Sunday, December 22, 2013

Which Way Do I Go?

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 Sophie at her youth group retreat! 
 My daughters...please pray for me:)))
 Family shot in China at a tea tasting
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone! 
 Mother and son...the people in Cambodia are so very kind and gentle.
 A beautiful evening in Phnom Penh
 A Cambodian man making a living.
At the Russian Market right by our apartment where we get our "things."

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Vietnam! Our family took a side trip here during Christmas break. We are on the northeast coast of Vietnam enjoying the sun, wind, water, Pho, and relaxation from a grueling last two weeks of the first semester. I was up many nights finishing lesson plans, grading papers, and planning for the next quarter. Kee tackled a very difficult case right before we left, so relaxation is high on the “to do list.” All I know is I had a Vietnamese woman standing on my back while giving me a hot stone massage yesterday. Hmmmmmm......when in Vietnam, you do like the Vietnamese....After one hour of the lady working on me, I feel like a million bucks and for all I care, she can stand on my back again. I can’t remember if that was before or after she hit my arms....but like I said...I am feeling really good.... 
Right before Hope International students were dismissed on Friday, the Director of the school read from Proverbs, and he read one of my favorite verses. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” He said this because during the break we will have families moving from Cambodia overseas, and staff will be coming and going as well. He mentioned the horrible tragedy of the Bang family last summer. During one of their drives from Phnom Penh to Siem Riep, the Bang family was involved in a fatal car accident killing four of the 6 family members. Only two daughters made it out alive. We were reminded that we don’t know what’s around the corner but to trust God and lean not on our own understanding. 
This brings me to the very first Christmas when our Savior was born. Sorry my wifi is so very weak, and I am pulling from my memory, so no direct passages from scripture. I think all the major characters of the first Christmas had to trust God and not lean on their own understanding. Joseph had to trust God when he wanted to send Mary away because he found out she was with child, and he was not the father. He could have trusted himself and just sent her away, but he didn’t. Upon hearing the news of Mary being pregnant, one can only imagine that Joseph was initially embarrassed and very angry not understanding God’s plans. Mary could have done a million things in fear and embarrassment that she was with child even though she was a virgin. She embraced her calling and sang a beautiful song recorded in Luke. We see in her song that God honors the merciful and humble and that these attributes are truly pleasing to God. My family and I had to trust God as we have left behind a lot to come to Cambodia. We have left behind our families and friends whom we love, adore, cherish, and LOVE being around. We’ve left behind Noel our dog who we’ve had since she was 5 weeks old and is a daughter to us. We’ve left behind basically our lives. I will say that having been here in Cambodia for five months now has been amazing. The International school the girls and I are at has been such a GIFT! As a school we worship God twice a week at the start of the day with songs, devotion, and prayers. The kids all go to a pastoral class every morning as they work on their Biblical studies. The students come from all walks of life and just being in this school brings an awareness of differences from language, cultures, seasons, customs, etc...Any assumptions are off the table. A “jumper” to an Australian is a sweater. “Have a think” to a Brit means “What do you think?” As you can imagine, it has been so fun for an English teacher to be in this kind of environment. 
Getting back to my post. When Kee and I thought about coming out to Cambodia in the spring, we met it with anticipation and nervousness and a lot of unhappy looks from our daughters. Being in Cambodia five months now, they are embracing it and enjoying many aspects of it. I guess what I’m trying to say there something that you feel the Lord is leading you towards? Is there something that sounds really nutty and a virgin birth? Or moving to Cambodia when your oldest is in 10th grade? Be still before the Lord, my friends, and listen....really listen....take the time to pause this season. And in the quietness, wait for the Lord’s whisper...something very peaceful. He will walk the road ahead of you with not be afraid for He will never leave you nor forsake you. I leave you with this thought. 

May I pray? Father in heaven, we thank you that you are forever with us. Through the ups and down, bumpy patches, and golden streets of our lives. I lift up all my brothers and sisters to you at this time as we come to another end of the year. I thank you for their lives and how each one plays a very special role. I lift up each brother and sister and ask for clarity in the questions they bring to you. As we begin a new year 2014, please continue to lead us, guide us, and walk with us all the days of our lives. Thank you for all your provisions; forgive us for trusting in ourselves and not you, and give us all a spirt of humility and mercy like Mary and deep faith like Joseph. Help us be still when it’s difficult, and remove all our doubts and fears. We trust you and lay it all at the foot of the cross once again. Thank you for today! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! In Jesus name, Amen!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Overwhelmed with Thanksgiving!

