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West Coast HMA

Happy Khmer New Year! This week is one of Cambodia’s well-observed, three-day holiday. Most leave the city to visit their hometown, making Phnom Penh feel like a quiet ghost town; a nice reprieve for us. Thankfully as the city has developed, there are more malls, restaurants and supermarkets available so we don’t have to stock up with food and water.

Driving During KNY – here’s a quick video we took yesterday

 

It seems the longer we’re on the field, the less frequent we are able to do formal blog updates. Thank you for your patience. Hopefully between emails, FB, etc we’re able to keep you updated but it’s also why our Home Mission Assignments (HMA) are so important.

We wanted to let you know our schedule and hope we can meet with you and catch up in person. We hope not only to share with you what’s been going on with us but also to hear what’s been going on with you. If you are around the area during these dates, please let us know.

  • MTW West Coast Missions Conference in Roseville, CA – April 26-27
  • Northern California – end of April through first week of May
  • Southern California (LA area) – 2nd of week of May to mid-June
  • Southern California (San Diego area) – mid-June to end of June
  • Phoenix/Mesa, AZ – end of June to early July
  • Chattanooga, TN – 1st week of July
  • Atlanta, GA – 2nd week of July
  • MTW ReConnect in Ridge Haven, NC – July 12-15

Some pics of the boys’ last performance and graduation with their Bridges Homeschool co-op. Our beloved drama teacher the last 5 years will be returning to the UK and we will be taking a hiatus from the coop for at least a term.

Nate in “The Gruffalo”

Caleb as the “The Beast” 

  

Bridges Graduation & Send-off Prayer for two families leaving the field

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This year has been a blur, full of amazing people & experiences as well as challenges. Too many to put into words but here are a handful of pictures to help capture a glimpse of our lives. Hope it captures both the difficulties as well as the beauty and joy of our lives that are sometimes so obvious but sometimes hidden beneath the surface.

JANUARY

Our welcome home after our quick 2-month East Coast HMA. A prelude to a year of house issues and construction.

Annual Pastors’ Conference

A special visit from a former intern and friend.

FEBRUARY

Short-term team from our sending church

Susan enrolls in a Khmer class at the first nearby school

Caleb’s Boy Scouts Community Project

MARCH

Paul at the MTW Asia Pac Leadership Meeting in Singapore

Paul & his PP Bible School Class learning from the Book of Hebrews

KCC says goodbye the Knutsons retiring off the field after 15 years

Reaksmey & Piseth’s Wedding – after a few months of marital counseling with Paul & Susan

Nate & His Cub Scouts Troop

APRIL

Reunited with Susan’s Mom during their family trip and her 4th visit to Cambodia

Our homeschool’s end-of-the-year performance

Nate starts cajon lessons

MAY

Bridges Homeschool Graduation

Team Retreat in Siem Reap with a handful of special co-laborers and returning teammates

Team Retreat outing to the Angkor Wat – Susan & the boys’ first time!

Send-off for the Schleper Family who now serve in Indonesia

JUNE

Paul preaches at One Covenant Church (OCC) in SG

Celebrating Caleb’s birthday at Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church (PRPC) in SG

Paul speaks at a joint retreat for the two churches

Reuniting with their friend, Zach, in Singapore

Marady’s brother and KCC member passes away while away in Singapore

JULY

Intern John Lee, returns to the States

Susan restarts teaching an English outreach class at KCC

Susan’s regular fellowship with some pastor’s wives

Former teammates, Albert and Natalie Shim vist

AUGUST

Susan joins the Monday night KCC Women’s Fellowship

Paul teaches a Tuesday night Theology class

Caleb’s Boy Scouts Leadership Training with the US Ambassador

Caleb & Nate join gymnastic class with friends

Pastor Sam Ath & Vina have their third baby

SEPTEMBER

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Sending off our summer intern, Chris. Back to college!

