Series Code: ASAP
Program Code: ASAP000003
00:46 Located in the hearts of Southeast Asia,
00:49 the country of Cambodia is a wonderful example
00:53 of God's grace, providence and amazing love.
00:59 It is also a remarkable illustration
01:02 of how the prophecy of Jesus found in Matthew 24
01:06 is being dramatically fulfilled in our time.
01:12 Sitting on the Mount of Olives almost 2,000 years ago,
01:16 Jesus said "And this gospel of the kingdom
01:19 shall be preached in all the world
01:22 for a witness unto all nations,
01:24 and then shall the end come."
01:28 Until very recently Cambodia was a country
01:31 that was resisting the power of these words of Jesus.
01:36 Over the centuries, Christianity has made
01:39 very little progress in Cambodia.
01:42 People were steeped in Buddhism
01:44 and found the ideas of Christianity
01:47 foreign and strange.
01:50 However, all of that was about to change.
01:53 When civil war and chaos broke out in Cambodia in 1975,
01:59 thousands of people fled to refugee camps
02:02 along the boarders of Thailand.
02:05 It was here that they not only found salvation
02:08 from their physical enemies
02:10 but also a new message of hope
02:12 for spiritual salvation as well.
02:16 Judy Aitken, founder of ASAP along with her family
02:21 and dedicated relief workers and nurses
02:24 were there to minister to these suffering souls.
02:28 As they cared for their physical needs,
02:31 they also told them about a creator God
02:33 that love them enough to come to this earth
02:36 and die for their eternal salvation.
02:39 As these new believers
02:41 trickled back to Cambodia during the 1990s,
02:45 they began to share their new found faith
02:47 with their friends and relatives.
02:50 With support from dedicated ASAP donors
02:53 many new church groups were established
02:56 and the seeds of Christianity were sown far and wide
03:00 throughout the country.
03:17 Pol Pot and the killing fields and all of the horrors
03:22 that took place in 1970s and 1980s,
03:25 actually created a hunger among the Cambodian people.
03:29 They were looking for something new.
03:31 Buddhism was discredited in their eyes
03:33 and they were open and thirsty and hungry
03:35 looking for a new something
03:39 and Christianity is filling that in powerful ways
03:42 and they are responding in ways that are just incredible.
03:48 Linda and I went to Cambodia in 1997.
03:51 We stayed there till the end of 2000
03:53 and then I came back here to the seminary.
03:55 And after coming back
03:56 it's exciting to hear the things
03:58 that God is doing and continues to do
04:00 in that part of the world.
04:02 I think one of the most exciting things has been
04:04 to see the incredible growth of the church in Phnom Penh.
04:09 It's a city of about a million people
04:11 and when I left
04:12 we had one major church in a couple of small companies
04:15 and now they have just mushroomed
04:16 and there are over 20 churches and lot of companies
04:21 and they have lot of people working there.
04:23 So that has been very exciting.
04:25 And before I left we basically did things
04:28 in personal evangelism small house Bible studies.
04:32 Since I left they have had
04:33 several large public evangelistic series
04:36 with thousands of people in attendance
04:39 and hundreds of baptisms.
04:41 That's pretty exciting
04:42 to see happening in a Buddhist country.
04:49 When I first came the idea was to push out
04:53 as widely as possible into as many provinces
04:57 and that was good up to a point because at that time
05:01 we had relative freedom in getting into other provinces.
05:05 Now it's more difficult because the authorities
05:08 don't want to see more Christian churches established.
05:13 And so where you haven't established presence--
05:17 there isn't a real problem.
05:19 If you are going into a brand new area,
05:22 then it would be more difficult today
05:24 than it was five years ago.
05:26 For the last 10 years or so
05:27 we've been working mainly in rural areas
05:31 and not much attention given to the city work.
05:34 And so we have thought now its time
05:36 that we should look at a city seriously
05:41 and device a plan
05:42 where by we can do evangelism for the city people.
05:46 Now in 2005 we have 61 groups worshiping in Phnom Penh.
05:53 And some of those have developed into churches,
05:56 others are progressing that way.
05:59 We have approximately 3,000 members in Phnom Penh
06:03 instead of the 500 or 600 we had in 2000.
06:06 And also as a result of that
06:08 our tithe base increased 25% last year
06:11 and that's from local tithe.
06:13 So that was a good indication
06:14 that some progress was being made.
06:18 People who are working don't take a walk by looking at them.
06:22 This is relatively easy here and that's so refreshing
06:26 compared with some other parts of the world
06:28 that been in where to get people
06:29 out of the pew is so difficult
06:32 because they thing that's what church is and really it's not.
