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Once again, we are facing another set of changes.

TEAM MTW CAMBODIA

Almost a week ago we said goodbye to the Shim Family, after serving closely with us on the field for four years. A second change is with the Boniao family from the Philippines. Though they will continue to live in and partner with us with the work in Neareay, they have decided to leave our team and work as tentmakers. Alongside all this, two families have also left this summer for their HMA.

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One of the many recent airport runs

In the midst of all the goodbyes and airport runs,  we recently welcomed into the world our youngest long-term teammate, Asa Smith, Luke & Sokha’s second child, and our summer intern, Caleb Robey.

IMG_2615Our Team

The one constant that is greater than the constant state of flux in this life is the Love and Presence of our Father. God is always at work in our lives, whether you’re coming on or off the field. Through all the adventures and instabilities of life, He wants us to cling to Him. He wants to give Himself to us above all things. Would you help us by interceding for us?

PLEASE PRAY for Team Cambodia

  • Grieving Ask the Lord to help our team and our family to grieve in a godly way, finding comfort and hope in Him alone and trusting in His plan.
  • Workers  – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38). Pray that God would raise up healthy, long-term workers, who are committed to his Kingdom work, a heart for Cambodia, and fitted well with our team. 
  • Leadership & Unity – Pray that the Lord would provide vision and wisdom so Paul can lead our lead during this time of transition. Pray also for strength and encouragement as he leads team here in Cambodia. Pray for unity among our team as well as our national partners to continue the church planting work.

THE LEES IN CAMBODIA

What does this mean for the Lees? Honestly, it’s been a time of stretching and growing. We’re learning once again to trust in the Lord for emotional and physical strength, for provisions, for hope. Learning when to press on and when to ask for help  or lay things down.

Functionally, Paul now oversees the whole Cambodia team and all its different ministries. Paul continues to support and train the national partners through teaching, discipleship and counseling in Cambodia as well as in Myanmar and Vietnam. Susan continues to focus her attention on homeschooling the children, participating in the MTW Redesign Team and teaching English at KCC. God has provided several relationships at KCC. She is excited to see how these relationships can grow and deepen. Lastly, Paul and Susan will continue to coordinate short-term teams as well as take on the new responsibility of the team’s bulky finances.

PLEASE PRAY for the Lees 

  • Health & Strength – Pray that the Lord provides the humility, strength and wisdom needed to do the work He gives but also to rest. Pray for protection over our health and, especially, in our travels.
  • Marriage & Parenting – Pray that the manner in which Paul and Susan do things in the midst of busyness and tiredness would be pleasing to the Lord. May we show grace, sacrificial love and patience in a season of life when dates might simply be taking naps together. Pray that Paul and Susan would not take their stress and anxiety out on the children but rather love and appreciate them.
  • Love  – All of our responsibilities involve people and affect lives. Pray that, above all things, we would love deeply (1 Peter 4:8) the people God placed in our lives.
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The Lees in Cambodia

Spiritual Warfare – A term we hardly used when back in our passport country. A term reserved for…others. Although we’re still learning, we can’t but help to be alert to the constant spiritual warfare that’s going on around all of us.

Perhaps when everything coincidently is going wrong or perhaps your ministry is growing and is fruitful but then troubles starts brewing out of nowhere…We’re not always certain how to discern what exactly is a result of spiritual warfare but we know we need to be alert, put on the full armor of God, and to pray.

The next few blog posts will focus on different areas of needs of prayer.

Prayers for Our Pastors

Our national partners, like all people in public ministry, are under incredible amounts of stress and face many challenges. All of our pastors are bi-vocational pastors, juggling between raising a church plant with all its joys and struggles and making ends meet, in a developing country. Not to mention, all the usual that we all face – health battles, dealing with gossip and disunity, striving to forgive, discouragement and loneliness, fighting against temptations of money and pride.

For the sake of privacy and security, we will not post pics or share names of everyone but we ask you to intercede along with us for our national partners who we work with and serve alongside in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

This post will focus on one of our church plants, Khmer Christian Church (KCC),  which had its first service on January 1, 2012, and where our family worships every week.

MEET KCC’s PASTORS:

Sam Ath (Lead Pastor) & Vina

Samath & Family

Vanthet (“Thet”, Associate Pastor) & Marady
(recently just gave birth to their third child!)

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Vanna (Associate Pastor) & Vannary

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PLEASE PRAY for The Pastors:

  • Relationships between pastors that they would mutually submit to each other and be an example of servant leaders to the congregation.
  • They would receive encouragement through times of trials and difficulties and continue to trust in God and his leading.
  • They would trust in God during times of financial instability, knowing that God will meet all their needs.
  • Generally, please pray for continual wisdom and humility as men called to shepherd God’s people and build God’s church in Cambodia. Pray for their health.

PLEASE PRAY for the CHURCH:

  • The church would bear the fruit of the Spirit, bearing the Light in the midst of darkness, in the midst of challenges.
  • The members of the church would grow in their knowledge, faith and love for their Lord Jesus and for one another.
  • The members would remember their first Love, be faithful and committed, and know their Shepherd’s voice.
Pictures from Susan’s English Class and
Prayer over an expectant mother of the church.

