Friday, August 10, 2012

Thank You, Supporters!

Thank you all for praying and financially supporting our trip to Cambodia!

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

I will be posting most of my personal reflections about my trip to Cambodia on my other blog, but will copy the links here so that you don't miss anything. Here is the first.

Just See Jesus

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So, What Did You Do?

That, dear Reader, Friends, and Family, is a very good question. My younger sister and I just returned from the Kingdom of Cambodia in Southeast Asia, and everyone we encounter wants to know what we did. Well, to be quite frank, we did not really do anything, but the Lord was at work and has accomplished much over the past seven weeks. Over the next few weeks I'd like to share some of what He did, in order that He might receive all the glory due His name, but for now this is simply an overview of what went on during our nearly two months away.

After two weeks of intensive training at The Lord's Boot Camp in Merritt Island, Florida we finally arrived in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. From there we took a seven hour bus ride north to Siem Reap, the tourism capital of Cambodia where the famous 11th century Buddhist temple Angkor Wat is located. We entered as ambassadors of Christ, and our first goal was to function as a conduit of His love and truth to the beautiful Khmer (Cambodian) people.

Each morning we set off down Siem Reap's main boulevard on bicycles and made our way toward the tourist centers of the city where countless locals make their living by selling souvenirs. After parking our bicycles and splitting into pairs we made our way from shop to shop. We had no intention to make purchases, but every determination to make friends, build relationships, and seek opportunities to talk of spiritual things. The Lord graciously granted boldness, helped us work through language barriers, and softened people's hearts to His message.

After returning to the local Teen Missions base for lunch we would head out again, this time to the outlying villages. At times our mode of transportation was again bicycles, but more often we enjoyed wearing down our tailbones as we rode the base truck over roads that looked (and felt) like they had been bombed and then flooded. In the villages we helped the Teen Missions in Cambodia Bible School students conduct Good News Clubs. After a short musical presentation we taught phonics, played games, presented the Gospel using the wordless book, and sat with the children as they heard a Bible story in their own language. The children look forward to the Good News Clubs each week, and the local Bible students faithfully conduct 7-10 of them in different villages each week.

For two to three weeks this was our almost daily schedule, then, toward the end of our project time we uprooted from Siem Reap to travel nine hours (in the base truck) to Kampong Chhnang, a province in the south of Cambodia. There, at the second Teen Missions base in the country we helped prepare the property for the local boot camp. Just as boot camp is held in Florida, boot camps are also held in dozens of countries overseas as a way of reaching young people with the Gospel, discipling them in the Word, and sending them out among their own people to make more disciples. We cleared brush, trees, and stumps from the obstacle course path, helped a local family plant their rice fields (paddies), and began planting a field of coconut trees.

At the close of a week there, it was time to head back to Florida by way of Hong Kong where we enjoyed real beds, hot showers, and amazing food. So, there you have it, the answer to your question. Not very exciting, I realize. What is exciting is not what we did physically and practically over the last two months, but what the Lord did in the lives of the Cambodian people and in our own hearts. In my subsequent posts I will be focusing on those things with stories, Scripture, and more pictures.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meeting Again

Greetings in Jesus' Name!

I just wanted to post a short note to let you all know that I and my younger sister are safely back from Cambodia. God worked mightily in and through us, and though we are still processing everything we learned it is good to be back with our family. In a few days I hope to have gotten my thoughts in order and will begin posting anecdotes, lessons learned, and some pictures here. Thank you for your abundant prayers, they were certainly felt over the past eight weeks. Please continue to pray for us both as we readjust to American culture and food, and seek to apply in this setting all that the Lord has taught us.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


"Don't be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends." -Richard Bach

Off to Boot Camp and Cambodia I go! Thank you all for your prayers; rest on Him until we meet again. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prayer Update #8

Greetings Prayer Partners!

Well, the time has finally come - the time when last minute items are gathered and packed, boarding passes are printed, and goodbyes are said. Leah and I (Elsie Anne) leave for Teen Missions training in Florida in just two days (June 7th)! God has so graciously heard and answered all of our prayers these past months and weeks, and our final finance update is that all of our expenses have been paid in full! Our God is so good, and we praise the One who clothes the lilies of the field that we had faith to believe and trust that He would clothe us too. 

