Sewing threads of HopeThe fabulous Moore Family of four from OR came to Cambodia to bless the children of RNhu with sewing machines & teach then a valuable trade skill to utilize for their futures! Janel & Emily, two women interning with RNhu in Thailand, flew over for two of the weeks to join the Moore’s ministry teaching the girls how to sew.

Brett & Kristy are sewing machine reps. They donated 6 new sewing machines from the US for the girls and bought an additional five 2nd hand machine’s at the market for the girls to have machine’s that would work better with their environment living on the Mekong River.

Kristy is part of the International RNhu Trade Skill team that has just formed. The team is in the start up phase of getting an RNhu web store up and running to sell products made by the children of RNhu around the world. Our hope is for the RNhu children that don’t attend university to utilize these trade skills to have a successful transition from high school into a successful career receiving a salary in a future RNhu workshop in Cambodia or elsewhere that is safe earning a fair wage. The Lord is still refining this vision and hope for the children of Remember Nhu…

While the children are still in school they are using the skills they are learning to make products that will be sold on the future RNhu web store. While they practice these skills in their free time, striving to have quality products while they are still in school, the proceeds from these products will go back into a fund to continue the ministry and the profits will go to the house of children that made them. We are still working out the details of having a house savings goal that they can work together to do something they dream of, like visiting Siem Reap or going to the coast for example. We believe that while they are still in school focusing on education, this will give them the opportunity to work together cross culturally, build self-esteem by having their products sold in America, develop good quality work ethic, gain wisdom on small business budgeting and as well as learning a range of trade skills to assure a successful, safe future.

DSCN1178Our dream is to have a future workshop where all of the RNhu children in Cambodia would be able to live, apprentice and earn salary’s after they have achieved the highest level of education they are able. Many of the children are getting close to this transitional phase into becoming successful self-sustainable adults. We are excited to see where the Lord leads with this new RNhu Trade Skill team both Internationally and in Cambodia. The growth and opportunities for children in Cambodia is growing faster than we can keep up. The Lord is moving here and blessing these ministries and new children’s homes! Please join us in prayer for other missionaries to come and serving along side us to help assure these new developments are successful! If you are interested in serving with RNhu in Cambodia, please e-mail: info@remembernhu.org the need is great!

The kids are still on their school break for the summer, so each home is learning for 4-5 days over the course of the three weeks the Moore’s are here. They are teaching each week in a different RNhu children’s home, including the day program on the Mekong for the Vietnamese children. Their last week Brett is also working with the boys home teaching them how to repair the machine’s. They’ve picked up sewing so quickly and are excited to be making pillow cases, headbands & bags! Thank you for being such a blessing to the children of Remember Nhu!

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21 Jul 2013

Back in Cambodia!

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We’re back at last and semi-settled in again. After a 12 hour time change adjustment we are getting close to a regular nights sleep and Makana is at a normal bedtime after starting out at 1 pm. After a two week adjustment, he’s now sleeping from 6pm-6am with 3 naps everyday! His early bedtimes have also gotten us up early in the morning to enjoy the cooler time of day, 6-9 am. We’re able to get a LOT more done in general because we too are getting good rest, largely thanks to the Air Conditioner that our landlords put in before our return. Thank you to Eagle Church members who graciously donated funds to allow the purchase of this AC unit and a Washing Machine!!

AC Unit

AC Unit

Washing Machine!

Washing Machine 

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Baking Granola!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART for FREEDOM proceeds also allowed us to purchase an oven to start teaching the girls how to bake! These normal western appliances feel quite luxurious over here and we are very blessed to be able to have them.

 

Brian has been working nearly all waking hours of the day playing catch up on the finances from the past 6 1/2 months as well as lOT of new developments happening:

- Horizon Community Church of Portland, OR has purchased land two hours south of us where construction of the first home is due to be completed the end of August, Lord Willing! Please pray for the Lord to provide house parents for that home ASAP

- Working with Nhu to train a new house mother for one of the girls homes

- Coordinating two July Short term Mission teams, arrangements for couple on a vision trip, a team visiting for a day & a couple bringing sewing machines to teach the girls how to sew

- Working with the staff & new children in the boys & girls homes here in the city

Ming Sothea our landlord

Ming Sothea our landlord

Never a dull moment since we’ve returned! We’re started attending an new International Church that has a 4pm family service that is relatively close to home and has several small group options in our area! Makana has been enjoying meeting new people everywhere we go and everyone is so excited to hold him that even if we’re at a restaurant we both actually able to eat as the staff all take turns playing with him and helping take care of him while we eat. It takes a village to raise a baby in Cambodia :)

Stay tuned…hoping to actually start blogging weekly again with all of Makana’s consistent napping happening!!

