Sains Overseas

October 2014 Newsletter and Support Update

October16

Hello from Cambodia!

Just a couple of weeks ago marked our one-year anniversary since moving to Cambodia. It is funny how it seems like both forever and just a moment since we left the U.S. If you haven’t heard already, we have extended our stay here through June 2015.

Being here for a year has opened our eyes to new ways that people experience life. We have seen firsthand how many people struggle daily for food and education for their kids. We have seen lives change overnight when close friends have unexpected medical issues or get beaten and robbed. We’ve also seen local believers transformed by the Gospel. I’m inspired by the struggle and resilience of the Cambodian people and am reminded daily of the privilege I experience just because of the time and place where I was born.

In my work this year at IJM Cambodia I have helped to develop monitoring and evaluation systems, participated in strategic planning, and grown close to many bright and talented professionals. God is using my professional background and experience for His work in the fight against child sex trafficking! Check out Kanya’s story to get a glimpse into our work.

Looking toward the months ahead, I will continue to work with IJM Cambodia as we expand our casework into new areas of injustice and evolve our strategies against sex trafficking. I will also continue learning the Khmer language and networking to see what God may have in store for our future. The kids will finish out the school year at Logos International School, Jen will take care of the homefront and remain active in the school parents’ association, and Susan will teach a variety of classes and age levels across two campuses with Asian Hope.

Our first year was fully funded through generous one-time and monthly support. Thank you so much to those who have already given and continue to give! At this time Chris, Jen, and Susan all need to raise additional support for our extension through June 2015. Would you consider giving to help us meet our goal? The easiest way to give is through International Outreach Ministries, which is one of our sending partners. Click the Paypal Donate button to make a tax-deductible one-time or monthly donation. After you click “Review Donation and Continue”, you can type our names in a box that says “For the ministry of”.

Jen’s Corner

It has been a year of ups and downs. The ups have far outweighed the downs! Cultural changes have been met with excitement, fear, joy and any other emotion you can think of. Hannah, Caleb and Jacob have enjoyed meeting new friends and have embraced our “new normal.” Over the past year life has become “normal.” This is our home for now and we know that God has us here for His purposes.

I have had the opportunity to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord. He has given me peace in the transitions and has blessed me with new relationships with fellow expats. A healthy support system both in country and at home in the States are essential to peace and joy in our work and lives here. I am thankful to the Lord for the work he has done in my family and me.

Update from Susan

This past year has been a challenging yet rewarding year for me as a teacher. I have been equipped by God to teach like never before. Everyday I go between two campuses helping children (K-10th) with learning difficulties or just struggling to catch up. This year I also teach science and social studies for Kinder through 2nd grade at Logos. The phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind. It is such a joy to see these students’ desire to learn and perseverance. For a peak inside my schools, take a look at these websites – asianhopeschool.org and logoscambodia.org. It has been an absolute joy being at Logos this year with Hannah, Caleb, and Jacob. All this being said, I am a happy, fulfilled teacher but often very tired!

Prayer Requests

  • That God would grow us deeper in our relationship with Him and with other Cambodians and expats that He has put in our path
  • That God would continue to lead IJM Cambodia into new opportunities to protect victims of injustice and vulnerable people
  • That God would faithfully provide the financial support we need over the next nine months and prepare us for the next step
  • Susan – for focus and efficient use of time in my work, to show God’s love and joy to each student, and to be in His will all the time.

 

 

Cambodia Roofs

Kids Tuk Tuk

Mimi and Jacob Asian Hope Teachers

August 2014 Update

August3

Hello from Cambodia!

Our major focus at IJM Cambodia this year is long-term change in the justice system to protect poor people from violence. In my role, I’m helping develop our strategy to sustain system reform gains. Through activities that support our partners in the community, police, and social services we will help keep pressure on traffickers and protect vulnerable people. Please pray that our team will recognize strengths and weaknesses in the justice system and opportunities to support our partners over the coming weeks and months.

Recently we hosted a training to teach pastors about God’s heart for the vulnerable and to encourage them to seek justice in their own communities. Anti-trafficking police attended to explain how the pastors can report crimes in their area. Please pray that God will use the Church to spread truth and love throughout Cambodia. Read more here.

