Gustafson Highlights of 2016

October 15th, 2016

Hi friends and family,

It has been awhile since you last received a proper update from us and we apologize for not being better at communicating. Just wanted to update you now on some of our highlights from this year so far. Below is just a sliver of all that continues to happen around our part of the world and our lives and we are so privileged to be serving Jesus and the Cambodian people!

______________________________________________________

YWAM/ U of N Battambang 10th year anniversary:

It’s so hard to believe that over 11 years ago, Garth moved to Cambodia as a young single guy, and never in his wildest dreams did he think the ministry would grow the way it has. In January, we had a special time to celebrate the last 10 years of what Jesus has done in this place, celebrating His faithfulness, and His commitment to see His kingdom come to Cambodia. What started out as a group of 5 has grown into a family of 90 full time staff, and 50+ students in this Fall quarter in our training schools!

Some of our staff and students at the beginning of the year on the new campus

Some of our staff and students at the beginning of the year on the new campus

ASEAN DTS:

What is ASEAN?

———The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an alliance promoting economic and political cooperation by fostering dialogue among its ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.——-

Our base hosted a collaborative DTS(Discipleship Training School), with 10 DTS’s mostly from Southeast Asia. We had over 200 staff and students join us in Battambang for 4 corporate weeks of lecture and worship for 2 weeks in March and 2 weeks in April, and it was so encouraging to see lots of Asians, mostly first-generation Christians gathered together to learn together about Jesus and from each other.

Staff and students from the collaborative ASEAN DTS that we hosted at our base earlier this year.

Staff and students from the collaborative ASEAN DTS that we hosted at our base earlier this year.

Teachings:

Caroline had the privilege to teach twice in our Battambang School of Ministry Development, which is an internship for those wanting to join long-term on staff with us. She taught on “The Un-offendable Heart,” challenging students to walk out in a culture of honor, forgiveness and choosing to believe the best in people.

Garth continues to teach in all our training schools we offer: Discipleship Training School, School of Biblical Studies, School of Missions, DTS Equip, and our School of Ministry Development. He also had the opportunity to teach a week with YWAM Ships in Kona, Hawaii. He also continues to preach at our church that we started in October 2014 called Community Light Church.

Church member that Garth had the privilege to baptize. His life has been radically transformed through the power of God's word.

Church member that Garth had the privilege to baptize. His life has been radically transformed through the power of God’s word.

Family Visits:
Although we live halfway around the world from family, we’ve seen our family a lot this year, including Garth’s parents here for the month of January and February, as well as a short visit in July. We were also able to see Caroline’s family in September, as we went to the States for a short visit to attend an international YWAM conference, and visiting some churches around the States, sharing about what Jesus is doing in Cambodia. Thankful for both of our families that continues to walk alongside us and the effort they make to spend time with us and our kids.

3 generations of Gustafson men!

3 generations of Gustafson men!

New Campus:

We are in a very exciting season of our ministry, as we are set to move to our new campus by the end of the year, when Phase 1 of the buildings are finished. Our family will move homes from our current rental to an apartment on the campus as well. Thank you to all of you that has made this dream of God’s a reality by partnering with us by giving sacrificially, come to Battambang to help build, as well as stood with us in prayer!

Phase 1 almost complete at our new campus, which includes 3 dormitories 1 cafeteria/multi-purpose building, and the Youth Development Center.

Phase 1 almost complete at our new campus, which includes 3 dormitories 1 cafeteria/multi-purpose building, and the Youth Development Center.

Pioneering to Pioneer:

One of the original words of the Lord for us at YWAM/U of N Battambang has been that we will be a place that “pioneers to pioneer.” This year we have seen Youth Development Centers(teaching English and other skills to youth, offering after-school programs) in Poipet and Pailin, which are both border towns of Cambodia-Thailand and both 1.5 hours drive from Battambang. We also will have teams headed our to start new ministries in Laos and China!

