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FSM 244 / FN 353 "Witnessing Adventures!--No.3"  DO  8/93

From Maria & Willing (Gil), SEA

(PTL! Terrific! GBY! WLY!--D.)
       It was just forty-five minutes from Saigon, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia by small propeller plane. The countryside below was quite pretty, though partly flooded by monsoon rains that had reached that delta region. Phnom Penh, by contrast, was very hot & dry--almost a desert type of dryness--& we found it very difficult to be out after mid-morning. We passed through immigrations & customs without any problems & were met by sweet C., a close friend & supporter who now lives in Phnom Penh & sponsored this first scouting visit to Cambodia.
       The ride from the airport to town brought back memories of rural Malaysia, as the houses are quite simple, often just huts, & many of them are built on stilts. The road into town is also dotted with camps being set up for the twenty-thousand-strong United Nations force already in Cambodia, trying to help bring some order out of the present chaos.
       Phnom Penh makes Saigon look like the West! Certain parts of town, down towards the Mekong River, are well-kept & very pretty--tree-lined streets with a few large houses, government buildings, the Bank of Cambodia, embassies, & several first-class hotels. There are also a few new buildings & hotels under construction, &, of course, all of the places which the United Nations have taken occupancy of are newly renovated & nice.
       But apart from that, the remainder of the city looks like it needs to be rebuilt from scratch. The phone system is so bad that just phoning from one building to the next takes a real miracle. All international lines were completely down for several days during our stay. Power plants are so insufficient that nearly everything runs off of generators. Shops are closed & the city is in nearly total darkness after about 7:00 p.m. The sewage & garbage systems are also grossly inadequate, so there is filth & stench everywhere, & after dark the streets are lined with homeless people. Rickshaw drivers & other poor, all with their wives & naked children--so many naked children!--camp out on the sidewalks, some under tents of mosquito netting, some with only their bedding.
       There are very few cars--mostly just bicycles & bicycle rickshaws & a few mo-peds. They drive on the right & on the left. No traffic laws have yet been established. The locals, a few of which now have cars, have never been taught to drive, so there are many traffic accidents. We had to be very, very prayerful & careful when crossing streets or riding in cars or rickshaws.
       Our first stop was C.'s small, but very nice, hotel & restaurant, which he owns & runs in partnership with his Vietnamese ex-wife & several others. As C.'s hotel is full at all times, he had arranged for us to stay at another small hotel about five minutes away. This hotel was also very nice & clean, a former hospital, which had recently been renovated & converted into a hotel.
       We spent our first evening with C., dining in his restaurant, meeting a few of his friends & getting filled in on the general situation in Phnom Penh. One man C. introduced us to, George, is a noncommissioned officer in the United Nations force stationed there. George works in Phnom Penh in a military transit camp which houses all the new arrivals until they can get adjusted & reassigned throughout the country. George turned out to be a very precious man, a "sinner type" in his late forties, with a lot of love & understanding for people, & a real heart for his men. As C. had already talked to George about us, we were able to be quite open & straightforward with him from the start regarding ourselves & our goals.
       George was free the following day & offered to show us the town. We spent the next day with him touring some of the United Nations facilities, most of which are in very nice old buildings that have been renovated. All are now tip-top by Western standards. Obviously a lot of money is being poured into the administration there & the United Nations forces are being set up very comfortably. The German Red Cross has transformed much of the old Phnom Penh University into a hospital, which was originally just for the United Nations workers, but now includes several clinics that are open to the locals.
       The local monetary system is very unstable, making business difficult & impeding foreign investment. Even C. says that he just takes it one day at a time. The Cambodian currency is the rial, with 2,500 rial to one Dollar. Prices are very high, much higher than in Vietnam, & everyone wants to be paid in Dollars. A half-litre bottle of drinking water is seventy-five cents, which is the only water one dares to drink. It is so dirty everywhere that the only place we felt safe eating at was at C.'s hotel. Even the most basic supplies--water, cheese, bread, etc.--are very expensive. It reminded us of the gold rush days; everyone is out to make quick money.
       There is so much darkness & fear in these people's eyes. We soon learned that we couldn't expect them to return our smiles, or even respond right away. Only if we kept smiling & reassuring them would they perhaps begin to smile back or open up. We understand that there has not been one family left intact. Everyone has lost a relative during or after the bloody Khmer Rouge rule, & some have lost their entire families.
       Communication is difficult, as only a few people there speak even broken English. Until recently there has been no education whatsoever, & even now there are very few functioning schools. Whoever knows something others want to learn can teach private classes. They just find schools that are still intact & make use of the classrooms. The students give the teacher a donation of whatever they might have after each class.
       On the morning of our third day we got down on our knees in desperate prayer, begging the Lord to lead us to someone very special who could help us find the opening we knew He had for us. We decided to go out by faith, & within thirty minutes, as we walked down the main street, a young man approached us & struck up a conversation in very good English. His name is Vansin & he is twenty-four years old.
       We soon learned that he was just seven years old, the son of an army officer, when Pol Pot took over.        (Editor's note: In 1975, Cambodian [EDITED: "Kampuchean"] Communists--called the Khmer Rouge--under the leadership of Pol Pot overthrew the leaders of the republic & gained control of the country. In January 1979, troops from the neighbouring Communist country of Vietnam, & Kampuchean's who opposed the brutal Khmer Rouge overthrew the government. They took control of most of Cambodia [EDITED: "Kampuchea"], & set up a Communist People's Revolutionary Council. Kampuchea recently held its first free elections for the first time ever.) His family was separated & his mother was sent to one camp & his father to another. All of the children were sent to different camps throughout the country according to their age group, & all were put to work in the fields. For several years, until 1979, they had no contact with one another, but when the Vietnamese came in they were able to re-unite & escape to Thailand. During their two-day journey to Thailand his oldest sister was lost, & they still don't know if she was killed or is still alive somewhere.
       He & his family spent one-&-a-half years in a refugee camp on the Thai/Cambodian border--quite possibly one at which the Family used to minister--before being relocated to the United States. At that time Vansin was twelve years old & had never gone to school. Long Beach, California, was quite a shock to him, but he adjusted well, & recently graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in technical & electrical engineering. He's a bright young man & a real go-getter. At one point, he was also a foreign exchange student to Maria's country, & we were all excited to find out that he had stayed with a family just a few kilometres from where Maria grew up!
