Dear Family and Friends September 2021
September is suddenly upon us and we are overdue to write to you, dear friends, about what we have been growing in, walking through, waiting for. I (Wendy) am writing this, sitting in my Dad’s house, after long months of wanting to be back home in Cambodia. I have missed Cambodia so very much, my work there, my colleagues, our house group, the food, our home. I even miss the sweaty, stifling heat! However, I want to share with you a few things that I am very thankful for and that God has been working out during this time. This is a bit of a long letter so I hope you can settle in for a read!
My Dad got a new hip in early July and his recovery has been wonderful to witness: he is able to walk and move without pain and has weaned off the strong opiate medication. He is better able to concentrate again, to enjoy reading and engaging with people. Dad also accepted that as an elderly gentleman, he needs more support. He decided to try out a few weeks’ residential care, which he now wants to make his permanent home. This was a huge answer to prayer, since we as his family could see that he needed to live with more support and be taken care of. My brothers were all expecting him to refuse and object to residential care, but I can see that God has provided a place for him which Dad enjoys. Praise Him!
Throughout these past months, Yong and I have been able to spend time with Dad, but also with two of my brothers who were able to come to support Dad. I am so thankful for our families, and that Yong can build relationship with my brothers.
In Cambodia, despite high Covid numbers, MMC hospital has continued to provide consistent care and patient numbers have recovered well after some periods of national lockdown. Mr P’s masters study is going well and I’m enjoying giving ongoing study support to him. MMC has also just received its renewed agreement with the government which enables us to keep serving our patients as well as to renew visas of international staff. Nationally, the vaccination roll out has been very rapid, enabling some economic recovery, although the vaccines available are less effective. Covid and lockdowns- which continue to be abruptly enforced- is resulting in more deaths through increased poverty. Several colleagues have mentioned increased preventable deaths and severe sickness as people are unable to access healthcare nationally. I will write more about this once we are back in Cambodia and I have more insight.
The good stuff… I enjoy being in the summer in the rural UK. The rolling hills and the cool weather is very reminiscent of my time in Montreat, NC, a place I love dearly. My work for the school in Cambodia goes on without interruption. I am able to do 90+% of what I was doing in Cambodia. Thank God for this blessed opportunity. Because of COVID the school is still in financial difficulty.
Thank God that I am able to support Wendy with whatever is needed. I do miss Cambodia and my family in the States quite a bit. I am able to contact my family in the States fairly easily since our time zone is not so large which is great. I haven’t been on a dirt bike for so long I’m not sure if I can handle it.
And the harder stuff… now looking ahead:
During these months in the UK supporting my Dad, Yong and I have been praying and listening to what God wants us to do longer term. As we have shared with you previously, we feel that to honour our parents is pleasing to God and in this season of my Dad’s life, we want to live nearer to him to care for him. I wrestled with this conviction, since my heart longs for Cambodia and we continue to feel called to serve there, to share our lives, our hope in Jesus, to share friendships and offer our skills however God leads us. So what do these two facts mean? We have decided to transition towards building a home base in the UK, whilst continuing to focus and work with our Cambodian colleagues. We are praying about how this can be worked out, but we have confidence that God is faithful and will provide what we need to serve. Yong can continue working at the school remotely, since he has already been doing so these past months. I am praying about several possibilities that God has for me, but as yet it’s unclear and my priorities are more immediate right now.
You are a big part of journeying with us when you pray for us and root for us to be faithful to the call God has spoken to us. Thank you for being with us! At this time we ask that you pray with us for discernment, for faith to pursue Jesus and mission, for all the practical needs we will have. We will return to Cambodia and then in December this year, we’ll pack up our house and make a new home base in south west England.
We will fly back to Cambodia on September 17th. Before that I am working to support my dad and prepare his house for the market, trying to sort through and pack up lots of the house. Once we land in Phnom Penh, we will have to quarantine again, for a minimum of 14 days, so we should finally reach our home in early October. Yong is particularly trepidatious about this return since the Cambodian government can be impulsive/reactive to make decrees in response to national threats. Please pray for us to have courage and peace to walk through these next weeks of transition and that quarantine will be manageable. It is much stricter now than what we experienced in February, pray we can pass the quarantine time meaningfully and in good humour with each other.
Thank you God for taking care of Wendy’s dad through surgery and providing a new home for him.
Thank you God for government partnership with MMC, for resilience of staff, for protecting staff from Covid and for keeping morale high despite the threats and difficulties.
For G2K that they will have more students.
Pray we can restart the prayer circle and ride our bikes again! Yippee
Pray for all the practicalities, logistics and transitions we will be facing in the coming weeks- may we lean on the strength of the Lord, may we be full of joy as we meet with people.
Please do keep in touch with us - we love to hear your news too and know how we can give thanks or be praying for you.