On April 16 we will begin our 4th month here and we’ll be in the heart of the HOT season! Every day it has been anywhere from 94º-100ºF with a “real feel” of 108º-112ºF. As I look at the forecast (a dangerous thing to do) I see that it will soon feel like it is 114ºF! I’m living here and that still just seems unfathomable!! No wonder people here are so skinny, they are practically melting away!
While on weather, we have had (and actually enjoyed) 2 rainfalls. We were told these were out of the norm because they were so early in the year, however the glimpse they gave us into the coming rainy months was probably fairly accurate. Since everything around here in the city is concrete, when it rains it floods all low lying properties. The Wesleyan Church national office is right next door to our apartment. When it was built it was on higher ground. Roughly ten years later, however, it is the lowest ground in our neighborhood and yes…it floods. The morning after the first rainfall Chet attended a DBA meeting. When he returned home at 4 pm he said that the water was down to his ankles! So while we enjoyed the rain for the brief relief it brought from the heat, it proves a sobering fact for many people. Not sure what to expect of daily life in a couple months when it starts raining everyday.
Amanda and Bekah have gotten involved with the int’l youth groups. Amanda as an adult leader and Bekah as an excited student. For Amanda it has definitely been her social connection here. She has enjoyed being apart of the planning and prayer team as well as just hanging out with new friends. For Bekah it has also been a good place to meet friends and connect since there isn’t much interaction with homeschooling. Late last month they attended a middle school retreat at a resort on the ocean. I definitely believe it was one of Bekah’s highlights so far!
The Kampong Cham women’s retreat was a huge success! It was so amazing to meet with the women in the middle of nowhere, under a tent in the heat to learn about God and praise His name together! The really amazing fact is that there were easily 70 women from 2 small house churches that had started 7months and 1 year ago. If 70 is just the women, think how big, with spouses and children, the communities are in such a short time!! They are most hungry to learn. Pastor Kieth and his wife have done a phenomenal job!!
Our time at Daughters has been quickly rewarding but now we need to reassess where we can best be used. The women who are taking care of the children have done an excellent job in following a new schedule, learning to play and read with the kids as well as how to clean things properly. We really aren’t needed that much with them anymore. Within the last month, however, Daughters has also taken in boys who have been victims of sex trafficking, so today was my first day of teaching them music with belleplates. This will be a learning curve for all of us. Hopefully a rewarding one:)
Please take a moment and check out Daughters web site – it truly is an amazing organization! You can check it out at www.daughterscambodia.org.
On March 31st we put Amanda on a plane to London. She is traveling Europe for a month with a friend trying to keep God the focus of their trip. They are praying each day to know how they can be used and hoping that He will also help make clear what Amanda’s future should hold. Whether she should return to the states and stay or return to Cambodia and continue helping with the youth. She would greatly appreciate your prayers for safety and ministry.
This last week the WBI held a youth conference (ages 14-23, average student being 18-19) with over 100 in attendance! It was a busy week for them from early morn – evening. We went out one night to help with games, and Chet had the opportunity to speak at one of the early morning sessions. An extremely hot week, loss of electricity almost daily, but not a loss of His power – by the end of the week 38 were baptized and many made commitments to Christ!
Bekah and I are continuing to adapt to the Cambodian culture. We are now frequent moto passengers. Yes, we have moved from the comfort of a tuk-tuk to sitting on the back of a moto …Bekah sits side saddle! It is quite up close and personal (both to the driver and traffic within touching distance) but it is cheaper…so our ventures continue:-) I just don’t like being pointed out as the prize from other moto/tuk tuk drivers as we pass.
Once again we thank you all for your support and encouragement to us. We are still in the learning curve of ministry here and continue to seek what exactly His plans are for us. Your prayers are much appreciated!
Chet, Virginia & ‘Bekah