       He went on to explain that although he was making this trip to Phnom Penh with his father, who is now seventy-two & quite involved in the upcoming elections in Cambodia, he doesn't have any interest in politics himself. He had come mostly out of curiosity, hoping to meet some of his other relatives. Upon arriving & seeing the conditions he had become quite fearful, not knowing who to trust or what to do. He was very happy to join up with us for the day & we were very happy to have him! Vansin speaks Khmer fluently, but does not read or write it.
       We are sure the Lord sent Vansin our way because this is what we had just prayed for--an opening--and as soon as we met him, the doors started opening for us. With his help, it wasn't long before we found a very big school that was open. We met one teacher named Sakah, who told us that only one year ago he would have been arrested for teaching English. He was teaching a grammar class at the time, but written across his blackboard in big block letters was, "I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT!" so we felt he must have had some exposure to Christianity. For the past five years, Sakah explained, he had been a soldier fighting against the Khmer Rouge. Anyone who fought against the Khmer Rouge, he said, "had to believe in something, we had to believe in God."
       Sakah invited us to talk to his class of about 60 students, & we were able to teach them the songs, "The Time to Be Happy" & "Into My Heart". Afterwards we had a chance to talk to a few of them personally, & it was quite heartbreaking. They are so fearful & the darkness they have lived with all their lives is written all over their faces. However, we did have breakthroughs with a few of them & gave them Posters. We also gave Sakah a set of the three "Winning Words" Tapes, along with some Daily Food class sheets & Posters. He was very thankful & invited us back to his evening class. We were also able to lead this second class to the Lord, as well as another class the following day. God bless Sakah, he got quite on-fire & was really happy to have us & Vansin, who helped by translating & explaining our songs in Khmer.
       Vansin's family are Buddhist, but he has not committed himself to any religion. He also has friends who are Christians. He is very idealistic, has a lot of sincere questions, but was by no means convinced of Christianity. But he was very drawn to us & came out once & said that if all Christians were like us, then we would be able to build a better World. We just had to be very patient & loving with him & try to win him by the sample of our lives for Jesus.
       The next day Vansin went to visit some of his relatives in the countryside & we joined C. for breakfast. C.'s restaurant is bustling all day long, from breakfast through dinner, so he is kept quite busy. He has a real heart for others & seems to fill every available moment meeting people &, quite often, listening to their problems & being a friend. That morning a French/Cambodian girl was there & she poured out her heart to C. This happened often when we were with C., & we could see the Lord taking some of his interactions with his friends a step further, by setting up witnessing opportunities while he had our more immediate help & encouragement.
       As much as we tried, it didn't work out to read with C. much. He was so very busy. But each time that we saw him we gave him things to read & made references to the Word, & each time we found that he had studied whatever we had left with him the time before. GBH!
       We found we needed to spend a lot of time in our room each morning praying & getting our directions from the Lord for the day, & the Lord was always faithful to answer. On the fifth day, just as we finished praying, the phone rang & it was Vansin, asking if he could come to see us again. When he arrived he told us of his visit to his relatives in the countryside & the simple life they lead. The kids there have had no schooling or training, no input of any kind, which is quite sad. He asked if he could spend the day with us, & of course we were happy to have him.
       We got a chance to read him a couple of things from Treasures, "To Love or to Hate" & the story of the woman at the well. He would rarely comment, would just read & remain quiet, but once he said, "You people are great! I've never met anyone like you!" He also asked us what made us trust him & why we cared for him like we did, so we were just honest with him & recounted how we had met him in answer to our prayers &, in so many words, that we had faith for him. He was quite amazed at the way we took him into our life of fellowship & he really loves being with us, & that afternoon went with us to visit one of the schools.
       That same afternoon we went to see George, whom we hadn't seen for several days. He wasn't in his hotel room, so we went to the hotel restaurant to write him a note & saw a friend of his, another Canadian named Ron, who we had also met briefly at C.'s. While we were talking to Ron, a young foreign girl came in & sat at a nearby table. She couldn't take her eyes off of us, so Vansin went over & said hello. The girl's name is Christina, she's 27, & had been in Cambodia for just three weeks working as a secretary for the United Nations. She told us that the real reason she had come to Cambodia was to tell people that there is hope--in Jesus!
       She later shared with us that she had made a commitment to Jesus when she was 20 & had come to Cambodia despite opposition from her family, who don't believe as she does. She explained that she didn't yet know how to go about witnessing here, & then asked us what we do. We told her that we are volunteers & that we had come here with the same purpose & goal that she had, to bring love & hope to the people, & that we witness every day to whoever the Lord brings our way. She got super excited & asked, "Can I come with you? I'm free this afternoon. I want to see what you do & how you do it." She seemed so sweet & sincere that we felt we couldn't refuse.
       The four of us went off to the school, where Vansin had promised to teach one of Sakah's classes. I was able to share part of my personal testimony with her on the way & explain a bit more about how we witness. As we came to the school, we were greeted by one of the other teachers who we had met on a previous visit. He asked, "Can you come to my class now? I have ten minutes left & would like for my class to meet you." So as Willing & Vansin hurried off to Sakah's class, I asked Christina, "Are you ready for this?" We said a sweet word of prayer together & took the plunge. This was a more advanced class of about 80 boys. This seemed to be the first time Christina had seen anyone lead others to the Lord like we do, & she was really turned on! She said, "Please write down those songs for me!" so I wrote out the words to "The Time to Be Happy" & "Into My Heart". Nothing had been said to her about Vansin, so she asked about him & said she noticed he wasn't a Christian. I shared the testimony of how we had met him & she was really touched & said she would pray for him. "He has so much potential!" she said. "If only he could do what he does for Jesus!" Soon it was getting dark & she needed to be on her way home, as it's not very safe to be out after dark, especially alone. We gave her two Tapes, "Climb that Mountain" & the "Rescue" Scripture Tape, which she was very happy to receive.
