Thursday, September 22, 2011

Momma's in Town

Mom is back in town!  My mother, Ginger, arrived last Wednesday and has already once again jumped head first into our life here in Cambodia.  She has helped finish paint and clean the new facility in Prek Pneu, and also helped in the Pre-K 3 classroom in Logos.  We have eaten out with friends, gotten pedicures, taken a tour of the local microbrewery -Kingdom, and went to church at the Khmer house church we support in Prek Pneu.  It is good to have her back and eating at our dinner table once again. We are leaving today for Malaysia with her while the Khmer holiday of Pchum Ben happens here in Phnom Penh.  It has been a treat to spend the last week with family and we look forward to her two remaining weeks with us...

Pictured above:  Eating all the wonderful breakfast food she brought for us, riding in a tuk tuk to church, and then Chris and Mom on a moto on our way to dinner.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cambodia Bike Project Photos: Stung Meanchey

Here are some photos of the bike distribution that happened in Stung Meanchey last month. Andy Brophy and Stuart Atkins of Create to Restore did an amazing job capturing these kids and their families. I am so happy to be able to serve these children with bikes. There is a lot of exciting updates happening on with Cambodia Bike Project so give our Facebook Page a "like" to stay up-to-date on all what is going on with the program.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some links for when you are bored and stuff...

This video is promoting a partnership that we have created with Andy Brophy of OneNine Images and Stuart Atkins who works with Andy on Create to Restore. For every Senior photo shoot Andy does this year he will donate a bike to a child here in Cambodia in need of transportation to attend school.

It has been very exciting to partner with such incredible organizations and individuals. Check out their sites and projects for more information on what these two incredibly talented people do with their skills.

There will be many more photos and videos available soon, this is one of many. Enjoy!

Also, go to the Cambodia Bike Project Facebook page at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Contrast of Days

Often when we email or Skype with people our story of how things are going can sway from month to month, week to week, or even day to day.  That is how I have felt this past week.  On Monday afternoon my wallet was stolen just outside of our house.  I don't know how it happened, but it is part of life here, unfortunately.  I was really mad at first, and honestly outright confused on how it could of happened, then I became sad, and then to feeling really defeated.

To make it worse, on Tuesday the Cambodian who had my wallet called to tell me he found my wallet with all my ID cards and belongings, and asked what reward I would give him to return the wallet (even after all the money was taken out).  I told to come to Chris' school and we could talk about the reward.  Well, that was not enough of an incentive for him, so to this day he remains with my wallet.  This left me bitter and angry as to why someone could not just return the items that didn't belong to them after calling the person to let them know they were found.

After talking through this whole event with Chris and other friends, they prayed for protection and strength to keep going despite the feeling of being defeated.  We prayed that God continues to give us the ability to be forgiving toward others, thankful for what we have, and encouraged by the endurance and strength that Christ gives us in days like these. 

Days before my wallet was stolen I read this quote, "When the problems before you seem to loom larger than the Power behind you, the purpose in living can fall right out from underneath of you."  God obviously intended me to read this and begin to mediate on it as it would become something I would need to face very soon.  If I (or we) forget about the Power behind us, we allow God to be stripped of His goodness, and evil to overcome. 

As I write this blog post we are at a staff retreat in Sihanoukville, the beach town in Cambodia and enjoying wonderful time of fellowship, worship, and hearing words of encouragement from our guest speaker.  Last night he spoke on how God provides for us, and how fitting it was for me to hear those words.  Some of my favorite things were: "God is not stingy and cheap, but gives generously to provide for our everyday needs.  That if God sends you, He will provide for you, and not provide when you just need it, but provide for your everyday needs."  (1 Kings 17:1-20)

What a contrast of days, God will provide for my needs, our needs, your needs we have to trust in that and continue to live a life a gratitude and thankfullness.  To be generous when we want to hoard because we feel we deserve it due to things that have happened.  And to give because nothing is truly ours to keep (even wallets).

Please continue to pray for us in the daily struggles we face in living in a country where rewards drive generosity, greed overrides love for others, and Christ is not known.  Please also pray I can live out the truth I am learning:

"I simply need have a grateful heart to give Him glory."
Gratitude in all things is the only thing God asks."
Can I take each seeming problem and turn it back to praise?"

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Adventures of Lenny and Cree

Leanne and I are continuously grateful that we have the ability to work with Cambodians in communities and with projects throughout the country. It sounds odd to say this because you might imagine that we would work with Cambodians because we live in Cambodia. However, there is such a large population of expats and westerners around us that often we feel that we have to seek out Cambodians more than anyone else.

Over the past week, Leanne and I have spent a lot of time in the community of Prek Pneu as she has been updating Asian Hope's new facility (more to come on that).  We also have spent a lot of time with young women involved in a program called Precious Women. This week we met a group of former bar girls (prostitutes that were either trafficked or entered into the profession voluntarily) who now have the opportunity to learn new skills and take a step towards a new identity through education.

When we go to meetings, bike distributions or into Prek Pneu we are always introduced to Cambodians who also want to help in what we are doing, or are there to introduce themselves. Our names are very difficult to pronounce to Khmer speakers so we have just become used to introducing ourselves as Lenny and Cree.

When life is chaotic and Cambodia is happening all around us and in front of us, I will often look at my wife and say, "Just another day in the adventures of Lenny and Cree!"

Below are some photos of the last couple weeks in the life of Lenny and Cree.

From top to bottom: Cambodia Bike Project's Distribution to three girls working at the organization Precious Women, Logos students and our Khmer friends after painting the new building in Prek Pneu, Logos students balancing on a ladder in Prek Pneu, Leanne and her friend Meisa in Prek Pneu.