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At the Great Wall of China in route to North Korea

In all things give Thanks because this is the will of Jesus Christ.

I Thessalonians 5:18

This is the time of year in the USA when the leaves have already changed colors, our wardrobe consists of heavy sweatshirts, jeans, winter coats, and boots, and my mom buys her big turkey because Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without my mom’s amazing turkey. Last week my dear grandmother of 100 years old went to be with the Lord. I took a flight home to attend her funeral. My grandmother raised 6 kids and was blessed with a quiver full of grandkids, most who attended her funeral. We all stood together and sang “Amazing Grace” as my sisters, cousins and I all had different and many awesome memories of Grandma living with us at different times in our lives. When I reached US soil, I recognized the smells that came with late fall with Thanksgiving right around the corner. Smells that are different than the smells in Cambodia not to mention the temperature is around 90 degrees on any given day. Mom greeted me with her winter jacket at the airport, thank goodness. 

This is also the time of year when I can’t help but be flooded with praise and thanksgiving to my heavenly father. Not only did Grandma go to be with the Lord last week, but my cousins, siblings, and I were happy to know Grandma was welcomed into heaven by her three sons who went before her, one of which is my beloved dad.

High up on my gratitude list this year is our big move. Our family moved to the capital of Cambodia to work alongside neurosurgery residents and support and teach at an international Christian school.  First I am so grateful to my friends and family back home in the US who are praying for our family that God protect and be with us as we serve in Cambodia.. I know without a doubt it is the prayers of our home church, KAMHC members, Bible study friends, prayer group friends, family, and friends from all over who keep us in His perfect peace.  I have to honestly say that we are loving it out here and all is well at so many different levels. I really love my students and am amazed at the level of work they are creating. They are such diligent, hard working students, and I feel really privileged to be teaching them this year! I feel so blessed to be working with the staff everyday. Kee really enjoys his work with the Cambodian neurosurgeons and residents as well. The girls really seem to be thriving and adjusting well with school, activities, friends, youth group, and all the newness of living in a different country.

We have met so many wonderful people from all over the globe! I think being here in Cambodia has truly allowed my family to get a little peak into a global perspective and to see what God is doing in this hemisphere. We attended a mission's conference today, and it was so cool to see the impact of so many missionaries in this country. Patients are being helped, schools are being built, and people are being disciplined! 

We are grateful that we were not affected by the typhoon, but our close neighbor the Philippines is now in catastrophic need of medical attention. Kee just got an email from the Medical and Dental Association asking for any medical personnel who can come to the Philippines to please help. They are in emergent need as we have all seen on the news. Perhaps KAMHC members, medical friends who are available can come. The devastation is overwhelming.

May I pray? Thank you Father that we are a body of Christ. We are one in your name. Thank you for my brothers and sisters and how they have all impacted our lives! I also pray for the Philippines. Please send out medical help in an efficient way, and help the people of the Philippines who have given up hope. We trust in you! In Jesus name, Amen.

Thank you for your prayer support and your friendship! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace this holiday season!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Friendship from Across the Globe

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 Kee, Kevin, and Joe going over some cases the first day visiting hospitals.
 My 11th grade class in Phnom Pehn excited to write their friendship sonnets for the North Korean students. They all wrote a little note saying hello and introduced who they are.
Sunrise in Pyongyang, North Korea. Every morning we had the opportunity to take walks or runs along the river.
A young North Korean couple just got married today.

Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:16

Our family had the opportunity to go to Pyongyang, North Korea a few weeks back. We went with a delegation of 15 people some of whom were physicians, a surgical equipment CEO, nurse practitioner, and medical students from the US. Every one on our team served the North Korean people in different ways. The doctors worked with other doctors and shared skills and brought many supplies for the patients of North Korea.   
Pyongyang Theatre

