Thursday, August 30, 2018


Thursday, August 30th, 2018 

It's been four days since the team has come back from Cambodia. Many have gone back to school and work right off the bat. I, on the other hand, am blessed because work resumes next week and school resumes in a month. (((: So here I am, writing to our supporters the last blog of how the mission was completed. In the previous blog, we left off with giving rice bags after Sunday service and celebrating Lucy's 24th birthday. And now, Monday rolls in.

| Monday, August 20th, 2018 |  Day of Play 

Although our teaching days with the children are done at the church, we still had two more days to spend with them. After giving out the goodie bags on Friday, I was glad that we had two more days with them because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to them yet. Before we start class, we usually play only three songs of worship with the kids, but that day Daniel had eight different tabs open, ready to jump and dance for 20+ minutes. When he exited out of the first tab all the team members saw the number of other songs he had prepared and we all looked at each other like, "No way..." Daniel would shout, "Another one!!!!!" and as we looked at him in disbelief  we would laugh at our faces. Though it was an insane amount of dancing, we enjoyed every moment we had with the kids.For Monday, the younger class had a huge game of charades with all of the words we learned in the past two weeks. That's a total of approximately 75 vocab words!!! I'm not sure if Jeremiah wrote ALL of the words on the flashcards, but even if he didn't the hat was filled. Many of the kids had a hard time remembering some of the difficult words, especially since they were very young. But they had a blast acting out what we told them to do anyway, waiting with anticipation for one of their classmates to understand their gestures. Honestly, even I had a hard time trying to comprehend what they were trying to say, but the students were shouting out words anyway, trying to gain as much points as they can. If they answer five words correctly, they get a prize. Quy, likely the best student in the class, quickly got all five points and his reward. Because of that, we didn't call on him very much to let other students try to answer. It was sad because he would know the answer and wave his hand frantically in the air (sitting in the front row), but Daniel, who's helping us teach, would look over him to call on other students. Quy would get so sad and slouch in his chair because we wouldn't call on him. I would look and smile at him to comfort him and he would brighten up quickly in that moment. So precious. 
This is Quy!

The older class went outside to play some games together in a circle. They would play something called Dippity-dippity-dip, the Animal Game, and Bang. You can hear the laughter outside and as they walk in they have huge smiles on their faces. Although it wasn't a day of directly teaching them, we hope that they learned about God's love through our interactions with them. It was a blessed day.

| Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 |  Goodbyes

Our last day with the kids. We know it's a bittersweet day, but we embrace it with joy nevertheless. It's another day of excessive amount of vbs worship songs and games. The older class continued with their outdoor games, smiling and creating memories with Henry and Kayla while they could. The younger class inside of the church played elementary games instead of charades this time. We taught them how to play down-by-the-bank, though it took them quite awhile to understand that you hit the person on your left with your right hand instead of your left hand. Some didn't even know what to do at all and just sat there when it was their turn to pass on the hit. All in all, everyone had a great time learning and playing the game. Afterwards we played head, shoulders, knees, and toes. The game was to keep up with the leader--me. We progressed from super slow to super fast. Daniel and Lucy were the referees to see who would mess up and call them out of the circle. Jeremiah was put on babysitting duty for those who lost the game to make sure they were still having a good time but not causing havoc. After a certain amount of time, everyone joined together outside for free time. During this time, you can see all the team members making sure to spend as much time with the kids as possible by joining in on games, taking pictures with beloved students, and having conversations with the kids. After free time, the kids lined up to walk back inside the church for the last bittersweet moments. Once everyone settled inside, Daniel began calling up students to give some words of thanks to the teachers. The first few students, Anh and Binh, cried as they said their thanks and farewell to us. Thao almost cried too but she held it back and finished her message to us. Although other students were laughing that their friends were crying, all of the teachers were touched and some, including me, teared up. It was these moments that you can see how much the kids loved us spending time with them. To see them cry as they speak hits you in the heart because most of the time they run around laughing and smiling with you. But on the day that you have to say goodbye, they become so sad about it that they cry. We, the teachers, we also so sad that we had to say goodbye. After seeing their faces for 3 hours a day (some 6) for twelve days, it was so sad to know that we won't be hugging, dancing, and playing with them for a very long time. My heart was heavy. After Binh finished his message, he went around to hug all the teachers. Henry was out taking care of something and when he came in Binh walked across the classroom and they embraced with a hug. They were separated from the rest of us in the back and you can see Binh crying into Henry's shoulder. The two of them have gotten especially close during the trip because Binh stays after class to hang out with the family and help take care of the yard. During these times, he and Henry have spent plenty of time bonding together. Knowing this, it was a beautiful moment to see Binh walk away from everyone to give Henry a hug and have their sayings of goodbye.

After the selected kids finished their words, it was the teacher's turn to come up and say their thanks. It was warming because every time a teacher finished giving encouragements to the kids, the kids would start chanting for the next teacher to go up and say something. We settled down afterwards and watch an episode of veggie tales together. I doubt they understood what was being said in the episode since it was in English but I wish they did. It was about this little boy/thing that was having problems flying because everyone around kept discouraging him and it literally weighed him down as paintings. It was becoming unbearable until he came to this mountain where he met God, though not knowing that it was specifically God. God told him that all the things other people said about the boy wasn't true and God gave him a painting that He made saying that was who he really was. It was the boy painted as a strong and confident person, flying and soaring. God put the painting in the boy's backpack and the boy began to fly. It's a message that you are loved and created by God, and that's what makes you special and able to do things. Maybe some children did understand it through the graphics and maybe some did understand it through English. But I pray that truth becomes a part of their lives as they grow up.

We sang a few songs, prayed, and each hugged the children as we gave them parting gifts. We took a group picture and sent them off. As we were waving goodbye to all of them, there was one of our students who looked back to wave who knows how many times. His name is An and he was one of the last students to leave. We were standing outside of the gate waving goodbye to him and we said to each other, "He's gonna keep looking back." We kept our eyes on the bright orange kids walking down the dirt street and passing by small businesses. Though he was rather far from the church, we could still see him turning around to see if we were still there then wave goodbye. Once he was nearly out of sight, we went back in to rest for the day.

