Archive for the ‘Prayer Requests’ Category

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

photo 12.40.42 PM

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

ywamap

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

Into the Fall Season

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Hi friends and family! Hope everyone had a great end to their summer season. Just wanted to give you a snapshot of what’s been going on in our community here in Battambang:

National Staff Conference 2011 in Phnom Penh:

Every fall, our organization has a national staff conference for all of our staff working in Cambodia, that are working in all the different locations and provinces. This year, there were about 150 staff, and 65% of them are local Cambodians. It’s been incredible to see the influx of young Cambodians being on staff with YWAM and being discipled to be able to rise up and influence their own country. This year’s theme was “Rise Up: Going Deeper with God and with Others.”  It was a refreshing and encouraging time to seek God together as a whole family and also to be able to share about how God has been using our various locations to impact Cambodia and reach out to our communities. Through teaching sessions, fun game times, delicious food and fellowship, and intimate times of worship, this was a great way to kick off our fall season with unity to empower to love and impact Cambodia for Jesus.

 

University of the Nations, Cambodia staff(YWAM)

Battambang Re-Engage 2011

During the summer months, many of our staff are away on outreach and to visit family. So each fall, we have a day event called “Battambang Re-Engage” to be able to bring all our staff together and get us on the same page to be able to be informed of big things going on with our ministry as a whole and also to connect together as a family. We started the morning off with worship, thanking Jesus for all that He has done in the past year and how He has continued to expand our areas of influence. After a time of thanksgiving and gratitude, there were many information pieces of exciting new projects and ministries that are about to launch in the next few months. Some of these new opportunities include a Women-At-Risk ministry, many of our local and international staff being invited to teach at a brand new local bible school, and the exploration of a long-term land purchase to have a permanent location. As we started to pray for the many things that God has been releasing to us, we as family felt a surge of faith to believe God for these things to happen and be utilized so that we can effectively influence our community for His glory. After a morning of announcements, worship and prayer, we topped it off with a BBQ for lunch and fellowship, as it was a time to celebrate and reconnect with staff. It’s been amazing to see how God is continuing to knit our family together, as we all come from such different backgrounds, and yet our hearts desire is to see this nation impacted by Jesus.

Our Battambang Family- What an amazing group of people we are privileged to live life with everyday!

 

School of Biblical Studies 2011-2012

We have officially entered into the third year of running Inductive Bible School (SBS), with a whopping 18 students and 26 staff and representing 7 different countries! These countries include Cambodia, USA, Vietnam, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. There are 8 International students and 10 local Cambodians and also one staff that is from Vietnam! This is our biggest school yet, so please pray for grace for the staff as well as for the students to be able to be transformed by the power of the Truth of God.

Phase 2 School 2011

This year’s Phase 2 School focus is on Evangelism and Church Planting. As there is a group of 18 (11 new interns and 7 experienced staff) they have already been a huge blessing to our ministry, helping out in various ways but also reaching out to our local slums and villages by going and sharing about Jesus as well as starting cell-groups and discipling young believers. As we continue to run this school each fall, we see how effective it is for graduated DTS students that want to come on staff, to be able to serve for several months and get more intensive discipleship and also be exposed to different ministries we run, so that they can catch the vision as well to be a part of our YWAM family.

Phase 2 2011 Staff and Interns

October in Bangkok

We are now in Bangkok, awaiting the arrival of our first child, a baby girl that is to be born in the next few weeks! We are so excited and thankful for God’s timing, blessing and provision throughout this pregnancy, and look forward to meeting her, as the newest addition to our family. A few days ago, we went for a check-up with Caroline’s doctor and everything looks good and ready for baby to come out.  Please pray for Caroline’s labor and delivery and that we can transition into this new territory of parenthood with God’s grace.

Making FUN MEMORIES before Baby G arrives! Caroline at 37 weeks pregnant!

 

The Realities of Life

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Hello to our friends and family around the world! Summer is flying right before our eyes and we can’t believe it’s almost August. As we share with you through our updates on what happens in our daily life here in Battambang, most of the time it is really positive and encouraging reports, especially because Jesus continues to use us to  bring His kingdom here in Cambodia. However, as we pause and reflect on even the last month, there are the hard realities of life which we would like to share with you, as your prayers are so important to what we do here.

