Posted by: theruppels | October 5, 2020

Prayer Letter September 2020

1Corinthians 15:58  .”..be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

 Dear Praying Friends,

It was quite a task, but Becky and I managed to jump through all the hoops, including fourteen days of quarantine, to re-enter Cambodia!  We were let out into public on August 21st.  Since then, we have been extremely busy in every aspect of the ministry we have here.

One week after being let out of quarantine, Becky and I had a spill on the motorcycle.  We were not hurt seriously, but the bruises and scrapes reminded us that we need to be careful as we drive here.  It also reminded us that we are indebted to all of you who pray for our safety and well-being.

  The Lord gave us $10,000 for the building project while we were in the states.  On the second Sunday back to New Hope Baptist Church, another church family that had sold some land gave $10,000 for the building fund.  $20,000 goes a long way towards finishing phase-one of the church building.  We praise the Lord for the opportunity to be very busy choosing tile, paint, windows, and many other finishing’s.   Becky and I have been driving around town with our eyes in the air looking at other buildings, so please pray that Becky and I do not get into another  motorcycle accident. 🙂

As we mentioned back in March, the government shut down all religious meeting due to Covid-19.  All of our services were being livestreamed, but back in July, Pastor Wang started to bring people back to church.  The government just officially re-opened churches on the second weekend of September.  We are now transitioning away from the livestream services and trying to get people back into the routine of church.  Most everyone was back in church this past Sunday!  Pray that God would give us wisdom to continue reaching people with the Gospel through the internet while also exhorting people to be physically present in church. 

Our annual “Pressing Forward Conference” had to be cancelled last May, but now with things opening back up, we are excited to be having the conference on October 29-30, 2020.  There are so many details to get ready, but most importantly, we are praying for the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon all that is said and done.  Please pray that we will have a good turnout and that the conference will make an eternal impact in the lives of Cambodian Christians.

The most important aspect of our ministry is giving the Gospel.  Becky and I have been actively seeking to make new contacts and to re-connect with many unsaved people that we have witnessed to in the past.  Please pray for us to have boldness and for God to save more souls!

In the Work of the Lord,

Rodney Ruppel

New Hope Baptist Church Building September 2020
Posted by: theruppels | August 17, 2020

Prayer Letter May, June, & July 2020

I Corinthians 3:9b-11 “…ye are God’s building.  10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”

 Dear Praying Friends,

        We know that it is our Lord Jesus Christ that builds the church.  Only He can do a spiritual, life changing work in the hearts of men. However, we are so thankful that God is pleased to use us as tools in the great work that He does as the Masterbuilder. 

  Becky and I rejoice to see what God has done in the hearts of people over the last 24 years.  God has been so good!  We laid a foundation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and now the Cambodian believers are building on that foundation.  Christ is their Cornerstone!  In this year of difficulty, we have seen the people of New Hope Baptist Church take on so much more responsibility in building the work of God.

The government shut down assemblies and the church has not been  allowed to meet, but we have seen the national pastors and their wives go the second mile to make sure the church is fed and the lost are reached through videos on the internet.

In December of 2019, we broke ground on the first building of New Hope Baptist Church.   Becky and I left in the middle of this building project to go to our son’s wedding in the States.  Pastor Wang and Pastor Sakaun are doing a great job overseeing this project in our absence.

New Hope Baptist Church has given sacrificially toward this building project since 2007.  However, we ran out of money in March, and we were going to have to stop construction.  Then Pastor Wang and Pastor Sakaun each gave $10,000 toward the construction!   The church as a whole has given $42,000 for the building since December! This is incredible!

 About a year ago, Pastor Wang and I met a teen girl, Tevy, and her mother while out canvassing.   My wife started a CBible study with the mother and Wang’s wife started one with Tevy.  Tevy was sent away from Phnom Penh to stay with relatives because of all the Covid craziness.  Tevy came back to Phnom Penh last month.  She came to the church to inform us that she had decided that she wanted to live life and have fun for a while before getting saved.  Becky and I were not in Cambodia to talk to her, but Pastor Wang and his wife Srey Oun were there.  Srey Oun did not let it go passively.  She reminded Tevy of the importance and frailty of her eternal soul.  Srey Oun begged Tevy to reconsider.  The next week, Tevy came back to church to tell Srey Oun that she wanted to be saved!  Praise the Lord!   Thank God that people are there building on the foundation!