For that day, my goal was to not regret anything. I completed that goal by spending my time and having fun with one girl named Phung. From the first week, we especially enjoyed being in one another's presence. However, as a teacher I gave my attention to other kids during teaching and free time, trying to reach out to all kids. But for the last day I wanted to give Phung my special attention because I knew I couldn't create a special moment for someone if I were to spread myself out to every kid. It wouldn't be as intimate. My argument for spending time with more kids in the past was that it wouldn't be good it only one kid felt special when there are so many kids. However by thinking in such a way, I had already devalued how special a single life is. Even if it's just one life, to make that individual feel special and joyful can create a huge impact. It's like when one person accepts Christ out of a hundred people (like last week). You can be downcast and say, "Aw man... Only one person accepted Christ today..." Or you could be like the angels and through a lit party in heaven BECAUSE one person accepted Christ. That's how much one life means. With that in mind, I wanted to make sure that Phung felt very loved that day, especially because she always motioned for me to come to her, but I always was drifting around other students. I wanted to pour my heart out personally for her and bless her that day. And so I did. With the countless of vbs songs we sang, I sang and danced by her side and interacted with her, making sure she smiled. I even was able to actually worship with the songs we sang while dancing with her, focusing on the words of the songs. Usually I just dance and have a good time with the kids, not thinking much about the lyrics. But no regrets for that day meant no regrets towards God as well, so I worshiped as I danced with Phung. It was a good time. (: During games when she motioned for me to come over and sit next to her, I never rejected the offer and went to her without a second thought and her smile was so big when she saw me come. When we watched Veggie Tales I was with her, and when we prayed and took pictures I was by her side. As I was sending her off, my heart was heavy knowing that I wouldn't be able to hug her for a long time. But as she rode off on her bike, my heart was more glad than sad because I was thankful I got to meet her.
This is Phung ~

| Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 |  Siem Reap Pt. 1 

Wednesday and Thursday were the days the family would take us out to Siem Reap to experience the culture of Cambodia. Wednesday we woke up for devos at 4am so we could leave the house by 5:30am to drive 5+ hours. For most of the trip, many of us, including the family slept. We made some pit spots for meals, restrooms, and gas. Our first pit stop was for breakfast where the family bought tarantulas and crickets to eat on the way to Siem Reap. We ate the tarantulas during our lunch stop on the side of the road. Vietnamese style. With a bunch of land around us and only a road, we stopped on the side of the street to pull out the lunch basket and eat there. Some did the asian squat, and some stood. You can deduct who would do what. ((: It was here that we tried the tarantulas and crickets. The tarantulas had a crunchy first bite, then became chewy as you finished it off. It tasted almost like beef jerky. The crickets I did not try but Kayla and Henry did, so you can ask them. When people weren't sleeping in the car, the ride was very chaotic and fun. The first row had to squeeze in four people: Daniel, Chi Hau, Heng, and Jeremiah. It was a wonderful combination because half of the time, the're waging war on each other with flicking each other's ears, tickling, and hitting the back of heads. Everyone would laugh together as the first row went into mayhem. Again, it was especially fun to see Daniel (a massive figure) have a blast at fooling around with his younger brother. Heng's reactions are GREAT. They're comical, sassy, and have plenty of fobby English. Sometimes Chi Hau would turn around to join in by pulling Heng's hair. Don't get me wrong, the first row themselves are laughing as all of this is happening. No harsh feelings were involved. (:

We finally arrive at Siem Reap and check into our hotel rooms to rest for a bit before heading out to the Cambodia museum. At the Cambodian museum, you can see plenty of temples and houses that were of old times. We went into two rooms. One was of how ancient Cambodian life was like. You can see actual animals that have been reserved and stuffed so you could see the actual size and fur of them. (Some were oddly stuffed where the head didn't look quite as realistic but it was still pretty accurate.) We saw paintings of ancient history and war, clothing that were worn, tools, and jewelry.

In another room we walked through a wax figure museum. Most of the figures were creepily real. It was as if they would turn their head at you any moment to say something. Thankfully, none of them did. In there we saw some of Cambodian's pop culture before the Khmer Rogue. We saw Hollywood films and pop singers to name a few. We also saw plenty of wax figures that highlighted religions and beliefs such as Buddhism and the martial arts. Kings, Queens, and scribes from different eras were displayed. As we're walking through, Daniel is giving us commentary and history about each wax figure, saying the names and function of the individual in Cambodian history.

Afterwards we toured around the entire park on a mobile cart with a tour guide that (unfortunately) only spoke Khmer. Though I couldn't understand her AT ALL, the temples and houses were pleasant to look at. They're very intricate. We made a stop to take pictures of each other with a Superman statue. The statue was of a huge Superman who was holding a boulder up with his head missing. His head was missing a head so that visitors could climb up some stairs and place their head on the spot. It was fun to see the family members (and Jeremiah) get excited to put their head on the massive statue. One we finished touring with the guide, she raced us all the way to a show. She was going as fast as she could with the kart and it was funny because we passes by another tourist kart and we waved at each other as we zoomed past them. I assume she wanted to get us to the show on time so she was flooring it. Once we were dropped off, we found seats for the show. It was a musical about.....royalty?? To be honest, I wasn't sure what was happening since it was all in Khmer. Daniel was giving translations but I was too far to hear him. Since I couldn't understand what was happening, I actually created a story about what was happening. I won't detail everything that happened, but know that it involved potatoes and primarily tomatoes. In Cambodian paintings of women, you can see that when they're dancing their hands are bent more back than it's naturally supposed to be. I thought it was only for paintings but as I was watching the Cambodian woman perform traditional dances, I could see that their hands actually could bend the other way. It must've been from practicing it to be that way.

After the show and some pictures, we walked around some more to look at the houses on the waters. They were very nice and grand with bridges connecting to other houses on the waters. It led us to a house on land that had a huge stairway to the entrance. The reason for these stairways was to keep the houses away from the ground because there would be a lot of animals from the jungle roaming around. In the house was another show, this time it was about the wedding ceremony for Cambodians. It wasn't as interesting as the previous show because it was very slow and simple, so we left before it ended. This was our last activity at the site before we headed back to the hotel to wash up and get ready for our buffet dinner.

The buffet dinner was very good. There was a handful of selection for Asian food, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, and Korean food. Of course you have the corner of American food on the side but the Asian selection was much better. My favorite dish was the Pad Thai, which they made on the spot for you. It was so food that I got a second plate WHICH was a mistake because I was incredibly full yet had it instilled within me to finish everything on plate. My joy turned into sadness very quickly. While I was struggling to finish the plate, the boys were having a blast talking about English words with Heng, who couldn't pronounce things correctly. They played with pronunciations, wordplay, and elementary tricks with him and even got Lucy and I to laugh along with them. After being filled with food and laughter, we went to the outdoor market to find gifts for our supporters then went back to the hotel.

At the hotel, lots of the siblings and team members met in one room to play games. One of which was the pocky game but instead of using a pocky stick we used a long strand of dried fish. Henry was paired up with Heng and Hong An with Lucy. The girls ended up winning. We played Saboteur and I went to sleep early while everyone else continued to play. The arrangement of the rooms was two people each room. Hong An and I were paired in a room. However, when Hong An came in later that night, she came in with Chi Hau and Kayla (both who were supposed to share a room together). Being half asleep, I hear them talking about sleeping in trios instead of pairs and I no idea why. Chi Hau ended up sleeping with our room, sharing the bed with Hong An.

| Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 |  Siem Reap Pt. 2

The next morning I woke up to meet with the team for devotions. Afterwards I went back into the room to ask Hong An why Chi Hau slept in our room. Apparently in the night before, Heng told a ghost story that freaked everyone out. There were knocks on the door late at night too, but when they opened it no one was there, adding onto the fear all the girls felt. It was likely the receptionist knocking to tell them to be quiet, but because of the ghost story they became paranoid. As a result, instead of sleeping in pairs in one room, the girls slept in threes together for the night.

