Fermented fish (ah, the smell); boys riding water buffalos home; the early Muslim call to prayer over loudspeakers and Buddhist wedding music blasting our ears; the wild variety of tastes from fresh fruit (yes, durian has become our favorite) and rice dishes, mixed vegetables and other foods; and sweat-dripping, year-round tropical heat and humidity. These are a few of the stimulating sensations that have engulfed us while living in a different culture for the past two and a half years. In this short span of time, we feel like we have experienced five years’ worth of adventures.
We have lived through a wide spectrum of joys, challenges, sicknesses and changes through which God has miraculously worked to teach us to rely on Him more than ever.
However, none of Cambodia’s charms could have kept us here this long, except for one: God’s precious children. As I have driven down the roads near our little village and visited with the people in their stilted homes, I have often been struck with the immense needs and how few people there are to meet those needs. The Cambodian people are so friendly, and many quickly warm up to the gospel. We have been blessed to introduce several people to Christ during our time in Cambodia and to see God working powerfully to win hearts through medical missionary work.
Now we are home in the States for our four-month furlough. God helped us find a reliable minivan for a good price, and we put more than 8,000 miles on it in the first month! It has been very refreshing to be back in our home country where the people drive in a less chaotic manner, and the landscape is clean. We are enjoying reconnecting with friends and family and traveling from church to church presenting what we have witnessed God doing in Cambodia.
We recently attended the Iowa-Missouri camp meeting in Centralia, Missouri and were deeply moved to see the focus on missions, both overseas and here at home through their outreach to refugees.
There are so many more friends to make for the Kingdom among the Great River people. We are planning to return to Cambodia in September.
May God richly bless you and your families over the next month, and thank you so much for your support through prayer and giving.