Happy New Year 2020!

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Approaching our ten-year mark on the field, we feel the long-term consequences of being away from loved ones and the constant goodbyes on both sides of the globe. Not being able to worship and connect deeply with people in our heart language for many years can be isolating. The life we left behind has moved on without us and seems like a distant memory. We are learning what it means when the Bible speaks about life as “sojourners and exiles”  and that the earth is not our home; we don’t quite belong anywhere.

Often in the midst of our toiling, God provides the power and comfort we need. Like in the picture above, He sends people to come alongside us, reminding us we are not forgotten nor alone. This year has also provided many opportunities to witness and experience God’s power, grace and gentle kindness. We are amazed at how God continually and creatively God provides support and community through prayers, letters & care packages, visits from teammates, short-term teams, family and friends, new friends here, MTW conferences/retreats, expat groups, etc. We are thankful for the ways our Khmer brothers and sisters embrace us and being able to learn and serve alongside each other. In preparing to speak at the MTW Ambassadors Conference this past October, we had a chance to review and reflect on what God has been doing through our different church plants. All of our church plants, including their respective pastors and families, have gone through many trials and tribulation yet the Lord has sustained them. We have seen growth, collaboration and perseverance. We are humbled at how God works despite and through us, allowing us to have front-row seats and to even participate.

This is a song we recently learned at our MTW Area Retreat in August.  Its lyrics give words to what we live and feel each day.

PSALM 126
Our mouths they were filled, filled with laughter
Our tongues they were loosed, loosed with joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord
Although we are weeping
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry
All those who sow weeping will go out with songs of joy
The nations will say, “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord
Occasionally we’re asked which we think is harder: to live in the States as faithful, counter-cultural Christians or as missionaries in Cambodia? Each culture, each situation, each life, each relationship, each person has their unique challenges but also their unique way it reflects the Gospel and God’s glory. Yet they all fall short of Christ, who alone fills the void and should reign on the throne of our hearts. We look forward to the new year and pray that Christ would be our all in all.
PLEASE PRAY
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Annual Youth Conference, November
For the Team:
  • Our team has shrunk to four units. Ask that the Lord would strengthen and equip us as we continue the work of a larger team.
  • We have several units in the pipeline to join our team. Ask the Lord to guide and sustain them during their process of confirming their call and support raising. 
  • Team unity, health and spiritual protection

For the Ministries (village and city):

  • Spiritual protection against the evil one who constantly attempts to discourage and distract the church. 
  • Pastors and their families need constant encouragement, support and strength. They seek wisdom and knowledge in how to pastor, disciple and grow the church. May God use the MTW team to be a blessing to them. 
  • Our church plants are small but the people have been growing in their faith. Ask the Lord to mature their faith and raise up leaders committed to the church.

Pic of Vanna being ordained in November;
Susan with those she meets regularly

For Our Family:
  • Marriage – God has provided safe relationships to encourage and counsel us these past few years. Pray for protection over our marriage and for us to prioritize our relationship, learning to serve and love the other. 
  • Both Caleb & Nate are professing Christians. Continue to ask the Father to firm their faith and draw them into a personal relationship with Him.
  • Caleb – Ask for discernment and guidance as we look ahead and being to prepare for his transition into university, hopefully in 2022. 
  • Nate – To learn to be content and to be motivated to learn and speak Khmer.

Boys are keeping their parents busy.
Thankfully they still have some shared activities and mutual friends.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!
May the Lord be with you and Christ be your all in all!

 


4 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2020!

  1. Great update! We love you guys and pray for you often! Looking forward to seeing you again next summer!

  2. Paul and Susan, thank you so much for your update. I will keep your requests in prayer. I love you and miss you both! Let’s seek His Kingdom faithfully and May we be filled with the Holy Spirit in 2020!!!!

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