06:37 And it's marvelous to be able to see these people
06:41 who had such a traumatic background
06:43 develop into strong Christians, with a strong desire
06:48 to prepare as many people as possible before Jesus comes.
06:51 As soon as the person is baptized
06:52 we're teaching them to witness to others
06:55 and then we put them to work.
06:57 I mean that's the only way to keep the members in church
06:59 and that's we've done and continue to do.
07:02 So we would train them
07:03 and then they would go out again,
07:05 make visitations, get to know people,
07:08 their neighbors, their friends,
07:09 basically friendship evangelism.
07:11 Friendship evangelism is the best method
07:14 to approach the Buddhist people
07:16 in the city of Phnom Penh.
07:18 Cambodian is one country that really needs friendship.
07:23 And we cannot approach people without making friends first.
07:28 Because Cambodia is a war-torn country
07:32 that suffered from the war for almost 20 years,
07:35 people are open to what we call the new era.
07:38 That is why Christianity can come to Phnom Penh city
07:42 and people open their mind to accept it.
07:45 The way of personal evangelism
07:47 from one to one, from house to house,
07:50 from one community to one community
07:52 that we can spread out
07:54 and we can approach the Buddhist people.
07:57 Buddhist people in Cambodia they open heart
08:00 because they have suffered for a long time.
08:02 And then it is a good time for us to tell people,
08:05 because we worship the wrong god
08:08 and then we suffer.
08:09 And right now we found the true God
08:11 and the true God can help the people.
08:13 We see a good change with their life
08:16 before they become Christians, some steal,
08:19 and some make problems in family.
08:21 When they become Christian they become calm person,
08:24 they are not cruel like before.
08:25 Yeah, they don't go to drink
08:27 and they don't go to do bad things.
08:30 And the family become more happier than they was.
08:37 We've developed so quickly
08:39 that we've had to change our planning
08:42 in order to keep up with events.
08:44 In 2002, we began a pioneer program in Phnom Penh.
08:49 We selected 60 young people
08:52 and they were really the backbone
08:55 of the evangelistic program in Phnom Penh.
08:58 They work under the direction of three district pastors
09:02 and the district pastors were training them everyday.
09:05 Here with the mission, we were training everyday.
09:08 One hour, two hours the morning,
09:09 in the afternoons, in the evenings,
09:11 especially they would be out
09:13 and that's where they would get
09:15 their Bible studies, they contact.
09:18 By the time we had our first evangelistic program
09:21 in Phnom Penh we had about 2,500 people
09:25 studying the Bible at that time.
09:34 With the training that these lay Bible workers received
09:38 and through the support that has been provided by ASAP
09:42 many have now become powerful church planters for Christ.
09:47 Listen, as some of these new workers for Jesus
09:50 tell their story.
09:57 If you compare my life now
09:59 to my life before I became a Christian,
10:01 it is as different as the sky is from the earth.
10:05 I was a soldier and used to be very greedy,
10:09 but God has completely changed me.
10:12 He has turned my greediness
10:13 into satisfaction for what I have.
10:16 He has turned my hopelessness and sorrow into real joy.
10:21 Now all I want to do is
10:22 serve Him energetically for the rest of my life.
10:26 I thank God for the opportunity to be a church planter.
10:31 I love to tell others about the joy and peace
10:33 that God has brought to my heart.
10:36 He has now worked some of the same miracles
10:38 in the lives of my friends and neighbors.
10:42 We have witnessed the power of God,
10:44 cast out demons and healed the sick.
10:46 Please pray for us as we now start
10:49 many new groups in our area.
10:54 I first began to know God
10:55 when my husband fell sick with cancer.
10:58 We had tried everything but he had gotten better.
11:01 My husband knew about the God of heaven
11:04 and together we prayed
11:05 that He would send someone to help us.
11:09 It was shortly after that prayer
11:10 that Pastor Hondura and his wife
11:12 started coming to our home.
11:15 They told us more about the true God
11:17 and then prayed for my husband.
11:19 And answer to that prayer I am so happy to say
11:22 that my husband got better.
11:25 I realized that the God of heaven
11:27 is much more powerful than any other god or medicine.
11:32 I decided to give my life to Him
11:34 and I have followed His ways ever since.
11:38 I also have decided
11:39 that I want to serve Him for the rest of my life
11:42 and to spread the good news throughout Cambodia
11:45 with all my heart and strength.
11:48 I have become a church planter for God
11:50 and with Him is my partner.
11:52 I have started eight small groups
11:54 as well as three larger groups.
