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Isaiah 43:18-19
Do not remember the former things,
    or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

This picture you see above of the flip flop sandal, that’s my (David’s) sandal. It finally broke apart yesterday. The duct tape is just a temporary solution not meant to last forever (despite what Red Green may think).  It was one of my first purchases after arriving in Cambodia. I quickly realized that the thin flip flops brought from Canada were no match for the often muddy and wet streets of Cambodia. So, I went out and bought a thicker pair of flip flops that kept me dry. This sandal served its purposes and has served me well these last 2 years.  But it is time for a new pair that will help me step forward into the new things ahead. 
The broken flip flops are a great analogy for where Joyce and I find ourselves at after just 2 years of being in Cambodia.  There are many new things in the horizon for us, some already started and some things we are still planning for. When we think of something new replacing the old, we often think that it is only because the old is broken and of no use.  But when I think of my flip flops, I think that it has serve its purpose very well for the time that it was needed. Replacing it, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great pair of flip flops. Like the flip flops, there are things in our ministry that served us well in the past but moving forward we are excitedly looking at some new things that God has put on our team’s heart.  Covid-19 has put us in a position where not only us, but all ministries have been forced to make changes and begin new things.
But new things, even though they may be needed, can bring about discomfort. Take a look at this picture below of the muddy road.

This road is in front of our house.  It is filled with potholes and the red dirt makes everything muddy. We often spray down our feet as soon as we get home to wash off the mud. Thankfully, the government has decided to fix our road and put in a new road. But to do that, they had to scrape down the old road making it “temporarily” even muddier than before.  We were told that it may be a year before they come back and finish the job. The new road won’t happen overnight but it’s exciting to think about what the road will look like and how it will better suit our needs.
God is doing some new things here in Cambodia.  Recently, we have been telling you about how we’ve changed over these past months to focus more on discipleship and leadership training.  This is still new for our team, especially figuring out to do this in Vietnamese and Khmer which is not any of our primary languages. It’s also exciting because we have seen God work in the lives of some of our local leaders. It has been a slow process with some challenges and despite our wishes, it isn’t going to happen as quickly as we want. Please pray for us and pray for our local leaders. Pray for breakthrough moments to happen as we do teaching and training. Pray for the local leaders that God will give them a burden to mentor and disciple others as they are being mentored. Pray for our team to not lose heart but to be patient yet persistent with those who are training.

Another new thing is we are moving!!! Well, not us personally but our church/ministry centre is moving. Our team decided a few months ago that we would not renew our lease and move out of the building. This past week we began the process of packing up everything and moving it all to temporarily places of storage. Why temporary? Because we still have do not have a building to move into.  While we have our own ideas of what the new place should look like and how much we want to pay, we also know that God has a place He is planning for us. We are trusting God, that He will provide the perfect location and building that will perfectly fit the needs of our ministry going forward. Until then, we patiently wait for that place. We thank God that our team is at peace with waiting. Please pray for our team and those helping us look for this new place. 
Finally, our team is looking to launch a new “social aid” program to respond to the needs that we have personally seen over the past year in Siem Reap. We want to move from giving “hand outs” to giving people a “hand up”.  We want to support them as they look for ways to support their families. We want to instill in people the desire to help out others as they are being helped. We have lots of ideas that are slowly coming together. We are looking for individuals and partner organizations who want to work with us in this new program. Pray that God will allow us to meet those who want to partner with us. Pray that we can communicate this new program clearly to those in our community.
One more new thing on a personal note. Our kids finally returned to physical classrooms 2 weeks ago. Like millions of students around the world, this is a whole new world of education for them. It is disheartening to hear them talk about sitting by themselves socially distanced during breaks instead of playing with their friends like they used to. However, we do praise God for the excellent school and teachers at Hope International school who are taking great care of Jadon, Elisabeth and Josiah.

New things… sometimes it is time for a new thing. It can be uncomfortable, slow, and even filled with uncertainty. Yet, we are at comforted knowing that we worship a God who promises to be with us through it all.

Prayer Requests:
  • Pray for our team as we disciple and train up local leaders.
  • Pray for the local leaders that they will will have a desire to disciple others.
  • Pray that God will provide a new location for our ministry.
  • Pray for our new social aid program as we look for partners and hope to launch by year’s end.
  • Pray for our children as they adapt to the new norm of socially distanced in-person learning at Hope International School.
  • Pray for Cambodia as this wet season has been especially wet with storms that have flooded many roads and houses. Many people have been displaced.

Thank you for continuing to journey with us!

Blessings,
Dave and Joyce (Jadon, Elisabeth, & Josiah)

One last picture in front of the church after we locked up for the last time.

ps. Our newsletters only come out about once a month but if you want to keep more up to date with more frequent updates, check out our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/djnguyen.ca