“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Kom Barom” has been a theme in our family life these past few weeks. What is “kom barom”? It means “don’t worry” in Khmer. In a recent talk with our language tutor she kept saying to us “lok kom barom. Lok toukcet preah jesu” (teacher don’t worry, trust in Jesus). So why did this phrase come up? While practicing our Khmer with her, we were telling her about our search for a house in Siem Reap, our attempts to purchase a car and details about our future ministry in Siem Reap. As we shared with her some of the uncertainties that still lingered, she kept saying to us, “kom barom”.
As these words were said to us, there was deep a conviction from the Holy Spirit that we indeed were worrying too much about the uncertainties that remained ahead of us. Things had not been falling into place as perfectly as we wanted and so we started to fret a little bit. However, we were reminded that we did not need to worry. We needed to trust in Jesus that He knows what is best for us. Time and time again in our lives God has shown Himself more than faithful, even when things don’t work out how we would have imagined. It is so easy for us to forget about our ever faithful and loving Father when the plans that we have made do not fall perfectly into place; or at least perfectly in accordance to our timing.
Fast forward a bit to where we are today. Indeed, we had nothing to be worried about. Our trip to Siem Reap to look for a house to rent for our July move turned out to be fruitful. Hooray! We have found a place and while the landlord was not in town and we could not officially sign a lease, we are trusting in God that it will all work out. Initially, after viewing 8 different houses and dozens of rental ads with the real estate agent, we did not find a house that we felt was a good fit for our family. Then a person that we had just met through the kid’s school connected us to her friend who was planning on moving out of her house. We feel that God was saving this house just for us, and after we had exhausted all our own efforts, He provided us the place that He had prepared for us all along. The house has many fruit trees and a grass back yard (this is rare). The kids are so excited for the many mango, guava, coconut, banana and dragon fruit trees that grow in our yard. There are also other trees too that we are not quite sure of so it will be a great surprise when they start to fruit. We are told the landlord is a very nice older couple who live 2 houses away. They have agreed to partially furnish the house for us which will save us some trouble. We are also grateful that they have agreed to remove the spirit house that is in the front yard. Spirit houses are present at most houses and businesses in Cambodia. The belief is that there are spirits that live in these houses and they need to be appeased if you want them to protect your house (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_house).
As we look back upon this housing journey, we think to ourselves, “why did we ever worry?” Kom barom!!!
In the same week God also led us to purchase a car after 4 months of searching (technically the car belongs to the C&MA and is assigned for us to use while here on field). We were out of town in Siem Reap when we were sent pictures of the car, so we did not actually see the car in person and had to trust our team leader who saw the car in person. Like many used cars imported into Cambodia, the car had been in a previous accident in the USA but has since been repaired. We once again felt that this was the car that God had been preparing for us as it fit right under our budget. Now we are waiting for the car to get registered, insured and license plates to assigned to it. We are told that this process could take anywhere from a few weeks to 2 months. Of course, we are praying that it will be closer to a few weeks. So once again we say to ourselves, “kom barom!!!”
As we think about our July move and the ministry that awaits us, we have been having a lot more discussions with our team. There are still many uncertainties ahead and we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom. In the midst of these unknown factors the Holy Spirit is once again saying to us, “kom barom, toukcet preah Jesu”. We had the chance to visit the Samaki Vietnamese Church while in Siem Reap and were amazed at all the young people who are taking up leadership positions. We only saw a small number of adults attending the service and pray that God provides new pathways to reaching more adults in the Vietnamese community of Samaki.
Please continue to prayer for us in the coming weeks:
- Pray for Samaki Church (this is the Vietnamese church we will be working with in Siem Reap). Almost all of the leaders in the church are teenagers. Pray that God would continue to give them wisdom and encouragement.
- Pray that God will guide us to more potential adult leaders.
- Pray for our team as we continue to discuss future plans for the Siem Reap ministry.
- Pray for continued good health as this month will be very busy in preparation for the move.
- Pray for Jadon, Elisabeth, and Josiah as they are near the end of the school term. They are starting to miss friends as many have gone back to their home countries for home assignment and the pending move brings a wave of mixed emotions.
Thanks again for journeying with us!
Dave, Joyce, Jadon, Elisabeth, & Josiah Nguyen.