Stories of Mothers Saved

 

here's a bit of inspiration that we truly can make a difference in women's lives around the world.

 

 

as you read through the stories, imagine this woman is your wife, sister, mother, friend.

here in the developed world, it is hard to imagine the heartbreak that decends upon a family, a community when a mother dies- in something as simple and organic as childbirth..... but for the majority of people living in the developing world, it is their reality.

see, when a women dies giving birth, she often leaves behind a family, other children, a husband, people that love her deeply. 

no woman should be taken away because she is giving life. 

we can make a difference. 

partner with us in our endevor to change this!! 

spread the word. 

be generous with your money.

pray for more midwives.

 

 

Jesus once said, "the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few"......we are ready to work, we need your support to enable us to do so! 

 

days like these

any parent knows how this goes....you have a list full of things to do, ongoing and time sensitive. The day starts out with all good intentions and your mind is focused. You gulp down the 2nd cup of coffee for extra insurance that you will start the race off ready!  You begin your mission- to take down that to-do list.....

Then somewhere shortly after breakfast, the real things of the day begin.....one child needs a band aid, then you resume your mission, the next child wants you to watch as they perform a physical feat of strength off of the living room furniture, then you go back to your to-do list. this time, you get a few extra minutes and your faith rises that you actually may accomplish one task before the next interruption....and you do. Then the phone rings. it's a call you have to take. no problem, you can finish the dishes while talking. except you can't because your oldest child has some important life questions that he's thinking of and now would be a good time to discuss them. so, being the sensitive yet pragmatic parent that you are, you tell him how important it is to you to talk with him, but he has to wait til you are off the phone and you get a minute.  The phone call ends and you then realize the toilet is clogged....and your off to get the plunger. And I forgot to mention that during this whole time, you've let the dog in and out of the house a few times........

etc.. etc.... you can fill in the blanks for the rest of the day. and then by dinner time, you realize you never even got to the rest of the do list and even more importantly, you forgot to answer those life questions your oldest son was asking.....

these are the days that everything seems futile to me and I can easily feel it was a waste of a day. what did i accomplish? The to-do list is staring at me like it won the battle I was waging on it, I wasn't able to give my full attention to any one thing, and my brain feels like it's been cooking on grill for the past 8 hours. How could I have done this day better? These are the days it seems like everything around me is pulling on me and I can't say I gave myself to one thing whole heartedly. I hate ending the day with such frustration. 

Then, I lay down to collect my thoughts before bed and throw up a prayer that God will help me "unwind" and have some clarity on the lessons that were in my day. If I wasn't listening closely and quietly, I may assume the lessons are in the obvious: do less, focus more, don't let myself be so divided, organize myself better, organize my house more.....(fill in the blank).

But, then I hear "you were alive today, you felt life, however frustrating it was. don't let any day you are alive and well to feel like a waste." slowly, my feelings of frustration turn into thankfulness.

So, then I realize the lesson, in days like these, is to allow myself to "feel life", no matter what it holds. That being wherever I am, doing whatever is before me, is enough. 

 

I'll end with this: 

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. 
Life is beauty, admire it. 
Life is a dream, realize it. 
Life is a challenge, meet it. 
Life is a duty, complete it. 
Life is a game, play it. 
Life is a promise, fulfill it. 
Life is sorrow, overcome it. 
Life is a song, sing it. 
Life is a struggle, accept it. 
Life is a tragedy, confront it. 
Life is an adventure, dare it. 
Life is luck, make it. 
Life is too precious, do not destroy it. 
Life is life, fight for it." 
— Mother Teresa

 

Here's to your day!

Jamie

 

Summer Doldrums

It's post 4th of July here in Delleskyville. That can, in a lot of ways, signal what I like to call the Summer Doldrums. Let me flex a little of my atrophied Science teacher muscle for a minute. The Doldrums are a region north of the equator with little or no winds. This is the place that nautical type folks try to avoid. It impedes progress and, in very bad cases, can kill. 

Our oldest son, Parker, just had his tonsils removed and is on bed rest. Between the med scheduling, to ease his pain and avoid infection, Jamie and I have small bits of time to make any progress, personally or otherwise. The younger two boys are hanging tough. I know our time is limited in this area too. Carson flashed me a wild, crazy-eyed look that is so typical of him when he hasn't been as physically active as he should be. We may be arriving at Crazytown sooner than I thought. 

