Church Planting, Evangelism, Leadership, Missions, Uncategorized

Going “Over the Walls” in Cambodia

This is a short video report of my activities here in Cambodia.

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Church Planting, Evangelism, Family, Missions, Uncategorized

It’s been a great year!

Cynde and I moved ourselves and our four children to Cambodia in April 1995.  We lived here for 12 years then went back to the United States for 5 years.  We returned in November 2011.  We moved here to do our part in bringing blessing to the people of Cambodia in seven spheres of society:

  1.  Religion – Lead them into a relationship with the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Social Relationships – Help them develop healthy relationships among husbands and wives, family members and friends and neighbors.
  3. Education – Help them achieve an education that will give them job skills to support themselves and their families and help move Cambodia out of the Killing Fields into the 20th/21st Century.
  4. Business – Help Cambodians learn biblical business practices that will put them in a position to receive God’s blessings and prosper their business.
  5. Government – Have influence with government to help them establish and run their government according to biblical principles.
  6. Arts and Entertainment – Help Christians and the Christian Church have a voice in dance, music, drama, sports and the entertainment world to bring a positive and moral influence in the nation.
  7. Media – Help Christians and the Christian Church have a voice in radio and TV to bring a positive, moral influence in the nation.

We have had varying degrees of success in this endeavor but after more than 20 years of investing in Cambodia and now in our early sixties we can say we are still passionate and excited everyday about what God has done, what He is doing and what He will do.  We are still involved in the church that we helped plant, New Life Fellowship, which now has about 2,000 people in attendance in Phnom Penh and 180+ congregations in 14 provinces.  We have a strategy to plant 500 more congregations in the next five years including 7 city churches.  New Life School has more than 225 students and our Children at Risk Ministry supports more than 250 children to stay in school through out Cambodia.  All thanks to your faithful prayers and generous giving.

Thank you so much for your personal donations that keep us in Cambodia.  We have sold everything in the USA and all of our possessions are now in Cambodia.  God willing, this is where we will live and die – investing our strength and experience to help bring positive change in this nation of Smiling People!

Below is a montage of photos from 2015.

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1995-2015: Cambodia is still ripe for the harvest!

DSC02971It’s been 20 years since Cynde and I and our four children arrived in Cambodia. By God’s grace we are continuing in this harvest field, and we want to thank you so much for making this possible. A lot has come and gone, but what’s amazes me is that Cambodia is still ripe for the harvest!  I mean that.  The opportunities are still here and we love it!

We would really appreciate your prayers.  I’m attempting to start two new City Churches – one in Kompong Cham City, about two hours north of Phnom Penh, and one in Kompong Speu City, about an hour south of Phnom Penh.  I have some guys in place who are actually doing the work of the ministry, but I travel to their city and give guidance, trouble shoot and help organize schedules.  It’s a challenge as there are always obstacles of every form when you try to do something for God.

  • In Kompong Cham we have three couples, and a few single people but they all work and have limited to time to reach out.   Pray that God will give Divine Connections to them and they will be able to start small evangelistic/discipleship groups.
  • In Kompong Speu I have one guy working full time with me.  This is his home city so he’s reaching out to his family first.  The Lord has also drawn several non-believers and some new believers who came to the Lord in one of our nearby Provincial Churches.  I send Brother Sary, out weekly.  Sary is passionate and a good teacher of the Word of God.  Pray God will use him to raise up a core group of true disciples.  They’re meeting in Sary’s brother’s house for the time being but we want another location closer to the high school.
  • Also, in Poipet, where I started a church a couple years ago I have a pastor in place (actually, Sary’s older brother, Vearia!).  They are doing well.  They have established a core group and are slowing building and adding members.

In all of these places we have no budget for ministry – we go month-by-month, based on some offerings that come in.  Also, all three locations need facilities to rent (about $400-$600 per month, depending on the location).  We’re moving ahead in faith.  Please join with us for success in evangelism, discipleship and leadership training, as well as the finances to get the church up and going.

As you know, Cynde is involved advising New Life Christian School (K-10) as well as our English Classes, Office Skills Training Classes and Computer Classes.  Our primary focus for these classes all these years is to provide these classes as a doorway to lead youth to Jesus.  We estimate 25,000 young people have come through our doors in these 20 years.  We meet them literally all over Cambodia and Southeast Asia…”Hello Teacher, I used to study at New Life in 1997, etc.  Now I’m married and have a job and attend a church in such a such a city.”  It’ amazing what God has done and is still doing!  Secondly, we offer the classes to equip young people with marketable job skills for free.  We have young people working for businesses, non-profit organizations, churches and Christian ministries all over Cambodia and the USA and Australia.  We’re known for students with good character, good work habits and skills.  Cynde has 50 computer students come through our classes every four months.  She asks that you pray for salvation for each and every one of them and especially that they find jobs when they finish the program.

