David and Mi Rebok

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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“Song of Cambodia”
Dave+Mi Rebok, Phnom Penh, October 2017

Under the Mango Tree

Formal Bible study has not been a phenomenon in Cambodia until quite recently. Even after the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, a lot of study programs were conducted at people’s houses, rather than at schools, because school buildings cost too much money. And when meetings take place at someone’s house, it is often preferred to meet outside, where it is cooler, under a mango tree for instance, because mango trees are excellent shade trees, and the benefit of shade in tropical countries cannot be overstated. Khmer people are nature lovers anyway, so being outdoors is where they want to be. You can get away with that year around, this close to the equator. So long as it’s not raining. Which it does for 6 months straight.

A program called Theological Education by Extension (TEE) was started in South America in the early 1960s, and was first developed in Spanish, then a short while later translated into English. More books were written, many in English, and a few decades ago, some of those were translated into the Khmer Language, and were used in the refugee camps in Thailand following the Khmer Rouge regime. The TEE program is used by nearly 1,000 students in Cambodia today, many of whom are trained by our missionaries, or better yet, by local pastors who speak Khmer significantly better than any of us. Part of the philosophy of TEE, in a country where it is not easy to afford school buildings, is to bring the “school” (that is, the class) to the students, rather than bring the students to a school, because Cambodia, until recently, was referred to mainly as an “immobile society,” which is to say that few people had cars and motorbikes. That is changing as the country develops, but the older generation still prefers the familiar mango tree scenario.

Mi and I have co-taught classes, which isn’t entirely accurate, because what that really means is that she facilitates the class, and I answer questions when called upon by the facilitator, to hopefully shed some light on another angle of what we are studying. I want to contribute to the discussion, but I want her to shine as the teacher and develop a skill she didn’t think she had. She sometimes gets to speak in churches too, and she doesn’t know it, but she shines.

Anti-Conversion you say?

In August of this year, another country in East Asia passed an “anti-conversion” law, which states that converting away from the main religion of the nation “hurts the religious sentiment” of a person or a community. The law is written in vague wording, in order to be more easily twisted in court, and infringement of the law carries with it a prison sentence of several years. The people there say it is obvious that the law was passed because of the number of people converting to Christianity, though this is not specified in the law. What is of concern to us is that any place where the Christian faith grows will become targeted for persecution, and it is not our imagination running wild. Several neighboring countries have for many years been causing hardship in Christian churches and in the homes of pastors, many of whom have been imprisoned for a long time, in some cases without being formally charged. Please pray for those in prison, and for Asia to be free from this latest wave of paranoia and persecution.

Please pray…..

*** for Mi’s Mom who is completely immobile at age 74, that Mi and her sisters and nieces would have wisdom to know how to collectively take care of her.
*** for our new urban ministry training center, that it would be as effective as it is intended to be, and for students to use their knowledge to help others once their training is completed.
*** for new rural training centers to be raised up and multiplied in the coming years, for funding for buildings and supplies, and for new students to become motivated to be trained.
*** for the churches that are already torqueing up for Christmas programs that last through all of December and half of January, and for all who join, whether believers or not yet, that the Holy Spirit would work in them, watering seeds of faith and hope planted in what is often hard ground.
*** for our national church bookkeeper, his name is Kree, he is one of my best friends in Cambodia, and I need all the wisdom I can get in order to help him learn Quickbooks.

Side Street

The twin boys who live with us are now 23 months old, and I have only 2 words to say about them… They rule. They got into their “terrible twos” several months ago, and they don’t take no for an answer. I don’t know how their parents keep on top of them, much less afford to feed them. Double trouble. Two for the price of two. They’re already strong enough to stop an eighteen-wheel truck. And though they can’t talk much, they have plenty to say. “What was that again? Anti-conversion? Them’s fightin’ words. Gotta get by us first. You had best turn tail and get the heck out of Dodge.” With these two on our street, who needs Matt Dillon and Festus?

This newsletter at: www.cmalliance.org/worker/rebok-david-mi (prayer requests updated monthly)

Donations online or to: CMA Donor Accounting, 8595 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920, USA

Rebok Work Special for anything else related to our ministry in Cambodia

or the Great Commission Fund for the work of the CMA in the US and overseas

Thank you!

Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

Please see prayer requests in letter above.....

.....and please pray for these things below which are updated monthly.

Updated 10.24.2017

1. for all our relatives in America and Asia who are not yet believers.

2. for Mi’s Mom, still at home and not able to do anything for herself, that she would not become discouraged by her condition.

3. for Mi’s ministry to the AIDS hospice in the provinces (she just returned from a trip there) and for the staff who are all volunteers, many of whom are HIV positive and love their work.

4. for my niece in America (I don’t want to say her name over the airways) who is seriously bipolar and finds it next to impossible to hold down a job. She is sweet, talented, out-going, and she is also a troubled individual, but is currently seeking help from doctors in Chicago.

5. for a rural church we just visited called Klaing Poa, not too far outside Phnom Penh, they don’t meet regularly because they don’t have a pastor, so they only meet when guests show up. A lot of small rural churches face the same problem of not having a leader in place. Please pray for workers in the harvest field! (Matthew 9:35-38)

Many thanks! Dave+Mi Rebok

Cambodia

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Updated: October 23, 2017

Status
Field Assignment
Country of Service
Cambodia
Address
c/o C&MA Cambodia
PO Box 118
Phnom Penh,
CAMBODIA

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