Kelly and Cyndi Robinette are an amazing couple but come from extremely different backgrounds. Kelly considers himself the least likely person to be involved in any kind of ministry, while Cyndi was raised in a pastor's home. Now they serve in Cambodia and have been on the mission field for over 28 years.
I was able to catch up with them in person while they were in the U.S. on furlough. It was an amazing treat to sit down at their dining room to talk about the wide variety of outreaches and job training they do.
I was inspired by what God's already done in their lives and ministry. And I picked up a few tidbits about prayer as well as how they are able to reach entire families by reaching out to a particular person in each family.
(hint – it's probably not who you expect)
I was inspired, challenged, and encouraged. I think you will be too.
Getting to know the Robinettes
Kelly's is an amazing story of redemption. God called him from a life headed for destruction into full-time missions at about 21 years old. And still, all these years later, God both uses Kelly the way He's made him and also calls him to grow in faith.
Cyndi, on the other hand, was raised in a pastor's home. She never wanted to be married to pastor. Of course, God answered that prayer – she's married to a missionary, not a pastor.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”(Genesis 12:1-3)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians [3:23])
God's faithfulness in times of challenge
As pioneer missionaries, the Robinettes have faced many challenges. They have battled fear and lack of protection. They've had to rest fully in God's protection and provision – even in raising their children. They've had experiences pouring themselves into people, only to see them turn their backs. But God has always been there.
An amazing evangelistic tool
Kelly shared how noodle soup and coffee are an amazing evangelistic tool as he reaches out to the men in Cambodia. It's the place where they're relaxed and open to forming relationships. And there's a reason that he specifically targets the men.
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The ministry in Cambodia
The Robinettes are primarily focused on church. If they go to a country to do missions work and the end result does not include an established church, they've missed the mark. So, church planting is their main focus. They have:
- Personally planted churches
- Trained leaders to plant churches
Why focus on heads of households?
Many people focus on bringing the women or children. But Kelly feels like God would have him focus on the heads of households because he finds that it creates a better family dynamic. And he's even found that it makes it easier for other family members to come to Christ.
That doesn't mean that they don't do other things through.
- Kelly is also the director of their Bible school.
And they do work with children. They provide education, either by sponsoring them to go to the government school or by bringing them into their private school.
They also have medical outreaches.
And in each of these, their focus is making sure people learn the Word of God.
Their biggest surprise
They are most surprised that they've lasted this long. They intend to stay as long as God will have them there.
What fuels their passion?
God didn't call Kelly from a place of working in his strengths. But He led Kelly one step at a time in His strength. Always there with him.
What has strengthened and encouraged the Robinettes?
Knowing that people have prayed for them right when they needed it.
- Internet – Facebook and email
- Posting prayer needs and praise reports
Our focus on YOU, the listener
Does what I do in business really matter in the Kingdom?
There are a lot of REALLY good people, intimately and importantly involved in the mission of God, in the marketplace. It takes consistency and faith. It takes faith to believe that a prayer here will make a difference half a world away.
Three ways to be involved in missions
- Pray – Make a list and bring them before God every day.
- Give – Set aside a portion of every paycheck to go towards missions. Allow God to stretch you.
- Go – Not everyone can go. But some can.
What do I do when I have an overwhelming list of people to pray for?
Sometimes, it's OK to give God a list of names and pray one prayer for all of them.
- Speak to their hearts today
- Tender and sensitive to the Holy Spirit
- Protection and provision
- Fruit that remains
Culture is very important to people. Everybody comes with a culture – it was ingrained in them as a child. And the people coming to the U.S. now usually come here because they're excited about the new culture but they still love their culture.
A good way to be a good neighbor is to be interested in their culture and offer assistance if they're not quite understanding our culture. Ask them about their culture and be willing to share the foundation of ours.
Ways to bridge the culture gap
First, learn their language. Show interest. You can't separate the language from the culture. They are intertwined.
Just be a learner.
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