alarming part: 28% are youth aged 15-24 years. One can hear these numbers and think, “So… what does that have to do with the church?”
It’s always fascinating how God brings people across your path and as time progresses, the bigger picture comes into view. Many years ago I became acquainted with Precious Jewels Ministry, an organization that cares for HIV/AIDS patients and their abandoned children. I was partnering with them by writing policies with Philippine government agencies.
Precious Jewels Ministry gave us an awareness that we can do something. We discovered the Department of Education and UNICEF had created a video, “The Power of You”, aiming to educate high school youth that one wrong choice can ruin the rest of your life. Because it is approved by the Department of Education, you have opportunities to meet in high schools and youth groups, and it gives you a platform to speak to them about Christ too! We were allowed to use a conference room at Baguio City Hall and 76 youth attended. At the conference youth camp, 120 viewed the film and we continue to pray for open doors in schools in the coming days. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve our community.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support. I continue to be so blessed to experience and be a part of what God is doing in Asia.
Photo Credit: Debra Crook