We are planning to enlist Mom to continue sending out periodic prayer updates while we are gone and she will probably use information from our letters and the Teen Missions website to put those together. So, just be aware that the next prayer update you receive will come from a different email address. Until then, here are some things you can keep in your faithful prayers.

  • The physical health of our team during the rigors of boot camp (especially that no one would get blisters).
  • The unity of our team as a picture of the body of Christ on earth.
  • For our leaders: strength, patience, and sanity; that each team member would be a means of daily blessing in the little things.
  • For Leah and I (Elsie Anne): the opportunity to display Christ-honouring affection and care for each other in our unique role as siblings on the team.
  • For me (Elsie Anne): an extra measure of grace, patience, peace-keeping, and Jesus' love as the oldest team member.
  • That we would all experience growth in Christlike maturity over the course of the summer.
Now, before we depart, I end with this for us all to meditate on. May we have the mind and attitude of Christ, so that many who are now walking in darkness might see His light in us and bow down to worship Him.

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing fromselfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesusevery knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Philippians 2:1-11

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prayer Update #7

Greetings, Dear Prayer Partners!

Thank you so much for your prayers over the last several weeks. Leah and I (Elsie Anne) spoke in church this past Sunday and were blessed by the generosity of the congregation. We now have roughly $1,000 left to raise before leaving next Thursday (June 7th). God is so good! Reading in Romans 8 today has been a much-needed reminder of the sure promises of God through Christ. As we near our departure date we become more and more excited, but at the same time more nervous to finally be going. These words a comfort to us all in times like these, where it becomes even more necessary to lean upon God.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spiritintercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he alsojustified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? -Romans 8:26-35a

Here are our prayer requests for the following week, but please pray as the Spirit leads, because we do not even really know what to ask you all to pray for. 
  • Peace that passes all understanding in these last days of packing, praying, and praising before we leave.
  • The love of Christ for each other, as well as the rest of our team.
  • The unity that Christ prayed for us in John 17, without which our team cannot be effective for the Kingdom.
  • Good health until we leave and throughout the trip.
  • Teachable spirits, joyful attitudes, and patient servant's hearts. 
Thank you all once again for your faithful prayers; they are appreciated more than you know. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Prayer Update #6

Dear Prayer Partners,
            Thank you for praying for Elsie’s safe travel home, she indeed arrived safely and even a little ahead of schedule. Now that Elsie is here, we will begin to gather together what we need to take for our trip. We will continue to raise support up until the time we leave for Boot Camp. On May 27th we will be speaking at our church about what we are going to be doing over in Cambodia. God willing, we will receive the last donations we need to be fully funded before we leave.

Over the next week you can pray that:
·      Our presentation at church would go smoothly and be characterized by joy in Christ and humility before the King of kings.
·      As we gather together practical things to take with us that we would not forget anything important.
·      Our team leaders and fellow team members would be strengthened as they too are preparing for Boot Camp.
·      We would be diligent in praying for our team members daily for the next three weeks.
Thank you so much for continuing to pray for the specific needs we send out each week!

In Christ Alone,
Elsie Anne & Leah

“My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.” –Psalm 45:1

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prayer Update #5

Dearest Prayer Partners,

It is now only one month until Boot Camp begins! I (Elsie Anne) have been reading Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret this week. I found this truth he spoke about prayer most encouraging as we petition the Lord for the final $3,000 of our project expense.

"It is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Saviour, to be a member of Christ! Think what it involved. Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and your left poor? or your head by well fed while your body starves? Again. think of its bearing on prayer. Could a bank clerk say to a customer, "It was only your hand, not you that wrote that check"; or "I cannot pay this sum to your hand, but only to yourself"? No more can your prayers or mine be discredited if offered in the name of Jesus (i.e., not for the sake of Jesus merely, but on the ground that we are His, His members) so long as we keep within the limits of Christ's credit - a tolerably wide limit! If we ask for anything unscriptural, or not in accordance with the will of God, Christ Himself could not do that. But 'if we ask anything according to His will ... we know that we have the petition we desired of Him.'" -Hudson Taylor

