Archive for the ‘News Updates’ Category

Spring Marathon with the Gustafson’s

Thursday, 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!

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

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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

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One of the driveways into the campus

 

 

 

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

 

 

With Great Joy We Introduce to you our Son!

Sunday, 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.

 

 

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:)

 

July 2013 Update

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Our co-workers and friends that we are honored and privileged to work alongside of

Our co-workers and friends that we are honored and privileged to work alongside of. A few weekends ago we had a time of fun and relaxing with our close friends. Thank you JESUS!

Hi friends, family and dear loved ones around the world! It is hard to believe that the first half of the year is almost over as it has been an eventful one for us here in Cambodia!

Here are a few highlights of what our family has been up to the last several months to keep you up-to-date:

-In May, we traveled up with 21 of our staff to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to attend the Call2All Congress as well as YWAM’s Asia-Pacific Region Staff Conference. For those that do not know what Call2All is, it is a worldwide movement calling the church to a renewed, focused collaborative effort to fulfill the Great Commission. There were hundreds of different ministries, church denominations, and missions organizations, including YWAM, that were represented at the conference with 1600 attendees. Through this week of our staff were energized, filled with new faith, and talking more about the completion of how we can do our part in the completion of the Great Commission!

YWAM Cambodia staff represented at the Call2All Congres

YWAM Cambodia staff represented at the Call2All Congres

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Garth sharing  about our ministry in Battambang and highlighting different Cambodian staff’s stories

-At the beginning of June, we celebrated with all of our staff and students the completion of the filling of dirt on our campus project. We played games, worshipped Jesus, ate delicious bbq and most importantly remembered all that Jesus had done and provided.

BBQ, fellowship and celebrating Jesus on our future campus

BBQ, fellowship and celebrating Jesus on our future campus

Garth continues to use his gift of teaching to train up leaders and the students that come through our training programs. So far this year, he’s taught in 2 Discipleship Training Schools in Australia, 2 DTS’s in Cambodia, our Battambang Phase 2 Staff internship school, our Battambang School of Biblical Studies, 1 DTS in Taiwan, 1 DTS in Hawaii, and 1 DTS from Vietnam. It has been a privilege for him to serve in that capacity by teaching and training up future leaders and has been a busy several months as you can see!

Lyla is now 20 months old and loves when we read books to her, play hide and go seek, and eat rice(it’s a good thing we live in Cambodia where rice is the essential part of meals!).

THE BIGGEST AND MOST EXCITING NEWS OF ALL! We are EXPECTING another addition in our family end of November 2013! We feel very blessed and excited for another addition and a sibling for Lyla and look forward to meeting him/her in November!

Celebrating the fact that we'll soon be a family of 4!

Celebrating the fact that we’ll soon be a family of 4!

– We cannot express and say enough how THANKFUL we are for all of you in our lives, for your prayers and support for our family and the ministry here in Cambodia! Thank you for your sacrificial and generous donations as well as your continual prayers, investing into the country we love so dearly!

Thank you Jesus for all that you've blessed us with  and for the privilege of serving you as a family!

Thank you Jesus for all that you’ve blessed us with and for the privilege of serving you as a family!

 

 

 

And the ADVENTURE Continues!

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Hello friends and family all around the world!

Yesterday morning, as Garth, Lyla and I were having breakfast together, we looked at each other, and talked about how sometimes, especially in the last 2 months, our lives feel like the TV show “The AMAZING RACE.” Then we said how we wouldn’t trade our lives right now for anything, as it is such an adventurous, risky, crazy, wild, humbling, great journey it is to follow the call of Jesus on our lives!

Since our last update there has been lots happening here in Battambang, as we’ve had a crazy start to the year, but nonetheless, we are grateful and thankful for the privilege it is to serve Jesus in various ways all around the globe!

