Monday, February 22, 2021

A Prayer for North Texas


Heavenly Father,

In your kindness you care for the wanderers, the struggling, the restless, and the needy. We often pride ourselves on being your hands and feet when we have the opportunity to reach out to "the least of these." With the current crisis, we have become aware of how quickly our means can be lost and longed for. Let us find grace in receiving the aid that you provide for us and let us find encouragement in helping one another through this unforeseen experience. Just as quickly as crisis and struggle came upon us, let us find resolution and peace. In Your holy name,


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Christmas in January


As the program began, it seemed strange to be celebrating Christmas three weeks after New Year's day. We had all been anticipating this event for many months, the children especially. Costumes were made, dances rehearsed, songs sung over and over again until they sounded just right... but the ever-present global pandemic restricted group gatherings here in Phnom Penh for many weeks. 

While the administration at the student center and the children who would participate waited patiently, the restriction continued. New cases continued to rise and the limitations grew tighter.

We prayed for relief. We prayed for the opportunity to share joy together. 
The restrictions were lifted. 

Although the rest of the world had experienced their holiday, the street children here in Phnom Penh were still anticipating woefully a time to demonstrate their love for the Christ child. They longed to express wonder at the virgin birth. They longed to share the stories with the younger children through song, dance, and play. They longed to experience fellowship with one another as their worship reached out into the heavens. 

It was a great joy to see them sing, to see them dance, to see them perform the stories that have been passed down for thousands of years. It was a joy to see their smiling faces as they laughed together. And it was our pleasure to be able to provide them food and drinks and uniforms that they will use for the coming school year. 

One may wonder why these resources were simply not passed on without the fanfare during the restriction period. Why wait until a month after Christmas to do a gathering together? Why not simply divvy out the goods that the mission provides and be done with it?

The answer is that the goods are not the message. They are only a part of it. What goods and services we provide, we provide as an expression of the love for one another we learn in Christ. 

Love is the message. And it does not have to be communicated on December 25. It is a message that we are able to share all the time. It is patient. It is kind. It is a lesson I will always be grateful for.
Thank you to the children from the streets of Phnom Penh.

If you would like to become a monthly donor to help me continue serving in Phnom Penh, please click here. Thank you.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Holiday to Remember


2020 has certainly been a year to remember. From the outbreak of a global pandemic to a significant change in our presidential leadership and everything in between, many of us have simply had enough. In my personal life, it has been a drastic transition also. Moving from one side of the the world to the other is never easy, but doing it when countries are closing their borders and changing the rules day to day makes the difficult tasks nearly impossible.

But life is full of impossible choices. And often these bring the most substantial change.

To be a missionary is to want to reach out into the darkness and provide light.

There are many that say we are in very dark times.

The opportunity is ripe for us to be the hands of feet of Jesus.

As a neighbor receives an unexpected gift...

As a gift inspires joy to future generations... 

As tears well up in the eyes of someone receiving their first ever gift...

...we know that the Spirit of Christmas is alive and well.

From our family to yours,
Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Back to School


"It's like being a kid again," Mr. Thy says to me. Everyone is surprised to see that he dances with the enthusiasm and gracefulness of the students that surround him. 

This past weekend, we have had the pleasure of sharing a weekend retreat with the students of the Susanna Wesley Dormitory in Phnom Penh. These students come from many provinces throughout the Cambodian countryside. The majority of them would otherwise have no means to continue their education beyond secondary school without the support of the United Methodist Church, but with the church's help they are becoming chefs, lawyers, doctors and community leaders. Our staff at the Global Ministries office first met them a week earlier when we had the opportunity to visit the dormitory.

After learning about their personal histories, it was such a blessing to be able to share hope, love, and laughter with them in Mondulkiri. 

Through experiences of community service, site seeing, educational seminars, and spiritual devotions, we were able to connect with each student on a deeper level than simply an individual visit or meeting. It was wonderful to see the smiles on their faces as they were able to see, do, and experience life in a whole new way.


While each blessing was shared through a student's smile, each of us on staff were able to experience a revival of the youth we thought we had lost long ago.