I have full assurance that each of you can be counted as "members of Christ", and so I ask you to leverage your position before the King of Kings on behalf of Leah and I. We rest in the promises of God, that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it. This week please pray for the following:
  • That I (Elsie Anne) would have safe travel back home on Monday (May 14th).
  • That I would easily fit back into home life for the few weeks I will be there, and that I will be a help to my dear Mother.
  • That Leah and I would both be faithful in praying together as we prepare for boot camp.
  • That Leah and I (and our entire family) would faithfully trust God to provide every last penny we need.
  • That we would remain healthy in these last weeks before boot camp.
  • And that the eight other members of our team (6 girls, 2 boys) would be strengthened and encouraged as they too prepare for the summer.
Thank you, once again for all the time you have spent in the throne room for us; it has not been in vain!

Blessings in Christ,
Elsie Anne & Leah
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You." -Psalm 39:7

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prayer Update #4

Dear Prayer Supporters,

            I (Leah) cannot believe that it is barely one month until Elsie Anne and I will be on an airplane to Florida. There is still much we have to accomplish before then, but with your prayers and the Lord’s guidance we will get there. I (Leah) just came off a very busy week of finals and my last speech and debate tournament of the season. I am thankful the week is behind me and that I got through my finals with flying colors - I hope. J

            We are slowly but surely creeping up on our financial deadline of 10,000. We must have half of the total amount in by May 15th. We are so very grateful to our church family who is making that half way deadline possible. Please continue to pray that the Lord will keep providing for our mission trip up until the day we leave, as we will still be in need of a little over $3,000.

            This past weekend Elsie Anne and I received our specific team fact sheets for our trip to Cambodia. They gave a few prayer requests specific to the Kingdom of Cambodia:

1.     Pray for courage and boldness for the believers in Cambodia as they resist the powers of darkness.
2.     Pray for a workable and lasting peace for this troubled country, with full political and religious freedom, and a government that seeks the good of all.
3.     Pray for the people as they rebuild their lives following years of war and destructive leadership (during the Khmer Rouge regime).
4.     Pray for Godly, mature leadership in the churches; solid Biblical training desperately needs to be provided.

In Christ Alone,
Elsie Anne & Leah

P.S. Elsie Anne here! I am just about finished with classes, assignments, and finals, but have to stay here in Chicago for another two weeks because Chorale is singing at Commencement. I will be flying
back home on May 14th, and cannot wait to get there. The following Amy Carmichael poem has been a blessing and encouragement to me this past week, and I hope it will be to you as well.

“He who hath led will lead
            All through the wilderness,
He who hath fed will surely feed…
He who hath heard thy cry
            Will never close His ear,
He who hath marked thy faintest sigh
            Will not forget thy tear.
He loveth always, faileth never,
So rest on Him today – forever.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teen Missions

Teen Missions International was founded in 1971 by Robert Bland. As stated on their website, TMI exists "to launch youth into lifetime missions involvement by training, discipling and mobilizing them to impact eternity around the world NOW." Every summer since 1971 hundreds of young people between the ages of 9 and 19 are trained at TMI's headquarters in Merritt Island, Florida, affectionately known as The Lord's Boot Camp. After two weeks of simulation training in Florida's swamps with no electricity, running water, or air conditioning, students are prepared for a work or evangelism project with an established overseas mission. While at Boot Camp the participants are also trained in construction, evangelism, teaching English as a second language, and team building. The goal of Boot Camp is to cause students to experience culture shock before they leave training, so that they can be more effective ministers overseas.

TMI runs 39 programs similar to Boot Camp in 23 countries around the world, training the national teens of those countries to also rise up and proclaim the gospel among their own people. A portion of the funds raised by North American teens attending The Lord's Boot Camp makes it possible for young people around the world to receive Bible training they would otherwise never be able to afford. The impact on the lives of the students themselves who experience a summer mission trip with TMI is probably the most important part of TMI's ministry.