       On the evening of our sixth day, we were finally able to find George. We had prepared some things to give him to read & a "Touch of Love" Tape. After praying with us to receive Jesus, he said, "How am I going to remember this prayer? If I'm going to be able to tell this to others, I need to remember it!" So we wrote out the Salvation prayer. He's a precious man & has a very Godly attitude about many of the things we discussed. He will be visiting the city we base out of before returning to his country in October & looks forward to spending time with us there. He expects his next assignment to be Yugoslavia.
       We were able to spend more time with C. before we left & he was very encouraged by all that had been accomplished during our visit, especially the 220 souls who had gotten saved! And we were so thankful for all the Lord did & for the privilege of being a part of it!
       PRAYER REQUEST: The political situation in Cambodia has deteriorated dramatically since this scouting trip report was written, & full-scale civil war threatens once again. Until the Lord puts an end to the fighting, further witnessing trips are impossible. Please pray for peace & stability, the safety of C. & his little family, for Vansin & Christina, & for our witness to & follow-up of Cambodians outside their country.

Excerpts from daily log by Maria & Willing, SEA
       As we flew into Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, one of our main concerns was how we were going to get all of our Family materials & Gospels of John into the country. The customs declaration asks specifically about Bibles, & they are obviously on the lookout for Christian materials coming in. When I went through Customs, the Tapes in my suitcase showed up on their scanning machine, so the Customs officer asked me to open my case. I unlocked it & undid the clamps, but the suitcase would not open! I kept trying to open it--apologising repeatedly--until another officer saw my predicament & said, "It's okay. Please just go on." Praise the Lord!--Our first miracle! The Lord got all of our materials into the country without us having to open even one of our suitcases!
       This was now our second trip into the country. The first trip had also been at the invitation of a European entrepreneur, & long-standing friend & supporter of our Work in a neighbouring country, who had been doing business in Vietnam. As a result of his own witnessing experiences there, our friend really wanted to see the Family have a Work in Vietnam.
       We checked into a guest house where we had stayed for the first few days on our previous trip. It was a nice little room for only $17 a night, & was close to our catacomber Heiw's house & to the city. After we settled in we had prayer time for our stay, & then went to see Heiw at his coffee shop. Heiw is in his early twenties & is studying at a local school. He was very happy to see us & immediately showed us a letter from An, one of his friends who we had met on our previous trip, expressing his appreciation for all he had received from us, especially the Tapes & the Posters. Another friend of Heiw's was visiting that night, & we were able to lead him to the Lord.
       Since it was Willing's first visit to Vietnam, we set out the next morning to walk through the town to help him get oriented. On our way, Ton, a little twelve-year old girl, who Maria had met & "adopted" on her first visit, ran up to us. Like many other children in Vietnam, Ton sells postcards on the street to help support her family, but unlike most of the others Ton keeps herself very clean & is a sweet-spirited little fighter. When we first met her, her family didn't have a house, but when Maria went back home she shared Ton's testimony with the kids & they prayed for Ton to get a house. On this second meeting, Ton excitedly told us that her family now has a house. PTL! We gave her a Poster with a picture of Jesus & tried to explain the Lord to her, but she had no concept whatsoever of Jesus or Christianity, or even of God. It really broke our hearts for the young people of Vietnam who have been raised in a totally Godless, Communist society.
       The same day we were able to visit several of the foreigners we met on our first visit & also met our neighbours at our hotel, two Sri Lankan civil engineers working for a foreign company there, & they were sweet & helpful.
       The second morning, as we did each day, we had a simple breakfast in our room & had a good word of prayer for each of our sheep & for the Lord's leading for the day. The Lord was always faithful to lead us step by step.
       Later that day, we met up with Heiw, who took us to meet one of his older brothers. To our surprise, his brother had set up a lending library of some of the Tapes & lit we had left with Heiw on our first visit. He is a sweet fellow & got saved that day, along with two of his friends. We gave him more Tapes for his library & he was very excited & thankful for them. "This Must Be Heaven!" seems to be the biggest hit at the moment. Some of the people who come to borrow material are Catholics or other believers. As there is nothing else available in the country, they consider this meagre little library in Heiw's shop to be a treasure.
       Next, Heiw helped us to contact Qua, the 40-year-old English teacher who we met on our previous trip. Qua had been in a Communist retraining camp for ten years where he had found Jesus & tried to witness for Him. He was excited that we were back! We were able to make an appointment to see him again the following day.
       When we returned to Heiw's place the next day, Qua was waiting for us. He was very broken & began pouring out about his life & all that he's been through since our last visit. His wife is set on moving to the States, but he said he knows what it's like there & sees such a big need in Vietnam. He said he really wants to do something for the Lord, but doesn't know where to start. Please keep Qua in your prayers, as we feel the Lord wants to use him in a very special way.
       That evening we also had a very good time of witnessing to our Sri Lankan neighbours, Vasu & Anil. At first we weren't sure how much time to invest in them, considering they might distract us from our main mission of reaching Vietnamese during our limited time in the country, but in specific answer to a fleece we had set before the Lord they invited us to dinner, & both got saved. PTL!
       The next day we finally managed to get ahold of Lea, a girl from a travel agency whom C. won to the Lord & one of the dearest friends we made on our first visit. Later we met up with Heiw, Qua & Hien & had very feeding Word time. Hien is another friend who became a Catacomber during our first visit. She's a law school graduate in her early forties who had lost her husband (who was also a lawyer as well as a medical doctor) a couple of months before we met her. She now supports herself by teaching English & French at different companies & private schools. She's just beaming now & has grown so much spiritually since our first visit, having developed a much deeper understanding of the Lord. Her face constantly reflects His joy & happiness. She's a bold witness & has a vacuum for the Word & childlike faith, so it's a blessing to be with & pour into her.
       Later, as we were having dinner with Hien, a very sweet young boy came in with his family. He said hello to us & took a table nearby. Throughout our meal, he kept making eye contact & smiling at us. As he & his family were leaving he came over to our table & we were able to witness to him. For the last seven years, he has lived in California where a sweet Christian family had taken him in & had loved & cared for him, but had never led him to the Lord. He prayed with us to receive Jesus,   which was also  a wonderful experience for Hien. We gave this boy some of our Posters & got his address in California so we can follow up on him.
