2019 Ministry Wrap-up

Prayer Partners:

Thank you for your faithful support.

Patience is key to evangelism. While building and fostering relationships, we prayerfully seek opportunities to reiterate the gospel message.

Christmas is not widely celebrated in Cambodia. In recent years, globalization (i.e. movies, tourism) has made Cambodians more aware of what goes on in other countries. Although the true meaning of Christmas is not widely known, the whimsical happiness associated with the holiday is embraced.

Through this fascination with Christmas, the Lord opens doors to share and reiterate the gospel. Equipped with Christmas tracts in Cambodian language, the Lord led back to each of the primary contacts made through “street ministry”.

For Christmas…
Students and their immediate families were invited to a buffet dinner. We thanked the Lord Jesus together in prayer- for the food, for coming to die on the cross for our sins…

Each who would receive was given a tract with the gospel in Cambodian language.
Students were given a spending limit and allowed to purchase needed items for school.
Faithful soldiers were given their own Bibles (Cambodian & English language side by side).

Praise the Lord!
Thank you to my Aunt Bobbie for the donation!

The primary purposes of this ministry are to evangelize unbelievers and disciple those who repent and give their lives to Christ. The Lord promises to meet the needs of His people.

Ability to speak clear English empowers a student to get a job in the more lucrative tourist sector. Students with zero initial English knowledge at the beginning of the year can now read and speak some basics.

A number in this small group have prayed to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Praise the Lord!

There is a lot of pressure to turn back and to conform to culture. Please pray for these kids.

Lord-Willing Plans:
We continue to trust the Lord for a school / ministry center. Recently we have looked into the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE- School of Tomorrow) curriculum.

Financial Needs:
1) Truck- for everything from taking kids to church to getting groceries.
At the moment, we have a scooter (motorbike). My wife is not able to drive it. While long trips can be an adventure for me, 3+ hours on the back of a motorbike is a lot to ask of my wife.
2) Healthcare- We have been without insurance for two years.
3) Living Expenses- We are currently 50% funded in terms of daily living and ministry expenses.

Serving the Church:
Suicide within church communities is becoming increasingly common.

I remember being a terrified 14-year old boy with a strange desire hidden within the congregation. Through testimony & song to encourage and what the Bible says about this struggle for clarity and conviction, we strive to be a resource for those who struggle and their loved ones.

In 2019, we were privileged to share “ex-gay” testimony & song within Christian establishments in Cambodia such as: International Baptist Church of Siem Reap, Bible Baptist Church Russey Keo in Phnom Penh and Shade of Grace School in Battambang.

Through April 2020 (Lord willing), we are in the United States sharing in churches.

We would be honored to share “ex-gay” testimony & song at your church.

Please email matthew.karchner@castawayministries.org for more information.

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Follow-up

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7-9

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Part 3 of 3

Mission accomplished. Praise the Lord!

Simple Evangelism:

Pray. Build the relationship (earn the right to be heard). Share the gospel when the Lord opens the door.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Part 2 of 3

Praise the Lord.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Part 1 of 3

Praise the Lord for getting me through!

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26

Are We Fishers of Men? (Matthew 4:19)

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18‭-‬20

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'” Mark 16:15

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Video: Myanmar Mission Overview

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'”   Mark 16:15

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”   Psalm 34:18

Click here to read the written overview of the Myanmar Mission.

Myanmar Mission Overview

Myanmar borders Thailand to the west. Isolated from the world until recently, its rich culture remains undiluted. I was honored to speak at Innlay (Lake) Baptist Church on a raised platform above monsoon season flood waters- first encouraged, then shared testimony, a call to compassion for those who struggle with same sex attraction and gender identity, shared the gospel with a call to receive Christ (to repent and become a born again believer in Jesus). Many prayed to give their lives to Christ. Praise the Lord. 🙏

A dog rested at the foot of the platform. Pastor said the dog is an honorary church member and howls along when certain hymns are sung. That is what I call rich culture!

Armed with the Bible in Burmese and Google Translate, my wife and I street witnessed. Occasionally we encountered someone who could speak English. Although there was resistance to the gospel (much more than other countries in the region), some received with gladness. We connected with a number of people via social media for follow-up. Praise the Lord.