Thank you so much for standing with us.  We love you and appreciate you so much.

Below are two links to short (amateur) video greetings from me and Cynde.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dnmtpf1iyg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqtrnbmGrhA

Blessings to you so much!

Chuck and Cynde McCaul

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

April 2015

You may contribute to Chuck and Cynde or to any of these projects through:

1.  www.nlfcambodia.org (PayPal)
2.  Eugene Christian Fellowship, 89780 North Game Farm Road, Eugene, OR 97408
3.  Church of Glad Tidings, P.O. Box 1630, Yuba City, CA 95992

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Missions

In Our “Sweet Spot”

Sweet SpotCynde and I used to play tennis years ago.  There were times when the ball hit the side of the racquet and bounced off to the side or it hit just off the center and didn’t go exactly where you wanted it to go.  But there is a place on the tennis racquet that is called “The Sweet Spot.”  When you hit is at that spot it’s just a tremendous feeling to see the ball zoom right where you intended it to go.  That’s where Cynde and I are at this point in our life.  We actually believe there is even more ahead where the Lord will lead us into new things and use our experiences in life in different ways, but here in Cambodia, doing what we’re doing now is drawing on our spiritual S.H.A.P.E. at this time in our life.  (Spiritual Gifts, Heart Motivations, Abilities and Skills, Personalities and Experiences in Life.)

There’s so much we would like to share with you regarding the many worthwhile and life-changing ministries we’re involved in but if you follow us on Facebook you’ll see much of them:

  • Planting Churches and helping to plant new churches in cities
  • Mentoring Cambodian pastors to help them become a more effective pastor and Christian leader
  • Advising and having influence in New Life School Phnom Penh
  • Helping to develop a City Church in Poi Pet that will influence NW Cambodia and send missionaries into Thailand
  • Overseeing an Office Skills Training School equipping Cambodians with marketable job skills and leading them to Jesus
  • Writing training materials that will help local pastors and leaders evangelize, make disciples, train leaders and plant more churches
  • Helping spur on a ministry to girls who work at factories near the Phnom Penh airport
  • Assisting local pastors to do development work to help create sustainability for local churches
  • and much, much more!

Thank you for your prayers, visits and financial support to us personally and the projects that we are involved in.  If you’re inclined to make year-end donations please consider making a donation to New Life Fellowship Cambodia (www.nlfcambodia.org or through your normal way of giving) for:

  • New Life School or
  • New Life Fellowship Church Planting Department

Thank you so much for partnering with us in the Gospel!  2015 will be a great year!

Please take a look at these (very unprofessionally done) You Tube videos:

  1. The Church in Poi Pet which Chuck planted 2 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01XCTlZ9XvM&index=14&list=UUDYlGsnhNn0wydgkJrSCP0g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GezFQvjeZIE&index=13&list=UUDYlGsnhNn0wydgkJrSCP0g

  1. New Life School which Cynde has a great amount of influence over.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzu2PsyniJM&list=UUDYlGsnhNn0wydgkJrSCP0g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyUQqevaNoo&list=UUDYlGsnhNn0wydgkJrSCP0g

Blessings,

Chuck and Cynde McCaul
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Church Planting, Evangelism, Leadership, Missions

Ten Church Growth Principles to Help Your Church Reach and Release People

Ocean Waves 2Following are Church Growth Principles I followed  (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) in the beginning years at New Life Fellowship Phnom Penh

Pastor Eric Dooley laid a firm foundation in New Life Fellowship during 1994-1997; that foundation is still firm, valid and strong.  When Pastor Eric Dooley turned New Life Fellowship over to me in 1997 I knew what to do to help the church grow to the next level.  I knew because I had been involved in a church growing from about 200 to 1,700 and we had studied church growth principles for years.  At this point these principles are part of who I am and I think about them and try to apply them unconsciously.  I share them with you for our benefit and hope to share them in a seminar form someday to help local churches in Cambodia grow in number.  When I turned the church over to Pastor Jesse, Jesse took the church to a new level using his wisdom and keys from the Word of God.

Below are 10 Principles that I systematically put into place during the years that I was senior pastor of the Phnom Penh Church.

Principle 1:  True Converts

Explained:      I wanted to avoid Cambodians just joining our religion or following our customs but no heart change.  I wanted them to truly love God and commit to serving him the rest of their life with no turning back.

