Archive for the ‘Missions Stories’ Category

February 2019 Update

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Hello dear friends and family around the world! Just wanted to fill you in on our highlights since our last update and what we’ve been up to:

  • We MOVED homes mid-December! We still live on our YWAM campus, but we are now are in a 3-bedroom apartment, so we have a home office/guest room too. So grateful for this season and the beautiful home we get live in, with our kids attending English school in the morning on-site at Cornerstone Learning Center, and then Khmer school in the afternoon in the community.
  • We as a campus hosted the ALLC(Asian Leaders Learning Community) Leadership Summit in January 2019. Over 180 Asian YWAM leaders from our region came together for 4 days of intentional training and learning, to equip us to become more effective leaders in our specific locations. Take a look at the video below that shows what our 4 days were about!
Leadership Summit 2019 at UofN Battambang Cambodia

A glimpse of the Leadership Summit 2019 at UofN Battambang, Cambodia. Worship Music soundtrack from New Sound.

Posted by Asia Leaders Learning Community on Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Several friends from our church got baptized a few weeks ago. What a joy it was for us to witness them committing their lives to follow and serve Jesus.
Cambodians getting baptized will never get old to us. Such a privilege to journey with these amazing people.
  • We were involved in several Christmas outreaches through our ministries, in which 2000+people heard the Gospel of Jesus.
Our campus Christmas party! What a joy it is to work alongside these amazing 110 people!
  • The turf soccer field is going in on our campus, as well as an underground irrigation system for our grass soccer field, adjacent to our turf field!
  • We opened the season with 600+ youth in 40+ teams in a league through SALT Academy, which is a soccer ministry we run. 
  • A BIG THANK YOU to all those donors who sacrificially gave finances  towards our campus’ soccer field!
  • A BIG THANK YOU to our dear friend BRUCE DROLLINGER, who came to serve for 2+ weeks to put in an underground sprinkler system for our grass soccer field. Bruce, you are truly an inspiration to us all, using your gifts and talents to serve God’s people and kingdom. We love you Bruce and are thankful for your friendship!
Turf soccer field going in, as well as a soon-to-be grass field with a underground irrigation system.
Our campus director Samphas sharing the gospel to the 600+ youth that are involved in our soccer league.
Garth encouraging the youth soccer league at their opening ceremony.
  • July 2018 DTS graduated. This is our 19th DTS we’ve successfully completed since 2007, and what a joy it is to see students coming through our doors, encounter Jesus in a deep and personal way.
Our July 2018 DTS graduates, who graduated mid-December 2018.
  • Our architects, 100 Fold Studio from the States, came for a visit as well as working together to put finishing touches to our master plan for our Phase 2 of our campus development.
Dreaming and planning with 100 Fold Studio, our faithful architects to see God’s dream become a reality for our campus development project.
Community Light Church (CLC) kicked off our new Series “Together: Join, Grow, Serve”

Prayer Requests:

1) We have a full schedule ahead for the rest of the year. Pray for God’s sufficient grace to cover our family during our normally 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.

3) Continued wisdom as we move forward in the construction of our campus development. Currently building 3 additional dorm buildings and our turf and grass soccer fields.

4) 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

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. Our start to the year has been full and ABUNDANT  and life-giving because of all of your love and financial support for our family!

November 2018 Update

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Dear friends, family and partners all over the globe,

The last 2 months have been a whirlwind since our last update.

HIGHLIGHTS from the last 2 months:

  • 3 of our staff couples got married this last month!

    Our staff Sithol and his bride Sourith that just got married last weekend here on our beautiful campus.

  • Graduated 15 students from our School of Ministry Development, in which then 13 of the graduates officially came on staff with us!

    Our graduates from the July 2019 School of Ministry Development!

  • Our campus was given a huge opportunity to take over SALT, which is a huge soccer organization in Cambodia, that uses soccer to reach the youth of the community. It has developed a soccer league, the first of its kind in Cambodia! Through taking it over, we hosted a soccer tournament with over 100 youth from several different teams in October and it was an exciting way to use our campus facilities as well as share the love of Jesus to the youth.

    Some of the youth that joined for the soccer tournament we hosted in October.

  • Lyla turned 7 years old! 

    What a fun bunch to help celebrate Lyla’s 7th birthday

We have had such joy in this season of continuing to do the “tasks” and “assignments” that God has given us in this time. One of these “assignments,” has been our involvement in YWAM’s “DNA Conference” which is a 2 week seminar, which focuses on our roots as a missions movement, to know our origins, our DNA, and our purpose to seek God about new dreams for a new generation of pioneers. 