Our Kids:

Lyla just turned 5 years old(October 10th was her birthday) and Gunner will turn 3 in November. Lyla is currently on break from her preschool, but she will start up again in November and hopefully Gunner will join her too at the preschool that is run by our staff. They continue to thrive and enjoy each other’s company. Lyla has learned to ride her bike this summer without ever using training wheels and is currently very eager to learn how to read. Gunner is starting to use his words A LOT more and is a very energetic boy, loves to collect sticks and rocks, and play catch with his dad!

Gunner at a month shy of 3 years old. He is more and more an extrovert like his dad and sister.

Gunner at a month shy of 3 years old. He is more and more an extrovert like his dad and sister.

Garth, Lyla and Gunner receiving the Cambodian citizenship in June. I, Caroline, have not been in Cambodia long enough like Garth but will be eligible in about a year's time).

Garth, Lyla and Gunner receiving the Cambodian citizenship in June. I, Caroline, have not been in Cambodia long enough like Garth but will be eligible in about a year’s time.

Garth continues his Doctorate in Ministry through Fuller Theological Seminary, out of a co-hort that is run in Thailand. Here he is pictured with his fellow students and professors.

Garth continues his Doctorate in Ministry through Fuller Theological Seminary, out of a co-hort that is run in Thailand. Here he is pictured with his fellow students and professors.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT, FINANCIAL SUPPORT, AND BELIEF in our family to do life here in Cambodia, for the Gospel to move forth in this place! We could not do what we do without your partnership with us and we cannot emphasize and thank you enough for all the ways you have been a part of our journey.

We are so thankful from the bottom of our hearts for each one of you that are a part of our journey.

We are so thankful from the bottom of our hearts for each one of you!

With Gratitude,

Garth, Caroline, Lyla and Gunner

Back Home in Asia

July 9th, 2015

Dear friends and family,

After 3 months of having a break in the States, we are now back home on Asian soil and it feels so GREAT to be back!

Our first stop in Asia is in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as Garth is furthering his education through a doctorate program that Fuller Theological Seminary offers here focused on Leadership and Ministry in the Asian Context. We are currently here for 2 weeks before finally heading home to Battambang, Cambodia.

Here is a pictorial re-cap of our time in the States:

Started our trip with a detour to Taiwan, where Garth taught in the DTS there.

Started our trip by visiting friends in Taiwan, where Garth also taught in the DTS there.

First stop in Kona, Hawaii, where the call to Missions first started for us.

First stop in Kona, Hawaii, where the call to Missions first started for us.

Thankful for Caroline's side of the family and all their love and support for us.

Thankful for Caroline’s side of the family and all their love and support for us.

Playing firefighters with cousin Gianna

Playing firefighters with cousin Gianna

In Yakima with Papa, late summer nights enjoying the beauty of the valley

In Yakima with Papa, late summer nights enjoying the beauty of the valley

Surfing Lyla at Papa and Honey's pool in Yakima

Surfing Lyla at Papa and Honey’s pool in Yakima

Garth had the privilege to baptize the Pickett's 3 kids in Yakima

Garth had the privilege to baptize the Pickett’s 3 kids in Yakima. We love you Pickett Family!

Lake adventures with the Myers family at Lake Chelan. What an epic, fun weekend with our two families!

Lake Chelan adventures with the Myers family. What an epic, fun weekend with our two families!

Pit stop at Multnomah Falls, on our way to the Oregon Coast

Pit stop at Multnomah Falls, on our way to the Oregon Coast

Rest at the beach and plenty of time to do several jigsaw puzzles.

Rest at the beach and plenty of time to do several jigsaw puzzles.

Caroline's family came up to the Oregon beach house to vacation with us too. Hiking on Neakhanie Mountain

Caroline’s family came up to the Oregon beach house to vacation with us too. Hiking on Neakhanie Mountain

Garth's side of the family over Memorial Day weekend for a family reunion

Garth’s side of the family over Memorial Day weekend for a family reunion

The Lee Family 24

Looking forward to what’s next for our family in Cambodia and beyond and the best is yet to come!

Meanwhile, back home in Battambang, Cambodia, these are current pictures of the development of our future campus:

3 future Dorms going up

3 future Dorms going up

 

Prayer Requests:

1) We have a full schedule ahead of us once we arrive in Battambang, Cambodia. Pray for God’s grace in this transition and full schedule.

