In His Steps

Introducing our Dads

We hosted our first guests and they happened to be our Dads. We waited a long time for the day and we were practically beside ourselves with anticipation as we tracked their flight across the globe. Noelle was busy preparing our little apartment for their arrival and I sat around anxiously biting my nails, tracking every move of their 28 hour journey using my spy equipment (the internet). I know this sounds so dramatic, but we were seriously excited about them coming to visit.

They finally arrived late in the evening and we welcomed them with 10 minute hugs. 

We loved showing them around the city, but more importantly, we loved introducing them to the people we love and the ministry we work with. In His Steps International was founded by Eric and Ginny Hanson and we are proud to say we are a part. Eric and Ginny have worked tirelessly building IHSI from the ground up and our Dads were able to witness it first-hand. For them to see, hear and talk with many of the people we've come to know and have relationship with -- it was the best part of our time together and truly made us smile. 

They were only here for a short time, but I think the 9 day taste of Cambodia was plenty for them to gnaw on once they arrived back home. We took them to the province several times, the beach for a day, and, of course, moto rides and tuk tuk tours around the city. They also visited Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields to help them understand some of the tragic Cambodian history with Pol Pot at the helm.

It was such an incredible time. As their children, it meant the world to us that they happened to be our first guests. Our Dads are special to us and their visit reminded us how valuable family is. 

Enjoy the photos.

Our Dads loved taking photos.


The sunset at the beach.

My excited I'm at the beach look.


Noelle looking good at 6am.

And this is my 6am look.

A couple of unfinished buildings along the coast.



What can I say?

Waterfalls near the coast. Beautiful!


My Dad wasn't being serious. Father like son.



Love it!

Bruce getting ready to teach English at Father's House in Saang.

Eric introducing Bruce.

Bruce teaching some basic English. He's a good teacher!!


What time of day do you think this is?

Took our Dads to the FCC for lunch. A place journalists came during the war.




Eric and Ginny showing our Dads some land over on an island in Saang.





The Killing Fields.


Finally, Bruce next to our broken down tuk tuk. I think this will be his next Facebook profile picture.




May Has Been Good

We haven't blogged in a few weeks, so while we are still putting our video update together, I thought I would share a few photos from May.

It's amazing how photos tell a story. You can sit there at your computer and stare into the eyes of a child and see the joy from 30 loads of dirt being dumped on his street to help prevent flooding, or perhaps get a glimpse into the life of a laborer helping to build a safehouse for children.

Working with In His Steps has been an honor. Everyday I spend in Cambodia, I see God on the move. He is working in the lives of many here and using a few faithful workers to share His love. 

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Here is a photo from Pheaktra and Heng's wedding.  They had a 100% Christian ceremony didn't participate in any of the Buddhist rituals as many do. This is unheard of.  I took tons of photos there. You can read more about their wedding on IHSI's blog here.

This is John. John is an orphan and lives at the Foundation Center, and I have the privilege of getting to know him. He has such a tender heart, and I love how God is meeting him.

This is Noelle and I with Pheaktra and Heng at their wedding. Such a long day - American weddings are short compared to Cambodian ones.

Eric Hanson (In His Steps Director and Founder) with the Governor of the Kandal Province. It was such an honor to be seated at his table.

Doesn't Aaron look adorable????  He's so precious.

I shot some photos of new Sak Saum product that will go in the catalog.  

Where do those coconut buttons come from? Read the blog here.

And of course, the safehouse! Eric and Ginny met with John and Lisa Bevere with Messenger Intl.  A partnership was started and all the funding for the safehouse was secured.  These are the plans. Can you read it??

The land where the safehouse is to be built.  This is also the same land where the Foundation Center is at.

The cheans (Cambodian word for worker) hard at work.  They are driving the posts in the ground.

Posts are done - now they are digging out the holes.

I have the opportunity to occasionally teach at the Leadership Development class in Saang.  This time, I talked about trust and did some trust activities. Tons of fun!

Sopheak is a stud. He's wearing my sunglasses well.

The countryside outside of Saang. Beautiful!


IHSI and IHSC worked together and provided some 30 loads of dirt to build this road up.  $500 will help prevent flooding and kids having to walk through sewage. God at work!