We had a unique opportunity in October/November, to travel to South America for 3 weeks, to be involved in two back-to-back DNA conferences in Brazil and Chile. Each DNA conference we have been involved with, we have had the opportunity to share about Pioneering, Families in Missions, as well as the importance of the University of the Nations, the training arm/branch of our missions movement of YWAM.

In Brazil, there were about 350 YWAM staff from 63 Brazilian ministry locations and 23 countries gathered together for the 2 week conference.

With the DNA in Brazil, what a FUN and WILD group!

Garth teaching on “Pioneering”the first night we got into Brazil. Did you know that Brazil is the 3rd country that sends the most missionaries overseas behind the USA and South Korea?

With our new Brazilian friends that lead the YWAM ministry in Curitiba, Brazil. Behind us is one of the buildings that is on their campus, and is currently being used for housing.

In Chile we started our time there with a University of the Nations, which Garth shared the commencement speech with 25 graduates from Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, the USA, El Salvador, Austria and Mexico.

What an honor it was to be a part of the graduation ceremony for these 25 graduates, many of them being the first in their family to receive a degree!

 

Garth sharing the commencement speech on how we are to be like “waves” impacting all spheres of society with the training we’ve received.

Garth challenging the participants to “listen to the voice of God, obey and never give up,” in a response time to take the Gospel to the least, the last and the lost.

Our friend and staff Dom from Battambang came to participate in the DNA conference in Chile. Dom came to learn from the community center they have at the YWAM location that the Chile DNA was held at, to see how they are effectively reaching their local community in practical ways through sports and health initiatives.

In the midst of the 2 conferences, we were able to celebrate both Garth’s 40th birthday and Gunner’s 5th birthday!

Garth’s parents were able to join us for the trip and it was a rich and memorable time with them. Thankful for their example and we continue to learn so much from them!

Our time in South America was a wonderful time of fellowship, equipping and networking with so many of our South American brothers and sisters. It was truly impactful to see the fruit of so many pioneers several decades ago, planting “seeds” in both Brazil and Chile, and now to see a missions movement come out of both of these countries. It re-invigorated us to keep investing into Cambodia and to see God’s hope and dream of a missions movement started in this amazing country we call home!

 

We love and miss you all, and so thankful for your friendships and treasure you in our prayers.

May this Advent season be filled with gratitude, JOY and wonder for our King.

September 2018 Update

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Dear family and friends across the world,

Thank you for taking the time to read our update. We are so blessed by our family and community across the globe and wanted to fill you in on what’s been happening in our lives!

2018 Highlights Thus Far:

Truck Rides with our beloved Papa!

-We took a break in the States over the summer and it was an abundant time of rest and “reset”. Thank you to all our friends and family that made this time so special and memorable, you know who you are!

-Lyla just started 2nd grade at Cornerstone Learning Centre, which she attends in the morning and the curriculum is in English. In the afternoons, she attends a local Cambodian school, in which she learns all her subjects in the Khmer language. Lyla loves reading, drawing, and going on the ‘monkey bars’ on the playground.

Gunner just started Kindergarten at Cornerstone Learning Centre. Gunner loves dogs, riding his bike, and collecting coins from different countries.

-Getting connected and given opportunities to preach and share about Cambodia to larger church congregations in Asia, including churches in China and Malaysia!

Spent a weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, serving and preaching at DUMC and igniting the church on a missions movement within Malaysia.

Garth preaching on Easter Sunday at ICF Siem Reap, a church we have developed a mutual love and respect relationship with in the last few years.

-We hosted many events on our campus including a police training seminar, cultural exchange program as well as a camp for Sunday School teachers from all over Cambodia. Our newer facilities are getting utilized well for functions and events that are helping the greater body of Christ in Cambodia as well as for our community of Battambang! It also fosters a natural environment for community, with people from our community gathering here to play sports, learn English and hang out with their friends.

Nations2Nations cultural exchange, facilitated by our ministry by doing cultural presentations at a local school in Battambang.

Campus Development:

Our first family housing building, which comprises of 6 apartments, each with 3 or 4 bedrooms in them each. Almost complete!

Our newest set of 3 dorms being built. We are running out of space of the current 3 dorm buildings we have, which is a good problem to have!

Since moving onto the campus Christmas of 2016, we have seen remarkable change happen right before our eyes as well. As we continue to see hundreds of people come through our front gates each day, we continue to build and the need for facilities to gather people are very obvious. We are currently running out of housing, thus building 3 more dorm buildings now. Currently, we are almost complete with one family housing building, which will house our long-term staff. We are very excited to see God bring the people to us, as we faithfully steward those lives that He has bonded us with.