2) For us as a family to continue to have a passion for Jesus, Cambodia and thrive in where God has placed us

THANK YOU to our family and friends who have made our break in the States fully refreshing, incredibly enjoyable, and full of wonderful memories. Thank you for housing us, feeding us delicious meals, having meaningful conversations, and giving us the opportunity to share our lives with you. Our break was ABUNDANT  and life-giving because of all of your love and support for our family!

March 2015 Update

March 16th, 2015

Hi family and friends!

A visual of our last month in Cambodia and abroad…

Trip to Australia, teaching in 2 different DTS schools, training students to be sent out as missionaries

Trip to Australia, teaching in 2 different DTS schools, training students to be sent out as missionaries

10983594_627184907387887_205343089_n

Teaching at YWAM Perth, Australia and having an ice cream social/Question-Answer evening with the students

 

10676325_800573090035685_3224600688881228058_n

One of our DTS outreach teams sent out to another province in Cambodia for 2 weeks to share the Gospel with youth and love on them

 

10400808_800822583344069_6961398109142419676_n

One of our DTS teams on a 2 week outreach, practically helping local villagers as well as sharing the Gospel

IMG_4975

Lyla with Ming (Aunt in Khmer language) “Ya” at her wedding

IMG_4976

Gathering of all the small groups that our staff facilitate and going through the book together called “Knowing God.” Over 50 people from our community that are either new believers or seeking about Jesus that are involved in our small groups!

In the last 2 months we've sent out 2 of our staff, Sokuen and Saroat, and their baby boy Ponlue, as missionaries to Preah Vihear province, which is the most unreached province in Cambodia. They've been on staff with us for 8 years and are some of the most FAITHFUL servants. They've had a dream to start a new ministry there for 5+ years!

In January, we’ve sent out 2 of our staff, Sokuen and Saroat, and their baby boy Ponlue, as missionaries to Preah Vihear province, which is the most unreached-to-the-Gospel province in Cambodia. They’ve been on staff with us for 8 years and are some of the most FAITHFUL servants. They’ve had a dream to start a new ministry there for 5+ years and now are reaching out to youth and have started a small group for husband/wives so they can have healthy, Godly marriages/families!

 

 

Hosting a BBQ Social at our home for our School of Ministry Development Staff and Students

Hosting a BBQ Social at our home for our School of Ministry Development Staff and Students

Sharing with our all our small groups. So amazed to see our Christian and non-Christian friends in the community come together each Sunday for small groups to journey together about learning about who God is.

Sharing with all our small groups. So amazed to see our Christian and non-Christian friends in the community come together each Sunday for small groups to journey together about learning who God is.

Lyla, Gunner and their friends Visal and Chantrea swimming in our yard

Lyla, Gunner and their friends Visal and Chantrea swimming in our yard

Gunner is officially on the move and walking at 15 months and Lyla continues to amaze us with her vocabulary and singing/dancing!

Gunner is officially on the move and walking at 15 months and Lyla continues to amaze us with her vocabulary and singing/dancing!

Weekend adventures with friends

Weekend adventures with friends

Water issues at our home, which is pretty typical during the current dry, hot season so Garth took a shower outside one morning!

Water issues at our home, which is pretty typical during the current dry, hot season so Garth took a shower outside one morning!

Recent time of worship at our new campus!

Recent time of worship at our new campus! Our architects from the ministry “100 Fold Studios” out of YWAM Montana, have had a few of their architects come to be with us to help with our campus development for 3 months. We break ground on the first building this week!

 

Updates/Prayer Requests:

1) We have 2 baby boys born, Visot and Calvin, to our staff families. Please pray for healthy babies and recovery for both mothers, Sineout and Meiling.

2) Caroline had the privilege of sharing with our School of Ministry Development on “The Un-offendable Heart,” and she is thankful that God continues to use this teaching close to her heart to be able to continually learn from it as well as share it with others.

3)Garth taught in our School of Biblical Studies the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. He just got back from trip to a nearby closed-to-the-Gospel country to teach the book of Hosea and staff training/development.

4)Please pray for our family’s upcoming break to the States this spring. Pray for refreshment, clear vision, and great times with our loved ones!