I am not complaining. I constantly am reminding myself of the unique opportunity that we have as a family every summer to have extended periods of hang time with each other. Heck, this may be exactly where God wants me right now. I have a suspicion that days like these may be typical for me when we are in the Philippines. Me, taking care of the daily to do's while schooling the kids: prepping meals, keeping the kids engaged, making sure the laundry is not piling up, cleaning and organizing...sounds familiar. Its easy to do this during the school year for some reason. I think it just may be that in the summer, everything, for us, is optional. So the laundry starts to pile up. Big deal. We'll take care of it manana. For now, I just want to be content with where i find myself. I can be ever critical when I am not checking things off my list. This never bodes well for my inner life, and can be caustic for my family if I let it.  

 

Home Sweet Home

Yes, we are home. We made it back late on Wednesday night. The joy that filled our tired hearts and bodies when we spent our first few hours home with our kids was priceless. Yesterday, we laid low. I, for one, have been so jet lagged. Exhausted and delirious! This morning is a bit better. Re acclimation is always a tricky thing in general. Not to mention the things we come back to.....yes, I counted almost 20 pieces of mail from our insurance company about our accident we were in before we left. sheesh. aw well. Sometimes, after having such a life changing experience, it's hard to come back to the mundane. It's easy for the things in your "normal" life to feel meaningless. Some of that is all the changes we are going through in general, but some of it is just a part of doing things like this. We've realized that we feel more complete living in the simplicity and purpose that comes in the developing world. It seems that all the things I once cherished about "having a lot" here in America are no longer my desires. I am more fulfilled when I have enough, not excess. 

But, for as much that is hard about coming back, there are just as many things that make home so good. Family that we've missed and are so thankful for. Friends that really care about you, are eager to hear all about your experiences, and let you know your presence was missed. The community of faith that you can so easily take for granted day to day, until you realize it truly is a gift in your life. enjoying showers that you can open your mouth to drink the water safely! the comfort of your home...and certain foods like cheese!

Eitherway, our time away has been good in so many ways and being home is too. 

To all those who helped us while we were away, who have prayed for us, taken care of our children and our home , got groceries for us before we came back, brightened our home with flowers, mowed our lawn, and have been faithfully following our journey- Thank You. 

Today's meditation:

"in the world, dependency is seen as a sign of immaturity, but in God's Kingdom, dependance on Him is prime measure of maturity."  

jamie

 

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Here I lay in the Seoul airport (yes, lay, as they have lounging chairs!) reflecting on the past 24 hours. We left Phnom Penh late last night. Narun and Sophal and their children took us to the airport. Not more than 4 hours before that were we ending our last play time with the children and took up the task of saying goodbye. It may be hard to believe for some people, but after 2 weeks of intense connection and much much play, these children have become our family. I mean, we know intellectually, as a church community that we are family in the global sense. But, God's spirit has done a forging , a grafting if you will to make us a true family. I am a mommy to them. Teddy is a daddy to them. We have become family.  A family that is not defined by skin tone, by blood, by language or culture, neither by genetic boundaries. but rather a family that is connected through God's fatherhood over us. It is the experience of the promise of the life to come. I am thankful and filled with deep, unbridled joy to have gone to the other side of the world and seen what  life is worth. 

As we left the home, we were all weeping. The children could hardly breathe as we wiped their eyes with our hands. I kept thinking, I have to hold it together or I will just fall onto the ground and weep bitterly. Seriously. I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true. Some of the little ones that really connected with me, wrapped their arms so tightly around me that we had to walk together as it was time for me to go. I'd look into their eyes and see the sadness that comes from loving deeply. These children have no reservations about loving you. it doesn't matter who you are, what you think about yourself or how well you can love them back. they know God loves you so they do too. they also know that you represent the reason they have been plucked out of the fire in their land. I witnessed what a child on the street lives like and it's real deal hard. these children have been spared of that because a small group of average people gathered together in a church and said we are going to make a difference. we said we'd stand up for the poor, the widow, and the children. those who are cast aside and are neglected in the world will become our most valued priority. And it is because of this that our children in Cambodia have a place to sleep in peace, have food to eat, and are being educated. It is because we are trying to follow what Jesus says about taking care of the poor and needy, that the beautiful girls in our home are not forced into prostitution by the age of 10 or 11 (yes, I saw many of nights such things). And the boys don't have  to sell drugs to western tourists in order to have food to eat. 

