Cold air blows from the north, cooling due to the slightest freezing weather, causing our fingers are starting numb. Today, Wednesday, December 6, 2017, our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ are in Chhouk district, Kampot and Kep provinces celebrated the baptism of more than 200 new Christian brothers and sisters in Christ at Tropaing Kdar dam in Dang Tung district, Kampot province.
By the time we got this information, our reporters immediately traveled early morning from Phnom Penh city and headed to Chhouk district and Dandong district, Kampot province on National Road 3. On the road, there are a number of garment factories and shoe factories on both sides of the national road. Also on the National Road 3, there are plenty of trucks to carry factory workers, container etruck, and large trucks are driving continually, which are causing a lot of traffic jam at that time.
When we comes to a road divided into two roads, one goes to Takeo province (Tany-Kirivong) and another to the right, straighted to Chhouk district, Kampot province. At this time, along the road, both sides, there are rice fields full of ripe, colorful of parrot-wing, beautiful scenery, and a row of long Narai mountains are located on the right hand until Teuk Chhou district. Soon we arrived in the town of Chhouk district and we drove into the red-track on the left and then straight to Tropaing Kdar dam in Dang tung district, Kampot province. It was a few kilometers away. Our car continued to go along the track, which was not smooth, with some holes on the track. The landscape is not different from the national road, so we can see paddy rice fields, which are a very refreshing view, mixed with the scent of delicious rice, the smell of the smell does not burn.
The journey of our reporters came at Tropaing Kdar dam safely, even on the track was a few bumps and dusty, our team is still grateful to meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ subsequently traveled together on the dam, both men and women, young and old, boys and girls are happy, joyful, and peaceful in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, they also raise banner, which placed the cross sign.
When the brothers and sisters in Christ who have come from different churches with a large number of local churches, some of them come from Chhouk district, and some come from Dang Tung district, and some come from Kep province. When they traveled in place altogether, Pastor Nget Saran, and pastors, and other Christian leaders are from different churches, including our Cambodian-over-sea are from USA, and Australia, the representative of Reach A Village-Asia and the representatives of local authorities, deputy commune have participated in this celebration. Then pastors, elders of the churches began to sing praised songs to the Lord and worship God with an organ melody, mixed with joyful, applauding in the presence of God. We also see a large banners in the center there is a cross with red color and on the right hand written that organized by, and the logo of the Christian Association for Development and Saving the Poor in Cambodia. On the left board is written: Sponsored by Christians from Melbourne Australia and USA. On the bottom of the cross, there is the date of the baptism of December 6, 2017, and at the bottom put the Scripture from Matthew 28:19, “… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”.
Kampot Province is a province in the southwest of Cambodia, covering 4,873 square kilometers to the north bordering with Koh Kong and Kampong Speu provinces, and to the east with Takeo, and Kep provinces, and to Vietnam, to the west with Sihanouk province, to the south Kampot province has the beach 45 km long in the Gulf of Thailand.
Kampot is rich in fertile soils, and has more natural resources. The center of Kampot province is Kampot town. According to the 2010 statistics, Kampot province has 627,884 people, divided into 8 districts, 92 villages, 477 villages, including 1) Angkor Chey district 2), Banteay Meas district 3) Chhouk district 4) Chum Kiri district, 5) Dang Tungr district 6) Kampong Trach district, 7) Teuk Chhou district, and 8) Kampot town. Kampot province is a province known as the richest black pepper, and first quality black pepper production in the world, and it is also a source of salt production in Cambodia. Every Cambodian citizen is favorable of eating durian from Kampot. In addition to durian, Kampot province has many kinds of fruits, such as rambutans, maprang, lychee and other kinds of fruits. Kampot Province has many tourist resorts for fun places such as Phnom Bokor, Tek Chhou etc. Particularly the view of Tropaing Kdar dam that we arrived there with the blue colorful of Phnom Vor mountains, behind the vast surface of the water, with a tidy wave to the beach of the dam making the white color of reed flower. The dam has been built since the Pol Pot regime. During that period, the Khmer Rouge leaders used thousands of people labor to build the dam. Later, the dam has been repaired and reconstructed by the Royal Government of Cambodia. In the area of Tropaing Kdar dam, the post of the civil war was the stronghold of the Khmer Rouge, which in today has become a lovely tourist resort.
Before starting to baptize new believers from Kampot and Kep provinces, Pastor Nget Saran explained about the significance of baptism. Then, a Cambodian missionary from the United States, pastor Dara Sy, preached on baptism, by taking the Scripture of Romans 6:1-8 as it said, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
Then, the commune vice-chief held a talk with our fellow believers in Christ, emphasizing that the Royal Government is open to the religious beliefs of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, for each citizen has the right to respect and accept his own faith. After that, pastor Nget Saran introduced the order of coming to baptize and to maintain good sanitary practices, not to waste garbage everywhere in the field, so try to improve the good condition of environment.
