Posted by: theruppels | August 1, 2022

Update July 2022

Dear Praying Friends, 

In our last prayer letter, we rejoiced with you about a large number of visitors at the grand opening service.  We are excited to report that a number of those visitors have returned for a second visit and a few more for a third and fourth visit.  Thank you for praying.  We desire to produce fruit that remains for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

A couple of young men missed the grand opening but have attended 4 Sundays since.   While Pastor Wang is running the church service, I have been doing a salvation Bible study with them.  Please pray for Sinaat and Tich Meng.  

Ta Mun continues to be faithful to church and often comes to our house for discipleship.   

Pastor Wang is currently teaching two salvation Bible studies with men in their 70s.  

Lord willing, Becky and I will be in the States for about 3 months from mid-October 2022 to mid-January 2023.  High on our priority list is spending time with our granddaughter.  Kylie will be 8 months old next week, and we are so excited to meet her in person. 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers.   

God Bless,

Rodney Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | June 30, 2022

Prayer Letter June 2022

3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

Dear Praying Friends,

            New Hope Baptist Church celebrated the grand opening of their new church building on June 19, 2022.  God blessed us with 114 in attendance including 61 visitors, 10 of which were wayward church members.  Our people are so excited about the way God blessed on that day.  Pastor Wang is working hard to follow up on all of these visitors, and, with God’s help, we will see some of them added to the church in the days to come. This day was not the culmination of weeks or even months of work.  It was the culmination of 25 years!

  God began this church on May 4, 1997, when we baptized the first 4 believers.  He has been at work ever since!   Our job has only been to sow the seed of the Gospel and declare God’s Word.  It is beyond our ability to “give the increase” or to “build His church.” As we have taught and preached His Word to people, we have seen God’s Word fall on all 4 different types of soil, but praise be to God that some fell on good ground which has brought forth fruit unto eternal life.

  In 1999, a couple missionaries questioned my intent about driving an hour to the outskirts of town (really bad roads) to do a salvation Bible study with a family there.  “Why are you going so far away? Are you planning to start another church out there? Aren’t there plenty of people to reach near the church?”  My answer was simple.  “They are willing to listen to the Gospel, so I am willing to go teach them.”  Nuth Sakaun, his wife, and his three teen children accepted Christ. Sakaun started a children’s ministry at his house which turned into an adult ministry.  Now about 14 people from that village drive into New Hope Baptist church every Sunday morning.  On our grand-opening Sunday, there were more than 20 in attendance from that village.  I just planted seeds.  God did the rest.

  In 2007, we were introduced to a young Christian man who had just married an unbeliever.  They started coming to church, and Becky led his wife to Christ.  Honestly, they were a mess.  She started working in the countryside, and he was working in the city of Phnom Penh.  Situations like these are way too common in Cambodia.  After some teaching, the husband decided to go live with his wife in the village and figure out a way to provide for his family.  Pastor Wang and I began making weekly trips out to his village to continue discipling him and his wife. I explained to Pastor Wang that this was not building the church, but it would edify this family and build up the kingdom of God.  After a number of years of living in the village, this family (the whole family this time) moved back to Phnom Penh.  For many years, Swiss and his wife have been faithfully involved at New Hope Baptist Church. They attend every Sunday with their 3 children, his mother, and his adult sister.  On June 19th, they brought an additional 14 visitors.  God was building New Hope Baptist Church all along!  

  In 1999, a man in his forties attended New Hope Baptist Church. He was busy as a street vendor all day long, so we set up an appointment to have a Bible study at his house at 7:30PM.  Back then, very few people were out on the streets at that time.  Everything was closed by 7:00PM.  The man took very little interest in what I had to say at those Bible studies, but his two sons sat behind him and paid close attention. Those two teen boys got saved, and the older one became the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church! Pastor Wang not only had multiple visitors at the grand-opening service, but he, of course, was responsible for most of the preparation and is doing most of the follow-up on all the other visitors.  Did I foresee that? Of course not, but God did!

  Obviously, not every Bible study produces the same results, but we will not know all that God has done through His Word until we get to Heaven. It is clear that when we give the Gospel to people, we have no idea what all God will do.

  So the grand-opening was not just a celebration of bricks, mortar, and steel being shaped into a building.  It was also a celebration of evangelization, discipleship, and spiritual growth being shaped into His church.  There is no greater joy than to see and hear that my children (His children) walk in truth and work to proclaim it!

