It has been such a blessing and an honor to serve Jesus among these people. I truly love the Cambodian people! I think back through the years when I was a young man fighting on the border of this country. Most of the time we were inside Cambodia...as there are no border lines in the jungles. If you would have told me, when I first became a Christian, that I would ever come back to such an area, where I experienced such tragedy and unspeakable hell in my life, I would have thought it crazy, but God has a way directing Our Lives in the way He sees fit. I am so glad that He has sent me back repeatedly to share the love of Jesus with these precious folks.
The other day we went to the boat people, as I have shared before, these are Muslims who live a very rough life. They live along the banks of the Mekong River. During the years I have known them, I have watched them cook, drink, bathe, and fish in the waters of the Mekong. This is a very filthy river. So much waste comes down, not only from parts of Cambodia, but from the countries in the North...mainly China. My heart has gone out to them since the first day I contacted them.
We have been trying to meet their needs and have been reaching out to them in the love of Jesus Christ. On this trip, we brought tents. At least 17 of them were for those who do not have any covering and oftentimes put up cardboard and old tarps to keep them out of the rain, harsh weather, and heat. They also serve as barriers against malaria-causing mosquitoes.
We also brought bags of rice for most of the boat people. I have seen women pulling grass out of the river bank, so they can boil it and eat it with the little fish that they catch.
I was able to share the love of Christ with them, and told each and every one of them that they were unique...and that there would never be another one of them ever in this world. I illustrated that there is but one God and we cannot decide what we want Him to be. He is God and there is no other. I shared with them that Christ came into the world to redeem them from their sins, and explained to them that they should run from any religion that makes them fear. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! I was so blessed to see their hearts so open! Some were reading the scriptures booklets we gave them. One woman seemed so broken as she was listening to the message. We could tell that she was weighing every thought and word that was shared.
I am excited about going back with tents, clothing, and medical supplies, but most of all...the Love of Jesus Christ. Truly Jesus will conquer their souls with His love. We are going up to the Villages where we have dug wells and set up playgrounds. We love reaching out to the Buddhist villages with our Lord's magnificent Grace.
Thanks for all your prayers, your love, and your caring. Your love is reaching beyond borders to touch these lives. He is worthy for you and I to follow wherever He may send us. Truly it is the love of Jesus that conquers their hearts.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35 KJV)
-An excerpt from a letter from our good friend, Tom Faunce
PUBLISHED ON 15 JUNE, 2017 BY JULIE BOURDON Cambodia (MNN)
Despite economic growth in the last couple of decades, Cambodia continues to be one of the poorest countries in Asia. But, what would it look like to address not only the physical poverty in Cambodia, but the spiritual poverty as well?
Cambodia is a Buddhist dominant nation with nearly 90 percent of the people claiming that religion. Christianity accounts for just over one percent of the population . In this sense, Cambodia is a spiritually dark nation.
Hope: an answer to poverty Last year, we introduced you to Tom Faunce, a missionary who is passionate about sharing the Gospel in war-torn countries like Cambodia (read some of his backstory here). Faunce is a longtime friend and distributor of World Missionary Press. Over the last several years, Faunce has established contacts on the ground and the Gospel sharing ministry continues to grow. In fact, the pastor he works with in the area has been overwhelmed by the number of young Christians who want to learn more about Jesus.
So, how has that happened? What Faunce has learned over the years is that often times, people aren’t interested in what you have to say if you can’t put action behind it. Simple acts of compassion can open the doors and let people know they are truly loved and cared for.
Faunce says, “We’ve made a tremendous inroad, mainly up in the highlands on the Vietnam border, not only with the Scripture booklets, [but also with] water wells which open up a tremendous amount of villages.”
On his most recent trip, Faunce brought over fifty pairs of shoes for children in the highlands area. He wasn’t sure how the distribution would go, considering that they hadn’t taken measurements of the children. But miraculously, each and every child found a pair of shoes that fit them.
On previous trips, he and his team have installed wells in villages, some of which house several women who became widows during Cambodia’s recent violent history.
Through gifts like these, Buddhist villages that were previously resistant to the Gospel have welcomed Faunce and local Christians into their community. They utilize a variety of Gospel sharing methods including the Jesus Film, child story posters, and audio books from the Bible Alliance to share the Word of God in the villagers’ language. Additionally, in Cambodia and beyond, Faunce has been able to saturate communities with Scripture booklets from World Gospel Mission.
Faunce believes the Gospel will be able to touch and heal some of the scars left over from the war. He says, “These are people that know what it is to suffer. And people respond to love.”
