Some of you have asked for the scoop on this Cambodia Trip of which I speak (a lot). So how about I give y’all the lowdown/rundown/getdown as it stands at the moment? And small disclaimer. This weekend has been jam-packed with birthday parties and church plant meetings and getting together with friends and Bezzerwizzer and Just Dance 2 Marathons and need I go on? So I am ty-ERD. And possibly not thinking clearly.
I do not typically let this kind of minor detail stop me.
Gabe and I went to Cambodia for 10 days in July with 5 other people from our church. Our church sponsors an orphanage over there through Asia’s Hope, an awesome missions organization based here in Ohio that has rescued so many precious children in Cambodia and Thailand. Click here to browse through past Cambodia posts..
We got to see and do a lot in the week we were there. We met some amazing people who are helping women leave prostitution and some amazing people who are rescuing children from sex trafficking. We got to see some of these beautiful, precious kiddos (the ages of our own girlies) who are coming to Kids’ Club in the afternoon and then being sold at night. My heart aches for these children, and I’m so thankful that some are being offered the hope of Christ (and the hope of being rescued from these horrors) for the very first time.
And we spent a big chunk of our time playing with, getting to know, laughing with, hugging, carrying, loving on, and falling madly in love with the 20 kiddos at our orphanage (ranging in age from 5-16). And through our photos and videos (which I keep meaning to share with you) and all our many stories, our girls have fallen in love with these kiddos too. And since then, they’ve exchanged letters and precious trinkets and photos with these kids, and we pray for them every single night. EDIT: Click here to see brand-new pics and video of the kiddos with the letters we just sent with Jen this week.
My dream is to go back. And this time as a family.
Our last trip cost $2500 (me) + $2500 (Gabe) = $5000 (not to mention our passports/travel immunizations/other necessities). Thanks to the amazing, fabulous generosity of our friends (some of YOU!) and family, we raised every last bit of it ONLINE. No support letters, no stamps, nothing. All online. All you. All God. All right!!
Here’s what makes this time different:
2. Taking small(ish) kiddos on the trip is unprecedented. Not sure how fair that would be to the rest of the team.
3. We don’t feel right asking people to give $2500 x 5. Especially since they already gave $2500 x 2 less than a year ago. Besides…
4. We’d like our girls to know what it means to work hard for something, to make big sacrifices, to earn money dollar by dollar. Although we totally embrace the idea of people giving toward others going on mission trips, we want them to realize just how much each dollar means.
5. They’re getting it. Believe me. We’ve been saving since July (making things, selling things, putting 50-100% of all my speaking stuff/book sales in the Fund, and they’ve put in some of their own money as well) and we’re at $1566. Not too shabby, huh. (Several sweet, generous people have also given gifts that we have not turned down, including waaaay overpaying on S-C-R-A-B-B-L-E magnets.)
6. We pray every day that God will provide if he wants this trip to happen. And we’re praying for wisdom and discernment. If we get to a certain amount, we may ask anyone who feels led to chip in and help us get the rest of the way.
7. We’re also praying that God will make it clear how/when we should go. With our old church, with Asia’s Hope, with another person or two, by ourselves. We don’t know.
I just can’t really put words to the burning desire in my heart to go back to that country, to hug those kids, to introduce them to our own, to love on the people of Cambodia, to share their stories with the rest of the world, to bring the hope of Christ to a hurting nation.
We would love your prayers.
And if you have any ideas for fundraisers, please let us know. Like, I said, I’d love to get a book deal. In the meantime, I’ll sell my possessions and Scrabble tiles. If you have something you make and want to donate one, I’d love to sell it here on the blog and generate some interest in your goods.
If you want to buy some S-C-R-A-B-B-L-E magnets, they’re 25 cents each (+$2 shipping) and you can e-mail me here with your order (or questions). The girls are going to be selling some bead creations they made, and we’re going to make some Cambodian note cards too.
Let me know if you have any questions about our Cambodia Fund/Trip/Dreams. I love to talk Cambodia! See you tomorrow for Your Secret Name Read-Along Week 2! I have a BIG prize to give away!!