  Overjoyed,

  Rodney Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | June 25, 2022

Kosal’s Video Testimony

Dear Friends, 

Lord willing, I will get an update out very soon about our grand opening service.  In the meantime, I wanted to share a testimony video that we made of one of our men.  The quality of the video is lacking, but this young man is not lacking in HIs service to Christ and to the church.  

Kosal works at a private school Mon-Friday, but he serves the Lord on Saturday and Sunday.  He is a huge blessing to Pastor Wang.   

Two days after the video was taken, Kosal’s wife, Srey Nieng, delivered a baby boy.  Nathaniel is now two weeks old.  Mother and baby are both doing great.   Lord willing, we will be having a baby dedication in tomorrow morning’s church service, June 26, 2022.

God Bless, 

Rodney Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | June 2, 2022

Update on Ta Mun

Thank you so much for praying for Becky, me, and the people we work with.  We will not know all that is accomplished through your prayers until we get to Heaven.

Ta (Grandpa) Mun is growing in the Lord and continues to be hungry for God’s Word.  He is reading through the stories of the Bible right now, and it has been so good for him.  He has missed some church due to his wife’s health problems and recently some of his own.   However, he walks to my house three or four mornings a week to review his own personal devotions with me.  The stories and culture of the Old Testament are so foreign to Cambodians, so clarification about things is most important in a new Christian’s life.  For example, it is drilled into their conscience that “killing animals is sin,” so the story of Cain and Abel seems upside down.  “God is pleased with Abel?  But he sinned by killing an animal! God wants Cain to kill an animal and sin too?  Why?”   Ta Mun had these questions as well, however, he is very receptive to allowing the Bible to correct his thinking.   It is such a joy to disciple him!    

I had an opportunity to talk to Ta Mun about what I think God would be pleased to do in his life.  My prayer is that God will teach him and grow him to the point that he can answer any questions that his family has about Christianity, that he can speak with confidence and faith about the Gospel of Christ to his family and friends, and that he will be able to encourage others in the church to stay faithful to Christ.   When I told him what I was praying for, he said in English, “Yes, that’s right!”   Please continue to pray for him. 

Please pray for the grand opening of the new church building.  Pastor Wang and I have been praying since last November about when to have this opening.  We had our first services in the building last November, but Pastor Wang and I had a list of things that needed to be finished on the building before we could have the grand opening.  Now we only have a couple of small things left to do.  We were also praying for the attitude, momentum, and spirit of the church to be what it needed to be for the meeting.  The “post-covid” momentum and spirit of our people were not what they should have been last November. However, we believe God has brought our people to a good place in order to have a wonderful and successful grand opening event now. 

The Grand Opening Event is scheduled for June 19, 2022

  • Please pray for many unsaved families of our members to come. 
  • Please pray for many people from our neighborhood to come. 
  • Please pray for wayward church members to come back for this day. 
  • Please pray for the Gospel to be clearly given, well-received, and believed upon.  
  • Please pray for us to take advantage of opportunities to follow up with all. 

Thank you for your prayers,

Rodney Ruppel 

Posted by: theruppels | April 19, 2022

Prayer Letter March 2022

 Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:…”

Dear Praying Friends,

            Many of you know that the Lord has allowed New Hope Baptist Church to build their own church building.  For a little over a year, this project has become my “day job.”  My latest and hopefully my last big project was to make a platform in the church auditorium.  These projects need to be done, but they are temporal.  This platform and even this building will all fall apart some day.  Granted, this building will be used to preach the Eternal Word of God to make an eternal difference in ways that I will not realize until I get to Heaven, but I want to personally be involved in life changing work not just improving a building.  So on the morning of January 27th, (a bit discouraged, I admit) I asked God to let me make an eternal difference in someone’s life even though I was buried in work on a temporal building.  This is what happened.

In front of the building but inside the property wall, I set up a place to cut wood for building the new platform.  On January 27th, an older man was walking by the church.  I greeted him as he passed.  A few hours later, he was walking by again in the opposite direction.  I gave him a second greeting and remarked about his return.  A few moments later, as the high pitch of the saw slowed down after a cut, I noticed this man staring at me through the steel bars of the gate.  He asked me what I was doing and why I was doing it. (White people doing sweaty, dirty, and physical labour is not common place here.) I opened the gate, answered his questions, gave him a Gospel booklet that I wrote, and invited him to church.  He left, and I went back to work.    

The following Sunday, January 30th, he came to Sunday School, morning service, and then came back for our evening service. Pastor Wang was preaching in the evening, so Ta Mun (Grandpa Mun) and I had a private Bible study to help him understand some foundational truths related to the Gospel.  He came back Wednesday night, the following Sunday morning, Sunday night, and the next Wednesday.  Every time he came to church I taught him more about the Gospel. 

