Sunday, November 5, 2017

4th Country Wide Church Camp was wonderful!

Our country-wide, all ages church camp was November 2-5th.  We were at a new place this year - no ocean, but nice country area with good facility.  There were 164 people that came this year, the largest so far.  The theme was United in Christ - Ephesians 4:1-6.

We ate together. 

We played together.

We enjoyed seeing brothers and sisters that we don't get to see very often from other parts of the country; and enjoyed meeting new brothers and sisters in Christ.

We had teams that we worked together with and competed against other teams with.  Here is my(Ronda) team... and it was the best!!
But most importantly, we worshipped our God together.  It is so encouraging for Christians who are few and spread apart, to get to come together and join together.

We sang together.
We prayed together.
We listened to wonderful lessons on Ephesians 4:1-6

 Rich started off the first evening with an overview of Ephesians.  He talked about Chapters 1-3 of Ephesians being about what God has done for us.  Then Chapters 4-6 is our response to that. 
 It is always great to get to see some of our graduates from CBI and get to listen to them as they preach, teach, lead songs and prayers. 
We also rejoiced with a new brother in Christ who comes from Siem Reap.
All in all, we had a terrific camp!!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This and that

This blog is just bits of several things. Some are important - a new brother in Christ; and some I thought you might find funny.

We were eating at a place and I went into the bathroom.  This is the sign inside the bathroom.

Here, you don't flush toilet paper down the toilet like we do in the US, so I was expecting that sign.  But I did think this sign was clever.
 This is the outside of our new school.

It was 10 bedrooms(2 we use for office/study space), 2 large open spaces for classes, etc.  It is actually built so that you can put a wall down the middle and have 2 separated houses, if the landlord wanted.  So there are 2 sets of staircases all the way up inside along with a set of stairs in the back on the outside.  It is a new building, but several hundred dollars a month cheaper than our former place, as well as being closer to our house. We pray that it will be used to God's glory.
 Rejoice with us as Piseth Ratha was baptized last Sunday!!  He was studying English with Paul Campbell at the BEST Center.  Then, he studied further with Dara.  Please keep him in your prayers - that he will be strong spiritually and lead many lost souls to Christ by his life.

 Tomorrow is the Mooncake Festival.  It is actually a Chinese holiday, so those with Chinese lineage in their family celebrate it. 

It is the middle of the autumn season and is held when the moon is the roundest and brightest.

These are lanterns that the kids carry around and get money from friends and family.  They put a candle on a wire brace inside of each paper lantern.  And of course, they eat mooncake.  The festival is to worship the moon for its power over the earth (tides, etc). 
There are quite a few stores that use some of our signage...but don't really understand the concept behind the sign.  This store is one of those. 

I went into this store.  Almost nothing is $1.  I just thought it was funny!

We used to have a store named "24/7 store".  It was open from 6am - 11pm.   I was on my way to the post office and noticed a coffee shop.  The name of the coffee shop is "Mobile Coffee"  - but, of course, it isn't!  To be fair, they do have coffee carts around that are actually mobile.

Rich is currently teaching Major Biblical Doctrines in the mornings, while Veasna is teaching New Testament Church in the afternoons.  Please keep us, the school, and Christians here in your prayers.

Much love,

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

19th CBI Graduation and Our 10th Anniversary in Cambodia

 Sorry it has taken me so long to get this posted.

Last Friday, August 25th, we had a graduation ceremony in addition to our anniversary of being in Cambodia for 10 years.

We had a good group with good food.  It is always fun to get to pull a lot of Christians together.
 Kimsruv, one of our former graduates spoke at the graduation.  He is also the older brother of Kimsrouen, one of the ones that graduated this night.  Kimsruv is currently working with the church in his village with another one of his brothers, Kimsrun, who is also a graduate of CBI.
 This is Aet (pronounced Utt).  He is just a good person.  He is very encouraging to our newer students and really wants to live his life in the right way and helps others as well.
 Khemrin is another one of our graduates.  He started school some time ago and then stopped studying for awhile before coming back.  His attitude when he returned was totally different and he has become a strong Christian man.

He is currently working as an intern for the University congregation and then hopes to be a travelling evangelist and encourage those working in the villages.
 Kimsrouen is the 3rd graduate of the night.  He is also the 4th CBI graduate in his family; all 3 of his older brothers came to CBI.