       When our Catacombers were at work or school or otherwise unavailable, we kept busy following up on some of our foreign contacts--mostly investors & diplomats--who live at or frequent one of the top hotels in Saigon. Many of these are very precious & sincere seekers, as well as potential sponsors for our future Work there. On nearly every visit we've also met new contacts, & most were very needy of the Lord's Love & received our Message. We see the potential for a DF-type ministry to the foreign elite there.
       Whenever we visit Heiw at his coffee shop, he's faithful to gather friends who he thinks would be interested in us & the Message. GBH! On our next visit, there were eight new faces, all bright young people in their mid-twenties. Most have been to university & all spoke English fairly well. One of the young women recently graduated with a degree in medicine. They were all very eager & had many sincere questions. We were able to get to know them & witness to them individually & they all got saved.
       From there we went to Qua's English class, & some of our new friends wanted to come along. We had a beautiful time with this class, again using our songs. Heiw & Qua got involved, Heiw writing the songs on the blackboard & Qua witnessing. We all sang together & then led the entire class to the Lord. Afterwards, we divided into smaller groups & talked about the Posters. There are all ages in these classes, people from their early twenties through late forties, & they are all so sweet & receptive. Many of them have obviously been through a great deal & are very broken. As we were leaving, one man said, "When we meet again, I will sing you my song!"--But he wouldn't tell us what it was. We took our growing band back to Heiw's coffee shop & witnessed & fellowshipped with them into the evening. Often our Sri Lankan friends or others were waiting for us at our hotel in the evening, so we took time to feed them the Word also.
       The next day, Heiw & some of the students were waiting for us at his place, & a few more got saved. They have so many questions: about life, about having faith, how to be free from their problems, how to believe like we do, how to have happiness. They have so much on their hearts. It's a slow process, because they don't have any Christian background or foundation at all. Everything needs to be explained to them in very simple terms. We are not using the Bible directly to feed them as even the Book of John is too deep, but the Posters are right on their level & perfect for pointing them to Jesus. Dad's counsel to "keep it simple" fits this situation to a "T"!
       From there we went to Qua's class, the same one we had visited earlier. We read more of the Poster together & then again split up into smaller groups. The man who had promised us a song got up & sang "Silent Night". It was quite a moving thing for him as he wasn't really a singer. He said he had learned it when he was a child & had never forgotten it. So sweet!
       The next day when we saw Heiw, he was very excited. He explained that he'd had an exam that morning & one of the questions was, "Which is more important to you--to be loved or to love?" Heiw had poured out all the Word we've been pouring into him, including the quote, "The way to be happy is to make others happy!" & finished with, "I'm happy because I love Jesus & Jesus loves me!" It was quite a testimony to his teacher. That's one thing about these young people here--everything that we give them, though it may be slow, really sticks with them. The Word comes alive. They apply it to themselves & start living it immediately.
       The following morning Heiw started coming to our little morning devotions over breakfast in our hotel room, & we had devotions with him nearly every day for the rest of our visit. He really liked this & it became one of his special little times of feeding.
       We spent the afternoon witnessing at Heiw's coffee shop, & then returned to our hotel to get ready for our evening appointment, a reception at the hotel in honour of the Malaysian National Day. It was attended by many diplomats & members of the foreign community. We also saw Jacques, the young French food & beverage manager who we had met on our first visit & have been following up on. He thanked us again for being such an encouragement to him during a time of major decision when he's getting very little support from anyone else. There's just no end to the need here!
       We were awakened the next morning by a call from Heiw, asking if he could bring his French teacher, a man of about fifty named Loc, to our morning devotions. We had met Loc briefly on our first visit, at which time he had given us a copy of "Footprints in the Sand". It was on a tiny piece of paper, worn beyond further photocopying, but it had been a treasure, first to him & then to Heiw. Loc had heard that we were back & was anxious to see us. Loc really loves the Bible, especially the Psalms, & when we located the verses as he recalled them, he got very inspired. He asked us if we could get him a Bible, Daily Might & any other of our publications in French, since his French is much better than his English & he wants to use them to teach his students. He showed us some tracts he had made himself, three-by-fives with little drawings & a verse or two, which he passes out to those he witnesses to. He's a very sweet man with a light on his face & really tries to be a witness. He hasn't shared much of his personal background with us, but while we were reading from the Daily Might about Job he exclaimed, "Yes! That's my life! That's just like the things I've been through!" Whatever it was, it certainly had given him a love for the Lord!
       Shortly after they left, Hien arrived. She asked us, "When people ask me what religion I am, how do I answer?  What do you call your religion?" We read, "The Church, the Body of Believers" from Treasures with her, which explained so simply & clearly what believing in Jesus is all about. Now that she's found the Lord, she really feels responsible to witness & share Him with others. GBH!
       After a DF class with one of our foreign friends, we went to Heiw's to spend some personal time with him, before some of his fellow-students from his morning class arrived. Some of his students are already saved & four we know well. Five of the other students we hadn't met before, but all got saved as we witnessed to them individually. One man we met that afternoon was different from the rest. He was about thirty & was very nervous, having been seriously affected by the trauma he has gone through, but when we saw him again a couple of days later, he was completely changed & shining. PTL!
       As we were fellowshipping in the garden of Heiw's coffee shop afterwards, a young man came up to me & I could tell he was disappointed that I hadn't recognised him immediately. "Thank you so much for what you have given me. You have given me the most important thing in my life! You have given me my belief!" It was  then that I recognised him as the boy Francis & I had witnessed to briefly & given a Poster to on our first visit. He went on & on about how many times that Poster has helped him through his problems & difficult times. Such is the effect of one Poster here! PTL!
       Hien wanted to see us that evening at our hotel, but wasn't available until after 10:00 p.m., which gave us time to follow up on Dale & Larry, two American Vietnam vets we had met, who were former professional golfers. They are back in Vietnam fixing up planes which the U.S. left behind, which the Vietnamese government plans to resell for commercial use. Dale, especially, seems to have potential. He's a self-confessed "strayed-away believer" & seems genuinely impressed with our Work. He's based out of the same city we are, so we hope to follow up on him there.