After that, Ta Mun’s cousin passed away, so he was gone for about a week. Then Cambodia got hit pretty hard with Covid, and Ta Mun missed about 4 weeks of church.  When he got through all of that, he was right back in church asking questions of Pastor Wang and Pastor Sakaun. 

After finishing our Bible study on March 23rd, I told him that he was more than welcome to contact me any time if he wanted to study more about the Gospel.  He had not yet revealed his address to us, so we were unable to visit him at his home.  On Monday March 28th, he called me.  “Pastor do you have time to teach me today?”  I had so much to do that day, but nothing could compare in importance and urgency.  Ta Mun met me about 2:30 pm, and he listened, questioned, answered, and considered the Gospel for two hours.  At approximately 4:30, he asked Christ to save him! Praise the Lord!

Ta Mun is hungry to know more of the Bible.  He has started discipleship. I have visited his home. Most importantly, he is seeing God do a great work in his heart.

It is so rare for an 80 year old man to accept Christ in just about any culture, but especially Cambodian culture. He had so many questions already when I met him.  For Cambodian standards, this happened so fast!  Come to find out, seeds were planted about 30 years ago when an American preached the Gospel to a group that he was part of.  Ta Mun told me that he couldn’t understand enough of what was being said to comprehend the truth.  He has visited a number of churches in Phnom Penh, but eventually gave up.  He told me that none of them explained to him how to get to Heaven.  When I gave him that book the first day I met him, he realized that New Hope Baptist Church might be a place where he could finally find out the way to Heaven!

Just a tool in the Mighty Hand of God,   

Rodney Ruppel

The Day Ta Mun Received Christ
Posted by: theruppels | April 15, 2022

Video update about New Hope Baptist Church Building Project

Below is a youtube link that will give you a quick tour of the building as it stands on April 9th, 2022.

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Ruppels Bldg Update April 9 2022

Ruppels Bldg Update April 9 2022

Posted by: theruppels | April 15, 2022

Update on December 2021 Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends, 

Thank you for praying for Becky, me, and our ministry.  The notes we receive from you that simply let us know you are praying really mean a lot to us.  

In our last prayer letter, we mentioned a man (Swill) who got cancer.  He had a very bleak prognosis.  In the face of death, he accepted Christ.  His wife also got saved.  Pastor Wang visited Swill and his family in their provincial home every week until his death on January 18th, 2022.  As I asked you to pray, Swill was faithful to the Lord until the end. Neither he nor his family called for the Buddhist monks.  He was a good testimony for the Lord until the very end.   Pastor Sakaun, Pastor Wang, Pastor Proh, and a number of people from New Hope Baptist Church attended the Christian funeral in Swill’s home village.  The Gospel was preached clearly and seeds were sown in many hearts.  

Swill’s wife, Sa, came to Phnom Penh with her brother-in-law and his family.  Her brother-in-law and his family are faithful members of New Hope.  They were trying to help in every way they possibly could.  She came to church with them along with her 3-month-old boy named Luke. However, Sa decided to move back to the province which she is from. She refused Biblical counsel, left her 3-month old boy with other relatives, and is now working a job that gives her very little time off.  These kinds of decisions during difficult times are very common here. Sa needs to turn herself back to Jesus, back to trusting Him.

Thank you again for your prayers regarding our ministry,

Rodney Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | April 15, 2022

Prayer Letter December 2021

II Corinthians 4:18b “…for the things which are seen are temporal;
but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
 
Dear Praying Friends,
For Cambodia, 2021 was the year COVID hit hard. The government shut down the country to protect the people from the pandemic, but eventually, the restrictions were hurting the country more than the pandemic was. During this time New Hope Baptist Church was meeting online and working hard to stay connected. In the spring of 2021, I asked you all to pray that we would be able to get the new building finished by the time the restrictions lessened. We wanted to be ready to go back to “church” as soon as we were allowed. Though the building was/is way behind schedule, we were able to have our first meeting in our new building on the third weekend of November. We are still working on things and not everything was perfect for that first service, but we were back together! Being together in our new building is such a blessing!


On our second Sunday in the new building, the Lord allowed Pastor Wang to baptize six converts. What a wonderful blessing that was for everyone! It was a great way to get started in the new building.
The young man, Phiarun, (pictured below) is from a home where the mom is a drunk. His father may or may not come home to check on them once a month, and his siblings treat him like their servant. He has found love and family at New Hope Baptist Church. We are blessed to have him and thankful for the opportunity to influence him for Christ.


