Bill and Aletha Green serve in Central and South America. They live in San Jose, Costa Rica, but as the executive secretary of the Latin American Fellowship of Reformed Churches (CLIR in Spanish), Bill (aka "Guillermo") has been engaged in the training of pastors, elders, and leaders of Christ's church throughout all of Latin America for the past 27 years! There are many Reformed Churches in Latin America, but they are disconnected and many are struggling. By putting stronger churches in touch with weaker ones, CLIR has been changing that. They also help pay for the airfare of professors and gifted pastors so that they can participate in conferences and teaching ministries throughout Latin America.
CLIR has a print shop in San Jose that publishes theological journals. Each year some 5000 journals are printed and sent out to Latin American pastors. The print shop also translates into Spanish and publishes many well-known Reformed books and commentaries. For example, the print shop is currently working on John Calvin's two volume commentary on Genesis. You can visit the CLIR website at http://www.clir.net to see the many books that have been already translated and printed. CLIR also promotes theological education by maintaining an international Accreditation Committee for seminaries and theological institutions.
Besides CLIR, Bill and Aletha have helped to establish the Tepeyac Christian School. At present there are some 25 students in attendance at the School who come from families who are members of a local Reformed church. This church is located in a marginalized community, called Los Cuadros, which has severe social needs and much family disintegration. The vision of the school is to provide Christian education to these marginalized Christian families. However, since the families are unable to pay tuition for this kind of Christ-centered education, the school relies on the support of donors in the U.S.
The new Tepeyac High School building is a continuation of the completed Christian grade school, but the construction of the building is not yet completed, having been underway since 2001 (almost 12 years). The construction of the school has been largely done by work teams sent by United Reformed Churches in the U.S. on a yearly basis. Because of the recent economic downturn, however, the construction of the three-story high school building, made of concrete and steel, has been much delayed. Right now all 12 grades are meeting in a very crowded grade school, waiting for the completion of the new High School.
For pictures of the construction of the school over the past 12 years, watch the video at the following link:
On Sunday, December 2, Dale and Nancy Knutson, two of our missionaries, gave a report of their work in Cambodia during the Sunday School hour. The Knutsons have been affiliated with Christ Reformed Church for many years, and Nancy is the sister of Charlotte Anderson. Here are some highlights from their presentation.
Under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, all but 30 medical professionals were killed, creating a vacuum in Cambodia of medical workers. Dale, a pediatrician, works at the Mercy Medical Center (MMC), where Mission to the World (MTW) and other mission agencies work together in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Missionaries and pastors refer poor patients to MMC for care, where medical care is given and the gospel is presented. In this setting, Dale speaks to patients about their physical needs and also their spiritual needs. The MTW medical team also provides physical care and evangelistic outreach via mobile medical clinics in village areas.
Dale and Nancy mentor Cambodian medical students who accompany the teams to the village areas as interpreters. One such medical student, named Kosal, has worked closely with Dale and is mentored by email with a California oncologist who served on a short-term medical team. As Kosal translates for Dale, he is a captive audience. Dale has given Kosal a Bible and asks us to pray that God would open his heart to Christ.
In Dale’s report, he spoke too of several other Cambodian doctors and medical students for whom we can pray. Vatay is a Cambodian medical student who attends Khmer Christian Church. Chen, Sophy, and Pheareum are Cambodian medical doctors who will be leaders in their generation. Pheareum is already a Christian and will work as an intern at the MMC. Socheata is a pediatrician and is open to the Gospel. Jeany Jun is the MMC's pharmacist, who also mentors a young Christian pharmacist. Sovanny and his wife (a midwife) are new Christians. Sovanny is also employed by MTW.
Early in 2012, a new church started in the city of Phnom Penh, called Khmer Christian Church, planted by Pastor Samath and his wife Vina (also a medical student). Luke and Sokha Smith are church planters in another province of Cambodia, and their church building has walls made of woven bamboo! Besides Cambodia, the Knutsons also visit Myanmar (formerly Burma), where there is a church plant there organized by Pastor Puia.
Dale does antics with his fingers that he calls his "silliness." He can make his thumb appear and disappear, play music by strumming his lips with his fingers, and create hearing aids and inhalers out of old plastic bottles. Once he gets going, he always attracts a crowd. These have proved to be wonderful opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with those gathered around!
Please continue to pray for the Knutsons’ work and pray too for those Dale mentioned: Kosal, Vatay, Chen, Sophy, Pheareum, Socheata, Jeany Jun, Sovanny & his wife, Pastor Samath & his wife Vina, Luke & Sokha Smith, and Pastor Puia.
Floods, filters and fellowship came together November 9-12, 2011.
The elevation of southern Cambodia in many places is only a few feet above sea level. Most years during the rainy season extensive flooding does not take place. However this year the floods came, which prompted Samath a local church planter to reach out to his fellow countrymen. Samath’s friends told him of severe flooding in Kampong Thom where the Christians were not receiving much aid. During their visit to Kampong Thom Samath and a medical student, Phearoum, saw the need for clean water and medical care. Three weeks later November 9, 2011 a group of 30 Khmer relief workers made their way to Kampong Thom. Samath made contacts with Global Aid Network, an NGO from Australia, which funded part of the project. A young newly married Korean couple became of aware of the relief need in Cambodia as they were here doing research for a PhD project. Through their church in Korea they raised money for two hundred clay pot water filters. The organizing and additional funding came from the Cambodian people. Phearoum spent his time tracking down water filters and medication. In addition, he summoned 8 medical students to see patients. The morning of November 9 the relief workers loaded a truck with the filters, packed a large van with medicine and water and boarded a bus to make our way to Kampong Thom. Along part of the road we saw make shift housing and cows bedded down on the side of the road.
