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It’s already been a little over two years since we returned from our last HMA in 2015.  We are getting ready for our next 2-month HMA.We will be focused on the east coast, specially New York and New Jersey. We are trying something different this time. We hope to make it a little more sustainable and restorative for our family but also have more quality time with our loved ones and home church. It’s been seven years since we’ve last celebrated the holidays or birthdays with family.

Late-Night Airport Welcome HMA-2015

We hope our east-coast friends and supporters understand and would be willing to meet us in our area, if possible. In hopes to make this more feasible, below is our schedule where we will be visiting our supporting churches in the tri-state area. For our west-coast supporters, we plan to take our next HMA near you!

OUR SCHEDULE

Oct 31, Tues @10:50 AM – Arrive at JFK (NY)
Nov 5, Sun @2:30PM Sojourner Presbyterian Church (Hackensack, NJ) – Mission Presentation (but worship service at 12:30PM)
Nov 10-12 MTW Global Mission Conference (Dallas, TX)
 Nov 19, Sun @9:30AM Northshore Community Church (Long Island, NY) – Preach & Present
Nov 29, Wed @8PM Cham Doen Presbyterian Church (Englewood, NJ) – Mission Presentation
Dec 3, Sun @10:30AM Good News New Brunswick (East Brunswick, NJ) – Preach & Present
Dec 10, Sun @11AM KPCOW (Pelham, NY) – Preach & Present
Dec 17, Sun @10:30AM Riverside Community Church (Elmwood, NJ) – Short Presentation
Dec 24, Sun @12:30 PMSojourner Presbyterian Church – Preach
Dec 31, Sun @12:30 PMSojourner Presbyterian Church – Preach
Jan 1, Mon @1:00 PM – Depart for Cambodia on

We hope to see many of you. If you are able to attend any of these venues and need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

PLEASE PRAY for our time back in our passport-country. We need your prayers.
  • To be able to connect, be refreshed, encourage and be encouraged, listen and share, enjoy and savor all that comes our way.
  • To represent well what God is doing in Southeast Asia at these speaking engagements but also when we meet with people. To share God’s heart and testify to His goodness and power.
  • Logistics – Paul & Susan both need to renew their driver’s licenses as soon as they arrive.
  • Time – God would work out time to meet and have quality time with every suppporter.
  • Health check-ups – Always a daunting task but we all need to have our general, eye, dental, etc check-ups.
See you soon!

BTW, this means Christmas cards can be sent to us to our homes in the States either Paul’s parents’ home or Susan’s mom. If you need an address, please let us know.

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Ordination Ceremony

Praise our Father who is doing wonderful things in the midst of challenges. Today two brothers, Sophearek and Pheakdey (siblings), were ordained in the village where Sophearek serves, Kampong Trach. Pheakdey, along with his wife, Kunthea, and their newborn son, Nathanael, serves at RCC in Phnom Penh, alongside Pastor Hong and wife.

Please pray for them and the other pastors in the Presbytery – for spiritual protection, faithfulness, strength and wisdom to shepherd His flock and to be the light in this nation. Pray that God would provide their needs as all of them are bi-vocational. Pray for their church plants and ministry, in a nation where less than 3% are believers.

 

Please pray for our dear friends who are mourning the loss of a family members this week.

Vina’s Father
The father of our sister and friend, Vanvina, Pastor Sam Ath’s wife at Khmer Christian Church (KCC) died today from a heart attack. He was not a believer.

  

Funeral ceremonies have begun tonight. Tomorrow morning is when they will lay their body in the coffin. Some of us on our team will be attending. Please pray that we can be a comfort and encouragement to this family and their community.

Srey Path’s sister
Earlier this week, the younger sister of another one of our members, Sreypath, died on the way to the hospital in Phnom Penh from the village. Sreypath is doing ok but having lost both her parents when young and growing up as an orphan, this has been very difficult. Her sister was suffering from many health issues. She was also not a believer.

  

2017 So Far…

Where to begin? A glimpse into our lives the past 6 months…

We started off the year with our annual Cambodian Pastors & Family Conference with a dear friend, Rev. Joel Kim, as the guest speaker.

 

Immediately afterwards we had a conference hosted in Phnom Penh for our students from Vietnam, due to safety issues. Our pastor from our sending church, Rev. Francis Chang, was the speaker. In fact, they recently returned for another conference this week.

With Francis came the first short-term team from our home church, who not only participated in various ministry opportunities, but loved on our family with times of laughter, shared meals, caring conversations and engaging with our boys. It was a very special monthly team worship, packed with special visitors.

 

The next months were filled with travels, both in-country or abroad. Paul traveled a few times for MTW Asia Pacific leadership meetings and for ministry in Vietnam. Recently our teammate Tim Lim was approved by MTW and is overseeing the work in Myanmar. Though he misses the people and ministry there, he is thankful for the help.

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Paul also travels regularly to our village sites, Angk’jeay and Neareay.  This year Susan and the boys made more of an effort to join him. Though traveling can be wearisome, enjoying the sites and connecting with people always makes it worthwhile. It’s been a few years but we hope to visit Prey Thom soon and give you an update.

 

Paul has also been helping homeschool the boys every Monday, while working out with them in the mornings and going through Catechism with Caleb to prepare him for confirmation. The boys are enjoying Monday school days with a more relaxed parent.

In between all the travels, we welcomed a new family to our team and recently arrived intern, sent off a couple on their 6-month HMA, and helped a teammate leave the field unexpectedly.  It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride but one that is teaching us to be thankful for the people God brings and to try to make the most of the time you do have with them.

Susan has continued her weekly English classes though with frequent breaks for her health. Her students have been a source of much encouragement through it all. Often they are taking care and comforting her.

