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Praying for Myanmar

It’s only the beginning of February but it’s been intensely busy for our team. It’s been an opportunity to be encouraged by our team’s unity and collaboration, by visitors and teams’ sacrifices to serve the mission field, by your prayer and support, and, ultimately, by God’s amazing power, presence and love.

Paul’s role as Regional Director over Vietnam and Myanmar provides a wonderful opportunity for him to see and be a part of what God is doing in these closed countries. Currently he is in Bangkok meeting with our national partner in Myanmar.

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PLEASE PRAY for:

Myanmar

1. God would raise up more leaders for the church in Myanmar.
2. New missionary candidates to reach more people groups, especially Mru people as well as other Chin groups and the Burmese.
3. New mission field – That God would open doors for Taung gyi.

Paul

1. Health – His frequent travels takes a toll on his health and his back pain. Please pray for healing and strength.
2. Wisdom & Love – He’d rely on the Spirit as he serves alongside the national partners. May God grant him needed wisdom and love to humbly and effectively serve alongside our national partners, specifically in Myanmar but also in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Thank you for your continual support and prayers. We honestly believe it is through your prayers that God sustains us and works in all that we do, according to His good will and love.

February Happenings

This month is also filled with exciting events. We need your prayers!

NEW TEAMMATES
New teammates have just arrived on the field. Karen & Steve McClure, who have been here many times before, have joined our team. They will serve on the field 8 months of the year and return to the States for four. Melissa Fulton is your newest intern who will be here for six months. Please Pray for their transition and adjustment. Pray that our team would be able to welcome and support them. Pray for for their time here to not only be fruitful but one that draws them nearer to God and allows them to be a light.

LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE
Prevention, a means of fighting against human trafficking, is often overlooked or minimalized. When we think of anti-trafficking we often think about brothel raids, rescues, and aftercare shelters. Yet the opportunity to prevent is powerful and vital. One of those ways is getting people educated and communicating about relevant topics.

Over the past 5.5 years we’ve been here, we’ve seen Phnom Penh adopt many of the western world’s culture, including Valentine’s Day. But it isn’t just about roses and boxes of chocolate. It’s often a day where the youth are often pressured, sometimes forced, to have sex.

This month, Mary Flo Ridleyan international speaker and author of Simple Truths and God’s Very Good Design, will be coming to speak with young adults about sex, marriage and love. What does the Bible say about sex? What do we need to know about sex for ourselves and our future families? How can we best prepare for marriage? What are the dangers of sex? She will be speaking at different venues to our team, to our Cambodian university students, and to Cambodian parents. 

Please Pray for Mary Flo who is traveling all the way from Texas. Pray for her protection, health and strength. Pray that she can effectively communicate, being wise and sensitive to the cultural context. Pray for the Cambodians who will be most likely discussing this for the first time. This is just the start. Pray that this would continue to fruitful impact in their lives, families, churches and communities.

MEDICAL TEAM
Our team is hosting a large medical short-term team the first two weeks of February. Please pray for the team’s safe travels, health, unity and humility. Pray that God uses them to not only bring medical services but encouragement for the patients as well as the Cambodian medical students who will work alongside them. Pray for our teammates, Dale & Nancy Knutson, who are the main coordinators and hosts. Pray also for all the site leaders and church plant sites, both city and village, that are hosting clinics.

The conference in Phnom Penh has ended. We are very thankful to everyone that has helped to make it happen. The national pastors were very blessed by the teaching of the team. They covered the prison letters of Apostle Paul. Please pray that everything they learned will encourage the pastors and their congregations. 

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Paul and a teammate, Tim, left with the team to Vietnam to have the same conference for our national partners there.  Please pray for the national pastors that they would be refreshed as they are worn down from ministry. Pray that they would have wisdom in dealing with the government as they church plant. 

Please pray for safe travels, protection, and strength for Joel, Will, Alex, Tim and Paul. Although they are encouraged and blessed through this fruitful time, pray also for energy and rest. Pray for their families they’ve left back home, especially those with sick children. Thank you all for sending these men to SE Asia to serve us, our team and the Kingdom.

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Pastors’ Conference

This week, our team is hosting a Pastors’ Conference both in Cambodia and Vietnam. We are excited to have Professor Joel Kim, Assistant Professor of New Testament, and Pastor William Chang, come and teach our national pastors from the Prison Epistles of Paul – Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.

IMG_0678Will, Joel, Paul & Alex during our 2015 HMA

Please pray:

  • Safe and healthy travels – Whether from the States to Cambodia, within Cambodia, or to Vietnam, please pray for safe travels and health & protection. Please pray for Paul and his teammate, Tim, who will be traveling to Vietnam.
  • Conference – We hope it will be a fruitful time of studying God’s Word together with our national pastors both here and in Vietnam.
  • Team Worship – This Thursday is our monthly team worship. We are so thankful the team will be able to worship with Joel, Will, and Alex, our dear friend and former teammate. Please pray that we will all be mutually encouraged and spurred on to serve our Lord.
  • Families – Please pray for all the families while the husbands are traveling and away from their wives and children.

Our time has come to a close and we each head back to our home.  It has been such a blessing to have Pastor Ben and Elder George minister to all of us through the Word, speaking specifically about the unique challenges of pastors and their families. It is encouraging as we share with one another honestly and come to the Lord in prayer but also to kick back and just hang out with one another. Thankful for the time these pastors, most of them making up the, Cambodian Presbyterian Association, were able to meet and spur each other on.