Goal:               Not just follow outward activities such as attend a class, attend a meeting, help or even read the Bible or be water baptized.  I wanted them to have a transformation in their inner heart that will last until the day they die.

Process:          We preached the Bad News first to help them have a strong desire to want the Good News.  People must first understand that they are hopeless sinners before they will want God’s salvation and will remain true to him.

Principle 2:  Clear Path to Make Disciples

Explained:      I wanted to have the Word of God and basic truths and principles to help them grow taught to new converts in a systematic way so as not to miss any key point.  I wanted to create the culture for them to study certain classes and then teach them to others.

Goal:               Study through the Knowing God Book (true conversion); Foundations Book (Foundations of the Faith); and Family of God Book (Church Life) and teach the lessons to others.

Process:          In the beginning there was not a culture to study like this.  In fact it was difficult to get them to come to a Sunday church meeting for an hour and a half, but then we added a one hour class before the Sunday church meeting.  At first hardly anyone attended and attendance was inconsistent.  But we persisted and now it is our culture – someone comes into the church and they just know they’re supposed to take these classes.  These classes are the doorway to other ministry in the church.  The lessons were written with the intent of being simple and reproducible so anyone who has completed the class could easily teach it to someone else.

Principle 3:  Small Groups for Fellowship and Discipleship

Explained:      I understood that people do not make friends or become disciples in the Sunday church meeting.  The Sunday church meeting is for casting vision, the Holy Spirit to  move in a dynamic way and for celebration.  Discipleship and friendship occurs in small groups.

Goal:               Everybody to become part of a small group.

Process:          As I recall, we started one small group with Eric leading it and one with me.  We meet with leaders and they met with others.  Personal invitation is the best way for people to join a group.  We made a simple meeting schedule for them to follow.  The groups were to grow and members were to become small group leaders themselves.

Principle 4:  Constant Emphasis on Evangelism

Explained:      I understood the principle that Christians seem to lose their passion to reach the lost after 2-3 years of being a Christian. They like to fellowship with other Christians instead.  Also, only about 10% of the church are bold to share their faith.  I realize that I and the leaders must continually declare the vision to evangelize in every way and at all times.  We must not quit but find ways to emphasize this in every meeting and provide opportunities.

Goal:               Everybody is passionate about sharing their faith in Christ or at least passionate about leading Cambodia to Christ and willing to invite people to evangelistic and church activities.

Process:          In prayer meetings, sermons, altar calls, testimonies we remind the church members to reach their lost friends, neighbors, workmates and classmates.  We provide training in evangelism and church activities to bring their friends.  We provided evangelistic tracts they could use as well.

Principle 5:  Family Atmosphere as committed brothers and sisters

Explained:      When Eric turned the church over to me I felt we had a group of young men becoming disciples, but we were not yet a family.  A family cares for one another, sacrifices for one another and stays faithful to one another.

Goal:               Church members are committed to the local church as something important to them because they have friends whom they consider like family.

Process:          I felt the key to this was eating together and having fun together.  Therefore, we began to have regular meals together and to places to have fun as a group.  I tried to arrange activities so they could get to know one another to become friends.

Principle 6:  Big Events with Strategic Follow Up

Explained:      Big Events such as holiday activities, concerts, crusades, special-interest meetings can help a church get a name in the community and can help push the church over the growth barrier, but there must be organized follow up after the event.

Goal:               Have regular Big Events with follow up.

Process:          We would take advantage of Cambodian public holidays as well as international holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas.  We would organize, advertise and try to do follow up.  However, in those days no one had cell phones, street addresses were not consistent and I discovered that Cambodians often went by one name at home and another name among friends!  It was very, very difficult to follow up!

Principle 7:  Mindset to Multiply Yourself and Release Christians to Ministry

Explained:      Most people leave church because they have nothing to do in the church (it has not become their church) or they have no friends or they get out of the habit as a result of a significant life change.  My mindset was to teach Cambodians everything I know and teach them how to do everything I know how to do, thereby multiplying myself to some degree.  We tried to model this, teach it and provide opportunities.  If you play an instrument, teach someone else.  If you speak English or use a computer, teach someone else.  If you know how to pray, teach the Bible, etc., teach someone else to do it.  It’s in this way we multiplied musicians, preachers, teachers and all kinds of ministries.

Goal:               Everybody should be teaching someone else what they know how to do.  Everyone should be teaching and everyone should be learning.

Process:          I modeled this in making disciples and training leaders in every way and encouraged the disciples and leaders I was training to do the same.