Jen’s Corner

Is it August already? School starts August 5th. Hannah is in 3rd grade, Caleb is in 1st, and my little one is starting Pre-K. The kiddos are excited and a little apprehensive about the new school. Hannah’s new bestie is in her class so there will be at least one familiar face on the first day! Caleb is Caleb and will be just fine! I hope Jacob’s teacher is ready for Jacob “don’t mind if I do” Sain.

There will also be an opportunity for me to get involved at school. Having taught school before, I know the importance of parent support to teachers and other staff members. I look forward to using my passion to serve the educators who are helping to change lives.

Update from Susan

I’m back in the Kingdom of Wonder (Cambodia). I enjoyed visiting with everyone while stateside and apologize to those I didn’t get to see. I didn’t realize how crazy it was going to be. I am back at school now. It’s so busy already, and I’m looking forward to a great year. I will be teaching science for kindergarten, first, and second grades at Logos. This is a passion of mine and will be such a joy. I’m also working with a group of 10th graders that I worked with last year. They need extra support because they are ESL. I love them and they work so hard. Additionally, I will be continuing with several autistic children and many that just need learning support. It will be a very busy and rewarding year. The best news is that I will be at Logos with all three grandkids. What a joy to get watch them learn and grow. Blessings to all.

Prayer Requests

  • For wisdom and opportunities for IJM Cambodia to support our partners over the coming weeks and months
  • That God will use the Church to spread truth and love throughout Cambodia
  • For patience and skill for Jen to study and practice the Khmer language starting this month

4th of July

Family Dinner

Mimi at the Airport Bayon Temple

May 2014 Update and Announcement

May25

Hello from Cambodia!

Our major focus at IJM Cambodia this year is long-term changes in the justice system to protect poor people from violence. I’ve discovered that God’s call to serve the oppressed often happens behind a desk, in meetings, and writing reports. But just as we see God’s hand in rescuing and restoring individual victims, we also see Him at work when government officials choose to protect the most vulnerable in their communities.

God is using my time at IJM to provide project management support to our system transformation projects, develop our monitoring and evaluation capability, and mentor national staff. It is an honor to work alongside such bright, professional, and committed individuals!

The announcement is that we believe God is leading us to stay in Cambodia longer to continue the work. God has given us the desire and the opportunity to live here and work with IJM through the end of next school year. Jen, Susan, and the kids are excited to stay here, and my ability to contribute at IJM will only grow over the coming months. I will remain a volunteer with IJM, so please consider whether you would like to continue or begin supporting us financially.

Jen’s Corner

On the home front, things are going great! We have a house helper that comes a few hours every morning. We are working on English and Khmer together. It is a slow process but we are both patient and forgiving of each other’s mistakes and mispronunciation.

The kids are all happy that we are extending our stay in Cambodia. It will give them the opportunity to develop deeper relationships with friends and hopefully be an example and encouragement to the non-believers in our community. Recently Hannah said, “Mom, do you know there are people who don’t love Jesus?” Our response, “This why we are in Cambodia, to share Jesus through our words and actions!” Hannah, “Oh, that makes sense.”

Our experience in Cambodia has definitely made us closer as a family. Even through spiritual and emotional challenges God has blessed each of us with His peace, and we know this is home now.

Update from Susan

It almost seems impossible that another school year is at a close. I praise God that He would use me to be a part of His work. My 9th graders rocked their finals! The 2nd and 3rd graders have a much more solid footing in phonics. The boys in the two behavior groups understand and are consistently making good choices. My autistic friend is participating in everything! In a small snapshot, this is the hand of God!

I am blessed to have a time of refreshment this summer. I will be returning for a month to the U.S. to visit my grandchildren and (oh, yes) the rest of my family! This is the hard part of being away, not being with my precious granddaughters. God has graciously provided me with peace in this situation. So I will bathe in every moment of happiness with them, recharge my batteries, and come back to Cambodia ready to see God’s handiwork in the lives of our students.

