Happy New Year!! As I write this, the winds of change are blowing gently in Cambodia, and threatening to blow away our brief and beloved cool season already. And as I write this, many of you are shivering underneath piled feet of snow and shuddering winds!!
The winds of change in this new year also usher in a new ministry season for our family. For the past five years we have lived in Stung Treng and January to May (dry season) is the season in which Scott leaves our family at home for a week each month. He travels around to visit various Kavet villages and fellowships in the more remote areas of our province.
We’ve been sharing with you for some time that he goes out to the villages, but, thanks to another co-worker who has been traveling with him lately, we now have some pictures to share of these adventures. I thought some of you might wonder what exactly it means to “go out to the villages” – and decided to document this most recent trip for you as an example of what these weeks look like for our family.
A few days before his trips, we begin gathering “groceries” he will take to the villages, snacks to share during teaching sessions, or gifts for his hosts. This trip, we bought cinnamon bark at the market (“sweet wood”) as a hosting gift – because the villagers can boil it in their water to make it taste a little better. We bought a big bag of dried and shredded pork that can be easily sprinkled on rice, as a snack during teaching sessions. This is always a hit for the extra protein and vitamins it brings. Our missionary colleagues got a few precious bars of butter and blocks of cheese in the cooler!
Scott gets out his packing list each month to make sure he has all the needed supplies for a week away, with each night in a different village.
The night before he leaves, Scott gathers up all the supplies and packs them into his little duffel bag that he will carry on the moto with him. Everything he takes needs to fit on the moto.
Bedtime the night before he leaves always involves an extra-long wrestling session with Zachary and Samuel. 😊
A few days before he goes, people start dropping by the house with things they want to send with Scott – either for the two missionary ladies living on the Lao border or for different Kavet people Scott will visit. This trip, the truck has filled up fast!! He drives our truck two hours north towards the Lao border to the town of Siem Pang. Then, Scott parks the truck at the YWAM house there and transfers himself and his things onto a moto. Once on the moto, he crosses the river on a ferry and then makes the rest of the trip by moto.
Once the car is loaded, Scott grabs his bag and is ready to leave. (That is my little rickshaw in the back 😊. I don’t do motos, so this is the family wagon when he is away 😊. )
Last hugs are given to everyone…
… and off he goes!
Once at the YWAM house of our two missionary colleagues in Siem Pang, the truck is parked, and goods are transferred to the moto.
Scott wears long-sleeved shirts, even in the heat, because they protect him from sunburn on the long rides. Our friends’ house is a short ride to the river, and then the river is crossed on a ferry like this. Once the river is crossed, all the roads are dirt, and motos or rough “cow-tractors” are used for transportation.
Once in the village, studies are taught at night and during the day. Each day Scott travels to a new village. He usually makes these trips with one or two Kavet believers. This past year, our YWAM teammate, Alli Blair, began joining some of these trips as well. She is a jewel of a woman, who first began working with Cambodians in Thai refugee camps in the 1980’s. She went on to move to Burundi in the 1990s, where she spent the next 20+ years. Feeling like she was getting “too comfortable”, she asked God where he would like her. At a young 70 years old, and in the middle of COVID-19, she found herself back in Cambodia, working with the Kavet and learning a new language!
Leading an evening Bible study.
Praying with and for all who come looking to meet with Jesus.
From the young….
…. to the old.
Jesus loves the Kavet, is at work among them, and we are grateful to be part of his team, bringing his light and hope and freedom.
Thank you for praying, thank you for sending us, and thank you for joining me today on our little mini-journey into, “Kavet-land” (as we affectionately call it 😊. )
May God richly bless you this new year with his joy, his peace, his love, and his unchanging faithfulness, no matter what winds of change blow around you.
Andrea, for the Swards
And everyone is happy to welcome Daddy home upon his return!! 😊