No, these children are full of hope. They have a future ahead of them and they are loved well. It truly is one of THE best things I have ever been apart of. And I told the children with all certainty that I will be back to see them. I couldn't help but think about all they have been through in their short lives. Maybe saying goodbye is a reminder of where they've been and what they've lost. I needed them to know that Central Vineyard is commiitted to them for life. That I am now committed to them. We as a family are committed to them. 

 

So, as I reflect upon all that I've walked through in these past two weeks, I think upon my return to my life in the States. I am eager to hold my boys, to share with them all that we've seen and to ignite in them a passion for the work of serving the poor. When we lay down our own lives for the lives of others, we truly do gain the peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray my children will begin to bask in that truth in their own young lives. 

We have lots of pictures, but we will wait until we are home to load them. I am so very thankful for the life I am given. We have so many friends and family that truly love us. Thank you. 

!3 hour flight ahead of us.  Teddy will be listening to the latest Phish concert and I will be zoning out on movies. things i will be happy to have when we get home: water from my sink, cooking again, cuddling up on cozy furniture, seeing friend's and family's faces, sleeping in my own bed, and planning for this next phase of our lives....oh and some other starch besides rice!! 

Many Blessings to you. 

 

Resting in Seoul

We've made the first leg of our trip back to 'merica relatively unscathed. There is a lot stirring inside both of us. God seemd to have his way with us on this trip, giving us more vision on the direction we are headed and molding us to do what we are feel called to do. Less fear and more surrender sums it up. I'm anxious to reintegrate back into a lifestyle and way of living that continues to feel like it doesn't "fit" the life I'm (we, actually) called to live in the States. I'm excited to see my kids, our friends and community. I have many stories to tell and I want to get the memebers of our community swept up in the huge thing that we get to be a part of in Cambodia. I am certain that my family will continue to come back to Cambodia and invest our time and hearts into the lives of the kids and staff of Asia's Hope. We are no longer just supporters of a group of kids and adults trying to do a good thing, we are family. My honor system puts family above almost all things in my life. It is the place where I am most willing to suffer for the greater good and this family we have half way across the world is no exception.

This is shout out to all who have even a slight inkling that you may want to come to Cambodia in the future. I'm coming for YOU! You've been warned.

 

-Teddy 

6 hour bus rides

Hello. Today we are taking a bus to the town of Siem Reap. Apparently, Angkor Watt is breathtaking. It is what remains of an ancient temple city. It rivals things like the great pyramids, Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, etc... It's hard to believe all the beauty that your eyes behold here. From the national monument, to the Mekong river, to the Palace and the Watts (Buddhist temples), to the riverfront life, everywhere you look is dazzling and sort of magical. And like many struggling countries, running along side of that is the deep brokenness of the nations past. Earlier in the week we were able to go to Tuol Sleng, the site where the notorious prison of Khmer Rouge. The horror that went on here is beyond words. I was nauseated throughout much of my visit and would periodically burst into tears. Finally, I had to sit silently in the courtyard and pray. I prayed for this country and the people in it. I prayed for healing and for peace. What these people have been through is astounding. But there is so much hope. You see it in the peoples faces and especially in the children of Asia's Hope homes. 

It's time to get on the bus. Post soon.

Mummy Jimmy

Good Morning. I have a new name here. It's Mummy Jimmy. (translation- mommy jamie). Yes, all the children here call me (and Sarabeth) mommy and they call Teddy and Ben daddy. To them, we are essentially their parents, along with the director of the home and his family. It is captivating to see how Narun and Sopahl (the director and his wife) and their three children have become mother and father to these 24 children. And now, we are too. They function as this beautiful, large family. The lines of biological ties become fluid, we've all been grafted together into one grand family. 