Love from the Gustafson Family!

Love from the Gustafson Family! THANK YOU for all your love, prayers and support for our family and partnering with us!

 

 

 

 

February 2015 Update

February 2nd, 2015

Hi friends and family!

We pray that the end of 2014 was a great one and that you are highly anticipating what lies ahead this new year. It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2015 and we’ve had a jam-packed beginning of the year! Here are some pictures to update you on what we’ve been up to:

Community Light Church small groups meeting together once a month for church fellowship

Community Light Church small groups meeting together once a month for church fellowship. Garth leads a small group every week of young men, some believers already and some seeking to find answers about who Jesus is.

Our friend and co-worker Rady sharing a Christmas message at the Christmas fellowship for Community Light Church

Our friend and co-worker Rady sharing a Christmas message at the Christmas fellowship for Community Light Church

Some of our staff that went to the YWAM DNA conference with our family in Chiang Mai, Thialand, which we learned more about our history, values, and DNA of YWAM

A group of our staff and our family went to the YWAM DNA conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which we learned more about our history, values, and “DNA” of YWAM, led by our co-founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham. It was truly a refreshing, challenging, and faith-building time for us all!

Young boys that we reach out to in a local village, singing worship to Jesus! Praise God for them knowing who Jesus is at a young age.

Young boys that we reach out to in a local village, singing worship to Jesus! Praise God for them knowing who Jesus is at a young age.

Our January 2015 Staff and students. This is our 15th DTS we are running in Battambang.

Our January 2015 DTS  Staff and students. This is our 12th DTS we are running in Battambang.

Gunner "working" in the office with mommy

Gunner “working” in the office with mommy. He is now 14 months old, has two teeth, and on the verge of walking!

Our favorite little SeaHawk

Our favorite little SeaHawk

 

Lyla Nancy, 3 years old, loves to sing, dance, go to school and play with her "Buddy Gunner" as she affectionately calls him.

Lyla Nancy, 3 years old, loves to sing, dance, go to school and play with her “Buddy Gunner” as she affectionately calls him.

Over our Christmas break, we were able to climb a local hill with some of our friends and have a picnic lunch there.

Over our Christmas break, we were able to climb a local hill with some of our friends and have a picnic lunch there.

Lyla hanging out in true Cambodian-fashion, in a hammock

Lyla hanging out in true Cambodian-fashion, in a hammock, with our friend and co-worker Synoun.

Recent Worship and Intercession at our new campus!

Recent Worship and Intercession time at our new campus!

The fence around the perimeter of our new campus is done! Praise God for the amazing work our contractor has done!

The fence around the perimeter of our new campus is done! Praise God for the amazing work and progress of our future ministry location!

Prayer Requests:

1)In the next 6 weeks, Garth has many opportunities to teach, locally(Battambang, Cambodia) and internationally(Singapore, a nearby closed-to-the Gospel country, and Australia). Please pray that he will have the strength and wisdom to know how to teach the different topics/books of the Bible that he has the privilege of teaching and training others.

2) Please pray for a continual culture of disciple in our community, so that we can be equipped to reach out to those who need Jesus here.

3) Please for for safety, protection, health, and wisdom for all our 75 staff.

4) Please pray for the finances to continue to come in for our campus building development, as we are still trusting in faith that the Lord will provide all the finances for us to build a campus to be used for His glory!

*** We plan on taking a break as a family this spring in the States, so hope to see you then! Thankful that the Lord has allowed us this special time to rest and get refreshed so that we can continue to be effective to do our work in Cambodia.

10897129_10152486273162750_4438149623501695925_n

We love you all and thank you all for the endless support you’ve shown our family these past almost 10 years(for Garth) serving in full time missions in Cambodia and all over the world. What a beautiful thing to have such a diverse global fellowship to call family.

October Update

October 29th, 2014
Worship at our future campu

Faithful servants worshipping at our future campus

“I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit.” Francis Chan, The Forgotten God

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” Francis Chan, Crazy Love

With our lives here in Cambodia, so much happens in our day-to-day ministry, that sometimes we cannot remember all the little details of triumphs, failures, hope-instilled-moments, cultural challenges, and fun-filled memories we have. What we do know is this: the big picture of when we look back is exactly what the above quotes say, that we have no other explanation but the Holy Spirit moving in us through God-sized risks  and having the privilege of being a part of God’s plan for Cambodia.

