Sains Overseas

January 2014 Update

January12

The work for justice continues in Cambodia.  In December, IJM hosted a legal workshop with high-level police, court, and ministry officials from all over the country.  The workshop was an opportunity to educate many key stakeholders about the need for undercover investigation techniques.  I spent a lot of time helping the team prepare for the workshop.  We are thanking God for his hand over these past few weeks and trusting him to carry this forward in ways that are much bigger than us in 2014.  Read more about the workshop at http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/undercover-underused-ngo.

Jen’s Corner

Never a dull moment at the Sain house!  Christmas in Cambodia was full of differences and excitement.  We were able to maintain some of our family traditions and at the same time make new traditions, Cambodia Style.  The big present at our house was a “blow-up style” kiddie swimming pool for our front patio.  In true Hannah Grace style, she fell in the pool her first time out on her new bike!

The day after Christmas we all left for the beach for a long overdue break.  This was the first time (ever) at the beach for the kids. They had a blast splashing in the water and building sandcastles.  Just as much as the beach they loved watching the Disney Channel in the hotel room.  We are ready get back to school and reestablish our family routines.  With every passing day we become more comfortable (and stable) in our new home.

Update from Susan

I enjoyed the holiday rest with the family.  Now things are back in full swing at school and I am busier than ever.  I am teaching 10th grade English in addition to my other responsibilities.  It is quite a challenge.  I pray I can be effective for the Lord in all I do.

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November 2013 Update

November28

Greetings from Cambodia!

I can’t believe we have been here for two months! Things are busy at IJM Cambodia. My primary assignment is to help develop tools and processes to monitor and evaluate our work. This helps us assess where things are going well and where there are still gaps to address. This work is so important to ensure that our efforts lead to lasting, sustainable change that protects women and children. It has been great to get to know our amazing staff and see all of the work they have done over the past ten years to help strengthen the public justice system.

In other news, IJM Cambodia recently had our biggest operation of the year. Police raided two locations simultaneously to capture criminals and rescue girls from brothels that were fronted as massage parlors. This operation required a lot of prayer and perseverance to overcome many obstacles. Read more about the story on the IJM website – IJM Cambodia: Girls Trafficked to Two Brothels in the Heart of the City, Rescued in One Night.

Jen’s Corner
What a whirlwind last two months! The family is settling into a more “normal” rhythm. The household has a predictable and of course flexible schedule. Mornings, school/work, home, homework, baths, books, bed! The three bedtime rituals. At times the kids ask to skip the first B – Bath. Then we remind them we live in Cambodia and as soon as you walk outside you need another shower! Our part-time house helper has helped to alleviate some of my stress. I have a full time job with all the kiddos so it is nice to have help to do some of the daily work. I feel blessed to be settling in to our “new normal.” God has given me an unexplainable peace. Peace from God alone!

Update from Susan
School has been very busy and challenging but filled with purpose and reward. I am seeing more and more students. The challenge is keeping track of 16+ students’ individual needs from grade 2-8 and also teaching 14 students in grades 9-10 in a writing class, along with a midday tuk tuk ride to another campus. There’s never a dull moment at school as well as at home. I’m loving being in an active household. I’ve just finished getting my room, my sanctuary, all comfortable.

Prayer Requests

  • For the victims from the recent operation that continue to receive crisis care and our staff who are supporting them through this difficult time
  • For continued adjustment to our life overseas. Adapting to a new cultural environment can be difficult.
  • For Susan as she goes on staff retreat this Thursday – Saturday. For refreshment and building relationships with colleagues.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! We are thankful for your support and partnership with us in God’s work of justice in Cambodia.

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Two Weeks In

October8

We have been in Cambodia for almost two weeks!  Since we arrived we leased a house, visited several malls and stores, tried new restaurants, visited the IJM office, visited the schools, and attended church for the first time.  Jet lag was difficult for everyone for the first few days, but thankfully it is behind us now!

Overall things are as good, if not better, than expected.  We are starting to get settled in the new environment and culture, and the kids are pretty well behaved.  “Mimi’s Club” is a daily treat of screen time and projects if the kids take a good nap and are well behaved.  Jacob is our biggest challenge – his strong-willed defiance is turned up to 11.  But on the bright side, he potty trained himself within the first couple of days in country.  He has known how to use the potty for a while now, but just now decided that he would like to use it on a regular basis.  So that is a blessing – far better than our expectation of having him in diapers for the next year!

 

Update from Susan

So much has changed except our love and trust in the Lord. It’s one thing to say “I trust in the Lord and love Him with all my heart.” It’s quite another to live it in my heart and cling to His promises. What an eye opener it has been for me. The culture shock is almost too much to explain. I thought I was prepared. Boy was I wrong. With all that said, things are actually very good. There are good and not so good times but I wouldn’t trade it. I’m excited to start work. It’s going to be a joy to be in school again and to work with students that need help. I pray I will make a difference in each life as God has planned for them. It will be nice to talk with coworkers about educational ideas. I have thoroughly enjoyed being with the family. Chris, Jen, and the kids have made all the difference. I’m glad I didn’t have to do it by myself. They have made me feel most welcome and in a family of six, there’s never a dull moment!

This week Chris will begin full-time at IJM. Susan and the big kids will start school. And at home we will finish buying household essentials and hopefully move into our new place. Thank you so much for your faithful support and prayers for our family. We could not be here without you. We look forward to the work that God is already preparing for us here in Cambodia.

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