 

We’re back in America! It’s so good to be on Kauai in time to celebrate Christmas with our island family Ohana! We’re walking through some culture shock, but enjoying the cooler weather, island breezes, warm sunshine on sandy beaches and swimming in the ocean.

Brian finished his training last week and starts work after the New Year through a connection with an old co-worker, working with children with Autism while we are here on maternity leave for a few months.

Last week we got to visit the birthing center and got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time! Praise the Lord, he is healthy after traveling, but we learned that we cannot stay at the birthing center for longer than a month, so to prevent having to move around the time the baby is due, we’re staying with our Ohana until we find a place to rent on the island. Please pray for the Lord to work out all of the details according to His will.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from Brian, Beth & Lil’ Sapling Woods!

16 Dec 2012

GG Website Overhaul

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      8 months, 32 weeks!

Our website is in the works of an entire re-design & overhaul to give the Granola Gospel website a New look for the New Year! Operating out of Cambodia made our website get hacked. But fear not! Our website is clean again and has switched hosting sites with increased security to prevent hacks from happening in the future! We apologize for any spam mail that may have been sent to you because of the hack and want to assure you that the increased security should now prevent that from happening again. Our GG Gmail account also has increased security measures to protect it now.

During the overhaul you will see a generic website temporarily and may have already gotten notifications of some of the old blogs as they were re-posted. We still want to keep you updated via blogs until the new site is finished. The website has to be re-built from scratch so we decided it was time for a new look in this process. While the site was blocked for your safety we were not able to blog this past month and a half, but now that it’s safe and live again we wanted to give you an overview of November and the beginning of December via photos:

November

Picnic at the park with our Khmer tutor’s family

Teaching English at the girls home

Mary Schumm from Eagle Church came to visit both homes and deliver all of the sponsor family Christmas Presents!

Celebrating Thanksgiving at the girls home!

Our final Khmer class we learned how to cook two dishes: Tom Yum Saik Moan & Chaa Mesua.

Cultural Dinner Cruise on the Mekong River with Mary. Royal Palace lit up.

Celebrating Christmas with the new RNhu home in the north. Nearly doubled in size since our last visit and is now dividing into separate boys and girls homes this month.

December

A friend invited us to her sister’s Khmer Christian Wedding. A beautiful fusion of Khmer culture. Celebrated in her father’s church.

The Christmas tree is up!

A Christmas gift from one of the girls. Drawn from a photo of Brian & I with the house mother. So sweet!

Last night at the girls home before leaving for the USA

We just finished the journey back to America yesterday and are now on Kauai for Maternity leave! Brian was able to line up work for while we’re back on island for about three months. SO good to be back and felt like we were coming ‘home’. Kauai is where we got married and then lived our first five years of married life together prior to going into the missions field in 2010. So thankful to have time here with Ohana in time to celebrate the Holidays!

ART for FREEDOM has new photography donated by the Fall Featured Artist: Jessie Marie Studio! To view the beautiful photography you can visit the Featured Artist gallery here or you can read more about Jessie and the inspiration for here work on the ART for FREEDOM community blog. All of the proceeds from ART for FREEDOM go to Granola Gospel’s ministry serving with Remember Nhu in Cambodia.

Jessie and I, Beth went to college together and became great friends over many all-nighters in the Graphic Design computer labs. Our love for Jesus, art and the outdoors have kept us close despite the many miles between us over the years. Jessie, her husband Jarrod and their two beautiful children are such a blessing in our lives and have been partnered with Granola Gospel’s ministry serving with Remember Nhu from the beginning. We are honored to have Jessie’s photography featured for sale on ART for FREEDOM and she is also raising awareness locally in her community with her work on display now thru December 31st at the Museum of the Grand Prairie if you are in the Champaign, IL area or passing through!

Last week, I had a wonderful dream that I was sleeping in a hammock on a boat floating along the river. It was so peaceful until I heard pounding on our windows that made Brian and I bolt upright in bed. The monsoon rain outside had lulled us into a deep sleep only to wake up to see my shoes floating by the bed. Brian jumped out of bed and into water over his ankles. We both looked at each other in a haze and ventured out to see how to stop it from continuously flowing directly into the house from the pond in the back that had flooded from the hard rain. The beautiful lotus pond out back is really a swamp full of the sewage runoff from the city. We have a ‘mote’ wall around our house that is supposed to prevent the water from coming inside, but the plugs didn’t hold.