         I had the amazing opportunity to visit a language school and teach a10th grade English class. I had come from Cambodia with a handful of sonnets that my 11th grade English class wrote for the students in Pyongyang. The theme was on friendship, and my students in Cambodia wrote little notes of encouragement and friendship to the recipients of their sonnets. I was able to teach the North Korean students a little on sonnet writing but more importantly, they were so thrilled to have received notes and friendship poems from abroad. The North Korean students wrote notes back, and many of them mentioned that their desire was that the two Koreas be one. They expressed how much they would love to meet my students in North Korea. They said this because they knew there is very little chance for them to travel to Cambodia. I did find out that many professionals do get a chance to travel abroad, receive some training in a certain field and then return to North Korea. One of my North Korean students had actually spent a few years in Phnom Penh, Cambodia because his Dad was studying in Cambodia. 
From this short trip to North Korea, I developed a short but sweet relationship with my guide. She is a mother, wife, and guide for visitors who come into North Korea. I enjoyed speaking with her and hearing about her sweet family. Sophie enjoyed meeting four students her age and hearing  about their lives when she accompanied me to a language school. Isabelle and I attended a primary performing arts school and visited the students who live there during the week while their parents work while their kids learn how to sing, dance, and perform. Camille took pictures in the operating room with Dad.
I left North Korea realizing that I take my freedom for granted. That many people all over the globe would do anything for the freedom we have in the US. I also experienced a nostalgic kinship in an odd way with the North Korean people I met because they too are Korean. We spoke practically the same Korean, looked similar, and in a strange way, flashbacks of my childhood and my uncles and aunts came into mind as the North Koreans welcomed us and wished for our return reminding of the family gatherings I grew up with my big family in Pennsylvania.The Koreans we left behind two weeks ago seem a world a part in many ways, but they still had the same smiles of people I know and warm wishes that could warm any heart. 
       A guard in our hotel about 20 years old played with a chubby boy about 6 years old. I witnessed a wedding ceremony, a beginning of a new life and marriage for a lovely young couple. Two lovely ladies embraced Isabelle and showered her with snacks and juice every day. It has been a few weeks now since our return to Phnom Penh. My students here loved receiving notes from the North Korean students. Since our return, our family has been busy going to school and preparing for the next days of work and school. Life continues, but as I reflect on my amazing experience a few weeks ago, I wonder how our guide is doing? How her son that she fondly spoke about is growing? If the guard at the hotel who played with the chubby boy still plays hide and seek each day? I wonder how the kind doctors we met at the hospitals are doing? How the bus driver who tried to teach Isabelle a popular Korean song is doing, the same song I heard growing up. How are the 10th grade students I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing them say with sincerity that they wished they could meet all my students who lived in Cambodia. We are all the same, God’s children needing the Lord, friendship, fellowship, and support. It was an incredible trip. 

May I pray? Jesus, I pray for the North Korean country. That you Lord would make a way there....that you would one day in your perfect time open up this country and bring your light and love into every corner there. I pray for the relationships we made while we were there and that you would touch those lives in a remarkable way. I pray for the students I met that you would bless each one and their families and that you would be glorified in this country one day! Please send more medical teams to North Korea, and in this way your love shared! In Jesus name, Amen.
The 10th grade students who received the friendship sonnets and wrote notes back to their new friends in Cambodia!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Inside Out

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Cambodian Dragon fruit...
It tastes like a kiwi and also comes in purple, red too.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
John 15:16

 We have been here now 7 young weeks,
The Lord has provided with every little feat,
Am I surprised?
For this is who He is…
The Creator, the accomplisher,
We are His kids..
Dragon fruit, Mangosteen,
White looking asparagus
That I have never ever seen,
Tuk tuks,
The world on bikes,
Khmer language
What is there not to like?
On the other side of the world,
Our God is the same,
He’s molding and shaping us,
It's part of His game…
Be humble, and just, and admit when you are wrong,
This is the first step helping us to
 from the inside…
The inside out…
Thank you Lord Jesus,
Cuz it’s transformation that you’re all
Teaching, surgeries, living abroad…
It’s His gentle voice
That makes us nod.
Different ways…
Foreign looks…
Time for grace…
Lord, some input.
 Be the grace
Lord Almighty
Give us grace,
From your thrown
Continue to lead us
In all that we do,
Thank you for answering prayers
It’s just
Bless our friends and family too
Let them know we are missing them
As this is all new...
God bless you and keep you
In His loving care
Give Him your biggest worry...Go ahead 
I dare!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Home Depot Drill Part 2

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Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

          My family and friends got such a kick out of today's drill, I had to add a part 2 just for them. So yeah....looking at this picture we got the drill and the sterilization method. The bit is sterilized....ok I will say it again...the bit is sterilized in the brown liquid. When you look at it, I know most of us would look at it and say to ourselves, "There is no way you can drill that into someone's body." And often times, our own doubts and fears will say to ourselves, "There is no way I can do this..." or "There is no way that is going to happen." Sure by ourselves....but then you add the missing ingredient...Jesus. And we pause and pray and listen....and seek...and the truth is....when we seek, we shall find. Just like this drill, it is possible to use to to perform neurosurgery. Faith is believing what we cannot see. Actually isn't that what happened when Jesus rose from the dead after the cruxifiction? No one would have believed that that could ever happen....but it did...and God asks us to trust Him when things don't make sense....So segwaying back to Cambodia....hey...I still can't believe Phnom Penh is on Trip Advisory's best place to visit in the world list....Today...think of the very thing that is so very difficult...something that needs a break through...something that only God can create a miracle. And RELEASE it into our Creator's hands.....and let it that's faith....