He is a good student.  He loves to learn.  He told me a couple days ago that he would like to gather up some of the area teenage boys and teach them English and Bible.  He has a wonderful personality for that.
 We were blessed to have Brandi Kendall in Phnom Penh during this time.  Brandi and his wife, Penny, have been working with the Sunset International Bible Institute in Singapore for the last 6-7 years.  He has just accepted a position of Dean of the Asian Sunset schools and they have moved back to Lubbock, TX.

Brandi is giving Kimsrouen the Sunset pin.
Dan Wilson was also able to be with us.  Dan worked with us at CBI when he and his wife, Ravy, first came to Cambodia.  However, they are currently working on the Partners In Progress Ship of Life.

Dan is giving Aet his Sunset pin.
Dan with Khemrin.
 Here are our 3 graduates for the night.

This diploma that they have is a Bachelor's Degree that Sunset International Bible Institute issues for them.

They also receive a diploma from CBI - Cambodia Bible Institute.  The reason for giving 2 diplomas is that the CBI diploma actually includes more hours than the Bachelor's degree requires, so we want them to have both.
As it was also our 10th anniversary in Cambodia, Brandi Kendall did a special presentation to Rich.

I can't believe that we have been here for 10 years already!  It has just been a wonderful blessing from God to be able to live here and teach these sweet souls about God, Jesus and God's Word.

We pray that we will use God's wisdom while working here and use us to shine God's light in this dark place.
 This is a picture of some of our graduates who were able to come back and join in the celebration with us.  I wish you could all know them! Including the 3 graduates of this evening, we have had 49 graduates; 39 men and 10 women.

Please keep all of our graduates in your prayers as they work and show Christ to those around them.

Please especially keep Khemrin, Aet, and Kimsrouen in your prayers as they seek the work that God would have them to do and as they start on their journeys.

The day after this graduation, we started the process of moving the school to the new location.  I had intended to take pictures of the move.  But when you are busy boxing up, moving, cleaning, loading, etc, pictures don't happen.  But we are in the new place now.  I'll get a picture to you soon.

Much love,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Meet Jarrod

 We want you to meet Jarrod.  He is originally from Toronto, Canada.  He is an English teacher and is here in Phnom Penh working at one of the school, teaching English.

Jarrod realized after reading his Bible that he needed to be baptized.  He was baptized as a baby in the Catholic faith.  

Sunday, July 30th, Rich met with him and studied with him and he was baptized!!

Please pray for him.  He is eagerly looking for ways that he can work for the Lord here in Cambodia.  

At the school, Rich is teaching Ezekiel while Veasna is teaching I and II Timothy.  
We are looking forward to our graduation/10 year anniversary celebration on August 25th.  We are also getting ready to move the school to the new location.

Much love,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our US trip

 We had a wonderful trip to the US!  It was centered around my (Ronda)parent's 60th wedding anniversary.  A large part of our family met in Idaho for the anniversary party/reunion.  We really enjoyed getting to spend several days all together.  In the picture above is my parents, Penny and Loren Hollingsworth; and "the kids", Julie, me, Kim and Troy.
 I doubt that 60 years ago, my parents could have imagined that our family would grow to this!!!  They have 15 grandchildren and of now, 10 great grandchildren.  (There are also 3 expectant moms in this picture.)  I am so grateful to God for the fantastic blessing to be a part of this family.
 Then, since our kids and grandkids were already together, we took 3 more days together.  We rented an Airbnb house about 80 miles south of Boise, ID.  It was great!!!  This is us with our 4 grandchildren.  A really sweet time.
So this is our crew (or tribe).  Rebekah is pregnant, so we will be adding one more in November.  We want to thank so many of you for keeping us in your prayers, both here in Cambodia and during our travels.  We are also so grateful to many of you who know and love our children and grandchildren.

It was an added blessing to get to see so many of your sweet faces.  I wish there was some way for us to really explain what an encouragement it is to get to worship with you and visit with you.  Thanks so much for your love, prayers and support.