After breakfast everyone got ready to leave to see Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Our guide for the day was a friend of Muc Su Hung, named Sim. He spoke Vietnamese, Khmer, and English very well. For the exploration of Angkor Wat, it was only the kids while Muc Su Hung and Co Trang stayed in the car to pick us up. The temples were massive. As we walked around the temple you can see the intricate designs that were carved into the wall. The walls and pillers were filled with tiny carvings, and to think about how big the temple is that is a lot of work. I couldn't wrap my head around how they built in the past. You don't see many bricks at all in the temple. Many things are from one huge ROCK. There aren't many lines or crack to indicate that it was assembled like a brick wall, making it astounding as to how they were able to construct the ginormous temple(s) without today's technology. We climbed it to see the areas where Buddhist would gather for meditation, prayer, and offerings. Some shrines were actually set up inside for people to pray. We saw a few monks too.

Sim was a very good guide. On top of giving us the history of the temple, he also took pictures for us and they were actually very good. One of them was to gather around the phone with a selfie mode and he would take the picture. If a picture required him to squat, he would squat to get that perfect angle. You would see other tourist guides doing the same kind of pictures because they're from the same company, but Sim would really put his heart into it, asking people to get out of the frame and concentrating really hard to make sure it was good.

There was this one part of the walk where a bunch of monkeys came out for treats. The siblings would throw wrapped candy at them and we would tell them not to give the monkeys the wrappers. But the siblings said that the monkeys were very smart and took the candy out of the wrappers before eating it. Confused, we all would watch a monkey and BEHOLD they tore the wrapper off and put the candy in their mouth. We also fed them bananas as well. I was kinda scared to feed them the banana because you would have them take it from you which requires close proximity with the creatures. But as I stuck my hand out with the split banana, the monkey took it quickly and ran off. Feeding a monkey a banana wasn't on my non-existent bucket list but I checked it off anyway.

After crossing another temple, we got ready to get picked up. We ordered and drank some sugarcane juice and were off to relieve ourselves with the air conditioning. In the car, Co Trang and Muc Su Hung bought each team member a Cambodian clothing. Henry and Jeremiah got shirts, Lucy and Kayla got dresses, and I got a skirt. We all thanked them greatly. We were driving for a few minutes and Muc Su Hung makes and stop and everyone starts to get out of the car. "What's going on?" I asked. Turns out, we only visited 1/5 of the temples. (((: As a reminder, I was still struggling a lot with my vitamin D deficiency and WOOOO WEEEE I was exhausted. But ride and die, ya know, so I continued with the group. Thankfully the plan was to only visit three temples. After visiting the second temple, a majority of us were very tired since it was a hot day and there wasn't much shade provided. For the last temple, only Jeremiah, Henry, Kayla, and I went. The third temple was actually a lot smaller than the others and had a lot of shade from the trees. It was really beautiful to look at because it was covered in bright green moss and surrounded by tall trees. A lot of the temple was in ruins because nature broke through the temple. You can see the trees impaling the walls and covering parts of the temple. That particular temple was actually used in Angelina Jolie's 'Tomb Raider', which was what started the tourism for Cambodia. Before the movie, no foreigners visited the temples. But because of Angelina Jolie's movie, which was filmed at the very temple we were, Cambodia started to boom with tourists interested in the temples. I never watched the movie, which I was thankful for so that I could see the temple as it is. Sim said himself that the movie wasn't very good haha.   

Visitation to the third temple was done, marking the end of our journey to Siem Reap. Driving out we gave Sim out thanks and blessed him and his child to come, and we were off for home. The car ride was filled, yet again, with laughter and joy with the family as we drove to eat pho for dinner then head home to finish the night off with more games.

| Friday, August 24th, 2018 |  S-21 School and Family Time 

Friday was the day we went to go to the S-21 school. This is the school where mass murders were carried out during the Cambodian Genocide by the Khmer Rogue. If you're familiar with Cambodia's history or have read Justin's blog from last year, then you have some background to the heaviness of this location. If you don't, a summary of it would be that the Khmer Rogue was a group of people that carried out a genocide against its own people. If they came to you, you either kill or be killed. The goal was to essentially restart Cambodia from scratch due to frustrations of historical circumstances, and if you were against it then you would be killed. The Khmer Rogue killed anybody and everybody who had any kind of educational background/degree/profession along with their family and kids to avoid revenge plans in the future. Much of that killing was done at the S-21 school, the very place we visited. There are no pictures provided from our team. Knowing what happened in the very rooms we walked through, we could only mourn in our hearts for the lives lost to such an event. There are pictures on Google that show exactly what we saw. Though it may be hard for some, I encourage those who can to see the pictures of the rooms so that it doesn't just remain as a thought.

In the rooms you can see the beds where prisoners were chained to for interrogation. If an answer didn't satisfy the Khmer Rogue, prisoners would be tortured in different ways. Beneath the beds you can see brown stains on the ground which is the blood of the prisoners. Even after others cleaned up the rooms, the floors could not be washed away from all the blood that poured on it. It was so disheartening to be standing in those rooms. Before missions I had learned about the Khmer Rogue and Cambodian Genocide in school and my heart was already sad. But to know that I was standing in the very room where blood was spilled, screams were heard, and death occurred was...surreal. My heart was in sorrow but I was trying to get my mind to grasp the reality of it. That I was standing in the very rooms I learned about in class. The rooms where there was bloodshed right at my feet. It's not fiction. Maybe I wouldn't have been able to handle it. Maybe my visual instincts would kick in too much. Regardless, I knew I was walking in a place where there would be blood and dead bodies at my feet with torture machines before my eyes. My body was in that building.

We continued rooms where the prisoner cells were. One of them still had the blood of a prisoner in the past. You can see drops, smudges, and splatters of red on the walls. It's not fiction. We walked into rooms where there were faces of the victims lined up on bulletin boards front and back. There were paintings created from a survivor who saw all of the different ways people were tortured and killed. He created the paintings so people like us could understand the horrors he saw. One room was filled with some of the skulls of the victims. Their skulls lined up and filled shelves from case to case. Real bone from real people who were victims to the Khmer Rogue. It's not fiction, but why couldn't I grasp the reality of it?? It frustrated me. I see and I know what's before me is real, but why wasn't it weighing on my heart more than I thought it would? Was God keeping me from something I couldn't handle? I don't know! But even if my feelings weren't what I expected, I didn't let it change the truth that we were in sorrow in those moments.

After walking through the other rooms, we gathered together with Daniel, Hong An, Thien Nha, and Heng to lift up a prayer for Cambodia.

To lighten up the atmosphere for the remains of the day, we spent time with the siblings who were with us. We went to a market in Phnom Penh to buy supporter gifts, ate lunch at Aeon Mall, try to win a carnival game but lost 20+ times and lost $20+, and headed home.

