logo

From Pastor Dave

Hey Friend!
Come by here or subscribe to hear occasional devotions, observations, and happenings from my walk with Jesus in this world. May be deep, may be funny, but definitely will be me. Hope to keep in touch with you through this page.
David Anderson served his country in the United States Marine Corps from 1987-1993, achieving the rank of Sergeant midway through his 6 years of active military service.   Upon leaving the Military in 1993 he entered the electronics industry working for technology companies like Rockwell Semiconductor and Conexant Systems. He gave his life to the Lord in 1995 experiencing a radical conversion that saved him from a destructive lifestyle.  Soon after that conversion he felt the call to minister the word of God. Through much prayer with his wife Leticia and his pastor back in CA the decision was made to serve the Lord full-time.  Dave left corporate America to serve in the ministry full time in 1999.   Pastor Dave and his family set out on a venture of faith to East Texas in 2000 to plant a church.  Calvary Chapel was originally a very small bible study in the living room of the family house.  That original study has been blessed by God and has grown to a church family of over 200 members.   While much of his time is devoted to the ministry at Calvary, he remains involved in the Community by serving as a volunteer Chaplain for Titus Regional Medical Center, The Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Titus County Sheriff's Office. Pastor Dave also travels abroad for missions and to train Pastors in other countries.   He is married to Leticia his loving and understanding wife of 17 years and is also the proud father of three children Ellyse (25), Sara (16), and Jacob (14).

Vietnam: Spending the day with a hero of the faith

Vietnam: Spending the day with a hero of the faith

Today I was able to share at an UC Somewhere in Vietnam.  

One thing that has always amazed me is how some Americans can speak so cavalierly about doing such things. I always feel as though I am in the company of Giants of the Faith, and today I truly was.  

The Pastor we were able to spend the day with has a story that could come right out of the pages of the biographies of the great men of our faith we have read.  Saved as a tender teen in a refugee camp in Thailand, the Lord sent him back to his homeland to reach his father and family. He began to share the gospel, was arrested for the first time and jailed for 14 months. He never waivered in his faith and only became more bold.  Several prisoners came to Christ as he taught them by speaking through the drainage pipes that joined their cells, and sang worship songs.  Once released even though he was constantly followed, and would be jailed two more times, he continued to share the good news and plant churches.  After leading thousands to Christ and planting around 50 churches, he drove 1.5 hours on a holiday to pick us up and bring us to a small gathering of believers on New Years day.  Yep I was pretty humbled, still am to even know such a man and spend the day with him, his family and church family.  So thankful for men like him and for meetings like today.

Continue reading
3934 Hits
0 Comments

Back In Cambodia

Continue reading
4461 Hits
0 Comments

Day Thirteen and Fourteen - Nearing the Finish

Day Thirteen and Fourteen - Nearing the Finish 10/30 - 10/31

Refreshing to be in Cambodia on Halloween because they do not celebrate it here! 

Pastor Ivy and I have finished our teaching one day early in order to give more time to Pastor Tim. He is in Matthew 24 right now and has until tonight to finish the book. We are here in class offering our support. 

The past few days have been as much about relationship building and remembrance as teaching. His does the old saying go? "They won't care how much you know until the know how much you care."   We have been eating with the pastors which really is key. Today Pastor ivy and I went to get Donuts at a bakery. A treat these men hardly ever eat for their morning break. Just a little way to show we care about them. Yesterday we took pictures of them as individuals to help us remember them.

Tomorrow the pastors will take their final tests, pack their bags and head for home. We will stop by for testing then head out for a short day around town before going to the hotel and packing for our late night flight. 

As the close of our trip nears I am blessed to have been here and to see what God is doing in this country. But, I am also saddened by seeing how much the Devil is doing here as well. Truly this war will be waged for many years to come. A war that we all have a part in through the tremendously powerful vehicle of prayer. 

When I return this Sunday to the pulpit I will share on this trip and on how we can affect change in the world around us. This trip has been a life changing one indeed.