This occurred to me when I was given this artwork from one of the girls yesterday. It reads:

" Dear Mummy Jimmy, 

My name is Dane. I am 12 year old. I miss mummy Jimmy. I love mummy. I pray for you everyday. At night, I dream about you. God bless you. Jesus love mummy and me. "

Tears of joy fill my eyes.

So, now I have many children in my mother's heart!

 

Today, we are off to the Asia's Hope school where we will teach some lessons in each classroom! With 2 teachers on our team, this should be exciting! 

 

Lessons

It's Tuesday morning. We have exactly one week left here. I awoke this morning with a stream of conciousness. Each child was passing through my thoughts and how well we've gotten to know them. We read their stories before we came, but being with them brings a deeper understanding. My heart is growing to make room for them. My affection for them has become stronger the more we've been here. As much as I will love to see my loved ones at home, I will have a piece of me left here. I'm just saying, get out the tissues, because leaving here ain't gonna be easy. 

This whole experience is proving to grow me. Anything like this is going to effect someone. Today I am pondering on the things it is changing in me. Like, for instance, when I see how these children interact with one another, how they serve one another, take care of one another, how they just love being with each other and us, it makes me reflect on my own love for others. Where am I still holding onto selfishness? Do I appreciate the love of others and my love for them as a precious gift to be cherished and protected at all costs? Can I stretch myself more in order to bask in caring for the people that are put in my life? 

These children love so well. Maybe it's because they have had such a lack of love, have been through such horrific loss and abandonment, that they deeply understand love and security in a way that is beyond their years. I came with a basic understanding that I am a pretty good lover of people. I enjoy people, I care immensely about those around me. Maybe I even have had a cap on how much more I could grow, or should grow in this. But being here and experiencing their love for me,  it is profoundly apparent to me that I am invited to love more than I do, to give more than I think I can, to abandon more of my self protection so that I can move in God's uncontrolled, wildly unconditional love.  

I thought I was coming here to give my love to children who needed it,  but what I have discovered is that I have entered into a reciprical relationship of care and affection. The children tell us over and over that they pray every night for us. They prayed for me when I was feeling sick the other day. I found out yesterday that every night at 8 pm, the family prays for God to provide our church with a building. When they ask if we are coming back and I tell them we are praying about being able to, they pray for God to provide it. 

Who would've known? But this is what God means when He says that we are one family of faith, globally.

 

Today we will be going to see some other parts of the city, a smaller market, a Buddhist temple (called a Wat here), maybe an elephant ride :), and then off to play with the kids!

Stay tuned, we hope to post pictures soon of the last few days. 

May your day be filled with love.

Russian Market, Smoothies, and the Mekong River

Today was an exotic adventure into sights, smells and lots of taste. As I lay in our room, my body sore from trekking from one end to the city to the other, I am reflecting on the myriad of new experiences. We started with an early breakfast of soup, omlettes and iced vietnamese coffee (which makes Starbucks look weak).  With full gullets, we mosied out and over the the Central Market. There are many markets in Phnom Penh, two of which we have ventured to already. Now, when I say market, you may think of a farmer's market, or even something like the North Market in Columbus. Let me enlighten you. The markets here are enormous. So dense internally, that you can not see the light of day. Granted there are roofs (or what is considered roofs), but the amount of goods that are stacked up and spread out in one square foot blows your mind. Every direction I turned, every which way my eyes moved, I was inundated with glittery scarves, shiny jewelry, housewares, bags, shoes, silverware, clothes upon clothes upon clothes. And EVERY stand you pass (some are only a foot away from the others), the worker is talking to you. You stop to look at one thing and they are trying to bargain with you. Cambodian people are hard, hard workers. Eitherway, we wanted to get some specific things, so we dove in. I enter a kind of dream like state when I am in these places. I can get so overwhelmed, but I put my game face on. We did good there. Talked with many people and it is during these times, the impromtu conversations at the market or at a restaurant when I can connect with the people of this place. I practice my Khemer and they practice their English and somehow we meet in the middle. As difficult as it can be to cross the language barrier, I've come to really enjoy the work of it. There's a magical feeling when simple communication takes over. There's no need for extra words. Basic becomes beautiful.