But it’s not just the Buddhist communities who are embracing the Gospel. Ministering to the boat people in more recent years, they’ve also been reaching out to a group of Muslim boat people who live on the river. Upon meeting some of the fishermen one early morning, he learned that the people had many needs, and so he gave them what money and Scripture booklets he had with him. “I started going back and ended up befriending them. We started bringing the tremendous amount of needs they had.”
Many of the families slept under torn tarps, and Faunce helped them get new ones. Others were boiling grass for food, and so Faunce and his co-laborers helped to get them some rice. These acts of compassion have built a bridge between him and the boat people.
“Every trip, I’ve been going back and when I go there, they just come up and just respond. They hug us and just know that we love them. And that’s the Gospel, that you be a testimony to them and serve them.” But, Faunce says, wherever you go with the Gospel, you will face resistance. In this case, the opposition came in the form of fear. Many of the people Faunce spoke with accepted the Scripture booklets and read them, but would hide them from the rest of the community. The religious leadership was strict, and they could get in trouble for reading the Scripture. But as time went on, the people opened up to hear more about Jesus. And this, Faunce says, is the main thing.
“We can do a lot of good things — wells, feedings, clothing — but if we’re not giving the Word of God, that’s a band-aid on cancer. The answer is Jesus Christ.” In both the villages in the highlands and the community on the river, Faunce continues to share the Gospel and witness the change it is making in Cambodia. Even so, he says he doesn’t try to count the number of people responding. “God knows,” he says. “The important thing is to reach out, [and] begin to establish a fellowship with them.”
In between trips, a young couple Faunce has made friends with continues the outreach to both the boat people and the villages in the hills. “And that’s our goal, is to continually show up and love them. And the Bible says some plant, some water, but He alone brings the increase.”
Check back in later to learn about Faunce’s upcoming trip to Africa and how you can be praying. In the meantime, if you’d like to support this work, consider partnering with World Missionary Press. This ministry supplies missionaries like Faunce with free Scripture booklets so they can share the Gospel wherever they go. Click here for more information. He says, “It is such a tremendous blessing to have ministries such as World Missionary Press that provide the Word.”
And will you pray? Ask God to bless this ministry, to provide the leadership to lead new Christians, and to change Cambodia from a broken country to one transformed by the Gospel.
"A new commandment" -Tom Faunce
The commandment of our Lord is not a heavy burden, nor a weight to drag us down; it’s the greatest gift He has given us, it is Agape love. When I think of the Lord’s command as He said this is the New Commandment I give to you, which is the eternal commandment that is everlasting, I think of the life in Christ. --- A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34 KJV)
Love is the Living Water that flows freely through the Born-Again soul. How can anyone who claims the name of Jesus dam it up with selfishness? Truly this is not the way of the Cross. There is no greater joy in the Christian life than to be that outpouring. The Holy Spirit came to anoint us in such love that flows straight from the heart and throne of God. In Him we have life, and in Him life flows through us. Shall we live our Christian walk with such marvelous a fountain of mercy within, not opening the floodgates of love, but shutting it off to a world so in need of His grace? No, let it never be said of us that we would ever allow such self-centeredness to be within. We love, because He loves, this is that greatest gift of being Born Again. ---Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1 John 2:7-10 KJV)
This is my mission letter and I was going to start off about what the next outreach is, but in my heart, I felt the best expression of sharing what any of us do in Christ is love. Truly it is not crossing the seas, but abiding in the Cross, the finished work of Jesus Christ. I am ever grateful for the love that has been shared and is shared from so many friends, to reach those who are so in need of mercy, as we were before He filled us with His grace. --- For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:6-9 KJV)
I will be leaving for Cambodia soon. I am praying for open doors to put in three wells, one is paid for already, working on the other two. My desire also in my soul is to go back to Africa soon after, in which we are doing the building for the Mill Project. The harvest is plenty, and so is His love. In Cambodia, we will also be doing more playgrounds for children, and also reaching out to the Muslim Boat People, and wherever He may lead us. Please pray for this, and the needs that arise to do all He commanded us to do, which is love to the furthermost ends of this world. ---- And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14 KJV)
I look forward to going, yet always difficult to leave my family behind, but all is in His hands, there is no greater place for all of us to be. Again, thank you all for being such a channel of His love. To love as He loves is a wonderful command; He is the Crystal-Clear River of Life that flows through the dry desert of this world that is dying. Let us get into the depth of this River and go with His flow of His love spilling forth this wonderful mercy that many would drink of His mercy and grace. ----- He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38 KJV)
Thank you for your love & Support
Tom and Julie
1 John 3;16
Taking the Word to the hearts of men.: Acts 1:8
Note: This was posted to Facebook earlier this year, but the needs are still great.