11:57 It brings me the greatest joy
11:59 when I see my students accept God
12:01 and believe in Him.
12:03 Today, we have 90 baptized members in our groups
12:07 and many more who are still learning about Him.
12:10 I am extremely happy to serve Him.
12:18 Before I became a Christian I was a taxi driver.
12:21 One day I gave a ride
12:22 to a Seventh-day Adventist pastor.
12:25 As we traveled together he told me about Jesus
12:28 and invited me to come to his church on Sabbath.
12:32 God came into my heart and changed me.
12:35 I used to speak with rudeness to people
12:37 but with the peace of God in my heart
12:40 I now speak with kindness and respect.
12:43 I was so happy that I decided that
12:45 I want to become a fulltime worker for God
12:48 and tell many people about how God has changed my life.
12:53 The people in my district are very poor.
12:56 They have to work hard just to make enough money to eat,
12:59 so they do not have a lot of time to study.
13:02 Many of them have to travel
13:03 all of the way into the city to find work
13:06 and they do not get home until late.
13:08 But then God gave me the idea
13:10 to start some small industries right here in their village
13:14 so that I could talk to them about God as we work together.
13:20 In one of our industries we make charcoal.
13:23 Poor people all over Cambodia
13:25 who cannot afford expensive medicines
13:28 have discovered the many ways
13:29 that charcoal can help with certain illnesses
13:33 and they place their orders with us.
13:37 In this small village on the outskirts of Phnom Penh,
13:41 our group has now grown to 44 members
13:44 and we are no longer able to fit
13:46 into our small place of worship.
13:49 Please pray for us that we will be able to buy a piece of land
13:52 and build a church for God's new believers in this area.
13:59 I was a business woman and sold clothes in the market.
14:04 Even though I was a devote Buddhist
14:06 and kept all of the ceremonies,
14:08 I still had so much sorrow in my life.
14:11 A woman used to come and visit me
14:13 and as we became friends,
14:14 I noticed that she was very happy.
14:17 When I asked her why she was so happy,
14:20 she told me about Jesus and His love for us.
14:24 She gave me a song book
14:25 that had many songs about Jesus.
14:28 As I learned to sing those songs
14:29 I gave my heart to Jesus
14:31 and the Holy Spirit took all my sadness away.
14:36 I decided that I wanted to work for God.
14:39 I began by volunteering as a literacy teacher
14:42 helping my neighbors to learn how to read.
14:45 Then one day in church I heard the pastor announced
14:48 that the mission was looking for people
14:49 to apply for positions as church planters.
14:53 I was very happy to begin my training
14:55 and start many Bible studies in my neighborhood.
14:59 The people here are very busy trying to work
15:02 at many different jobs to make a living,
15:05 but they still make time for me
15:07 when I come to visit them.
15:10 We study the Bible together and then we have prayer.
15:14 So many of them are infected with HIV
15:18 and they always ask me to pray
15:19 that God will preserve their health.
15:22 They also pray for peace in their family and rice to eat.
15:27 I wish to thank our ASAP family in the USA
15:31 that are helping to sponsor God's work here in Cambodia.
15:35 Please pray for me as I visit the people here.
15:38 I want the people to know the kind of peace and joy
15:41 that I've found in Jesus.
15:43 By God's grace I want to rise up many more small groups.
15:50 Before I became a Christian I used to smoke and drink
15:53 and I was not very kind to my wife.
15:57 But then a lay Bible worker started visiting our home
16:00 and told us about the God of heaven.
16:04 After I accepted Jesus in my heart my life changed
16:07 and I became a new person.
16:10 Now I've become a church planter
16:13 and I live and work here in this district of Phnom Penh.
16:17 The people who live here are very poor,
16:20 but I have found that they are hungry
16:22 for a message of hope and peace.
16:25 I visit them, I make friends with them,
16:27 I leave them tracks to read
16:29 and then I come back and ask them
16:31 if they have any questions about what they have read.
16:35 Many people have accepted Jesus and have been baptized.
16:39 Please pray for the poor people here in this neighborhood.
16:42 They really need the love of God in their lives.
16:51 One of the things that stand out in my mind
16:53 about my last visit to Cambodia
16:56 was the slums of Phnom Penh.
16:59 I honestly have never seen such terrible conditions.
17:03 The slums are nestled right in the middle of the city.
17:08 I remember walking down
17:09 these narrow alleys with these two pastors.
17:12 The smell, the poverty was so overwhelming.
17:17 I followed the pastors as they went
17:19 into the small dark little church.
17:23 There were a lot of people sitting in the church,
17:26 but the thing that impressed me the most
17:28 was their expressions on their faces
17:31 and how much they love Jesus.
