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.
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.
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.
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.