In my last entry I asked for your prayers regarding my first speaking engagement as a future long-term missionary. I am now writing to thank you for your prayers, and to testify to God's goodness and faithfulness.
On Saturday afternoon I drove 2.5 hours to Kingsford Heights, IN. Typically I sleep through road trips, - the entire road trip - whether it is thirty minutes or nine hours; however, being that I traveled alone, I stayed awake the entire trip and prayed every mile. I thought it would be a good idea to start the trip with a prayer of safety. An hour later, I realized that I was still praying, and I kept praying. I prayed for my friends in Cambodia - poor friends, lost friends, discouraged friends, hurt and sick friends. I am thankful to God for laying these needs upon my heart at that time, and I am thankful for a God who is Father, Healer, and Provider, and who hears our prayers.
Saturday evening we had a time of fellowship and eating with a group from the church. I prepared cha knai (ginger chicken) and grilled bananas. Another missionary couple prepared Bosnian stew (called "pot",) baklava, and salad. I really enjoyed this time that I was able to spend with the people. One service on Sunday morning simply doesn't allow those kind of relationships to be built, and I want to know (to really know!) the people that are praying for me. Afterwards, I returned home with Mike, Krista, and the kids - where I spent the night - and I enjoyed catching up on life and playing Cities and Knights of Catan.
Sunday morning was even more wonderful than Saturday night. Despite hours of preparation, I woke up Sunday morning still feeling nervous about speaking in front of a sanctuary of strangers, but I also felt God's peace. I went to the church early with Pastor Mike for pastor's prep things, so I was able to spend about half an hour with Fred, who does many things at KHWC and has been a faithful member for something like 50 years. What an incredible testimony! I spent a few minutes in each Sunday School class, answering questions about Cambodia, about Cambodians, about myself, and about the ministry there. During the beginning of the service, I still had no idea what I would say once I was on the platform. Once I was called to the front, I cannot tell you what happened next except that God invaded my mouth and blocked all the simple words that I had prepared, and He gave me a message - a message of HOPE for CAMBODIA - and I give Him all the glory.
Thank you for your prayers, your support, and your interest in my life and the ministry in Cambodia...