Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Texas Reunion

This is our Thanksgiving greeting to all our loved ones. We have looked forward to this time for quite a while! After spending a couple days in Dallas with Brit and Greg, we traveled to Jacksonville to see the rest of the Northens! Hope your week is filled with love and laughter. Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Southern California

We are close to ending our driving tour of Southern California. We had a beautiful trip up the Pacific Coast Highway to Pepperdine and walked around the campus. Then up to Fresno to see Jim and Mandy Gardner. What a blessing to see them and hear about their new life in Fresno. God is using Jim and Mandy in so many ways and we pray for their new life on the West Coast. Now we are in Mesquite, Nevada enjoying some time with Rick’s sister and brother-in-law who just moved here from Texas. The drive through the Mohave Desert was interesting with all the colors of the mountains. I think I’m ready to head back to LAX, though, and fly our last leg of our trip home to see the kids! God has created a beautiful world for us to enjoy and family and friends who enrich our lives. (The picture is a view from Pepperdine Law School toward the ocean)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Visiting Mr. Sok

Last week Gail and I were able to visit with the blind man I have told you about before. Last time we saw him, he was working in the rice field planting rice. He also climbs sugar palm trees for a living, if you remember! He asked us to come back after the planting season and tell him more about our Jesus.

Our Christian brother Kimsom, went with us to translate and meet him for the first time. Kimsom preaches for a congregation of over one hundred people just a short distance from Mr Sok's house.

We shared with him how Jesus had so much to offer. He had never heard of Jesus but listened carefully. We told him of God's great love for all people and how he had sent His Son to redeem them. when Mr Sok saw Kimsom's enthusiasm and love for God, he wanted to hear more. We invited him to Church the next day. He came, and I presented a lesson about heaven and how God wants us all to be with Him there. He again showed great interest. We are hopeful that He will continue to learn and perhaps, like so many in the New Testament, bring his whole family to love the Lord.

We leave tomorrow morning for the US. We may only write occasionally over the next few weeks, but hope to have some exciting news very soon now. Thank you all for your interest and your prayers over the last year. We find great strength in knowing you care for us and God's work here in Cambodia.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Putting on Christ

"Änd they both went down into the water." The local swimming pool was pretty busy on the shallow end so we used the deep end. I felt a little like Phillip who went down into the water with the Ethiopian.
I have been studying with Piseth for several months now and he wanted to be baptized earlier but didn't understand the significance of immersion. After our study on Friday, he wanted to be baptized quickly because he was afraid he might die first. It was my privelidge to assist him in the "New Birth".

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dental Days Again

Today was another special day as we headed out to KokaKong Village. One of the young men who used to work as a guard asked Rick to come to his home province to help with some dental needs. Piseth has studied here and worked for quite some time. He now teaches at another school and we are happy for him. His Father started a christian church without any support or money from outsiders. It is quite impressive what they have done in their their small community. After helping them, they gave us a very large bag of bananas and coconut milk to drink. Oh, and by the way, we took the picture of the little girl before Rick took out her tooth!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Vietnam Trip

While Rick was having a good time at the Water Festival, Teo and I slipped off to Vietnam. Teo had not been there yet, so we saw the boat and all the sights of the city. I know most people don’t think of Vietnam as a beach destination, but the country does have many resorts. We were in the country long enough to take a four hour bus ride to Mui Ne beach. It was very relaxing and we had a great time. I think Rick missed me though because he had a bouquet of roses for my return. We were able to worship with
Channy, Sparky, Tom and all of kids. It always hits me how blessed we are as a country to be able to worship freely. I don’t think I’ll ever take our freedoms for granted again.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Water Festival

Cambodians celebrate over 30 national holidays each year. There are three main holidays each year which are held over a three day period. This years Water Festival has just finished which denotes the end of the rainy season.
The city of Phnom Phen has between one or two million inhabitants. This year over one and one half million more came to the capital city for this holiday. You may wonder how there would be enough hotel rooms for everyone? They camp out! Almost all of them who come from the country side sleep in the parks and grassy boulevards. No tent needed. Just grab a spot and set up camp! It’s really interesting!
The highlight of the celebration is the boat races. Over 400 different boats competed this year with between 20 and 100 rowers per boat. Some stand while rowing, some kneel, and some sit down, but they all go really fast.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

New Christians Class

Gail and I have been teaching a class for new Christians on Tuesday nights. Of course all Christians in Cambodia are new Christians! We have between four or five at each class but that makes for open lively discussions. As we will be leaving to go back to States next week, we had a little party at the local Java Coffee shop. As you can see we had a good time.
Dale and Evelyn Lundy from St Louis started this group several months ago. They are planning on coming back next spring and continue this work. We are all praying that they will come soon.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Going Thru Gates

A recent morning devotional led me to Mathew Chapter 7 where Jesus talked about the wide and narrow gates of life. I tried to share to a small group of Christians how we are all on the road of life and we have to make a choice on the direction we will take. We can choose the “high” road that is narrow, or the “low” road that is very wide. I told them that the narrow path was difficult but oh so much better. The low road is wide and easy but it leads to destruction.
I drew them a picture on a white board complete with on and off ramps. The good news is that we can take an exit ramp off the wide way onto the narrow way. The bad news is that we can do the opposite.
Solomon wrote about this path in the book of Proverbs. The first few chapters are full of wise advice to his sons about traveling on the road of life. We will do well to take his advice.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Absentee Voting

I thought it would be easy to vote absentee here. Several had told me you just go to the US Embassy and cast your ballot. Well, yesterday I found out that is not so easy!
I took Doris with me. She is from Iowa and wanted to vote since it would be so “easy”! When we arrived, we found out that you had to have applied for an absentee ballot. If you had, it had to be sent for at least 7 days prior to the election. Since mail takes at least 6 weeks to get here from the states, that would never work.
They did let you vote for the federal offices up for grab in your state. We thought, OK, we will just do that. When we got the ballot, they were all “right in”only ballots! Only one problem for each of us. We didn’t know who was running for office of US Senator or Representative in Iowa or Arkansas! Oh well, maybe next time!
CNN constantly talks about the US elections. From what we hear, a Republican has no chance of winning. Should be interesting.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Coffee To Go?

Not quite Starbucks, huh! Gail brought me an ice coffee to go the other day. I was a little surprised by the cup. Oh well, things are a little different in Asia. We do drink a lot of ice coffee here. It is always hot weather wise so “hot”coffee when you are out is not always best.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Texas Do-Rag

While at the hospital yesterday, there was dozens of mothers waiting for a doctor to examine there precious children. One of the little babies had on a head covering and upon closer inspection, I could make out the word TEXAS.
Well, you know us Texans, I could not pass this one up. I asked Mom if I could take a pic and she said yes. I then told her I was from Texas. I do not think she understood me. I think she thought my name was Texas! Well, anyway, I look forward to visiting my home state in about 3 weeks.