Thriving Churches

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Archie was a youth pastor, serving at the True Freedom in Christ Church in Manila. Archie had a passion for reaching the lost and taking the Gospel where it was not yet known, so he studied at Bethel Bible College in Manila, and answered God's call to move to Cambodia with his wife and daughter.

He had arranged to move to an area in Cambodia where another missionary was working, a remote place about a 16-hour drive from the capital, Phnom Penh. When Archie and his family moved there, they did not speak the language, and there were no Christians available who could understand English or Tagalog. There was some miscommunication when he arrived, and the person he had gone to work with was not in the village. Archie was uncertain how to proceed in this situation, how he could communicate with the locals. He reached out to Frank at the GRN office in Prospect who had been his senior pastor in Manila. Wanting to make the most of the opportunities he had in Cambodia, he got hold of GRN's audio recordings in the local languages. Frank was able to send him a few mp3 Saber players loaded up with Bible stories in the local languages, as well as flipcharts with pictures that accompany the stories.

Archie started learning the main Cambodian language, Khmer, but before he could communicate in Khmer, he started gathering a group every Sunday and sharing GRN's recordings with the group. His 10-year-old daughter, Ina, would wind the mp3 Saber player, he would hold the flip charts while his wife, Kathy, pointed to details in the pictures as the recordings were played. They continued in this fashion for 2 years until Archie had enough language to start teaching in Khmer.

Graciously over this time, God established the first church. They continued teaching God's word in partnership with International Teams, and today this church has 400 members. Archie pastored this church for 7 years and trained local Cambodians to lead the church.

More recently, Archie and his family have been called to a different Asian country, one we will not name for security reasons. Interestingly, he is working from the same building where GRN established a ministry in this nation 40 years ago! Please pray with us for the many regions around the world with little Gospel witness, that God would continue to build His church as the story of Jesus goes out in every language!

Christina Thomas

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