Here are some highlights from our last two months:

1) Like we mentioned in our previous update, we went to Korea for a week to tour with Loren Cunningham, the founder of our organization Youth With A Mission and it was a privilege to share with the body of Christ in Korea as well plant seeds of sending more missionaries into the harvest field!

2) Right after our tour in Korea, we welcomed Loren to Cambodia, where we did a 6-day tour of the three major cities in Cambodia, including our city of Battambang. We partnered with the local churches to send forth the message of the power of the Gospel to Transform Cambodia and to help empower the Body of Christ to accomplish their vision to plant churches in each of the 11,000 villages in Cambodia by the year 2021. Loren was so inspirational in challenging the body of Christ to rise up and call forth a missions movement out of Cambodia!

Loren Cunningham with some of our key YWAM leaders

Loren Cunningham with some of our key YWAM leaders

3) Garth has had the privilege of using his gift of teaching to serve different Discipleship Training Schools all over the world. In the last month, he’s taught in our 2 DTS’s in Cambodia, 2 DTS’s in Australia, as well as teaching the book of Ecclesiastes in our School of Biblical Studies in Battambang next Monday! 

Garth teaching the "Cost of Discipleship" to our Battambang DTS!

Garth teaching the “Cost of Discipleship” to our Battambang DTS!

4) Our final update and most exciting update is that our future Campus property is in the process of being transformed by the filling it with DIRT!!!  Two weeks ago, the contracts were finalized and signed  for a company to fill our land. It has been a journey to research with which company to hire, but thankfully in the end, our leadership team prayed about it and felt to go with one particular company! THANK YOU to those who sacrificially and generously gave towards the first phase of purchasing the land for the campus project! Thank you for sowing into this harvest generation in the nation of Cambodia! We will keep you updated about the next steps of the building phase. 

Big Trucks filling our future campus site!

Big Trucks filling our future campus site!

Prayer Requests:

1) Please pray for continued strength, wisdom and joy for our family as we continue to lead out and be obedient to what Jesus has for our ministry

2) As our ministry continues to expand, please pray for the development of our leaders, specifically our Cambodian leaders to be trained up and used by God for His glory!

Rady with Sasda(8 months), Samphas with Visal(4 months), Garth with Lyla(17 months)

With good friends and co-laborers! Rady with Sasda(8 months), Samphas with Visal(4 months), Garth with Lyla(17 months). Apparently Sasda and Lyla seem to only have eyes for each other!

3) For the filling of dirt process to go well and for the physical and spiritual foundation of our ministry location to be in accordance to God’s Word.

Caroline and Lyla at our dig site for the future campus

Caroline and Lyla at our dig site for the future campus

We cannot express how much your partnership means to our family and ministry! THANK YOU for your prayers, encouragement and financial support to see Cambodia changed in one generation and please drop us an email to let us know how we can pray for you as well!

 

Home Again Home Again!

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Greetings from Battambang! We have been back at home for 2 weeks already and it feels great to be back with our community of friends and get back into running this race hard for Jesus here in Cambodia! It has been sooooo good being back here, it is truly HOME! Just wanted to fill you all in on what’s been going on…

What’s been happening so far:

-Garth and a team of our leaders have been doing their research on how to fill our ministry’s 13-acre campus as we need to fill it in the next few months while it is still dry season.

-WE RECEIVED A VEHICLE TO USE!!! We have been generously given a truck that we will use for our personal and ministry use!

THANK YOU JESUS FOR PROVIDING THIS AMAZING TRUCK!

-Another Discipleship Training School started right before we got back, with 24 students being trained in missions to this country and region!

What we look forward to:

-Tomorrow we leave for one week to Korea, where we will be going on tour with Loren Cunningham who is the founder of our organization Youth With A Mission and stirring the body of Christ for missions and also sharing about Cambodia

-After our tour in Korea to different churches, Loren Cunningham will be joining us here in Cambodia to do a tour of Cambodia to 3 of the major cities, including Battambang to rally the body of Christ about the Gospel and it’s power to TRANSFORM A NATION

 

Thank you so much for reading our short update and taking the time to pray for what we are doing! It’s been a great start to 2013 already and we would love to hear back from you as well!

