GREETINGS FROM ISAAC, KAREN, JAYLIN AND LAURYN BARRINGER!
Many of you may have heard about our plans to move to Cambodia to participate in the work of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and sharing His love with the Khmer people. We wanted to reach out to our friends and family to share a little bit more about what’s going on and to request your support in His work.
Lord willing, we will be moving to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in July 2017 to work with Philip and Grace Chung and Eric and Liz Beck. We will partner with them in the discipleship of a core group of college students, while also participating in outreach initiatives in the local community and surrounding areas. We will assist however possible in leadership development opportunities with current Cambodian church leaders.
This has been a tough question for us, and a question for which there are two major parts to our answer.
For the first part, there is our personal journey. A year ago we thought we were headed to work at Makonde Christian Hospital in Zimbabwe, Africa. However, we began heading down a different path when our work permit application and our appeal were both denied and that door was closed. Karen and I went through a time of mourning, and began questioning where God was leading – were we really being called to serve Him by going to another location and culture, or where in Africa did He want us to go instead? We weren’t sure what He had planned for us and took a while to truly begin listening for an answer. When we began listening, God used friends to suggest an option that isn’t in Africa and one we had previously disregarded or, more accurately, specifically ruled out – Cambodia. We began praying about it and found God changing our hearts and minds!
For the second part, there is the great opportunity Cambodia currently presents for sharing the message and love of Jesus Christ. Cambodia is about 97% Buddhist, 1.4% Muslim and less than 0.5% Christian – so there are a huge number of Cambodians who’ve never seen or heard about the love and truth of God! Due to tragic events in Cambodia’s relatively recent past, the country’s population has an average age of 24.5 – which means a very young population base. This youthful population is anxiously seeking opportunities to learn/speak English and interact with those who already do. There are definitely challenges to be faced but we believe God is providing an opening for His message of hope to be shared in a country that is still recovering from a heartbreaking past.
We hope that you may consider supporting us in pursuit of God’s plans for Cambodia – the spread of His love and hope to a country in great need of Him.
Would you be willing to partner with us in the journey, His work in Cambodia? We are looking for fellow workers – people who will pray with us, who will support financially, who will hold us accountable, who will encourage us and to whom we can be an encouragement. In the end we hope that we will find others who wish to be fellow servants with us. As indicated in 1st Corinthians 3:7-9, there are some who plant and others who water – all meaning nothing without God, who makes things grow.
If you are willing, what are ways you could participate with us?
· Please pray!
o There is a lot of work to be done as we prepare to leave the States and get started in Cambodia. Along this line we are asking that you would pray:
- that God will guide us, the Chung family and the Beck family to make wise decisions
- that He will bless our families, and especially our children, and that we will be united in seeking His glory
- that we receive the support needed in the necessary time-frame.
o Pray for the people of Phnom Penh – that they will be open to His message and that we will be effective witnesses for Him.
o Pray for the people of Cambodia. Spiritually, the mixture of ancestor worship, animism and Buddhism is seen and present in all aspects of life there – from the small shrines outside all businesses where sacrifices are offered to ward off evil spirits, to the larger more elaborate Buddhas found sprinkled wherever you go. Psychologically, Cambodia is also still recovering from past atrocities. While a few decades removed from the direct impacts of the Vietnam War, and following that one of the worst genocides in modern history, the country is still recuperating and most every adult you talk to can tell you of the direct loss of family and friends during that horrible time in their history. Culturally, forgiveness is a difficult concept for Cambodians, causing the guilt and suffering of this nation to endure.
· Become aware!
o Ask questions - about us, our family, Cambodia or anything else you have on your mind! If you’d like to email us, you can do so at email@example.com.
When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”