See you soon!
In Christ,
Pastor Dave

Continue reading
4367 Hits
0 Comments

Day Fifteen & Sixteen - Saying Goodbye and Heading Home

 

 

Day 15 - Saying Good Bye and Heading Home. 11/1-11/2

This morning we wereblessed to sleep in a little then all three of us went over to the Bible College to share in worship communion and prayer with the pastors before they head home until next semester. I was blessed to preside over communion and have included the text of that service at the end of this blog.

Truly these people have left an indelible mark on our lives. I pray that what we have been sharing with them will leave a mark on them and their ministries as well. Perhaps the most powerful part of our stay was when we kneeled on the floor and the pastors prayed for us, our churches, and families. 

We will be treating those that have helped us out to dinner tonight then taking quick showers and heading to the airport to go home. It will take many days to process what we have seen and learned. But, the emotions of leaving these new friends are already beginning to rise to the surface.

The only thing that makes the bitterness if saying good by better is the joy of knowing that I will be home with those I love in the states soon. Hope to see you Sunday!

God Bless You All,
Pastor Dave

 

 

Turn in your Bibles to Luke chapter 22 with me for a quick look at the meaning of communion before we partake of the elements together...
Before we read the text and take the elements ... I want to let you all know on behalf of my fellow Pastors...what a great privilege it is for us to have spent the past two weeks with you all...
This has been an experience we will not forget as it has changed us in many ways... We look forward to the next time we meet with you again...whether here or at the great feast of the Lamb in heaven... And you will be remembered by us in our prayers presently as you labor for the kingdom here in Cambodia.
There is perhaps no better way to close out our time together than with the celebration of communion.
When The church today...gathers to celebrate communion... We in a sense looks at the things of God from the same three perspectives we have and will look upon out trip... Communion looks at the things of God in relation to ... the past, the present, and the future. 
All Christians agree that one of the reasons for the Lord’s Supper is to remember what Jesus did for them on the Cross. ‘Do this in remembrance of me’... is a command from our Lord not to forget.
In the Old Testament an New testaments as Pastor Ivy and Pastor Tim both taught... apostasy... Or the falling away from the truth... Is always associated with the concept of forgetting.... 
So Jesus is urging his disciples... no matter what else they forget of all they have seen in His company...not to forget the significance of the event we remember as a church to this day.
Every time we break bread and drink the cup, we are to do it in remembrance of Him.
So when the church follows that mandate in its celebration of the Lord’s Supper...it looks to the past... but...as Jesus stresses...there is also a sense in which the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is a foretaste of the future feast that God has promised for his people in heaven... He says He won't eat of it again until the kingdom ... But then they will all eat of it again... 
Then we will sit down with our Lord and celebrate the great wedding of Christ and his bride...the Church.
So we look to the past and we look to the future... but what about now? 
As the people of God come together... looking back to the past work and looking ahead to the future promises of our King... there is also the present enjoyment and blessing of being in the presence of Christ...
So let's now remember the Lord in His words with the elements He Prescribed... Looking forward to the day we will eat of these elements with Him in the kingdom to come... Allowing this time to bring peace to our hearts presently as we go our separate ways in service to Him.(((read, partake, and pray)))

Continue reading
4173 Hits
0 Comments

Day Eleven and Twelve - The Culture Challenge

 

Day Eleven and Twelve - The Culture Challenge 10-28-13 / 10-29-13

Try for moment to remove yourself from the things you know about family and American societal norms.  Travel with me to a land that spent 40 yrs in the throws of war, and 5 yrs under the rule of a genocidal maniac. Try to think of life without at least one of your parents maybe both.  If you can do that you are close to understanding the plight of most of the male population of Cambodia. Now add the position of second class citizen, fear of beatings, rape, molestation, and forced prostitution and you are close to understanding the plight of women and children in this country. 

Before you lose your religion and develop a hatred for this place, remind yourself that all of this is all that most of these people know.  97% of Cambodians are not saved, 97% live their lives in ignorance of the better things that are awaiting them in Christ. Bringing them salvation apart from discipleship is just not enough. Even the 3% that are Christians are woefully ill equipped to live like the Bible prescribes because of the cultural influences that live deep within them. 