The electricity company in town was doing work/maintenance so we were out of power from 7am-7pm for 3 days! Lyla ended up wearing just diapers most of the time!

 

Please take a look at this video about our campus development, from the ministry 100Fold Studios, who are the architects designing our campus. The video is amazing and the architects are even more amazing!

 

 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Hello dear loved ones and friends! It’s been a long time since the last time we updated our blog and our busy year has come to a close, as we just entered into 2013. SO MUCH to reflect and be thankful for and here are our highlights from 2012:

  • In 2007,  we started running our first Discipleship Training School. This past year, we have gone from running one school in January to two schools a year, another one in July! This past July DTS, we were able to have some students from a nearby closed country where believers are persecuted for their faith in Jesus.
  • Our 3rd School of Biblical Studies course graduated in June 2012, with 15+ students graduating with a passion for the Word of God and the foundation to be able to teach it.
  • In September, at our annual national staff conference, with other staff from our organization that work in different parts of Cambodia, we were able to engage in 3 days of worship, fellowship and uniting together for our common goal of bringing the Gospel into Cambodia.
  • God continues to provide the “workers” for the Harvest, as we have about 65 full-time staff with us, and about 65% of them are local, indigenous Cambodians
  • Three Cambodian girls that have been on staff with us for 4+ years recently started a ministry reaching out to women that are trafficked and selling their bodies to provide income for their families. Their heart is to reach women in our city with the love and redemption of Jesus, and to provide a safe home where they be restored their dignity, learn skills so that they can find other jobs, rather than the vicious cycle of prostitution.

As we reflect on all that God has done in 2012, we were reminded from our last blog update in February 2012 to see how much God has done! Last we had written, we had just jumped into a major land purchase, with payments from February-October 2012. God’s faithfulness, through the generosity of many from all over the world, has completely humbled us to see how BIG and GOOD our God is and to see this 13-acre property secured for a future campus for Youth with a Mission in Cambodia.

As we enter into 2013, we want to make it our priority to continue to be in good communication to all of our supporters, family and friends and keep you in the loop of what God is doing in Battambang, Cambodia! We would also love to hear from you as well, so please feel free to contact us!

Happy 2013 from our Family to Yours

THANK YOU so much for your support, prayers and encouragement, as we couldn’t do it without the team of people that surround us through your generous and sacrificial giving and prayers. WE LOVE YOU ALL and please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Love,

Garth, Caroline and Lyla

 

 

Prayer Requests:

  • After a restful 2 month break for the holidays in the States, for our family’s transition back into life in Cambodia
  • For our continued wisdom for Garth and the leadership team for the ministry
  • For our staff to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually for us to be able to do the work that God is calling us to do in Battambang
  • For wisdom in how we move forward in the development of the 13-acre property, with the filling of the rice paddie and fencing it

Craziest Season of our Lives(thus far)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Since being in Thailand for six weeks for Lyla’s birth and also for a few conferences, when we returned back to Battambang, Cambodia, we as a family have hit the ground running. It has been an abundance of guests, family and meetings and it’s exciting times here for us in Battambang. We’ve hosted guests from Montana, Yakima, Colorado Springs, California, Singapore, Chicago, Canada, and Phnom Penh and our front door has been a revolving door. It’s been so much fun to see God continue to bring people into our lives here from far off places and be a blessing to us personally and also to the ministry. Here are some pictures to give you a snapshot of our last two months…

Garth's parents brought their small group team all the way from Yakima! Celebrating Garth's 33rd birthday with them. This team of eight was a huge blessing to our base because of their life experience, marriage counseling, business expertise, teaching in one of our schools, and willingness to serve our different ministries. Thank you Yakima Team!!!