17:33 They were singing the songs with great love and great joy,
17:37 yet as I looked at their faces
17:39 I can see that they suffer very much.
17:41 Many of them
17:42 probably don't have enough food to eat in a day.
17:46 I looked at one mother, they are sitting in the church
17:49 feeding her baby and I can see that
17:52 what she was feeding looked like rice water.
17:56 Later I asked this mother what she fed her baby
17:59 and she said that
18:00 because she doesn't have enough food herself,
18:03 she doesn't have any milk to feed the baby
18:06 therefore she's trying to give the baby rice water.
18:10 The pastors, the Bible workers in this area
18:14 have a lot of compassion for their people.
18:17 They don't have much funds, that they are appealing to us
18:21 to help them to have some rice for the children, to have milk
18:26 and formula to give the destitute
18:28 suffering malnourished children and babies.
18:31 They are asking us for help
18:33 and this is our opportunity to show God's love to them.
18:43 In one of the poor slum areas where I was at,
18:45 I noticed this little girl
18:47 holding her baby brother on her hip.
18:51 The expression on her face was a great sadness
18:55 and so I asked the lay Bible worker about this little girl,
18:58 he told me that her mother had been a lady
19:01 that had become a strong believer in God
19:03 and she had always brought the little girl
19:05 and the baby to the church
19:07 but the mother had gotten a disease
19:10 and suddenly passed away.
19:11 The father did not know what to do,
19:13 not having any relatives in the area
19:16 and so he left this little girl for ten hours a day
19:19 to take care of her baby brother.
19:22 And I could see that she really love this baby
19:26 that she was doing everything she could
19:27 to take care of the baby,
19:29 yet the baby was dirty, she was dirty,
19:32 their clothes were just threadbare clothes
19:35 and I thought to myself,
19:36 how can this little girl take care of this baby brother.
19:40 And it was then that kind church members
19:43 offer to put their merger money together
19:47 to buy some formula for the baby.
19:49 Without this help the baby would not have lived.
19:52 I would really like to thank our donors
19:54 who have so generously given
19:56 to help destitute hungry people have rice to eat.
20:00 Especially at this time we are seeing terrible floods
20:03 devastate the rice harvest.
20:05 Seventy percent of rice fields in Cambodia
20:09 have been destroyed by the floods this fall
20:11 and so we are so grateful for the help
20:15 that our donors have been able to give
20:17 to provide rice and food for hungry flood victims
20:21 and also for children and the poor of Phnom Penh.
20:25 ASAP continues to have a very strong
20:29 supportive role in Cambodia.
20:32 We just finished the ASAP board meeting
20:34 and we've ordered
20:35 over a $170,000 for this coming year.
20:38 Now just because we've voted it,
20:39 it doesn't mean that the money is there.
20:41 We depend on, on viewers
20:43 and we depend on supporters
20:45 to send in their monthly contributions
20:47 to help these things take place.
20:49 Well, some other things that are coming up,
20:51 church planters,
20:52 a big portion of the money goes to church planters
20:56 who will go to the village or to work in various parts
20:59 of un-entered areas in Phnom Penh.
21:02 It continues to supply Bibles, Bible lessons, song books
21:08 so that the new believers have access to information
21:11 about Jesus Christ
21:12 and we continue to help with evangelism,
21:15 public evangelism.
21:16 So it's very much focused on bringing people,
21:19 the good news about Jesus Christ.
21:21 I just hold up my hands, you know, sometimes
21:24 I think you know, what's happening.
21:26 We can't keep up with it.
21:28 The work is progressing so fast, so quickly
21:32 that it outstripping the administer ability
21:35 to take care of everything.
21:36 And so there's an enormous burden on the administration
21:41 to try and devise ways and means
21:44 of keeping within a relatively small budget
21:47 which we can maintain and caring for the people
21:52 who come into the church.
21:54 Through ASAP of course this has meant
21:56 that we've been able to finance a lot of things
22:00 which we would not have financed,
22:02 had we not have that money.
22:04 We can't be thankful enough to the donors,
22:07 the support to the mission.
22:09 Sixty percent of our total budget
22:11 comes from donors overseas.
22:14 To support the church planters
22:16 is our greatest need at this time.
22:18 And that currently we have about
22:20 80 church planters in the country.
22:22 I hope that we don't have to drop
22:24 any of the church planters
22:25 because they are forming the backbone of our outreach
22:29 under the district leaders.
22:30 We only have 12 district pastors
22:33 and that's not a bad number to work with
22:35 and that's the number Jesus started with.
