Monday, December 27, 2010

Year-end Update

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means God with us).” Matthew 1:23

The truth that God is indeed Immanuel - God with us - has taken on new significance for us. 2010 was a year in which we each decided to leave our jobs in China, move to the US to raise support, and prepare to move to Cambodia to work in a new area of ministry: anti-trafficking for sexual exploitation. Changes, changes, changes! We had many questions along the way: what would we do and where would we serve and how in the world would God provide for us? Last January these and many other questions seemed so overwhelming. We had to trust that God was going to be Immanuel as we took a step of faith.

One of our big leaps of faith was traveling for 14 weeks across the US to raise support. We originally sketched this trip out on a big piece a paper taped to a bedroom wall in China, based on hundreds of e- mails that were sent to friends and family. We were told a few times how crazy we were for even attempting this. We didn’t argue this point.

Now, on the other side of all of the flurry - it is awesome to recount the stories of God’s faithfulness and provision. Never once did we lack a home to stay in during our travels. So many friends stepped in and took care of us. And each day we had our daily needs met, sometimes through a gift card and sometimes through home-cooked meals. And then there were all the ‘random’ connections that allowed us to meet some of the most amazing new friends and partners in ministry all across the country. Two of our now biggest supporting churches were not on our itinerary when we started. These connections came through friends who heard our story and captured our vision and then called their friends and family to tell them about us.

The most meaningful way we learned that God is indeed Immanuel comes in the fact that on January 11, 2011 we depart for Cambodia with so many friends cheering us on and praying for us.

Thank you God for being Immanuel!

Grace and Peace, Becki, Rachel and Kimberly

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


We've been posting some links on Facebook recently to various websites that have information about trafficking and other related issues and we thought we would repost them here for non-Facebook users.

Check out this blog post about a village outside Phnom Penh where Hard Places Community is working. Very hard and dark realities.
Silent Images

A recent special about sex-trafficking in Cambodia by America's Most Wanted.
America's Most Wanted

Kimberly stopped by The Body Shop in the mall to ask them more about their anti-trafficking efforts. She was impressed with what they are doing. The Body Shop

Check out this article about Hillary Clinton's recent visit to a Cambodian aftercare facility. Clinton

A friend of ours recently blogged about the book Sold. We highly recommend it as well! Sold

Check out this free documentary about trafficking in India and Nepal. The Day My God Died


Friday, October 22, 2010

October Update

A lot has happened in the last month! One month ago we were in the midst of our travels and at 35% of our fundraising goal - now we are at 65%! We have been incredibly blessed by the loving and generous responses from those we have met. Currently we are in Missouri and Wednesday we finished our very last presentation to a church. It was very strange to unpack our various presentation materials for the last time. Next week Becki and Rachel will return to their home states and we all will spend November and December wrapping up a lot of details and spending time with our families for the holidays. We will be buying our plane tickets to Cambodia very soon!

If anyone around Missouri, Arizona/California, and Colorado would like to hear more in person about our work, please let us know. We're still available to do individual, small group or church gatherings in November and December.

Please be praying for our remaining time in the States as we finish up our fundraising, reconnect with family, and prepare (spiritually, mentally, and physically) for Cambodia.

If you are considering joining our support team, we would appreciate pledges of support being sent to International Outreach Ministries by December 1st (at the address below).

The Grace and Peace Gals
c/o International Outreach Ministries
P.O. Box 2140
McComb, MS 39649

Please make checks payable to I.O.M. Direct deposit is available.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

DC, New Jersey and New England

The last few weeks have found us roaming the East Coast. We are enjoying the fall with the beautiful changing of the leaves and the cooler weather. All three of us haven't been in the States for the autumn for several years, so being here this year is a good gift.

Last week while in DC we had a neat adventure. When planning our road trip several months ago we all decided that we wanted to spend some time in DC, but we didn't have any real contacts there in terms of having a church/small groups to speak to. We decided to go to DC anyway and we asked a friend who used to live in the area to find us housing. Little did we know that the housing we would be provided would come from the head of the mission committee from a church in the area. This led to us speaking to a small group of interested people on a Saturday morning and an invitation to speak to a Sunday school class the next day. Then while at church on Sunday we were introduced to the COO of International Justice Mission (IJM). We talked to him about our future work with Hard Places and he invited us to visit IJM the next morning and attend their staff prayer time. So on Monday morning we made our way to their office and got an official tour. After prayer time we were introduced to the IJM Director of Aftercare. She proceeded to spend an hour with us answering our questions and telling us what aftercare looks like in their work. We left their office feeling incredibly blessed and a bit overwhelmed by all that we experienced. In the end we didn't see all the sites of DC that we intended to see, but God directed us to exactly the places we needed to be.

