New Church in Poipet, Cambodia

A new church has started in Poipet, Cambodia. Read the news from Steve Hyde over the past week and join with us as we pray with other believers for many to hear the Gospel and come to know Jesus Christ.

From Steve on 9/14/12:

Dear Friends,

Nearly three years ago God spoke to me about Poipet being a gateway in the spiritual as it is in the natural (the busiest border crossing in Cambodia). Since that time we started our Imparting Smiles children center to help children.  We started two companies (construction company and plantation), we are building a women's center called the Imparting Smiles Hope Center, and are in the process of launching a Christian school soon as well.  However, Poipet is a new city, even though it is Cambodia's fastest growing city with more than 10,000-20,000 people added to the population each year.  As you drive around town, though I know there are many Christians, you will not see more than a little catholic church. 

God has been speaking to me about a church which is not affiliated with any denomination or specific group, but one which loves the community at its core and one which especially reaches out to the thousands of children in Poipet.  Everywhere you look in Poipet you will see dozens of children.  There are more than 2,500 street children which have no adult care.  There are more than 10,000 children who are left alone while their parent goes to Thailand to look for work.  Poipet is a town which jokes it is the only city in Cambodia where "Grandmothers have babies", because tens of thousands of more children are just left in the city with a grandmother (ill equipped to care for half a dozen of her grandchildren) while the children try to find work in Thailand and are gone for years at a time. There are gangs of children which are involved in evil things such as selling drugs and stealing bicycles and motorcycles. 

God is calling us to do all we can to change the destiny of these children from one of neglect, abuse and poverty to one of hope in Jesus.  

So, after much prayer and God's favor, we are launching a church in Poipet in an empty field the government has told us they will allow us to build a church building on in the future.  We spent our free time this week cutting the grass, killing snakes and building a bride across the open sewer at the entrance to the property.  We will rent a tent for Sunday's first service but hope to build a grass roof shelter as soon as possible. 

This week, we had a VBS, which is one way we minister to children in the community.  For four days we had between 700-1000 children coming every day to learn about Jesus in a fun way.  We also fed the children lunch each day, many, it was their only meal of the day.  This provides a great momentum to launch the church in Poipet. 

Please be in prayer for us.  We believe that God's hand is on the timing of this launch.  In a country which averages a church size of 16 regular attenders, we are hoping to see a great revival in Poipet, Cambodia.  Our prayer, according to the Holy Spirit's leading, is to see the city of Poipet, which a known for poverty, human trafficking, drug smuggling, murder and violence, to be a city completely transformed by the glory of God know for his righteousness!  Please pray for us in the launching of this new church in Poipet! 

God bless,

P.S. If you are wondering about the name of the church, we specifically don't have one yet.  We desire from the bottom of our heart that the words of Jesus will be true, "That we will be known for our love" (John 13:34-35) and not for a cool catchy name and sign board in neon lights!  We want to love the children, and families of Poipet, and simply be known for love.

From Steve Hyde on 09/15/12

Dear Friends,

Twelve hours from now, we are launching a new church in Poipet, Cambodia.  The church is focused on children and demonstrating the love of Christ. This last week has been a challenge, but it is one I have clearly seen before.  It is satan’s attempt to discourage me or cause me to quit what God has called me to do.  Let me share what happened this week, and most has happened in the last twenty-four hours:
  • Electricity was cut twice by the government (electric meter removed).  This has only happened to me once in 20 years because I went away on vacation.
  • Irregular power cuts were happening every hour or so.  20-30 power cuts in the last few days alone.
  • Water cuts.  When the electricity went off, the water went off too.  Then, when the power came back on, the pipes would start bursting for no reason.  Every evening and morning for the last week has been a significant challenge with lack of water and electricity.
  • My wife had to leave today for an emergency trip to Phnom Penh which will require only 5 minutes of her time; the trip takes 14 hours by taxi.
  • I am getting a cold today and my wife is feeling ill too.
  • We killed 2 snakes on the property where we will start the church.
  • After 7 days of no rain, a huge storm over Poipet lasted 12 hours turning all the roads to mud and our church property into a lake.
Yesterday dry and green, today a lake nearly half a meter (2 feet) deep!
  • As I drove by the church property tonight for a meeting in preparation for the service tomorrow, my car tire went flat.
  • It is pouring rain right now as I write this.
This doesn’t even include things like it is 90% humidity and 98 degrees every day, that is normal.
I think in my early Christian life I often confused satan schemes for God’s sovereign hand.  Of course, God is always sovereign, but God didn’t cut my electricity.  God didn’t bring a 12 hour long storm to flood the property or snakes to try and bite our children.  God didn’t give me a cold, nor cause my wife to have to take a 14 hour taxi ride for five minutes of work.  That is all satan’s work.  In the past, when opposition came I may have quit. . . thinking that God was trying to warn me against something.  However, now I know more clearly how to listen to God’s voice, and as I have drawn closer to God I know what satan’s plans are too.  Satan is an idiot and has no poker face.  John 10:10 says that satan has come to “kill, steal and destroy” and he is the one who is causing all the opposition, not God.
God has a better plan.  Tomorrow, come rain, fire, tsunami, tornado or earthquake we are launching a new church in Poipet. Tomorrow, we are going to show love to as many people as possible and God is going to show up and do great things.  This I am for sure.
Join me now in praying against the enemy and his sly plans and praying that God’s will be done in Poipet, and that revival will break out and Jesus Christ will be glorified in Poipet, Cambodia!
I will let you know tomorrow how the launch went! 