 Please pray for Becky and I.  We left the States on August 6th.  We have met all the conditions that the Cambodian government has set up to enter the country. We are now on day 10 of a two week quarantine, and then, Lord willing, we can get back to work in Cambodia.  

Building For Him,

Rodney Ruppel

East Side of New Hope Baptist Church building
Pray for the church as they finish this building project
and use it to reach people for Christ.
Posted by: theruppels | April 24, 2020

Prayer Letter February – March 2020

Dear Praying Friends,

Life has been turned upside down for everyone these past couple of months!  Many have been stuck in their houses, many have been sick, many have died, schools have been closed, our church doors have been closed…so many changes. “How in the world could any good come from this?”  We do not have all the answers, but we know the One who does!

For the past couple of years, God has been leading Rodney to make and post videos in Khmer that give a clear explanation of the Gospel.  We are not tech savvy, so this task seemed daunting. The project had been started, but not yet completed.  We had purchased some needed items – a microphone, a tripod, some extra lighting… We had even practiced! THEN the department of health closed all religious assemblies in Cambodia.  It was time to get busy on those videos as well as prepare devotionals each day and livestream our services.  This pandemic forced us to take some steps we had been hesitant to take. 

God has been preparing His servants here in Cambodia “for such a time as this.”  We have been extremely blessed with some wonderful men and women that love God and have spent years learning how to preach, teach, and minister to those around them. They have jumped right into these video projects and even purchased some of the needed items so they can shoot videos from their own homes.  Our national pastors and Rodney have been shooting several devotionals each week as well as preaching in our live stream services and visiting church members whom we can not see in church at this time.  Some of our missionary friends have also contributed devotionals. Another man in the church has stepped up to help with the technical side of things, and Rodney is learning and training another young man to help in that aspect.  Some of our Cambodian ladies and missionary ladies have been preparing video lessons for the women.  Many of us have spent time filming children’s services and songs so our children will not be left out!  We even filmed our Easter service from the construction site of our future church building!

Our own church members have been able to stay connected and be a part of online services.  Many of their unsaved family members and neighbors have heard the lessons and church services while our church members are attending online church!  We have also had the opportunity to reach people that have never been in church or have gotten away from the Lord.  The response has been incredible, and we thank God for helping us (or forcing us)  take this step forward. 

Of course, we are looking forward to the day we can all be in our church building together again.  We long to have the fellowship of other believers and to encourage one another in person.  Right now, all of our “amens” are a thumbs up, a heart, or a smiley face online!  We can not wait to hear those voices in the building again.

Until that day, we will continue to take the opportunities God has given us.  Once things return to “normal” we plan to continue preparing video lessons, devotionals, and Gospel presentations to reach the Khmer speaking world.

Thank you SO much for your prayers!  Please know that you are also in our prayers as your world has been turned upside down and so many things  have changed.  We pray God will give you special opportunities at this time to reach those around you with the Gospel of Christ!

In HIS hands,

Becky Ruppel

Online Easter Service – Construction Site of our Future Building

Posted by: theruppels | February 13, 2020

Prayer Letter December ’19 / January ’20

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Dear Praying Friends,

There is never a shortage of things to be done in the ministry here in Cambodia. Add a couple of special visitors and Christmas to the mix, and we are finding much to be done with all our might.

We had a great time with Becky’s dad, as he was here for a four week visit.  On his first Sunday here, New Hope Baptist Church had over 70 visitors attend the Christmas program.    Pastor Sakaun preached a great message.  Pray as we follow up on these prospects.

We took Dad to visit Pastor Proh and Liberty Baptist Church on his second Sunday.  It is a blessing to see that church continuing to strive forward for Christ.

The third weekend that Dad was here, New Hope Baptist Church broke ground for the construction of their very first building.  This construction project has been a long time coming.  We are so excited that it is finally underway!  We are praying that God would be glorified, that our people would grow stronger, and that it would enable us to reach more people for Christ.

On Dad’s fourth weekend here, I traveled to Kampot province where I do my best to encourage Pastor Tho in the good work he is doing there.  While there, Pastor Tho and I led Siina and Sarorn to Christ.  Siina is in her 50’s, and Sarorn is about 20 years old but blind from a surgery that took place a couple of years ago.

