Sunday, October 16, 2016

On Thursday

 On Thursday, we had to pick up our new passports at the US Embassy.  And let me tell you, getting new passports here is quick!  We took in our applications (and money, of course) to the embassy on Tuesday, Oct 4th in the afternoon.  We got an email on Monday, the 10th that they were here.

Since Rich is teaching Isaiah in the mornings and then I & II Timothy on Monday,Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, and has language school on Tuesday afternoon, that only left Thursday to go to the embassy to pick up the passports.  We thought we would hop in the motorcycle and get close to the embassy, get something to eat, be first in line at 1 pm to get in, and be home by 1:30 pm or so.We were so wrong!!!

 It so happens that the Premier of China came to Phnom Penh on Thursday; and his plane got in at noon.  To set this up a bit, we live in the south part of the city.  The embassy is in the northeast and the airport is in the northwest.  The roads that the motorcade came in was an "L" shape.  There was no way to get from our house to the embassy without crossing one of the  two streets that they were driving down.

So the picture above is the motorcycles in front of us, waiting behind the barricades, for the motorcade to come through so that we can cross.  There was a barrier a block behind us so that the cars couldn't come this far.  We were glad we were on the motorcycle but it was still about 45 minutes before the motorcade with the Prime Minister of Cambodia and the Premier of China actually passed.
But, I'm sure that the sellers on the side of the road were happy!  Lots of buyers sitting in the sun with no place to go.  The picture below is of the guy selling coconut milk.  For those of you that don't know, coconuts really start out looking green like below.  The brown shell that you usually see in the US in the inside shell.  So he hacks off the top of the shell and pours the coconut milk in a plastic bag.  Then he cuts the shell open, after cutting of a sliver from the side of the shell.  He uses the sliver like a spoon to scoop out the meat and add it to the coconut milk in the bag.  Add a straw, and you have your drink.

Behind the coconut seller, you can see a glass box with yellow squares.  That is sugar cane.  You can just suck on the sugar cane square.  A lot of the time, they have presses that they squeeze to make a drink out of the sugar cane.

To finish the story, we did finally get across the street at about 1:30 pm.  Probably because of the road blocks, there wasn't a line at the embassy, so we did get in and through quickly.  Then we headed to the riverside (Mekong River) and stopped at our favorite Mexican food place for a late lunch.  We ended up getting home at about 3:30 pm.  Oh, well!

In case you are interested, the Premier of China promised half a billion dollars in aid to Cambodia. Since the US and the European Union is threatening to cut off aid since the Prime Minister is getting heavy handed and as far as human rights is concerned, it is getting worse and not better, The Prime Minister has gone to China.

I hope you all are well.  Keep us, the work here, and the Christians here in your prayers.

Much love,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Back to Work

We had a wonderful trip to the US!  We got to see our family and so many friends.

Now, we are back home!  Rich got home on Tuesday, August 30th late at night, and started teaching Revelation to our students at CBI on Wednesday morning.  Teaching Revelation, in the Khmer language, while jet lagged.  What fun!

Ray Hull is here! He lives in Waynoka, OK.  This is his 2nd trip to Cambodia.  His wife, Karen, was able to come with him last time.  He actually got to Cambodia a couple days before Rich got back, so he stayed at my sister's house until Rich picked him up on the way to chapel Wednesday morning. Ray is teaching Hebrews at the school in the afternoons.

I got back late Wednesday night, Sept. 7th.  Try, one of our graduates, was kind enough to translate for Ray the first week and a half he taught.  I started translating for Ray on Monday, the 12th.  That gave me some time to get to the markets and get a little caught up before starting to translate.

These classes will go until September 23rd.  Then we will be out of school for a week and a half for one of the Cambodians' major holidays.

Again, it was wonderful to see so many of you!  Keep us and the work here in your prayers.
Much love,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

US Trip Travel Schedule

What a month this has been!  Rich has been teaching all day this month; Ezekiel in the mornings and then Greek in the afternoons.  And he gave his finals in those classes yesterday.

So as of tonight at about 11:20pm, we are headed stateside.

Our schedule is:
July 27 - leave Phnom Penh
July 28 - arrive in Houston.  Visit with Jason and our new grandbaby, Avery.
                 We plan to worship with the Memorial Church of Christ while in Houston.

Aug. 6 - fly to DFW.  Visit with Rebekah and Evan in Plano.
                 We plan to worship with the Waterview Church of Christ there.

Aug. 11 - fly to Richmond, VA.  Visit with Reuben and Emily
                   We will be worshiping with the Three Chopt Rd Church of Christ.

