Cough, cough, sneeze, sneeze... Here I am dusting off the keyboard to open up this site again and say hello.
You guys, I could make excuses, but seriously, its just life. I found it funny that my last post (2 1/2 years ago... told you, DUSTY keyboard!) was about slowing down.
I did. I tried. I mean, I still am trying. But with 3 kids and my silly hand that keeps raising itself when it hears things like, "Who can help with ________?" I just can't seem to find a free moment anywhere.
Who's with me? Anyone? We moved to Kansas this summer and I got about 95% unpacked, which in itself was astounding, but the rest has just been sitting in my hallway. For months. Honestly, I don't think it'll ever get unpacked at this point. I don't even care. I think if a thief came in the middle of the night and stole those 3 boxes that are still sitting there, I'd hug them and send them away with some cookies or something. I just can't do it.
But I have good reasons! Besides laundry and dishes and all the household chaos, I've been working on something super exciting.
It is, of course, about Cambodia!
That's what started this whole journaling adventure, right? Our family's adventure following God around the world! Well, it has continued in unexpected and amazing ways since I last recorded it here.
In 2016 Stephen and I were able to take 11 people back to Cambodia to meet the staff and kids at Hard Places and work with them there. Lives were changed! Why didn't we do this sooner?
See, I tell everyone who will listen about these kids. I tell my story and share my heart with people and walk away knowing God will use that to inspire change for them too. They might be inspired or moved by the story but sometimes it takes actually seeing it with their own eyes to really understand. I wanted to take people with me to Cambodia to meet these people I love.
It's expensive to go to Cambodia! Once in the country, things are quite inexpensive, but that silly plane ticket is a small fortune! I knew that spending $1500 a person (or more) just to get them to Cambodia wasn't the best use of money. The best way to help would be to just send HPC a check! (Or, technically, cash, because they don't really do "checks" there...) But how do we get people pumped up about sending that much money if they haven't grasped the vision for what God can do with that money?
Alli, my friend who started and runs HPC, came to visit me in North Carolina in 2015 and talked to my church about what Hard Places does. The next morning two of my friends took her to breakfast and the next thing I knew, they were telling me they wanted us to take a mission trip to Cambodia. They had come up with a plan that I jumped on board with immediately and helped to make it happen.
Here was the incredible plan:
Let's raise money to send a team to Cambodia!
THEN... when they get back from their trip, let's have them KEEP raising money and the following year, let's just GIVE THAT MONEY STRAIGHT TO HARD PLACES!
It worked, you guys. It worked so so so well.
I wish I'd journaled about that whole experience. I was kind of busy planning a short term trip to Cambodia for a dozen people and buying plane tickets and managing a range of personalities and telling stories of what to expect and helping people pack and well, too much to remember, so I didn't write about it all. Or, actually, about any of it.
But the plan worked.
And it worked so well that we are doing it again.
I can't wait to tell you more about that.
But for now I have to say goodbye. Life is calling.
I promise I'll be back soon with more details.