Happy New Year! (April 2018 Update)

April a month of celebration in Cambodia!  The main event is Khmer New Year, which is the emotional equivalent of Christmas.  Everyone goes home to their provinces and spends time with family.  Phnom Penh becomes a ghost town.  Daughters like most of the NGOs and companies here in Cambodia shut down for a week of celebrations.  Before we closed our gates, we had a huge celebration party, which included games, dancing, throwing of baby powder and a massive water fight.  It was definitely my favorite day at work so far.

(Staff water fight for Khmer New Year)

I also celebrated six months of living in Cambodia in April.  Time really does fly here.  I can’t believe how much my life has changed in the past six months and what God is doing in my life.  Every time I reflect on that I’m just in awe of what God is doing to heal this nation and how honored I am to be a part of that story.  It has truly been an amazing time and I know this is just the start and things are only going to get better.

(My confused face over Khmer New Year baby powder fight)

Other exciting news:  I booked my plane ticket home for my brother’s wedding this July.  The current plan is that I will be in Portland July 15 through August 1.  I say “current” because there are some things happening in Cambodia that might change my current travel plans.  I would ask that you continue to pray for the nation of Cambodia, it’s leadership and for peace.  That being said,

I want to see you!

Please, pretty, please, send me an email and let me know when you are free to meet up.  I’d love to catch up, celebrate birthdays, babies, friendships, you name it I want to hear about all of it.  I will give special preferences to friends and family that want to grab craft beer and/or sushi – two things I miss the most living here in Cambodia.  (Okay, I’m joking a little bit about that…or am I?)  So mark your calendars, email me and let’s hang out!

(Me thinking about seeing YOU!)

In celebration of Khmer New Year and hitting my six month mark, I was super blessed to have a sponsor send me enough cash to head to Kampot with Bullet for a few nights of rest and relaxation.  It was my first vacation since arriving in Cambodia and it couldn’t have been at a better time.  Bullet and I spent four days doing almost nothing but swimming and resting.  I finished reading two books (Present over Perfect and Jurassic Park) and started two new books (Option B and Everybody Always).  It was nice to get away from the city and have Bullet off leash being a normal dog again.  You can see him swimming in the river on my Instagram here and in the ocean with a bunch of curious kids here.

(One happy beach boy)

Things at Daughters are chugging along.  I’ve really enjoyed teaching my weekly work out class (hatpran in Khmer).  It’s given me the opportunity to really get to know the girls and build relationships with them.  We dance, hug, and laugh enough to be a work out in itself.  It’s great to see them be encouraging and learning more about how powerful their own bodies are.  It’s also fun to see them encouraging one another.  I’m still working on the sponsorship programs, grants and wholesale orders.  I’m working hard to complete all the sponsorship updates before my home leave and continue to learn more about wholesale shipping.

(Bullet, Samy (Designer), myself, Pey (Stock Manager/Translator) and Mouysim (HR Manager) at a soccer game cheering on Tre (Men’s Leader) from Daughters)

The biggest change in my life for April has been joining the Prayer Circle Cambodia group.  I feel like I have finally found my people here in Cambodia and it has really opened some amazing doors.  Prayer Circle Cambodia is a motorcycle group that Lisa and Dave Everitt connected me too.  For the past 20+ years, a group of men – both expats and Khmer nationals have – have been riding around Cambodia and praying into the darkness.  Recently, I was asked to join the team.  Things are changing here in Cambodia and now is the time for female voices to be seen riding motorcycles, praying and loving on people.  I’m extremely honored to be asked to join and I am working hard to be prepared for what will come along with those expectations.  I’ve been going on practice rides with a trusted friend, Dennis.  You can see a video of one of those rides here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ8x6N8izQE  While I’m fairly confident rider, there are some things I still need to work on.  Like what to do when a cow charges you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AUK6IKWoNI  I need to be a strong enough rider that I can do what Dennis did for me – instead of the other way around.  I’m working on securing funds to make this a reality.  The majority of that would be buying my own motorcycle.  I can’t ride my “chicken chaser” of a commute scooter on five day rides into no man’s land Cambodia.  I’m looking into used bikes for about $2,000.  I’ll need to get the seat shaved down so I can touch the ground.  (Yeah short girl problems.)  And then some gear when I’m back home in the States in July.

(Practice ride with my instructor, Dennis)

Again, I’ll be back in Portland, Oregon July 15 – August 1.  I would really love to meet with you.  So please send me an email or Facebook message so we can set something up.  Below are some prayer requests.  I really love hearing from everyone back home.  Share what is happening in your life, how I can be praying for you and if you want to meet up in Portland in July!

I would really appreciate you joining me in prayer in the following ways:

  1. My trip back home to the States.  That it will be a great time with family and friends.  For my brother, Kirk and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Kelsey, wedding and marriage.  That things will continue to remain safe and the government will continue to be respected here in Cambodia.
  2. I’m in the process of ending my relationship with my sending agency, ISM, please join me in prayer that this will be a smooth transition as well as healing from the pain and frustration of working with them.
  3. Finally, that I will continue to listen to God’s calling on my life here in Cambodia and faithfully follow Him.

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