The Cost of Discipleship

My first several days in Phnom Penh have been busy and filled with teaching. Last night I was asked to lead the Khmer Bible study. What a joy and blessing it was. There were about 20 believers in attendance. These are not American type church goers. They hang on every word and tell you afterward how much they need the Word of God. They come to be edified, not out of duty. I spoke on the benefits of reading the Bible. For one hour no one stirred. They took notes, highlighted their Bibles, and paid close attention.

The Khmer believers love the Word of God. They are under intense persecution. Not from the government, but from friends and especially family. They often get mocked by family members for believing in Jesus Christ. Some are disowned.

One woman lost a piece of property worth $150,000 because the grandmother said, “Renounce Jesus or you will not get the property.” She chose to follow Jesus at ALL costs.

Another young woman and her brother are believers in Jesus. Their parents are Buddhists. Once, her parents had a bad experience with Christians who were hypocritical. The encounter turned off her parents and now they reject Christ. Right or wrong, people watch us!

Tonight I will teach in English to many of the deportees. Their struggle is like many of the American men in my own church in Fresno; living a morally and sexually pure life before God. Phones and the Internet are the breeding ground for a lot of their sin.

Sexual sin is rampant in the men’s lives here. I am working on a few sessions dealing with experiencing purity. It comes from understanding we are here to glorify God. It’s a challenge. The plan is to lead an afternoon session with the deportees after church on the 24th. Pray as I put that training together.

Sunday I am teaching on the Rapture of the church in the English speaking church. The majority of that church is deportees. I will also teach it to the Cambodian speaking church which meets the hour before. Pray for the message to be clear.

This is the most unusual trip in the nine years I have traveled here. It is going in a direction I had not anticipated, but I am glad to be serving the Lord and doing His will. Please pray for the deportees, and the Khmer people who attend International Baptist Church. There is a great cost for being a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray also for Dr. Tom Johnson. He is one of the busiest men I have known. It’s a challenge to keep up with him! He is thankful I am here, helping him in the ministry. I am thankful too!

Teaching God’s Word to the Khmer People
Believers who love the Lord.
Brother and sister. Their parents do not believe and it is difficult at home.
Pastor Bobin. He pastors a small church in the province. He needs training and encouragement.
I liked this young man’s western, cowboy look. He was even wearing boots!


  1. Praying you are attentive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. May the Father give you the words that are needed. And praying for the ears that will hear the message, may it reach the deepest parts of their lives, producing great fruit


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