       Hien was back the next morning for our 7:30 a.m. devotions, along with Lea. They are both quite busy during the day, & are sometimes unable to get away for lunch or in the evening, so we found early mornings to be the best time to get them into the Word. This morning they both prayed for an in-filling of the Holy Spirit after a class on the same.
       Hien translated  "The Man of Love!" Poster, which we had several other people check for us, & they all agreed that it was an excellent translation.
       Three students whom we weren't expecting were waiting for us when we returned to our hotel. Quite often people would come & look for us because they had friends who wanted to meet us. This afternoon it was Bactwi, Young & Yung, all from Qua's English class. Before meeting us, Bactwi nearly became a Buddhist nun. Qua has had a particular burden for her & was quite excited when he later heard that she'd come to see us. When we first met her in class, she struck us as someone special & took in everything that we shared with her. She had also sought out Heiw & borrowed the Tape, "Climb that Mountain!" & made herself a copy. Her two friends had also gotten saved in the class. They got some of our first "Man of Love!" Posters in Vietnamese.  Bactwi also asked how she could do the same work for Jesus that we do, so that was an opportunity to share with her about witnessing. We promised to take her witnessing with us when we return. After just these two meetings she seems very serious about joining us in our Work. She has really been in the dark, but now that she has found the Light, it shows all over her face. Thank You Jesus!
       The next morning we had an appointment with Dr. K., the Dean of the English faculty at one of the top universities. He's an amazing man; he's lived & studied abroad, is fluent in English & several other languages, & a real go-getter--obviously the driving force behind the university. He really wants to do something with the young people of Vietnam.--And he's a Christian! On the book shelf in his office he has a King James Bible, a Cambodian Bible & a Vietnamese Bible.
       We spent the afternoon at Heiw's place, fellowshipping with some of the students who had gotten saved, then went over to Lea's place to watch the video, "Jesus of Nazareth" with Heiw, Lea, & four others. Lea stepped in to translate when needed & was just radiant! That was wonderful to see, as she falls into the depths of despair without us, but as soon as she fellowships & gets in the Word with us she really beams. Since she doesn't do very well on her own, we really encouraged her & Hien to fellowship together, & they both seemed to understand the importance of this. Privately, Hien opened up about the relationship between them, how they didn't really like each other much at first, because their personalities are very different, but now they are close. Hien is older & feels responsible for Lea, so hopefully that will work out well. Hien will even stay overnight with her sometimes so they can have fellowship & Word time together.
       The next day, Saturday, was our last full day here. In the morning we had a Daniel 2 class bright & early with Heiw & Qua. We used a flannelgraph & the Daniel 2 class from Treasures. At first Heiw didn't grasp the importance of the class, but Qua caught it right away. In the end, they both really got into it. Lea came over just as they left. We spent the rest of the day seeing many of our contacts for the last time, including some of Heiw's family, who are very sweet & always receive us well. We passed by the hotel to say goodbye to some of our friends there & drop off more reading material & notes for others.
       When we got back to our room at about 10:00 p.m., Heiw was waiting for us with his friends An & Tre. An, you'll remember, is the boy who wrote us the sweet note Heiw gave us when we first arrived. His family is moving to the States & his biggest concern is the fate of all our Tapes that he's copied from Heiw. Leaving Vietnam as immigrants, they have to submit their baggage one week in advance for a security check. If they find Christian tapes, which they surely will, there will be lots of questions. He expects to have to leave them behind, but was desperate to know if he could get more in the States or on his way there. He said he would even come to our base country to get them, because they mean so much to him.
       Tre is a Chinese/Vietnamese university student, a very smart young man, & a real labour-leader type. He got saved & quite turned on, so he's another one worth following up on in the future. That was certainly an exciting end to a long day!
       Heiw & Hien came in the morning as they wanted to see us once more. Heiw & Willing went out to take care of a few last-minute details, leaving Maria to have some time alone with Hien. Maria took some time to explain to her how to use the indexes in her Treasures & Daily Might to find her own answers in the Word when we are not there.
       Lea came over & Willing & Heiw returned, so we all got together for one last bit of fellowship & reading & a good word of prayer for them. We stressed the importance of them sticking together, taking time to fellowship & caring for one another & those around them. We ended with the Daily Might "Be Like Jesus". It was very sweet & moved us all to tears. They are precious & we are so thankful for this opportunity to meet & minister to all these dear, hungry  sheep! We look forward to caring for them via the mail for now.
       We were also able to spend a little more time with our friends next door, Vasu & Anil, & one of our other friends arranged for a car to pick us up & take us to the airport. We had no problems or questions passing through customs & immigrations, had a safe, smooth flight, & C. was waiting for us in Phnom Penh. What a wonderful, wonderful Family He's given us & what an exciting life of faith we live! (To be continued.)
       PRAYER REQUEST: Vietnam: For the Lord's blessing, supply & protection, for our Catacombers & friends' spiritual growth, & for Spirit-filled translations of the Posters & other lit.

From Katrina & Spring, Mexico

       The teens' witnessing is really beginning to take off! It's inspiring to see the teens with their guitars witnessing & giving classes. The other night, as the teens finished their skit, one sheep commented, "Eso era fantastico!" (That was fantastic!) On the way home that night, teen Claire said, "This is the kind of witnessing I've always dreamed of doing. I want to do this every day! It reminds me of what my dad used to share with me of how he used to just sit on the ground & witness."
       That night she met a precious 23-year-old boy named Luis, a former atheist who was drawn to them like a magnet. The next day, he showed up again at our witnessing spot, & by the end of the evening he was helping us pass out Posters. He's just the kind of sheep you enjoy feeding, because he's so receptive, appreciative & hungry. The teens began calling him daily, meeting him out to give him classes & taking him witnessing at the university. Before long, he got really hooked on the Word. He's especially interested in the Endtime & always has very good questions. At one point, Jordan commented to him, "You must have been reading your Bible for a long time." But Luis said, "I never read the Bible before I met you. I've just been studying the Posters you gave me!" When he got his first full Letter, "Mountain Men", he was thrilled! He's also becoming a bold witnesser & has already witnessed to all of his friends & family!
       Luis is not the only one. The teens have several others on the line, including two of Luis' friends, who are as turned on as he is. This seems to be the start of a new Catacombs ministry here! PTL! Even though we don't have a place yet for the teens to bring their sheep, they've been inviting them to our witnessing spots & some of them have been travelling long distances daily to meet us there! PTL!