For the past few days I have been teaching studies that run counter to the cultural norms of Cambodia. It has been a trying and a blessed time of helping these men realize that they are here for "such a time as this". They are called to live biblical examples before their churches and communities and are enabled to do so by the power of His Holy Spirit living in and through them.  I praise The Lord for the opportunity to share the freedom and elevated status that comes to all through Christs' love for His bride the church.   

Please join me in praying that the word of The Lord will dwell richly within these men, making changes in their family lives and the lives of those around them.  The future of Cambodia can be so bright if we lift them up and keep them ignited with our prayers.

 

Changed for Life,

Pastor Dave

Continue reading
4062 Hits
0 Comments

Days Nine and Ten - Angkor Wat ... What?!?!?!

Day Nine and Ten - Angkor Wat ... What?!?!? 10-26-13 & 10-27-13

We got up and had breakfast with Curtis and Bre in the morning then headed out to view Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm two temples that were discovered in the late sixties and are in the process of being restored. The word temple dies not truly express the magnificence of these structures. Angkor has the world's largest man made moat around it, measuring 5 miles long. It took 40 yrs and thousands of slaves to build this massive project. Pictures are on Instagram if you are interested in seeing them. What amazes me the most is the amount of work that went into these massive structures for the worship of worthless and impotent gods. How blessed we are to be the chosen temples of the living God, made not with human hands but by our Loving Lord.

The next place we went to was Ta Prohm which is the place where they filled Lara Croft Tomb Raider. The place really looks unreal with trees literally growing out of the walls and dense green vegetation everywhere.  I was telling Jake that it was like a jungle gym for big kids. Amazing to explore it all. Maybe the most notable thing was the picture of a stegosaurus carved into the walls of this 1200 yr old temple. (Again there is a picture on my Instagram page)

After visiting the temples it was time to go back to the hotel for lunch. Curtis had been saying he had a pain in his side all day. So he and Bre headed to a clinic to get it checked out after lunch and we headed back out to the temples.

We went last to Bayon an amazing temple of faces carved into the rock with tremendous precision. To walk in places 4 times older than our country is a truly humbling feeling. No matter the reason for building such monuments one can not help but be in awe of their construction. We returned from the temple and our day went from Wat to what?!?

Curtis had appendicitis and they were deciding whether or not to operate.  We hopped a Tuk-Tuk (motorcycle carriage) to the hospital to be with our hosts. Around midnight they decided to operate, as soon as they received $3,000 dollars in deposit.  How many of you could give someone $3,000 if you were 6 hours from home? These uninsured missionaries could not afford it at all and certainly not in a few minutes. We began to see why everything had been orchestrated as it had. The three of us pastors made a judgement call to help him get the surgery. You all through your giving to Calvary may well have saved a life today. If they did not pay, no operation would be done and they would release him to find care elsewhere. Meaning he could die if it ruptured. We handled the bill prayed with Curtis and Bre before surgery and stayed with Bree until Curtis was in recovery! Praise God the surgery went well and he has no fever today. 
In addition,  had we been in Phnom Penh he may have went too a far less skilled and far dirtier hospital. But because we were in Siem Reap which has a lot of tourist because it is home to the temples, the hospital was newer, cleaner, nicer, and staffed by skilled drs.  This last minute weekend trip brought Curtis to a better hospital and our being here made it possible for him to afford the surgery. Truly God is great in all His plans and timing! 

We had breakfast with Bre but had to leave her and Curtis behind so we could look after the students and fulfill our teaching tasks. As I write this we are on the bus back to Phnom Penh very tired, but felling very blessed. God truly cares about every detail of our lives. Turning What?!?! Into Who!!! And pointing us back to Him. 

Please continue to pray for Curtis and Bre as he recovers in Siem Reap.  Also remember the pastor students in your prayers as they finish out their semester next week. 

The Lord Bless You All,
Pastor Dave

Continue reading
4217 Hits
0 Comments

Day Eight - Bus Ride to Siem Reap

 

 

The student / pastors are taking their test today before heading home to their families for the weekend. We are going on a six hour bus ride to Siem Reap in the north country.  Up there we will take a day to visit three temples that were lost for hundreds of years in the jungle but were discovered about 50 years ago. 
Not much to report today. But tomorrow I should have some amazing pictures on Instagram of the 10th wonder of the world. 

