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By Paul Bishop, with Jeannie Dortch.

Paul disciples a Cambodian who may face strong anti-Christian sentiment from his family. Photo by Tim Kenney

Life on the mission field has turned out to be much different than we had planned. When we first went to the field in April 1997, we were going to be church planters in a restricted access country in Asia. Our first term, while not without its struggles, was a wonderful time of learning language and culture. However, God radically altered our plans when He allowed us to be kicked out of that country at the end of our first term.

God’s plan became evident when He led us to a neighboring country to work with the same unreached people group. Soon after our arrival, the team leader for that people group left, and Cathleen and I were asked to take over as team leaders. God quickly opened doors to the gospel. When two villages were burned down, our team used disaster relief funds to enter these communities and show the love of Christ. We were able to start a church in each village. It has been a blessing to see these churches start two more churches and outreach groups.

Cathleen works with Mon-Khmer women. Photo by Jade Phan

After our second term, God had more changes prepared for us. Cathleen and I were asked to take on the newly created Strategy Group Leader position for the country of Cambodia. We have been serving in this position since June 2004. Our primary responsibility now is to help each of the teams working among the Mon-Khmer-speaking peoples, the vast majority of whom are Buddhist. We provide direction, encouragement and administrative assistance to the personnel as they establish reproducing church movements. We are truly blessed to work with seven teams, each focused on a different people group. These teams include 32 adults and 38 children. We also work with national partners in most of our area’s people groups.

Both of our children were born on the field. Cambodia, more than any other place, has been their home. Early on, they traveled with us as we were involved in church planting. Now they travel with us as we visit with personnel in various parts of Cambodia and Thailand. Our children also help us to build relationships in our neighborhood. As a family, we work together in prayer to lift up both our co-workers and the unreached peoples of the Mon-Khmer Cluster. Our children have been home schooled for the past several years, but this year we put them in a small international school that uses a British-based curriculum. There they have friends from Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, India, America, and England.

Cathleen and Paul, Isaac and Abby at home in Cambodia. Photo by Laurie Gardner

Our lives are busy, rich, and full of God’s grace and peace. We thankfully and lovingly send greetings to our always faithful First Baptist Church family,

Paul and Cathleen Bishop


Join the Bishops in their work with the Mon-Khmer people through prayer at http://monkhmercluster.wordpress.com.

For more missions prayer requests, visit: http://www.fbcrichmond.org/prayer.

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