dear ayan

Dear Ayan,

Hello, beautiful girl!! It’s been almost SIX months since I wrote you last! What!??! NOT COOL! I will try to write more often. Believe me, I think of you–and pray for you–sooooo much more than that.

First of all, I can’t tell you how EXCITED I was that we got to FaceTime earlier this week!! Pam is so great! (Pam, you’re so great!) I’m sad that it was only for 10 minutes before school, but it filled my heart with happiness the rest of the day!

Your whole family was so happy to see us!! And we were so happy to see them! (we missed Asma & Miraj–please tell them we said hi!) Your hooyo (mom) is soooo cute! All of you are so cute!

ayan3I can’t believe you told me good morning in Khmer!! My goodness, you’re smart. And can I just tell you something? Learning a second language is HARD. Why didn’t you tell me it would be so hard?? You made it look so EASY. You tricked me!!

I can’t believe you’re in middle school. You’re amazing. And I’m praying for you, because middle school is hard anyway. And it’s really hard when you’ve only been in America for two years. Can I just tell you that I am the SLOWEST reader in Khmer?? I read like a first grader!! I don’t know how you do it!

I’m so glad your family got to move from a two-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom apartment. More room for everyone! That’s so great! I can’t wait to see it when we come back to visit. I know 8 months is a loooong way away, but it will go fast!

I smiled when you said to us on FaceTime, “You all got skinny!” I think maybe you forgot what we look like, because we did NOT get skinny! Ava and Livi can’t fit in their old jeans anymore and had to get new ones. And I have been eating a LOT of American snacks (thanks to Rich and Shalla and our friends at church who sent us goodies), and have what we old people call a muffin top (you can ask Pam to explain).ayan2

Our “skinniness” made you worry, I think. “Is it bad there?” you asked. Oh no, sweet girl. It’s not bad here. Don’t worry about us for one minute. We live in a very nice apartment (bigger than Abbey Lane) and we have all the food we could want. We have clean water for showers and even cleaner water to drink.

But, just like the refugee camps in Kenya, it is bad in many places in Cambodia, for many people. A lot of people work really hard and don’t have enough money for food. Some of them have to sell their children to get money.

We want to help these people. We want to help them and love them and tell them about Jesus. That’s why we came here. We wouldn’t have left you and all the people we love at Abbey Lane and in Columbus and our families if we weren’t coming to help people.

We miss you all every day.

We have friends here, but we don’t have anybody who pops into our apartment and flops on the couch and hangs out with me like you did.

ayan4We’re praying for some neighbors here who are as awesome as you.

Are you excited that tutoring is starting again? You’re still going, right? Even though you don’t live next door anymore? Make sure you go! They need your sweet self and your helpfulness and your sense of humor!

I want to know all about your life. How is school? Have you made new friends? What’s your favorite subject? Which one is the hardest? Are any of your sisters having another baby anytime soon? Do you still play pitu after school? What makes you the happiest? What makes you sad?

I can’t wait to see you again, niya! And hug you and laugh with you and drink sha with you and eat those yummy things Britt was eating when we FaceTimed. Doughnuts stuffed with jalapenos & onions and rolled in sugar?? YUM!! Ugbad made them, didn’t she? Tell her I think she’s amazing.

I love you and miss you!! Livi, Ava, Nina, and Gabe send their love!

Love,
Marla

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