Tevy is a young lady that Pastor Wang and I met while out soul-winning. Wang’s wife, Srey Oun, led her to Christ. Her parents are struggling in their marriage, and we are praying that they will turn to Christ for salvation and have their marriage saved as well.


The other four that were baptized are sisters; Leena, Srey Noch, Netra, and Srey Wat. These girls have a couple of older sisters that have been so faithful in coming to church, witnessing to their sisters, and praying for their family members. As these four were baptized, the older sisters shed tears of joy for the work God is doing in their hearts.


About the time of these baptisms, the brother of one of our men got the terrible news that he was terminally ill with cancer. For many years we have been praying for Swill to get saved. God used this dreadful prognosis to wake him up and bring him to salvation. A couple weeks later, Pastor Wang led his wife to Christ also. Swill’s health is declining quickly, but he now has the hope of eternal life in Heaven. His wife is now facing a future of being a single mom with two small children, but now that she has Christ, she will not be alone. We are praying for God to be greatly glorified through all that is happening. We know that Swill will be healed whether he dies of this cancer or not. Please pray that God will give these new Christians, Swill and his wife, the grace to be faithful to our Lord and glorify Him no matter what the circumstance.


There is still much to be done on the building; re-paint the walls, tile the roof, build a platform, finish the property wall, level off the car parking area, make a church kitchen, etc. However, all of these things will be left here someday to rot and decay. We are so thankful to be a part of something that will last forever: souls saved from an eternity in Hell and instead, enjoying everlasting life with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your prayers,

Rodney Ruppel

Phiarun Getting Baptized
Posted by: theruppels | September 2, 2021

Prayer Letter September 2021

 Dear Praying Friends,

We arrived in Cambodia 25 years ago full of excitement, yet a bit fearful of our new lives.  We did not speak the language.  We did not understand the culture.  The food was strange.  The smells were strange.  We missed our families.  The list could go on and on.  However, we had no idea of the special treasure God would place in our lives on the day we arrived…

Meas Vilay watched her husband’s execution at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.  When the reign of this genocidal regime ended, she was a single mother in a country torn apart by war.  She had given up on life and even considered ending it.  However, a few months before our arrival in Cambodia a friend told her about the one true God and about a church where she could learn more about His love and offer of salvation. She decided to find out what this was all about and soon accepted Christ as her Savior.  She began attending the church of our future language teacher where she met the missionary with whom we planned to work. That missionary left Cambodia shortly after our arrival, but on the day we arrived he introduced us to Vilay and said she would be watching our baby while we attended language school.

Vilay did not speak English.  We did not speak Khmer. We communicated purely by hand motions, smiles, and tears.  She was as scared as we were.  She had never been around “strange foreigners,” but she believed God wanted her to help us settle into her country and help us minister to others by ministering to us.  She gave me hugs, introduced us to the food and culture around us, watched over our baby, and gave us the time we needed to learn the Khmer language.  Over the years, she became “Grandma” to our children and “Mom” to us.  She served along side us in everything we did.  Although she never stood in front of a group to teach, she loved everyone in our church and was an example of a faithful Christian who put God first in her life. She believed her ministry was to minister to us so we would have more time to minister to others.  We truly believe that any fruit we have had here in Cambodia is fruit to her account.  

She also ministered to our missionary friends with love and sacrifice. Her willingness to sacrifice for others became evident when Cambodia erupted into a coup in 1997.  She risked her life to bring necessary food items to our missionary friends while warning them not to go out because it was too dangerous.    

This summer we were in the States for Rhadee’s wedding. The night before the wedding, we got a phone call from our national pastor. Vilay had passed into the arms of Jesus. That night, our family mourned the passing of a very special lady.  We were not sure how we would smile through the wedding the next day, but we woke up full of peace and joy.  We knew she would have a “front row seat” for the wedding! We also know that we will see her again!

Vilay’s “love language” was cooking for others.  When missionaries came to visit, she knew what they liked to eat and what their children liked to eat.  She would even change her “recipe” based on who was dining with us. She loved to cook for church events also and put lots of love into everything she made.  It is our desire to remember her by adding a church kitchen onto our new church building and naming it in her honor. If you would like to donate funds for that project, please let us know.

More importantly, please join us in praying for Vilay’s family. Her biggest prayer request was for the salvation of her children and grandchildren. She would often cry as she prayed for them.  Her daughter accepted Christ several years ago, but her sons and their families are still unsaved.  They have heard the Gospel many times but have been indifferent and do not see their need for Christ.  Please help us pray that the death of their mother will draw them to salvation.  Pray for Rodney and others as they present the Gospel to them again. 