A newly arrived intern joins us for family night w the Schlepers’ old ping pong table

MTW hosts a table at the annual Asian Christian Conference

Another plumbing issue

OCTOBER

Pisey & Samnang’s Engagement in AKJ

Caleb, Sophea & Orchea lead praise for our team worship in the village

Susan & her sprained, bunion foot

Ongoing electrical issues & blackouts

NOVEMBER

A packed month of visitors and conferences, including fellow co-laborer, Hannah, who stayed with us for a month,  teaching English at KCC and PPBS and having her first Thanksgiving meal in six years.  Former Intern, John, and Pastor Andrew, who returned for his 3rd visit, returned for our Annual Youth Conference, held for the college students of all our ministries in the city and village.
   

Sending off our dearest friends, Singapore Lees, for their 3-month HMA. How will the kids survive this long separation?

DECEMBER

Caleb’s 6th Overnight Boy Scouts Camping Trip

Our Homeschool Prince Caspian Performance – Caleb as Cornelias and Nate as Centaur & Dryad

Bridges Homeschool Cast Party

Lee Men pack and prep the ground floor for construction. Time to move?

From roof to foundation, we’ve covered it all this year.

Through all the ups and downs, changes, and richness of our lives here on the field in SE Asia, the one constant is the glaring reality of how good and great our God is. All of it is a constant reminder to remember and not forget who God is, what He has done and who we are apart from Him and in Him (Deuteronomy). As we close out the year and celebrate Christmas, we want to continue to cling to Christ our King and enjoy Him and to live a life “in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called.”

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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Dear Friends,

Our brother has left this earthly home to be with his Heavenly Father yesterday. We want to thank everyone for their support and prayers. We ask that you continue to pray for his extended family and the community of believers at KCC. Please pray for deep comfort and peace that can only from our Father. Pray that God would draw near to his children and be a Light in this time of darkness.

This morning’s KCC Worship service has been canceled. Instead there will be a time of praise and prayer at the family’s home near the New Steung Mean Chey Mall at 8AM followed by a funeral service at 2PM.

Our dear brother, Thon, who is 38-years old and married with 4 children, ages 18 to 6, has been diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer. He has been a member of KCC for many years and is the older brother of Marady, the pastor’s wife.

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Thon is on the far left, red shirt in front of KCC’s former location.

We are amazed at the joy and peace in the midst of this difficult time, displayed by Thon and his family. Pastor Thet and his wife (KCC) visit almost daily to support and pray for him. Handful of church members have surrounded him with love and encouragement. It has been a wonderful opportunity to strengthen his faith as well as be a light to his unbelieving family as well as others in the hospital and community.

Paul & Susan’s recent visit. Last pic – praying for his hospital roommate who is being reacquainted with Christ after 30 years.

We need your prayers. Please pray:

  • Thon – God is able to do all things according to his good will. Pray for healing. Pray for comfort. Pray for continued and daily strength of heart and faith.
  • Family – Witnessing the love and faithfulness of the church that has surrounded with hospital visits and prayer, his wife, who has been hostile and disapproving of his faith and participation in the church, has been open and softened to the Gospel, along with his mother. Please pray that God be glorified and that He would draw near to his wife and children, showing Himself as Savior and Friend.
  • Thet & Marady – in addition to their usual responsibilities of ministry, family, and work, they have been actively involved in caring for Thon. Pray for physical strength and health as well as encouragement and hope.
  • Help – Pray for wisdom in the many decisions that need to be made to ease and care for Thon and his family. Pray for financial provisions to help with all the costs.

We want to praise God and thank all of you who have helped through your prayers and funds towards the Redemption In Christ Church (RCC) building project.

  

We have recently purchased the land and are currently working with a local architect to help design and construct the building that will be used for the church and dorms.

Please continue to pray alongside RCC as they make this big transition.

Please Pray

  • Transition – The new church site will be in a different section of Phnom Penh. We hope with the purchase of its own land, we hope there will be more stability to build a continued community but please pray for this transition. The relocation is in a different area of Phnom Penh. Most members are unable to move. Please pray for wisdom in dealing with these changes.
  • Outreach – RCC has already begun outreach activities in the new area. The challenge but also the wonderful opportunity is this land is located on railroad tracks. One side of the tracks are the poor while on the other the more wealthy.  Pray for wisdom and leading in knowing how to reach and bridge people of a diverse demographics. Pray for spiritual protection and that God would use them to be a light in the area.
  • Pastors & Family – We’ve noticed our pastors and families go through a lot of stress, challenges and spiritual warfare. Please pray for Pastors Hong & his wife, Ratanak, and Pastor Pheakdey & his wife, Kunthea, and son, Nathaniel.

