Meet Jeff & Channy Rasmussen

Missionary Updates - May/June 2024

 

It’s nearly summer here in Oregon, and while that brings with it many changes in the weather, schedules, and so much more here at home, God’s work continues—both here at Harvest Christian Church and overseas. And as a church family, we get the chance to play a part in both aspects with our support of eight fulltime missionaries all throughout the world, including our newest additions: Jeff and Channy Rasmussen of SALT Academy Cambodia! (Read more about them and their story below).

With you and your generosity, Harvest has the privilege of contributing 12% of ALL our tithes and offerings to our missionaries and their respective ministries. It’s a big responsibility and awesome privilege to be a part of overseen by our Missions Board that meets on an every other month basis.

Below is just a glimpse of what they are doing and how the Holy Spirit is moving in their work and ministry:

Jeff & Channy Rasmussen / SALT Academy Cambodia

While there is much we could tell you about our newest additions to the missionaries we support all throughout the world, we figured we’d let them do it themselves. So without adding much more additional commentary, here are some important things to know about Jeff and Channy, who have been helping oversee SALT Academy Cambodia since 2019.

How would you best describe what you guys do? And what does your maxim of serving the “least, the last, and the lost” mean as it relates to SALT Academy?

The least, the last and the lost as it relates to SALT Academy means that we are looking to change the lives of Cambodian youth, both through their earthly lives and their eternal destinies. These youth come from situations where they are the least, the last and the lost. They are the trafficked, the poor, the abandoned, the abused, the unreached, the undesirable, and the left behind.

What led you into Missions? And why Cambodia?

My faith (Jeff) became my own when I was 19 years old. It was then that I chose to be incredibly active in my home church—honestly forcing myself to do it. Leading up to that time, though my heart wasn’t aimed at the Kingdom of God, I wanted it to be. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be” (Matthew 6:21) was my guiding verse. God’s Word is true. As I put my treasure, “my time,” into the Kingdom of God, “my heart” started to follow. I began to love serving in the church, and the Word of God became so alive and fresh to me. My life began to completely transform.

One specific outreach I was involved in during this time was a homeless outreach downtown. I went from being too shy to even talk to someone to a person that, in my own free time, would buy Taco Bell and sit with the homeless along the Troutdale exit just down the way from Harvest Christian Church. I would share about the transformation God had led in my life to hearing about their own lives and what they were seeking and longing for in their own. Sharing about Jesus became a drug to me. I couldn’t get enough of the “spiritual high” that I would get by loving on others and sharing about Jesus.

One day I was at home, on my knees, worshiping, and reading the Bible when God spoke to my heart. He said “I’ve created you to be a missionary.” I didn’t even know what a missionary truly was at that time. I asked but didn’t feel anything in my heart. So I kept reading. I was in Luke at the time, and when I got to Luke 10 when Jesus sent out the 72, God again spoke to my heart, saying “that’s a missionary.”

When the King speaks, you obey. Right there in my room I committed to being a missionary for the rest of my life. I showed up to a missionary training school at 20 years old and told the leader to buy me a one-way ticket for our outreach location because I wasn’t coming back. That was nearly 17 years ago.

Outreach locations were released, and the young 20-year-old who was eager for adventure knew that Africa was the destination for him. But when I prayed about it, I didn’t have any peace. So I told the school leaders to place me in whichever team needed the most help, and I ended up in Cambodia. To be honest, I wasn’t even 100% sure where it was, and so I had to go and look at a map to see where I would be spending the rest of my life.

When I got to Cambodia, I was blessed with an opportunity to share my testimony at a church in Phnom Penh. And after sharing that night, 37 people decided to follow Christ. I knew at that moment this was a great place to plant down and work to disciple those that came to know Jesus. (And now the rest is history).

What do you love most about Cambodia? How about what you do, specifically? 

Having done global missions, it has allowed me to see that there are general giftings that God places differently on different nations. God has blessed Cambodians with a deep gift of hospitality to a level I’ve not seen anywhere else. This beautiful gift is something that I truly love about the Cambodian people and love seeing how God is glorified by this gift.

As the director of SALT Academy my roles are more in leadership, discipleship, fundraising and admin, but that heart of the evangelist that dwells heavily upon me will never go away. What I love most about what we do is the multiplication. Through SALT’s ministry thousands and thousands are hearing the life changing news of Jesus Christ, and that is worth us giving our all.

How long have you and Channy been married, and who is your son?

Channy and I got married while chasing after the will of God and bumping into each other in a spectacular way that could only have been arranged by our Heavenly Father. We’ve been married for 14 years and have a 12-year-old son named Caleb.

What’s your favorite thing to do as a family together?

Our favorite thing to do together as a family is to try new adventures. Our most recent one is dirt biking! We are hoping to find a way to make that happen in Cambodia.

What’s your favorite Cambodian-style food dish? How about food in general?

My favorite Cambodian style dish is “Lok-Lak” made by my wife! Channy’s favorite food/dish is Duck balut.

Harry Douglass / Team Expansion

If we’re being honest, there is not a lot of the country of Harry’s beloved Cuba that hasn’t seemingly been touched by the Gospel either directly or indirectly by the work he and his team have been doing for years now. Thanks in large part to the nature and reach of his disciple-making movement strategies Harry and his team have been incorporating, after a third training among some churches in central Cuba over the past two years, the number of groups has now grown from 15 to 45 and is now nearing 100 of these effective Bible Study groups.

Harry’s work has also been ramping up in the southeastern part of the island in the Santiago area as well. In a recent trip to Cuba, one particular leadership couple has been set aside to start a new work in the area where the agricultural plot has been producing a huge boom in food and employment for the local citizens and workers. The hope is that this work will continue among three villages up in the hills, just outside of Santiago, where there is presently no church.

In an upcoming trip Harry has scheduled for the second week of June, he will be joining up with two of his leaders from Venezuela, Saul and Luis, along with a Cuban leader named Pavel, to continue their ongoing training and mentoring under Harry’s lead. The focus will not only focus in on developing and training up new leaders, but also to encourage them and refresh their vision for Cuba. Harry has expressed wanting to make this fruitful ministry of his more and more Cuban upon each trip he takes to visit God’s faithful workers.

—————–

The other fulltime missionaries we support are …

Cash Lowe / Grace Network International

Jim & Kathy Tierney / Tierney Christian Mission

Pablo Martinez / Tecate, Mexico

Jaffet Perez / Gate of Hope Mission International

Doug & Shelly Kallestad / IAM (Iberoamerican Ministries)

Jonathan Turner / Key Communications

—————–

Did you know?!

God’s Work around the church doesn’t just end with our fulltime missionaries. We also have others in our church family doing God’s Work in so many other wonderful ways as well!

Did you know our very own Steve Valdez and Dave Compton also oversee ministries? If not (or even if you did), be sure to check out and support their work for God’s Kingdom as well at SavePoint and Love Your Neighbor, respectively.

And it doesn’t end there!

We have several students heading to serve at camp this summer as well. Please be praying for ALL of the following students who will be headed to Trout Creek Bible Camp this summer. And others who will be serving at Wi-ne-ma Christian Camp.