Thursday, January 17, 2019

HOLIDAY ROUND-UP

The last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind for us here in Cambodia. We thought you might like to take a peek at some of what has been going on with us here during the holidays. Here are some snapshots!

This year Thanksgiving lined up with Phnom Penh's Water Festival. We decided to scout out some American ingredients around town and cook up a (mostly) traditional meal for ourselves and our Japanese missionary colleagues. The next day we headed out to the countryside to help teach at a university student retreat. The day included a lot of time on one of Cambodia's worst "highways," but it was a real joy to get to spend time with the students and hear from the other teachers and missionaries at the retreat. David also preached his first full length sermon in Khmer in November!

Water festival

Students performing a role play that had us all in stitches 

Eating together with students and other ministers

David's first sermon all in Khmer

Soon after Thanksgiving, Christmas season picked up here in Cambodia. Rather than centering around December 25th, Christmas services are held all throughout the month of December. The Cambodia Baptist Union supported and attended Christmas celebrations for small and brand new churches throughout the country. We were excited to help support this ministry as well as to attend some of the services. We traveled to Battambang province to attend two celebrations in villages there. One of the churches we attended was started in October and anther about a year ago, so it was a real joy to be with these churches on their first Christmas. We also got a chance to meet and talk with several pastors, see several churches and to learn a lot about the theological education by extension classes that are taught there.

CBU Christmas celebrations in the village. Each child receives a small gift after the service. 





Kids preparing to sing and do the motions to a Christmas song at a brand new house church

David giving a quick Christmas lesson at one of the celebrations

We returned back to Phnom Penh so that David could preach at a Christmas celebration at a dorm ministry. We had a quiet Christmas day at home on the 25th, which was restful and meaningful. Finally, we ended December with two more Christmas celebrationsone at the church we attend weekly and one at another dorm church that we attend and David preaches at monthly.


The dorm students performing a special Christmas song they prepared

A quiet Christmas morning at home: complete with a few Christmas decorations and some homemade sausage balls

The children at our church performed a hand bell version of Joy to the World in Christmas tree costumes they created themselves. We were very impressed!

Dorm students performing a Christmas pageant

We started the year with some time to plan, catch up and, for David, work on sermon planning for the year. We also celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary and renewed our visas. The official and unofficial visa rules have changed considerably over the last few years (sometimes in contradictory ways), so we are very thankful to have our new visa extensions in hand!