"The Harvest is Plentiful but the workers are few"

 

Four weeks ago, one of our staff couples, who have been serving with us faithfully for the last 4 years, lost their baby. She was just 3 weeks behind Caroline and it was a shock to all of us, as she had been healthy throughout her 5 months of pregnancy. As we have been walking alongside them through the process, they have amazed us in their strength and faith in Jesus that can’t be shaken. Sure, they are still grieving their loss, but they are trusting Jesus in the midst of this difficult season. Please continue to pray for them, that they can come out of this season with more passion for Jesus, hope for their future and God’s HUGE calling in their lives.

A few weeks after this couple lost their baby, a girl from the slum area in town that our staff work with lost her baby in a similar way. Our staff were able to help her go into the local clinic to help her in this situation and continue to help her recuperate and checking in on her. She is not a Christian yet, however she is very interested and we hope that we can continue to show her more of the love of Jesus in this situation. One of our staff is a Midwife and walked through both of these situations with these mothers. Another staff does ministry consistently on the streets and has seen 5 people from one slum die in the last 4 months. Please pray for them as we walk alongside them that Jesus would help them process and stay healthy in the midst of an intense season.

This past week, one of our former students came over to our house because his girlfriend just broke up with him and he desperately wanted to talk to someone. Garth was able to talk to him and share with him past experiences. His heart is especially vulnerable and we found out that he tried to commit suicide that night and and went missing. Thankfully he showed up at our house again the next day and Garth has been able to love on him and counsel him in this hard time. Please pray that God would meet him during this difficult situation and cover him with His abundant love.

We both view our lives here in Cambodia as a privilege to serve Jesus and the Cambodian people, as He has given us a desire to see this nation transformed by the Love and Truth of Jesus.We both agree that we just can’t picture ourselves doing anything else but what we do now.  We just wanted to share with all of you that there are amazing things that continue to happen here and interwoven into that are the difficult situations that cause us to run to our loving God who never changes. He alone is our ROCK and SUSTAINER in this journey of life, guiding us through all the uncertainties in life. Our prayer is that we would embrace all that God has for us, the good and the difficult circumstances, knowing that He is in control and sovereign. Blessed be His name.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

Prayers please!

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

This past Tuesday, as we were on our way to have lunch with our staff, we got in a small accident on our moto(our mode of transportation here, it’s like a scooter). The other family(husband,wife, small son) did not get hurt nor did their moto fall down. However, we fell over and in the process of falling, our moto went down and Garth’s left arm was burned under the exhaust pipe of the other moto.
Please pray for fast healing, clear of infections(Garth is on antibiotics now), and for full recovery, as his left arm is bothering him frequently.
We are so thankful that Caroline and the baby didn’t get hurt at all nor did the other family involved. It could’ve been much worse but God continues to keep us safe.
Thank you so much for your prayers and thinking of us far away in Cambodia! We really appreciate it!

The burns on Garth's left arm

MARCH MADNESS!!!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The title of this update sums it all up, as it has been chaotic here, but with God’s grace, joy and lots of fun an dthe great news is God keeps moving us forward. Lots going on here in Battambang as usual and we’d like to recap for you the last month with what we’ve been up to:

1) Caroline just returned from a month back in the States, where she went to get checked up by infectious disease specialists, all who confirmed she has mono and hopefully it will leave her body soon. Praise God that she wasn’t diagnosed with anything too serious and that we are now reunited after a month apart!

2) In the month of March, our Battambang base was bursting at the seams, with around one hundred staff and students here simultaneously. The reason for this was because three of our training schools were running at the same time, which included the DTS, SBS and also TESOL.

3) The four-week TESOL seminar graduated about 17 students, with the majority of them Cambodians. The intensive seminar taught students how to teach more effectively, in which they were able to practice what they’ve learned in the English classes that our Youth Center offers. Now almost all of them are using this skill as missionaries in Cambodia to bless people, help them learn the skill of the English language and most importantly share Jesus with them.

4) Our SBS(School of Biblical Studies) just wrapped up their 2nd quarter by going on a mini-outreach to different villages nearby and taught the Bible to many churches. The 3rd and final quarter of SBS  is filled with many intense, long books (mostly the prophets), so please pray for the students.

5) The fourth-ever BB DTS started in the end of February, with 32 students and 10 staff. So far the students have had teaching on Identity in Christ, Intimacy with God, Character and Nature of God, and Hearing God’s Voice. Last week, the outreach teams were formed, and our students will be heading to a few neighboring closed countries; Myanmar and Laos, as well as other parts of Cambodia and one team will go to India! Please pray for their finances as they will need God to provide in huge ways in the next 6 weeks.

