New Year’s has come and gone, and already many of us have forgotten about Christmas.  Along came Boxing Day for our Canadian friends and most people have packed away the Christmas trees, eaten the leftover cookies, celebrated New Year, and now we’re thinking about the year ahead.  We’ve got big plans and Christmas seems so far away at this point.  However, what many of you might not realize, is that right now is still Christmas.

Traditionally the 12 days of Christmas were a festival to celebrate the birth of Christ that started on December 25th, with each day representing another feast and concluding on January 5th, right before Epiphany.  So technically its still Christmas!  But more importantly we need to continue to celebrate the gift of Christ and His love year round!  We need to remember that God is constantly hearing our prayers and giving us new hope.  And this week, God gave me an awesome gift.  A reminder that we don’t stop celebrating His love or His plan, ever.

On Wednesday I went out to pick up the kids as usual for the day program and a couple kids said to me, “Greg!  Bokai is back!”  I tried looking for him, but couldn’t find him.  Then today, Friday, I went into the stadium and there he was.

Bokai is a little boy, maybe about 3 1/2 years old, no one seems to know for sure when his birthday was.  He was one of the first kids I ever picked up from the streets along with his older brother and sister.  He would wander the street naked most days and so I would pick him up and bring him to church.  We would play, he would sleep, but then every day I had to take him back.  After a while every day I’d come, and he would light up and run over to come to church and we loved him like all our kids.  Last year, his mother gave up the two older siblings and allowed them to be placed in a center nearby to town, but she kept Bokai.  Then she moved away.  The last time I saw Bokai was in September of 2011.  After giving up her children, Bokai’s mother took him to the border where she might be able to earn more by begging and I didn’t see them again.  Another of her children who is already grown up, occasionally gave me an update on their situation.  For a while they lived in Poipet at the border and tried to go into Thailand, then they came back and apparently Bokai’s mother was arrested and he stayed with her in the prison for several months.

Now they are back living at the old kick-boxing stadium and I get to see Bokai again.  I praise God that he is back and is safe, and once again I will have a chance to share God’s love with him!  In this New Year, God has given me a new opportunity to change the life of at least one child here in Cambodia.This year our theme as we put together a new ministry and pursue the new opportunities God is placing before us is Romans 12:12-13,
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

We ask that you please pray for us here in Cambodia.  That in this New Year we will trust the Lord’s leading as we build up Crossing Cambodia and follow the many new opportunities that He is placing before us.  Pray that God’s love will shine through as we serve the families and children here in Battambang who need Him.

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