Our Base Leadership team with Leadership13, a ministry out of YWAM Montana that coaches and consults leadership teams. They have been helping bring lots of wisdom and guidance for our leadership team for the future of the ministry.

Our friends from Singapore visiting our ministries to partner together in community development projects in the slums and villages that we reach out to

Our good friend David visiting and championing our staff with words of encouragement and affirmation! Thank you David for your words of wisdom to us.

On a trip to the market with mommy buying food to have one of the many dinner parties we hosted this past month! So much fun and exciting to entertain so many people all in one month from all corners of the world!

Having a bit of "daddy and me" time during a break while Garth was teaching the book fo Hebrews in our School of Biblical Studies

 

 

Serving food at our annual Thanksgiving Family dinner...We also have a fun tradition of wearing funny hats to this dinner, as you can see:)

We managed to squeeze in running a half marathon at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. This was our second time running it and it was so much fun, as we ran with some of our really good friends too!

In the midst of this crazy season, we were able to squeeze in a weekend trip to Siem Reap and run the marathon and hang out with our close friends that we work and live life with.

Listening intently to daddy teaching in the Phnom Penh DTS on the "Cost of Discipleship-Laying Down your Rights"....and falling asleep:)

Sineout, Chenda and Sophorn, our three Cambodian staff girls that want to start a ministry focusing on women-at-risk. Two weeks ago, after spending the mornings teaching in the DTS, we all accompanied them to many research meetings with different organizations, reaching out to prostitutes and women-at-risk, to help them get started and gain insight for their new ministry.

As we accompanied our three staff girls on these research meetings, we also took Lyla to some of the most notorious places where women are targeted as sex victims. It was a very successful week in networking with different organizations, as our three staff girls gained a bigger picture of this injustice and how to strategically come alongside these victims and help them get their lives back on track.

Thank you and Merry Christmas from the Gustafson's! Have a wonderful and safe Christmas season as we celebrate Emmanuel, our Savior and King.

Thank you Jesus for continuing to lead us on this adventure and keeping us grounded in the midst of a busy season! Thank you especially to all of our guests and grandparents that traveled all this way to be with us in Battambang and be a huge encouragement to us as we continue to serve Jesus in Cambodia! We couldn’t do what we do without friends and family that pray, support and believe in us in what we do here in Cambodia! Our lives here are so much more abundant and rich because of our dear friends and family that are behind us in this call to serve Cambodia.

Our hearts are FULL this holiday season as we continue to see our young Cambodia friends rise up and take their stand to become leaders in their country for Jesus! Thank you for being a part of their lives through supporting us!

 

 

 

 

Our Newest Addition

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Hello dear friends and family all around the world! It’s been awhile since the last time we updated and for good reason! We became proud parents to Lyla Nancy Gustafson on October 10, 2011. Lyla was born at 12:24am, weighing in at 7 pounds exactly and 20.5 inches. We have been truly blessed by her in our family and she is an endless source of joy in our lives. It was a smooth labor and delivery and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience in Bangkok at our hospital. Just wanted to share with you the good news and wanted to show you the whole experience through pictures…

"When is the taxi going to get here??? It's been one hour already since we called him!" Waiting for our taxi in front of our apartment complex we were staying at.

After arriving at the hospital at 9pm and getting checked up, taking a walk in the hallways to get the whole labor moving!

Going through contractions in the birthing room's water tub...So RELAXING!

In AWE of God's impeccable creation...getting to hold our water baby, Lyla Nancy for the first time! Born just after midnight, at 12:24am.

Out of the water and waiting for Lyla to get cleaned up and checked out by our wonderful nurses...

And baby makes three! Garth was the best coach I could've asked for during the whole labor. He was such an encourager and also stood the pain of me digging my nails into his arms:)

Thank you so much for your prayers and support during the pregnancy and also for the birth of Lyla. We are so thankful for so many friends and family all over the world that are celebrating with us during this joyous time in our lives.