We quickly unplugged the power strip and picked up anything on the ground. It was a strange feeling to assess that we couldn’t stop the water from coming in, grab anything that we deemed ‘valuable’ quickly and get out. The laptop & hard drives, my DSL Camera, our passports, wallets, and a small pile of important ‘life’ paperwork. Good to know what’s really important can fit into a backpack.

Thankfully we flipped the main power switch off right before the water level reached the electrical outlets. Standing in water with 230 volts of electricity running through it could have ended very badly. After moving the refrigerator out to hopefully save our only big electrical appliance, we sloshed to sleep at our landlords home for the night. The next 48 hours was a blur of bleach, vinegar, baking soda, scrubbing, washing and disinfecting everything. Praise God our treasures are stored in heaven! In the end, we didn’t lose anything. My ancient laptop that was floating inside the laptop bag in the water even managed to survive minus the charger that was already fried anyway. An entire power strip that was fully submerged still continues to work like a champ powering the fan that actually seams to be working better!

The beauty of the flooding is that it brought us closer to our landlords/sisters. They jumped in bailing the water, helping us clean, giving us their beds and fed us while we were too overwhelmed to function. Because it was a Holiday, it was the most time we’d all been able to spend together since moving into this house five months ago. Instead of giving up and looking for another place to live, together we worked out a solution to build the wall higher in areas and put in better sealed secure plugs to prevent our house from flooding again.

The flooding was over the Pchum Ben Buddhist festival when most of the girls in the home had gone to visit family for a few days. A few days after our house flooded, we went with the house mom and the four remaining girls for a day retreat to a nearby province for a riverfront picnic in a bamboo hut above the water with boat rides along the river. It was here that I returned to that place of peace that I had been in the midst of dreaming about, this time actually hanging in a hammock in the hut above the water where we enjoyed lunch and later climbed down a ladder and into a paddle boat that smoothly floated along the river. Life had restored it’s balance once again.

We are definitely on a journey of the Lord refining us in this country. The more we let go of the ‘stuff’ that happens in life here, the more room we make for sharing God’s love.

Pchum Ben Festival is celebrated from October 1st to the 16th and is a Cambodian Buddhist festival, translated to ‘Ancestors Day’. It is observing the gates of hell opening.

This Sunday starts the main observance of this ceremony, the 14th-16th. They believe their ancestors spirits or ghost are especially active during this time, coming from straight from hell to haunt them.

So, Buddhists give offerings to the monks for their ancestors spirits hoping to appease these spirits earning merit and favor for their ancestors and themselves; to have better lives and not be tormented by them. The Khmer Buddhists are doing this not out of reverence for their ancestors, but out of extreme fear.

Khmer Buddhists acknowledge the spiritual realm on many levels, generally giving offering to ward off evil spirits or appease them. Unfortunately, we have seen a few unfortunate deaths on the roads since arriving in the missions field. Culturally instead of trying to help, people are afraid to be around people that they believe to be dying or dead, no matter if they think they could be helped or not. They are afraid of people’s spirits after they die and so stand idly by watching from a distance.

Beth and I seem to have taken rotations of a good night rest since the beginning of Oct. Being awakened in the very early morning around 4 am to the Monks chanting to the spirits and we rise with an energized desire to pray and read the Word of God. It is a time of Spiritual Warfare. We rest in the peace of Christ’s authority over the evil spirits of this country.

Please pray for the Khmer people as they live in extra fear during this time:

  • that they will know the power of Jesus name to protect them from the evil spiritual realm.
  • that they will sense and feel the initiating love of our Father and the gracious gift of Christ.
  • that they will stop worshiping false idols and pursuing self-centeredness.

We pray in Jesus’ name protection over the children and staff of R-Nhu. Over our family, ministry and all of the people in Cambodia. Protection and Peace!

We had a chance to go to Phnom Penh’s House of Prayer, again last week. As one lady shared her vision/dream she had of this city, that resonated with the spiritual climate of this festival; she could see this country covered in a dark black cloud that was suffocating the people of this land. God then gave her the vision of how prayer and worship acted like a helium balloon, lifting the dark cloud higher and higher. Giving the Kingdom ministries of the Lord room to breathe and continue to pour out God’s love.

