Sains Overseas

Why we are here


One of the privileges of my job at Asian Hope is getting to help meet the educational needs of children in communities where few people know about Jesus.

Did you know that only 34% of the poorest children in Cambodia are enrolled in their age appropriate grade in primary school?1 Few of these students acquire basic literacy and math skills, and some drop out as early as 4th or 5th grade. Many children are dropping out of primary school because they need to work or because the family cannot afford education costs.

Asian Hope’s Village Development Program has established catch up schools in three (soon to be four) communities around Phnom Penh. These catch up schools help unschooled and underschooled children complete their education, receive life essentials, and break away from a life of poverty.

One example is Rithy who is 9 years old and had stopped going to school. He lives in extreme poverty with his father and four siblings. Since Rithy joined the catch up school, he is gradually improving in reading, writing and math and he is now performing at the first grade level. Rithy, like the other 600+ children in the program, also receives hope for the future. Through Bible stories, songs, prayer, and daily support and encouragement from his teachers, he hears about the good news of Jesus Christ and develops character and self-confidence from a Christian worldview.

Rithy. Photo credit: Kirsten Belloni

This is one of the reasons why we are here in Cambodia. God had burdened our hearts for the incredibly common hardship, suffering, and injustice that takes place every day around the world. We heard Him calling us to join the work He was already doing. With this opportunity at Asian Hope, we get to help meet practical needs as well as share the good news about the true God, revealed in Jesus Christ.

Would you like to help? Check out Asian Hope’s 1 Child 1 Year page to find out more.

1Sobrado, C. et al. 2014. Where have all the poor gone? : Cambodia poverty assessment 2013. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.

Praise and a Prayer


PRAISE:  We LEASED THE HOUSE!  I have been stressed and crazy concerned about the process of leasing our house and finding tenants and working with management companies. This kind of stress and worry is beyond frustrating because you know you can do nothing to alter the outcome.  So, we were able to rent our house to some friends from church.  It is a great situation for them and us.  What a blessing.  Thank you LORD! Sorry I worried so much!

PRAISE:  We are moving right along in the planning and are now implementing much of those plans into action.  We purchased our plane tickets to Cambodia. We will leave Monday, September 23 at 12 noon!  Boxes are slowly being filled and packed and ready to move to storage. Letters are being written and sent out.  Meetings with groups to discuss the work of IJM in Cambodia are happening. We are greatly trying to guard our hearts from getting overwhelmed with the lists and tasks, thus losing sight of the reason we are going and the GOD who is calling us there! Lord keep us grounded in your calling for all of us!

PRAYER:  Speaking of that before mentioned “stress and worry,” we are still working diligently to raise our support for our trip.   We are at approximately 40% of our goal.  This includes one time donations and monthly pledges.  If you would like to support the work of IJM in Cambodia here is the link to the IJM Intern and Fellowship Page  Thank you LORD in advance for the provision!

Praise the Lord His plans are better than mine!  No matter how hard I work and plan and prepare at the end of the day it is Him who makes things happens, orchestrates the details and then gets all the glory!

Pencil or Ink


So, this update should have been available about two days ago. However, this is the first day we have a working computer!  The promise I had given to many of you and to myself too was to blog as soon as possible.  Well, now four days into our trip here we are!

The drama began during the last leg of our flight to Phnom Penh.  Our computer blacked out and made beeping noises and began to heat up.  I am no computer genius, but I know that is not a good thing!  Of course Chris researched to find it was the RAM that had gone out. Thus began our adventure in Cambodia!

We have spent the last three days going to every iOne (apple store) in town. Asking in broken English and Khmer  “Can you fix this and where is the service center?”  We were sent from one store to another across every part of town and even followed the website to a location that no longer exists.  As we were on the hunt to fix the computer, we of course had other appointments and meetings.

Some things we did in the first couple of days:

**We had the opportunity to go visit the IJM office where Chris will be working in the fall.  We were taken out to lunch by interns that showed us around to see grocery stores, pharmacies, and such.

**We had an appointment with a real estate agent who showed us some housing options.  These options were way out of our price range, but it was a good experience and Chris was able to ask many questions about the rental process and systems in Cambodia.

**We had dinner with Christa and Ben at a fabulous little hole-in-the wall pizza place!

The appointments and lunch dates and dinner dates were all written in ink.  These things were not subject to change.  They were  booked.  We were relying on other people to be there and they were relying on us to show up!

The computer issue was nowhere in my schedule, pencil or ink.  The agenda we had set up for our “down time” in between all these appointments was changed drastically due to the fact that we were touring the city on our own with one goal: FIX THE COMPUTER so I can post to the blog.

In the hunt for apparently the only place in the city that could fix the computer, we had adventures and experiences that we would have missed had we stuck to our original agenda.  Most agendas are written in ink.  Those things in ink cannot change.  Most things that are in ink should really be written in pencil.  Pencil can be erased, edited, and added to.  When you try to write the schedule in all ink you can be setting yourself for disappointments and frustrations.

The rest of the story of the computer:  We finally found an iCenter store (another apple dealer)!  They had the RAM for $242.  OWWW!  No thank you!

We left the store and Chris looks up to see a random computer shop next door.   Guess what?  They had the same RAM for $40.  We were able to install it on the spot and the computer booted right up!

There are the things you plan ahead, and then there are the surprises along the way that lead you to new adventures, new parts of town, and even to a random computer shop!

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