To end the night we had a rather unexpected yet delightful scenario. We all tried on the gifts Muc Su Hung and Co Trang bought for us and were all happy with the gifts greatly...except for Lucy, who's dress was too loose and claims that she looked like she was from the Old Testament. In an attempt to cheer her up, we decided to put on a fashion show for the family to have fun. We were hoping that it would cheer her up and with a lot of time she warmed up to it. The sisters of the family went ham tho. It started with decorating us with some headbands and a bracelet, then it escalated to eye-wear, earrings, and makeup. Lots of makeup. Even makeup for Jeremiah and Henry haha. Although I didn't enjoy makeup and Thien Nha was a beginner at it, I wanted her to have a good time with the few moments we had left. And so I let her apply as much makeup as she wanted. Chi Hau (who is the most mature sibling and is very reserved) had a child-like moment as she put makeup on Henry and jump up and down, proceeding to run off giggling. And yes, we were having a blast too. We finished the decorations and makeup and lined up to get ready for the cat walk. Music turns on, and we each take a turn showing off our clothes and accessories. After round one finished we were brought back into the rooms for touch ups and this time we had Heng as the last model walking out, being the flirtatious designer of everything. His walk was the best in my opinion. Clearly out shined the rest of us.

| Saturday, August 25th, 2018 | Departure Day 

Our last day with the family. We relaxed, ate, watched a ghost movie together, and had conversations. I let Thien Nha do my makeup again, though she messed up on the same eye approximately 20 times.

In the last moments we had at the house, we all gathered together and sang the Khmer and Vietnamese songs Co Trang taught us. Then we blessed Muc Su Hung and Co Trang with an American worship song (Build My Life). I didn't have a pick to strum the guitar with during that time, but the whole room filled with all of our voices, including the siblings who sang along. It was a blissful moment of worship with them. Later Co Tran shared a poem and Muc Su Hung shared a short message. Then we went around the team members to give a few words as to why we came to Cambodia for the mission. After some prayers together, we were off for the airport. We had to use all of the back row for luggage so all the girls squeezed into the second row and the guys into the first row. On the way to the airport, it felt as if we weren't leaving because we were having so much fun in the car like in the past. The boys were going crazy again and were hitting and teasing each other while the girls laughed in the back. After arriving and checking in our luggage, we spent as much time as we could with the family. We had drinks and chatted until time forced us to leave. We prayed one last time together and took A LOT of photos. There was more laughter than tears, which I was thankful for because we were parting with joyful spirits. It felt really weird to be leaving them and the church.  We had lived with each other for almost a month now, becoming family. Now we wouldn't be seeing their faces for a long time. We said goodbye to each other three separate times before we left. Even as we were going up the escalator, we were waving goodbye to each other until they were out of sight. Just as we greeted each other with smiles, we departed with smiles. Only this time it was with a hint of sadness in our hearts. Still with so many emotions going on, we left. And the mission came to an end.

We are SO thankful for everyone who has supported us financially and spiritually through prayers. This mission definitely could NOT have been done with those of you who were back at home. We thank God for the opportunity He has provided us in coming to Cambodia and blessing others, and we thank Him for His grace. Keep an eye out for a recap video that will be released! Tune into Sunday services at TLC as testimonies of what happened or of what we learned will be given sometime during service. (:

We thank you again. Shalom!

Signing off,

Trisha aka Co Sushi

Sunday, August 19, 2018

He Gracefully Uses Us In Our Weakness to Bring Him Glory

Hello everyone!  My name is Kayla and I am one of the five team members, here to tell you about the awesome things that God has been doing here in Cambodia.

Let me explain the situation/schedule before I tell you the story.

August 16 - Today was our last full day of teaching.

This weekend (Aug 17-19) was going to be very long days of ministry, we were going to hand out gift bags to those that came to hear God's Word.  So this Thursday, August 16 was our last full day of teaching.  Everyday consists of two session: morning and afternoon with half and hour breaks in between.  Most of the children attend both sessions, but some only attend one.  This week the school was opened in between the sessions to allow the students to sleep over. The plan today for the younger kids was to learn a few words in English, while the older kids (led by me and Henry) were going to learn about repentance and we were going to open the discussion of accepting Jesus as LORD and savior in the second half after the break.

However, after our first break we went straight into lunch.  After lunch we slept and went straight into second session.  Muc Su Hung told us that we were going to let the kids worship so that we could rest early in order to prepare for the weekend.  I felt a conviction to ask Muc Su Hung to let us have the open discussion so that the students could accept Christ and he said yes.

So we all gathered to worship. After, the younger children were dismissed while the older children stayed back.  Henry, Hong An (Muc Su Hung's daughter) and myself shared our testimonies.  It was my first time hearing Henry's testimony and I was really encouraged by Henry of how vulnerable he was about his life.  I told the students to pray on their own, asking God to lead them in their relationship with Him.  There were only two non-believers that the students pointed out.  One of them was Nhi.  Nhi decided to give her life to Christ that day.  Praise God.  We were going to have Pastor Hung pray with us, but he was really busy so Henry and I had to lead her in prayer by ourselves.  I was so nervous.  I remember my mind being so flustered, I wasn't sure if I should do the repeat after me prayer or just have her pray herself.  But I was comforted by Henry that the Holy Spirit will lead. We prayed separately and then I prayed over Nhi in Vietnamese.  Praise God.  

Now I have another student named Mi, who is a believer.  Now Mi is very talkative and a very encouraging spirit.  She's like a younger version of me but smarter, has a strong personality, and has better Vietnamese.  I noticed how Mi would always encourage Nhi and be the friend that would guide her along.  Even in the prayer circle, Mi would tell Nhi, "Go pray over there!  That's right you got this!"  She would also give Nhi a push and encourage her to accept Jesus.  This was when I realized how important our friendships are with non-believers.  We are called to love and pray for those around us and also share to them the good news.  Praise God!
Nhi (Left) who commited her life to Christ, while Mi (right) her BFF encouraged her.
That night, we decided that I was going to share a small message to the children the next day.  I didn't have much time to prepare so I was going to share about my reflections on the song "He Knows My Name."  

August 17 - Today we were going to share a message and then pass out vouchers to our neighbors/invite people to church.

So Friday comes and there are a lot of kids that come, both Khmer and Vietnamese.  Hong An lead everyone in worship and Lucy told me how proud she was of her because last year, her older sister Huong led, but now that her sister is in the US, she sees how much this young lady stepped up.  So cute! So after worship, I shared. Now normally, I'm really comfortable in front of a crowd, maybe kinda nervous here and there, but for the most part, I'm cool with it.  However, I was super nervous for this one because I was dealing with God's ministry.  I prayed a lot that God would give me the right words and that they would be ready to receive the Word.  The only thing that I could hear from God was three words: PROCLAIM MY GOODNESS.  So I prayed, "LORD, I'll do my best, may You guide me." So that's what I did. I shared in English and Daniel (Muc Su Hung's eldest son) translated to Khmer.  My message was like five minutes.  Muc Su Hung was like, "Why so short?" I also regretted speaking so short.  So after, I was like I could've done this, this, or But by God's grace, Muc Su Hung encouraged me to ask follow up questions and asked me to come up again.  I blanked out though.

Friday's event: There were over 100 kids gather to hear God's Word.