       It's also encouraging to see the adults getting so involved in helping the teens, & the teens say they really appreciate their help. For example, after Maria went with teen Peter & Claire to give Luis a class, the teens said they were thankful she was there to get it started & they learned a lot. It reminds us of "the early days" when we paired up babes with older brothers for witnessing. That's how we all learned, by the clinical method.
       The whole Home buzzes now with the latest on the teens' witnessing. Whenever I pass them, they ask if I have a minute to discuss ideas for their next class with their sheep or to hear a testimony or pray with them for their next follow-up phone call. They have been calling their sheep daily if they are unable to meet with them for one reason or another. They even test them on their memory verses & pray with them over the phone.
       It's really exciting to see our teens transformed almost overnight! They seem so much happier & on the attack & now can hardly wait to get out witnessing! What a marvellous, direct answer to this worldwide prayer request: "That the Lord will bless their witnessing, give them a broken heart & burden for the lost, reward them with thrilling experiences, & encourage them by causing them to bring forth fruit--saved souls & new disciples!" PTL!
       PRAYER REQUEST: For the inspiration of our teen witnessers & the next great harvest of Latin America's youth.

From Chris, U.S.A.

       Recently, I had the opportunity to go witnessing with the teens & most of the adults in Dan & Seek's Home, & I must say that I haven't seen a harvest like this or experienced witnessing like this in many, many years! It was like reliving the time when I first joined the Family, where the sheep were so plentiful & the ripe fruit fell right into our laps!
       The location was a Farmers' Market in the centre of the city. The brethren had originally gone there to provision food for the Home, but to their surprise discovered scores of youth just hanging out in the market. Most of these kids are the "trippy" type with long or punk style hair, rebels against society who in dress & spirit reminded me of the hippies of yesteryear.--And just as with the hippy movement, many of them are smart kids from well-to-do families. I was almost overwhelmed to see so many teens together in one place, just sitting around.
       Our teens began with a Holy Ghost Sample & many of the kids tuned right in. Although a lot of the other kids acted indifferent or unimpressed, we later discovered that many of them were in fact listening & watching everything that went on. They just didn't want to appear "uncool" around their peers. Judging by outward appearances & initial reactions, there didn't seem to be much interest, when actually the opposite was true!
       Our teens wasted no time, but got right in there & witnessed. They won 29 souls that evening & followed up on many teens they had witnessed to & won the one other time they had been there before. They also set up a meeting with some of the most potential kids at a nearby park for inspiration & Word. I wouldn't be at all surprised if, within a couple of weeks, they are able to have group Bible studies right there at the main witnessing spot. They all have the vision for a Catacomb Work, & it looks like they're off to an excellent start.
       Incidentally, this particular Home has an unusually high rent, but as they have been faithfully witnessing & pouring out, the Lord has been supplying their needs miraculously. In fact, they received nearly all of their rent through the mail in just one day--the day after this witnessing excursion which involved most of the Home! They've been giving it all they've got, GBT, & the Lord has certainly been honouring their faith!
       PRAYER REQUEST: Teen Catacomb Work, including the one being started by the teens in Dan & Seek's Home.

From YA Anne (18), & Youth Club Pioneers, SEA

       After the three-day Fast, we were very convicted to get out the "meat" of the Word & began a major witnessing push. Our Shepherds drew up a two-week plan of attack in order to get all of us teens & JETTs out at least twice a month. Suddenly, everyone that went out began meeting very hungry & desperate people who eagerly listened to the Endtime Message & wanted to know more. Most of the ones met were teens & students who were fed up with the System & all that it had to offer & were looking for something to satisfy the aching void in their hearts.
       Although we did our best to follow up on these precious people, we knew we were still falling short in properly caring for them due to limitations of time & personnel. What were we to do about this? We didn't know, but the Lord sure did! We prayed & counselled about this problem & the Lord gave the idea of a Youth Club--a place like the "Poorboy Clubs" of yesteryear where the young people we met witnessing could come & see a sample of the Lord's Spirit! Our Shepherds challenged us with the vision of opening a place to not just witness, but feed the sheep & win disciples. A disciple-winning explosion! Wow! What a prospect!
Materialising Our Dream!
       "Don't try to reason around with your own understanding, but get down in prayer & cry out to God with strong crying & tears & desperation, & look to Him alone for the answers. God alone has the answers & God alone can do it. It's His business, His programme & His plan. We're His people, it's His World, it's His idea & it's got to be His whole leading, His decision. It's got to be His protection. It's got to be His provision" ("Follow God", ML#4:25, DB4). Our Shepherds impressed upon us the need to desperately seek the Lord for His Will, as with so many details & the security of most Homes in our city involved, we knew there was no way we could reason this out ourselves. The Lord was going to have to lead & guide us step by step.
       "Where God guides He provides", so the first big step towards making this dream a reality was to find a suitable location to hold these youth meetings. As we prayed about this, the Lord brought to mind a certain friend who had recently built an apartment building with a restaurant on the ground floor. Though beautifully furnished, the restaurant had never been used. Once our friend heard our plan, he offered it to us for this use. PTL! And it's exactly what we needed! It has tables & chairs, a nice stage, a section with booths (perfect for personal witnessing after our show) & it's centrally located. The Lord certainly gave us the best! PTL!
Preparations Underway!
       Although the goal of this Youth Club was to reach young people, we YAs & teens couldn't accomplish it on our own. We quickly learned that we needed the guidance of our Shepherds & the adults working with us, as their experience far surpassed our own!
       After visiting the Club & seeing the potential, one of our Teen Shepherds, who is also an artist, suggested that we paint a collage of Endtime & Heaven scenes to cover the walls of the Club. Several talented teens & YAs helped the adult Shepherd with this mural, copying Posters & other Family artwork, including "How to Win!", scenes from the "ETN", "Loving Other Worlds!", "Martyrs of the End!", & other Poster pictures of Heaven & the Millennium.
       Our Shepherds counselled us not to beat around the bush, but to give our visitors the full meat of the Word from the very first meeting. The theme of our first programme was the Endtime, & through three skits we brought the signs of the times down to a relatable level.