 

Pastor Hong & Rachel at their wedding, later at RCC Sunday worship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Pheakdey & family; Nathaniel was recently baptized at RCC

  

 

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We wanted to express our gratitude for your support and prayers for the church building project. We also wanted to provide an update on the progress of the project.

Thanks to your generous support we have raised $28,000 of the $36,667 we need to raise. God has also been faithful in providing land for RCC to build the church and dorm. RCC was able to put a deposit for a 9 meter x 20 meter which will be perfect for the building. It is also located in an area of the city that will be suitable for the students residing at the dorm as well as church members coming to worship.

Please continue to pray that God would raise additional partners to help with the rest of the support needed and that purchase of the land and construction of the church would go smoothly.

If you have any questions please contact: pl710@mac.com (Paul Lee, MTW missionary in Cambodia).
If you would like to support financially: please visit https://mtw.org/projects/cambodia-city-church-planting

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year’s!

Our family had our fill of tradition korean soup, dduk-gook, while in the States but tomorrow morning we’re headed out to airport to return to Cambodia. We’ll be eating on the go instead.

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The last couple of months have been busy. We got our driver’s licenses renews and all our dental and medical check-ups. Every week or two, we’d pack up again and change locations between Paul’s parents’ in NY and Susan’s mom’s in NJ’s. Yet is was also full of amazing gifts from our Heavenly Father – the beauty of the fall foliage, snow and snowball fights with cousins, enjoying delicious, new foods or comfort, childhood foods, and amazing experiences with friends and family.  The biggest gift is the reminder that we are loved and cared for by our Father through the people He’s surrounded us with.

There are times on the mission field you feel alone, wondering if anyone remembers us as the years away increase. There are times where you wonder where you’re place is in this life. Our time back was a constant, overwhelming reminder that we are not forgotten, we are not alone. People were willing to drive or fly hours and miles to see us for just a moment, to make time in their own busy schedule to care for us and to be present with us.  People were praying. People were asking. People wanted to know.

We are thankful that God allows us to get a glimpse at how He is working here – in the States, in the churches we’ve visited, in the individual lives. We are thankful we get to understand more intimately the struggles and the victories. We hope that this would spur us on to pray faithfully and specifically for those He’s placed in our lives. We are thankful we are reminded that we are a part of the global Church and we need one another.

Lastly, we want to share that our last Sunday here, Dec 31, Caleb Lee was confirmed at our home church by our friend and pastor. It’s one of the greatest gifts as a parent. Humbled by our Lord. Please continue to pray for him as he continues his journey of faith with his Lord and Friend. Please pray also for Nate as we prepare him and need wisdom to discern his own faith.

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Thank all of you for all the ways you are the hands, feet, mouths of Christ, pointing us to Him. Thank you for the ways you have helped raise Caleb (and Nate) in the ways of the Lord. Thank you for the ways you each uniquely love, care for, and support us so that we are sustained and comforted.

After all these years, you would think it gets easier but goodbyes are so hard. Instead…”See you soon, God willing.”

Please pray:

  • Thank God for Himself. Acknowledge and thank Him for these amazing, real blessings.
  • We will catch our flight from JFK (NY) to Cambodia at 1PM. Please pray as all of us are sick with a cough, cold and fatigue. Pray for strength and health as we return to water damage to our home that needs to be addressed.
  • Pray for our adjustment. January is a very busy month of ministry and homeschool.
    • Jan 9:  Pech & Sok Ny’s wedding. Two young believers from our church, KCC.
    • Jan 11-13: Annual Pastors’ Conference with former co-Leader, Albert Shim, as the guest speaker. Please pray for him as he leaves his busy USA schedule. Pray for his wife, Tina, and three kids, who he leaves behind.
    • Jan 21-27: Two visitors
    • Jan 26-Feb 3: Short-term team from our home church, Sojourner Presbterian Church. Pray for their packed week during which they will be serving at KCC/Prey Thom, Precious Women and Angk’jeay.