IMG_1674Elder George’s Pastoral Self-Care Seminar

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Games w Older Kids

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Craft Time w Little Ones

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(photo credit: Albert Shim)

We are so thankful for all those who have come together to make it happen.  Thank you for those who have helped coordinate (Luke & Sokha), to the speakers (Ben & George), and to those  who tirelessly yet patiently took care of the children so the parents could participate and rest. Thank you for your financial support that helps us fund these events. Thank you all who have covered us in prayer.

PLEASE PRAY

  • Return Home – Pray for safe travels as many of us travel back to Phnom Penh and some to the village. Pray for Ben & George as they travel back to California in a few days.
  • Pastors & Family  – Pray the pastors return refreshed and renewed, fixing their eyes on Christ as they serve not only their churches and ministries well but their families.
  • Cambodian Presbyterian Association would continue to grow in their relationship with the Lord and in unity with one another; that they may “plant and strengthen churches in Cambodia by faithfully teaching the Word of God and working in unity for the glory of God” (their vision statement).

Presbtery MeetingThe Cambodian Presbyterian Association
(photo credit: Albert Shim)

Pastors’ Retreat

Happy New Year! The year has begun and we’re already getting busy. We would love your prayers.

Pastor’s Retreat, Jan 6-8

Our team is hosting a retreat for our national pastors and their families. It’s been over two years since our last one. We’re so thankful for Pastor Ben Kim and Elder George Chong from CCPC in Daly City, CA, who have come to preach and encourage our national partners in Cambodia

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PLEASE PRAY 

  • Times of Refreshing – We hope this short time can be one of rest and encouragement for our hardworking brothers and sisters as well as fellowship, building long lasting friendships and partnerships in ministry. We also hope our family can continue to grow closer and show love, overcoming language barriers.
  • Pastor Ben & Elder George – Please ask God to help them overcome or work through their jet lag as they preach or teach. Pray that they will be healthy and mutually encouraged.

IMG_1653Pastor Ben with Pastor Bunsam as Translator

  • Child Care – A handful of our young Cambodian sisters from a couple of the church plant sites have come to help with child care to relieve the parents. Pray that they’d have energy and love for the children.
  • Caleb and Nate – We hope they’d be able to connect with some of the other children but also serve by caring for the younger ones.

IMG_1636  Caleb & Nate with some of the children

IMG_1654Unexpected visitor…Jerry!

 

Every year life seems to get busier while time zooms by faster. Every year life seems like a revolving door that keeps on spinning. Things are always in flux. You’re either preparing for it, in it or recovering from it. This year was no different. The start of the year was focused on preparing for our time back in the States. Then our HMA took us to eight different states and we slept in over forty different places. We were deeply thankful that we were able to meet most of our loved ones and supporters but long for a day when we don’t need an excel spreadsheet and time is limitless. The schedule was exhausting and often wondered if we could make it to the end of the day but we experienced God’s sustaining us. Thankful and amazed at how God provides just enough to keep us clinging to Him and gets us through to the end.

IMG_0619JFK Airport Send-Off

Returning to our house, though suffered damage from storms and floods in our absence, indeed felt like coming home. To have our own space surrounded by the comforts of familiarity is such a gift. Though our hearts ached for the sacrifice of relationships we’ve left behind in the States, we were reminded of the gift of people He’s surrounded us here in Cambodia – our team and ministries, our neighbors, our homeschool community. God provides.

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Chaos on the outside but friends and love on the inside

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Baptisms Our 1st Sunday Back at KCC

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   Bye-bye Car…Hello Motos & Tuk Tuks

The rest of the year has been non-stop with teams and travels but we made a greater intention in trying to slow things down, especially for Caleb and Nate. While Susan focused on getting the home repaired and settled, the boys reunited with friends and focused on school. A fun addition to their week has been joining a nearby Tae Kwon Do class with some friends. They recently passed their yellow belt test and are working hard to catch up to their cousin in New York who has a black belt! Our homeschool co-op has also gone through yearly changes; every year we lose a precious family as they return to the States. This past May while we were in the States, another family, who has been with us from the beginning, left the field after serving faithfully for twelve years. They were a big part of our homeschooling community and well-being. Yet God continues to provide. This year our group consists of eleven core families and 24 children from all over the world, including America, the UK, New Zealand, Sinagpore, France and Spain. We meet every Tuesday to study drama, art, science & writing (Caleb only), geography & culture (Nate only), and soccer. It’s been wonderful getting to know each other and see how God is working in and through so many people in unique and beautiful ways.

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TKD Finally Available Near Us!

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1-Hour Commute to Co-op
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Bridges Homeschool Co-op

KCC Worship w CCPC/CCSC STT IMG_1265
Hosting Teams & Airport Runs

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Reuniting w Friends in Angk’jeay

This year Paul has been continuing in his role as Co-Regional Director. From administration, hosting visitors and teams, preaching and teaching theology, counseling teammates and national partners, and Skype call meetings, Paul wears many hats and works with many different people. The greatest blessing has been working with our many teammates and the national partners in Cambodia as well as Myanmar and Vietnam. As he sees God working in and through their lives and ministries, he has been spurred on to toil alongside them for the Church.

IMG_1314Regular Visits to Angk’jeay to Support & Encourage

11896146_959128337484833_8876934946959499288_nA Visit to a Charity House in Myanmar

It’s been over five years since we first arrived in Cambodia as MTW missionaries. Today is our fifth Christmas here in Southeast Asia. It’s been five years since we’ve seen snow, roasted marshmellows, opened presents with the extended family, or attended Christmas worship in English. Being surrounded by banana and mango trees in 90° weather, Christmas looks different but the same Truth remains.

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Hope you have a BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

With LOVE, the Lees in Cambodia.

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