6) Garth just returned from a week in Perth, teaching on Missions/Lordship to the Young People’s DTS at the Perth YWAM base. With 50 students in the school, Garth was able to spend a lot of quality time with them, challenging them on their view of missions and call to be a part of it, as well as what it means to follow after Jesus.

Prayer Requests:

1) For Caroline’s health and to be completely healed and get back into her normal lifestyle

2) For Garth, as he leads the ministry and seeks wisdom and discernment from Jesus

3) Our marriage, that Jesus may be the center of it as we continue to serve each other and grow together.

4) That our Cambodian staff may continue to grow and reach out to their own people with the love and hope of Jesus

As we continue to live our lives here, we want to really take time and say THANK YOU to all of you that continue to pray for us and support what we do here. Often times, we say that we really can’t do it without you and it’s totally true. So thank you once again for believing in us and allowing us to do what God has called us to do here in Cambodia.

Please update us on your lives and things we can pray for you as well.

Thankfulness and Generosity

Sunday, December 27th, 2009
Christmas Morning in Battambang with our Staff that were here

Christmas Morning in Battambang with our Staff that were here

Hey Friends,

We just returned before Christmas from Perth, Australia where Garth taught in a DTS at one of the largest YWAM bases in the world. This was the 1st time that Caroline was able to go with him on his teaching travels and so it was great for us to share this time and minister together. Especially after Garth has been doing quite a bit of travels and teaching in different nations in the last few months going to Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and now Australia.

As the end of 2009 is rapidly approaching we have been reflecting on our year and thankfulness is the thing that continues to come to mind. Most people because we are so busy don’t take enough time to reflect and think about thankfulness. Thankfulness is an essential aspect in life. So many times we are so focused on what we want instead of being thankful for what we have, and so we think IF I just had this then then I would be satisfied. This is always the great lie because once we get it… a few days, weeks or months go by and we have a sense of needing something else.

We see this lie attacking the nation of Cambodia as the nation has started to develop. In the last 3 years many people’s income level has increased and they are able to afford more things and yet instead of a focus on thankfulness often the focus is on what we don’t have. As  consumerism has now consumed the world let us not fall into the lie that the media bombards us with daily, but let us respond with Thankful hearts for what we do have! So we want to challenge you to sit down and think about why you are thankful… here are a few of our top reasons to get your gears turning… What the Gustafson’s are thankful for:

  • JESUS – as the cheesy saying goes – He is the reason for the season and we are Thankful for the sacrificial love of a humble God the reaches out to us as sinful humans to give us hope, thankfulness and life change
  • May 9th, 2009 – we got married in Yakima, WA at our parent’s home
  • Getting back into Cambodia in July to continue on with the call of God on our lives
  • Seeing the 1st EVER School of Biblical Studies in Cambodia started in September
  • For ALL of our friends and family that are so supportive in MANY ways, spiritually, financially and emotionally that allow us to continue serving Jesus in Cambodia

Here is a video that we have enjoyed to make us all think a bit more about the Christmas season and how we can respond in Generosity and Thankfulness

YouTube Preview Image

2010 Is a Comin’

As we walk into 2010 we have an extreme sense of excitement but also a realization of what God has called us to here in Cambodia. It is most of the time very rewarding and fun but it also comes at a high cost of pain and sacrifice. We feel that God is calling us into a new season of greater sacrifice and community as a ministry here. We are so excited for ALL the upcoming trainings that will take place in the next 9 months: 6 more months of SBS, DTS Feb 2010, TESOL Feb 2010 (Teaching English as a Second Language), Titus Project July 2010(Equipping SBS graduates to teach and preach) and DTS Equip Sept 2010 (Equipping DTS leaders to train and lead school). We will also be hosting our Regional DTS Workshop for ALL DTS Staff in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and other Asian nations. For more information you can check out our ministry at www.uofnbattambang.com

As we enter into this new season you can pray for the following:

  • A deeper walking out in community and sacrificial living as a ministry
  • For ALL of the upcoming schools that God would call all of the right students, staff and speakers to bring the best possible equipping into these trainings
  • Continued financial provision specifically for our staff and ministries
  • For our 1st year of marriage to continue to be as amazing as these first 7 months
  • For deeper intimacy with Jesus as we continue to serve and follow Him with ALL of our lives

We look forward to hearing back from you about what you are thankful for. One thing that we are thankful for is ALL the wonderful young Cambodians that are on staff with us. They are trusting God for finances to serve Him and so you can be a part of meeting that need and being Generous if you want by looking at the attached document to the orginal email that you recieved.