Highlight of My Cambodian Week: Friendship, Cooking, and Mara

Hello, friends. About once a week, Jacob or I will post the highlight of our week...or highlights if appropriate. This week, it's my turn and I had difficulty picking just one. My mind and heart are bursting with thoughts and stories! Here are three...

Friendship: As an introvert, I can be pretty content with my own self but sometimes you just want to share your heart with someone. I am grateful for Jacob -- he is my best friend and will offer a listening ear and a hug but I am not sure he always "gets" it. It's not his fault...we're just wired differently. Yesterday I sat with Theavy, the national director for In His Steps Cambodia, and listened to her heart. She has been walking through some difficult things and I was honored that she chose to tell me a bit about it. I found tears coursing down my cheeks as she shared. I cried in part because I grieve for her losses. I cried in part because of the hope in that moment -- the hope of friendship and trust to be built over time.

Cooking: Many of you know my reputation in the kitchen. Many of you have heard the story of the 40lb chocolate cake. I am not the handiest of chefs. Ginny, one of the directors of In His Steps, is a phenomenal cook. It would seem she can make anything from scratch. I love Ginny. She is gracious, humble, wise and fun, always willing to share herself with others. Anyway, she offered to help me make Khmer curry this last Friday night. We were having a couple over for dinner and I wanted to fix something Cambodians might enjoy. =) It was so fun to share my kitchen with her! In an hour, I learned how to crush garlic, the fastest way to slice veggies, and how to make rice in my handy-dandy rice cooker. Anyone hungry, yet? Don't worry, there will be more lessons to come.

Mara: Spend a week in our apartment and you will likely hear Jacob and I say several times, "Oh Mara. I just love her." Mara is the woman who cleans our apartment each week. Before you jump to conclusions, it's not uncommon to have household help in Cambodia. It is quite inexpensive, provides a Cambodian with a job and is a great way to show God's love to someone right in your own home. Plus living in Cambodia is a lot like camping. You should see the dirt in our shower each evening! Anyway, we were blessed that Eric and Ginny introduced us to Mara. We just love her. She is old enough to remember the horrors of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge but is still so full of joy. I love that she talks to Jacob and I in Khmer, assuming that if she just talks enough we will eventually understand her. Somehow we usually do -- her heart at least. She loves hugs and seems to find Jacob hilarious. Sometimes she drops in randomly to do a load of laundry or wash the dishes. She is a gift! I pray for her often because I want her to give her life to Jesus. Would love for you to pray for her too.

Those are the highlights for this week. Would love to hear your highlights too!