24 February 2010

Seda and Graham in Ohio

Seda has discovered the miracle of carpeting...

Seda in the Snow

Seda had never seen snow before, so when she got to my parent's house, one of the first things that she did was play in the snow for a few minutes... which included having a taste!

20 February 2010

Hello, Goodbye (one chapter ends, another chapter begins...)

The Beatles had a little nonsensical tune once that said, "You say yes, I say no... you say stop, but I say go, go, go... you say goodbye, but I say hello..."

I think that kind of sums up the way Seda and I have been feeling the last few weeks. We leave tomorrow night, and I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea how to feel or what to think about our departure from Cambodia.

We have been to numerous get-togethers over the last couple of weeks - and we have one more tonight - to say goodbye to family, friends, co-workers, ad infinitum.

Please keep Seda in your prayers, as she has felt the whole gamut of emotions, from excitement to fear and more...

The big question that looms over my head is not trying to find employment in the US or how we will manage as a couple in a new culture, or any of the other numerous questions that have swirled around in my brain for the last month. The biggest question for me is, has coming to Cambodia been a success or a failure for me personally?

I stepped out in faith in June 2007 leaving a good job, good friends, family, etc to pursue tent making in Cambodia so that I could serve orphans, another Christian school, and another church. Was it worth it? Was it a success, or not? I'll be honest in saying that my internal scales tilt in different ways on different days. There is no question that marrying Seda has been the biggest blessing, but that was a part of God' plan that I had not initially calculated.

So, with mixed feelings (yes/no, stop/go, hello/goodbye, succeed/fail) Seda and I both take another step of faith back to the US. We leave large pieces of our hearts here with family and friends, but we know that the Shepherd of our hearts is also leading us on to other things for the time being.

Thank you for all of your support, prayers, and giving over the last 2 years and 9 months. We have been so blessed by all of you... God has used every email, every financial gift, and every word of encouragement to help us. Please don't stop praying for us as we cross the ocean and transition to this new place and new chapter in our lives.

May Jesus bless you in every way,

Love, Graham and Seda

16 February 2010

Party for Seda and her co-workers

We had a big party at our house for all of the people that Seda has worked with (read: influenced and loved - you can see it by how many people wanted to hug her!) while she was at Transform Cambodia's Centre 3:Hope House. They came for a barbecue, but it was a much more than that...

Valentine's Day Date with Seda

Date night with Seda is always fun... and no, I did not make the paper roses for her... the children at her center did... but I will remember it!

Goodbye get together at our church

Seda and I had a get together for friends at our church this past Sunday evening after the English service. As always it is sweet sorrow to know that we are leaving, and yet moving on to a new chapter...

New Life Fellowship Church Valentine's Program

Here are some pictures of the Valentine's Day Program that New Life Fellowship (not to be confused with New Life Church, for the informed among us) had at Diamond Island City this past Sunday. The children from Transform Cambodia were involved again... and the children that Seda had taught to dance did two dances... she was proud of them...

A gift for Seda

This picture was one of the things that I gave Seda for our 1st anniversary (the paper anniversary)... it was a collage of different pictures of us... (I gave her a much bigger copy!)

12 February 2010

Dinner with Patrick and Carol Kelly

As always, we were blessed to spend time with our good friends Patrick and Carol Kelly. Here is a pic from a dinner that we had recently...

Lunch with Savorn, Sony, and Jen

Seda and I were invited to have lunch with Pastor Savorn, his wife Sony, and our friend Jen yesterday at Savorn's home. These are people who have shown us so much love and encouragement during our dating relationship, and into our marriage. We will miss them very much. Savorn is the Cambodian director of Asia's Hope.

More goodbyes

After we stopped at the optometrist, we made a quick stop at Cambodia Family Dentist which provides free dental care for orphans and poor children... once again, from Australia (just like the eye doctor). Seda was able to say good bye to her friend Sopheak. Don't quote me on this, but I think that all of the women who are being trained to work as hygenists here have been rescued out of some sort of sexual abuse. Asia's Hope has been taking their kids here for a while, but I know that they spend a lot of time doing extractions... Cambodian dental care (contrary to my wife's own set) is not a priority.

New glasses

I got a free eye examination, and then bought new glasses for $37! can't beat NGO prices... my old glasses have really taken a beating here in Cambodia... and no, I am not considering a career in eye glass modeling... they wouldn't take me...

Chanthou at the eye doctor

Chanthou told Seda that she was having trouble seeing at school, so we took her to a free clinic to have her eyes checked. She read the wall perfectly... whatever...but it was funny to see a scaled down version of the eye test... still accurate. I had mine done the day before!

Mangos and the Motor Driver

While we were outside of the optometrist the other day, this motor driver struck up a conversation with me in Khmer (which I understood surprisingly well) by asking me if I was a Christian. We had a good talk about how he has been a Christian for the last 11 years, and how Jesus has changed his life... it was a really nice gift for me.
I took some pictures of this mango tree from a distance, but I was just amazed at how much fruit was hanging off of it...

11 February 2010

Dinner with my evening class

We met my evening class for dinner at a Suki Soup restaurant last night... had a nice time... here are some of the pics...

Appreciation party for Seda

The evening that we got back from Kompong Thom, we went to an appreciation party for Seda held by Transform Cambodia. It was a very nice time of seeing friends that Seda has worked with (and for) for the last 3 1/2 years. As always, Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne said very nice things about her and her contributions to Transform. We are very grateful to them.

Seda and her friend Apov

When we got back to Phnom Penh, Seda and I met up with her friend Apov. They had not seen each other in six years! Apov works at a casino on the Thai/Cambodia border, so it was a really long trip for her to get here. Seda wanted to see her before going to the States. Apov went to an appreciation party for Seda that night.