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Hello Praying Friends...

I returned to Cambodia over a week ago, along with my oldest son, Caleb...such a blessing to have him see our world out here! We came help our on-the-ground staff, Zach and Dante, get things ready for teams we are hosting this summer.  It has been a hard and often pretty discouraging trip.  Some of you might know that Todd and I (along with dear friends, Dan and V Bragassa) partnered together to buy land here in Cambodia and build a team center.  It was a dream God gave to us over a year ago.  It is a scary dream in that a lot could go wrong, especially building and serving in a country like Cambodia.  Todd and I had to come to grips with the possibility that our meager savings and retirement could go up in smoke.  Trusting God’s leadership in this, we decided to follow, even with the trepidation. 

The plan (and building contract) has been that the team center would be fully complete by May 30.   We were planning to set things up inside, prepare the space for teams (making bunk beds, IKEA furniture, setting up the kitchen and oh-so-many things), and just be ready for when teams started to land. 

Yesterday, our first group landed.  They included eight interns and three sweet people who came early to help get things set up.   Unfortunately, we are staying in the hotel.  As of yesterday, there were no windows or doors on the team center.  There were no bathrooms, sinks or showers, and no electricity or running water. 

 Hoping to have working toilets today!

Hoping to have working toilets today!

Being here early has given me a few opportunities to have some very hard conversations with the builder.  Walking humbly, acting justly and loving mercy has been my prayer focus as I seek to put those things into practice in new ways...and I’ve failed plenty, by the way.  Yesterday’s conversation was the most difficult one in which I had to simply hold the builder accountable for the contract and for the ways he hasn’t met the deadlines. 

It seems like something sparked for him.  I’m praising Jesus because late yesterday, there were a bunch more workers at the center.  It looked like they were putting in bathrooms and windows.   I’m more than excited to go back today and see what has been completed. 

 The Kitchen...waiting on a faucet, windows and door...

The Kitchen...waiting on a faucet, windows and door...

Would you pray with me as the month of teams begins?  Here are some specific things to pray for:

1.     Pray that the team center would be completed in the next week.  That’s a tall order and will definitely take a miracle from God. 

2.     Pray for the training of the interns happening now.  My son, Zach, is leading that training and we’re so excited about the interns who have committed to serve for the entire month.  They will work in a variety of capacities and their primary role will be leading and caring for all the teams this summer.

3.     Pray for the group of Cadence missionaries who arrive in country today to help us build bunk beds and work on the team center for the next week.  I just can’t begin to tell you how honored and thankful I am for their willingness to come help…more on this later, but it feels like the cavalry is coming! 

Thanks for praying dear friends.   I'm excited to update you as the work here continues! 

Grace,

Karla

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