the sanctuary

Okay, so are any of you on to me yet? Can you see through all my happy little Cambodia posts? Have you realized that I have a lot of serious things, HARD things to write, but that I just need to ease my way into them? Have you picked up on the fact that I’m stalling, wondering how on EARTH I’m going to put my deepest thoughts and feelings into words? Wondering how I’m going to take images that are seared into my mind (but not on my camera, since we weren’t allowed to take pictures in many of these hard places) and do them justice in some blog post.


So, for now, let’s talk about The Sanctuary (The Guest House we stayed at for 7 nights–the other 3 nights were spent in airports and on airplanes). We were spoiled stinkin’ rotten, that’s what.

Here’s the gate that leads to the courtyard that leads to The Sanctuary. This is me and Panha (Pawn-YAH, or however you feel like saying it), our 17-year-old translator and one of the finest (and funniest) young men I know.

Here’s a not-so-great view of the courtyard. This is me and Kimmy doing some sort of Bug Spray Dance. We all sprayed ourselves down every morning (and it may or may not have helped).

Here’s the team coming out the front door of the guesthouse, ready for another Big Day.

This is the entryway/dining room/meeting room. Notice the beautiful shade of blue. This is where we prepped for our day and debriefed before bed. You can see the bottom of the stairs on the right of the pic. Kim, Lindy and Erin shared a room on the 2nd floor. Doug and Jason shared one on the 3rd, as did Gabe-O and me.

This is where Gabe and I slept the sleep of angels, with freezing cold air conditioning blasting all our troubles away. It was every bit as comfortable as it looks. And yes, those are towels in the shape of elephants (LOVE). And yes, we really were in a third world country, not on a Caribbean cruise.

This is a big meeting room on the third floor where we unloaded and organized suitcases (we each brought a suitcase filled with supplies for schools and orphanages). This is the team assembling gift bags for the 130+ kiddos at the state-run orphanage.

This is me one morning at 6ish a.m. writing a blog post. We also Skyped with our girlies four or five times while we were there.

Breakfast! Every single morning, included with our lodging. I told you we were spoiled.

This is me tasting Dragonfruit. I’m not a big fruit fan, but this one was probably my favorite. Gabe liked mangosteen the best.

For those of you concerned with rats, spiders and king cobras, this is the scariest thing we saw (creature-wise) while we were there. These harmless little lizards (about 3 inches long) would run up and down the walls at night (mostly outside, but we had one in our room, and Erin has a great story about one that ran over her foot while she was on the toilet).

Here we are, making cards for the kiddos’ birthday party.

And last, but not least, meet Fanny. I know I have a better picture of her somewhere (like where you can actually see her face), but I can’t find it. Fanny is a sweet girl who runs The Sanctuary and has plans to attend university in Denver, Colorado this fall if everything works out with her visa. We would looooove to visit her while she’s there. Awesome young woman of God.

The Sanctuary is run by an awesome organization called Asian Hope (not to be confused with Asia’s Hope who runs our orphanage). Their mission is to raise up Cambodian leaders in the name of Christ who will bring hope and a future to their country. The Sanctuary is specifically for people on missions trips to Cambodia, and they do an absolutely amazing job. FIVE STARS. Gabe said he felt guilty staying there when we were supposed to be sacrificing, but hey, I’d stay again in a heartbeat. Because I love what they stand for and what they’re doing. (And their A/C works really, really, really well.)

Have an awesome weekend, friends! More Cambodia (among other things!) next week!

8 thoughts on “the sanctuary

  1. Joanne @ The Simple Wife

    Just catching up with you this morning and saw Denver, Colorado–which means you could visit, but also means a possible ‘nother God kind of a small world sort of a coincidence that never is a coincidence but is really part of his plan. The kind that gives me goosebumps and makes me think, I wonder if there’s a connection there for my family and Fanny…

    Love you much. Writing a “swirly” post, which always makes me think of you.


  2. Rachelle

    Wow…want to know how to fold those towels-my kids would love it!

    I think this post might encourage those who are afraid of foreign missions to realize that it’s not icky and creepy! In missions to Mexico we stayed in very nice hotels.

    I was wondering when you were going to share about the tough stuff. Thanks for sharing all the heartwarming happy stuff; when you’re ready we’re here to let our hearts break with you.

  3. Stephanie your sister

    That place is incredible! I’ve never stayed anywhere that nice on a mission trip before. Maybe I would be better at having a servant’s heart during the day if there was AC/ space to move/ comfy beds/ elephant-shaped towels to come back to at night. Or maybe it was my problem. 🙂

    You don’t need to leave the country to find lizards like that! There was one sitting on my shower curtain one morning a few months ago and I freaked out. Not because I’m afraid of them, but it’s totally different seeing a creature in your living room than it is having one next to you when you’re naked. Yikes!

  4. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    WOW! Sanctuary, indeed! How gorgeous. What a beautiful provision God is providing for the Body through that ministry.

    Take your time with the hard stuff. We’re here when you’re ready.

  5. Keri

    My dream while we are here in Singapore, is to go on many mission trips to places that won’t be far away for us coming from here. All your pictures and stories make me just that much more excited to go. I CAN NOT WAIT! Now, I just have to figure out when and where and with whom!

    Oh, and I’ve just recently had dragonfruit myself. It was pretty good….tastes a lot like kiwi. It’s the Durian that I just can’t bring myself to taste since it honestly smells like a dead animal. Ugh……..

    Love the lizard too. He’s super cute!

  6. amber

    I know those little lizards well!! We called them Tik-Tik-Ees in Thailand and Bangladesh. Is that what they call them in Cambodia, too? Did you know that if you yank their tails off, they grow back? Excuse me…I mean IF they LOSE their tails in some UNFORTUNATE accident. I wouldn’t know anything about tail yankage. Ahem. And it is possible that all of my family has experienced a little lizard love when they choose to fall off the ceiling in the middle of the night…right onto the pillow. CREEPY!!!

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