Right after the event, we had a huge family debrief for the first time.  We gave them feedback, they gave us feedback.  Co Trang actually rebuked us (me).  She shared that we need to be prepared with a story at ALL times, being ready to share questions because if we don't prepare ourselves before we enter the battle, we already lost.  I was so encouraged and empowered.  Another question was brought up: Who will share the message to the students in the boat village the next day? Again, I felt a tug and a big excitement to speak so I stepped up again.  I started to prepare with the remaining time that I had.  I was going to speak on Jonah.

So I took Hong An (AKA SoKun) to help me prep for the message I had. She told me to just share on Jonah 1-3. I also asked Muc Su Hung and Co Trang (his wife) for feedback.  I shared to Co Trang the reason for my nervousness.  I was scared because I'm speaking on God's Word.  If I mess up, I'm in trouble!  Also I didn't know how to feel about women preaching.  We looked up God's Word together and long story short, she affirms me that my thinking is correct and that I don't need to fear because I'm teaching children and God will guide me.  She shared that often times we will learn from God as we read so we just have to share what we learned.  Simple.  When I read Jonah, I actually learned a lot by reading Jonah 1-4 so I changed up the plan.

August 18 - Today's mission was to go to the Muslim community and share God's Word and then to the boat village to share to the kids.

There was a big storm this morning and we prayed that the rain would go away.  We got in the car and shortly after, it did!  Praise the LORD!  So we get there to this land.  It was a land that was filled with a Muslim community.  We got permission though from the land owner to share.  Yet, a man started to cause trouble by saying that we couldn't share God's Word here.  The police got involved, so TLC missions team huddled up and started praying.  At last, everything was settled!  We were going to continue!  So Pastor Hung preached and we gave out food to the crowd.  Praise God!  After, Muc Su Hung shared that this land was going to be purchased and he is going to build a school there.  He is currently praying for a family to come and serve there as missionaries.
Co Trang & I preparing the rice and ramen bags to give to the need.

Muc Su Hung sharing the Gospel to the Khmer Muslin people at Kampong Chhnang. 

The family and team passing out the ramen and food seasonings to the people of both Khmer and Vietnamese.
We headed to the boat village.  It was soon my turn to share.  I was praying a lot once again, but this time, I was filled with an abundant joy and excitement to share God's Word.  So I had Hong An read Jonah 1-4.  Poor girl she just read and read and read.  At chapter 3 she looked over to me so I spared her. (I had Co Trang read chapter 4 later) After the reading of God's Word, I prayed. Everything was in God's perfect timing though because right after, the next group of students come on board.  So the transition went really well.  Filled with the Spirit I spoke in Vietnamese, I struggled here and there, but God held me tight.  My message talked about how Jonah fled Nineveh and disobeyed God, yet by God's grace, he received a second chance.  God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah for 3 days and 3 nights.  Jonah prayed in that belly and came to God in this dark time.  God heard his prayer and allowed the fish to spit Jonah out.  The second time God called Jonah, He also gave Jonah the exact words to say.  When Jonah spoke, the Ninevites believed and repented, causing Jonah to be very displeased.  Sometimes we are like Jonah.  We come to God in our times of darkness, yet when things don't go our way, we get angry at God so easily.  However, the story doesn't end there.  God sends Jonah a plant that made Jonah happy, but ends up being chewed up by a worm after which made Jonah sad.  

God then replies to Jonah, But the Lord said, "You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.  And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh,in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?" (Jonah 4:10-11). God was giving Jonah yet another chance.  This shows us how gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love God is, relenting from sending calamity.  Let's not see God as a distant God that we come to whenever we're in trouble, but as a God who is personal, who we are to pray to everyday in every part of our live.  How great is our God?  Praise God!

I was very encouraged by my team both days.  They continually prayed over me and gave me plenty of encouraging words.  So blessed for each and every one of them.
Traveling by boat to the school on the water villages.

A group photo of the children and their little goodie bags; the Vietnamese children were attentive to the story of Jonah!

August 19 - Today, we were going to share the Word to those we invited to our church: Love of Christ Church Sensok (LOCC)/Celebrate Lucy's Birthday

Jeremiah shared about Jesus Feeding Five Thousand (John 6:1-15.  It was really a blessing for me to see my fellow brother up there relying on God.  Jeremiah prayed three times when he shared.  We constantly prayed over our brother as he spoke. Daniel was the translator once again!  After Jeremiah shared, Muc Su Hung came up to preach on the same Bible passage in Khmer.  Muc Su Hung also lead the alter call and I believed two men came up.  Praise God!

Jeremiah preaches the Gospel as Daniel translates in Khmer for Love of Christ Church and the attendees
Muc Su Hung talking to a local lady after the service ended. 
The team passed out the rice bags. Over 100 people received the rice and ramen to share people in their community.
A few students from Love of Christ Church also received rice and food seasoning. 
We celebrated Lucy's birthday after at this bomb pizza place.  We are super close to this family, literally every member in this house.  We laughed together, cried together, yelled at each other, it's quite amazing how close we are in such a short period of time.  Not going to lie, it's not always sunny and kumbaya under this roof, but our bond is tighter than super glue because it's the Holy Spirit that binds us together.
Our sister Lucy (Co Thanh) turns up 24 years old; the birthday was BOMB!
Please continue to pray for us on this mission, that is to bless this family and share the love of God wherever we are.  We have two more days with the school. They are just two days where we will just play with them and fellowship with them.  After, we will head to Siem Reap to go learn about Cambodian history and spent time with the family.  Please pray that our trip will be safe and that we will continue to be a blessing to them.  Let's end strong everyone!!

Thank you so much for reading!  There are so many stories to share and details I left out, so please ask me more when I get back!!

In Him,


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hello Again

Below: 3 of the 5 members hanging with the children on the playground we built in 2014, it still lives
Henry (Hiep), Heng (Pastor Hung's second oldest son), and Jeremiah (Bi) at Chan Sen
Trisha (Co Sushi) collected the name tags of the children at Love of Christ Church

August 13th, 2018 
Greetings fellow supporters again. It is your English major member back at it again with the blogs.

As Jeremiah said in the previous post, we're sorry for not being able to update you recently. Although I can't remember what happened day by day, I can tell you the few memories we created since last Wednesday. I shall sort them by categories for you. :D 

| Teaching the Kids | 

By now, both the team and the kids have settled in and became comfortable with one another. Each morning some kids come early to play while the team eats breakfast with the family. It's a joy to see them first thing in the morning because though they're shy when they greet us, you can still see the excitement in their eyes--excitement for the day they'll be spending at the church. (In case you didn't know, the church is literally next door to the family's house. Approximately ten steps away!) I remember this one scene I saw while eating breakfast. We were chatting and laughing with the family when I looked over at the kids. The family has an overhead vineyard that's been growing since last year, and so the scene set before me has a lot of vibrant green. The kids were playing together in their own groups with sunshine shining through the vineyard. Like a well composed photograph, the vineyard behind them was glowing with the kids centered in front, smiling and playing with each other. It was a joyful picture. I'm thankful I looked over for that brief moment. 

