Welcome to 2016.
It’s amazing to think this is our 3rd year in Cambodia. It’s not without struggle, still, but it’s home and we feel incredibly privileged to serve here in Battambang. We’ve got so much to look forward to, and have had some amazing things happen in the last few months! God is so good to us.
We really love Christmas in Cambodia. This was our second one and we started some fun family traditions, as well as continuing a couple we started last year.
We continued with our movie night, where we were blessed to have lots of the young adults in the community come around and watch a Muppet Christmas Carol and devour popcorn. And we hosted our second annual Christmas party for the kids in our village, where we played games and shared the Christmas story and the miracle of Jesus’ birth with our neighbour kids, some who had never heard it before.
Leyla and Myra, dressed in Santa outfits, spent Christmas Eve delivering homemade cookies to people around town we know and love- the girls who manage the ice cream store, the staff at our favourite cafes, the people we buy eggs and produce from at the market, angry Chinese dumpling guy- we made an effort to share the Christmas spirit and the reason for Christmas with those around us. It was a great afternoon and we all had a ball! We also love that we can focus on Jesus at Christmas with our girls without all the commercialisation of the holidays you get in the western world. On Christmas day we invited a dozen friends over for lunch. Dom cooked his first ever roast pork and introduced many people to amazing salty crispy crackling!
We were so blessed to have Carrie’s parents visit us for 3 weeks in January. Apart from a couple of interesting (read terrifying) taxi experiences, they had a fantastic time, and we all got to go to the beach for a week in Thailand. They were amazing, serving our family and making us so sad to see them go. Every time they come they make new friends here, and more and more people are looking forward to their next visit. They really can’t help but serve, encourage and love. We are so thankful for the time we had with them.
Our base has about 200 visitors each year on short term missions teams- this January was particularly busy and we have really enjoyed getting to know our guests. The people who visit are incredible, they breathe new life into what we’re doing, encourage and inspire us. We’ve made a real effort to make them feel welcome while they’re here and we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a couple teams for meals at our house.
Dom had the opportunity to present Fitness Battambang at a business as missions conference, in front of a panel of millionaires and successful business people. The panel was really impressed with the idea and how Dom presented it. It was so encouraging to know that it’s a good idea as a business and as an outreach project!
What we really need now is to find a facility for the gym. Currently, our backyard becomes a gym 3 times a day with people Dom is training (some visitors from as far as Phnom Penh have dropped by for a workout!) and there are still more people wanting to join. We’re also running a boot-camp session three times a week at the YWAM base which is attracting up to 20 people! Dom’s coaching in Phnom Penh for the next couple of weeks, shadowing the coaches at Crossfit Amatak to improve his skills.We’re looking around town for a building to fit out and be the gym’s new home for the next few years. We need to raise about $5,000 to fit out the new property and get it off the ground. If you’re interested in contributing financially please get in touch. We’d love to be able to move into a new place by the end of March! (and Carrie and the girls would love to have our back yard back)
Both of us have had the chance to teach in the current Discipleship Training School. Carrie’s been training up the English speaking student to teach English while they’re on outreach and this week Dom had the chance to teach over a couple of days on Authority and Submission. It’s a topic Dom got a lot out of in our DTS and he was so happy to be able to share with a new group of students.
The new YWAM Battambang campus is moving along really quickly! The first three dorm buildings are being painted now and will be ready to house a few hundred staff, students and teams in a couple months. We’ve raised $250,000 towards the first phase, and many people and ministries will be moving in later this year!