After a bit of the Central Market, we hopped in  a Tuk Tuk (think carriage attatched to a moped), our daily mode of transportation besides walking, to lunch. A wonderful exquisite place of tapas and fair trade goodies. "Friends" is an organization that trains teens on the streets to work in the food industry here. It's a really amazing place. 

We then ventured to the Russian Market. I feel as though there should be a huge "ta da" shouting as I say that. Yes, the Russian Market is even larger than the Central Market with a vast array of food oddities  and delicacies culminating in the center. It's rough on it's edges, with raw meat hanging for sale along side of colorful and exotic fruits. On the outer parts of the market, stands many shops that serve....smoothies. Yes, Cambodia is filled with a love of smoothies. Fresh fruit smoothies, milkshakes and coffee drinks. We have a smoothie at least once a day. Today I had a mango with lime. Flippin' amazing!

Lastly, as we came back "home" to the hotel to refresh before dinner, I realized how tired I was. All I wanted to do was lay down. But, it was time to go to dinner. And am I ever glad I didn't stay in. We went down to the River, as it is called here. The part of the city that runs along the Mekong river. This riverfront is filled with even more life. Shops and restaurants and people! People everywhere. Seriously. I took a video. I hope I can post it soon. 

This was the highlight of my day. There were Cambodian people gathering on the walkway by the river engaging in so many activities together. Some were playing Cambodian hacky sack, some where doing aerobics with music and an instructor, some were playing badminton, and all were enjoying life at that moment. It was in that moment that I deeply understand the resilience of the people of this country. After a near genocide, the rebuilding of this place can be seen. There are buildings being built and a moving commerce, and corruptions still runs deep in it's roots. But, I looked at this tonight and acknowledged that these beautiful people will continue to carry on. They were finding joy in community, laughter and smiles amidst the extreme poverty, and somehow, this commune of regular gathering pointed to one fact- their spirits are not easily broken. I wanted to be a part of that. This nationality that has a horrifying yet rich and vibrant past, a culture of deep wounds, but even deeper roots. I have felt so acclimated here, that I surprise myself. This place, in some strange way, feels like a home I never knew I had. 

now, if i can just get my kids here with me, I'll feel like the world is at ease........ 

tomorrow, we are taking the children of Prek Eng 2 to a water park! we may all burst with joy and excitement. going one day without being at the children's home has made me miss them so dearly.  I already know....my heart is sold out for them and I can't keep it from breaking when it will come time to leave. i have a feeling we won't be staying away for long. 

 until tomorrow. i will sleep now.

Phnom Penh, Day 3

So much has happened that its seems hard to document here. In short, we've been enjoying our time with the kids and staff at PE 2 immensly. This vibrant and busy city is more that we can describe in words sometimes. I'm hoping that my wife, the far better typist, jumps on board and adds some entries of her own soon. In the meantime, this one goes out to all the foodies out there. I am a firm believer that one of the greatest means of experiencing a culture is through the sense of taste. You could literally eat from sun up to sun down here and just skim the surface of all the varieties of food here. Here are a few dishes we've had here. Enjoy!


 


Phnom Penh, Day 2

Narun picked us up and took us to Prek Eng 2 orphan home. We stayed a while, visited some of the staff and walked on foot to Asia’s Hope elementary school. The kids were still in class. The schools director greeted us and took us around to each of the classrooms. Smiles and waves greeted us at every door. I saw many familiar faces that I haven’t seen in three years. It was an overwhelmingly joyous moment. At two in the afternoon the kids were released for some playtime. A swarm of kids exited every doorway of the school and greeted us with hugs. It’s moments like this that make me want to keep coming back here. We played for while and then walked with the kids back to PE 2. The kids changed into their play clothes and played some more while dinner was being prepared. Sophal (sp), Narun’s wife, had one of the older boys, Soraan, scale a coconut tree on the property and get us dome coconuts for drinks. The were husked and tapped for small straws to drink from. We ate a quick meal with Narun and his wife and then we were whisked back to the hotel so we could switch our rooms. I passed out for an hour or two before Narun picked me up to get John, Kori and the kids from the airport.

