this new thing

Hi, friends. It’s been a long time, huh? I don’t really even know how many people read this blog (or any blog) anymore, but that doesn’t matter. I have a few minutes to compose a super inadequate update, so I’m going to give it my best shot.

Last Saturday morning (January 16), we loaded up a “moving truck” with all of our worldly belongings and then boarded a bus to Siem Reap.

Six hours later, we were “home.” Except that, of course, it didn’t feel like home yet.

It does now (mostly) which is really kind of crazy. A lot can happen in six days, eh?

(You can read all about why we moved to Siem Reap in this 5-post series. And I don’t have time to include a million pics in this post, but you can see them all on Instagram & Facebook.)

This post will probably be super scattered and can’t possibly say everything that needs to be said, but it’s a start.

For starters, GOD BLOWS ME AWAY.

I can’t believe we get to live here. I just can’t believe it.

Our first night in our new home was really, really hard. It started sinking in that we had left A LOT behind. People we love, things and places we know, routines we’ve gotten used to. Just everything. Lots of tears.

And our new place was pretty dirty, and there are critters EVERYWHERE (spiders, ants, fire ants, mosquitos, rats, snakes, frogs, toads, little geckos, big lizards, what am I missing?).

And we live way out on a dirt road with one moto for all five of us. And we moved from a furnished apartment to a not-furnished house.

The water stopped working. The power went out for 10 hours one day. We have no internet (first world problems, I know).

Meals are hard. Showers are hard. Sleeping is hard (we all camped out on mats for the first five nights–and have beds now!).

As far as ministry goes, we started work officially on Monday morning at 7:30 (but our two staff members–Sitha and Channorm came on Sunday to check out the center and help us out and meet neighbors). WE ALREADY HAVE A MILLION KIDS. No, maybe 20.

The whole neighborhood (village) is excited that we’re here (as far as we can tell), and the kids are SO excited to play and learn. We’re slowly figuring out how to set boundaries for playtime with them, because we have a LOT of work to do and can’t play all day long.

We’ve talked to moms and grandmas, and they are super happy we’re here to help their kids.

Sitha and Channorm and Livi and Ava have gone to Angkor Wat twice now to play soccer with kids who live and work (mostly selling souvenirs) in that area. They let our girls in FREE (this is huge) because Sitha explained that we are an NGO (non-government organization) helping children. The normal fee for a one-day pass to Angkor Wat for foreigners (Cambodians are free) is $20.

(If you aren’t familiar with Angkor Wat, here you go. It’s THE biggest thing to Cambodians, and has over 2 million visitors a year.)

Our center is SO amazing. Like I can’t even tell you. We have a huge concrete space for playing and TONS of fruit trees. We’re planning a vegetable garden and outdoor seating and SO MUCH MORE. As God provides money, we’ll go to town on it.

I cannot believe we get to live here. (Have I said that already?)

I’ll give you lots and lots of peeks into life and ministry here as I have time. I love how you all have shared in our excitement (and other emotions–such as terror over fire ant nests in trees and rats in the walls).

It means the world to us that you’re in this thing with us.

The thought of doing it alone, without your support, makes me want to die.

I promise to try to write more soon. We’ll have internet at our house (please, God, make it so!) next Wednesday.

What kinds of questions do you have about life here? Let me know!

7 thoughts on “this new thing

  1. Sharon

    Marla: You said you didn’t know how many people read your blog (or any blogs) anymore. I have cut way back on the number of blogs I read, but yours is a MUST! I may not read the posts the actual day they are posted, but I always do my best to go back and catch up when I get a chance.

  2. Tara

    I feel like this might have been asked before so I apologize. But can you give us a phonetic spelling so I know how to say Siem Reap in my head?

  3. Moriah

    This is all so exciting! I love seeing the quick updates on Instagram, I really look forward to them throughout the day 🙂 It’s amazing to see all that God is already doing in the time that you’ve been there.

    I know it’s hard for you to find time to write on the blog so this request might be too much, but I’d love to hear from your girls!

    In Him,

    PS Angkor Wat looks awesome!

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