A few days later, Dad taught a special session of Bible Institute. About 35 people came to learn how to study the Bible. 

Exactly three days after Dad left, our son Blake came for a 5 week visit.  Three days into Blake’s visit, I, Rodney, took a 10 day trip to Ghana, West Africa.  What a great treat to see a family from our our home church doing a great work for Christ there.

When I returned to Cambodia, I had the opportunity to glean from some of the knowledge that my son gained while at college, specifically in the area of videography, video editing, and websites.   He is no expert, but he knows much more than myself.  Blake also spent some time teaching one of our young men the basics.  Lord willing, we will be able to grow in our ability to evangelize through videos.  Thank you Blake for all your help. 

In His Service,

Rodney Ruppel

Form for the Footing of the New Church Building
Posted by: theruppels | November 4, 2019

November 2019 Prayer Letter

John 4:38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours

God is so good to give us opportunity to serve him.  It is such a great privilege to be used of God, whether to sow seed where people have never heard or to enter into another man’s labor. 

God gave me a great opportunity to preach for Pastor Ratha at Bethany Baptist Church  in Battambang on October 6th.  Pastor Ratha and his wife love the Lord and have great vision to be used of God more.

On October 8th, I led a meeting in regards to the work we do to facilitate government documents for Baptist churches and missionaries.  This is not fun but necessary.  Later that week, on October 12th, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with the prime minister along with about 3000 other people representing various  Christian religions.  I believe this meeting declared and promoted religious freedom in Cambodia.

It was my privilege to teach Bible institute courses every weeknight in Siam Riep from October 14th to 25th for my friend, Missionary Eli Shrock.  Victory Baptist Church is a great church!  They reflect the great attitude and hard work ethic of the Shrock family.

New Hope Baptist church had a special soulwinning day on October 29 in the neighborhood of the future church building, and there is another outreach planned to the masses of people that will attend the annual boat races in Phnom Penh during the Water Festival on November 12th.

November also brings two opportunities to travel to Pastor Tho’s village in Kampot Province to invest in the people that he is working with there. 

All of these opportunities to enter into other men’s labors are a wonderful privilege.  Yet the greatest privilege is to share the Gospel with the lost.  A man I met a little over a month ago (listed as Ta above) has allowed me to have long talks with him about who God is, where this world came from, why we call Jesus God, and a number of other important topics.  He is curious and questioning.  Please pray that God would reveal the Truth of the Gospel to him and that he would humble himself to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior.

In His Service,

Rodney Ruppel

Nightly Institute with the great people of Victory Baptist Church in Siem Reap.
Posted by: theruppels | November 4, 2019

September 2019 Prayer Letter

 “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them…”  Acts 14:27

It is such a blessing to sit around and share what God has done and is doing in, through, with, and in spite of us.  God is always at work, even when we can’t see it. How I look forward to hearing God tell us of all the things that He did through our obedience to Him.  But I also dread God showing me everything that “could have been” if I had always obeyed.  Lord, help me be faithful! 

In July, Becky and I hosted a young couple from our home church.  We have known Eric and Jackie Turnbull both since the time they were very small.  God has done a work in their lives all along the way, but God has done a very special work in the last couple of years to bring them together and to call them to the mission field of Cambodia.  Becky and I were thrilled to host them and give them a taste of missions in Cambodia.  We are honored to have the opportunity to teach, train, and influence them as they go through deputation and start learning the ropes of mission work in Cambodia.  God has special things He wants to do with them!

In August, God gave me, Rodney, the opportunity to go back to the States to take care of some necessary documents.  This also gave me opportunity to spend time with each of my children.  As the children get older and farther away, these times are so precious.  We have wonderful children!

The Lord also allowed me to meet up with an old high school friend while in the States.  The last time I saw him, he was rejecting Christ.  While  having coffee with him last month, I found out that those seeds that were planted over 30 years ago brought forth fruit.  He accepted Christ toward the end of high school and has been (continues to be) very involved in a Gospel preaching church with his family all these years!  God’s work is bigger than us!

Also in August, Becky and Srey Oun (Pastor Wang’s wife) were able to lead some ladies to Christ.  One adult lady and three teen girls all accepted Christ.  All four of them have very different  spiritual struggles and need your prayers to grow in the Lord.