Three local pastors arranged for the guys to sleep in one house and the gals in another. We took breakfast and supper in a local restaurant, which also brought lunch to our clinic locations. November 10 the journey began on a road muddied by the flood, but as we traveled the remainder of 10 kilometer one hour journey the road became dusty. Samath and Phearoum traveled to another location to delivery water filters. The student relief workers quickly set up the clinic. Two people took charge of crowd control. Three medical students registered the patients by the numbers given by the crowd control personnel. The triage students recorded temperature, weight, and a short history on the clinical sheet. Patients then made their way to the Khmer medical students and doctors. I had the privilege of seeing mainly children. At the next location the patients received their medication. A Khmer medical student and two Korean nurses as well as others filled the prescription. Afterward, the patients visited with the Khmer students and pastors who explained to the patients the good news of new life in Christ. The local people prayed with the patients and got to know the patients we examined. The first day over 200 people were seen. November 11 after a short trip we set up the clinic under trees and canopies and saw over 400 patients. On November 12 the local health department opened its doors so we were again able to see over 400 patients. The health department had beds for inpatient care. The prayer and counseling was done place in the inpatient ward where physical and spiritual healing took place.
The Khmer young people who participated in this adventure worked very hard without complaining. Many of them were anxious for their fellow countrymen to hear the good news of life in Christ. The participants showed good respect for the Khmer leaders. The Khmer leaders anticipate holding similar events in the future.
Pastor Samath’s church, Khmer Christian Church, will begin worship January 1st. Pray for him and the core group that is now meeting. Pray that this fellowship of Khmer people will develop into a vibrant church community that will reach out to Cambodia and the rest of the world.
Nancy and I look forward to working with Khmer Christian Church especially with the medical students. Pray that we may see God at work in their hearts and minds.
I first met Khmer medical student Kosal in February 2010, when the Medical Campus Outreach team came to Cambodia from Augusta, Georgia with 29 senior medical students, during the time he worked as a translators. One night I saw him sitting on the steps deep in thought. As I began to talk with him he explained to me his desire to bring good health care to the province. The abject poverty and lack of healthcare in the province drove his desire to help his fellow countrymen. In September of 2010 and 2011 Kosal translated for medical teams working with us. Kosal impressed them with his depth of knowledge and his ability to communicate with the patient. In September 2011 Kosal bonded with the oncologist on the team to the point where they now exchange emails. As a result of the medical team experiences Kosal asked to work with me at Mercy Medical Center one morning a week. During each of the times Kosal worked as a translator he heard the gospel and received a Bible. Recently he expressed to me the torment he feels in his life. Now it is as if a wrestling match is at work in his spirit. He is not wrestling with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities. Pray that his heart will be turned towards God. Pray for me as I have opportunity to work him medically and spiritually.
As God gives us opportunity to encourage medical students, encourage the growth of the church and work with patients at Mercy Medical Center, we feel privileged to be here in Cambodia. Words cannot express our gratitude to the many who pray for us regularly. We truly see the hand of God at work. Many also give on a regular basis to our support. We deeply appreciation your financial support. Your sacrifice in giving is a great encouragement. Over the past several months giving to our support has decreased. In order for us to remain in Cambodia we need additional support. A one-time gift is always appreciated. Regular support will help us continue our journey here in Cambodia. May the grace of God and His great mercy rule in all our hearts as we seek His ways and not our own way.
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Michael Horton writes:
Advances in technology have provided us with some very exciting opportunities to make White Horse Inn content more readily available to larger and larger audiences. The growth of social networking on the internet and the wide acceptance of on-demand content by way of audio streaming, mp3 downloading, and podcasting are just a few of the advances we are quickly adopting to be more effective. In addition, the improvements we are making to our web site, www.whitehorseinn.org, are extending the reach of the Reformation far beyond what radio and print alone can do. In fact we are preparing a major upgrade to the capabilities of our website in 2010.
The new year, 2010, marks the 20th anniversary of the White Horse Inn broadcast. I am humbled and grateful by the testimony of so many listeners who tell me over and over again "I understood the Gospel for the first time listening to the White Horse Inn", or "I discovered the Reformation through White Horse Inn." I know this testimony resonates with many of you. It is indeed our story! And this story continues to be heard on the radio and now on the Internet, in CD players, iPods and mp3 players. No longer is our message of Reformation limited to a particular night at a given time slot in just a few major cities, we are taking the Reformation to the world.
This new ministry of African Bible Colleges takes the invaluable lessons aired across Africa to the world. Anyone with an internet connection can now download these lessons for free (via iTunes, a web browser, or any "feed reader") and listen to them at any time of day or night. What's more, those using a computer to access the lessons have the option of answering the study guide questions and fully participating in the course. By answering the questions, listeners are provided instantaneous feedback and can receive a certificate upon successful completion of each course.
To find the lessons point your web browser to http://www.africanbiblecolleges.org and select "Online Courses" from the right-hand menu. From there you will be able to access any lesson or subscribe to them via iTunes. New lessons are added weekly.