The precious treasure that God gave us all those years ago is no longer with us, but I pray that we will remember her faithfulness and serve God better because of our time with her.  I am so thankful for the love she gave to my family and to our church.  I pray I will learn to love and serve others as she did.  I am thankful that in times of need God gives us special people to help us make it through.  I pray I can be that for someone also – just like Vilay was for me!

God has been SO good, and I have been SO blessed!

Humbled and Grateful,

Becky Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | September 2, 2021

Prayer Letter June 2021

Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible”

Many missionaries and national pastors have had the privilege of investing in Pastor Tho, his family, and his ministry.  The Ruppels are just a small part of what God is doing in their lives.  Pastor Tho was saved in Phnom Penh and soon became burdened for his relatives in his home village about 100 kms away.  Tho and his wife, Chan, were supporting themselves with jobs in the city but still made time to go to their village every weekend to have services with people in their village.  While a teenager, Tho spent time as a monk, so many of his relatives were against him coming back as a Christian pastor.  Though he had much opposition from family, God has blessed his ministry there.  The villagers and his family can not deny the great change that God has made in his life. Neither can they deny that the young men attending church faithfully with Pastor Tho live much more righteous lives than other young men in their village.  Nothing is impossible with God!   

About four years ago, I began praying with Pastor Tho that God would provide means for his family to live in this village so they could minister to the people all week long instead of just a couple days a week.  God has worked in many wondrous ways to prepare the way for them, and at the end of March 2021 they stepped out by faith and moved.  With very little money, Pastor Tho dug a new holding pond, leveled off an old pond, excavated his property to prepare for planting fruit trees, built a wall around the property, and built a new house.  I have been keeping close tabs on him because I was afraid that he was building up a large amount of debt….but not at all. God has been working through many different means to provide for it all. Nothing is impossible with God!

Tho had put a $500 deposit on a cow before moving to the village.  The owner promised to keep the cow for him until he paid the other $500.  Beef has gone way up in price, so the owner called Tho and asked him if he would like to sell the cow.  Tho needed his $500 back to pay for his many expenses, so he agreed.  However, the owner gave him almost $1000 after selling the cow.  Tho never spent a penny nor a minute in raising the cow, but God nearly doubled his money.  Nothing is impossible with God!

Pastor Tho’s brother-in-law sold property that had an old house on it.  He gave Pastor Tho a great deal on the house, and Pastor Tho hired some men to move the house and reconstruct it on Tho’s land.  Because the house was old, they were missing some of the wood they needed to finish the walls of the house. It would be $500 for the extra wood.  I knew about this need, but I only had $250 to help.  As I was leaving from the airport in Phnom Penh, I made a phone call to have my financial secretary in Cambodia send him $250.  She forgot to send it the next day, so Pastor Tho had to tell the carpenter that he was out of materials.  About four days later, my financial secretary remembered to send the money, and just about the same time, a relative of Pastor Tho’s called to tell him he had some extra wood (exactly the amount that Tho needed, but half the price!)  If Pastor Tho had received the money in a timely fashion he would have purchased only half of what he needed, but because the it was “late” he was able to purchase all of what he needed to finish his house!  His son, Dara, said, “Dad, this house came from God!”    Nothing is impossible with God!

Ben is another brother-in-law to Tho, but he is almost 20 years older that Pastor Tho.  Ben was one of the relatives that persecuted Tho through the years, but since April Ben has been coming to Tho’s house every week to listen to the preaching of God’s Word.  Just recently, Pastor Tho contacted me to ask advice.  Ben left the service weeping.  He told Pastor Tho that he could not accept Christ because he has two wives living under the same roof.  I inquired and found out that Pastor Tho has always known about this situation but has never mentioned it to his brother-in-law.  He has been preaching the Gospel to him.  Pastor Tho asked me what he should do.  My advice was to agree with Ben that having two wives is sin.  Ben must agree with God about his sin, but he does not have to correct his sin to get saved.  Ben must trust God for the salvation of his soul, and he must trust God to teach and guide him in correcting the mess that sin has made in his life.  In simple terms, Ben doesn’t have to change anything to get saved, but he should want God’s help to change.   PRAY FOR BEN’S SALVATION AND FOR GOD TO TRANSFORM HIS LIFE TO THE GLORY OF GOD.  For Nothing is impossible with God!

Nothing is Impossible With God ,

Rodney Ruppel

Pastor Tho’s Family
Pastor Tho’s New House – Started
Pastor Tho’s New House – Almost Finished

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