Principle 8:  Feeding God’s Flock at Balanced Spiritual Diet from the Word of God

Explained:      During the course of a year the pastor must teach truths from the Bible that are useful for every area of the Christian life.  Pastors have a tendency to teach primarily the things they like.  We need to plan well-balanced teaching from month to month and we need to teach in a series of sermons, with the former sermon reviewing the previous sermon to remind the listeners that we are on a journey through the Word of God on that subject.

Goal:               Plan a preaching schedule for 52 weeks of the year.

Process:          We must determine where our church is at spiritually at this time and where we want to lead them during this year.  Make a list of all the important subjects (skills and knowledge) that are necessary for a Christian to grow to maturity (do the same for what leaders need) and make a schedule for each month – four sermons each month on the same subject but differnet aspects of that subject).

Principle 9:  Preaching Practical Sermons that are Useful for Their Life

Explained:      Many pastors preach sermons and teach lessons that are about Bible history or Bible knowledge but they are not useful for the everyday life of the people in their church.  Also, they teach without passion and do not show the church members how to apply what the Bible says about that subject to their lives every day.

Goal:               Preach sermons that will help Christian grow and tell them how to apply the Word of God in every area of their life.

Process:          I believe a short sermon is better than a long one.  Most church members don’t remember our sermons anyway.  Make a clear introduction with a story and just 3 or 4 points then a conclusion.  I like to ask myself these two questions when I finish preparing the lesson:  1) What do I want them to know as a result of this lesson?  2) What do I want them to do as a result of this lesson?  If I can’t answer those two questions in two clear sentences then I don’t know what the main point of my sermon is and those who hear me won’t know either.  I try to tell them clearly how to apply this.  Also, I give an opportunity for them to respond to the Word of God through the sermon by praying, declaring the Word of God, laying hands on them or providing some other kind of opportunity for them to show they will obey and apply the Word of God.

Principle 10:  Releasing Church Members to do the work of the Ministry before

                        they are fully trained

Explained:      It’s not necessary for a church member to be fully trained before we release them to ministry.  It’s not necessary for them to go to a Bible School before they are released to ministry.  Jesus trained his disciples and leaders as they were working together. He showed them how to do it by modeling it for them.  He released them, then they reported back and Jesus corrected or encouraged them according to their results.  We want men and women who are trained.  We don’t want to release them too soon and we don’t want to release them too late. We try to find the middle ground.

Goal:               Be willing to release Christians to help in a ministry or lead a ministry before they are fully equipped, but make sure you follow up with them and guide them.

Process:          We would do ministry together.  I would explain what I’m doing – how and why.  I would let them help and watch them.  I would allow them to do it and report back to me.  We have regular meetings for reporting and follow up. I used the principle of “Low Experience and Motivation needs High Supervision.  High Experience and High Motivation needs Low Supervision.  When they were new I gave a lot of supervision and guidance.  As they gained experience and strong motivation I didn’t supervise them as much.

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No Sacrifice Too Great!

Wheat Harvest 1Cynde and I arrived safely in Cambodia after a seven-week visit to the United States.  Probably the best we’ve had, as we spent almost all of the time with family and friends – hardly any work!  In fact, yesterday Cynde spent 5 hours catching up on her emails!  This morning I finished my 60-minute bicycle ride from 5:30 AM – 6:30 AM listening to the live recording of New Life Fellowship’s Life Band.  You can download the English Version of  “Jesus” on iTunes.

“Weather Bug” said yesterday at 6 PM the temperature was 85 degrees  F (29 c), “feels like 95 degrees (35 c).  70% humidity.  Thanks Weatherbug for telling me why I’ve been sweating since 6 am!

This morning I take my 250 cc motorcycle to Samrong Yong, about an hour SE of Phnom Penh to visit a pastor and check out his new kindergarten.  I’m taking my raincoat as it poured yesterday.  If it rains I’ll pull off to the side and engage a Cambodian in conversation.  Maybe I’ll get to explain the Good News of the One Creator God to them for the first time!  After that I have lunch with the pastor and two other nearby pastors – all converts through and part of New Life Fellowship of Churches Cambodia.  They’ll  cook a delicious Cambodian lunch for me and they’ll share what God is doing through their ministries and I’ll offer any advice I can as a pastor myself and spiritual father.  After that I’ll visit one of our premier churches nearby and the director of our Takeo Fellowship of Churches to discuss our Takeo Region creating strategic plans and goals for 2015 at their next regional meeting.  Their plans and goals will determine how we in Phnom Penh can help them.

