Greetings from the deep south,
We hope and pray that you all have had a great summer. God blessed us with a wonderful summer this year. We had the privilege of leading the Cambodia motorcycle team. The prayers for safety were definitely appreciated as our team of teenagers learned to drive motorcycles and then drove in a different country. Praise the Lord the summer went smoothly and our kids were all very mature on the bikes and there were no accidents or injuries.
In many ways this was the easiest team we have ever led. The age range makes a huge difference in maturity. All the team members were sixteen and older and able to think for themselves. They were all pretty mature for their age as well. This was a definite blessing to the leaders and made our job that much easier. Many times they would come and help out without being asked because they saw something that needed to be done and would do it on their own.
We stayed at two Teen Missions bases, each housing a Bible school. Each day we would do ministry and then return to the base. Our main project while in Cambodia was to go out daily to villages and teach Sunday schools. The team would minister by doing puppets, dramas, phonics, Bible stories and just playing with the kids. On one occasion they went to a school and were witnessing through a translator. After sharing the Gospel and explaining it they asked if any of the children would like to receive Jesus as their savior. Two thirds of the children raised their hands. The rest of the time was spent praying with the children and explaining more about Jesus.
Most of the time we did not see such eager response as at the school. Once or twice the team would drive out to a remote village and no kids would show up at all. Every day the team would go to a different village. This would bring up the question within our team if what they were doing was making a difference at all. The team served happily, but they often didn’t get to see the results of the work they were doing. There was a wonderful testimony to the work we did from an unexpected source which encouraged the team that we were making a difference. One of our other leaders was in the market close to our base when a total stranger drove up on a motorcycle and ran over to him and started speaking in Khmer. Thankfully one of the Cambodian Bible school students was with him and translated. The man came to thank him for the work we were doing in the villages. He had seen a bunch of Americans on motorcycles going around and doing work all over the place. He thanked us for sharing the Gospel and taking the time to care for the people of Cambodia. Having seen an American in the market he figured he had to be part of the group and that is why he stopped. This was a big blessing to us to know what we did was helping the local area.
Going to the villages didn’t take up the entire day so we found other ways to help out. At the first base we were able to repaint the dining room and kitchen for them. We worked alongside the students to brighten and clean the place up. We were also able to fix several of the electrical fixtures that had recently broken. At the southern base we helped to plaster the walls of the dormitory. Part of the team would go out and dig up sand for mixing cement and the other half would start mixing and plastering the sides with the mortar. I am very proud of how hard the team worked. By the end we had all the rough plastering done and all that needed to be done was a final finishing coat that would smooth it all out.
Getting to know the local Bible school students and staff was fun for the entire team. Several of them started to learn the language and had several words and phrases under their belts by the time we left. It was such a privilege to see each of our team members learning about Cambodia, but even more we praise God for being able to see them grow in their knowledge of Christ. Many of them grew so much and it is one of my favorite things to see. Teenagers are important to Christ and being able to share that with them and tell them more about Christ is an amazing thing. A prayer request for our team this year is that the teens will not forget what they have learned, but will continue to walk in what God has taught them and is continuing to teach them.
We are very thankful for the summer God blessed us with. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers. It definitely showed! Please continue to pray for us as we start a new adventure. After much prayer on our part Thomas and I have decided to leave Teen Missions come December when our commitment is completed. We will be moving to the other side of Florida and getting a job in the Ocala area. Thank you for your faithful support of us while we have been ministering at Teen Missions and pray that God will open up new doors once we are in Ocala to give us opportunity to witness and bless others in our new vocations. Thank you once more for being such a blessing to Thomas and I.
Thomas and Julie Clyde & Asher