Brothers and Sisters, and Friends:
As we enter this new year, we are made to reflect on the many changes and blessings that God has brought into our lives and into the lives of the children and staff of Pure Religion Orphanage.
As a family, we have just marked the completion of 7 months living in Siem Reap, Cambodia. When we moved here in May of this past year, we had no idea what challenges would await us, nor could we have imagined all that we have experienced as God has shown His mercy and love to our family by extending His mighty and sustaining arm to support us.
In the past year, the orphanage has continued to operate smoothly with the addition of four new children and a periodic turnover of some staff members. The children have manifest a continued growth in knowledge of the Bible, English, and have all excelled in their classes at the local public schools. We were blessed to join with the children and neighboring Christian community for worship this past Sunday morning and rejoiced in their witness.
In response to many prayers and the support of friends like you, the PRM Orphanage of Stoung, Kampong Thom is about to embark on a great adventure. We have contracted to purchase 1.6 hectares just north of Stoung on which we hope to build permanent facilities for housing the children, staff, a classroom/meeting house, and additional facilities. The land has been secured at a significantly discounted price of 22,500.00 USD and we recognize God’s hand in both making the property available as well as working in the heart of the land owner to agree to our offer. We have obtained funding to pay for about half of the purchase price and need to present a final payment by the end of January. The acquisition of the property is by no means the completion of our project, but instead represents the beginning of the task. We must now complete our facility planning, secure the donations to allow for the construction (about 80,000.00 USD), and finally actually complete the buildings and infrastructure to support our planned effort.
Our goal for PRM Orphanage in Stoung is to provide accommodations for as many as 40 children to live, receive vocational, biblical and language training from the time of admission to a minimum of their 18th year.
The ministry here is a very slow and patient exercise in which we are attempting to provide Biblically sound instruction and training in both doctrinal and practical aspects of church structure and administration as well as the simplicity of the gospel message of salvation by free and sovereign grace. It is very apparent that God has raised up a people in this nation called by His Spirit to believe His truth. However, it is sometimes difficult to communicate that truth effectively and the process of building a Biblically founded understanding is often slow and labored.
In his “Twelve Marks of the Apostolic Church” Elder Hassell observed, “With a few exceptions, the members were generally poor, obscure, unlearned, afflicted, despised and persecuted.” We have to be reminded frequently of this truth as we grow frustrated by the lack of education and comprehension of what to us are very simple truths. We have relied primarily upon the translation efforts of Brother Hen Chandara in my preaching to small congregations around the provinces as well as in the publication of a few documents. We have self-published a copy of Elder Zack Guess’ Undeniable Doctrinal Truths and are in the process of completing the translation of Elder Michael Gowens’ Basic Bible Doctrines. It is our hope to have both books as well as Elder Bradley’s tract Some Things You Need To Know About God professionally printed for distribution before the end of 2010. We have also benefited through the efforts of others in the publication of the 1689 London Confession of Faith in the Khmer language.
We have received a number of believers for baptism including approximately 25 former pastors. Our present struggle is in assisting those men in their studies and evaluating the knowledge and calling of each of them. It is our hope that by God’s grace we will be able to consider ordination of some pastor/teachers within the next year as well as constitution of churches in Stoung, Varin, and the Kampong Thom area.
God willing, Elder Gunasekaran will be visiting with us next week, January 7-14, for his second visit (he was with us at the establishment of the orphanage in 2008). We are looking forward to hearing him preach and to receiving his counsel as he evaluates the growth and direction of the work here. Please pray that God will bless his stay with us and for additional ministers to feel burdened to assist us in the work here in Cambodia.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.
Joseph and Rachel Weyel