Side note:  In photos to follow on Castaway Ministries’ Facebook page, note that I am wearing a “lungyi” and “thanaka” (see below links). Interestingly, in past gay life, I don’t recall wearing a skirt or helping carry a purse… not until I married a woman. Haha!

Finally, God used this mission to grow me and my wife closer as a missionary couple. Thank the Lord for Rebekah.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myanmar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longyi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanaka

Click here to watch the Video: Myanmar Mission Overview.

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Witnessing in Southern Thailand & Salvation Story

“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” – Acts 17:32

Immediate responses to the gospel could be classified as: (1) Yes, (2) No and (3) Maybe Later.

Thailand’s capitol Bangkok and beach towns Pattaya and Phuket are high priorities on the evangelism hit list because they are popular hubs for LGBT+ culture and prostitution.

We live and witness in Bangkok. Seeds were scattered in Pattaya (closer to Bangkok) earlier this year. This week, I hit Phuket for the first time.

Conversations typically begin with small talk, then testimony, then often the gospel. Additional armament includes tracts in Thai and the Bible in virtually any language via Bible app.

We try to connect with as many on Facebook as possible and post Scripture regularly so that they will be exposed to the Bible and lines of communication remain open.

Facts:
Majority of folks engaged: Thai Buddhists
Most common response to the gospel: ‘You (Westerners/Americans) believe in Jesus. Thai people believe in Buddha.’
Example seemingly appointed engagement:
Transgender male-to-female- met outside her workplace. In response to testimony, she said, “So you are a real man now, not just a gay.” Pouring down rain, she asked me to come back to discuss- shared the gospel and tract, read the Bible, discussed previous exposure to Christianity and clarification of salvation requirements and Christian living. Asked me to send her things on Facebook (ex. Scripture) and basically ended with- ‘I will hear you again on this matter.’

In general, the lay of the land is a city with:
1) An area(s) known for transgender male-to-female (“ladyboys”)- strip bars, massage parlors and old fashioned street prostitution.
2) An area known for gay bars- resembles what is common in US cities.
3) A pedestrian-only street(s) that is a mixed bag- hosts party/sex tourists from around the world.

All 3 of the above areas and everywhere in between contain ladyboys soliciting outside massage parlors. The Lord’s timing is perfect. It is rainy season. Business is down, and folks have a few moments to spare.

Prostitutes speak the language of sex, so God works from there. Some say my eyes look kind and they feel good talking to me. You and I know that is the Lord.

Sharing Christ with jeering prostitutes can seem pointless. Nonetheless, this is what we are called to do- if for no other reason than to give each human being, created in God’s image, an opportunity to repent and get through the gates. The Lord has gone so far as to resurrect men and send them back into the pit on a rescue mission. Having been warned of coming judgment, all will be without excuse.

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.'” – Jonah 3:1-2

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:2

Eyes welling up with tears as we shake the dust off our feet, we reflect on those who have rejected Christ, peer down at our watches wondering how much longer we have… and utter, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.”

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Back in Bangkok Sunday afternoon, the Lord led to join a medical clinic. Specified assignment was to “play with the kids”. That was part of it and was certainly a blessing, but I knew better- that the Lord was doing something else. Our assignment is always to lead people to Jesus. So we scouted the area and found that it was also a ministry for juvenile (and adult) offenders. In the common area was a 14-year old playing guitar with his friend. The third seat in the small circle was empty. I sat down. After the ‘where are you from’ small talk, we got into business. He said that when he got locked up, he asked Jesus to help him and started to believe with his head but that he had never prayed to repent and give his life to Jesus. So he did! Please pray for “G”.

After many “No” responses, the Lord rewarded with a “Yes”!

THIS IS THE WHY- why the believer in Christ remains on the earth after coming to know Jesus- to fulfill the Great Commission.

Join the fight. Pray for training wheels. It’s scary at first, but the Lord gives the passion and leads. His heart is for evangelism. Be bold. Get close to the heart of Jesus.

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.‘” – Jesus (Mark 16:15)

As an old friend of mine used to say, “We serve an awesome God, brother.”
Praise the Lord!

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