September has brought another opportunity and struggle with government paperwork.  It may not be wise for me to say too much openly about this topic.  Simply pray that God would make a way for us to facilitate the paperwork  necessary to get work permits for nearly ninety  Baptist missionary families here in Cambodia.

Pray for God to do great things with the Ruppels, and be ready for God to do something great with you!

Pressing Forward,

Rodney Ruppel

Please pray for the Turnbull family family to raise their support and join us in Cambodia soon.

Posted by: theruppels | July 11, 2019

May/June Prayer Letter

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

Dear Praying Friends,

Conferences, camps, and special meetings with other churches of like mind can be so influential in the lives of individual members and pastors, but they can also be a huge “shot in the arm” to the whole church.  Christians may get discouraged.  Missionaries can lose their vision.  Pastors sometimes lose focus.  As a result, families and churches stop moving forward for Christ.  In the past couple of months, God has allowed us to organize two conferences that we believe had a very positive impact.

On May 13th and 14th, God blessed the second annual “Pressing Forward Conference.”  About 240 delegates attended both days to listen and be challenged by seven sermons, six testimonies, many special songs, and exciting congregational singing accompanied by a small orchestra.

There are many Christian conferences in this country every year that are much bigger than this one.  The venue, food, printing, accommodations,  and travel expenses for the meetings are completely paid for by “outside” money.  We meet people who attend these big meeting quite often while we are out soulwinning.  They claim to be Christians but often do not understand the basic truths of the Gospel. 

Our conference, on the other hand, was quite different.  All the delegates at the “Pressing Forward Conference” had to pay a $12.50 fee.  Having the conference full of people who really want to be there completely changes the spirit of a conference!  Many children in our church paid for part or all of their own conference fees.  Some of them collected recycling, and others saved their “allowance” through the year.  Pastor Wang’s son, Joshua(8 yrs. old), gets 25 cents a day from his parents to spend at school.  Joshua saved everything all year long, so that he could pay for his whole family to go to the conference.  In April, he was so happy to give me $50 to pay for his mom, dad, little sister, and himself.  Of course, the conference was great, but it was extra special to Joshua because he had sacrificed and looked forward to the conference all year long!

On June 18th, couples from six churches came to be taught and challenged to have a better marriage for the glory of God.  Missionary Stephen Benefield, Pastor Nuth Sakaun, and myself all had the opportunity to preach to the couples.  The marriage relationship is so important!  Through the teaching and preaching of God’s Word at seminars like these, we have seen God correct many deeply ingrained fallacies about marriage.  We are now beginning to see many couples enjoy the blessings of a Biblical marriage!  It is wonderful!  

Pressing Forward,

Rodney Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | June 5, 2019

April 2019 Prayer Letter

Mark 4:3-8 “… Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side……And some fell on stony ground……And some fell among thorns…… And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit”

Dear Praying Friends,

       We are staying as busy as we have ever been; translating songs and books, preparing materials, planning multi-church conferences, village works, government paperwork, mentoring and training pastors, etc. But the most important part of our work is proclaiming the Gospel.  Nothing can change a person, a community, a culture, a country, or this world like the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Please pray for us as we sow the seed of the Gospel that it would produce fruit that remains.

Last November, I met Saophoan while out canvassing.  He carves idols for a living and stays very busy.  Nonetheless, he allowed me to teach him the Gospel on a weekly basis.  After almost four months of Bible studies, Saophoan made a profession of faith in Christ!  I continue to visit him regularly, but he has yet to come to church since his salvation.  He needs your prayers!

Khmum has studied at Pastor Sakaun’s children’s work since the time he was very young.  As a young teen, he began to wander away from church and the Truth.  Recently, Pastor Wang was able to spend some “one on one” time with him, and Khmum called on Christ to save him.  Khmum’s family life is very difficult, but since his salvation, he is making every effort to be in church and is growing very well.  Khmum is now 18 years old and needs your prayers!