Be blessed my family in Christ!

Continue reading
3212 Hits
0 Comments

Day Eight - Bus Ride to Siem Reap. 10-25-13

Day Eight - Bus Ride to Siem Reap 10-25-13

The student / pastors are taking their test today before heading home to their families for the weekend. We are going on a six hour bus ride to Siem Reap in the north country.  Up there we will take a day to visit three temples that were lost for hundreds of years in the jungle but were discovered about 50 years ago. 
Not much to report today. But tomorrow I should have some amazing pictures on Instagram of the 10th wonder of the world. 

Be blessed my family in Christ!

Continue reading
3206 Hits
0 Comments

Day Seven - Business as Usual 10-24-13

Day Seven - Business as Usual 10-24-13

Some days are just that...days.  Today we are one week into this trip, and everyone is settling in somewhat. Teaching, eating with the pastors, and the out it dinner. We then went over to Curtis and Bre's apartment for a little conversation and coffee. 

It is always great to spend time with missionary couples and hear their stories. Though young 23 & 25 these two have some amazing responsibilities. They also have an incredible love for the people of Cambodia. Hearing them talk about "business as usual" in Cambodia makes you want to cry and certainly makes you look at the day we had in a whole new, blessed light.  Stories of rape, loss, abandonment, beatings, prostitution, and corruption touch everybody in this country.  

When they came to pick us up we witnessed a young child being beaten behind the bars of their house by his mother. He couldn't have been more than 4 yrs old. It makes you realize that the oh hope for these people and the whole world truly is Jesus. His presence in a community of people changes the culture for the elevation of all. Especially those who are the least, the last, and the lost. What we are doing here and what the organizations like Harmony outreach and Water of Life are involved in, is changing a culture by introducing them to the only one who can, Jesus. 

Some may think missions are all about extraordinary efforts and expenditures that will bring an immediate change to communities. But, the true work of missions is to change lives and position them in ways to change the culture. God's love in the lives of those we train and Water of Life helps will turn the tide slowly. But history tells us it will. 

My prayer is that one day the "business as usual" of Phnom Penh and Cambodia will be far less barbaric and brutal then it is today. These people, created in His image, deserve so much more and Jesus, in His love for them, is bringing it to them.

Please pray for the 3% of the country that are Christians to affect change by the Holy Spirit working through them.

God Bless You All,
Pastor Dave.

Continue reading
3242 Hits
0 Comments

Day six - Water of Life 10-23-13

Day Six - Water of Life

Today has been a great day in so many ways! But tonight was amazing and beyond my wildest dreams. We went to Water of Life Church for the mid-week Proverbs study with the boys from Water of Life Boys Home. These young men worship their Savior with a Passion and Purity that is contagious. We were all dancing and singing at the tops of our lungs in no time. The study was amazing and the people who have put their lives into serving others were inspirations to me. 

Two men in particular I will never forget. 

Randy Flemming: a few yrs ago a man named Randall Ezekiel Flemming began following our Church on FB. I saw pictures of the work The Lord has him doing at Water of Life. When it was clear that we would be coming here to Phnom Penh I was excited to meet the man that I had seen in those moving images. He and The Lord he serves certainly did not disappoint. This man is so full of love and joy that he makes this Tigger look like an Eeyore, I was blown away! No wonder these young men are lit up with the love of Jesus. Please pray that this man's passion never fades and that these boys become great men of God because of his self-sacrificing love for them.

Rin Yames: One of these young men is Rin Yames. He is the head of the house for the boys. As a young boy Rin's family lost it's father in the Pol Pot regime. His older sister was raped and it was believed she took her life because of it. (There is more to this story I will share one day).  Rin went to the streets to live and was eventually picked up by a Christian school that specialized in teaching the arts. There his talents were found and blossomed. He is an accomplished artist and dancer who has traveled to the US to exhibit his talents. But, his love for The Lord and the lost had him lay it all down to serve at Water of Life. How many of us can say we gave up all worldly chances of advancement in order to store up riches in heaven like Rin? His life is a challenge to me.  I pray our paths cross again many times and He is blessed by God for making the right decision with His gifts.