In the midst of trusting in God and being in “uncomfortable” situations, we as a ministry have been on a faith journey, securing a long-term piece of property and currently fundraising for the first phase of buildings to be built. THANK YOU TO THOSE THAT HAVE GIVEN SACRIFICIALLY and been PRAYING for our future campus!

 

Some visuals to show what we’ve been up to as a family:

IMG_4218

In the last 3 weeks, we took a trip up north to a closed-to-the-Gospel country where we had opportunities to share at underground churches and encourage YWAM workers there. Garth also preached at an international church, 2 services of 800 people each, and 100 nationalities represented. This is us taking a walk with our kids, and Lyla decided to take nap on Garth. What an amazing time we had up north!

 

IMG_4187

Just a sliver of all of our staff children, as we continue to multiply our little disciples!

IMG_4322

Lyla and her friends at her preschool, run by the local AOG church. She is thrilled to be going to school Monday-Friday, 7:30-10:30am and learning Khmer, the local language.

IMG_4327

THANK YOU for your love, partnership, and generous support for our family here in Battambang! We are so thankful for your hearts for us and Cambodia!

Prayer Requests:

1) Continued wisdom as we move forward to the construction of our new campus development. Currently building the fence around the perimeter of the campus.

2) Lyla to enjoy learning at her new preschool and make new friends.

3) That we would continue to move by the Spirit in all that we do, trusting in the impossible and raising up the next generation of Cambodian Christians to make an impact in all sectors of society for the sake of the Gospel

 

Endless Summer

September 23rd, 2014

As we are now in well into September, we really can’t even believe that August just flew right past us. August is typically one of the busiest months for us each year, as there are lots of important annual meetings we have.

One of them is for the two leadership teams of our ministry (Base Leadership Team and Ministry Leader Team). They meet bi-annually for planning meetings and there is always one in August. Important decisions by seeking God and planning goes on during this meeting for the future of our ministry.

Then after that we hosted our national staff conference so about 300 YWAM staff from all over Cambodia came to Battambang for 4 days to worship, celebrate, learn and pray together what God has for our whole movement in Cambodia. What a wonderfully, refreshing time to worship in unity together!

1919661_10152178010746901_6470860906958466367_n

Worshipping together at our YWAM/U of N national staff conference. Encouraged to see so many young and old Cambodian staff that are impacting to bring change to one nation in one generation.

 

Finally, at the end of August, Garth has YWAM global leadership meetings that he attends annually, and this year he had the privilege of inviting some of our emerging Cambodian young leaders. So we had 4 of them fly with our family to Singapore for one week! What a week where much was learned from our wider family globally as we worshipped and listened to God together with about 400 YWAMers from 65 different nations of the world.

In Singapore, praying for our country of Cambodia, for the kingdom of Jesus to rain down!

In Singapore, praying for our country of Cambodia, for the kingdom of Jesus to bring change in one nation in one generation.

 

10494612_714907521922253_8766045112126601094_n

With a sliver of our global family of YWAM in Singapore.

Thankful for continual opportunities to share about what Jesus is doing in Cambodia. Here Garth is with our Cambodian friends preaching at a Singaporean church.

Thankful for continual opportunities to share about what Jesus is doing in Cambodia. Here Garth is with our Cambodian friends preaching at a Singaporean church.

A Peek into our last month through pictures:

10561637_703179756419180_6313113774858814817_n

Worshipping together and playing games at the Youth Camp we hosted for 3 days  . Garth had the privilege of sharing to the youth, influencing them to be a part of bringing change to one nation in one generation.

 

photo (5)

Ballerina Lyla started a dance class with a few  little girls that are daughters of our staff. There is a family on staff with us that has a teenage daughter teaching the class. Lyla loves to dance!

photo (3)

A peek into the life of a working mom…Gunner going to the bank with me to take care of some finances for our ministry. The bank tellers in there love it when I bring my kids in, and when the kids don’t come they scold me and tell me to always bring them!