Class has gained its rhythm, both for the older and younger class. Class for the younger kids has actually been more relaxed, simple, yet intimate. We go over about ten English words each day and color with them, with charades on the side as review. I would say playing charades with the kids brings the most excitement in class. It's hilarious to see these two students (Quy and Chanh) try their hardest to guess the right English words. They have such intense looks on their face as they think with all their might to get the correct word. Liep, one of the female students, knows many of the words but only in Vietnamese. So she quickly turns to Quy and repeatedly yells the Vietnamese word at him until he can translate and shout the answer for them. When Chanh isn't able to get the word, he puts his finger to his forehead out of frustration, and Jeremiah and I crack up next to each other. The passion they have for charades is up-lifting. For the few times I looked over to the older kids (with Henry and Kayla teaching), they also look like they're having a good time. Sometimes it's even a small group. Like the ones we have on Friday or Saturday nights. 

Break time also brings a lot of memories. One time I woke up from a nap to get ready for second session and I heard screams outside. Bewildered because the kids aren't usually so excited before class, I quickly go outside to see what the commotion is about. As I come out I see approximately two dozen kids on a rope, split equally, playing tug-of-war. What's even more surprising is that Muc Su Hung is the one driving the excitement as he yells at each side to pull then even joins in on the tugging. I laughed so hard when I saw him pull on one side, helping that side win, then completely abandoning them to join the other side and help them win. He went back and forth like five times in a single game. Kids would be falling on both sides trying their best to pull the rope but they would get right back up to get in on it again. Even our team and the family got involved. Jeremiah especially played a lot as the kids called him to join their side. There was this game where one side had about five adults helping the kids with the other side having no adults at all. The kids with no adults was losing badly, but the moment Daniel (the eldest son of the family joined in), they won the game within seconds.  

One memorable moment I had with the kids was today during the first session break. I was sitting on the wooden swing with some kids and Henry. One of the kids, Hua, asked me to sing and Henry translated his request to me. I sang some worship songs and all the kids listened. It felt like I was singing a lullaby to them. Hua is usually a very talkative and energetic kid, but to see him become silent and still as I was singing was adorable. "Sing another song," he would say, and I would sing another worship song after another and he would simply be quiet and listen. I was glad I was able to bless the kids with music for God. Sitting and singing on the wooden swing with kids on my left, right, and in front of me was a cute moment. I loved it. 

One day after second session, we made an assembly line inside the church to make goodie bags to pass out later next week. Some students chose to stay behind to help out. There were so many boxes of treats and we opened them all on the ground. About two or three people were stationed at each pile and the assembly line for 402 goodies bags we made. We actually made them all quickly. Afterwards, we played chicken fight and rock, paper, scissors, slap with the kids. Man, it was a blast. Our student Cuong has tiny hands, but dude, he hits as hard as us. Tiny but mighty. After seeing the kids out, we hung around outside of the church and watched some cows go by. They were definitely on the moooove to go somewhere. Hehe...You probably already herd that joke. ;))))

Assembling the goodie bags for the children :D
This past Saturday was our last day in Chan Sen with the Khmer kids. We sang songs with them, taught some English words, and played games with them outside like monkey in the middle and soccer. Unfortunately, rain was coming so we had to end an hour early. We brought out the goodie bags we packed from earlier and blessed the kids. It was a short but good time! 

| Family time | 

For the first whole week of our stay here, we hung out with all of the family members during meals except for the younger son, Heng. He's very introverted and at first only came out out a few times. When we did catch him, we would all wave excitedly to him and he would shyly wave back. We made it a thing to treat him like a celebrity every time we saw him to pop his bubble. He would come home from school during dinner time and the moment his motorcycle pulls up, we would all get ready to applaud his entrance. A lot of Jeremiah's goals during the week was to talk to Heng more, so whenever we saw Heng we all turned to Jeremiah and shouted at him, "GO GET HIM BEFORE HE DISAPPEARS AGAIN." One of the nicknames we gave him was "the Pokemon" since Jeremiah tried to catch him so many times. Soon he would eat meals with us, then slowly he played games with us at night too. The more we spent time with him, the more we found out that he was very silly and adorable. He's constantly making us crack up with his remarks. Playing Saboteur with all five siblings and the whole team is so fun. There's outrage, sadness, joy, and surprises every time we play. We're starting to end every night with games together. The eldest daughter (Chi Hau) is very mature but still fun to be around. We're all too loud and crazy compared to her, but to have her constantly join in on the fun is a huge blessing. The two younger sisters are hilarious. Hong An is very silly and sometimes aggressive, adding fire to whatever is already lit up. She very smart for her age, but still obviously retains the weirdness of her age. Thien Nha, the youngest daughter, is quiet but has sudden outbursts of evil laughs, which I love. When she first started playing games with us, she wasn't very good at understanding the game at all but that's what made her adorable. She has quirky moments here and there as well, playing tag with me out of the blue and being very sassy. The eldest son, Daniel, is with us the most during class time. He's very amusing to watch because he has a massive figure but he's so gentle and calm. At times he's stern with the class to get order, but most of the time he's very relaxed. I love watching him interact with the puppy because he turns into a huge kid. It was really funny to watch him eat dessert today with a tiny fork in his huge hands. 

The first outing we had with the family was yesterday. For dinner, we went out for pho. At the restaurant, we went upstairs and had the whole floor to ourselves. When we first got there it was funny because Muc Su Hung started to move the tables around the entire room to make things comfortable for everyone. It was funny because imagine you own a restaurant and you have the tables and chairs set out as you envisioned. Then a customer comes in and starts moving them around like, "Nope, I want this to be here and that table to be there. Perfect." At the same time, none of the workers said anything as if it wasn't the first time a customer customized the room as they wanted. When we saw Muc Su Hung doing whatever he wanted with the restaurant's tables, the rest of us were like, "Okay," and started moving around tables and chairs too. Muc Su Hung and Daniel even turned on the fan and changed the settings themselves. Everyone ordered and we all ate together as a huge family. It reminded me of eating with my own family since it was a huge gathering. We all talked, laughed, and ate. Afterwards we went a couple of stores down to get ice cream together. After ordering and getting our ice creams, we showed Co Trang and Muc Su Hung pictures of the girls' faces turned into guys and they cracked up. (We used an app from Facebook.)  Shortly afterwards we started to turn all the guys faces into girl faces and we were all erupting with laughter after eat picture. Co Trang was laughing the most out of all of us. Jeremiah turned out the best out of all the guys. He looked like a model. You can check his Facebook page to see it. :)) We left the store still laughing about it and ended the night with more games of Saboteur. Daily we become closer with both the small and big moments. 

There was a day where Jeremiah, Henry, and I spent time with Muc Su Hung and Daniel making cement and plugging up holes in the chicken coop. Mice often run around the place and the family has a dog named Black who hunts down the mice (and snakes). To help Black out, Muc Su Hung wanted to plug up the holes in the chicken coop to force the mice to come out closer to the house so Black and catch them easily. The three of us helped mixed and make cement then plugged up the holes with Daniel. We certainly weren't as skilled as him but we had a good time trying to help. Later that day, I went back out to the backyard to see what else could be going on. I came out and found Henry, Daniel, and one of our students Binh fishing in the small pond. I joined in with them and stood in the mud with the boots that were on the side. Daniel and Henry were in a competition for who could catch the most fish. Henry caught one and I caught one later as well. It was another funny scene with Daniel because he couldn't catch any fish and he was talking about how it was a sad day. The picture was his massive figure with a small rod squatting on the side of the pond, unable to catch any fish. During that time, Hong An, Thien Nha, and Chi Hau joined us too, making it almost the entire family that was out by the pond. It was another simple but fun moment with the family.

