Acts in Asia
By Jeff & Verna Willhoite
Members of the Cambodia Pentecostal Holiness Church held their convention in November. The ministry in Cambodia continues to grow in quantity and quality under the leadership of missionaries Samuel and Merlen Lamanilao. Originally, there were 7 new believers who planned to be baptized at the conclusion of the convention. However, more than 20 were baptized. What a wonderful way to conclude the convention and celebrate all that the Lord is doing in Cambodia.
Aspects of Life
Our lives are full of events. Many are part of our daily routine, but some are exceptions, and some so adorable as to not be missed.
Mother and daughter: Sister Theary is a survivor of the horrific Cambodian “Killing Fields” of the 70’s. Both her and her daughter are faithful members of our Phnom Penh church. Belief in the Son of God and the Father really does change lives!
Batman vs. Superman- no way. Just two young guys living large. While attending a local festival, two legendary superheroes happened to run into each other. Our grandson Carter (Batman) enjoyed his brief time with his Thai crime fighter (Superman). Lots of pictures were taken by those that saw the two boys together in their superhero attire.
Christmas Activities and Celebrations
Christmas season is a wonderful time of celebration of Christ’s birth and all that means to believers all over the world. Thailand is no different. Though relatively few in number, Thai churches and Christians celebrate Christmas in various ways. We would like to introduce you to a few of this past season’s events.
It is always a wonderful blessing to get the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with the believers from Khon Suay village. It takes three hours with the last hour being off-road, but it is well worth it to see the joy that our visit brings. We planted this church 13 years ago, and it is wonderful to see all that the Lord has done in the lives of so many people.
On this day’s celebration, the church was full and the children excited to receive gifts. After a time of praise and worship in the Akha language and the gift giving, we had a meal together before heading down the mountain back home.
From the picture, one might think that it is a chilly if not cold December evening. As a reminder, we live in a very tropical climate. Locals are accustomed to 100+ degree days. Thankfully, to us Westerners anyway, we do have a cooler season here in Thailand where it can be in the 50’s at night.
It is wonderful to see new believers celebrate their first Christmas. Ong, his wife, and two young sons enjoy some hot chocolate back at the Indochina Mission Training Center after a night of caroling. Ong is a new believer with a contagious smile and a profound and deep love for God that can only come from a genuine encounter with God. We recognize this and believe God has a great plan for him and his family.
Our grandson Carter enjoyed our night of caroling. It was a new experience for him and a bit of an adventure for a while, but after 3+ hours, he was a bit restless and tired. As we say in Appalachia, “he was plumb tuckered out.” This is how I found him in the back seat when we returned to the center that night.
Happy and prosperous New Year to our family, friends, and ministry partners.
Photo Credit: Jeff & Verna Willhoite