Weighing on My Heart

Last night, Noelle and I had a pretty intense planning time for Cambodia.  It was great, but setting your independence aside when you get married is a daily decision...catch my drift?  You guessed it -- we both had our ideas of how something should flow, and conflict came crashing down.  After working through our little disagreement, we moved on - thinking about newsletters, support, strategy, cause - we found ourselves thinking about our next season of life.  It was such a rewarding evening and reminded us of how close Cambodia is.  In fact, it's creeping up so quickly that my palms get a bit clammy thinking about it.  I just can't believe it sometimes!  Noelle and I are leaving everything behind to live out the best for us.  We've been preparing our move to Cambodia for what seems like forever!  The truth is, we got engaged with the understanding that America was a temporary home for us.  The reality of long nights thinking through decisions, praying, contemplating wisdom and faith is on our doorstep. The move is nearly within reach.  I was even looking online for one-way tickets - how crazy is that!

Can you tell a few things are on my mind?  Well, I don't want to tell you about my fantasies of going off the beaten path to find a King Cobra, dropping by villages to visit orphans or even counseling young men.  I want to tell you what's weighing on my heart. One point of contention before we got started last night was a talk about our "cause."  I found myself being superficial in my responses and not really communicating the breadth of my heart.  I got to thinking and wondering: why do I respond superficially sometimes, especially when discussing deeper ideas?  Don't get me wrong, my heart is sold on the idea of restoring the brokenhearted, proclaiming Jesus' name, and equipping young leaders...but I need to know why.  Is it only because God has commanded me to go? Am I just being obedient?  Originally, that was it for me and the extent of my thought process.  Today, I've been mulling through our discussion last night and this is what I concluded.   

Not only am I being obedient to what the Lord has commanded us to do, but I'm longing for HIS heart.  He so desires to have relationship with the Cambodian people, to see them set free from sin and bondage, to see them restored and following Him.  I believe sometimes that we can get too caught up in strategy, logistics and planning that we leave the heart out.  In retrospect, I consider myself warned.  I can't let that happen.  I have passion and I want people to see it all the way to my heart.  My desire is that you see God's heart in me for the Cambodia people.  Oh how I can't wait to spend my life in a place where there is a need beyond belief for truth, love and restoration.  I count it a privilege!

My question for you: what's your cause?  Are you ignoring the unadulterated passion the Lord has placed in your heart?  

 Isaiah 61:1-2

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn...



An Update from Jacob & Noelle

It has been nearly two months since we published our first newsletter.  This past week, we have been diligently working on our second update and we are excited to share it with you.

It's full of great information and will continue to serve as tool to communicate our heart, current happenings and our needs.  As we share about our lives, we also want to hear from you!  We want to know what's happening in your lives and how we can pray for you.  So after reading, take a few minutes - leave a blog comment or shoot us an email and fill us in.


In our January/February update, we communicated our plans to move in with Jacob's Dad.  Well, with lots of great help, we did it.  We are totally settled in and loving our new place.  We are located in Monument, Colorado, which is about 10 minutes north of Colorado Springs.  It's amazingly quiet here - so much peace which is a nice change from living in an apartment.  We are truly blessed to live here rent free which will help us stay on track.


Another big hurdle that's been worked through recently is establishing our first budget.  It's still in draft form and will need some tweaking, but we are thankful to have the foundation laid and a dollar goal in mind while raising support.  We need to raise $4,000 a month to cover basics and to sow back into In His Steps International.  In His Steps is the ministry we are partnering with when we move to Cambodia.  We've also established a fund to support our efforts in transitioning to Cambodia.  This fund will allow us to pre-pay 6 months of rent, utilities and some other necessities.  This fund is also for one time items such as a motorcycle.  If you are interested in contributing to this fund, you can contact Jacob or Noelle at, or you can make a tax-deductible donation at by following the "Donate" button in the upper right-hand corner of the blog.  You will be taken to a secure PayPal site designated to Noelle and I from In His Steps.  Below is a portion from our budget worksheet that breaks down our needs for transition.


Thanks again for being a part of our lives.  We cherish your relationship and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.  Enjoy the newsletter and feel free to leave a comment.

Read our update here: Download March - April Update_OPT

Want to support us financially? Contact me at

Jacob & Noelle