This Friday I make the long drive up to Poi Pet (8 hours).  The road is not that great, but I’ve driven on worse.  I’m taking a young missionary from the Republic of Texas who has been working with us along with me – Zach Parish.  Eight hours of fellowship, sharing and mentoring.  What an opportunity!  When we arrive in Poi Pet my priority is to spend time with Pastor Vearia and his wife Lekhena and their two children to encourage him and advise him in any way I can. I’ll also tag along on their weekend outreaches to several villages within the city of Poi Pet, join the Youth Meeting on Saturday night and preach Sunday morning and Sunday night.  I hope to spend all day Monday with them and return to Phnom Penh Tuesday morning.

In about two weeks I’ll make the long trip to Rith-Sen Victory Village, Strung Treng Province, 6 km from the Laotian Border.  I’ll pick up one of our pastors in Kratie province along the way and take him with me.  I cringe at the thought of the long trip on absolutely terrible roads.  Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the trip to lend support to a young man and his wife who moved from Poi Pet to become the lead man for a plantation.  He is not a pastor nor really even a Christian leader, but he has a passion to reach his “sphere of influence” with the Gospel that sets them free.  This is the same passion that drives all of our New Life Fellowship of Church pastors and leaders.

It’s hot in Cambodia.  The roads are terrible…but the harvest is ripe!  There is no sacrifice to great for me to spend my life to help establish the Kingdom of God in the Kingdom of Cambodia.  Let me say that again: THERE IS NO SACRIFICE TOO BIG FOR ANY OF US TO DO WHAT GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO.  I count it a privilege to be alive to serve God’s purposes in my generation.

Cynde and I spent 5 years in Yuba City, California – a break after 12 years in Cambodia.  When my son, Jesse McCaul, called us and asked us to return and help him I remember riding my bicycle along the country roads among the rice fields of Yuba City and praying.  I had made a list of what we needed to return:  A laptop computer, a smart phone, a car, a motorcycle, access to internet at our home and several other items.  As I was riding and praying I felt the Lord ask me, “So you need all of this to do what I’ve called you to do?  And if you don’t have all of this you won’t go?” I stopped my bicycle, got down on my knees and cried and asked forgiveness and told God, “Lord, I’ll do whatever You want me to do, regardless of the resources I have or don’t have.”  This is the same prayer I prayed in 1994 – “Lord, I’ll go anywhere and do anything you want me to do.”  Less than a year later I was in Cambodia with my wife and four children.

God has given me everything I thought I needed and more!  I thank God every day for Patricia King and XP Ministries who purchased a beautiful Toyota 4-wheel drive for me to make these trips.  I thank God every day for people who financially support me and Cynde to represent the God of the Universe in Cambodia and elsewhere (we were just invited this past week to help plant a church in Sri Lanka next year).  I thank God daily for the people who contribute financially to the ministry of New Life Fellowship of Churches to we can continue to evangelize, make disciples, train leaders and plant more churches in Cambodia and send Cambodians as missionaries to other countries.

Please pray for us in the following ways:

  1. Cynde and I have wisdom to impart to those who look to us as mentors, advisors and spiritual father and mother.
  2. A new release of the prophetic, words of wisdom and words of knowledge and healing through us.
  3. Wisdom and guidance as we are now in the mode of budgeting and planning for 2015.

As we come to the end of this year, please consider making a special contribution to New Life Fellowship of Churches:

  • Our Phnom Penh-based staff are coming to an end to our budget for traveling to provincial villages to support our leaders.
  • Sponsorship for more Children at Risk.
  • I have several more books I need to write, get translated and published to benefit Christians and leaders in Cambodia.

My prayer is that you, too, will not consider anything too great a sacrifice to reach your sphere of influence for the Kingdom of God.

Blessings,

Chuck and Cynde McCaul

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Personal Development, Uncategorized

A New Blog: Embracing Your Destiny

I’m not the most technologically savy person and thus for some reason I cannot access any of my old Word Press Blogs so I have to start over.  I’ve also changed my primary private email address to charles.edward.mccaul@gmail.com.  You can keep an eye on this site for personal thoughts from me, insights into life issues that I’ve discovered and articles that have encouraged or inspired me which I want to pass on to others in hopes it will be an encouragement to them as well.

My primary Life Message is this:  God has a plan for you!  He has a destiny!  I believe this with all my heart and it comes out in almost everything I do.  I believe that each of us was created for a purpose and our life brings us through mountains and valleys over the years, but if we respond correctly they can turn out for our good and to further us a long on our journey of discovering all that God has for us.  This is my hope and prayer for you – that you will become all that God has called you to become and do all that God has called you to do.  You can put that on my tombstone!

Below are a couple Bible verses that have encouraged me over the years:

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

 

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