All posts by Caleb Robey

In the Airport…

Hey all!!!

Well the Cambodia team is in the ATL airport and waiting to board the plane to take off! We have been at pre field training for the past 3 days preparing for what is to come. Even though I’m not in Cambodia yet, I feel like I’ve already learned so soo much! Just from training. God is doing amazing things. It’s been so awesome to meet all these different people from different backgrounds and different states. But what is even more mind-blowing is how well we have all just gotten along and become so close over the course of only 2 days!

Needless to say, I am beyond excited and ready to be in Cambodia and begin serving. I have no doubt it will be like nothing I am expecting, but will be way more breathtaking. As one of my team members said earlier this week…. I am ready to watch what God is going to do… in Cambodia, but also in all the other countries our friends are traveling to! God never ceases to amaze me.

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This is the Cambodia/ Nagoya team in the airport today!

Blessings,

Whitley Maxwell

Becca Nyman – Post #3

Thank you! Thank you to all of my supporters, both financially and in prayer. I am continuously thanking God for each of you as I reflect on this incredible opportunity I have been blessed with.

Timeline…

March 15: Said goodbye to Luke, Sokha, and Hannah at the airport as they headed to the states for their HMA.

March 16: Moved into my apartment in Phnom Penh, and spent time with my roommate Jillisa. She will serve with MTW for 2 years, and is currently in language school. What a blessing to have her as a roommate during my 8 weeks in the city!

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Mentoring, working on projects with the nurses at Mercy Medical Center.

Thursdays: Teach the nurses at Mercy Clinic.

Saturday and Sundays: Travel to Angk’jeay village to teach four classes while Luke and Sokha are away. So thankful I have this opportunity to continue their ministry while they are away. I continue to see God’s faithfulness each weekend.

April 13-17th: KHMER NEW YEAR!! I had the opportunity to get some respite away from the city with a few others on the team, and Sokha’s sister Reaksmey.

April 24, 30th, and May 1st: Health education in Prey Thom with Dale Knutson. A follow-up from our time there in February.

Looking ahead…

May 6: Luke, Sokha, and Hannah return to Cambodia!

May 7: My parents and my lovely friend Sarah Nickel arrive in Cambodia for medical missions!

May 11-15: Mobile medical clinics held in the villages.

May 16: Move back to Angk’jeay village!

Prayer Requests:

-Despite the busyness that is inevitable as my time in Cambodia comes to an end, I ask for prayer for strength and wisdom, and that I would approach each day with a gracious heart.

-Prayer for the medical team coming in 2 weeks! Including my parents and delightful friend Sarah Nickel! Prayers for their final preparations, their travel, and the clinics held while they are here.

-Prayer for Luke, Sokha, and Hannah, that they would finish their HMA well, and that they would have safe travels back to Cambodia in 2 weeks.

-Prayer of thankfulness as God continues to bless my time here, and grow me each day

Blessings:

Before I arrived in Cambodia I remember thinking, I hope I am a blessing to the people in Cambodia. I hope by God’s grace I can show them Christ’s love. And now being here for four months I am continually reminded of how they bless me, how they show me Christ’s love on a daily basis.

The students in Angk’jeay: sacrificial…I went on an adventure with two of my students a couple weekends ago. We climbed one of the mountains near Luke and Sokha’s. Long story short I broke my shoe during the climb and encountered more obstacles than anticipated.Despite the language barrier, these boys persistently said to me, “teacher are you ok?”, and “be careful teacher”. And when my shoe broke one of the boys without hesitation gave me his shoes, not taking no for an answer. After he walked barefoot for a while another student offered the barefoot boy his shoes. Wow. Christ’s love. And this is only one example from the students, trust me, the list is endless.

Reaksmey: Sokha’s sister, Reaksmey, goes to the village each weekend with me to help with the ministry. After many taxi rides down to the village, and a lot of late nights up talking, we have grown quite close. She continues to show me Christ’s selfless love every time I see her! She is such an encouragement and truly an inspiration.

