Posts in Director's Blog
Join me in the journey!

In four weeks, I'll be headed back to Asia with my family. As usual, we're scrambling to get everything finished. We'll start out in Thailand, then India, and we'll end up in Cambodia.

Each of these places holds dear family and friends and a very special place in my heart. I'm especially excited this year to return to Cambodia to see what God has done in just about a year.

On June 27, 2012, I stood in a large and unremarkable field just outside of Phnom Penh with members of our staff and a group of visionary men and women led by Pastor Tim Armstrong of Crossroads Church in Mansfield, Ohio, and we prayed that God would give us the land, and would give us the money needed to build five new homes, a church and a school.

In faith, we kicked of the "Strength for Today, Hope for Tomorrow" campaign.

The Prek Eng Campus on June 27, 2012

The Prek Eng Campus on June 27, 2012

Less than one year later, that piece of land has been transformed, and is well on its way to becoming a beautiful, neighborhood-style campus, home to 125 orphaned children now in our care and countless more over future generations!

By August 2013, we expect to have completed the church, the school and four of the five homes. We pray that God will provide the funding for the fifth before we cut the ribbon for the campus on August 3!

Will you join me in this journey? Bookmark this blog. Join us on Facebook or Twitter. Share these links with your friends! I promise lots of great pictures and stories and exciting reports of God's faithfulness.

And perhaps most importantly, will you prayerfully consider making a generous contribution to this campaign or to one of our other initiatives?

We still need to raise more than $100,000 to complete construction and outfit this campus. We need you to participate with us.

This is going to be one of the most exciting journeys we've ever taken. Join us!

And so it begins again...

Well, it’s t-minus seven days.

In exactly one week, I’ll be on a plane heading west. So far west, in fact, that it’ll be east by the time we leave. Kori, Chien, Pak, Xiu Dan and I will be in the air for about 24 hours (30+ if you include airports) and arriving bleary-eyed and hopefully-not-too grumpy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia — a city that feels to me like a home away from home.

One of my first requests as Asia’s Hope’s full time Executive Director was for the board to grant me the option of taking a travel budget designed to sustain three or four separate month-long trips to Asia and use it to take one very long trip each year for not only me, but for my whole family. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to choose between my family and my job. I’m also thankful for my pastor and my church family; the emotional, logistical and spiritual support they provide makes all of this possible.

This summer promises to be one of the busiest and most productive trips yet. Kori and the kids will be joining me for the first two months and returning home with just a few weeks to prepare for school. I’ll spend June in Cambodia, July in Thailand, most of August in Cambodia, and the first part of September in India. Along the way, I’ll be joined by board members, friends and family, and will have the chance to meet up with many of the teams visiting from U.S. and Canadian church sponsors.

Wait, India?

Yes. India.

This year we’re adding India to the itinerary. I’ll be traveling with Asia’s Hope project manager Seth Earnest (and, I pray, Executive Board Member Dr. John Campbell, who is recovering from a blood clot and a small handful of other health incidents) to West Bengal, India to meet with lawyers and potential ministry partners. We’re praying that God will provide the support necessary to rescue 125 orphaned children in the remote hill areas near Darjeeling in 2012. http://www.asiashope.org/five-for-india/

If time and technology permit, I’ll be updating this blog at least two or three times a week. Please check in frequently and travel the world vicariously through us. I promise you won’t get bored. You probably won’t get Dengue Fever, either.

All joking aside, please pray that we stay healthy. As many of you remember, I got Dengue at the end of my trip last summer, and it was miserable. I lost about 25 pounds, and aged – perhaps permanently – about five years. If I get it again, I have an increased of getting a more serious version. I’d hate to go through this again, and I don’t want to see anyone else in my family suffer this kind of malady either.

We can use all of the prayers and kind words we can get. Pass this link along http://www.asiashope.org/directors-blog -- the more the merrier.

Catch you all on the flip side.

 

Featured Bio: Rarot

Asia's Hope now provides comprehensive care for almost 500 kids in Cambodia and Thailand. Now that we've reached a certain scale -- 16 orphan homes -- it could be tempting to evaluate the ministry in terms of statistics more than stories.

And God knows I have a lot of statistics I have to review on a daily basis -- donations, expenses, projections, exchange rates, salaries, rents -- the list goes on and on. But the real measure of our ministry can't be charted on a spreadsheet. Our children are our greatest treasure, and each one has a compelling and often heartbreaking story.

Whenever I get overwhelmed by the "business end" of the ministry, I take some time to look over the bios -- the personal stories -- of our kids. I'm often moved to tears, and I'm always moved to thankfulness; I'm thankful to our supporters for their generosity, and to our Father God who has given us the opportunity to act as conduits of his mercy and love to these precious children.

So, I've decided to share with you on a more regular basis some of the blessings I receive in reading the stories of these amazing kids. I'll try to post at least one bio a week. 

Here's an excerpt from the biography we have on file for Rarot, a beautiful nine-year-old girl who lives in our Battambang 1 orphan home in Battambang, Cambodia. I always look forward to seeing Rarot's wonderful smile every time I visit Cambodia. It's amazing to think about the suffering this now-happy little girl once endured...

Rarot's father contracted malaria. Her mother sold their land in order to get money to pay for his treatment, but he still was not able to recover. Without a home, her mother sent the children to live with their grandmother and went to Thailand to find work, but she has never sent word home. They lived in a poor shanty. Every day she took care of her two sisters, washed clothes, cooked and went to catch crabs, snails and fish to make stew. Many times they did not have enough food to eat. For nighttime they didn’t have blankets or mosquito nets. The roof leaked when it rained, and their clothes were often wet. She could not attend school, and lived a miserable existence of extreme poverty.

In 2007, Rarot came to live at home 1 in Battambang, Cambodia, sponsored by Westview Bible Church in Montreal. She is very healthy and happy to be living at the orphan home. She has a lot of friends, a lot of good food to eat, and good clothes to wear.

Rarot's favorite subject is Math, and she would like to become a doctor when she grows up.

If you're interested in receiving a bio and updates for a child like Rarot, you can sign up today to become a supplemental sponsor!