Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthdays in Cambodia

This was really our first time to have our birthdays celebrated in Cambodia. Last year we had just moved here in time for mine, but after only 3 weeks of living in the country we couldn’t tell up from down at that point so this year’s celebrations were much better.

For Chris’ birthday he wanted to go on a bike ride through the city and then out to the countryside.  Later that evening we headed to an American grill restaurant to get some home cooked food. After 14 months of not having a steak, it would be an understatment to say it was delicious!
My birthday fell on the same day as a friend of ours, Lyle, so he and his wife decided to gather a group of friends and rent a boat a do a dinner cruise on the Mekong River. They got us pizzas, drinks, and even a birthday cake. It was really fun and again something we can do here in Cambodia that doesn’t break the bank in comparison to renting a private boat in America.  We took advantage and enjoyed the night on the river with only a small rain delay...

Pictured above: Our city bike ride, the Mekong boat cruise, Lyle cutting the birthday cake, and then us going out to dinner.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Create to Restore

Over the last 8 days we have had the amazing opportunity to host Stuart Atkins and Andy Brophy from Create to Restore as they volunteered their time with Asian Hope.  They came out to Cambodia to update and overhaul the media that Asian Hope has.  We got to spend the week watching them photograph and video our ministries, life, and days here in Phnom Penh.  During the course of their time with us they saw numerous markets throughout the city, went to church in Prek Pneu, got up at 4:30am to see the village's fish market, helped with our first bike distribution, visited all of Asian Hope's schools, documented the genocide museums, and even got a game of soccer in. 

It was nothing shy of a huge blessing to have them here as we enjoyed watching them work and sharing many meals together.  If you would like to see some of their short update clips (as well as several pictures) go to and search through their posts to find the 5 update videos.

We can't wait to get the final work and once we do we will share it all with you.

Pictures from top to bottom: Storm clouds from our balcony, Ourssay and Central Market, Prek Pneu and its fish market, filming a video, the bike distribution, and Khmer house church.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cambodia Bike Project: Stung Meanchey

Cambodia Bike Project provides bikes to children who needed them to get to school. This is a simple task, mundane in nature but substantial for the children who receive them and the communities in which they live.

On Tuesday, myself and Asian Hope staff as well as two incredibly talented photographers/videographers from a ministry called Create to Restore went to Stung Meanchey just outside of Phnom Penh.

With the help of our friend Pany, we were able to distribute 14 bicycles to children who had applied for and been identified as needing a bike to get to school on a more regular basis. In our brief 30-minute ceremony, I was able to speak to the kids and explain to them the purpose behind the bikes and our hope for them as they continue to study. It was simple but exciting and we were so blessed to be able to participate with and support these 14 Cambodian children.

It is incredible to be a part of this work. Providing bikes is so simple but has so much impact on kids and communities. Bikes keep kids safe by helping them get to school and they help families maintain a higher income.

If you want to learn more about this project, go to

Give us a "Like" and keep up with our future distributions. If you would like to purchase a bike for a Cambodian student, go to:

- Asian
- Click "Donate"
- Select "Cambodia Bike Project" and indicate your amount.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's Been Going On

We've been busy over the summer with our ministries and we wanted to give an update on everything that is going on.  First off Logos, school started on Monday for Chris, but this time in an entirely new role.  He is half administrator and half teacher.  He will be teaching one class this year and then filling his schedule with developing the schools curriculum to meet their ACSI standards for grades 5 -12.  He will also be responsible for the school's teacher coaching and observations.  The new role is very exciting and something Chris is excited to begin.  His afternoons and morning will be full of coaching boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, being the student government sponsor, leading the 12th grade homeroom, and a HS boys bible study.  This go around it seems a little less daunting than last year because we have a much better grip on language, culture, how to get around the city, where to eat, and Cambodia in general. 

Next up, Cambodia Bike Project (CBP), this really took flight over the summer with Chris starting to create awareness for the needs of bikes and how much they can change lives in Cambodia.  To read more on the project go here or read about on Facebook here.  Over the summer over 15 bikes were donated by friends or visitors that passed through Phnom Penh and we were able to make the first donation about a week ago.  The first bike to be given went to a woman who is a client of an organization called Precious Woman, who works with bar girls here in the city.  This woman now is able to leave her old life and begin school at her vocational training site now that she has the transportation to get there.  We are excited to give out more bikes next week in the community of Stung Meanchey with our other partner organization Kone Kmeng.

Staff of Precious Woman accepting the first donated bike.

Last up, Prek Pneu, we have been asking for your prayers as we look for a facility in this community to be the site of catch-up school for children, community workshops for adults, and a platform for any community development projects.  All of these combined will help protect the at-risk children that live in Prek Pneu.  The day after we arrived home from China we went out again looking for a facility, this time we found one.  We signed the lease contract on the 1st and gave the building a big clean out last Friday.  Now Americans have a tendency to he hyper clean and Cambodians have a tendency to never clean, so thus another culture clash that made for a very dirty Friday.  With the help of a group of 10 volunteers we were able to take out 9 very large trash bags fulls of dirt, dust, cob webs, trash and other fine gems.  Starting on Thursday we have a construction team coming in to do a bathroom and kitchen overhaul and painting will also commence.  This is very exciting and such a huge answer to prayer.  Below are the "Before" pictures and stayed tuned in a few weeks for the "After."


Thanks for your prayers and support through all of this and we look forward to the beginning of year two here in Cambodia!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We're Official

It took us a year but we finally got our Cambodian Driver's Licenses.  Now when we get pulled over and have to pay off the cops it will be a much easier process...the sad part is that is true.