 

 

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for both of us, as we parent Gunner and Lyla, trusting in His guidance to help them to thrive and know Him.
  • Pray for our ministry, for a spirit of humility and urgency for the Gospel to be shared to those we are all connected with each day.
  • Pray for wisdom as we continue to lead and minister to our staff, students and those in the local community. We need full commitment and dependence solely on Jesus to lead us.

 

We are ever grateful for the way that the Lord has provided “our daily bread” for our family year after year- He uses faithful people like you! Thank you to all of our faithful and sacrificial financial supporters and prayer warriors. It is our privilege to partner with you to serve Jesus in Cambodia and around the world. We could not do this without your partnership and love for our family!

 

 

Gustafson Highlights of 2016

Saturday, 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!

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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

March Madness

Saturday, 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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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

 

 

September/October Update

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Hi everyone around the world! We are all doing well here in Battambang, Cambodia, at the end of the long rainy season.

Here are some highlights of what’s been going on in our lives, ministry, and family:

1) We had our annual National Staff Conference in Siem Reap, which is 2 hours away from us. We took 2 busloads full of our staff and students and met with the rest of our organization’s staff that minister in different parts of Cambodia. It was close to 200 people there and the theme of this year was “Press on Towards the Goal.” There were so many great speakers and a passion lit up amongst our staff to keep our eyes focused on Jesus as our ultimate goal. It was a very encouraging time, as we had time to seek the Lord corporately about how He wants to lead us into the future here in Cambodia.

Our Battambang Staff at the National Staff Conference!

Our Battambang Staff at the National Staff Conference!

2) Our 5th ever School of Biblical Studies began at the end of September, with 17 students from all over the world! In a recent Monday Morning Worship, I looked across our meeting room and was in awe to see all our staff and students that come from so many different backgrounds and countries and was THANKFUL for God’s faithfulness to bring the Nations to Battambang, to be trained and then sent out to the Nations! 

SBS 2014-2015 Staff and Students

SBS 2014-2015 Staff and Students

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On a recent Monday Morning Worship, there were 12 countries represented!

3) Lyla celebrated her 2nd birthday on October 10th! She loves to dance, eat rice and fruit, playing in the water, and especially loves to worship to Matt Redman’s song “10,000 Reasons.” She is such a blessing in our lives and we look forward to this new year of discoveries and development!

Daddy/daughter date for Lyla's 2nd birthday

Daddy/daughter date for Lyla’s 2nd birthday

Blurry picture of Lyla playing with her friends Rain and Ruen! PURE JOY!

Blurry picture of Lyla playing with her friends Rein and Ruen! PURE JOY!

4) In the last few years, we’ve partnered with a church network from the States called the Rural Shepherds Network. “Rural Shepherds Network exists to encourage, promote and nurture meaningful relationships among rural ministers, to equip and empower rural pastors in their personal lives and in their callings, and to strengthen, multiply and plant, strong local churches in rural communities.” There were 4 people from the network that came and ran a local Pastor’s training seminar as well as a teacher’s training seminar here for 1 week! What a blessing they were to come alongside our ministry as well as the local body of Christ here to equip and train us!

Pastor's Training with Pastor Chuck from Montana

Pastor’s Training with Pastor Chuck from Montana, trying to break down barriers here in the local body and bring unity amongst all the different churches and denominations represented

5) YWAM’s training arm is University of the Nations, through this the training programs that we offer here in Battambang, have a 2 year track which includes our Discipleship Training School, Phase 2(Staff and leadership Development), School of Biblical Studies, and finally the Titus Project (training for SBS grads to learn how to effectively teach the Bible to oral learners). After one successfully completes this 2-year track, they are able to graduate with an AA degree in Biblical Studies through the College of Christian Ministries at the University of the Nations. This past week, we had 6 of our Cambodian staff receive their degrees and graduation certificate! It was so amazing and exciting to see how much they’ve grown and used their training to reach not only Cambodia, but neighboring, closed countries with the Gospel.

Garth presenting one of our key Cambodian staff leaders with his diploma!

Garth presenting one of our key Cambodian staff leaders with his diploma!

 Prayer Request:

1) In about 3 weeks, our family is going to Bangkok, Thailand, to await the arrival of Baby Boy Gustafson! Caroline is now into her 35th week of pregnancy! Please pray for health of Caroline and baby, as well as smooth delivery and the transition of a family of 3 to 4.

Week 35 with Baby Boy G!