 

People might think all missionaries know how to run a VBS camp, evangelize to anyone, and lead praise and bible studies, but Susan is an example that missionaries can look different from this stereotype. Though she never led a bible study before, she felt there was a need for both the women on the team and for the wives of the pastors we work alongside.

The monthly bible study with the wives of some of our Cambodian pastors has been one of the most humbling and challenging but encouraging times. It is a constant reminder and prayer that she would depend on Him and desire Christ magnified, through and despite her.

 

Caleb & Nate have been doing well. They face the same issues and struggles of most kids here or there. Caleb is a growing up to be a typical teenager. We are thankful for the way they embrace Cambodia; it is their home. We are thankful for how God has been faithful to provide a sense of safety, friends, and fun. Their homeschooling co-op has provided a large part of not only the boys’ but Susan’s community as well. We are currently on break and persevering to finish off the school year. 11 more weeks…

 

Well, that’s our life for the past 6 months in a nutshell. We did forget to mention the storms, flooding, blackouts, moto falls and the heat but that’s life as usual here!

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New Donation Address

Dear Supporters,

MTW will have a new donations address starting June 1, 2017.  The new donations address will be:

Mission to the World
P.O. Box 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374-4165

Thank you for your patience with the continual changes and glitches. If you have any problems or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.

 

Thank you,

The Lees in Cambodia

A Christmas Reflection 2016

Merry Christmas from Cambodia! Even after six years, it’s still strange to celebrate in hot, humid weather and with no snow angels and snowmen in sight. Our family and loved ones scattered yet we’re thankful to have Susan’s mom here with us for the third time. It’s even more special is to celebrate our Savior’s birth with her as a sister-in-Christ.

This year has been busy and has stretched and challenged us. Our homeschool co-op went from four families to eleven families (over thirty kids). We welcomed our new housemate, Emily, a returning intern and friend. We hosted almost twenty visitors and teams. We’ve become pros at packing and navigating airports.

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Homeschool Co-op: Raising crickets, Stage Combat, Science Lab @Hope…so much more
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Ministry Moments: Short-term teams, Baptisms, Weddings

Like the last few years, we faced more transitions on our team and challenges within our ministries, flooding and a subsequent house move, medical concerns, and pure, straight-up exhaustion.

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KCC Building Move
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Plumbing and flood issues finally led us to move. Thankful to Yeoun, our tuk tuk driver for his help.

This year has taught us a little bit more of what it means to rest in Christ. The following quote in a book about teaching and raising our children has been the overarching lesson this year.

“Rest begins with acceptance. Or, perhaps more accurately, with surrender. There will always be more you can do. You will never complete your tasks entirely, because just on the horizon is tomorrow, and tomorrow the to-do list starts anew. It is so exhausting— sometimes even demoralizing— to realize that our work in raising up and teaching our children is never really done. But we must remember that we were never intended to finish it.” (Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie).

God has continued to be faithful and gentle, powerfully present in our lives. Often it is tangibly expressed through His people and their prayers and countless acts of love. Sending emails, letters, and gifts to remind us we are not forgotten but loved. Couriering our cargo with needs and goodies. Fellow homeschooling moms who stop to notice, ask, listen and pray. Neighbors who open their homes and hearts. New neighbors who drop by with a plate of cookies. Former students who drop off fruit or check in and care for us. Our Cambodian church members who becomes a friend. Teammates sharing responsibilities and being our family on the field. Short-term teams coming to love and serve alongside us. Friends sacrificing time, money, energy, family and vacation time to visit us. Meeting needs like giving us medical advise, helping us find a pediatric ophthalmologist, hosting, praying. Praying and more praying. We are humbled and encouraged. Thank you to all of you, individuals, families, teams, churches.

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When being faithful is about putting one foot in front of the other, living moment by moment, and getting through the day; when loving others is about receiving and having nothing to give; when devotion is simply about existing before and in God, we are learning the truth of Christ Alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
(Rock of Ages, verse 3)

We want to take this time to thank our Heavenly Father for His abundant love and to thank you for your support in all its wonderful expressions.

Update on Nate

Dear Friends,

This past week since being alerted regarding Nate’s eye has been a bit tense. Trying to maintain our usual homeschool schedule and prepare for our quick Singapore trip while exercising trust and peace was challenging.

After deciding to try to get an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist as soon as possible, Susan was able to get an appointment for this past Friday with a doctor with the Singapore National Eye Center (SNEC). We learned later that it usually takes months. Our flight over to Singapore was accompanied by our Singaporean friend’s mom who lives in Cambodia but plans got mixed up and, to all our surprise, was on the same flight as us. The same friend, Serene, arranged for us to stay at her close friend’s home, a 5-minute drive to the hospital. They provided all the rides and meals. The grandparents provided spiritual encouragement and love. God has been gentle with us, reminding us all the along that He is with us.

The news: After hours at the doctor’s office yesterday, the end result was Nate has uncommon but healthy eyes. He does not have amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (abnormal alignment). We need to go for a follow-up in 6-months to monitor his eyes.

The amazing testimony through this is the strength of Nate’s faith in His Father. It doesn’t mean he didn’t stress or fuss at all but his trust in His good, powerful Father was steadfast; one that pointed his parents to Christ.Thank you for your thoughtfulness and coming alongside us. We are humbled by all of your prayers and acts of kindness.

Please Pray:

  • Thank the Lord – We want to give thanks to Him for all the things He did behind the scenes that we don’t even know. We want to thank Him for all the tangible ways He walked alongside us, comforted us and provided for us. We want to ask Him to help us thank those who loved and cared for us by blessing them.
  • Nate’s eye – Please continue to pray for the health of Nate’s left eye. Pray that the doctors and us would have keen insight and make wise decisions.