We are now in the Boston area speaking to a few churches/small groups here and visiting with Kimberly's college friends. Our road trip is slowly drawing to a close. We have about four weeks remaining. On Monday we head to Pittsburgh and then from there we are off to Kimberly's home in Mt. Vernon, MO. We are so thankful for all of God's protection we have experienced as we have traveled the highways and byways of America and His continued provision in our lives. It's true that "His love never quits!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Elusive Rhode Island

Join us in celebrating: We completed our first game of finding all fifty license plates! We found this Rhode Island plate not in Rhode Island, but in Maryland.

We know it's a bit difficult to see, but we had to give proof :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September Update

"You are going to Cambodia to do this great work, and you will fail. And God will do miracles. We look forward to hearing about it!"

"To God, success is measured in faithfulness."

These are two recent quotes from pastors we've met on our road trip. Both are very humbling quotes as we sit in the middle of such a big transition and our normal measures of success and productivity are non-existent. At the moment we are measuring our lives in a great variety of numbers - percentage of funds raised, monthly partners, miles traveled, states visited, new friends, e-mails per day, presentations given, and number of days left on this long journey. We get the feeling that when we begin working in Cambodia, it will be futile to measure our success in some grand number of lives changed.

"This week, 10 girls were helped!" But what are the stories behind the numbers? And what about the countless others who haven't been reached and continue to be abused? We must trust that Emmanuel, God-With-Us, is indeed who He says He is in the midst of terrible evil. We will respond to Him in faithfulness and keep looking to Him each day, even today, as He gives us new mercies. It is easy to say, but a little harder to do.

On a lighter note, here are some of the numbers from our last two months on the road: 11,000 miles traveled by car, 22 states visited, 602 friends on our update list, 25 homes stayed in, and 35% of our funds officially raised!

We have been carried by your faithful prayers and contributions to this work. Thank you!

Kimberly, Rachel and Becki

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Midwest

Our most recent excitement is that we have almost completed 2/3 of our journey! We have been on the road for about nine weeks and we have around six more weeks to go.

Please pray for our continued strength and joy in this intense time of travel. We currently have 25% of our support team and we hope to buy our tickets to Cambodia soon. We are planning to leave the States January 5th!

We are blessed to have so many great friends around the country and around the world. Everywhere we go, we get to see old friends and make new friends. Here are a few pictures of our recent reunions in the Midwest.

Hu Laoshi was Kimberly and Becki's Chinese teacher last year. She and her husband have recently relocated to the Chicago area.

Kate and Rachel went to Calvin together. Kate was working on a farm in rural Illinois and Rachel had the privilege of touring a nearby organic farm with Kate and her fellow farm hands during her visit.

Erin taught in the high school at Tianjin International School. We got to see her cross the finish line at the Chicago Half Marathon! Here we are loading up on carbs the night before.

Beth and Rachel taught together in Wuxi, China four years ago. Beth joined us on our tour of the Indianapolis capitol building.

The Pollocks are a family from our Tianjin years. We visited them in rural Kentucky at their beautiful retreat housing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Michigan and Ohio

The last few weeks have found us in many states. Here's an attempt at catching up. Our last post was while in Michigan three weeks ago. Michigan was a good time of speaking to several churches and small groups and seeing Rachel's Calvin College connections.

After Grand Rapids we headed to Ohio to spend time with Rachel's sister and brother-in-law. We had a great opportunity to speak and connect with their church youth group. Another highlight - seeing the Hicks family from Tianjin!

From Ohio, we went to a retreat center northwest of Chicago. We spent six very restful days enjoying the beauty of creation around us and just BEING without all the fundraising craziness. It was refreshing and we thank God for how he provided for us to be able to take this time away. And again - a highlight was seeing more Tianjin friends who were in the area.

