Prayer and Praise Report - November 2019
After many months of earnest prayer, we are delighted to tell you that we have been able to finally purchase our new
4WD Ford Ranger Wildtrak utility, to replace our very old Ford Ranger that we purchased second hand 15 years ago and
used it until it became irreparable and no spare parts are available for it any more. It was such a joy to all go together to
pick up the new Ford Wildtrak. It seemed to take all day to get all the paperwork and road testing done, so we went
together to have pizza while we waited! There was such rejoicing as we drove away with it and our thanksgiving to God
knew no bounds.
In July, after a mission's team from my Church, Austral-Asian Community Church in Adelaide, visited us, they saw for themselves how very dangerous our transportation had become, and they joined us in prayer for a replacement vehicle. Many of our supporters gave us generous donations and my church held a fundraising event to help us. God has been so gracious to us and kept us all safe and blessed us with the most suitable vehicle for the road conditions we encounter weekly in this country. Our thanks and praises have gone up as a memorial to the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus in meeting this need to enable us to share the Good News to the people of Cambodia wherever they may live.
This year the challenges we face increased considerably due to a serious decline in tourism from all except the Chinese, who do not buy our products and are rapidly overtaking our coastal resorts, supermarkets and hotels. Seim Reap has so few tourists that the tuktuk drivers cannot make a living, and hotels and restaurants are suffering. In Sionoukville, the lovely resort has been inundated with hotels and casinos and the beaches ruined with effluent. There are so many new supermarkets that none of them are flourishing and orders are very low. This has reduced our sales to 20% of previous years' market targets. Consequently we have been finding it very hard to pay salaries and suppliers every month. We have three new products, cashew nuts, pepper and banana chips we hope will sell well at competitive prices. We asked our church in Kampot to plant papaya to assist the locals and our factory, but excessive rains ruined the crops. However pineapples are larger than normal. Diversification into creating extra income at the farm by breeding chickens and ducks for local sales in Prek Dong. This work is being done by the employees on a voluntary out of hour's basis and will help offset shortfalls in earnings from reduced overtime. We have no money to repair our generator, deep well pump or front fence.
On the other hand, the Lord has wonderfully blessed our mission outreaches, particularly in Kompong Thom Province where Bunthoeun's family comes from. In the three villages of Roon Long, Russay Douch and Dong Undak we have regularly brought many to faith and baptized in some cases almost the whole village! When AACC's mission team visited in July, 13 people received salvation that day and it seems that their coming opened an awaking of the Holy Spirit in the whole area that has not stopped. People were healed as a result of their testimonies, which raised faith for healing to happen at every outreach since. The team are going out on mission trips every Saturday (rain permitting) and from their own wages have been donating food / provisions etc. to villagers who are living in extreme poverty. In the villages the have been creating microbusiness for poor people by giving them a coop, a rooster and three chickens, with CH taking the finished birds for sale in PP. This is run as an outreach venture and not part of CH. Our Church disciples are "disciples making disciples" from people who were forgotten in their own society and who now are spreading the good news and backing it up with real tangible assistance to the poor. It's a great example they are setting!!!
Judy Thomson, our Auditor and Board Member from Shellharbour, NSW, visited us in June and from that time Marion Fromm has stepped back from the position of CEO and passed it on the Bunthoeun Thong and his wife Netha. All the Australian Board agreed that the time had come for Marion to pass on the baton. Marion is now concentrating on her role as consultant and Pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, which meets at the factory. This was not an easy transition for her and she was very glad to have Robyn Annells visit with her while the AACC team was in Cambodia. Marion's granddaughter Jess Vasos came for a couple of weeks and we really enjoyed each other's company. Rhonda Pooley visited in September and we spent a lovely time together in Battambang and Ratanakiri for Tabernacles celebrations there.
Baptism. On October 21st we baptized Kheat, a long-time member of our factory staff. Over many years he heard Marion teach every morning and he seemed to resist and argue against the teaching until she despaired he would ever believe. He said in his testimony, "the light suddenly came on" and he believed. The other Christian men cutting fruit with him kept on patiently sharing with him, until finally he believed and asked for baptism. We all rejoiced.
Two weeks ago Marion's handbag was snatched as she rode with friends in a tuktuk. Money, credit card, two phones, reading glasses, driving license and sundry other items have all had to be replaced. This was time consuming, stressful and unsettling.
Please pray for the following:
1. Praise God that the supposed return of the Opposition leader did not happen last Saturday and the Water Festival celebrations ended peacefully.
2. Pray or the final US$10,000.00 we need to repay loans from his family and friends for the utility and their unpaid salaries. Pray for money to repair the generator, water pump and front fence.
3. Pray for our new believers in the provinces and Kheat at the factory to grow in their knowledge and love of God. 4. Pray for our sales improve and now markets open up so we become sustainable.
5. John Wilkins needs a miracle of healing in his lungs. Pray for successful physical and mental preparations for a future lung transplant. Pray urgently for a compatible donor from his blood type and tissue match.
It is true that in times of struggle our faith grows and this maturity brings more confidence in God for the future. Bunthoeun had many struggles with an unreliable utility which continually broke down with things, such as suddenly no brakes coming down a steep hill fully loaded, the steering falling apart, the 4WD not working or all the electrics suddenly going out. We all agonized over every trip and prayed they would all get back alive. In our desperation we turned to urgent prayer. All this brought us closer together throughout the struggle. It is my sincere prayer that the personal loss of property and salary suffered cheerfully by Bunthoeun and Netha can be repaid soon and God's blessings will flow unhindered in their lives.
Thanks to all of you who have faithfully prayed and sacrificially given to the ministry of Cambodian Harvest. Without your love and support none of these wonderful people would have heard the Gospel and known for themselves the amazing love of Jesus.
Blessings & love from Marion, Bunthoeun and Netha and all at Cambodian Harvest.
4WD Ford Ranger Wildtrak Taking delivery of our new utility Chicken coops for poor families Esai teaching a song
Listening to the Gospel Plastic "house" family Locals (including Police) help us build a house
Teaching about baptism Waiting to be baptized Leang baptizing one of the group Baptizing Kheat (factory staff)