Tell the Story

Today I sat with four young ladies from the States who are in Cambodia to research and study fair trade and how it works (and doesn’t work).

We walked down the dirt road to SreyRohm’s house waving at neighbourhood kids who greeted us with chorus’ of “hello!”

SreyRohm and I shared with them about how the sale of Hope Family’s products directly benefit the lives of the women that are involved.  They asked lots of great questions and we talked about the demands on women in developing nations, and encouraging national leaders, and creating sustainable business that values the women & families involved.  We also talked about consumerism and the drive in most developed nations to have “stuff”.

They admitted that they had taken in so much in the last six days that they were just still trying to process it all.

I realized as we chatted that many of my thoughts have been moulded by our time overseas.  On a small scale, I have a deeper understanding of the value of something.  I know the woman that made that dress.  She has a husband and three small children to care for.  She has to go to the market daily as she doesn’t have a refrigerator to keep her food.  She is expected to make all her meals from scratch and keep her house clean and look after her children and than, when everyone is bed, she will stay up til 1:00 or 2:00am to be able to do some sewing to bring in an income for her family.

On the larger scale, God has shown me something about our role in relation to the people He has sent us to serve.  I am not a foreigner.  I am a sister in Christ supporting and encouraging my brothers and sisters in Christ and being a light where He has placed me.  I expected to feel like a stranger here…but I don’t.

The girls today mentioned that they loved the organic way in which our life and relationships were playing out in response to a need that was identified in our community.   It reminded me that we do have a story to tell.  I forget that sometimes.  It’s kind of a part of our job description…..to tell the story.  I wish everyone could visit so they could see firsthand but since that’s not possible; it’s up to us to share what God is doing in a way that impacts and touches people.

And so, we will endeavour over the next few months to share stories of how God is moving and what it means to serve in a context such as ours.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Seize the Day

Hi Friends,

Most of you know, we have signed a 3 year lease on a property just on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. We chose this location because we have been visiting this community for over a year now. Both the Teen Challenge center and our friends, SreyRohm & Abraham are located there.

Truthfully, when we first felt called to this neighborhood, we were thinking that yes, someday we would like to have a ministry center but we weren’t really considering that right away. God has been speaking to us over the past few weeks and the message has been clear “Why wait!” Luke 9:62 in the Message Bible says “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” So….we are seizing the day! Our aim is to have the center up and running by October!

Below you will find an outline of the costs involved and what we need to raise. Though the numbers can be overwhelming, we feel a sense of peace that we are in the will of God and that He will touch people’s hearts to give. Our heart is also to welcome teams to this center to be a part of what God is doing in this community.

We are expecting great things! Thanks for taking the time to read and please join us in prayer that the funds will come in quickly and we can start on the building this month!

Building Project: $8900
(includes building with bathroom & small kitchen & gate/fence)
2 sewing machines: $380
2 Desktop computers : $500 Tables & chairs: $380 Woodworking equipment: $630 Projector: $300

Existing building: $2500 Perimeter Fence: $700

Total $14, 370 Cdn

Watch this video to see the site and hear more about this project

This is an example of the type of building we will add to our property to serve as a ministry centre

This is an example of the type of building we will add to our property to serve as a ministry centre

A Day in the Life of…..

I know I promised a detailed description of the birthday party we were invited to so that will come later in this post.

We’ve been attending the international church here in the city for four weeks now.  If you ever get a chance to go to an international church…DO!  I am so overwhelmed every time; I love it.  I guess I have to admit that I sort of thought of Christianity as a western religion.  It is so beautiful to see peoples of every nation and tongue praising the Lord.  I am humbled when I think of how these saints have perservered and overcome in cultures that do not recognize the name of Jesus.

It really ties into one of the courses we are taking right now that discusses God’s plan for humanity in the Bible and how missions plays into that.  We’ve been going through the books of the Bible and basically dissecting them and it’s amazing how many times the nations are mentioned and how God will reconcile them to Him and how He will reveal that He is the one true God.  Good stuff.

Chad is teaching english at the Bible college a few mornings a week and we are both fully into our language classes.  Sometimes I feel like my brain just refuses to take in any more information!

It is amazing to me how many opportunities for involvement there are here.  We could be involved in so many different ministries; the need is great and it is everywhere.  We are really trying to focus on our language as this will be the foundation for all of our years here in Cambodia.  It is important to us to invest this time into language so that the relationships we develop will be deep and meaningful.  We are meeting people daily; people that live on our street or students that attend the university near our house and our heart is that God will use us in simple ways to be His light.

We are also taking a communications course at the bible college that highlights the different nuances of Cambodian culture and how we can be effective in ministering to the Khmer people.  Many challenging thoughts.

So….the birthday party.  Picture a wedding with flowers, live music, spotlights, gowns (yes, gowns!) and an eight course meal.  The food was delicious, the tents took up the entire street and I was seriously under-dressed. haha  All joking aside, there is a great disparity in Cambodia between the rich and the poor and I just read this week that that gap is increasing.  I saw a little girl on the street last week.  It was pouring rain and surprisingly chilly and she was soaked right through yet whomever she was begging for, had her sitting out, her only covering her ragged shirt.  I thought perhaps she was made to stay out there in hopes that people would feel more sorry for her and give more money.  As I said, there is need everywhere.

I wanted to add a little bit about the kids; they have done remarkably well with the transition.  Evie has started to crawl and Ethne finally gave her bottles to “the babies” because she is a “big girl”.  Dez & Elle are learning khmer phrases at school; it cracks me up when they raise their little hands to their noses and say “Chum reap sua” to me when I pick them up from school.  They like it too.  As I’m sure was God’s plan, the kids have been an extraordinary ice-breaker for us here.

We just wanted to say again; thank you to those who have sent us here.  Not to sound cliche but this just feels so right and we are incredibly blessed to have your support and your prayers.