Chicago was next. You'll have to wait until the next post to hear about that adventure! More to come.

Going out to lunch with good friends of Rachel's from her Calvin years. Yay! for great friends and good Korean food.

We had an afternoon to see the capitol in Ohio and went to German town. We ate at a restaurant called "Schmidt's" - it felt like Kim was back with her family in Germany! Not really, but close.

Rachel enjoyed a flag at the capitol.

Monday, August 23, 2010

3 capitols in 3 days!

We finished up our time in Colorado with a fun day in Denver. We got to see the wonderful King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and then we toured around the state capitol. Then we had yummy Pho, or Vietnamese noodles with Rachel's parents and their Chinese friend, Jingli.

Becki and Rachel exactly one mile high at the Denver capitol.

Mr. Meyer, Rachel, Becki, Kimberly and Mrs. Meyer (holding up Korean cookies) outside an Asian market.

Mrs. Meyer, Mr. Meyer, Jingli and Rachel. Where will Jingli and Rachel see each other next? China? Cambodia? America? Who knows!

We left Denver last Wednesday and drove to Kansas City to meet our new teammates Angel and Nate. Before we arrived, we had to visit Topeka, the state capital of Kansas.

Rachel and Kimberly hamming it up in front of the Topeka capitol.

Becki and Kimberly enjoying their picnic lunch in the park nearby.

This is Becki's first trip driving west to east in America. Yet another new thing on our journey!

This is Becki seeing the Mississippi River for the first time.

Last Thursday, we drove from Kansas City to Grand Rapids, Michigan. We were lucky enough to hit our third capitol in three days on this leg of our trip.

Becki, Abe Lincoln and Kimberly outside of the Springfield capitol (our favorite so far)!

Rachel and Kimberly in the state of Illinois (but pretending that they were back in Asia).

We have been busy over the last few days taking in the beauty of Michigan and meeting some really cool people. We have been so blessed by people's hospitality and eagerness to hear our story. Tomorrow we hit the road for Ohio and a visit to Rachel's sister. Perhaps we'll hit a capital along the way. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Current Update

Here is our most recent update sent out by email on Saturday, August 14th. Please drop us a line at or leave a comment if you wish to be added to our newsletter email list.

Hi Friends,

We're writing today from Denver, CO at Rachel's family's home. We are currently starting the fourth week of a 12 week road trip to raise support for our upcoming move to Cambodia. We are still greatly missing our friends in China, but look forward to what God has for us in anti-trafficking work in Cambodia. If you haven't gotten a chance to read our last newsletter, it has the full story as well as some pictures and our support information - all in two colorful pages! If you did not get this last month and would like to receive a copy, let us know.

We had a great time in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, all the while making new friends and reconnecting with familiar faces. Our most recent Sunday service at Church Alive in California was especially encouraging! Every time we give our presentation, we are reminded of God's calling and our passion for this journey ahead.

So far we have spoken to 10 groups about our future work. Our August goal for raising support is 30 monthly partners. We now have 9 monthly partners submitted and confirmed with International Outreach Ministries. We are thankful for what God has provided.

To be very honest, as we look ahead to the next weeks of meetings, travel and work, we are a little discouraged by the financial progress so far. Please pray for us to trust in Him fully and for Him to continue to move in the hearts of the people that He wants to join in on this mission. We also ask for prayers for continued travel mercies, health, joy, and for our faith to increase more and more each day.

If you are interested in partnering with us financially please contact us.

Much love,

Kimberly, Becki, and Rachel

California and Utah!

Since the last time we blogged, we have visited four new states (California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado). Here are some pictures from the first few states:

In Southern California we met up with our friends from China--from left to right Madelyn, Joanna, Rachel, Melissa, Molly, Kimberly and Becki.

While we were in L.A., we got to see our friend Liane who took us to authentic Chinese food for lunch. We were so excited to finally use chopsticks again!

Renee, Kimberly's friend from college, graciously hosted an event for us at her apartment in Pasadena.

After a wonderful week in California, we escaped the crazy traffic and spent a few days at the national parks in Utah. We camped for three days and enjoyed God's creation--we even got to see the peak of a meteor shower in the dark, starry sky!

The campsite post with our reservation ticket.