And then, the ceremony and the baptism service was filled with the Holy Spirit and were filled with great joy. The place of baptism is in a beautiful landscape where the believers have been baptized in a pool of flowing stream with a good view of the range of Phnom Vor mountains with the dark blue color. Our reporter team also interviewed our newly baptized brothers and sisters in Christ about the reason for getting baptized. Our brothers and sisters responded to that because Jesus Christ is the true God, the living God, from the beginning to the eternity. He was healed sick, healed the people from the evil that spirit comes to control in our lives. He has given us the salvation from sin. According to pastor Nget Saran's report, the total number people who were in baptism have 197 people who are from Kampot and Kep provinces. Pastor had facilitated to preach the Good News to every home by home, in villages, districts, and in Kampot province, using materials from Philip program. Moreover, pastors, elders and deacons in the church go to pray for people who were sick by casting out the evil spirit that control their lives, and freed the people from the bondage of that demons possess. The baptism program is held annually, for this year, our brothers and sisters in Takeo province have not joined because of they had come to the ceremony not in time.
Interview with younger brother, Sun Nop, 18-year-old, his study was in 6 grade, who before believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, he was the devil spirit possessed that the demon spirit command to prepare the seven altars and offered a roasted pig head, chickens to the devil spirit for its taste. This was done for six months, and Satan's spirit was broken him, tormented him to be dizzy, he could not sleep and he was drowsy, he was angry all the time, and he was speaking a lot like a stupid man ever since he was 12 years old. Seeing the son fall into such horrors, his parents were in pain, trying to find the sorcerers to treat their son's illness, but they seemed to be ineffective, causing their son's illness to become worse. One day, they met their fellow believers in Christ at the Srae Chaeng Church who living in the same village, telling them to bring their son to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ would heal the boy, San Nop, to be healed.
The next day, San Nop's parents brought him to pastor Nget Saran and pastor Nget Sam Ol at Chhouk Church to pray for their son. When they brought their son to the church, they insisted that both of the pastors and the elders of the church pray for casting out the demonic spirit from their sons. When pastor Saran, pastor Sam Ol, and the elders laid their hands prayed on Jesus' name for healing, suddenly the demonic spirit left from brother, San Nop, immediately. Since then, brother San Nop has been healed from the demonic spirit possess, and brother, also his parents had decided to accept the Lord Jesus Christ. They were all determined to follow the Lord Jesus Christ for the rest of their lives.
There is another testimony of brother Chea Chhay, 26-year-old, Chhay, who was a farmer, in the previous time before believed in Christ, he himself and the whole family tried to follow all commands of the religious rule belief. One day there ws one of the demonic spirits came to possess in his body. The devil spirit made brother Chea Chhay went to beat water containers, and all the things that were broken up, he didn't know anything at all. Chea Chhay's parents had tried to spend all money, and they sold their properties such as cows, rice fields completely to get the sorcerers to heal their sick son recovering back, but seemingly nothing happen to be better, it is useless, otherwise, the disease is getting worse from day to day, not to lose. When the brother Chea Chhay's parents tried to seek the effective sorcerers to heal their son, but they went into the church, which is located in Chhouk district, and they met pastors, elders and fellow believers in the church are busy to praise and worship God on Sunday service, during the time of preparing of the Lord Supper, and they closed their eyes in prayer to the Lord, suddenly brother Chea Chhay, who was in demonic spirit possess, he entered right down to the hall, where the people worship God, with the strong facial expression, and full of sweaty, and roared like a lion, and there were chains tied his hands and feet, and also put the chain on his neck, too. Without delay, the demonic spirit ordered his body to run to the table where the bread and grape juice were on thable he nearly grabbed those things, but a man who is the elder of the church was taken away from him immediately, and Chea Chhay tried to grab an musical organ to throw on the floor, sounded like a thunder. So the musical organ was broken completely, while the pastor, the elders, and all the brothers and sisters arrested him, but they were not able to arrest him. Because of his brother Chea Chhay was sweat, he tried to struggle and screamed all the time. Then, pastor Nget Sarann, together with the elders in the church, began to lay hands on brother Chea Chhay, and pray for him to cast out the demonic spirit from his body. While praying, casting out the demonic spirits, he cried out, "I am going away, do not harm me, Oh, the children of Jesus." Just saying only, brother Chea Chhay fell back on the floor of the church, close the eyes, gasped his breath without saying anything. Later, pastor Nget Saran and the elders took the chains away from brother Chea Chhay, but they still continued to pray, with saying, "Brother Chea Chhay, Jesus Christ loves you, and now He took off the chains from you, and you to be healed from now in the name and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen." When brother Chea Chhay was healed demonic spirit possess, so his parents and Chea Chhay, and all family members followed and decided to accept Jesus Christ. This is the prayer of pastors, elders, and fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that they were filled with faith, so that the demonic spirit feared, and scared to flee from the body of brother Chea Chhay, as the scripture written, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
To be grateful and thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ who saved the life of their son and the lives of the whole family, freed from the bondage of sin, Chea Chhay's parents determined to preach the Gospel of salvation of Jesus Christ, giving to those who call His name of the only Son, who absndoned His throne in the Kingdom in heaven came to died on the cross for us, and three days later He rose again from the dead and ascended to the Kingdom of heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Chea Chhay's father, nowadays has been a facilitator of the Word of God to a small group in Thnout village, Thnoat Chum Sros commune, Banteay Meas district, Kampot province.
So, have you have given your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, for whom He sacrificed His life and died on the Cross for our sins? Give everything to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lord will give you back everything! Do you know, brothers, even the smallest of yours can help to reach out to the lost in this world by the wisdom of the Bible to transform their lives? Amen.