Mixing cement to block/plug the holes around the chicken and garden coup
There was a day where I was able to ride the back of the motorcycle with Chi Hau to the market to get some ingredients for dinner. As we drove there, it began to sprinkle a little bit. I had to squint my eyes because I was being pelted with rain drops but the ride was still very fun. We arrived at the market and I simply followed Chi Hau around as she rapidly got the ingredients she needed. The market is very small but compact. There's a lot of things going on. It's technically an outdoor market, but the entire scene is covered with a huge tent. The floor is flooded with water and stands are laid wide open with huge bundles of vegetables and meat. Sellers are constantly cleaning/butchering meat or preparing the vegetables for consumers to buy. The first thing Chi Hau went to buy was a big fish. It was swimming around in a big bucket with other fish as well. When the lady understood what Chi Hau wanted, she grabbed the huge fish with her bare hands, laid it on a platform, and pounded its head with a huge stone. I remember hearing the crack of the first pound and went, "Oof." Then I had consecutive "oofs" with every other pound there was to the fish. Chi Hau quickly went around and got every ingredient she needed so quickly since she knew the market inside and out, and we were on our way back home again. Though her English is limited and so is my Vietnamese, she still told me a little bit about the market, and I thanked her for it and for taking me. A good time, a good time. 

| Brief Reflection | 

On the day we were watching the cows go by, I was able to spend some time in reflection. It was a beautiful day because the sun was gently shining through the clouds and there was a slight breeze. It's usually cloudy or overcast here because it's the rainy season. As I was sitting on the side of the church and looking out to the buildings across, I was wondering to myself why I though Cambodia was so pretty. I logically thought about it, and the building I'm looking at aren't that attractive at all. They're run-down and there's trash in a lot of areas. But undoubtedly I knew that I thought what I saw was pretty. "Why?" I asked myself. I know that I personally prefer America because I enjoy the nature there more and it's cleaner, so I was wondering what was it about Cambodia that made me love it. As I took some time to be still, I realized that it's not the location itself that made the country beautiful to me, but rather the people. I went back to the picture I had in my head. In a photograph, the buildings alone do not hold any special meaning. They're just dirty buildings. However, the moment you put people in that photograph, many questions come to mind. 

"Who are they?"
"Why are they there?" 
"Were they the ones who lived in the building? What was the building to them?" 
"How did they get to where they are now?" 

The moment you put human beings into a picture, the weight of it changes dramatically. The country or the city I see before me isn't that beautiful itself in my opinion. But because I see people here, it is beautiful. "Why?" I asked myself again. It's because I know that human beings are beautiful because God created us and loves us deeply. The story of a single human being is beautiful because it was crafted by a beautiful God. God's loves for us is so deep, that no matter what picture we're put into, we will always be beautiful. And that's why Cambodia is so beautiful to me. To be honest, before coming here I wasn't very excited to be uncomfortable in a foreign land. For sure, America is a lot cleaner and more comfortable. However, I'm still able to feel contentment being here not because of the location but because of the people I see around me. I see beings who are loved by God and because that makes them beautiful, Cambodia is beautiful. I believe that's a huge aspect to spreading God's love when it comes to missions. It's not the location you go to, rather it's the people you go to. It doesn't matter where in the world you're traveling to to spread God's Word. What matters is who you're going to. The land can't be saved, the people can. An encouragement to those back in America! Whether you go to a different city, state, or country to spread God's love, the location should not hold a heavier weight than the souls you're going to. If Jesus can step down from heaven onto this dirty earth to love us, then us being in an uncomfortable area shouldn't throw us off our course of purpose. In essence, where there is humans, there is beauty! 

| Prayer Requests | 

The team is facing more physical struggles daily. Each member is either facing a certain kind of sickness or tiredness so please pray fervently for our strength! We are half-way through our stay here and we want to make sure we finish strong by God's grace. 

Jeremiah: stomach issues 
Henry: occasional tiredness 
Lucy: nausea and fatigue 
Kayla: allergies/sneezing 
Me: vitamin deficiency 

Continue to pray that God's love touches the kids' hearts!  
That's all for this update. A long post for a long break from updating. Thank you again to those who are constantly praying for us over here. We appreciate it. Please pray for our physical health as some of us are starting to get weak and/or sick. Next blog post will be from Kayla! God bless. 

(Co Sushi) 

| MISC. |

Saturday morning the music blasted throughout the neighborhood again but SIKE I was prepared this time and was listening to music as I slept. Sadly, there was a different enemy during the night on another occurrence. There was a huge mouse in the attic above us that ran around during the night, and you could hear it clearly running. It dragged stuff and was eating scratching at the floor which was our ceiling. You could hear the sharp and piercing scratching sounds that would easily irritate anyone's sleep. It really disturbed me because whenever I heard the scratching sounds, I thought it was going to dig a hole to us and ceiling parts would fall on my face. The ceiling already had tape to cover up previous holes. So for the sake of my sanity and sleep, I got up and climbed to the closed attic door and pounded it, hoping it would scare the creature out. But it didn't...I kept pounding hoping it would get scared off but it kept running around and scratching away. I came back down and desperately messaged my supporters to pray to God that it goes away AND IT DID. I thank them and God and fell asleep before it could come back. Be thankful if you can sleep in peace at home. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Prayer Request Updates

(Playing sports with the Khmer students at Chan Sen - Our last day)

 (Lucy teaching Day 4 of the FALL PT. 2 while Trisha assisting)

(Co Trang and Chi Hau made Nom Banh Chok, a quintessential Khmer dish for lunch, so BOMB!)

Greetings beloved supporters and prayer warriors,

Forgive us the lack of ongoing updates for the past days. We've been actively productive with teaching the kids English throughout Monday to Friday while exploring Chan, Sen the Khmer ministry on the weekends; And immensely spend intimate time with Pastor Hung's family. Someone will provide a summary soon.

We appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement we've received from you via messages/text, phone calls, and video has brought us everlasting joy, which continuously strengthens us glorification of Christ! We are graciously thankful through your "pray without ceasing" hearts!

