VBS in Cambodia is a great opportunity to soften the community, to reach those who’ve never heard the gospel, enlighten those who know the gospel, and encourage those who serve the gospel. We have had 800+ attend in years past. Sadly, now that they know the gospel is taught, many Buddhist parents forbid their children to come, and we usually have around 200 attend our VBS.
This year we exposed the community to the ten commandments, a great opportunity to show them their need for our glorious Savior by convicting them of their sinfulness. After all who could consider the rightness of the commandments and not agree? Who could consider Jesus’ application of the commandments, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, and not see one’s shortcomings? Who, seeing their shortcomings would not feel God’s condemnation? Who feeling God’s righteous condemnation would not look to the Son for salvation? Well… all those who have not had God take out their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Our team plants and waters but trusts God to give the increase!
We used various materials in English which we translated to Khmer and printed on our color printer at the house. Since Wiwin and I would be gone the entire period the children were out of school, and the VBS would be done by the Khmer church, we spent a lot more time going over logistics and creating materials than usual.
The team was made up of our usual helpers. Pov, their leader, works full time, studies full time at the university and helps us on his day off. I suggested he take the summer off from working with us since I would be in the US, and the team could manage without him. But he said, “NO, I cannot be away from my ministry!” What a blessing. He was helped by Ngeth, Sophorn, Mr. Srong and his daughter Chanak. They did the VBS in our usual two villages (Prey Pdao & Kpbaom), the village Mr. Srong opened up (Tom Beang Larvie) and a fourth location south of Kpbaom.
It was a blessing to all, especially to me as I see that the people in the countryside have grown so much and are able to do a VBS in our absence! — Rev. Mark Baldwin