John, Kori and the kids were greeted with such a welcoming crowd last night. Narun, Savorn, their wives, the directors of PE 1 & 2 orphan homes, and an assortment of kids all had smiles and hugs ready for them as they stepped off the plane. We quickly departed for the hotel only to get turned around a bit in late night Phnom Penh. Savorn was leading the way. I was driving with Narun. At one point Narun pulled along side Savorn to see if everything was alright. Some playful banter ensued after Narun found out that Savorn had lost his way a bit.

After a few hours of rest we took off for a Pho restaurant/café located near Asia Hope’s former guesthouse.  John took the first group to the café while the rest of us took a tuk tuk to the Russian market, to await a pick up from John. We all ordered Pho and Vietnamese coffee (think dark, thick coffee like the Turks make) served in cups with condensed milk on the bottom. Mix the coffee, pour into a cup of ice and you have café au lait like you’ve never tasted. Aside from the lack of sleep, I know now why I’ve had a killer head ache for days…no caffeine! We split up for there. Some went to the Russian Market to check things out while John, Pak and I did some running around. We met up somewhere in the streets of Phnom Penh by chance and went out for lunch at the Pull Noodle Restaurant, an authentic street side Chinese restaurant. If there was one thing I told everyone before coming on this trip it was that we would eat a lot of different foods and eat well. We had dumplings filled with pork, noodles, rice, vegetables, fried pork, fried eggplant. It was all super delicious and satisfying. We returned to the comforting A/C of the hotel and then headed back to PE 2. The kids returned shortly after and the playing began once again. We played soccer, joked with one another and had a great time just hanging out. Dinner was served to the kids while we gathered our things and got ready to leave.

We ate at a restaurant that served Kamhai food. We sat at a traditional table seating ourselves on cushions on the floor. We have been eating family style meals so there was a lot of plate passing, allowing us to taste a huge variety of dishes: coconut/chicken soup, red curry soup with beef, cellophane noodles, beef dishes, chicken/veggie dishes, etc. All of it was delicious and comforting after a long and busy day. Tomorrow the fellas are going to get fitted for tailored shirts and check out the city for a bit before visiting the kids later in the day after school.  

Phnom Penh, Day 1

Breakfast

I am an “up when the sun comes up” kina guy. This works well when I am rested. After traveling for 24+ hours and being 11 hours ahead of my usual time, getting up this morning at 5:30 AM was a bit shocking. The excitement of it all seems to be the wind beneath my wings so far, but I’m not sure how long that’s going to last.  We Skyped with the boys this morning, called some family (thank you Gmail phone!) showered for the day (this may become a “whenever you are near a shower and can spare the time” practice) and hit the streets.

By 8AM Phnom Penh is full-gear in motion! Motos and cars are jostling for spots on the road, pedestrians (us) are trying to navigate a sea of sounds, smells, people and motion everywhere. We stood at a street corner timing the traffic and wondering when a lull in the traffic would allow us safe passage across the street. The time never came. With our hunger and thirst pushing us on we held on to our mates and crossed, only to get to a sidewalk blocked by (more) motos, street carts and cars. We saw the Central Market in the distance and decided to head there.

Merchants were still setting up their stalls and there didn’t seem to be much food or water available.  We ambled around for a bit until we saw a pace where people were eating. There didn’t seem to be a lot of western patrons there. In fact, there weren’t any. It looked decent enough so we decided to eat there. The menu was simple…eggs and toast, iced coffee and condensed milk, various noodle soups and rice dishes. Our silverware was served in a beer mug with boiling water, the tea was hot and the food was delicious. I had the Phnom Penh noodle soup, Jamie had rice with meat veggies and eggs. Ben had the noole soup and Sarabeth had some eggs and toast. We washed our vitamins down with some tea (please do your magic probiotics) and headed for the market. Oh, the cost of breakfast for four…$9.

The market was bustling with people by the time we returned. We weren’t looking to shop, we just wanted to take in some sights before heading back to the hotel. The highlight of the visit for me was seeing a tiny stall with various cooked insects for sale to eat. There were fried crickets, tarantulas, and what looked to be enormous cockroaches. Having already eaten breakfast and feeling like we took enough risks by eating where we did, I decided to pass…this time. We are back at the hotel, resting before Narun, Prek Eng 2’s director, picks us up at 1:00 to go see the kids at school or the orphanage. We will return to the hotel to rest a bit before Narun picks me up to get John, Kori and the kids this evening.

