Child: Candace Benefield
Child: Deborah Benefield
Child: Emerald Benefield
Child: Stephen Benefield
Child: Gabriella Benefield
Child: Seth Benefield
Mission Field: Cambodia
Years of Service: 22
Home Church: Sequoia Baptist Church
Missions Agency: Baptist International Missions, Inc.
Our Missionary for 22 years
Dear Praying Friends,
Just a couple of days ago we returned to California after spending some time in the Pacific Northwest. Our furlough has now taken us to about 50+ churches in 6 states. We've had some tremendous meetings, and I am very encouraged by the level of interest and participation in missions that we have encountered in the churches. The generosity in many of the churches has been nothing short of amazing, and God has used numerous churches and individuals to meet every need along the way; however, the greater encouragement has been from the generosity of prayers offered on our behalf. Let me share several things I have been told in recent weeks and months.
-In a church in Southern California, an elderly woman told me that while there are too many missionaries for her to pray for each one every day, she has divided them by continent. She went on to share with me that in her prayer time, Sundays are for Asia. She looked me right in the eye and said, "Every Sunday, I pray for you."
-I received an email recently from a pastor in Northern California. He informed me that he had brought the prayer requests from my last letter before the Lord 50 times. He included a picture of my prayer letter where I saw that he had highlighted and underlined numerous parts of the letter. Then along the top of the letter I saw a nice neat row of 50 hash marks!
-This past Sunday, an elderly man (a former pastor) approached me after the service in a church in Oregon. He said, "I have a list of more than 100 missionaries that I pray for every morning at 4:00. I will add you to that list."
-A couple of months ago, a man I've known for nearly 25 years said to me, "I keep 3 missionary prayer cards on my desk as a prayer reminder, and one of them is yours."
Of course, not everyone will pray in the same way, with the same frequency, or on the same schedule, but just knowing that people are praying for us is such a huge encouragement.
The ministry in Cambodia continues to go well. We are so thankful that God arranged things so that we could have a veteran missionary to fill our place in our absence. I have heard some very good reports, particularly about some of the people who are being discipled and mentored and expressing a desire to take on greater responsibilities in the Lord's work. Please be in extra prayer for the next few weeks as our replacements, the Ruppels, are in the States for their son's graduation from Bible college and their daughter's graduation from high school. Several of our church members, as well as a couple of national pastors and missionaries, are helping to keep things going until the Ruppels return, which will be followed shortly thereafter by our return.
We have recently been asking for prayer for our daughter's college decision. We've had the opportunity to see the campuses and attend classes and chapel services at several great Bible colleges on this furlough. We are happy to share that Candace will be attending West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA, this Fall, and we are excited to see what God has in store for her there. Thank you for praying for her! Also, please continue to pray for our second daughter, Deborah, as she will be heading to Bible college next Fall (2018).
Thank you so much for your prayers and support for our ministry and family. We are honored to be a part of your missions family.
Dear Praying Friends,
One of the things that encourages me most here on the mission field is when I hear that one of our people has led another person to Christ. Let me share a couple such stories with you.
We have a young husband and father in our church named Ta who is currently going through some very deep trials in his life and has been facing some discouragement that at times has seemed about to put him down for the count. A couple of weeks ago he told me with a slight tone of optimism in his voice, that he had been witnessing to a man at work and had set an appointment to formally sit down and share the Gospel with him. I agreed with him to pray with him about his meeting with his co-worker. That Sunday at church I asked him how it went. He said it went really well and that he had set another appointment to continue witnessing later on Sunday after our evening service. About 2 hours after the evening service, Ta called me. I haven’t heard him that happy and excited in a long time! He said he just wanted to call and share the news that his co-worker had just trusted Christ as Saviour! The next Sunday (yesterday) he pulled me aside and said that there had been a major breakthrough and answer to prayer with regards to the heavy burden he has recently been carrying. Praise the Lord that Ta kept his priorities in order when humanly speaking he had every reason to put witnessing to his co-worker on the back burner. As the Bible says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” It is doubtful that his trial is completely over, but I am thankful to God for the period of relief he is enjoying right now as he keeps his eyes on Jesus. Please pray for him and his family.
A young, single girl in our church named Srey Pea has brought numerous visitors to church over the past few years. In fact, several Sundays in recent weeks we’ve seen 5 or 6 employees of the hotel where she works attending our services (only 2 of them are church members at this point). Several weeks ago she asked me to pray for a situation she was facing at work. An iPad had gone missing and her boss was insisting that all 20 people in her work group take part in a Buddhist swearing ceremony to swear they didn’t steal it. She said she knew she couldn’t swear by Buddha, but when she declined, the boss basically implied that if she wouldn’t do it, she must be guilty. I gave her a little counsel and sent her off with a promise that the whole church would pray for her. To make a long story short, several other Christians at the job also declined to participate and when the boss realized they weren’t going to change their minds, she relented and called the whole thing off. The workers came up with a plan to all chip in a little money to replace the iPad so their boss wouldn’t get in trouble from the higher bosses since it was a company tablet. All in all, a nice ending to the story. But then the very next week, Srey Pea shared with me that an aunt she hadn’t seen in years came to visit from a distant province. During her visit she began to ask Srey Pea questions about her Christian faith, and Srey Pea was able to lead her to Christ! In this culture, rarely does a person humble themselves to listen to a younger person teach them something, especially a younger relative. When Srey Pea relayed this story to me right on the heels of the iPad issue being resolved, the thought occurred to me that when we take care of God’s business, He will take care of our business.