Recently I was reading in Psalm 18 (The Passion Translation) and verse 19 jumped off the page. It says:
“His love broke open the way and he brought me into a beautiful, broad place. He rescued me — because his delight is in me.”
Daily we face many challenges and obstacles that feel insurmountable. Working to bring change where poverty mindsets are generations strong is hard. Sometimes it feels like we are standing in the face of a tidal wave of destruction and despair. And YET this is the hope and cry of our hearts, the belief we carry — God’s love can break open a way and bring people out of a cramped and dark survival into a beautiful place of joy and freedom. In response to that verse, we offer this prayer:
Lord - please help us to lean more and more into your love, trusting that your love will break open the way. Help us. Break through the fog and confusion and shine your clear light on the way we are to go.
we have some wonderful things to share with you...happenings from the last few months and family updates. Enjoy!
Khmer New Year
We recently celebrated Khmer New Year at our center. It was a time full of laughter, games, and silliness. This is the stuff childhood is made of and we were happy to create memories with many of the children we love and serve each week.
Also, our Khmer team recently took two boys who have excelled in school out for a special lunch at the beach. One of the boys is in his first year of school ever at the age of 12 and loving it! We are so encouraged by the growth we see in him.
Many of the families we work with are feeling the strain and difficulties of rapid development in the city. Honestly, it can be discouraging and hard work at times. Please be praying for them and for our Khmer team who seek to speak hope and encouragement and direction into difficult situations.
Strong Roots: A Vocational Training Program, Kampot
We are actively in the planning stages for our next phase of ministry which is pioneering a Vocational Training Program here in Kampot. The goal is to open the program in November of this year. This will be specifically for young men from the Blue Mountain community in Sihanoukville where we work. Many of them have limited options with drug dealing, alcohol abuse, and grunt labor with no skill development being the main sources of income. We want to see the cycles of poverty change in this community by working intentionally and holistically with young men and women. This is a big step of faith for us and we are trusting God with the details. Also praying into the list of names we have created for possible boys to start the program with us.
Several weeks ago we took a gift to the government office in Kampot to introduce ourselves and our new project. They were so open and excited for our expansion into the region. We feel encouraged!
Women’s Meetings, Sihanoukville
We have had three women’s meetings in our Sihanoukville community. The vision for this time is to provide laughter, time away from daily stresses and tasks, equip on a practical level, and create an atmosphere of peace, hope and love. We are looking for some funding for these meetings. Please see the attached document for more information and email Noelle if you are interested in helping!
Commutes weekly to Sihanoukville and uses the car time for random team talks and silliness. Enjoys long walks with Max, our dog. Surprised everyone by becoming a cat lover. Reads the Cambodian news in Khmer daily.
Looks forward to spending time with friends on the weekends. Talented with art projects at school. Started sharing a room with Jack and is learning how to be a kind, fun big brother.
Recently spent a long weekend with an old friend in Bangkok. Loves spending one-on-one time with team members. Has discovered a newfound love of taking care of our little garden.
Masquerades frequently as Batman and Superman. Makes his opinions freely and clearly known. Currently mastering potty training and ninja skills.
Heading full-speed towards adolescence. Loves reading long books and drawing comics. Growing daily in being a responsible, very funny young man.
Max, our fab golden retriever pup, continues to be the best little boy playmate and master of mischief. Our sweet cat, Mango, passed away this month. We really miss her but our newly adopted cat, Gray, is helping fill the void. He is a rambunctious boy kitty with a knack for climbing.
Strength, encouragement and faith for our Khmer team as the live and serve in Sihanoukville.
Health for our entire team — many of us have had a lot of sickness over the past few months.
Clear sense of God’s heart and direction for the vocational program, as well as Him preparing the right boys to start the program.
Protection, unity, and joy in our family life.
We love you all! Thanks for journeying with us. This is the hardest and best adventure we have ever done. We love it. Thanks for helping make it possible.