Aug. 18 - fly to Tulsa, OK.  We will be staying with Randall, Kassie, Kenley and Ryah in Collinsville
Aug. 21 - we will be worshiping with the North Heights congregation in Batesville, Arkansas.  We are excited to finally make it there on a Sunday!

Aug. 24 - we plan to meet with the Collinsville Church of Christ for Bible class.

Aug. 28 - Worshiping with the Broken Arrow Church of Christ on Sunday morning.
                     We may be meeting with the Whispering Hills congregation on Sunday evening.

Aug. 29 - Rich leaves to come back home.  Ronda will be going to Houston to play with one of our sweet granddaughters for another week; then flying back on Sept. 6th.

We hope to see many of you soon!  Keep us in your prayers as we travel and the school here in your prayers in our absence.  If you aren't in one of these congregations, but are close, come see us!

Much love,

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Maynards in Cambodia

 I started to write this blog about a week ago and the electricity went out, so I couldn't write it.  Then, I totally forgot about it.
So, here it is.

On June 11th, David and Elaine Maynard, along with their daughter, Kayla and her husband, Chris Chambers, landed in Cambodia.  Because of a problem in San Francisco, they were without luggage for a couple days.  Always fun!!!

David and Elaine Maynard, for those of you who don't know them, have been friends of ours for years.  David is currently serving as an elder in the church at Broken Arrow.  We have the honor of their son being our son-in-law.

David came about 2 years ago with Scott Keele;  Kayla, their daughter, came about 4 years ago to teach English in the BEST Center.  David did teach on the 5 Love Languages during Rich's class at the school on Christian Family on Tuesday before we headed to Siem Reap.

The trip to Siem Reap takes about 5 or so hours by car.  The last time David was here, the trip took us 8 hours since the roads were all torn up; so this trip was much easier. These are the stairs up to the very middle of Angkor Wat.  In this picture, the stairs don't look so steep, but they are extremely steep.

This picture is from the front of Angkor Wat.  We went through 3 temples from different periods.  It is always amazing to see what people so long ago accomplished.  All the carvings are amazing.  But lots of stairs and lots of heat.

On June 18th, Rebekah and Evan got here. It was wonderful worshiping together with the Khmers.

We enjoyed David and Elaine, Kayla and Chris for 2 weeks.  Rebekah and Evan overlapped them one week.
Evan stayed another week, leaving on July 2nd.  Rebekah left just this last Friday (8th).

This picture is of our Rebekah, otherwise known as "big Rebekah" or "white Rebekah", or "Rebekah the 1st".  With her in the picture is Rebekah, the daughter of Christian here.  She is known as "little Rebekah", "black Rebekah"  (they don't do shades of colors like we do), or "Rebekah the 2nd".  The girl in the pink is Rebekah the 2nd's sister, Sarah.

We hope that all the Maynard crew enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed them coming.  We love sharing Cambodia with anyone who comes.

Rich is currently teaching our older students the book of Ezekiel in the mornings, while Veasna is teaching Bible History to the newer students.  Then Rich is teaching all the students New Testament Greek in the afternoons.  Please continue to pray for Rich and our students and graduates.

We will be leaving for the US on July 27th.  We will first visit Jason in Houston (after all, he does have our newest granddaughter!), followed by Plano, TX (Rebekah and Evan); Richmond, VA (Reuben and Emily); and then to the Tulsa area, which includes a trip to Batesville, AR, seeing Randall, Kassie and the girls, and Broken Arrow.  Rich will fly home on August 29th; I will go back to Houston for another week.

We hope to see a bunch of you soon!!
Much love,

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Another month has passed and I haven't blogged.  Sorry!

In May, Rich wrapped up teaching the book of John.  Dan Wilson taught I and II Thessalonians. The students also took a sermon prep class during that month.

Then we had an Evangelism week.  The students went to a different place each day to talk to people and teach.  Some of those days were out in the villages and some days, they were in Phnom Penh.  Particularly in Phnom Penh, Rich is trying to get them to build relationships with the people they see each day along the streets.  They are always surprised when they walk with us that we speak to all the people along the way that we see each day.  So we are trying to encourage that and show them that they can be more effective by knowing the people they are wanting to teach about Christ.

For 3 days, we had Paul Pinckley here to teach on Leadership.  I am sorry that I didn't get a picture of him teaching.  Paul and his wife, Debbie lived here for 3 years and worked on the Ship of Life (Partners in Progress).  They are now back in the states, living in Iowa.  We were thrilled to be able to visit with them some while they were here.  We miss them here.  They did a wonderful work on the ship.

Now Dan Wilson is teaching on the book of James while Rich is teaching on the Christian Family.