-Teddy

 

Quick Update

We're here in Seoul. Thirteen hour flights have a way of making you feel a bit dazed. Overall the time went by quickly. The food was pretty good. The movie selection was okay. We all took showers and headed to the food court. After fumbling our way through the food ordering process we finally satiated ourselves, caught up on the internets and ran into, of all people, Eric Rosenberg (tradejusticemissions.org) and his family on their way to the Philippines. We had not planned to see them unitil we/they reached Phnom Penh. It was a pleasant and unexpected meet up half way across the planet. More to come...

-Teddy

Why Go?

On Sunday, Teddy and I will venture out to all things Cambodia. Why, you ask? Good question. A question we must all ask ourselves when faced with radical decisions. Let me explain a bit of our love affair with the place of Cambodia. We were first introduced to Cambodia through a friend who runs a grassroots non profit that saves children from lives of poverty and pain that we can only imagine here. Asia's Hope  (asiashope.org) helps gather funds, support indigenous leaders and run orphan homes for children who have no place to go. If these children were to stay on the streets, they would be subjected to a life of crime, injustice and worse of all, human sex trafficking. These orphan homes function as safe homes where not just the children's physical needs of food and shelter are met, but where their spirits are replenished and renewed. They are given an education, a family and hope. 

This will be Teddy's second journey over there. My first. From the moment we got involved with supporting Asia's Hope, we knew someday we'd go there. We knew we'd be radically tranformed if we had the chance to see these beautiful children whose lives are being changed. And as time has moved us along, we have become increasingly aware that we want to give more of ourselves to this place. So, we are going. We are going to love on the children, we are going to seek God's face for our future, we are going because frankly, the more I am with the least and the lost, the downcast of this world, the closer I am to Jesus. And He fills me. So, for me, I am casting my caution to the wind and opening my heart as wide as it will go so that I can be filled to the max by loving these kids. 

Yes, it's a sacrifice to go. It always is. In life, we only have two hands, so if you want to give your all to something, you're always going to have to let go of something else. But, i guess my humble thought is that all I'm sacrificing is nothing compared to what I gain. I'm not going to be a good person, I'm not going because I have some great gift to bestow, I'm going because I want to connect with these children. These children are the light of the world. Life gives us enough darkness, we should be seeking out the light and going there, giving all we have to get there. 

We will miss our home here for the next 3 weeks. We will update you all on our trip right here. Come visit with us. I'm sure we will have lots to say!

So, in answer to the question "Why go?" I would have to say, what am i sacrificing in NOT going? 

I'd answer with this verse that presses on my heart daily:

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” psalm 82:3,4 

 

Join us again soon!

The Delleskys

It's been a long time coming

For the past two years, we have been praying, hoping, and dreaming about going to the Philippines to work with mothers and babies in poverty. It's hard to believe that within the last 3 months, the plans have been laid and the steps are in process. We've put our house up for sale this month and are slimming down our belongings to only what we really need. I can't explain how much freedom has come to my soul by going through this process. There's something so wonderful about living so simply.

But, as with many great endeavors that changes the course of ones life, there are many obstacles that try to keep you from moving forward. We are encountering them as we speak. Discouragement and disillusionment can knock on the door daily........and you realize your gonna have to fight through this because you know they want to take you down. 

So these are the times we have to recall the vision, the passion, the hope to which we are called to. Something much larger than ourselves. Something more glorious, more spectacular, more beautiful than our own lives. It is the love of God being demonstrated through our own love and care for one another. When we begin to see that we are each other's brothers, sisters, family-then we see the privileged invitation to care for those hurting and impoverished. Those who suffer because of injustice,  because they don't have medical care, those who are oppressed because of corruption, and the list goes on...... 

We invite you to join us in our journey. We will be writing much about our experiences, our efforts, our needs, and all that our God is doing in this crazy life of ours! 

 

 I'll leave you with this to sweetly ponder on today:

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. 
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. 
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. 
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." 
— Mother Teresa

 

jamie