Jen and Hannah

Sihanoukville - Mimi and Kids

Jens Birthday Susan and Chris

March 2014 Update

March24

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for 6 months. We when first arrived in late September, it felt like we were starting from square one in so many ways. New country on the other side of the world, new language, new ways of shopping, buying food, and getting around. Now that six months have passed, we have found our bearings and settled in at home, school, and work.

My role at IJM has grown considerably. I am developing a framework for monitoring and evaluating our justice system reform programs. The framework will help us better understand how our program activities improve the lives of vulnerable people and strengthen the local justice system. In addition to this, I am attending workshops with government and international stakeholders, contributing to program design and planning, and working closely with national staff to mentor and support them.

Jen’s Corner

Hannah and Caleb are doing great at school! They enjoy playing with friends from the neighborhood, playing dodge ball in our front patio area, and just running around like kids do! Hannah had her first official play date with some girls from her class. After her friends left she said, “That wasamazing, we have to do this again soon!”

Jacob and I have developed a closer bond in our time at home. We work on letters, numbers, and shapes throughout the week. He is like me and can’t wait to get out of the house, so we look forward to Wednesday play group every week.

Update from Susan

Learning support at Asian Hope and Logos is heading toward a strong finish for the school year. I have fallen in love with all my students and now have a vested interest in their education and success. The elementary students are progressing nicely in their reading. These are all English language learners who just need more time and help with English. My autistic student has assimilated beautifully with the class. But my happiest success these days is with my 9th graders. We have conquered a paper on the theory of atomic structure, written a persuasive letter to the government advocating for the rights of garment workers, read Romeo and Juliet, tackled the book of Judges and are writing a major paper on various subjects about rights and responsibilities of important events in history. This is giving me a run for my money. I now am “hosting” 2 boys’ behavior groups. Oh, those rascals!

march2014-1

march2014-2

march2014-4 march2014-3

Five Weeks and Counting

August18

Pray

  • For Hannah and Caleb who will start school soon and say goodbye to their friends in September
  • For Susan’s house to lease
  • For Chris, Jen, and Susan to have consistent time with the Lord and abide in him
  • For International Justice Mission who are developing a complex case against a powerful former military officer (read more)

Five weeks and counting! On September 23rd we will be on a plane headed to our new life (for a year) in Cambodia. It is exciting, chaotic, and a little bit overwhelming, but we know the One who goes before us!

Here are just a few highlights from the last six weeks

  • We spoke with 8 LifeGroups and shared our journey with 121 Church and New Hope Church
  • A family from our LifeGroup at 121 Church will lease our house for the year!
  • Many people came out to Feedstore BBQ in Southlake to support us at a fundraiser event
  • Chris and Jen are at 72% of their fundraising goal. Susan is at 95% of her fundraising goal.
  • God had different plans for Susan in Cambodia. She will now be working as a learning support teacher with Asian Hope.

Over the coming weeks we will wind down life in Texas, Chris will attend a one-week training in Washington, DC, and then we will embark on our next chapter in Cambodia. We look forward to joining the many people that God has already called to Cambodia in his mission to make himself known among all nations.

June 2013 Newsletter

July2

Phnom Penh Riverside

Pray

  • Chris and Jen to continue to gain strength in the Lord and not be distracted by the ever-growing to-do lists
  • That we will trust God to provide the funds for our expenses (mostly Jen)
  • The kids will grow more excited and will have peace as we begin the transition process
  • For the work of rescue and restoration that God is already doing in Cambodia

Wow! What a month! Let’s try something different. We are going to give a recap of June in the the lives of the Sains starting from the end!

June ended with an amazing Sending Team meeting at our church, 121 Community Church. Our sending team is a group of wonderful people who are invested in our lives and are devoted to helping us in all aspects of our preparation for our move, including organizing fundraisers, helping pack our house and most importantly praying for our family!

Caleb’s 5th birthday was June 26th! We celebrated with a large swim party at our house, a ride on the Forest Park train and some quality family time! It came up a few times that he will have his 6th birthday in Cambodia. The emotions were mixed: excitement for the new adventure and sadness about leaving our friends.

