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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our 1st 8 days in Cambodia

Hello from Cambodia. I hope this e-mail finds you all doing well. We are doing great here! God has been so good to us already, and we have a lot to praise Him for – safe travels, health, protected luggage, blessed reunions with family and friends, opportunities for ministry, etc. I even want to acknowledge that every time I have desperately needed a toilet, God has provided! Titus had an angry stomach for two days, but we have both been well! Titus and I have committed today to prepare for the retreat this weekend and I want to take a little time to update you on our trip and share with you what has happened already.

On our 1st and 2nd full days in Cambodia, we visited Titus’ immediate family. During my last trip in 2010, I met his mom and two brothers. Last Wednesday, I met the remaining three brothers, two nephews, and sister-in-law. Everyone was very shy, but still very friendly. We brought remote-controlled cars for the nephews and that provided much entertainment, as well as simply “catching up” on life and all that has happened in the last year of our life theirs. Before lunch, I went to the market with Ma and Chamnang. With no system of refrigeration, it is a daily chore to go to the market for the day’s groceries. Although my Khmer is still limited, I was able to point to some foods and say, “We eat a lot of this in America” as well as a few other phrases. I could tell this really made them happy. Back at the house, I watched the nephews play and listened to Titus interact with his brothers, trying to memorize their faces, voices, and smiles. It really was a great time. Praise the Lord, Titus’ family accepted the invitation to attend the retreat the beach. Though there will not be a message of salvation preached (the purpose of the retreat is spiritual renewal for the pastors and their wives,) we pray that their hearts will still be touched by the messages and fellowship, and that they will acknowledge the truth and recognize a need for God in their lives. Thank you for joining us in prayer!

On our first Sunday in Cambodia, we traveled two hours to Takao province to join our dear friend Pastor Poleak and his family and their church. On Saturday, we enjoyed fellowship under shade trees in his background – chickens and dogs zig-zagging between our feet and underneath our backs in the hammocks.  On Sunday we had two services and visited church members in the afternoon, praying over them and evangelizing their families. I shared the story of Joseph with the children in Sunday School, emphasizing that God has good plans for their lives; during the evening service, Titus preached and I shared a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

On Tuesday, we shared our testimonies at New Generation Church, a house church in Phnom Penh.  In this house, ~20 girls (university and early adults) live, paying the Church only $5-10/month for rent. Half were Christians before moving into the house; all are now Christians. We hope to return to NGC for Bible studies 2 more times before our trip is over.

In two days, I read “First They Killed My Father,” a memoir written by a Cambodian woman who survived the Khmer Rouge when she was 5-years-old.  If you do not know what the Khmer Rouge is, please research it.  It was a powerful, gripping, and tragic story. I now look at the Cambodian people – especially the young and the old – with new eyes.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

• Please continue to pray for our health and safety, especially as we travel.
• Please pray for safety for the pastors as they travel to Phnom Penh, where they will ride together to the retreat 3.5 hours away.
• Please pray that the pastors and their wives will be both uplifted and renewed during the retreat January 12-14.
• Pray that God will speak through Titus and I and that He will bless the messages He has led us to prepare.
• Pray that the heart’s of Titus’ family will be touched in a powerful and undeniably-God way.
• Pray that Titus and I will have strength everyday, so as to take advantage of every moment with every person during our remaining days here.

With a passion to see God glorified in Cambodia,
Titus & Jewel Romdenh