January 25, 2014
Posting pics as we take them so you can follow along "real-time" as we're over here in Cambodia! I'll keep this post at the top, so check back often often for new images!
January 30, 2014
Let's talk about provision: something supplied at the right time.
Looking back to our earliest Threaded Leaf Project beginnings, we can say that we cannot take any claim for ANYTHING — it's all been the Lord stepping in and being our PROVISION.
He has done it again — and YOU have helped.
We're a small organization, still learning, still growing — and we do our best to follow what we feel God leading us to do, helping as much as we feel we can responsibly handle and manage. When we got back to the USA a few months ago, we felt we were at a standstill, unable to add any new students to our TLP Family...
He had other plans.
We're ridiculously excited to share that our Threaded Leaf Project Family just grew by four more students. FOUR MORE STUDENTS! Just when we hit the standstill, He stepped-in and once again, became our provision.
These four students have been in our hearts and minds since we first met them at our student Bible studies, and we knew what we needed to be able to help — we just didn't have it. While we were in the USA, the Lord spoke to many of you, and through you, He provided just what we needed to be able to bring them into our Student Family.
He didn't provide almost enough.
He didn't provide too much.
He provided what we needed.
Something supplied at the right time.
THANK YOU for supporting our work here in Cambodia. We could NOT do this without you. So many of you pray for us, so many of you support us financially, so many of you love Cambodia and her people and want help be part of the Life Change we see spreading like wildfire.
THANK YOU ALL! We now have 10 students in University, and with Sovern moving in, we will have 5 girls in our Girl's Home. Good stuff! An extra bonus is that the BPF Team got to meet the guys when they visited our Girl's Home.
Sarat, Sarun, Piseth, and Sovern are about to begin a really cool journey, and we love that YOU are a part of it.
And above all, we thank God for always being our provision. For always showing His hand. For His blessings, poured out. To Him be the glory and honor and praise!
January 24, 2014
January 1, 2014
Tomorrow afternoon, we head back to Cambodia for another 3 month stay! We're also going to be traveling with our local church, and some of the folks will be leaving that group to experience Cambodia the way we do while we live there — and we're super excited about that. Plus, we have some great friends that will be staying on an extra week to get more involved with our work.
For me and Karen, it's all about the relationships. We don't want to be "moments" or "events" or "times" in the lives of the people we get to work with — not that there's anything wrong with that. For us, personally, we want to become facets of their lives, living Life alongside them, day by day, through the ups and the downs, in real time. We're blessed to be able to do just that, and we can't wait to continue growing closer and closer to our friends and family in Cambodia!
We must also share that 2013 was, by far, the best year in Threaded Leaf Project's history! Six students began their journey of higher education, five girls were given a safe, loving home to live in, a team of five women had full-time employment to better provide for their families, and a team of four crocheters were able to have work when no one else would give it to them. LIFE CHANGE! We saw our student Bible Study grow from two students to over a dozen, we've seen community and relationships grow and deepen, we've seen wall after wall come down as lives thread closer together. We saw our TLP Family grow, grow, and GROW! The Lord truly blessed TLP in 2013!
One of our goals and dreams for Threaded Leaf Project is for people here in the US to catch the vision and get involved, and 2013 was our best year ever on that front, too. So, so, so many of you stepped-up to help in SO many ways — from home shows, to prep, to praying, to getting the word out, to financially supporting, etc., etc., etc. We saw our USA TLP Family grow by leaps and bounds in 2013, and we appreciate you guys SO MUCH! Thank you for being part of the Life Change in Cambodia!
As 2014 begins today, Karen and I look forward to what the year holds — and we're excited that we begin the year in our other home, Cambodia. We hope and pray our TLP Family continues to grow in 2014, and we can't wait to start seeing the awesome things the Lord unfolds!
December 8, 2013
In less than a month, we'll be heading back to Cambodia for another 3-month stay — and we can't WAIT! It's all about building and developing relationships with these wonderful young people, students, and young adults. Becoming facets of their lives, not just moments or events. Living and experiencing Life alongside them and with them, day by day, week by week, month by month. Actually being there, just minutes away. They're all such huge blessings to our lives, and we're honored to haae such a big, extended, Khmer Family!
We will also have some friends staying with us for a week, experiencing life as we live it while we're in Cambodia — and we're super-excited to have them with us! Our hope is to have more people come and experience our work, meet our students, seamstresses, crocheters, and friends — and get more and more involved with Threaded Leaf Project. We already have people preparing to come over with us when we're there this summer, but there's always room for more!
Now a confession: in this day and age, it's so easy to keep people up-to-date via our Facebook page page, which means this site gets neglected. I am going to work toward more consistent updates here, more photos, more everything — so please be patient as I work to make our site a better resource. Thanks!
July 19, 2013
Tuesday was one of our best days so far. We went to our student Bible Study, and about halfway through, a young girl arrived and joined the group. After we finished BIble Study, we all sat and ate rambutan and talked, laughed, hung out — then Sorphea asked everyone to leave so we could talk with the girl that arrived during the study.
Her name is Thavry, and she's super sweet, kind-hearted, and speaks English really, really well. She goes to church with Sorphea and our other students. She's studying to be a doctor, and she's just finishing-up her fourth year of school — with four more to go. She lives at the school's dorm, where she helps as a resident assistant, allowing her to only pay $5 each month for rent. She's a full-time student, but she works here and there helping translate for various groups and organizations where her busy schedule allows. This helps her have a little money for food.
As we see with a lot of students, the support from her family has run its course for now. Her parents are farmers from the Provence, and very poor. This was to be her last semester in school so that her parents could spend all of next year saving as much money as possible to hopefully be able to pay for school again. Not only would this take its toll on the educational momentum Thavry has built up over the last four years, it would also mean that when (and if) she was to return to school, she would have to pay a higher tuition amount — and that, alone, could mean the end of her higher education. As long as she maintains her status as a full time student, she is guaranteed her current tuition amount.
As she told us her story and her struggles and fears, tears welled-up in her eyes, and she was just wrought with desperation. We could all feel it. It was as if we could sense her feeling her whole life collapsing around her — she was losing hope, and feeling like the last four years of her life would be wasted, and her dream of being a doctor to help poor Cambodians would be lost. She said Sorphea had told her about our organization, and she just wanted to talk to us and see if we thought we could help. I answered: "we will help you."
When I said this, she broke down and wept like we've never seen a Khmer person weep. Emotions are heavily guarded in Cambodia, even among the younger generation, but she just wept uncontrollably for a few minutes, covering her sweet face, and we could feel the weight of her anxiety and fear lifted. We all had tears in our eyes, and we all felt hopelessness get kicked in the gut. It was a good feeling, that.
And the timing? All God. He knew we would be in Cambodia. He knew we would be at Bible Study. He orchestrated Sorphea telling Thavry about us, and getting her to come to the house while we were there. Just when she was at the end of her rope, He allowed our paths to cross.
She practically floated out of the house, excited to tell her family about this huge relief. We did, too.
Life change. BE-ing here. BE-ing where He needs you to be. BE-ing His hands and feet and attitude. We are so blessed to be able to do this work, and that He's chosen us to walk this path. We simply cannot imagine doing anything other than this.