Becki and Kimberly overlooking a natural salt dome in Canyonlands.

The overlook on the canyons at Dead Horse Point State Park.

We are currently in Denver, Colorado, visiting with Rachel's family. Stay tuned for pictures from the golden capitol dome of the Centennial state.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leaving Arizona

We just spent a wonderful week in Prescott, Arizona with Becki's parents. We enjoyed the beauty of the mountains (even though it rained every day we were there!) One of the goals of our trip was to meet each other's family and it has been such a good gift to have quality time with the important people in our lives. In a conversation after one of our presentations this week, we learned that Phoenix has a brand new museum, the MIM or the Musical Instrument Museum ( Kimberly (and Becki and Rachel a bit too) was so excited to spend a morning looking at instruments from all over the world. If you ever find yourself in Phoenix with a few hours to spare, we highly recommend it!

We felt like we were back in China with this huge gong.

Also getting to see simplified Chinese made our hearts happy.

It was a bit complicated, but we made it to our second state capitol building in Phoenix!

Perhaps you've noticed our trip counter on the side of the blog. We have driven around 3,000 miles in the last two weeks. Yesterday, on our drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles, we were able to add to our national parks totals by making a quick stop in Joshua Tree National Park.

Does it still count as a national park if they didn't check our parks pass?

We have a few busy days scheduled here in the L.A. basin. We are excited to see old China friends and visit with family in the area. Sadly, we won't be making our way up to Sacramento to see the California capitol.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Albuquerque and the Petrified Forest

On Wednesday, we drove from Albuquerque to Becki's parent's house in Prescott, AZ.

Saying goodbye to Cami (in picture) and her mom, Judy (taking the picture) at their house in Albuquerque. Thanks for a wonderful two days in New Mexico!

Becki and Rachel at one of the overlooks at the Painted Desert.

Kimberly's camera takes amazing filtered pictures!

Kimberly with a giant piece of petrified wood.

Bailey had to look at the Painted Desert too :)

We are enjoying time with Becki's parents and will be speaking to their church's mission board tomorrow. Our weekend will be quite full with that meeting, another one tomorrow night, and a church potluck on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunset in Texas and now New Mexico!

Here is the beautiful sunset that we saw on the way back from having dinner with our friend from China, Holly, on Sunday night.

We made it safely to New Mexico! Today we made it a day trip up to Santa Fe. One of the not-so-serious goals for this road trip is to see as many state capitols buildings as possible. Here's our first picture.

Becki, Kimberly and Rachel in front of the Santa Fe capitol building.

The southwestern architecture is so different from the rest of the country.

Right before we left, we visited the cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi.

The doors were beautifully carved out of wood.

A wonderful picture of Christ being the light of world!

Tomorrow morning we are hoping to get an early start so we can see the Petrified Forest, arrive safely to Becki's parent's house, and then speak to their church's youth group in the evening.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Hello friends,

We're currently in a Starbucks in Fort Worth, Texas. It seems to be a trend. Maybe Starbucks will be our home away from home (away from home away from home...) for a while. Our time with the Hogsett's in MO was productive and fun. Packing up the car was something that could be called fun. That is, if you were someone who thinks that packing a car trunk is fun. But it all fit!
(Bailey is a bit of an anxious dog in the car).
And then we were off to Texas! Through Oklahoma - no one broke out into song, unfortunately.

Texas has been GREAT! Our hosts are made of gold and it's been just wonderful to reconnect with old and good friends, share our hearts, and gain new friends in this adventure. What a tremendous blessing!

We're off to Albuquerque Monday morning.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Story

Over the last two years our hearts have been broken for the forgotten people who work in brothels throughout Asia. It all began as we learned of the trafficking and slavery that is involved with our favorite snack - chocolate. From there our inquiries led us to discover the trafficking that occurs in our own neighborhood. We have spent the last year and a half praying for and visiting women in brothels in Asia.

This experience and God’s prompting gave us a desire to pursue full-time work in this area. After much prayer and contemplation we find ourselves drawn to Cambodia to work with an organization that seeks to rescue and restore women and children who have been abused. Please join us in prayer during these upcoming months as we prepare to step into a new and challenging adventure.

Grace and peace - Becki, Kimberly, and Rachel