08 October 2009

With a Little Help From Our Friends...

It has been a while since I have sent out any kind of Graham and Seda update, so here are some highlights...

- We are finally legal! It took nearly seven mo
nths to complete the paperwork due to red tape, corruption payments, and the like, but it is finally done. Seda and I got our marriage certificate a few days short of being married seven months. Unfortunately, they will not post-date our license to show that our ceremony was in February without some additional bribe, but right now, we will take what we can get.

- Last week, with a little help from our friends around the world, I submitted the first round of paperwork for Seda to be given an immigration visa to the United States. There are two more steps that could go very slowly or quickly depending on the unseen forces involved with the United States Embassy... we will see. After, God willing, she is approved, we would begin the process of moving to the US. Not sure what we will be doing after that, but we are just taking it one step at a time.

- Why are we applying to come back to the US? Well, there are basically two reasons. The first is that it is impossible for Seda to get a tourist visa to the US, and I want her to be able to know my family. The second is that I am finding that my plan for coming to Cambodia, while good in the short run, has some serious flaws in regard to the long run. We are praying and considering what will happen with us, Cambodia, the future, etc... but right now we do not know.

- A week and a half ago, I was privileged to accompany about 100+ of the Asia's Hope orphans to go to Sihanoukville ('The Beach') in Cambodia. Most of the children had never seen the ocean before, and they had a great time! I did some swimming when we first got there, but then backed off to take some pictures (and a nap!).

- It is hard to explain how this works, but Seda finished her course work in 2006 at the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), yet just received her degree this past August (see picture #1). Family and friends were not allowed to attend, so I did not get any pictures of the speaker, Prime Minister Hun Sen. She is the first person in her family to graduate from a university...

- Some of you may have seen us in the Columbus Dispatch... if not the picture is attached. It will eventually be in the Mansfield News Journal, but I had my information wrong about when that would happen.

-The other pictures are of me teaching some of my students at Panasastra University.

At the end of the school year, Seda and her staff took their best students to 'The Pizza Company'. It was a really big deal, since many of the children had never even stepped into a restaurant before... hard to believe I know, but true. In the posed picture, Seda is the one on the left.

I think that is about it for now... as always there are a few more pictures on my blog... have a great week... please keep us, our church, and our work in your prayers as we keep stitching our tents...

Love, Graham and Seda

Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you.