       Mama's counsel to the teens in Japan about their recording of the "New Worlds to Discover" Video had just come out & that was just what we needed too! For example, following the suggestion of having "as many guitars as possible," we decided to start with an inspiration, including four YAs on guitars.  We also added bongos, a tambourine & maracas for a little "spice". We all agreed to give up our own ideas & what we individually thought was best, to make room for the Lord's best. We knew that what needed to come through most in our music was His Spirit.
       We began practising for the opening day, & opened each practice session with desperate prayer. We also knew that we probably wouldn't have so much time to practice, nor would we be able to count on as much input from our Shepherds on a weekly basis, so we needed to be especially receptive to their counsel & get into the "swing of it" from the start. At the time it seemed almost impossible to get together a whole programme in the short time we have for this each week, but the Lord has certainly been doing it. PTL!
       Next, we needed to set down some guidelines as far as who we would invite, & we all had to learn to be very prayerful in this respect. We agreed that before new potentials could be told about the club, we needed to meet with them at least twice, they needed to be saved &, of course, receptive.
The Big Day Arrives!
       The big day finally came--our first youth meeting! "What's it going to be like?" "Will people come?" "How many?" The show was to start at 7:00 p.m., but by that time only two people had come. As one team began ministering to them, someone else reminded us of Meaningful Meetings in the past where only one person showed up, but that person joined the Family! We waited & watched. Within the next fifteen minutes, fifteen more young people walked in the door--more than we expected--& the Lord's Spirit fell on the programme, just as we had prayed it would! Most of our visitors that first night said that they loved the inspiration the best, as everyone was so happy & full of Jesus. PTL! He did it! We knew it was nothing of ourselves.
Witnessing Lessons!
       After the programme, which was about one hour long, we split into teams & talked to the sheep. We learned a very good lesson about getting deep with them right away & not letting this become simply a social event. We also saw the need for a good adult witnesser on each team. Although we YAs & teens have a lot of Word stored up & have had lots of theoretical training, we haven't had that much actual experience in witnessing, especially feeding the sheep. We really benefitted from this chance to learn from the adults. After the programme the sheep were as ripe & ready as they would ever be, & we needed to "strike while the iron was hot."
       Due to the culture here, people rarely turn us down when we offer to lead them in the Salvation prayer & are generally very agreeable to all we share. They really want to please. But the problem with this is that it is very difficult to know where they really stand. Recently, we've been learning that a lot has to do with our approach & how we witness. We found in every case that if we stayed on a shallow level, they did too. But as soon as we started asking them questions & drawing them out, they would get very deep, share their innermost feelings & show a great interest in the Word & the Lord. PTL!
       In the programme we covered some fairly controversial topics, such as refuting Evolution, which is accepted as fact in this country, almost without exception. As we exposed the lie of Evolution with a skit, followed by the song, "Did Charlie Make a Monkey Out of You?", we realised that we should have had some Word prepared, such as "The Big Lie!" to back up what we said & answer their questions. We also realised we could have been a bit more prepared with other material to feed the sheep after the programme, as this is when they are the most ripe & ready to receive it.
Desperation Continues!
       No sooner had we finished the first youth meeting than we realised the next one was only six days away! A committee of adults, YAs & teens got together to decide on a programme, the bulk of which would be showing the "S.O.S" Video in the local language. However, the day before the second meeting was to take place, our Shepherds suggested that we do the Box Skit instead. Wow! Time to get desperate again! This change in central theme meant we would need to change most other things as well. Obviously the Lord did it to keep us desperate & depending on Him for every move!
       We didn't actually get a chance to run through the new programme until the day of the meeting. We spent the whole day at the club. In rehearsing the Box Skit, we also learned some good lessons about adapting it to our audience, depicting the things they most likely go through.
       After a full day of rehearsing & cleaning up, the time was drawing closer to when the people would come. We had done all we could, but knew that if the show was to be a success it would only be the Lord. We got together & had desperate prayer for the in-filling of the Holy Spirit, which was beautiful & refreshing! Holy Ghost power! Just what we needed!
The Lord Never Fails!
       This time there were 20 visitors. PTL! Inspiration got everyone's attention! Then the MC read parts of "In Search of Truth" as the people read along with copies we had prepared for them in advance. Then all eyes were glued on YA Tommy as he did the "Box Skit". Everyone was simply overwhelmed by the Spirit! The skit ended with teen Angelina singing "How Long You Been Waiting?"--And Love set him free! Both she & Tommy were in tears, as were many in the audience. Next, one of our national sisters shared her testimony, which was also very touching & had a great effect on the people, as many commented afterwards. We ended with the song, "Now All I Want to Do Is Serve Him!", explaining that this expressed what we had decided to do with our lives. We closed with a short word of prayer & set out to witness & feed the sheep.
Witnessing Victories!
       Everyone was so hungry & receptive! The first thing one boy asked was, "What can I do to be a disciple?" Up until this point many of us had not been accustomed to witnessing so deeply, mainly due to not being fluent in the local language. However, this meeting was completely different!--It has also fired us up to get on the attack with learning the language better. PTL!
       One precious sheep who came to the Club was a 23-year-old girl named J., who is half Sri Lankan. She had met the Family about four years earlier & visited a Home a few times before returning to Sri Lanka. She returned last year & met the Family again when someone gave her a Poster.
       When she came to the Club she was very turned on to the Word & really enjoyed the programme. She speaks both English & the local language fluently, & is a real potential disciple & labour leader. When we first sat down, she just talked about her boyfriend & stayed on a very superficial level. However, when asked what she thought about the programme she immediately changed & began getting deep. We could have spent the next couple of hours talking about the problems she was having with her boyfriend, getting nowhere.--However, as soon as we got deep, she did too.
       We challenged her to do something for the Lord with her life, began giving her a class on witnessing & prayed with her to be filled with the Holy Spirit. After that she was full of fire! We made an appointment to take her witnessing with us several days later & she did great! TYJ!
