10 Years and 10 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Long-Term Missionary

In October of 2006 I left North America and set out on a journey which I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined.  On this journey I wound up planted in a city called Battambang, married to a Khmer girl, have had 2 children with one more on the way, and started a unique ministry for street children.  Now over 10 years later I’m sitting here reflecting on everything I’ve learned and observed in the last decade about being a truly long-term missionary.  It’s not all happ

God’s Reminders

I genuinely believe that God has a sense of irony and He likes to use that to teach us lessons from time to time. The first time I noticed God’s irony was in the story of Esther in chapter 6 when Haman, the villain of the story, is called into the king’s court and is asked about how best to honor a man the king is happy with.  Haman assumes the king is planning to honor him and so speaks about everything he’d like done for himself.  The king then orders Haman to do everything

Ongoing Challenges

I wish I could say that it gets easier, but while some challenges you learn to overcome and some behaviors you can change or learn to ignore, others keep on pounding on you and new challenges are always coming up. One of the biggest challenges of working with street children is growing close to them. We all want very much to care for these children and ease their burdens, but some of their burdens are immense and as we take them on it can be very draining and confusing. The c

Have a Little Faith

I’m one of those Christians who doesn’t really believe in miracles, or at least not supernatural miracles.  I’m usually looking for a rational explanation to things and frequently roll my eyes when other Christians make claims of miracles and signs.  I’ve never seen a demon cast out and I’ve never had a “vision” from God.  I tend to look at how God has seemingly fine-tuned the world to work in amazing ways and try to reconcile science with my faith as a way of better understa

Seeing A Mission Trip Through Someone Else’s Eyes

It was nearly 12 years ago, in January of 2004 when I was only 19 that I took my first mission trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand where I stayed with and attempted to help at a place called the Tribal Children’s Hostel which is a ministry of North Burma Christian Mission.  It was so different and exciting to me that I decided I needed to go back that same ministry the following summer and stay there a while. Something that has really been on my mind a lot the last couple years has

Why We’re Paying for a Buddhist Funeral

Today was both heart wrenching and eye opening for me. This morning as I sat in church my phone began to ring.  I didn’t recognize the number and so I pushed the button to dismiss it.  It rang again and I repeated.  Again and again this happened.  Finally after the 8th time I stepped outside to answer it. I frequently get calls from street families.  Usually its not super important.  Such and such child has a fever and needs paracetamol, or little Bob needs to be excused from

We Thank God

This year a lot has happened and unfortunately in all that’s gone on a lot of projects have fallen behind or been forgotten.  One which I started at the beginning of the year but failed to finish was a devotional book that I want to share with teams.  (I’m still short about 15 devotions in case anyone would like to write a few for me.)  One of the devotions that was sent to me was by a young woman who grew up on the mission field. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 

Crossing Cambodia and Voluntourism Pt. 2

This is not the first time I’ve addressed the issue of voluntourism (See Crossing Cambodia and Voluntourism Pt. 1), however, its an issue that seems to keep coming up again and again.  Recently I wrote about treating Missions as a Two Way Street, and was asked if I really think it is ok for us to have foreign teams come in regularly, many of which may not necessarily have many practical skills that they can share.  In addition to that question I was sent a link to an article

We Made It! 2 Years of School in the Bag!

Every child at Crossing Cambodia comes with a unique story.  In fact, most of them I’ve known in one way or another since even before we started this ministry.  Now as June is over and July begins we’ve managed to make it through a second school year!  8 of our 9 kids older students managed to pass their grades and at least 3 of our preschool students will be starting 1st grade next year.  When I set out to start a ministry, I never imagined that this is where it would be aft