Week 35 with Baby Boy G!

2) For continued hunger and passion for Jesus, to fill us up, so that we can pour out to those we minister to here in Battambang! That we will have the wisdom and joy to be able to disciple our Cambodian leaders to be effective in the various ministries they are involved in.

WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT, PRAYERS, and PARTNERSHIP for us to be able to do what Jesus is calling our family to do here in Battambang, Cambodia! We LOVE you and are so GRATEFUL for you to be a part of our ministry!

Caroline @ 35 weeks pregnant and Lyla praying for your little brother

Caroline @ 35 weeks pregnant and Lyla praying for her little brother:)

 

Traveling Gustafson’s

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Two weeks after Lyla was born, we had the amazing opportunity to go up to northern Thailand to attend a few YWAM conferences. The first one was in Chiang Rai, and it was the DNA Infusion conference, which we were able to catch the tail end of this event. DNA Infusion is a 2 week YWAM leadership event that will give understanding about Youth With A Mission’s “DNA” and help better equip you to lead us into the future according to the ways of God.

The second event we went to was in Chiang Mai, and it was YWAM’s Indo-China Regional Staff Conference, combined with a “Not for Sale” forum, which was all about a network of people fighting against human trafficking and modern day slavery. It was an encouraging time to see YWAM staff from all over our region, as well as meet new people that are working all over the world to stop the injustices and crimes against humans.

Lyla's first official plane ride out of the womb! Caroline's mom arrived in Bangkok one week after Lyla was born and accompanied us to our trip up north.


Lyla's dedication to Jesus while we were in Chiang Rai by Grandpa Loren Cunningham Founder of YWAM


Family Picture: At YWAM's DNA event with our Cambodian staff that traveled up there to attend the conference


At YWAM's Regional staff conference and praying for different staff in our region


Not For Sale Conference: What an amazing group of people, using their resources and lives to put an end to modern day slavery


Some of our beautiful staff girls at the Not for Sale conference-Garth translating for them


Discussion on human trafficking and ways to combat against this injustice at the Not for Sale conference


"Daddy, I am so pooped after all the traveling we had this past week!"

What an amazing time to have been able to have a chance to attend these YWAM conferences, to be able to connect with our fellow YWAMers as well as learn and glean from seasoned leaders! Lyla was such a wonderful traveler, and it was a joy to introduce her to our friends and YWAM family.

 

Training to Transform Communities in SE Asia

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

As most of you know, our ministry here really feels that one of our biggest focuses is to be a training hub for our region, especially with so many closed nations as our direct neighbors. Recently, we just sent off 12 students from a training program called the Titus Project, for their outreach to Cambodia as well as to Thailand. The Titus Project is a training program, that directly follows after completing the nine-month School of Biblical Studies we offer here in Battambang. It is dedicated to equipping church leaders in the Word of God. To accomplish this, we develop  SBS graduates in teaching and preaching and mobilize them in areas of the world where Bible training is greatly needed.

Throughout the world, the need for Bible training and Bible teaching is immense, especially in our part of the world! Thus, the Titus Project was born out of a vision to bring Bible training to areas of the world where there is great need, great hunger, and limited opportunity to receive Bible training otherwise.  We aim to provide training for pastors, church leaders, and church planters passing along tools for Inductive Bible Study so that they can more effectively study God’s Truth for themselves and then in turn pass that along to their congregations.

This year’s Titus Project had 12 students mostly from Cambodia, but also from Brazil, USA, South Korea and Ukraine. Along with our two Cambodian staff, there were three other staff that joined to help during the lecture phase from YWAM Taiwan. In the first 3 weeks (lecture phase), they learned many topics covering the Basics of Bible Teaching, , Inductive Bible Study — Teaching Methods & Models, Learning Styles, Preaching Methods & Models,Bible Overview — Teaching Methods & Models, Reaching Oral Communicators, Teaching through a translator,Team Dynamics, and  Ministering Cross-Culturally.

Titus Project students learning intently during class time for equipping others with the Word of God

As we sent them off in three teams last week on their 8-week outreach, the goal of their time is to pass on the tools of Inductive Bible Study to pastors & church leaders so that they will be better equipped to teach & train their people in the Word of God.

Battambang Titus Project 2011- “Training, Teaching, Truth Transforming”

We are privileged to see these young people have a passion for the Word of God and want to transform their nation and the nations. Thank you Jesus for providing for these students financially to cover their costs to study and for outreach, as well as give them strength and boldness to be able teach the Bible! Please pray for them as the travel and teach that God would use them to Glorify Him.