May I pray? Father, increase our faith....and we release the things in our lives that we think are too big for you. We put them in your hands and trust you. I continue to lift up this hospital to you...the staff, doctors, nurses, patients, and thie community here in Phnom Penh that your love will penetrate this city and country as rapidly as it is. Thank you for your presence here. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

God His Way....

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And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philipians 4:19

          Kee is in surgery in this picture.  In the operating room he is in, the hospital doesn't have a real surgical tool...real based on who? The neurosurgeons use a Home Depot hand tool in this hospital....and it works just fine. In this country as well as many third world countries, you make due with what you have, and it does get the job done. So maybe we are used to using the "different" drills, but this verse that God meets our needs according to His way is so true in many aspects being here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As you can imagine the world is very different here. Transportation, the language, the conveniences of the western world; however, God promises to meet all our needs. How does this compute? I think it means that we think we need much more than we really need. If God is our true source of security, we can trust that what He PROVIDES is exactly what we need at the time. Sometimes we go through a season of prosperity and sometimes a time of drought and suffering. Whichever time we are in, we can rest in the assurance that God will meet our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 

May I Pray? Lord thank you for this amazing opportunity to be of service in Cambodia. I pray for this hospital that you will be so present here that people will see you here. Bless all the doctors, nurses, patients, families, and may you continue to provide for them in your ways. I pray you will bless this hospital and the quick healing for your patients. Thank you for what you will do here. Also, I pray you will prompt more workers in any field whether it be medical, educational, business, beauty, come overseas and work alongside the people here so we can fellowship in the worldwide body of Christ.  In Jesus name, Amen.  

On a side note....there is much human trafficing(girls are sold into prostitution as young as 4) here in Phnom Penh. I have noticed that restaurants, nail salons, and beauty salons have a great business going employing many girls who were on the street or in a brothel. They are rescued and then put in employment in a business. If you have any business skills and are interested in starting something here, this is one way you can help with the whole trafficing scene here. We have gone to a few restaurants that are known to staff people who had no work or girls who have been trafficed, and people go to these restaurants just to support them. It is a really awesome way to support the people who have made their way out of abuse and/or neglect. There are many organizations, churches, and work to get plugged into here, and who would have known on Trip Advisor Phnom Penh is the number one voted place to visit. If you feel the Lord leading you to come overseas and it!!!! We are really loving it!!



Saturday, August 3, 2013


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Is there something you need more of?

What is troubling you?

2 Corinthians 12:9
My Grace is sufficient for you.

          Two days until our flight out of good ol' USA...our bags are packed, renters in place, children in tow, pug at a friend's home...everything has fallen in I think the Lord has set everything into motion. Going into missions takes planning, arranging, takes a dependence....not on ourselves but on the one who made the universe. As my pastor has said so many times as well as working with VBS and hearing the leaders speak....We live in an upside down world. In this world, it's all about accomplishments, making lots of money, moving up to the next level in your company....after college, get your masters...after your masters, gets your PHD....Then make lots of money...raise perfect children...and a perfect dog...with a manicured you look....PERFECT! I think this really grieves the Lord because we become so self sufficient. We become reliant on ourselves... What puts a smile on our maker's face? I think time with Him, prayer time, and dependence on Him and Him alone....and then He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5).
          This morning I opened up my Bible to 2 Corinthians 12:9, and I read, "My grace is suffificent for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." How is this world upside down? Because when we buy into the world's ways....we miss out on the very thing we need. God's grace and God's power and quite frankly...GOD.  As my family prepares for our year in Cambodia...Kee and I say over and over to each other...let's rely on God's strength and not our own. This is my prayer for this year. Will you join me and do the same? 

May I pray? Lord Jesus, forgive us for doing things in our own strength. Protect us from the lies of the world of fame, fortune, money, prestige....and we surrender to the power of your might which only comes from being thankful for all the weaknesses we have. Put your love in each one of us today, and help us share your love wherever we go and whomever you put in front of us...may your word be a reflection from our actions! In your name, Amen.