Talk to you all again soon.
You are loved In Christ and by me!
Pastor Dave

Continue reading
3337 Hits
0 Comments

Day Six - Growing Closer to the Pastors

Day Six - Growing Closer to Our Students 10-23-13

Quick note from today! Was so blessed to sense a distance between the students and I that was making it hard to relate the nuances of body ministry that are found in Ephesians. Decided to break down some walls by sharing some of my testimony, by circling the desk and by praying over the pastors at the end of the session. (Pictures on my Instagram account). God blessed and the walls began to come down opening the door for better days ahead. 

This has been a very good time for me in the area of learning my limits and finding God's immeasurable grace in my great lack. Prayers for the pastors and the sessions ahead are much appreciated.

Humbled by His Love,
Pastor Dave

Continue reading
3268 Hits
0 Comments

Day Six- Jars of Clay 10-23-13

 

Day Six - Jars of Clay! 10-23-13

After a day of teaching, eating lunch with the Pastors, and going to the gym. We stopped Jars of Clay for a meal before heading to Water of Life for a Bible Study. Jars of Clay is a restaurant that was a mission to get young girls out of prostitution and abusive situations and give them training in food service. After five years the missionaries who started it have it to the women they saved and now this restaurant / coffee house is supporting them all! The food is great and these young some work very hard very long hours with very big smiles knowing what a great opportunity they have been given. Most of them have come to Jesus as their Savior through the ministry.  Almost every successful venture here has some sort of tie into a mission work. Foreigners with good hearts and good ideas can really make things better by providing opportunities. On the flip side this is a place where Khmer people are often used by outsiders and there are less opportunities for good than there are perils of evil here. Please pray for Jars of Clay and the other worksite it in Cambodia. Life and livelihood can and should coexist in Christianity and these works are an example of how they can. 

Running out of time will write on Water office tomorrow! 

Continue reading
3401 Hits
0 Comments

Day Five - Lunch and Gym Time 10-22-13

Day Five - Lunch and Gym Time 10-22-13

Today's differences may seem small but they were big changes for us. For just a few dollars we cod get passes to a gym about 3 blocks from the college. Because it is so close and has showers while another pastor is teaching, if we are ready for our session, we have each been going to the gym. The exercise really helps with the he flagged feeling and has also opened up the door for me to talk to two people about Jesus while I am here. Funny what God will use when we let Him. Please pray for Tommy and Tan (pronounced Tawn) they both asked me why I was in Phnom Penh, silly men they got a lot more than they asked for. 

We stayed for lunch today and ate Traditional Khmer food. Because the kitchen literally five feet for the white board we teach at, the 10:30-12:30 session is filled with smells of garlic and onions for much of the session. Then about 20 minutes before the end of that session the smell changes. That is when they add fermented fish paste to the dishes. It is the Khmer equivalent to ketchup I guess, meaning they use it in everything. I will not lie it smells pretty bad and if it is over used in a dish it is a little hard for this boy to handle. But, today's lunch was very good. 

Gotta run to dinner with the guys will write more tomorrow.

Continue reading
3203 Hits
0 Comments

Day Four - The Teaching Begins 10-21-13

Day Four - The Teaching Begins 10-21-13

 