ONLY JESUS HEALS, SETS FREE & SAVES

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Hi friends and family! We have one great story to share because we cannot help but share with you that Jesus is on the move and real here in Cambodia!
Two weeks ago, Garth and one of our DTS school leaders went to go visit one of our  current DTS  teams that were doing their outreach in a Thailand-Cambodia border town. Our team has been reaching out to the people that live in a slum area of this town and specifically to one family. The family consists of the grandmother(who is all of about 40 years old), a young single mom who is 22 years old, and her child that is two years old. This mom, whom we’ll call Nika, had been demon-possessed for many  years (this might sound strange to some in the Western culture but it is very real). When she would  manifest, she would take a machete and hack at the side of her shack made of sheet metal and bamboo. You can see many holes and slices in her shack because she has chopped into the metal so many times. At one time, she was manifesting so severely, that she was chained up so that she couldn’t move. Family members even pooled in some money (approximately $150 USD, which is a substantial amount of money for an average Cambodian) to send her to the capital city of Phnom Penh to consult a psychiatrist.
Nothing helped nor seemed to get her better……until our team came in and started reaching out to her family, praying for her and eventually started to pray fast all their meals in order to see this mom delivered from the demons that were oppressing her. Our team made it a point to visit this family and pray for the young mother’s deliverance. At one point,  Nika’s mom became so desperate, she was going to take her to go see the witch doctor, but our team caught wind of that information and asked them to not to go. After three days of intense prayer and fasting, Nika was fully delivered and is now a new person!
The day that Garth visited the slum with the team he saw Nika’s house and was shocked by how real this situation was. Then he met Nika and was even more shocked by how God had healed her. That day the first gathering of people who follow Jesus started in this slum with Nika, her mother and her baby as well as 2 other woman from the slum joined. After worship, reading the Bible and sharing about Jesus the 2 other woman gave their lives to Jesus completely (Nika and her mother had already decided to believe in Jesus the week before when Nika had been set free). When Garth came out of the shack, now House Church he started talking to the older woman that was the next door neighbor who sells fruit and snacks. Garth didn’t even ask her anything about Nika but then she said, “that girl was the crazy-demon girl in our slum but now Jesus healed her completely!” This lady wasn’t a Christian (not yet, but not for long) but she and the whole slum recognized the power of Jesus to heal and free Nika. Only Jesus can bring healing and freedom in situations like this, not psychiatrists, not money, not witch doctors, ONLY JESUS HEALS, SETS FREES AND SAVES!

 

In other news, last week we both traveled to Indonesia to attend a  meeting for International Discipleship Training Schools Center in our region. Leaders from Tonga, Hawaii, New Zealand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, and Cambodia were all representing, as we met together to seek God’s heart for DTS’s in our region and how to set and collaborate on strategic training goals in our mission field. It was a refreshing time for us to be renewed in the calling to the ministry of discipleship, and to learn from other leaders in the region. The picture above is Garth with some of the leaders from different countries in our region that are impacting their parts of the world for Jesus!

Garth along with other YWAM leaders in the Asia-Pacific Region

Jesus is… VICTORIOUS

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Since the beginning of our ministry, one way we have been reaching out to the community is serving in the different slums in Battambang. One of the slums, which we affectionately call the “Victory Club” slum, is a place in which some of our staff girls have recently started visiting and building relationships with it’s villagers. Two weeks ago, they had a chance to show the “Jesus Film” in the local Cambodian language to the people of the slum and also invited friends from another nearby slum. They had set up a makeshift screen with a bed sheet and had about fifty people sit and watch the Jesus Film. The film brought the Good News of Salvation and Hope to a group of people who are hopless. As the film came to a close, and the villagers witnessed the truth of Jesus’ life, there were some that wanted make a choice to believe in Jesus and His salvation!!! It was exciting because it was them that initiated, wanting to accept Jesus into their lives and it was obvious that Jesus had done something real in their hearts as they watched the film.

God was moving in multiple ways that evening… Another piece of that night was when an older gentleman that had been using crutches and was badly crippled, received prayer and was drastically healed, to the point where he no longer needed the crutches! He later went away from the crowd worshipping and praising Jesus for the healing!

It’s these types of stories that brings hope into our hearts to see this nation changed by Christ alone, by His power and strength, that nothing in the world can compare to. Our vision is to see more of this happening on a daily occurence, so that this nation can see King Jesus as the true King and for His truth to penetrate into their hollow hearts. We hope that this story shows you a glimpse of God being consistently on the move, whether it’s in your neighborhood or in a slum in Cambodia.