We (Chris and Jen) made our journey to the other side of the world during the second week in June. This was an amazing time! The purpose of our trip was to experience and research our new home for the next year. We spent about half of our time in the “downtown” area of Phnom Penh. We visited the IJM office, met with Chris’ coworkers, and joined them in their daily prayer time. We visited grocery stores, clinics and even computer repairs stores. **See our website for that story! The second half of our trip was spent in Toul Kork where the kids will attend school and where we will live. We visited with friends, looked into housing options, and visited more grocery stores! The Lord made it abundantly clear that we are called to Cambodia. His grace covered us the entire trip and He opened our eyes to see the amazing possibilities ahead.

As the months are ticking down we trust that God will lead the way! *as long as we continue to trust and follow His leading*

May 2013 Newsletter

May27

Phnom Penh

For those of you who haven’t heard yet: The Sain Family is moving to Cambodia in September. This is only for one year. Chris has a fellowship with International Justice Mission to help design programs that strengthen local law enforcement and judicial systems.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!! The verse that rolls over in my head often lately. The Sains are hitting it hard getting ready for our move overseas.

The move to Cambodia is now only FOUR months away. Seeing that in writing makes me realize now more than ever how much I must rely on the Lord and not my own strength.

Here is an update of some the happenings and things we are working on right now:

School

All three kids will be ending their school year soon. Caleb and Jacob, finishing year 2 and year 4 in preschool and Hannah, finishing 1st grade! Incredible how fast they are growing up!

Pray – the kids will finish strong and not be sad about leaving friends

School in Cambodia

We are happy to say, the kids will be starting school in the Fall at Asian Hope International School. We may keep them at home for a while when we first get to Cambodia, but if you know our kids, you know they are going to be wanting to meet new friends and learn new things as soon as possible!

Pray – for our kiddos and the children they will meet.

Sending Team

Our sending team will be ramping up and begin monthly meetings soon. They will be working on ways to support our family before we leave for Cambodia and while we are in the field. If you would like more information about how you can get involved you can contact Diana Richards at drichards80@gmail.com

Pray – for the team, that they can overcome any potential scheduling conflicts and find quality times to meet.

LifeGroup Visits

We have had some wonderful opportunities to speak at various life groups within 121 and with friends and family. If you are in a LifeGroup or know of a group of individuals who you think would like to hear about the work God is doing in Cambodia, please feel free to contact Jen at sainsoverseas@gmail.com

Pray – for those who have heard what God is doing and Cambodia and those who will soon be learning more to have open and receptive hearts.

Cambodia or Bust

Chris and Jen are taking an exploratory trip to Cambodia the second week in June. This will be Jen’s first time in country! Chris one time expressed (jokingly) concern that when I get to Cambodia I might change my mind about moving. You know me, when I decide something, there is no turning back or changing my mind!

We are excited about our trip. We will be spending 7 days on the ground, looking for housing, touring the kids’ new school, exploring the city, visiting various historic sites including the memorials of brutal events that occurred 30 years ago (these may not be appropriate for our children to tour when they get there) and really just getting to spend time in the culture that we will be diving into in the fall.

Pray – for safe travel (20+ hours in the air), Mimi – taking care of our crew at home for the entire time, Jen’s heart to be as prepared as possible for the culture shock that will inevitably occur, Chris to see what God is doing in Cambodia and how our family will be a part of it

IJM News

IJM Cambodia: 3 Brothels Closed, Sex Trafficking Survivors Now Free

IJM Cambodia recently conducted a rescue operation in partnership with the Cambodian National Police. This is the team Chris will be joining in September as a program manager!

Fundraising

We are still working diligently to raise funds for our move to Cambodia. As you can imagine it is not inexpensive for family of 5 to move overseas, set up house and fund a household budget for a year. We trust that the Lord has called us and HE will provide exactly what we need to get there and serve the people he has called us to reach.

If you would like to financially support our family, one time or monthly donations can be given through IJMs website.

Support a Fellow
Select Chris Sain from the pull down menu.

Or you may contact Jen at sainsoverseas@gmail.com for IJM mailing information.

Subscribe to our mailing list