David and Elaine Maynard, our friends from Broken Arrow, OK as well as their daughter Kayla and her husband Chris will arrive on Saturday night (11th).  This is Elaine and Chris' first trip to Cambodia.  David will be teaching one day at the school on the Christian Family.  They will be here for 2 weeks.  We are looking forward to showing them around Phnom Penh as well as making a trip to Siem Reap.

On June 18th, our daughter, Rebekah and her husband Evan will be here.  It is always exciting to get to have Rebekah "home".  Evan will be here 2 weeks and then Rebekah is staying for another week.  Of course, I could say tons about how wonderful it will be to have them here, but..I will try to contain myself!

At the BEST Center, we have had several baptisms later.  It has been wonderful!!  The ones that were baptized are all dorm students at the BEST Center that my sister, Julie operates.  As part of living there very inexpensively as they go to university, they study the Bible everyday, have memory verses, as well as attend all the meetings of the church.  I didn't get pictures of all of them, but please keep them in your prayers as they continue to study and grow in their faith.  Their names are:  Somreth, Songhee, Bondara, Sras, Song, and Thutsha.  Here are pictures of the baptisms yesterday of Song and Thutsha.

We also have a new students at CBI.  His name is Sokun.  Please also keep him in your prayers.  Our school is much different and quite a bit harder than what they are used to.  Pray that he has a heart to stay to study and learn about God's Word.

Much love,

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tomorrow is Royal Plowing Day!

First, let me say thank you so much for all the prayers on my behalf.  My arthroscopic knee surgeries went well and I am getting along well.
I went to Thailand for the surgery as they have good medical care there (not so in Cambodia).  Of course, while in Thailand, you might as well enjoy the things they have that we don't.  That would include hazelnut macchiato and cinnamon roll from Starbucks.  
Trying to time things so that I had the Khmer New Year to recuperate at home with Rich's help, my sister, Julie, came with me.  So, we did manage to hop some buses, eat some sticky rice and pork satay as well as sweet sticky rice and mangoes.
What you can't tell in this picture is that after our sticky rice and pork satay, we ate ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery (we managed that a couple times!).  This was before my surgeries, while I was mobile.
 This is a picture in the hospital of my ice packed knees!  Several of the Thai Christians came to check on me in the hospital and also helped me get settled in at the church building for a few days after surgery.  I love to have the opportunity to see and worship with the Christians there.

It has now been 4 1/2 weeks since the surgeries.  My left knee is doing great.  My right knee, with the bone spur, is taking longer but gets a little more flexible every day.

Tomorrow is Royal Plowing Day.  Royal Plowing Day marks the start of the planting season and thus, the end of hot dry season.  We are REALLY ready to have the hot dry season over!  As I explained last year, depending on what the Royal Ox eat during the ceremony tomorrow (they have 7 choices), that supposedly predicts what type of harvest and weather we will have for the following year.

April is always the hottest month of the year.  Very direct sunlight and no breeze with temperatures over 100 F every day. (For example, at 10am this morning, the heat index was 111 F, while I was hanging up clothes) There are several provinces that are having trouble since the water has all dried up.

This is also the time of the year that, if we use too much electricity in the city, they just shut off electricity to parts of the city.  We have had it shut off 3 times in the last week.  Really hot!!

So, prayers of thanks for my knees healing (sure does make you praise God for the wonders of our bodies!).

Prayers for our sweet students, who are currently studying John and I & II Thessalonians.  That they will really learn and put God's Word in their hearts.

Prayers for rain and for this country, as their political situation is not good.  (Sound familiar?)

Know that you are in our hearts and prayers.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

CBI's 17th Graduation - April 2016

SeakChang, Sophea and Rich Dolan 

CBI's Graduation in April saw Pha SeakChang and Yon Sophea complete their course work and training.  SeakChang has been a great student with a good heart. She is always smiling and encouraging others. Sophea has been a leader from the start. He's a little older than some of our students and has a maturity about him.

These two pictures are of Aet (current CBI student) leading singing and of Dale Lundy, who gave the commencement address. Aet started at CBI about a year ago and has become a Christian while here. Dale has taught several times at CBI.  Veasna is translating for him.

Here are the graduates with the teachers who are currently here. I told them we represent all the instructors who have taught them. Those include:  Greg Fleming, Scott Keele, Bob Jackson, Loren Hollingsworth, James Glasscock, Dale Lundy, Ray Hull, Tim Brumfield, John Breeden, David Burton, Tray Kim Try, Dennis Welch, Tol Veasna, Dan Wilson, and me.

Thanks to so many of you who make things like this possible.