10622720_10204844600344699_2689795366871459181_n

Graduation night for our 5th Titus Project, as they just completed 2+ months of going to remote villages in Cambodia to preach the Gospel and train local preachers about the Bible

photo (2)

Our kids getting their blood drawn at the local provincial hospital for a well health check-up. Gunner reassuring Lyla that the shot is not bad:)

photo (4)

At a recent gathering of our base, including staff, students and volunteers. So privileged to be a part of this community to transform one nation in one generation.

photo (1)

Gunner getting his haircut at the local barber shop.

IMG_4101

These exceptional Cambodian leaders (and one Vietnamese) are the fruit of your prayers and support for our family! They are multiplying disciples of Jesus to impact one nation in one generation.

WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR ALL OF YOU! Love, Garth, Caroline, Lyla and Gunner-who is asleep in the baby carrier

WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR ALL OF YOU being a part of our team!Love, Garth, Caroline, Lyla and Gunner-who is asleep in the baby carrier in this picture

 

 

Our Summer Photo Roll

July 26th, 2014

In the last 2 months, we have hit the ground running since being back from the States. Here are some highlights of what has been going on since being back:

1) The GRAND RE-OPENING of Cafe Eden at our new downtown Battambang hub location. Cafe Eden has already been opened for the last 4 years, employing about 20 jobs at any given time to give locals a chance to be trained in the hospitality/service industry and use their salary to support their families and further their education. We have also been able to use the profits from Cafe Eden to pour back into supporting missions in Cambodia, specifically supporting Cambodian missionaries as well as to other countries as well.

 

Our ministry's permanent downtown hub, with Cafe Eden opening up their doors on June 11th! We were the first customers!

Our ministry’s permanent downtown hub, with Cafe Eden opening up their doors at their new location on June 11th! We were the first customers with our amazing friend Kuntea who helps run the Cafe!

2) Our 5th School of Biblical Studies(9 month Inductive bible school) graduated with 17 students in mid-June. Garth had the privilege of teaching several books of the Bible in this past school that graduated.

Our SBS 2013-2014 graduation

Our SBS 2013-2014 graduation, staff and students

3) Garth was invited to be the guest speaker for a national staff conference for our organization in a near-by country that is closed to the Gospel. We as a family joined the conference and were able to connect, encourage, and challenge our friends that work in these parts of the world.

Last week we were in a nearby closed country, as Garth was the guest speaker for their national staff conference for our organization there.

2 weeks ago we were in a nearby closed country, as Garth was the guest speaker for their national staff conference for our organization there.

4) Thankful for good friends and co-laborers, Samphas and Mark, who together with their beautiful wives and children, serve Jesus in Battambang with us!

Garth with our SBS school leaders, Samphas and Mark, some of his really good friends here.

Garth with our SBS school leaders, Samphas and Mark, some of his really best friends in the world.

5) And of course to top it off,  photos of our dear blessings from the Lord, Lyla and Gunner.

Lyla loves "reading" to Gunner

Lyla loves “reading” to Gunner, as he intently listens to her animated “reading.”

Lyla playing with her buddies Trey and Tru

Lyla playing with her buddies Trey and Tru

photo

Weekend kite-flying adventures on our future campus

photo (2)

Garth visiting with pastors and church leaders on how we can continue to partner together and help the local body of Chris.

photo (1)

One of our biggest highlights this summer was hosting a team from our home church, Grace of Christ Presbyterian Church of Yakima, Washington. THANK YOU for serving alongside us!

photo

Lyla loved having her Papa around while he was co-leading the church team here.

Cant believe they are ours:)

Can’t believe they’re ours:) Beyond Blessed!

photo (5)

Garth visiting with one of our Titus School Bible teaching/preaching teams in an outer province outside of Battambang

 

Thank you so much for your love and support for our family, what we do here in Battambang, Cambodia and we are so thankful for your partnership for the sake of the Gospel!

Spring Marathon with the Gustafson’s

June 26th, 2014

Hi friends and family that we love so dearly!