 Today we started our daily routine for the next two weeks. The three of us got up and met Curtis downstairs so we could walk with him to the Harmony Outreach Bible College. It took about 10 minutes or so at a pretty brisk pace. We will make this walk 2-4 times a day depending on what we do for lunch. We go past a busy Russian market and cross streets while motorcycles dart in front and behind you. Bree describes it as Controlled Chaos, Tim and I think it is kind of like a well orchestrated symphony of sorts.  The idea is to always move at a consistent, steady pace. The drivers will drive around you but if you speed up, slow down, or stop (blammo!!!!) after a few crossings you sort of get used to it. I will try and post a video of the traffic sometime soon Once at the College (7:30am) we will pray for a few minutes and the. The sessions will start. The students have three classes a day; 8-10a, 10:30-12:30, and 3-5p. Because they live in the villages the college is their home while teaching is going on. Pastor Tim started off the first session teaching the second half of Matthew. I then taught before lunch teaching Ephesians, and Pastor Ivy then taught 2 Thessalonians. We teach through Adam our translator, please keep this young man in your prayers, it can be a challenge to relay certain thoughts and concepts. The sessions are long but the students are attentive and we are slowly building a trust and openness with them. Which is hard because they are not normally a very open or communicative people, especially in a teaching environment. Due to a lack of understanding of the dynamic, and of teaching materials my first teaching went very badly. Please pray they go better.  We didn't stay for lunch with the pastors today (they eat at the college) but we will probably do so tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers, support, and making this trip possible. Each and every member of Calvary has a part in very soul that will be impacted in the future by the training of these pastors and their flocks.

Continue reading
3087 Hits
0 Comments

This Post is Graphic but True... S-21 and a Killing Field

Day Three - S21 and The Killing Fields 10-20-13
     We stayed the night in Svay Reing and left early in the morning back to Phnom Penh. After a three and a half our van ride, which included a ferry ride across the Mekong River, we arrived back at the guest house for a quick stop before heading out to the two places I knew we had to see.  These choices were made not because they were fun, not because they were beautiful, but because they were tragic and they were evil.  After lunch we visited S-21 and it is here that the story of Pol Pot and his evil regime continues.      Imagine if you can, and I Praise the Lord that you only have to imagine; imagine that one out of every four of your friends, family, classmates, co-workers, and church family members was killed violently within a five year span of your life.  Millions of Khmer (pronounced Kmai) were falsely accused of crimes against Pol Pot's criminal communist regime, tortured until they confessed under that stress, and we're then taken away to one of the over 300 killing fields to be executed and thrown into massive pits!      The above is the horror that the Khmer people had to endure from April 17, 1975 until mid 1979.  We had the opportunity to visit one of the most notorious of the torture centers called S-21 this afternoon.  It is not a tour I would recommend for the faint of heart, and to be honest with you my words could never relate completely the feelings that I experienced while walking through the interrogation rooms, the prison cells, and the torture chambers that were there.  Images are emblazoned in my mind of a young boys expression of terror in his entrance photo and of an old woman who was arrested as well. After a stay at S-21 and a confession these people were taken away in trucks to any of the many killing fields, though they were told they were being taken to a new home to live in to keep them quiet and calm as they drove through the cities and villages.        The killing fields were places where the greatest atrocities I have ever heard of took place.  They didn't want to waste bullets so they killed the people with whatever means were available from farm implements to sugar palm branches.  Taking Children from their mothers arms, they held them by their feet and beat them against a tree before throwing them in a pit.  Women were more than likely raped before being killed as they were all buried unclothed.  The brutality is unbelievable and even more so when you realize that these were Khmer killing Khmer and all because if they or their family would lose their lives if they did not.       The rest of this and how it affects what we are doing is incredible. You see Pol Pot, destroyed the families by breaking them up into village farming Communes, men went with men, women with women, and children with children, only babies would stay with their mothers until they were old enough to go off and work elsewhere. These communes were truly work camps where many labored hard until they died at young ages.  Women were turned into prostitutes, or raped and left for dead on a regular basis.       Now around 35 yrs later this country is suffering from the largest breakdown of the family any country has ever seen. To rebuild the importance of family and to give this country a future, the family of God has to bring the healing that only Jesus can bring.  Tomorrow I will be teaching a small group of pastors, in that group, one pastor is a former pimp, and three are former Khmer Rouge soldiers who fought along side and supported the evil work of Pol Pot out of fear and force.      Imagine the guilt, the shame, and the pain in this country.  A simple people who only wanted to care for their families and farm their land endured such terror.  But, their sons and daughters, the survivors, and the generations to come can have a bright future as the light of Jesus is able to shine.  May His love illuminate the lives of these pastors and may His grace provide for this ministry in the years to come.