What’s Susan Up To?

It’s already March 2016!

The last couple of weeks has been a lull after hosting back-to-back visiting teams. It’s been a time of catching up on with family and with our day-to-day ministries. Susan has been keeping herself busy with the usual, driving around town on her moto (sorry, no pic!), and would love your prayers and encouragement.

EVERYDAY LIFE
Most of Susan’s time is filled with typical housewife duties and homeschooling responsibilities. What’s exciting has been seeing how God provide opportunities to form new relationships or how He is deepening existing ones with people in our block or in our everyday lives.

Please Pray:

  • Be a Light – Pray that our family can be a Light in the darkness. Ironically as missionaries, we too can be busy with ministry that we forget to utter the Good News and share with love. Pray that we can be a witness in both word and in deed.
  • Juliette – Susan recently shared the Good News with someone in our homeschool co-op. Pray that the Holy Spirit would change her heart so she could see the light of the gospel.
  • Nisah , Michael & Sah Sah – Three of the boys’ friends (cousins with each other) who live on our block. Pray that God would give us an opportunity to share and that we’d be ready with boldness, confidence and love to share.

KCC ENGLISH CLASSES
This month she restarted her English classes at KCC after taking a year break in 2015. Although her weekly Saturday and Sunday classes means she is teaching something and someone everyday, she is genuinely thankful to have a venue to express love and build relationships with her students.

Please Pray:

  • Susan’s Health – Please pray that she can keep up with her daily responsibilities. Pray that she has the wisdom and strength to be consistent and faithful.
  • Effective Teaching – May the Lord provide the ability and wisdom needed to teach and communicate well and with patience. Through her weakness may God be magnified.
  • Above all, Love –  More than everything else may Susan love her students genuinely, pointing ultimately to Christ.
IMG_1954Celebrating a student’s bday – his first time ever.

MTW ASIA PACIFIC REDESIGN
There has been a lot of growth in the work God has been doing with MTW Asia Pacific. With growth and opportunities come challenges. Susan has been asked to be a part of a Redesign Committee that hopes to prayerfully assess what God is doing and where He’s leading and how we can build each other. Susan leaves for her first set of meetings in Bangkok this weekend.

Please Pray:

  • Susan’s Health – She is currently sick. Pray for healing and strength hopefully in time for her departure on Thursday. Pray that God would grow and stretch her, be used according to His will and be an encouragement to the others.
  • Paul & The Boys – Pray for Paul who will be holding down the fort back home and homeschooling the boys while Susan is gone. Pray that their time together would be a time they can grow closer to each other.
  • Paul – Pray for Paul’s health as he continues his work and cares for the boys. He will also be flying out for his 5-day Asia Pac meeting the same day Susan returns.

CALEB & NATE
The boys continue to keep her busy with homeschooling, co-op, and extra-curricular. The boys are slowly kicking their way up to black belt. They switched to an Advanced class full of boys that focus on sparring and they just passed their green belt test.

We’re thankful for the many different resources that are available here. We’re especially thankful for our homeschooling coop. Caleb is enjoying a Robotics class while Nate is learning about various cultures from our fellow co-op families who are from all over the world, including Holland, French & Spain, etc.

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Please Pray:

  • Culture of Grace – Oftentimes the busyness of life causes a lot of stress that is put on the children. We’ve been intentional in slowing down and taking needed breaks. Pray that we can all have a posture of humility and grace with one another. Pray for wisdom for all of us as we learn to be faithful with who, what, where God has given us.
  • Learning Khmer – We have been committing more time for the boys to learn Khmer. They meet with their tutor, a student from one of our church plants, RCC. Pray for diligence but also encouraging progress.

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Recently Susan posted an article on Facebook about some of the issues and dangers on Valentine’s Day in Cambodia. Issues that is evident in the fact that guest houses and hotels are unusually packed. Issues that exist beyond February 14.

12657898_10154540604530410_9121159172972731101_oMary Flo speaking at Angk’jeay

Yet, we are thankful that God is greater than any darkness and drives out all fear. He works in and through His people. One of those ways was evident this week with our special guests, Mary Flo Ridley, Dave, Hester and Caroline. Throughout the week, Mary Flo spoke at different venues and to different target audiences. Her main desire is to encourage and equip parents to engage with their children in teaching them about sex, marriage and love. She met with people both in Phnom Penh, including  our MTW Cambodia team, our national pastors, university students, and parents at Logos International School, and at one of our village sites in Angk’jeay. For many, both Cambodians and expats, it was something new or something tangible to take back and implement.

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Please Pray 

  • Thanksgiving – We are humbled and thankful for many of you who have been covering us with prayer. We have senses and seen some of the fruits. Though at times there were challenges, God met all of our needs and has protected their time here.
  • Mary Flo and Hester Bouwer (UK) – May God give them wisdom and energy and continue to lead them where and how He wants to go. May God bear fruit in the work He’s begun during their time here this week.
  • Travel Safety – Please pray for safe travels and health as Mary Flo & Dave Ridley, Caroline and Hester travel back to their homes in Dallas, TX and England.
IMG_1852Another farewell…until we meet again

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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