Nurses in Phnom Penh: Again I think I anticipated being the teacher and not the student. But honestly I have learned so much from the nurses here in Cambodia. Their eagerness and desire to learn is infectious. And their gratitude for showing interest and investment in them is a good reminder. A reminder that we have so so much to be thankful for. So let us be thankful, and show it.

The MTW team: This team has exceeded all of my expectations. They are warm, encouraging, real, personal, and they genuinely care about you. I have grown so much from each of my conversations with them. They encourage me each day and are another sweet blessing.

~There are definitely times when I have felt weak during my time here, and I am encouraged by this verse…I continue to see evidence of the sufficiency of God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 12:9

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Becca Nyman – Post #2

Weddings

It is wedding season right now in Cambodia. The rice harvest is over, and the rainy months are not yet upon us. What does that mean? Lots of weddings! Many girls come to Sokha to get their makeup applied. And I have had the opportunity to help with this ministry. Last week we had seven girls come for makeup! Weddings are an opportunity to dress up and literally get “dolled up” when it comes to the makeup. The weddings last for one to two days and most guests come in the evening to the reception. There is always an abundance of food and pictures, but a lack of conversation, as the music is so loud. I have had the opportunity to attend three weddings here in the village, and I hear there will be more to come!

Child Health Teaching in Prey Thom

Prey Thom is a village in the Kampong Speu province about 125km from the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. This village was established four years ago, so it is quite young. Its inhabitants came from various locations and settled in Prey Thom. The exact background of the villagers is unknown. One of the church plants in Phnom Penh, recently planted a church in Prey Thom.

For the last two weeks I had the opportunity to visit Prey Thom with a team to teach child health education classes. This is in an effort to train the villagers to become
village health workers. People who can then teach those in their village health related classes, and be resources for those who are concerned about their sick children. The teaching and this outreach come alongside the church plant in support. Along with teaching, we also spent some time collecting surveys of the villagers. We went to their homes and interviewed the mother if she was there. These surveys are done to establish a better idea of the overall health of the children in the village, and mortality/morbidity rates. To determine needs and identify factors that might be hindering the growth and development of the children.

The people of Prey Thom were beyond grateful for the classes. There were always quite a few children surrounding the classroom as well. Some were completely naked, boys wore shirts meant for girls (as that is probably all they have), and their faces were full of dirt and dust. During a lunch break I started drawing on the board (I have realized I can kind of draw! Who knew…) And then I started writing the alphabet, and the kids were soon saying words like “apple”, “ball”, “cat”. They all came around with a chair and surrounded the white board. They were so curious and eager to learn.

I also had the opportunity to get to know several University students who came to help with translation among other things. I so enjoyed getting to know them and practice my Khmer. And it gave them the opportunity to practice their English. Two of them even gave me a flower on Valentine’s Day. So sweet. The story is quite comical. Pictures of me teaching, pictures of the University students, pictures

HBB- Helping Babies Breathe

Karen McClure, Dale Knutson, and I had the opportunity to teach Helping Babies Breathe to seven midwives at Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital in the Kampot Province. They just recently opened their maternity ward so it is a very applicable class for the employees. It focuses on neonatal resuscitation and is used all over the world, in an effort to decrease neonatal mortality. Around one million babies die a year because they cannot breathe at birth. Often they only need to be stimulated or suctioned to help them start breathing, and sometimes may require resuscitation. This class seeks to teach these skills and increase their knowledge base. The students were eager to learn and performed all the skills well! It was a pleasure to assist with the class.

Home Base: Angkjeay

My home right now is still in Angkjeay village with Luke, Sokha, and Hannah. I traveled a lot in the past two weeks but Angkjeay remains my home. And I continue to love it. My relationship with each student grows each day. I can tell they are becoming more attached and I am definitely attached to them. We have a volleyball net now so I have been able to play with the boys and they are teaching me so many things. Evidently I need to learn how to ‘set’ the ball. I get told that quite often…

Teaching English is going really well. Confidence is definitely growing. And I completely love it. I use my newly realized drawing skills almost every class. In other news, I understand more Khmer each day. However, speaking it is a daily struggle.