       While out we met T., & he immediately poured out his heart about his problems. He is a 20-year-old track star who won a gold medal in the recent South East Asian Games. That night, he was at odds with his father over a phone bill of hundreds of Dollars which he'd run up calling his girl friend in the U.S. When he came to the club we challenged him to really do something meaningful with his life, & read "What Is the Will of God in Your Life?" from the Daily Might. When we asked him what his goal in life was, it led straight into a discussion about discipleship. He said, "I really want to do what you're doing. There's just one problem.--If I do, I'll hurt my girlfriend." We then read the DM about when Jesus called His disciples, & he had many questions about this, each of which we answered with the Word.
       He is quite famous, so has a lot to give up, but we shared with him that somewhere along the line he was going to have to make a choice. Finally he said, "Can I meet you tomorrow to help you tell people about Jesus?" So the next day he went out witnessing & helped win four souls to the Lord. He memorised the Salvation prayer & of his own accord has been witnessing to his friends & getting them saved. Hallelujah!
       Another young man has been coming for quite a while now. At first he was super "cool". He'd always sit in the back & chew gum & wear real cool clothes. But now when he comes he looks like a completely different person! He sits right up front with everybody, knows all the songs & claps & sings along & responds to whatever's being shared. There's been such a change in him! TYJ! It's so inspiring to see him & many of our other precious sheep changing & growing! In fact, the Club has become a little Catacomb ministry. PTL!
       (Editor's note: There are, of course, many pros & cons to having a Youth Club. On the pro side, organising & running their Club provided these teens with many beautiful witnessing experiences as well as opportunities to exercise their faith & diverse talents, learn to work as a team, etc. It also bore lasting fruit in the form of a number of solid Catacombers. The Club was great for getting their teen outreach & follow-up rolling. PTL! After some time, however, these teens & their Shepherds reassessed their situation & felt that it was quite a big production to undertake each week, & agreed that their time & personnel could be used more fruitfully in personal follow-up. They discontinued the Club & are now looking for a new location for follow-up--possibly an apartment in the university area where most of their Catacombers live--where they can be more available for their sheep & witness, sing, & give Word classes on a more personal level.)
       PRAYER REQUEST: Youth Clubs & other outreach & follow-up projects being pioneered & led by our YAs & teens worldwide--that the Lord will lead, guide & supply, & that these will bear lasting fruit.

Report from Ben & Christie's Scouting Team to the Midwest U.S.A.
       Coming into a major city in a Mideastern state on a Friday night, we turned off the expressway to look for a hotel & "just happened" to find ourselves on one of the biggest "cruising streets" in the United States! Teens from hundreds of miles around come there every night during the Summer & every weekend during the school year to "cruise" up & down the street or park in fast food restaurants & sit on the hoods of their cars. The place was just packed-out with teens!
       Jonathan & Joy, our two YAs, were raring to go, so when we found it difficult to provision a hotel that late at night, we went ahead & checked in as paying guests so we could get out to witness to those teens right away. Jonathan & Joy had a blast witnessing & met so many sheep! They also got out many Posters & won lots of souls.
       The overall spirit of these System teens was quite different than that of the teens in the big city we base out of. They seem more innocent & clean by comparison & reminded us of teens from the '50s! They drink & smoke some, but apparently few take drugs. They just come there because they're bored & they want to find girlfriends or boyfriends. We were only able to stay there one night, but on our way back home we worked it out to be back there the following weekend.
       Upon arriving back in town the first hotel we tried was in a perfect location for witnessing. This time the manager was still on duty & became quite interested in our Work. She gave us a nice big room for our first night. The hotel even had a swimming pool & hot tub, which provided fun get-out for the kids & teens--a special little bonus from the Lord for their faithful harvesting of souls for His Kingdom. We had another terrific time witnessing on Friday night.
       On Saturday we needed to pray about what to do, as our hotel room had been promised for only one night. We wished we could just keep witnessing without having to spend time looking for another room, but we hesitated to ask the manager for another night as we had made our need clear when we first met her, but she had only agreed to one night. When Ben went down to thank her, she came out of a meeting to talk with him. She was very interested in how our Work the night before had gone & when Ben shared some of the testimonies with her, she got so excited she said, "Why don't you stay another night?" PTL!
       Saturday night, Jonathan & Joy met a super sheep named Annette, a 19-year-old waitress. She had just finished work & was driving out of the parking lot when they approached her. She pulled over & ended up talking to them for a couple of hours. She got saved, filled & wanted to know what to do with her life. They said she was just like Anaik! (See ML#4.) We'll be following up on her by mail until someone can get back there.
       We were quite flipped out with the potential in that city, & all of the Midwest really. We witnessed in four main cities, & although all these places were very sheepy, we didn't meet a single person who had ever seen a Poster! We got out lots! People were very interested in our Work. When we explained how we were up here to reach the youth, they all said, "Oh, they really need help!" or, "Thank God, someone's trying to do something!" etc. Everyone's concerned about all the teens, but no one else has anything to offer them. They need the Family!
       As if the fruit of our witnessing wasn't encouragement enough, the Lord sent us a special little message as we were about to leave town. In a parking lot, Christie & ten-year-old Andy met a sheepy middle-aged woman named Janie. She's a grandma, but dresses like a teen & is real spunky.--And she's an on-fire Christian! She loves the Lord & the Word & is filled with the Spirit & witnesses. She loved the Poster we gave her & just got so inspired about what we were doing! Later she met everyone & she was especially excited that our kids & teens were turned on about witnessing. As we were saying goodbye, I got a check to pray with her, & after we prayed she got a little prophecy for us!
       The whole incident reminded us of the story of Mrs. Gunn. (See ML#172:95.) She prophesied that the Lord was giving us this city, that there were many souls here for us, & "every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours."--Deu.11:24. When she began to prophesy, I was a little on guard, thinking, "Uh oh, I hope she's on track! Lord, help her to say something so we'll know this is a true prophecy!" Just then she started to say something about how the Lord is with us because we are of one mind & one heart & we "have all things common." This really thrilled us because we hadn't said one thing to her about our communal living or our big Family. TTL!
       "Let us go up at once & possess it, for we are able to overcome it!"--Num.13:30.
       PRAYER REQUEST: Pioneering of the Midwest U.S.A.: that the Lord will open doors & provide personnel for new Homes, particularly the city referred to in this article.

Copyright 1996 The Family