Soeuth and Syna Lao

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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Dear Friends and Family,

Because Jesus did what He came to do, we have Hope. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May you experience true Love and Hope and Joy and Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ as you celebrate Christmas.
Due to the on-going government mandate- pandemic restrictions, the plans for Christmas celebrations had been postponed and changed from a day-to-day and week-to-week basis. Finally, the decision was made by key church leaders of the areas that Christmas this year would be localized celebrated in various smaller village group settings. This mean that the key church leaders must make frequent trips to villages, one village at a time, in order to gather and to lead the villagers in these remote celebrations; we already had six village celebrations done and still have sis more villages to go. On the average, the number of participants in each village gatherings were about 75 plus people. About 85% of the attendants celebrated Christmas for the first time this year. Below are few stories/ testimonies shared by villagers at these smaller group gatherings…
Former Witchcraft Villagers Celebrated their First Christmas…
After months of hearing about the many wonderful things that God was doing in Pume Thmey village (for detailed information about the nature of this village, please refer to our August 2020’s update in “The Captives Set Free”), on the morning of December 24th, we finally visited the village and had personal opportunity to meet with some of the amazing and genuine believers of the areas. Immediately upon our arrival, 80 plus villagers quickly gathered around underneath a stilted house for a time of worship service led by Po and Lang, two designated leaders assigned to oversee this village. After brief introductions, the villagers joyfully sung their favorite songs, one number after another, all songs were chosen from a traditional Khmer hymnal book. The many favorite selections requested by participants were not the Christmas songs sung for the holiday season, but the written words/lyrics of each song gave special meanings to the believers’ new freedom in Christ. Because, up until early April of 2020, many of these villagers had lived their entire lives under the tight grips and heavy bondages of Satan! But this year, many of the Pume Thmey village people found complete FREEDOM in CHIST! When Soeuth shared a Christmas- message entitled “The Good News to the Outcasts” found in Luke 2:8-20, the entire audience paid close attention to every word spoken. As they listened, many villagers nodded in agreement to message as they could relate well to the shepherd—the outcasted characters in this biblical story. At the end of the message, opportunities were given to any villager who wanted to testify what God was doing in their lives; and one after another, people willingly shared their stories as below…
Mose-ya: A Baby Recused from the Pond!
Ree, aged 37, a mother of three small children, only 4-month old Christian from Pume Thmey village, with tears of joy and tears of gratitude falling freely down her cheeks, gave praises to the Lord Jesus for saving her (now 9- month-old) baby girl from drowning! Ree shared that in early October, in an attempts to catch some fish for a family meal, standing by the edge of a nearby pond, Ree was using one arm to secure a bouncing 7- month old baby (then) to her hip while using another arm/ hand to hold a fishing pole. Excited and startled by a sudden bite at the end of her fishing line, Ree accidentally dropped her baby girl into a 2- meter (6 feet) deep pond! Not able to swim herself and while gripped by overwhelming fear for her baby’s life, Ree screamed from the top of her lungs shouting, “Preah-yea-sue jo-oy! (Lord Jesus help!) My baby is in the pond!” At her the sound of her frantic screams, a few village men rushed to the site and quickly dove into the murky pond and tried desperately to find the baby. After an “eternity” of many unsuccessful attempts, the terrifying mother finally spotted the baby’s head floating to the water surface. Following the mother’s frantic pointing, one of the men swam to the site, scooped up the limping unconscious baby, brought her to the edge of the pond, and then began to resuscitate her back to life! Everyone who witnessed the accident including the men who were in involved in the recusing mission unanimously declared that this baby’s recued was a miraculous work of the Living God! More than two months went by since the accident, Ree is still overwhelmed emotionally every time she picked up her baby girl at how much love God has for her life and for her family’s lives. “I am forever grateful to God for recusing my life and the life of my baby girl! My daughter’s life is my testimony to the whole world that Preah-yea-sue is the One True and the Only God!” Even though the baby has her own given name, since the incident took place, everyone is calling her “Mose-ya”- because Jesus recused her from the pond…
“Someone touched me. And I am healed!”
