Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Summer of Guests

Summer is in full swing here and that means we have guests galore. It has been fun to have people visit us and see our work here in Phnom Penh.

In late May we had three ladies from Mississippi visit. They had a wonderful time teaching at Kids' Club, talking with a variety of NGOs, visiting Angkor Wat and taking in life in Cambodia.

Last week we had two friends from China make the trek down. They spent the week visiting children at orphanages, helping out at Kids' Club, teaching English at massage parlors, and encouraging us in our work. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with them.

Each guest is a gift to us and we love having the opportunity to give them a picture of our life here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June Update

Dreaming of a Boys' Center

Sowing and reaping, planting and harvesting. Step by step, many things have built upon each other in order to be ready to open a center for exploited boys in Phnom Penh. And now, it's happening! On June 15, the Hard Places Community will get the keys to our new building. The dream is becoming a reality! This could not have been possible without many months of hard work to prepare the spiritual and physical ground for this long-awaited project.

While working with children at Kid's Club over the past few months, the need for a center for boys has become all the more apparent. We know boys like Mike* who showed up last week with terrible burns, evenly spaced, along his inner-thigh. Someone saw this vulnerable boy on the street and did something evil. Each day we see Steve* who is bright and loves to learn. He wants to go to school but his family does not have the proper paper work. Now he is far behind the other kids his age. Oscar* comes to Kid's Club when he can, as long as he still has enough time to collect recyclables in his ratty sack to take back to his family at the end of the day. These boys and so many like them need a safe place to find love and hope.

One of the main reasons that it is possible for us to open this center is because of Traffick Jam 2011 ( Many of you responded to the call this spring and took a stand/walk against the darkness of human trafficking. The funds from this event made it possible for us to sign a lease and start renovations. We have teams of people arriving in the next two months to help with cleaning, painting, and construction, which are all important parts of getting ready to open our doors.

Thank you for all that you have done to be a part of this amazing endeavor! God has used you to be important building blocks in this project. Prayer warriors, Traffick Jam coordinators and walkers, our own supporters allowing us to be here to work in Cambodia, encouraging visitors, people spreading the word about human trafficking - all of you are a part of this. God is using YOU to bring his Kingdom here on earth!

We'll keep you updated on the developments at the Boys' Center in the coming months. Keep praying and spreading the word. God is up to something good.


Kimberly, Becki, and Rachel

* names have been changed

Rachel's Ramblings

Things are constantly changing around me, but one steady part of my life here is learning Khmer. Depending on the month, I go to my language school up to four times a week for a one hour lesson. So far, the focus is only on speaking and listening, not reading and writing. I'm continually amazed at my teacher's patience while I butcher the pronunciation and word order day after day after day.

Recently my teacher, who is a college student and also a believer, began teaching me how to pray in Khmer. Every lesson we switch off who starts the lesson in prayer. I have to write out my prayers the night before and then I stumble through them during the lesson, but I immensely enjoy learning language to express my spiritual life.

New Roles!

Pray for us as we transition in our roles within the Hard Places Community (HPC). Kimberly is taking on more responsibility as the HPC in-country administrator. Rachel will be doing resource development, setting up programs for the Boys' Center and training new staff. Becki will continue working with children in the park ministry while dreaming up the beginning steps of outreach to young women in the park.