Wednesday, January 25, 2017


The best way I would sum out this last week is relationships. We are beginning to form and build new relationships more and more, and strengthen team relationships. We are quickly building relationships with the apartment complex cleaning ladies, and our favorite tuk tuk drivers. We go down and play with the neighbors in our neighborhood, and are attempting to build friendships. We recently were upstairs swimming, and made some new friends with another lady and her son (the girls' age). We are doing language school and developing friendships there with both other students and teachers. Then we have also been spending time with the team, which is so fun, to hear and share about hat we are experiencing trying to set up our homes, starting school, and just normal day to day life.

Yesterday I had two new friendships truly begin. One was with a classmate who is older than I am, and so, so sweet. We got out of class early, and spent some time walking a shopping center together and learning some of each others' stories. So fun, and I think very meaningful for both of us. I had this feeling she just needed a friend to talk to. (don't we all??) Then I came home and the girls and I went up to swim. Where we met another new friend. She start pouring her heart out about family issues, worries, fears, concerns, sadness... I mostly just listened. Told her how sad it was, and that we were here if she needed anything, at the end of the quite long conversation we introduced ourselves. Tonight I saw her again, and we chatted some more.

We have been having regular conversations with our favorite tuk tuk drivers, they are so kind to the girls and to us. One of our favorites always wants to talk about God with us on Sundays on our way to church or home from church. He seems really interested in what we really believe, and definitely seems to be exploring for himself what he believes.

I was reflecting on all these new relationships today, and I came to a few conclusions:

1.) When we decided to jump into this expat/missionary life I didn't realize the expat community we would be joining, by default. When I did learn of it, I was terrified of being trapped there, getting comfortable with other expats and never wanting to truly love and create relationships with people outside of that community. I even had a mindset of trying to do as little as possible with other expats because I didn't want to get trapped. What I am seeing after yesterday especially is that expats need other expats. Maybe not all the time, but the need is still there. I also am seeing how part of why God brought us here is to minister to, and share life with everyone here in Cambodia. Cambodian people for sure, but also expats He puts in our lives. To share Christ, and to love the way He does.

2) Our language learning is huge for building meaningful relationships with Cambodian people. We cannot do this well without truly knowing the Khmer language. As we are learning I find new motivation in hopes that someday soon we can discuss the things of God more clearly and accurately with our tuk tuk driver. Also that we can share more of Jesus with those around us, but being able to show how much we care and love because we have words in their language for those things.

God is truly opening up my heart to want to love more, to love well, and let His joy, His love, and His peace flow freely out of me. Right now the best I have with most people I come in contact with is a smile, and a hello in Khmer.

Please be praying for our new friend and her family issues, they are deep, sad, and a family who is really hurting right now. Also be praying for our tuk tuk driver to come to Jesus. Also please be praying for us as we are engaging more and more with the Khmer language. Pray for boldness to practice with whomever will practice with us, and mental capacity to retain all that we are learning.

Sunday night we had our first family game night, in Cambodia! Candy land, Dad won the first game and Mom won the second... No participant trophies in this house. ;) 
School. It feel so good to be back in the swing of Hardrick preschool. 

More school.