We have been back in Cambodia for a week now.  Rich is teaching Ezekiel in the mornings at the school, while Veasna is teaching I and II Timothy.  Please continue to keep our students and our graduates in your prayers.  Please also pray for us to have wisdom to know the best ways to lead and guide these sweet souls in their walk with the Lord.  Never forget that everything that we do here, you are doing it with us.  Thank you for allowing us to have this amazing opportunity to serve God in this place.

Much love,

Monday, June 19, 2017

A lighter blog

 Since the last blog was a heavy from the talk of the Killing Fields, I thought I would give you an "around the city" blog.

For those of you who have been here, this is the circle between our house and the Russian Market area.  Rich and I were walking one day a couple weeks ago and this was hanging there.

Probably a truck pulled the wire down and, so that people didn't walk or ride their motorcycles into it, someone attached a palm branch and plastic bag to the wires.

Here, if there is a hole in the road, even in the city, they just put a stick or a branch in the hole and hopefully you see it before running into it.  It is especially hard to see at night!  No flashing lights to let you know.
 After I saw the wires hanging down, I thought you might like to see our wiring.

This first picture is our the 2nd floor of my sister, Julie's house.
 This is on a cut-through street between our house and the school. The next picture is of the same lines, just closer.

When a truck yanks out of cable line, it is always entertaining to watch them try to find the right wire that is our and then attach a new line.

What you can't tell in these picture is that the little pole holding them
 up in the middle is not straight; the wires are holding it up.

A week or so ago, Rich and I went for pizza and this is the billboard outside of the Pizza Company.

Have you had Dancing Shrimp Pizza?  We haven't had it either!!!

We hope you all have a terrific day and are reminded of the many blessing we have from God.

Much love,

Friday, June 9, 2017

James Glasscock, Robert and Debbie Mahaffey were here.

 James Glasscock was here for a little over 2 weeks.  He worked with our student on Evangelism for 2 weeks.  This is James' 3rd trip.

We have a special connection with James as he was in our first youth group in San Angelo, TX.  (Of course, he was "Jimmy" then)  He currently preaches in Early, TX.  We are thankful to his wife and 2 daughters for supporting him in his trip to Cambodia.  Maybe one day, they will come as well.

In his previous trip, James hadn't been to the Killing Fields just south of Phnom Penh.  So, on his last day here, we decided to go...and got caught in a downpour!!

This first picture is us up against a tree in the middle of the area trying to get out of the bulk of the rain.  Obviously we were already soaked.
 During rainy season, the sky can go from sunny to dark, windy and heavy rains very quickly.  I took this picture while we were standing under the tree.  You can't really tell how hard it was raining.

The Killing Field is now a field with holes all over it where they dug up nearly 9,000 bodies that the Pol Pot regime executed.  When you go there, you walk around the area that has signs describing what they found in each area.  For example, one plot (about 6' x 8') was labeled as having 166 headless bodies in it.  Some articles of clothing were found having the opposing party initials on them.

I will tell a little more about the Killings Field later on in this blog.

James Glasscock left on Monday, May 22nd.
 On Friday, Robert and Debbie Mahaffey came to Phnom Penh.  They had been on Partners In Progress' Ship of Life for 2 weeks working.

We were thrilled that they got a couple days to come see us.
 This is Robert and Debbie in from of the palace.  The picture in front is the king.

When we were in Broken Arrow, we went on medical mission trips with Robert and Debbie.  It was great to get to catch up with them.
 I took them to Toul Sleng, the high school that Pol Pot turned into a prison camp, where he tortured thousands of people.  It is truly unimaginable what he and his men did to their own people.  It is a hard thing to see but it really makes you appreciate this people.

After Toul Sleng, I took  the to the Killing Field as well.  In the middle front of the field is this monument.
I don't know if you can see or not in this closer view, that there looks to be white balls inside.  Those are skulls, and at the top, other bones that were found in this field.  They are in layers all the way to the top.

Both Toul Sleng and the Killing Field tells of a horrible time in the country of Cambodia.

There were fields like this found all over the country.  I don't want to give too many details here as the facts and descriptions are nauseating.  But the Cambodians (Khmers) today really show great appreciation and love for their families and for peace, as this happened not many years ago (1974-1979).

On that note, commune elections were this past Sunday and then the national elections will be next year.  The Prime Minister here has won easily until the last election.  The political situation is uneasy right now.  Please keep the Khmer Christians and the Khmer people in your prayers as the elections proceed.

Much love,