Continue reading
3570 Hits
1 Comment

Day Two - Village Visit 10-19-13

The Internet is intermittent here so please accept my apologies for the delays between some messages and updates. 


Day Two - Village Visit 10-19-13


After arriving late last night to the guest house (kind of like a hotel but not as fancy) that we will be staying at for the majority of our time here, we got up early in the morning to join a team from Harmony headed to a village outside Svay Reing a four hour drive away.  Pastor Curtis and His wife Bre head to this village every month for a pastors conference.       Local pastors come from villages nearby to be taught through the word of God in three two hour sessions over a two day period on most months.  They sleep wherever they can and eat food that is prepared by the Pastor and family whose church we use. 58 people traveled to be there men and women who just want to hear the word of God.  This started only three months ago with 12 people and grows every time.  Conditions are harsh, but they will do whatever it takes to hear the word of God taught and learn what it says and means.      To understand what village means you will have to understand a lot of what took place in this country stating at the end of the Vietnam war. The story is not pretty and it is somewhat our countries responsibility.  War makes strange allies as we all know from history the US has fought common enemies beside the former soviet union in world war two, supplying Iran arms at one time, fighting alongside and training the men who would later become the Taliban to keep Russia out of Afghanistan, and in the 1970's members of our special forces and intelligence community spent a great deal of time supporting and training Cambodians who were fighting alongside us against the Viet Cong in the Vietnam war. At the same time however we were also bombing areas of the Cambodian countryside. Two things came about because of the US / Cambodian interaction of that time.  First, villagers moved into the cities to escape the bombings, and secondly a man was put into power who was the embodiment of pure evil. His name was Pol Pot.  We will talk more about his evil when we discuss Day Three here in Cambodia.  But, to understand the villages you need to know that when Pol Pot came into power he emptied the cities within a few weeks sending everyone back to the fields who came from there and even "city folks" who never even lived in the fields were sent away to "work for the common good of the people of" under Pol Pots reign. The villages like the one we visited began to have many families and relatives living in one place and even to this day several members of the same family will live together, farm, or do cottage industries to survive modestly at best.       Many of the attendees of the conference only eat meat when they go to the conferences.  Their diet would usually consist of rice and vegetables. For the harsh lives they have lived, and the very little they have, these are the most giving and loving people I have encountered on a missions trip. Hungry for the word, and desiring to know  Its truths, they smile through what would bring most to their knees in despair. Christians here are few but growing in number, largely uneducated but seeking to grow, and in a dark place in need of a healing that will only come from heaven's throne.

 
Continue reading
3410 Hits
0 Comments

Tonight and Tomorrow

Hey church family!
    I sure do miss you guys! I keep wanting to speak My broken Spanish to communicate here, but that won't do me any good.  Would love to hear a Y'all from someone.  We arrived safely in Pnom Penh and meet out host Curtis and Bre a nice young couple who hail from Menifee, CA, right up the road from where yours truly lived out there.  They told us we will be going to the village tomorrow where most of the Pastors we will be teaching come from.  It is a pretty grueling 4 hour van ride both ways.  So this update will be short as my eyes are getting heavy.     The trip will give us a better understanding of the lives of the men we will be teaching and of the culture here in Cambodia. Looking forward to learning and seeing more in the morning. Praying that God will keep watch over you all in my absence and that this trip will be an extension of the good works that God has called us to.


In Christ,

In Cambodia,

Pastor Dave.

