The bad news: I’ve been sick all day (fever, dizziness, diarrhea).
The good news: in between nearly-futile attempts to do laundry/dishes/sweeping, I read an entire book that helped put my misery in perspective.
A missionary autobiography written by the parents of my dear friend, Judy, who lives here in Cambodia. I will FOR SURE share more about the book (and 68yo Judy, one of my heroes) at a later date, but for now, something really struck me in one of the very first chapters.
Judy’s mom was a daughter of missionaries herself and, in 1931 when she was 16 years old, she stood at a train station in the U.S., sobbing, as she waved good-bye to her parents and two younger sisters for SEVEN YEARS. (they returned to the mission field, and she stayed in America to finish high school and go to college)
And in that time? No international phone calls. No airmail. Just letters by boat. Her letters to her parents took at least one month to reach them. Their letters back, another month.
I cannot even wrap my mind around this sad state of affairs.
THANK YOU, JESUS, that I live in this era.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
Because of the Internet (and God and all of you), I can post a need we have, and despite the 12-hour time difference (which my friend Keight calls “your 12-hour future boost that makes you untouchable.”), you can JUMP ON IT.
And you have. Holy cow, you have. You’ve offered encouraging words of “you can do this!” or “I’m so sorry!” or “THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME!”
You’ve dropped to your knees (figuratively and literally) to talk to God about us and beg him to provide/intervene/do something amazing.
And you’ve given your hard-earned money to support our family, to buy supplies for the new center, ETC, INFINITY.
And when I tell you some crazy-unexpected-fabulous news like, “A friend is bringing a team to Cambodia in early February and they have FOUR EXTRA SUITCASES they said we could use!!!” a whole bunch of you say, “What do you need? What do you want for the center? What can I send you that’s fun??”
I’ll tell you what, friends. It just makes the hard stuff (achy fevers, no running water, fire ants, a house that’s a wreck, five people & one moto) kind of just melt away (or at least feel a little easier to manage).
(And after reading about all that Judy’s parents went through—their 2nd daughter spent the first three years of her life in a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines during WWII—OH MY GOSH.)
If you’d like to send some goodies/supplies with Kim & team, I have three options for you:
1.) Email me (or send a fb msg) asking for a list. And I’ll give you Kim’s address. (Please send items to her by Jan. 30.)
2.) Check out our Amazon Wish List (shipping is free with Amazon Prime or if you spend $35!) with medical supplies, craft supplies, and books we’d like for the center. Just click the “Sanford, NC” shipping address, and it will go right to Kim. (If you use Prime, please send items by Feb. 1, otherwise Jan. 28)
3.) Send a check to Kim so she can buy things and you won’t have to ship them. (email/msg me for her address)
IF YOU WANT TO HELP, BUT MONEY IS AN ISSUE:
1.) PRAY. Oh my goodness, friends. It means the world to us when we hear you’ve been praying for us. IT IS A REAL THING.
2.) Send a card for Kim to bring us. (I MISS MAIL.) (email/msg me for her address) Send it by Jan. 30.
3.) Stay tuned for something AWESOME coming up in June! Do you remember all those years our family walked in Traffick Jam (now called Walk Against Traffick) to raise money for The Hard Places Community? WELL. This year, we want to do a REALLY HUGE ONE in Columbus, OH while we’re back visiting. If you live ANYWHERE near Columbus (and even if you don’t), we’d LOVE for you to join us. You can opt to walk the 10 miles or work as a volunteer or get sponsors for the event or use any other gift you might have.
Our audacious goal is to raise one year’s worth of operating expenses for the new center in Siem Reap (excluding our salaries). DETAILS COMING SOON! (And if you’d like to do a walk—big or small—in your own city? I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.)
Here’s why I don’t mind doing this often-icky thing of asking for money/supplies:
1.) Because I’ve learned that there is JOY in giving, in being a part of something where your generous heart makes a difference. I like sharing that joy.
2.) This stuff will REALLY TRULY make a difference (okay, maybe not the lip balm I want, but all the stuff for the center and the kids!). And I’m committed to making use of the internet to show you just how much of a difference.
3.) We can’t do this without you. We can’t dedicate 100% of our time to this center and these kiddos without amazing people stepping up and providing for our needs (both for the ministry and for our family).
If you’re not sure you can trust us to do the right thing with your money/gifts, here’s what you can do:
1.) ask a few people who’ve known us for awhile or
2) pray about it. Ask God to give you a green flag or a red flag. If you get a red flag, back away (and pray for us).
I know this is kind of late notice. I just found out about it yesterday. If you miss this chance, there will be another one this summer when we visit the States and load up on supplies to bring back home to Cambodia.
THANK YOU, FRIENDS. You really really warm my heart (and not just because I have a fever).