Also, from Pume Thmey village, Mrs. Nim, a frail but very cheerfully peasant little lady, in her mid-50’s, a widow, and a devoted mother of six adult children, had been subjected to bleeding and had chronically suffered various kinds of illnesses more than seven years. “I sold many rice fields, cows, and most of my other earthly belongings including my heirloom jewelries in order to pay for my many expensive medical costs. “My children took me to see medical doctors across the country, and I even visited many ‘kru Khmer’ (local witch doctors). But no one could help me,” explained Nim to the listening audience with two of her adult children nodded their agreements. In early October of 2020 while her village, like many other parts of Cambodia, was completely underwatered by the unexpected floods, Nim’s health was critically worsen. Fearful for Nim’s life, her adult children carried Nim and waded across the flooded paths, then took her in a rented taxi to the Siem Reap provincial hospital. Hopelessly lying in a hospital bed in an overcrowded and understaffed hospital ward surrounded by many sickly patients, Nim did not hope that she would be properly seen or adequately cared for by medical staffs. Before going to bed and while in her darkest moments of hopelessness, Nim whispered a prayer, “Preah-yea-sue, if you are real, please help me”. Nim also described her prayer, “I was new believer. I did not even know how to pray. And I didn’t even know if God would hear my prayers because I was poor and a nobody. That night, while I closed my eyes and tried to sleep, I felt a hand touching my head. And I felt warmth all over my entire body! I opened up my eyes but saw no one”. Nim shared that she immediately her daughter who was lying next to her and asked, “Did you touch my head just now?” When her daughter said “No”, Nim insisted that “Someone had touched me. And I am feeling better!” Aware of Nim’s new faith in Jesus, the daughter suggested that maybe God had touched her. Nim agreed and then went on to describe her condition, “It had been almost three months since that night, and I have not seen any more blood! Preah-yea-sue healed me!” Once again, Nim’s adult daughters and many villagers who participated in the Pume Thmey worship service that day nodded their heads in agreement that Jesus had healed Nim!
Praises, dates, and events needing your prayers…
1. On December 11 at 9:32 pm, we received a wonderful news that our second grandchild, a granddaughter this time, Maya Joy Lao, had safely arrived into the world to the waiting arms of her proud parents, Justin and Katie, and to her adorable big brother, Jesse. Since Maya’s birth, we’d received and treasured the countless pictures and short videos thoughtfully made and sent to us by her parents. We look forward to and we long to meet Maya, and to hugs both precious grandchildren, Lord willing, by early July 2021.
2. December 19: two young single mothers prayed to receive Jesus shortly after attending the Christmas celebration at the Toul Prich Village. These two ladies and some few other new believers are being trained and prepared for the baptism sometimes in January.
3. Dec. 24h, after a worship service at Pume Thmey, 28 people came forward to rededicate their lives to Jesus. Please pray against spiritual oppositions and on-going spirituals as for these dear new believers as they must remain living in the village while trying to shine the Light of Jesus to the dark community. Many people from this village, including the new believers’ own relatives and neighbors, still worship demons and witches of the areas. These young believers whose spiritual journey is less than 9 months old there are about 40 of them in all are being spiritually cared for and taught in the Word at a weekly basis by two designated leaders, Po and Lang. (Both Lang and Po enrolled in our weekly leadership and discipleship classes at Srae Nouy).
4. Dec. 26: We had a “small” Christmas (the first Christmas in the village) village gathering in La-veah village recently where 86 people participated. The service was held under the shades of fruit trees where people seating on a plastic taupe. At the end of 16 new believers took turns to share the amazing and powerful testimonies of what God is doing in their lives. Their stories included two incidents where young believers prayed to cast out of demons from the demon-possessed relatives, many stories about miraculous healings, and about God’s miraculous interventions and protections against motorbike accidents, and from snake bites! Their stories were so inspiring and so powerful which a living testimony to the unbelieving that the God we service is ALIVE and ACTIVE.
5. Because of the leaders are busy leading small Christmas gatherings at various village groups, the plans for localized baptismal services are being held/ postponed in many locations and will be implemented sometimes in January. Please pray that the new believers would remains committed with their decision to get baptized.
6. The 7 students from Soeuth’s Pentcheude class and the 9 students the TEE Book 3 classes had successfully completed the courses! The same groups of students will move on to enroll in the next higher course levels accordingly.
Please share with us what God is doing in your life. We would love to pray with and for you as you have been to us. As always, we are grateful to God for you on-going prayers and support. Thank you for your partnership in the Anlong Veng and the overall Cambodian ministries. We appreciate you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Soeuth & Syna

Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

Cambodia

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Updated: January 13, 2021

Country of Service
Cambodia

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