Continue reading
5919 Hits
0 Comments

Cambodia Update Travel

Thursday or is it Friday?    
It has been 7.5 hours since the plane left the runway in Dallas and we are just moments away from crossing the international date line.  The takeoff was something to remember.  I have flown all over thee world, in all sorts of planes, but I have never watched the takeoff from the pilots view.  Apparently they have a camera in the nose of the plane.  Not sure whose ideas it was that everyday folks needed to watch like that.  But, if this guys was driving a car and drove like that down 1-30 I would have had my DPS buddies pull him over on suspicion of being a little tipsy.  Safe aloft though and got a little e-ticket ride on the way.  It really messes with the mind a bit to think that I will travel in the air for 15 hours and be 7,200 miles away from you all.  Did my best to sleep, well Benedryls best, for the first half of the flight to get on Phnom Penh time.  It is 7:23 on Friday morning there and 7:23 pm Thursday night in Mount Pleasant.        Met our third pastor in the airport Ivy from Odessa a big tall Southern Baptist preacher who is less SBC than me I think.  It is going to be great to get to know him better on this trip.  Tim from CC Tyler is with me as well.  The three amigos for 17 days.  We will travel until 10:00am on Friday for you all and then get a good nights sleep before waking up to tour S-21 and the Killing Fields before settling in Saturday night.      As with every other "first time trip" none of us know what to expect.  We all prepared differently, we all have different books to teach, and we all desire to be useful. Tools for these pastors in training.  Grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the world in which we all live and he universal church of of which we are all a part.  Carrying you all we me as you are the reason I have been able to reach out in is way.  Thanks for being such a great. Fellowship of believers and for being "mission minded" in a world which is increasingly thinking more about themselves than the needs of others.  God bless you all.

 

Sent during a layover in Korea ... Stay tuned for more info...prayer requests and Lord willing, Praise reports.

 

For pictures from the trip follow Pastor Dave on Instagram: PastorDaveCCMP

 
Continue reading
3919 Hits
0 Comments

There is still time to join in on the Small group study!

There is still time to join in on the Small group study!

Hey Everyone,

 

I am thoroughly convinced that as our fellowship grows, the need to get plugged in becomes greater and greater.  It is easy to get "lost in the crowd" unfortunately even at church where we really need to be joined to each other to grow in our faith. Small groups are a great way to connect with others in the church and to meet some you may not ever meet otherwise. We have 30 folks signed up for the Sunday night studies which is a good amount.  But, my prayer is that everyone who needs to be there will truly be there.  Hence this blog entry.

 

Maybe you have been on the fence about the Sunday night small group studies. Maybe you are really busy. Maybe you just forgot to sign up.  Whatever the case may be, you still have a chance to join us tomorrow night for the first study.

 

Stop by the front counter in the foyer before of after services and we will get you in a group and give you a study guide while supplies last. If we run out...we will order more.  Ask yourself and more importantly the Lord, is this something you should be a part of? If the answer is yes, please stop by the front counter in the foyer and sign up so we can get you in a group.  

 

You will still need to get a copy of the book on your own.  But don't let that hold you back.  There are relationships awaiting some of us that the Lord will use to grow all of us in Him.  Hope to see you tomorrow night.

 

Pastor Dave    

Continue reading
3983 Hits
0 Comments

Reminder in the Rain

Reminder in the Rain

   “‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’” (Deuteronomy 11:13–15, NKJV)  

 

What a glorious reminder this mornings rain brings to me of God's faithfulness to His children through all of life's dry seasons.  

 

We as a fellowship will have our fair share and I as Christian man will have my fair share of "dry times."  Times when the heat of trials and the lack of any tangible relief will bring us to a place of near desperation in our walks.  Times when it seems as though there will be no way to be sustained even a moment further.  Seasons will come upon us when the presence of the Holy Spirit of God (represented in scripture by wine and oil) seems to be so far off.  But, throughout the pages of scripture we see that without fail God brings His spiritual rain, much like the physical rain that is falling outside my window, when we need it most.

 

You would think after 13 years in Texas, I would know that the rain will once again come upon the land at it's greatest time of need, to cool, refresh and to sustain it.  But, even more importantly I should know that the raining down of God's Spirit of Promise will never fall too late to refresh and sustain the child of God.  We must be patient and wait on Him as James exhorted the early church.

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” (James 5:7, NKJV)

Patience is seldom my strong point.  Therefore I appreciate God's reminder to me in this morning's rain.  He will continue to visit and bless His people at just the moment they need Him most.  So, we need not worry about anything except to love God, serve God, and be patient as we wait for the precious fruit of our relationship to come.  It always does...

      

Continue reading
3372 Hits
0 Comments