As students see the pressing needs of the world and learn that they, as followers of Christ, are equipped to meet those needs, their hearts begin to ache for the things God's heart aches for. When I went to Zambia with TMI two summers ago, the small flame in my heart for fulfilling the Great Commission was stoked into a blazing inferno that I trust will not be quenched until the Lord takes me home. This is the kind of passion I want to see in other young people of North America, and this is why I am returning to The Lord's Boot Camp this summer. I hope to encourage the younger members of my team (including my younger sister), and challenge them to live with reckless abandon for the One who gave up all for them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Prayer Update #3

This is the third of the prayer updates I have been emailing to our group of prayer partners, but I just now thought to copy them here.

Fried tarantulas are a delicacy in parts of Cambodia; they became popular during the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s when there was a severe food shortage. Though I do not know if we will be traveling in those specific areas of Cambodia, I (Elsie Anne) have decided that if the opportunity presents itself I will eat a fried tarantula. My decision was confirmed this afternoon as I read A Chance to Die, a biography of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot. When speaking of specific hardships that Amy endured involving slugs and critters, she said, "It was good missionary training. If one is preparing to storm the bastions of heathendom, it won't do to blench at creepie-crawlies." That made me smile, but then, it would. :)

We are getting closer to the time to leave for Boot Camp on June 9th, but a great deal must be accomplished before then. I (Elsie Anne) have roughly three weeks of the semester left, and Leah is taking her finals this coming Wednesday. $4,000 has been provided by our Lord to cover the remainder of our project expense, but we don't have it in tangible form yet. Nevertheless, we trust that it is waiting in the heavenly places, along with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), until He decides to shower it upon us. Leah received the first installment of her immunizations several days ago, and her arms are still recovering. I have officially recovered from my fall over spring break and am no longer a gimp (praise the Lord)! So, things to pray for this week are as follows:

  • For Leah and I to complete our semesters diligently and successfully, as unto the Lord.
  • For patience and trust as we wait on the Lord to reveal where the remainder of our support is coming from.
  • A spirit of gratitude and prayerfulness as we continue to prepare for the ministry at Boot Camp and in Cambodia.
  • Good health: Leah has a slight cold, and my allergies have been ornery lately.
Blessings In the Saviour,
Elsie Anne & Leah
Psalm 117

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Silent Sobs

You who can resist the half-articulate pleading of many and many a heart today, can you resist this? From millions of voiceless souls, it is rising now - does it not touch you at all? The missionary magazines try to echo the silent sob. You read them? Yes; and you skim them for good stories, nice pictures, bits of excitement - the more the better. Then they drop into the wastepaper basket, or swell some dusty pile in the corner. For perhaps "there isn't much in them." Very likely not; "there isn't much" in the silence any more than in darkness, at least not very much reducible to print; but to God there is something in it for all that. Oh! you - you, I mean, who are weary of hearing the reiteration of the great unrepealeed commission, you who think you care, but who certainly don't, past costing point, is there nothing will touch you?
-Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


May 15th. The date looms, not necessarily dreaded or ominous, but present and slightly imposing. It's like April 15th - tax deadline, but worse. I've never done my own taxes; my father graciously takes care of that for me, so May 15th has been the date on which all of my anxiety rests.

But He tells us not to worry about our lives.

Yes, I know, but this is different - this is important.

I tried my excuses, wanted to be able to worry, to have merimnao for May 15th, but no such privilege would be mine.

It is now roughly a month before that ominous date and the Gracious God has provided beyond all of my faithless expectations.

May 15th is the date by which my lil' sis and I need to raise a large sum of money for our trip to teach English in Cambodia this summer. It has only been about two months since we started fund-raising, and we are well past half-way to our goal (praise the Lord!). He is so good, and He leaves no room for worry - only for trust.

May 15th. I cannot wait! How will He provide the final dollars? That remains to be seen, but His faithfulness is a given.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


So, it's been a long time, huh? About a year? My last summer was absolutely amazing ( you can read about it at this blog), and now I am finishing up my freshman year of college. God has done so much in my life over the past year, and continues to amaze me daily. Summer is quickly approaching again and I wanted to make it known that I am going to be traveling with Teen Missions again this summer; this time to Cambodia! I am so excited, especially since my younger sister will be joining me as well this summer. I plan to post some weekly updates here, as well as interesting information about Cambodia, so stay posted and let us witness together what the Lord will do!

Elsie Anne