22:38 But what we want to try and do
22:39 is with each of those district pastors
22:42 placed 10 church planters under their direction,
22:45 so that each pastor will have responsibility for training,
22:48 10 to 12 church planters.
22:51 Those church planters will be responsible
22:54 for up to 10 small groups that they can work with.
22:58 And so this way
22:59 with a small co-work force of district pastors
23:03 larger group of church planters
23:05 we can cover 1,200 groups under this particular scheme
23:09 without adding too much of a burden
23:12 on the financial budget.
23:14 So that's the sort of scope we're working at,
23:16 it means a lot of hard work
23:18 but the people are ready for it.
23:21 The newly baptized people, they are anxious to get on.
23:24 There's a tremendous enthusiasm for developing the work.
23:29 So, yes, thank you very much for all the donations.
23:32 Every penny that is sent
23:34 is put straight into the project
23:36 that is designated for
23:38 and it gives you tremendous encouragement to know
23:41 that you have that backing.
23:47 I'm the new development director at ASAP
23:50 but I'm not new to ASAP.
23:53 I grew up in Thailand helping in the refugee camps
23:56 right along side my parents.
23:58 I remember the act the giving was an everyday part of living
24:02 since my mom Judy Aitken had us kids
24:04 regularly involved in passing out Bibles,
24:07 clothes and food to those in need.
24:11 But it wasn't until my sophomore year in college
24:14 that my passion for ASAP's ministry grew
24:17 because of the trip I made back to Cambodia.
24:20 On that trip it amazed me
24:23 to see the same Cambodian pastors
24:26 that I knew when I was a little girl
24:28 in those Thai refugee camps
24:30 now working throughout their home country
24:33 leading a swift growing movement for Christ.
24:36 I realized that if it weren't for God
24:38 working through ASAP,
24:40 these pastors along with 50 lay Bible workers
24:44 and 70 church planters
24:46 would not have the incredible opportunity
24:48 of spreading God's love to the 11 million people
24:52 in their predominantly Buddhist country.
24:55 Please pray for these pastors and church planters
24:59 as they prepare for a wave of evangelistic meetings
25:02 that will take place this December.
25:05 I think it's very appropriate
25:06 that on ASAP's 10th year anniversary,
25:10 these Cambodian church planters
25:12 prayerfully set a goal of planting
25:14 10 new churches each this year
25:17 that 700 churches planted.
25:20 You know, my heart is touched each day
25:22 by miracles happening in Cambodia.
25:25 I get chills each time I hear of a child
25:28 given the chance to learn how to read for the first time
25:31 because of the literacy schools
25:33 ASAP help sponsored or receiving her first Bible
25:37 or surrendering her life to Jesus
25:40 because ASAP is so essential
25:43 to the spreading of the gospel in Cambodia
25:46 and other countries in Southeast Asia.
25:49 We can be proud to say
25:50 we support it with our prayers and funds.
25:54 Did you know you can provide a Bible
25:57 for one of these new believers in Cambodia for only $5?
26:01 Our church planters hope to receive 35,000 Bibles
26:05 this year to share with their new members.
26:07 It cost $100 a month to sponsor to one church planter,
26:11 making it possible for them to spread Jesus love
26:14 and only $550 to build a whole church.
26:18 I invite each of you watching to join the ASAP family today
26:23 and make a huge difference for Christ.
26:26 I would love to get to know you
26:28 and help you get to know
26:30 that joy of changing lives for eternity.
26:40 The rapid growth of the church in Cambodia is truly inspiring.
26:46 It is almost as though a parable of Jesus
26:49 has turned into a prophecy
26:51 and He's having a remarkable fulfillment
26:54 in the slums of Phnom Penh.
26:57 One day as Jesus sat at the table
26:59 in the home of a prominent Pharisee
27:02 He told a story of a wealthy man
27:04 who decided to have a banquet and invite his friends.
27:09 When all of his friends refused the invitation
27:12 because they were too busy to come
27:15 the wealthy man said to his servant
27:17 go quickly into the streets and alleys
27:19 and bring in the poor, the crippled,
27:22 the blind and the lame.
27:25 As we witness the poor and disabled of Cambodia
27:29 responding with eagerness
27:31 to the invitation to heavens banquet table
27:34 may we be inspired to partner with the ASAP church planters
27:39 with our prayers and support.
27:43 To find out more about the exiting things
27:46 that are happening in Southeast Asia
27:48 and to find out what you can do
27:50 to help God's workers in Cambodia,
27:53 please write and ask for a free ASAP newsletter.
27:57 Thank you for your many prayers and kind support.