Saturday, October 3, 2020


         There are a few things here in Cambodia that are done a little differently than they are back home. The words "rice" and "food" are used interchangeably, the rain is welcome because it breaks the drudging heat (if only while it is with us), and traffic can flow anywhere there is space enough for the vehicle... including opposite directions. 


        While a first impression gives a feeling of dread, a deeper observation brings comfort. Admittedly the thought of traipsing into a flow of cars, motorcycles, scooters, and tuktuks instills a paralyzing fear. As I stand there watching the endless rows of tires screech by me, I notice a local person crossing the street just up the road. He makes eye contact with me and smiles, obviously recognizing my hesitation. With that same smile, he looks back to see which way the traffic is coming from... and walks right out into it. Like water, the traffic breaks around him and continues. He turns his attention back to me, still standing in the road, nudging me with his eyes to step out with him. I step out into the street and experience the same thing I observed with him... the endless streams of cars and motorcycles simply drive around me.

         The more time I spend walking, riding in tuktuks, on the backs of motorcycles, and driving scooters, I can see this was not an isolated experience. This is the norm. When making turns, vehicles simply inch their way into traffic until there is a break big enough for them to get through. There is no "right-of-way," there is simply the unspoken agreement that people won't run into each other.

        I cannot help but think of how Peter felt when Jesus called him out of the boat into the water: "Come", he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" -Matthew 14:29-31 

        Lord, give me the faith to follow you into the street. Let my wavering heart not be concerned by buses, horns, scooters, and rickshaws. Rather, bless me with the knowledge that it is by your spirit that each step is taken. Amen.

If you would like to support the work that we are doing to help survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia, please click here. 

To become a monthly donor, simply check the "monthly" box at the bottom of the page.

Monday, September 14, 2020

You Can't Take It With You


As I once again pack up my belongings for a new life, I am forced to take inventory of what is important. I question and decide what is essential to take, what is worth holding onto but not taking with me, and those things that prove simply to be unnecessary. Whittling away at the purchases I have made over the years, the memories I have collected, and the  comfortable lifestyle I have built takes its toll. I review the guidelines that the airlines have for baggage and come to the stark realization that my life will now be packed into no more than a fifty pound checked bag, a twenty-two pound carry-on, and a single personal item. 

Reducing one's existence to seventy pounds worth of goods can feel overwhelming. However, it can also be one of the most freeing experiences one can have. Choosing where to put each item helps one to recognize what can be lived without. While I will miss my big screen tv, the memory foam bed, and my closet full of recreational gear, I know that carrying with me only what is essential opens my experience to possibilities that had no space in my everyday life before.

There are some things that carry no weight, but mean the whole world to us all.

From Dallas, Texas to Los Angeles, California...

...from Los Angeles, California to Seoul, South Korea...

...from Seoul, South Korea to Phnom Penh, Cambodia...

...I will take what is essential.

"Of all things, these three remain: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love." 

-1 Corinthians 13:13

If you would like to support me as I share faith, hope, and love with survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia, please click here to donate to my Global Ministry page. 

To become a monthly sponsor, simply check the "monthly" box.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Almost Home

     Now I am back in the city I've known my whole life. This place feels familiar to me, but a little more foreign than when I first began my journey. I have seen the place of my physical birth.

     I have encountered the birthplace of my spiritual life.

     These experiences have changed me. I see the world a little differently. Slights that used to sting so deeply can hardly be felt. Tasks that seemed insurmountable have become welcome opportunities. Burdens that felt so heavy have been turned into an over the shoulder sack full of stories to be shared.
     So, while I am here, I cherish every laughter shared with friends. I warmly embrace every hug shared with family. I welcome every new face I greet because I know inside of them is a spirit akin to my own. I enjoy every moment as a precious gift. For these moments are short lived and forever longed for once they are gone.

     The road is never far away. And it continues to call each day. I am thankful for the laughter, the smiles, the hugs, and the bonds shared with loved ones. I am thankful that my life has been filled with them and that their abundance continues. I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy them for as long as they are with me.
     I am thankful that I will carry these with me into whatever chapter comes next. Whatever may come, I am stronger with love in my heart. I am almost home.