Will you join us in prayer to help us lift that darkness in the Kingdom of Cambodia?

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of interviewing children in near and far provinces before the new school year begins! We’ve been flooded with families applying to have their children join RNhu homes, all by word of mouth. The majority of Cambodians are living in poverty and unable to provide basic needs including education. We’ve been discerningly praying through a lot of situations to determine which kids were truly at-risk of the sex trade.

Many families will send their children to work in the city alone, under the age of ten if they are unable to afford for them to go to school. Once they start working, they feel the pressure and cultural obligation to provide for their family. Unfortunately without the education to read or write they are limited to jobs in harsh conditions of manual labor or become enslaved through debt. Because they have come from poverty and are uneducated they are culturally viewed with little value as a human being, which is why we are finding children sold for just $25. An amount that won’t even provide for a family for one month!

We keep learning about a lot of children in this situation who are being abused and preyed upon by traffickers and people with money and power. Our mission with RNhu is preventing injustice of children in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The hard part is that the majority of families are in terrible circumstances of some sort, that’s the Khmer life here. It is heartbreaking to not be able to help them all in some way, but the truth is we have to pray for discernment to help as many at-risk children as we can, as fast as we can.

We are painfully learning just how FAST we have to act, within 24 hours children have been sold by their parent’s when we have been informed too late about their situation. Sold by their desperate parent’s and becoming child labor slaves before we can get to them. Maybe it’s the mama bear hormones kicking into high gear, but trying to wrap my mind around that is SO overwhelmingly unbearable. We have to see them one at a time and Praise God for each one that we get to prevent from such horrors.

It’s been a hard month. A time to rejoice! A time to cry. A time to keep fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves! One at a time. One look at the smile on the faces of the children who’s innocence is preserved in the homes keeps us going.

Jeremiah 22:3 (NIV) ‘This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.’

 

So many changes happening so fast in the new RNhu home in Cambodia! Praise God the house parent’s there have great discernment and connections to help prevent twelve new children from being sold into the sex trade. We are learning that we have to act fast in this province,  by the time the house parents become aware of children that are in extreme at-risk situations they often have less than 24 hours to make a decision before the child will be sold or trafficked across the nearby border.

A nine hour bus ride and 2 hour car ride the following day brought us to a distant province. We were able to share life with this home for a few days in their small simple village. They found a great home to rent with a large front yard for the kids to play. The boys are upstairs and the girls are downstairs in a bedroom until the home gets large enough to split into a separate boys and girls home.

They had recently moved into this home and had yet to purchase many supplies to get them settled. We brought Lida along to help us with translation and she went out with the house mother to get beds, mosquito nets, pillows, fans, blankets & small kitchen supplies and appliances. The kids start school this week, so we also got a couple more bicycles so everyone is now able to get to and from school. The kids were SO excited to get their new beds set up and thankful to be sleeping without the mosquito’s. It is a LOT rainier in this province and the house dad had been hospitalized for Dengue Fever for the entire previous week! Praise God he is now ok!

Since this home is also on a larger plot of land in the country side, they are able to raise ducks, chickens and have a vegetable garden. They eat the chickens for meat and the duck eggs. RNhu is looking for land in the area to allow them to build on and have land permanently. We are praying about transportation options for this home as they currently only have bicycles and use motodups (motorcycle taxis) for market runs. The market and school are pretty close, but their church is in a village 10 mi. away. The roads have horrible mud holes during the rainy season that they walk through right now to get to the main road for public transport.

We were able to go church Sunday morning where the house mother had started a church plant at a home in a small village nearby! Her dream is to someday have a church there for all of the villagers and surrounding villages to attend together. She is quite the Evangelist and after giving her life to the Lord continued to tell every house in that village, door to door, about the love of Jesus. Many of the people in this area are either Khmer Rouge Soldiers or descendents of the Khmer Rouge soldiers. She said everyone in this village has come to know Jesus and so she is moving onto the next village to continue evangelizing!

The Lord’s timing for us to go just happened to be during the birthday month of both the house mother & house father, who are brother and sister. So of course we had a birthday party! Most of the kids had never eaten or seen a cake before and the birthday girl/house mother instigated an all out frosting war! We all had a blast playing games, singing and dancing. The kids in this home are simply amazing, so full of love and joy of Jesus! Truly a blessing to be able to travel to spend time with this amazing new RNhu family home.

 

06 Sep 2012

Hello world!

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