The Church in Angkjeay

Most of the members of the church in Angkjeay are children. There are a few adults and last week there were a couple of new faces. 95% of Cambodia is Buddhist. Tradition is highly valued. If one converts to Christianity they are forsaking the traditional Cambodian religion, Buddhism, and will be persecuted by their family and friends. The persecution is not usually violent, but more verbal. Along with this you no longer can participate in the Buddhist holidays so you are ostracized as well. Most of the children who attend have parents who are Buddhist and are not pleased with their children going to a Christian church. It continues to be an encouragement to me to see them continue to come of their own volition. I talked with one of the students about it and she said, “one week I could not come to church because of my chore, and I cry…”. It is the highlight of the week for many of them! We continue to pray that the hearts of their parents would be moved/changed by the Gospel.

Clinics held in Prey Thom and Angkjeay

We recently held two small mobile clinics, one in Prey Thom and one in Angkjeay. The villagers were eager to see a doctor about various health concerns, both for themselves and their children. In Prey Thom we had a team of University students, and some of them are in nursing school. So they took part in the clinic as well. I was able to delegate/coordinate/assist while Dale and Karen saw patients. The clinic was offered to the villagers who attended the health
education classes. The most common ailments seemed to be chronic pain, skin conditions, and GI problems.

~Desiring to humbly trust God while I am here, and continue to serve both in word and deed~

Preparations

Hello Readers!

This is my first post in preparation to depart for Cambodia on May 26. I’m getting more and more excited as it gets closer but it also just feels unreal that it’s this close. God has definitely been working in my life to prepare me for this summer. I have been so blessed to have the amount of financial support taken care of with no worries. I have been overwhelmed with the amount of support (financial and prayerful) that I have received!

God has also been allowing me to experience situations which involve confrontation, as that is an area that I am weak in. I am prayerfully going into this last month of preparations before departure. I’ll continue to keep everyone updated as it gets closer!

In Christ,

Whitley

Becca Nyman – First Post

I have been in the village of Angkjeay for two weeks now! God has been incredibly gracious during this time and blessed my entire experience so far. The transition has been so smooth. I hope this “honeymoon phase” lasts the entire time I am here.

Praise the Lord for the ease of transition. I absolutely love life in the village. The couple I am staying with, Luke and Sohka Smith, and their daughter Hannah, are some of the most compassionate, hospitable people I know. I feel as though I am a part of their family. Village life is quite simple. We either walk, or ride bikes or motos (motorcycles/mopeds) to get around. DUST. There is so much dust, you think you are getting a tan and then you realize, just dust☺
The Khmer people, so kind and welcoming; a lot of staring at the tall white foreigner☺ They love to laugh at my attempts at Khmer (the language of the Cambodian people).

I do have a Khmer tutor 5 days a week for an hour in the morning. She doesn’t speak English, which can be difficult, but she helps me with pronunciation and drills. The views are breathtaking, mountains, coconut trees, and rice fields. The food, some of you know I am a picky eater, well I have loved every meal served, so fresh, so delicious! A lot of rice! Teaching, something that is definitely out of my comfort zone, but that I am learning to love. I help out with the English classes that Luke and Sohka hold three days a week. They have close to 100 students! That is a lot of names to remember!! ☺ The kids are so sweet and respectful and are always trying to teach me Khmer☺

This week and in the coming weeks I have the opportunity to do some health teaching with a nurse practitioner who is visiting from the states. I am so grateful I have this time to learn from her as well as help out with the child health education classes. Each outreach is in support of the church plant here in the village. So both the medical and English classes involve bible teaching, worship, and an open invitation to join on Sunday mornings. It is awesome to see God’s handiwork here in the village. I want to thank all of you for your continued support through prayer and emails of encouragement!