Please click the pictures to visit my other blogs:
Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Chapter

A year of joy.
A year of trial.
A year of suffering.
A year of overcoming.
A year of friends.
A year of laughter.
A year of new relationships.
A year of saying good-bye.
A year of academics.
A year of service.
A year of adventure.
A year of calculated risk.
A year of new discoveries.
A year of growth.
A year of freedom.
A year of new hobbies.
A year of memories.
A year of God.
A year of love.
A year of forgiveness.

This chapter of my life comes to a close tonight. But tomorrow, a new one begins. And the possibilities are endless. My story is not my own-it belongs to the Author of life. With the pencil in my hand and the eraser in His, 2011 will produce the chapter of a lifetime. I am nervously anticipating the future, as the blank pages sometimes seem overwhelming. But how exciting to know that though the pages are not yet visible to me, God has already written them (Psalm 139). So why should I fear even the unknown? My story belongs to another.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

North Point's iBand

Merry Christmas from Cambodia!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Oh. My. Goodness.

I leave for Cambodia in 9 days.

NINE days.

I'm overwhelmed.

There's still so much to do -

--- Visa pictures.

--- Figuring out how to get my malaria and other prescriptions without a doctor's appoint.

--- Shopping.

--- Packing.

--- Figuring what I can live without since I already have a full suitcase of Christmas presents and I can only take one suitcase (or pay $55 for a second.)

Meanwhile, I have exams on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

I also work 12 hours during exams.

My Ohio family is visiting this weekend.

The day before I leave, I have family Christmas in the morning, and family Christmas in the afternoon.

I only have 3 Christmas presents for my family of 8.

There are still so many people I want to spend time with before I go.

Again, I leave for Cambodia in 9 days.

NINE days.

Somehow, I'll get it all done. (What doesn't get done, will be forgotten.)

Most memorable Christmas ever?

I'm pretty sure it will be.

Thank you Jesus for being with me every step

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The World-Traveling Backpack

It has traveled to Mozambique:

It's been on a safari in South Africa:

Most recently, it went to Puerto Rico:

It's currently preparing for it's third trip to Cambodia.

and it has never gotten lost!

Monday, December 06, 2010

On the bright side...

Sometimes I just need to sit down and remind myself of life's little blessings:

I have 15 meals to make it through the next 10 days. It could be worse!

One of the books I ordered for Christmas came as ordered!

I don't preach tomorrow; I preach Thursday. That means more time for preparation!

My cherished fish, Abrão, didn't die during the night as I anticipated he would.

It is significantly warmer in central Indiana than it is in Russia!

I just opened a fresh jar of peanut butter, and I still have at least one serving of Frosted Flakes left. (comfort foods!)

Next semester I can work all the hours I want because my co-workers' schedules are very limited.

At least I get to take one suitcase to Cambodia.

My graciously accommodating family is willing to celebrate Christmas a little early this year so that I can still participate in family traditions.

Laura Nelson is so so so kind to put our powerpoint together for tomorrow's presentation.

Once I am in bed, I am asleep! So even the few hours I sleep are guaranteed to be good.

I have plenty of points left for all the coffee I will need in the next 10 days.

Our townhouse is heated... very heated... and I am [semi-] convinced that too hot is better than too cold.

Mom loves me, Jesus loves me, Titus loves me...

Finally, Jesus is already on the throne!

It only took me about 15 minutes to come up with this list, and I am sure that if I gave it 15 minutes more, I could double it. Try it yourself!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Dear Cambodia,

Dearest Cambodia,

Children in Kompong Spue

In eighteen days, we will meet again. Only eighteen! It was exactly one and a half years ago that I left. The wait has been long, but at the same time, it feels like I was just there, because I can remember it like it was yesterday. Of course, the wait has been eased by Skype, Facebook, and memories.

Rice field and backside of Wesleyan Bible Institute

I imagine that the 36-hour travel period will feel more like 36 days! I'm quite accustomed to the long trip, but I still don't enjoy it. Going through Cleveland to Los Angeles, then fifteen and a half hours later, I will land in China and finally one more flight to Phnom Penh! Finally... to Phnom Penh - one of my favorite places in the entire world! (And I've seen a lot of places!)

Friends: Leak and Somon

I remember when I arrived there for my second trip; Greg and Resie Fernandez, filipino missionaries who had been on furlough during my previous trip, came to greet me at the airport. I knew Greg and Resie only through email and pictures, but with them came Somon, who was a student at the WBI. When I heard my name and saw Somon, waving, smiling, and leaning over the "do not cross this point" line, I knew that I was home.

Amongst friends at the airport, before my departure in June 2009

I can't imagine what I will feel on the afternoon of December 23rd when I pick up my bags and walk out those airport doors. Who will be there? I haven't been told, but I do know that there will be one very anxious pastor. On June 13, 2009, it was where I said, "Goodbye. I'll miss you." On December 23rd, 2010, it will be the place where I say, "Hello. I've missed you."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I don't know what else to say.

Running errands is like Halloween because every office on campus has a small bowl of candy at the front desk.

A Snowflake Frappe is thus far the best thing that has happened to me this week. White chocolate, coffee, and a blended candy cane with whipped cream on top, and red sprinkles.

I almost almost almost skipped my first class ever this morning; however, remembering that we would be finishing a movie, I decided to go. I'll be bold enough to say that - after 7 semesters of consistently attending classes that were bottom of my priority list - I have earned it.

At 12:30 this morning -- note: that's half an hour after midnight, not half an hour after noon -- I was eating raspberry yogurt, writing a sermon, and singing a love song to my fish, Abrão.

I clocked in at 7:56am this morning on November 31st. Four minutes early on a day that doesn't exist. In my opinion, that is worth double overtime pay!

I'm tired. I'm stressed (and it's written all over my face. One word: acne.) I have no idea how I will manage the next few days, but life isn't so bad.

I leave for Cambodia in 2 weeks, 6 days, 1 hour, and 33 minutes.

¡Gracias Papá Dios para una vida de bendiciones! Thank you Papa God for a life of blessings!