We’ve been back at home in Battambang, Cambodia for 3 weeks already after 7 weeks of travel. That’s 3 countries,6 time zones9 states, 20 flights and 27,065 air miles traveled(not including other modes of transportation!) .

After our whirlwind trip this Spring to fundraise for the building phase of our campus project, we have been so encouraged and thankful. Encouraged by so many of our friends, family and strangers that have joined in to hear what is happening in Cambodia, and thankful for those who generously and sacrificially gave towards this next step in our ministry.

Our children Lyla(2 years & 8 months) and Gunner (7 months) old are seasoned travelers and did well with all the travel. We did hit a few bumps of growth spurts(Gunner) and sickness(all of us!) but overall we all did very well.

We want to say a big thank you to those that have opened your homes to us to host dessert/dinner nights, giving us a bed to rest of tired bodies, playing with our children, feeding us grand meals, and more importantly, thank you for your friendship and for your belief in what we feel God is calling us to do here in Cambodia. We couldn’t do what we do without faithful partners like yourselves to see God’s kingdom come here to Cambodia, and to see one nation transformed in one generation.

Here are a few pictures from our time on the “road” …

One of our smaller modes of transportation:)

Lyla passed out on yet another flight. She’s a CHAMP!

photo (4)

Got to see so many of our dear friends and family, including Brent and April’s family. Gabe, Wyatt and Lyla hanging out together.

photo (3)

We had the privilege of our Cambodian staff Yuka, joining us for one week of fundraising. Garth and Yuka sharing at Yakima Grace of Christ Presbyterian Church.

Thank God for sleeping children on flights!

Thank God for sleeping children on flights!

 

Here are a few pictures on the current progress of our campus development…

Foundation of the fence put in around the perimeter of our campus

Foundation of the fence put in around the perimeter of our campus

20140605_094148

One of the driveways into the campus

 

 

 

March Madness

March 15th, 2014

Hi to all our loved friends, family and supporters scattered across the globe! It has been awhile since our last post and we wanted to update everyone with what has been going on in our lives here in Battambang!

1) Many opportunities to teach! Garth has taught in different capacities for 6 weeks out of the last 3 months to our DTS(Discipleship Training School), SBS(School of Biblical Studies), as well as other DTS’s that have come to Battambang, and our Phase 2 school. Caroline has also had an opportunity to share and teach in our Phase 2 as well! What an amazing opportunity to continue to share, foster our values and teach and disciple so many people from all around the world, including our local Cambodians!

1380078_10151906149142753_277632067_n

Garth teaching a DTS from Russia doing their outreach in Battambang

2) There have been many guests have been coming from all over the world coming to visit our ministries! As we continue to host and entertain our guests, it’s been a privilege to see others “catch the vision” as well and really see God moving here in this place. We would love for YOU to come visit us too and see why we love this place and the Khmer people so much!

3) Many Travels- In January, we had the opportunity to travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand as a family along with Garth’s parents who were visiting us for 3 weeks. We were a part of gathering of workers in a closed nation and it was great to network and see how we can continue to partner together in the future. Garth also had leadership meetings in Chiang Mai for YWAM.  This month, Garth also has traveled to another near-by closed nation to encourage and challenge the local workers to continue to grow the ministry there and strategize with them. He also, along with one of our main Cambodian leaders, Rady, traveled to Korea for several days, for YWAM’s President’s Gathering, which is 40 of the largest bases in the world to come together annually and seek the Lord on how to move forward as a movement and strategize.

1962606_817560078261562_1605667436_n

Wedding of Dara and Ngim, who are on staff with us

4) Kiddos– Lyla is a month shy of 2.5 years old and Gunner is 4 months old! Lyla is speaking a lot more (in 3 language- Khmer, Korean and English) and Gunner is our smiley young boy! Lyla is definitely an extrovert (like Garth) and loves to socialize and mingle with anyone and everyone. Gunner is learning how to firmly hold his neck up(he’s almost there) and loves to “talk” to his sister. Lyla loves to read books to her baby dolls and to Gunner and enjoys dancing and singing for Gunner.

photo copy 5

Blessed with these two little ones in our lives! Brings us GREAT JOY!

photo (2)

Silly Lyla!

