Cambodian Youth to PYC Update!

Dear friends and family, 

You may be wondering what happened to the young group from Cambodia that was sponsored to go to the Philippines to attend PYC (Philippine Youth for Christ).

Here’s the story. 

We had three weeks to raise funds for 12 kids to go–poor youth who would not be able to fund their own way at all. Yet they each have a deep hunger for the things of God in the face of a shrinking church in Cambodia and an aging pastorate. They prayed and prayed and claimed promises and prayed some more. 

As it came down to the last week, we had several thousand yet to go. We had enough money to buy tickets TO the Philippines but not to return. I thought we could get them to the Philippines and finish raising the money to bring them back while they were there. I asked them if they were willing to take that step of faith and they all were, so we bought their one-way tickets. Then I found out that if they didn’t have a return ticket in hand, they would not be allowed to enter the country at all! So we started praying hard! 

On Friday morning, even though we were still over $2,000 short (and this is after we donated the price of my ticket, since I wasn’t going), I went ahead by faith and made the final ticket purchases. I sensed God’s desire for these youth to be inspired and to revive the church in Cambodia. I went to bed that night with that burden on my heart. The next morning, Natalie showed me that someone donated the remainder of the funds about an hour after I had gone to bed. The whole trip was covered! So amazing!!!

They all made it to the Philippines Safely!

They were all amazingly inspired and lit on fire. Praise the Lord!

They went to all the meetings, prayer times, and outreaches, and had their own daily worship time as a group. They were even a blessing to the Filipino youth–when they heard the story of how the Cambodian youth got there, they were so inspired. They even started thinking of Cambodia as a possible place to go as missionaries.

Now the Cambodian youth are in the process of planning a youth convention in Cambodia–actually two this year! Plus a mission outreach program!

Please continue to pray for these young people as they work out what God has blessed them with to ignite the fire in Cambodia as well.

On a personal note, I want to thank you for your amazing willingness to sponsor a group you’ve never met to go to an event that you have never been to. It’s been really encouraging to see that God wants to pour His grace into people, and young people at that. I know He has been leading in this all along. I believe we will see the fruit of our sacrifice in heaven, and it will be completely worth it.

Thank you again!

May God richly bless you!

Jon Wood
Jesus for Asia

The Fire in Their Hearts

The Cambodian youth helped set up for PYC!

Almost every seat was filled for PYC’s evening meetings!

When the Cambodian youth group arrived in the Philippines to attend PYC, they knew two things:

1. The only way they can do anything is through the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. Everything they ask and do must be for God’s Glory.

They had prayed earnestly for the opportunity to go to PYC, and as they saw it happen before their eyes they were filled with so much joy. 

“We will never forget this,” they said. “Just being in the Philippines is great evidence that God is alive.”

The Cambodian Youth had their own daily worship together.

The path to get to PYC was not easy. The Cambodian youth had very little money and very little time in which to get any; four of them didn’t even have passports! They knew, however, that God was calling them to go, so they asked God to make the way and trusted Him to do so. 

One boy could not get his passport when the others did because his ID card hadn’t come in yet. He went looking and found it had gotten lost in a government office a ways away. He got sick from some bad food on the way to retrieve it, but he made it back to the passport office the next day, and his passport came in at the same time as everyone else’s. 

When it looked like they were not going to have enough money for the trip, one pastor offered to give up his ticket so the others could go. One couple was even willing to put themselves in debt to pay for their tickets, but God provided so that they weren’t put in a difficult financial situation, and everyone was able to go.

United Prayer was one of the most special times at PYC. On Sunday morning, hundreds of people gathered to pray from 4a.m. to 7a.m., two hours longer than the normal prayer time. 

At PYC, the Cambodian Youth took every opportunity to learn from the meetings and from the PYC officers. They helped set up and even got a chance to work backstage one night. Early every morning they went to prayer, along with over 400 other attendees and prayed for God to show them what to do when they got back home. 

The more they saw God working through the meetings and the prayer sessions, the more their faith grew. A fire was lit in their hearts to share the revival they experienced. 

Finally, during the last prayer session, the PYC officers asked the Cambodian youth to come to the center, and several hundred people prayed for them and their mission. A week later they set the date for their own youth Conference in Cambodia this November. When the PYC officers found out,  they booked tickets to come and give their support. 

Now they are preparing the details for the venue and hotels, and are reaching out to find speakers. They are hoping for 150-200 youth from around Cambodia to attend and are praying that those who come will experience the same revival they did! 

Gem Castor, one of PYC’s leaders, shared these hopes and prayers for the Cambodian Youth as they continue to reach the youth of their country, and we ask you to join us in praying for them as well:

1. That they will never forget that what they accomplish now, and in the future, is only by the power of God.

2. That they experience the same joy that the PYC organizers experience

3. That they never stop dreaming big for their country and that they will claim Cambodia for the Lord, remembering they have unlimited resources with the Lord on their side.

Here’s a special story Gem asked us to include:

Thursday night, three of the Cambodian youth group’s leaders pulled Gem aside as he was about to go into a meeting, and they told him they had something to give him. They handed him a plastic bag full of coins and a few bills. They told him that this was their contribution to PYC. They asked him not to tell anyone, but he made no promises. Their act moved his heart and he wanted to share it with others. The Cambodian youth didn’t even have enough money to get to PYC, yet they gave their five loaves and two fish. Their simple gift added up to almost $100.

What can we learn from their sacrifice?

Thank you so much to those of you that prayed and enabled these youth of Cambodia to have this amazing experience to see other youth on fire for Jesus and then to bring it back to Cambodia. Keep praying! God’s not finished yet!