In 2013, my wife and I met a single mom named Ra while out soulwinning.  She had four small children for whom she worked very hard to provide.  Ra received Christ and started coming to church.  However, her poverty gave her few choices, and she was forced to move away.  In April, we stumbled upon her again. (Actually, I almost ran her over with my motorcycle as she was standing in the middle of the rode trying to get my attention.:)  Wang’s wife, Srey Oun, is now doing a Bible study with  Ra’s 17 year old daughter, Sokjia.   Please pray for this young lady to understand  and accept salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Srey Leak is 20 years old and spends her days chained up under her mother’s stilt house.   Three years ago, her father died and she “went crazy.”   Villagers say she was possessed by her father’s spirit.  Doctors say that she has a mental problem.  I believe that she has mental issues that have been caused by demonic possession.  Bottom line: She is in both spiritual and physical bondage.  I have no doubt in my mind that God can heal her, deliver her, and save her soul. More information about Srey Leak and this spiritual battle can be found on our archive of prayer letters: theruppels.wordpress.com/srey-leak-in-chains/   Please pray for both Srey Leak and her mother to turn to the Light of the Gospel for salvation and put their complete trust in Him.  Pray that Srey Leak would be healed so that the villagers would no longer be afraid of her, and she would be released from her physical bonds as well.   Srey Leak needs your prayers!

Rejoicing in Cambodia,

Rodney Ruppel

Saophoan, The Idol Carver
Posted by: theruppels | February 4, 2019

Prayer Letter January 2019

“ For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest ……..ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:”    Titus 1:5

Dear Praying Friends,

Ordaining men for the work of our Lord Jesus Christ is an exciting and triumphant event, but the ordination service is the easy part.  Finding and training men that live up to the qualifications of Titus 1:6-9 is the hard part!  The world and times in which we live are attacking men from every angle!  The people of Cambodia continue in darkness, and most of the men we know are willingly walking away from the light of Christ.  But we are so thankful for faithful men of God that shine brightly in the darkness, who stay true to their Saviour, and  who lead their families by Biblical principles.  These men are bright lights in a dark culture and examples for all of us (missionaries included) to follow!

On January 7th, 2019, God gave us the privilege of being a part of ordaining a fourth family to the ministry.  This time was extra special for two reasons; first, because I had the privilege of leading both Wang and Srey Oun to Christ when they were just young teens;  second, because, by God’s grace, this young couple will eventually take the reigns of New Hope Baptist Church.

Both Pastor Wang and Srey Oun love the Lord Jesus Christ and the church so much!  It is exciting for us to get a glimpse of what God will do in the future of this church.  The church family is often getting counsel from them instead of Becky and I.  Wonderful!

The picture below shows Wang’s father-in-law, Pastor Sakaun, praying over him  with Pastor Proh and myself in the background.  Pastor Sakaun has been and continues to be one of the key instruments that God is using to mentor these men for Christ’s sake.  It has been my honor to teach these men the Bible as they teach me by example to walk in faith.

Becky and I are still in a mentoring role as this transition continues, and everyone knows that whenever I am away preaching or visiting a mission work in the province, Pastor Wang is in charge of the church.

So I ask you to pray:

  • For God’s help to continue moving to  the background.
  • For God to continue to work in the lives and families of these faithful men of God; Pastor Sakaun, Pastor Proh, Pastor Tho, and Pastor Wang.
  • For God to give Pastor Wang a fruitful ministry.
  • For God to continue to work in the hearts and lives of church members that they might serve, strengthen, and follow God’s leadership in the church.

Rejoicing in Cambodia,

Rodney Ruppel

Posted by: theruppels | November 3, 2018

Parenting Seminar October 29, 2018

Seven Churches – Eighty Adult Christians – Three National Pastors – One Parenting Seminar

Seven like-minded churches came together on Monday afternoon to be taught, encouraged, and challenged through the Word of God to do all they can to be the parents God wants them to be.

Eighty Adult Christians came from all over Phnom Penh and at least two provinces. Of course many people from these seven churches were not able to come because of work, but many had off because it was a holiday and others took a day or afternoon off work. One family came from about 70 km away.

Three national pastors with great personal testimonies, faithful supportive wives, and wonderful children. All three have children who are proof positive that the Bible way really does work! At least two other national pastors in the crowd that fit this description. I am so proud of these men. They are allowing God to work in their lives, in their families, and through their preaching.

One Parenting Seminar, only three hours long, was full of great teaching and preaching! The Spirit of the meeting was great! Wonderful fellowship and encouragement between Christians from different churches is always a blessing to see!

 

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