5) Future Travels- We will be in the States in April and May to share what God has been doing through our ministry here in Battambang, Cambodia! We are excited and humbled to be given a platform to share what God is doing in this amazing country and we look forward to getting lots of face-time with those we love, support, and believe in us and the vision that God has given us!

photo (1) copy 3

Gunner loves to eat and sleep!

6) CAMPUS LAND UPDATE: After filling out piece of property last year with dirt, we have started to put in the basic infrastructure for our land, starting with electricity. Below is a picture showing the electricity poles being put in the ground on our campus land.

1975030_626368310769892_2023367618_n

PRAYER REQUESTS:

1) For us to continue to have wisdom in raising up our local Cambodian leaders and God to lead us each and every step

2) For our family’s traveling this Spring and all the planning/logistics with 2 little ones

3)For the health, safety and growth for our staff here, as we are 75 full-time staff now

Thank you so much for partnering with us for the sake of the Gospel to spread in Cambodia. We are SO GRATEFUL that you are a part of what God is doing here, through your prayers and support, and we couldn’t do it without all of you on our team!

Love,

Garth, Caroline, Lyla and Gunner

 

 

With Great Joy We Introduce to you our Son!

November 17th, 2013

Since we found out we were expecting last Spring, we have highly anticipated the birth of our baby boy! Gunner Elwood Gustafson came into our world on November 11, 2013 at 6:25am (local Bangkok time), weighing in at 6.7 pounds and measuring at 19.3 inches. We named him Gunner(pronounced “GUN-UR”), which means “battle strong, bold warrior,” as a tribute to Garth’s Swedish heritage and roots. His middle name is in honor of Garth’s late grandpa “Woody”(Nancy’s father) who has in many ways influenced and impacted our lives, especially Garth’s.

Like his older sister Lyla, Gunner arrived into the world earlier than his due date, 3 weeks early! We arrived at our hospital here in Bangkok at 5 AM in the morning, and he made his grand debut at 6:25 AM. We were relieved we went to the hospital at the time we did, or else we may have had Gunner at the apartment we are staying at or in the taxi!!!  Lyla was still sleeping when we left our apartment, so we had a YWAM friend come watch her while we were gone, which was so helpful.

Here are some pictures that capture the beautiful delivery of our son Gunner:

After getting checked in, the wonderful nurses needed to monitor Caroline's contractions and check her's and baby's vitals.

After getting checked in, the wonderful nurses and midwives needed to monitor Caroline’s contractions and check her’s and baby’s vitals.

BEST LABOR COACH I(Caroline) could ask for! I couldn't have done this without the support and prayers of Garth, as he supported me every step of the way. Thanks babe!

BEST LABOR COACH that I(Caroline) could ask for! I couldn’t have done this without the support and prayers of Garth, as he supported me every step of the way. THANKS BABE!!!

 

Laboring in the water tub and soon after Gunner was born into the water

Laboring in the water tub and soon after Gunner was born into the water

Holding our son for the first time!

Holding our son for the first time!

One really cool detail of Gunner’s birth was we had worship music continuing to play during the labor. He came out while the worship song “Hallelujah(Our God Reigns)” was playing the background. The lyrics are very simple and go like this: “Hallelujah, hallelujah, our God reigns.” So thankful he came into this world, as we were all worshipping Jesus in that joyous moment and thankful for our HOPE in our LORD God that REIGNS.

The Gustafson family of 4!

The Gustafson family of 4!

God has been so gracious with us and we feel so blessed and privileged to have Gunner as a part of our family! Thank you for your support, thoughts, and prayers for our family of 4 in this time of bonding and transition.

Prayer Requests:

1)For health and recovery for both Gunner and Caroline

2) For us to be able to get Gunner’s passport and paperwork as soon as possible, so we can get settled back into life at home in Battambang, Cambodia

3) For us to have wisdom in being parents to two little ones

4) For Lyla to transition well into being a big sister

THANK YOU EVERYONE for showering us with prayers, gifts and support in this special time for our family! We feel incredibly blessed with through your love and thoughts.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for showering us with prayers, gifts and support in this special time for our family! We feel incredibly blessed through your love and thoughts.