Lost Zachary (And found)
I wrote recently of our (temporary!) loss of our son, Zachary, in the October Missions Banner. We seem to be going through a time of loss here in Cambodia, and I want to share some prayer requests for what has passed. Pray for our family as things can be difficult here: Zachary and his Opa getting lost in the city has reminded us of this truth.
Loss of Dom Pbang Vwlia
After our hugely successful VBS this year, the neighbors started asking the unbelieving family that hosts us how much money they made off of us. They were ridiculed for getting nothing in exchange for having foreigners bring their foreign religion into the area. The extended family was shamed and therefore became angry with us for “using” them and getting them in trouble with their neighbors. At first the extended family (not the woman who lives there) asked for lots of money, but eventually told Mr. Srong to leave. We have been unable to find another place in the area because everyone has been warned not to betray their ancestors and their village by helping Christians spread the gospel. The children there were heartbroken. Please pray God opens doors here again and elsewhere so that other villages may also have the opportunity to hear the gospel.
Loss of Seywa
A few weeks later we showed up at the house where we’d been meeting in the market town and found the family had transformed the front of the house into a low-end restaurant. There was no longer a place for us to meet. We were offered the grandmother’s place, but grandma, a devout Buddhist, didn’t want us. Some of the children miss us very much. Please pray for them and that we find another way to spread the gospel in the area.
Loss of Pov
A few weeks after that our lead translator and ministry helper, Pov, announced he would be unable to continue with us. He has a fulltime job at an English children’s school during the day and had just graduated from his night program at the Royal University with a Bachelor’s degree in English. He was to start a weekend Master’s program (MBA) in a couple of weeks. His devotion to the Lord and to His service will be sorely missed. Please pray the Lord blesses him in his studies and his service at his home church. May God grant him a bright future.
Hope and Joy
While we’ve suffered some losses we still have great joy and hope in the Lord and in His service. Our daughter, Anna Grace, was recently baptized, and we are praying for the Lord’s blessing on both her and her brother, Zachary. Zachary, who’s only 2 ½, is stepping up as the big brother by getting Anna her toys and watching over her, especially when we’re out. Mr. Srong is dedicated to doing more traveling evangelism in the area in hopes of opening new villages, and the church seems excited for the things of the Lord. Truly “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” including “a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”
Thank you for your prayers and support; please keep remembering us. May God also bless you richly. —Rev. Mark and Wiwin Baldwin