God bless you all,
Steve Hyde

From Steve Hyde on 09/16/12

Dear Friends,

The day of our church plant started very early!  Craig and Holly, from Australia on sabbatical from Stairway Church, are helping us with the new church plant.  Their day started the earliest.  Their cute baby girl started vomiting in the night.  It was a long night for them.  Added to that, it rained all night.  When we got up in the early morning the roads were all flooded.  I had to use 4×4 just to get to the center.  Many houses were under water as was much of the road.  The whole area has no proper drainage. Mud was everywhere.
Satan was working overtime to stop this church plant in Cambodia.
Any kid who showed up today would have to work to get there wading through mud.  Yet, when I arrived, I found about fifty kids already playing in spite of the fact that the “welcome music” was old English Christmas music.  Several kids were staying by the entrance welcoming children and asking mothers to come in and stay for a while.
We had put up two large tents to keep off the rain and the heat of the sun. Both tents did little to keep the nightly downpour away.  Water weighted down the tent roofs and huge mud puddles had formed under the tents.  It would be unusable.  One of the adult leaders came to me and recommended we quit and call off the church launch.  I told him it was completely out of the question; satan would not be allowed to have any victory.
The kids and I all worked together to try and move the giant tents to a dryer location and scoop water out of the mud holes which had formed to try and dry them out.  As we worked more and more children came in out of the mud under the tends.  The kids led them in worship, using all Khmer instruments.  Most of the kids did not know the music, but they tried to teach them some songs.  We will continue to develop the Khmer music to glorify God in coming weeks. The worship leader was 14 years old and the musicians range from 9 to 14 years old!  It was beautiful.
Then, they split into two groups.  One group played games while the other group watched a drama.  The games group enjoyed some unique games which were taught to them by our friends at CLGC in Malaysia and Kingsland Baptist Church last week.  The kids loved it!
At the same time, another group presented hygiene and the gospel though drama.  The kids developed, planned and executed the drama all on their own.  The physical meaning was about taking care of litter (rubbish), but the spiritual meaning was about cleaning our heats with the trash that sin has put in their hearts.  The drama was well done, concise, and captured the attention of the children.
After the groups rotated, we gathered in a large group.  The crowd of kids and adults swelled to around 200.  I then held a “story time” giving every child a “Story of Jesus” brochure which we had produced with David. C. Cook Publications.  I then took the kids page by page through the gospel tract.   I highlighted that Jesus was not a man, but was God.  This was clear because of the miracles he did, rising from the dead, and his love for others (especially children).  I explained that Jesus, being God, lived in the hearts of those who followed him.
I then asked if any children wanted to see the power of Jesus.  Of course they all did.  I asked if anyone was sick.  Three boys bravely raised their hands and I asked them to stand as other children came around them to pray. I explained to them what prayer was and how powerful Jesus was.  Two boys immediately testified to healing.  One said he had a headache but after the kids prayed for him it went away, and, he added “I didn’t even take any medicine”.   Another boy, said his whole body itched from a rash.  Yet, after the children prayed for him, his skin did not itch anymore.  Praise God for his power.
I then asked if any kids wanted Jesus to come into their hearts and commit to following him.  Hands shot up all around and I led them in a prayer of commitment.
But don’t think this is a church just for kids; oh no!  Our adult leaders were prepared with trays of fruit and invited the mothers and grandmothers of the children to sit and chat.  Poipet has few men, mainly women and children, as men are working in Thailand. After some sitting and chatting in our gazebo, many of the ladies wanted to give their hearts to Jesus. There were about thirty adults who came.  We also enjoyed a fellowship meal together.
In the battle between God vs. satan in Poipet the victor was clear.  Sunday morning more than 100 children and adults determined in their hearts that following Jesus was their choice and they prayed to accept Jesus as there one true God.  A new church is born! God wins!
Brothers and Sisters there is no way we could accomplish this on our own, nor can we sustain it on our own.  Most of all, Jesus is our rock and provider, but so many people from around the world had a direct role in seeing this church launched by ministering to our children over the years.  These children, still adolescents, are now church planters!  Thank you for investing in their lives! 
Thank you for standing with us!  Cambodia will be transformed by the Kingdom of Jesus Christ!! 
Steve Hyde


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