Once again, we’re late getting our update out to all of you guys. It isn’t due to lack of activity and stories to share… to say there’s been a lot going on would be a huge understatement. Here’s a little bit of what’s been happening lately and how you can pray alongside us:
Channy continues to do well at Bloom, she’s had a few hurdles to overcome but, she is making amazing progress and God is really working in her life. As always, please continue to pray for her (and Sor Phea, her mentor/ ‘older sister’ she lives with) spiritual growth and maturity as she is in transition and training.
Veasa is really liking his English classes and learning a lot, on top of staying very busy with his job. Right now, his work schedule does not allow him to attend church or Bible study. Please pray that a way would be made for him to have time to worship and fellowship with other believers in Phnom Penh.
Rainy season this year has been the worst the country has seen in over ten years. Please, please, please continue to pray for all of those that are being affected by the flooding. Not only the current dangers (such as snakes and disease) that the floods pose, but also the loss of property and crops which will have long term effects on many families here. We know even with all the devastation God is able to use this to bring people to Him. Pray for the local churches here to have opportunities to share Christ. Pray especially for our kids who remain in Lveasar for their safety and health.
Because the water in Lveasar is very high, about forty of the children have been moved to Pastor Sokhom’s house while the other children and some of the staff remain at HCO to look after things. Pray for Pastor Sokhom’s family... they are a living, breathing example of James 1:27… There isn’t anyone else we’ve encountered that would take this many people (not only children but ill church members as well) into their own home and care for them just as they do their own family.
Our kids, what can we say, we just love them so much. We know they love each other too; however, as you can imagine with so many children in one space, they’re bound to annoy each other at some point. Pray for their patience with each other, and just the stress of just being away from home and, for some, being apart from siblings. Along with that, Yua (our little girl that has seizures) has been having more frequent episodes recently. Her doctor said the stress of the flood and evacuation could be a likely trigger, as well as other environmental factors. Please just pray for her and everything surrounding this.
We continue to hold English classes for a few hours in the mornings (at the house) and then follow up in the afternoons with movie or craft time. It’s given us some quality time to spend with the kids as well as giving the family and house moms a small break in their day. It’s been fun to share a little of our American food and culture with the girls when they come spy on us late at night. Between their incessant pleas to watch and sing “fish girl” (aka The Little Mermaid) and the amazement of the microwave, they have kept us laughing. Plus, the impromptu sing-a-longs, dance parties, fingernail painting, and hair straightening in our living room are just flat out fun. We don’t know for sure if we’ll get back out to Lveasar before we leave or not so, this is kind of our silver lining in the midst of being away from the village.
For a while now, friends and family have been reminding us how little time we have left in country; yet, it’s difficult to believe it’s already October… one year ago we were preparing to leave family, friends, and the good ol’ USA. Those were difficult “goodbyes” but, as we learned during our training at MTI they were necessary to make our “hellos’ here sweeter. Soon enough, we’ll repeat similar scenarios with our family here, kids we continue to fall even more in love with, friends we’ve made, and a place we’ve called home for the last (nearly) 12 months. While we aren’t looking forward to actually saying “goodbye” and the tears that go along with that, we realize what a blessing God provided in all of those things for us here. We left two of the greatest families anyone could ever ask for and God provided Pastor Sokhom, Ronnie, and their children who have treated us far greater than we deserve. They welcomed us into their home without really knowing us and have loved us… even when we’re loud and come in ‘late’ (after 6pm!). Neither one of us left kids, and we knew the ones we were coming to were amazing but, there isn’t any way someone could have prepared us for how much we would love each and every one of these children. They’re absolutely some of the coolest, loving, and passionate Christ followers we’ve ever met… plus, have you seen how incredibly adorable they are? We have a few thousand pictures and stories to prove it. We love our friends in Lake Jackson (and others from a little further away) and we’re grateful God provided us with friends in Cambodia who have encouraged, loved, challenged, listened, and prayed for us throughout our time here… and they even put up with our (extreme and maybe slightly annoying) Texas pride. Life is about to look drastically different for us, we know just as God walked with us through our transition into life here in Cambodia, He will ease us through the transition back to the states. Please pray for us as we say our “goodbyes” here. This place that was so foreign to us at this time last year has become home to us. But, we can’t wait to see all of you back in Texas, we’re looking forward to those “hellos” being pretty sweet.Love,
Tamara and Lauren