Since today is Monday August 13th, 2018, we are starting our second week of teaching. Here are our prayer requests:

- Physical strength and social interaction to teach the children and spend quality time with the family
- We finished the ministry in Chan Sen, pray for the Khmer children to know Christ within our brief moments
- A few members are feeling better and overcoming sickness
- Pray for Jeremiah, he's enduring strong stomach pains / diarrhea since Sunday afternoon
- We continue to glorify God through the physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering

- Pray for the family feels encouraged and strengthened in Christ, they are sharing and venting life into us as we live alongside with them daily - Gospelization in fostering community
- Pray for the family to receive rest during the second week away from ministry and be a joy with their gift of hospitality, which we are graciously thankful for every summer for mission

- Through your financial support, we will be blessing ramen and food essentials to families in Kampong Chhnang on Saturday August 18th 2018. The living conditions has caused families to starve for food. Plus the flooding has occured in certain areas where families have a difficult time to buy or get substrates. Up to 220 families of Khmer, Vietnamese, & Muslin people will be blessed with ramen and food essentials
- Also pray for our last Sunday service on August 19th 2018. Approximately over 80 families will receive rice and food essentials. Pray for Jeremiah as he shares // preaches on Sunday; its his first time preaching (Pastor Hung's son Daniel will translate in Vietnamese/Khmer. Those attending will hear the Gospel either for the first time or multiple times, pray for the Word of the Lord to penetrate the hearts of the callous and lost in the village of Sensok

Healthy blessings,


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Postal Report from Jeremiah

(This is Anh, Thai Nguyen, & Hien)

*Beware, this is a long post - don't skip through unless you want to read the prayer requests 🙏*

Greeting beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

By God's grace, I am always thankful for God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant me an opportunity to return to the lands and waters of Cambodia for overseas summer mission. I'm here for the fourth consecutive time to share the Gospel, to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, which ends with the results of glorifying God and hallowing His name in the nation of Cambodia. I do feel undeserving and unworthy to be here, but it is God's grace that has place me here including your prayers and financial support! I feel kinda old because I’m surround by a youthful team. Thankfully they keep me in check and above-approach!

This year's fruit has been sowed through the consistent communication and prayers "without creasing" with Pastor Hung and Co Trang. Thank goodness for social applications like Facebook and phone calls to develop deeper relational-rapport throughout the year but doing life together in person at best than the realms of the internet. As of lately, the family has shared endlessness of stories which filled my heart with everlasting joy of laughter and jokes alongside with them at the meal table, while my heart has been struck in brokenness with sorrow and despair as they cry and vent their personal struggles and pains they've experienced the past year. They've been tested through the trials of overcoming acute physical health, the transition of their third oldest child who left Cambodia to live in America to study English and Dental (the dynamic of this year's mission trip changed dramatically without her), and seeing the students they've discipled come and go (the reasons I do and do not know). But no matter what happens, this family continues to praise God by saying "Thank you God: (Cảm ơn Chúa) and trusting in Christ. Pastor and their family lives faithfully in what they're called to do: share the Gospel to all the Khmer and Vietnamese people in Cambodia and be a blessing. I feel through the years, I've grown to be closer to them in being part of their family! I'm like their American son who visits them every summer.

I will be honest, their ministry has taught me to be watchful in walking empathy and celebrating with the family and my teammates through what Jesus Christ has done. Due to how they live their lives for the Gospel, I am able to live vigilantly in the Gospel urgency to give up everything back home and my own "thorn" in order to serve the whole family wholeheartedly. My hand hurts painfully as much as my heart as I am hand-writing this letter out to you. Please continue to pray for me as I am leading our group of 5 people total including myself for the remainder of the trip, I do feel physically weary because I'm constantly fighting chronic fatigue syndrome. My body becomes endlessly worn out by the end of the day. Instead of keep this to myself, my teammates do know I have this physical issue attacking me. Thankfully, I'm only getting through this suffering through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit to fight. Trying to rely on myself is really foolishness. This is what I feel what my personal struggle physical compare to my spiritual health. So I find comfort when Pastor Hung reminds me of resting in Christ through Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” My hope is not in the things I do. My strength does not derived from the amazing food nor coffee Co Trang cooks, but my strength and rest comes from the LORD who's willing to take my burdens by dying and being resurrected on the cross for me. I can rest upon him “who gives me strength,” Jesus and I get YOKE together! LOL But praise God for this season of mission, I'm so fortunate to united with my favorite Vietnamese-Cambodian FAMILY. Let's go into prayer requests for the trip.


- Pray for the health of the family especially with Pastor Hung and Co Trang, they're undergoing a few health problems. I cannot go into details. Pray for the family to be energized with endurance as they receive rest from children ministry and outreach ministry. Thankfully the Lord has graciously used our team to take care of teaching the students at Love of Christ Church, the Khmer ministry, and serving the family! We are here to bless the family by assisting whatever they need to further God’s kingdom in Cambodia, which eases them to do less work and use the precious time to rest and recover away!

- Pray for our team's health. Today's August Wednesday 8th 2018, 4:30 pm in Cambodia (14 hours difference). Pray for a few members to overcome physical tiredness. Some have scratch throats and coughing from teaching children, while others are being attacked by the blood-sucking mosquitoes. I'm concern for my team that they may become sick eventually but hopefully, hopefully no one will become sick or ill during the next two weeks and few days. We have a small team compare the previous years so prayer warriors and supporter continue to pray for strength and endurance to continue God's work ahead. Pray for servanthood for each member towards God’s missional work! May we find rest in God’s word and spending time with family.

- Pray for the children. From Monday through Friday we are teaching the Creation to Christ Story and vocabulary words in the two session, morning and afternoon courses for 3 hours each (8:00 am to 4:00 pm). We have approximately 25-30 in each class. The rapport for each member to build a relationship with the children is quite personal and intimate due to the election. I'm quite sad to see some of the children gone away from the ministry but thankfully, I do get to see a few familiar faces. Many Vietnamese students either remain at home during the teaching session, lazy due to vacation, and/or have personal reasons to not attend. But please do pray for the kids we are currently teaching Monday through Friday. For the weekends we focus on the Khmer ministry from 1:00-4:00 pm where we are going through bible stories and coloring with them. Although we are unable to speak Khmer, we are joyfully interact to share them God's word and have fun with them. So please pray for a gentle spirit to be patience with all the children, to be compassionate and empathetic with each child’s story, and finally, reflect Christ's love and faithfulness to follow Christ wholeheartedly!

- For me personally, I've shared about the chronic fatigue syndrome which is my thorn for this year's mission - so pray for replenishing rest and calmness. But outside of the mission, I am reading Proverbs for my personal devotion in order to gain wisdom. Why? To lead the team and for each person to grow to love God's word on the mission field. So far, I've memorized 3 verses from 3 chapters! I have a few complexive questions for Pastor Hung about historical context and purpose for Proverbs. Other than that, I want to honor the Lord with my servanthood as a missionary and lead my team to honor Christ. So please pray for God's wisdom through His Spirit will direct my steps each day. Finally, pray for my relationship with Pastor Hung's two sons Heang and Heng, this year I've talked to them on a regular. I do want to pray and walk alongside with their walk with the Lord but also, listening to their dreams and goals in Cambodia. So far so good, but I'll share or post later when they give me permission and when the time is right.

Anyways, my hand is probably more fatigue than my body as I'm finished from writing this post but now I need to type this. Seriously, I'm gracious as Paul would say in Philippians 1:3-6, "I thank my God in all remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of you partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Thank you for praying and supporting our team this year for mission, I hope this letter/post encourages you!

Christ's commission to His glory,