Cambodia Medical Team

It is hard to summarize the medical team we had in Cambodia in short fashion, so I will hit the highlights. It was an amazing time in Cambodia with a great team. They saw nearly 1,000 patients and around 100 salvations, conservatively! It was truly incredible. We were in a small town in the middle of Cambodia. There is one paved road through town and we got to enjoy the trucks rolling through all night long.

Kim was quite popular providing physical therapy services to a lot of people. She loved it, and they loved it too. You could tell how impactful just the physical touch was to some of them. Kim helped many stroke patients and was able to get one many to walk normal again and showed him how to use a cane. You cannot imagine how excited his family was to see him walking and not shuffling out to the cart they were waiting in!

We had some pretty crazy patients. One young man was missing part of his skull due to an accident. It was put in his abdomen to keep alive. They helped send him to a special hospital in Phnom Penh to have surgery to have it replace. One had a hip that had been dislocated for 8 months after he fell off a tractor. Another, had a leg with third degree burns. A gun shot victim, cancer diagnosis, and on and on. It is heart breaking some of the cases, but to see the life change with others brings a lot of joy. These people are tough in Cambodia! They live with almost anything.

We saw the team off successfully and headed to Bangkok to see some missionary friends until my next team arrived. I guess the week had not been exciting enough for us. I found a way to get food poisoning. Ended up at the hospital. Fell down the stairs on the way to hospital. You can’t make this stuff up. I’m on the mend. They got the vomiting stopped and I’m back to eating solid food again. It is a good weight loss program. Ha!

Thank you for your prayers and support. Kim has headed home and it is off to the next group in Thailand! Here are some pictures for you. I left out the graphic patients.

2 Continents and a War

I want to apologize in advance. I meant to send an update part way through our trip. But, after traveling in and through 9 countries, 2 continents and working with 7 different missionaries, it just didn’t happen. So, here is what the past 6 weeks have looked like for our family. Kayli graduated from high school the end of May and we headed overseas.

Flights to Romania were extremely expensive, so we looked for options to fly to Europe for cheap, then catch another cheap flight to Bucharest. We have missionary friends in the Czech Republic and they were in need of supplies. We were able to bring those supplies, see their ministry, pray over their church, spend time with their family and save a ton on airfare in the process. It is a hard place to plant churches, but they are doing a great job and it was great to see them.

We then travelled to Romania. We were able to work with Ukrainian refugees and Romanian youth at several church services and events. SAS Shoes donated shoes that we were able to take and hand out to the people living at Father’s House. We also spent time working at our feeding centers and children’s home in southern Romania.

While in Romania, we were able to help take supplies into Ukraine with a group of Romanian churches. Thanks to generous donors and great ministry partners, we were able to take 40 tons of supplies to help churches in Ukraine. We traveled in 8 box trucks and transport vans, on a ferry across the Danube River, and into Ukraine. We unloaded the supplies and got to spend the day with the church and their members. We also had the privilege of helping take a widow woman out of Ukraine to safety in Romania to be reunited with her son. There are not enough words to express all that happened in one day in Ukraine. Please continue to pray for them and their country.

A missionary in Italy has been talking to MANNA about starting an outreach near Rome, so we stopped in Rome on our way to Vietnam to meet with them. We were able to see their church, hear their story, see their vision for reaching people in Italy, and pray with each other. Italy is another very hard place to plant churches. It was an unexpected opportunity to potentially work with a missionary in a new area. Not only was Rome beautiful, but it was amazing to see where Paul was and experience church in a city where so much Biblical history occurred.

From there, we headed to Vietnam. We love Vietnam and the missionaries we work with there. Our time there started in Hanoi. We worked with the young adults and invested in them through teaching and one-on-one discussions. The Lord is moving in a great way in these young believers and they had a real hunger to learn and engage with us. Afterward we traveled to Saigon and worked at several of our projects, a feeding center, and a school we are partnered with. I was able to speak at church, we helped with a VBS, and were part of baptisms of new believers. Working with the kids, pastors, missionaries, and leaders was a highlight of our trip.

We finally made it home on Monday night, July 4, washed our clothes and repacked on Tuesday, and drove to West Texas on Wednesday. Not the best of timing, but it is what is needful. Be praying. We made it home this week and are working through the jet lag as I am getting ready to head back to Thailand in less than 2 weeks to lead another team. Other than that, it’s been an uneventful couple of months. LOL

On the road again…

The world is opening back up slowly. We have still been delivering food with the local food bank and helping MANNA with the construction of our new offices. However, I was able to go to Honduras last week. Next week we will be traveling to Colombia as a family to work with Scott and Kristi Hudgins, also MANNA Missionaries. We will be helping them with an outreach event and to kick off a new MANNA project focused on feeding and discipling kids in Bogota.

I recently made a video for kids about mission work. A church asked me to do it for Children’s Church during their Missions Conference. It is 30 minutes long so that it takes up the teaching time for their class. In the video I talk about what we do, interesting things about different countries we work in, like food and people, then I try to teach them to say hello in several languages. I also have a portion at the end of funny things we experience, like restrooms, etc. If you are a pastor or children’s worker, please feel free to use this video as you wish. If you or someone you know wants to learn about what we do and see where we go, feel free to share as well.

Here is the video:

From Hurricanes to Food Banks

It has been an unusual year, and the fall has apparently maintained the status quo. I should have been with teams in places like Mongolia, The Philippines, Cambodia and Panama. Instead, the Lord has had us serving more local. Here is what has been happening the past couple of months.

With the help from people in our community group at our home church, we have been able to deliver food from the local food bank to families in need in our area each month. This week we delivered in the cold and rain. Hunger doesn’t stop because of bad weather.

In September I joined a team that went to Louisiana and helped with disaster relief after the hurricane. The church we worked with had no roof or electricity, yet they continued to serve the community and share the Gospel in the midst of the destruction. I think I’ve spent more time running a chainsaw than I have sitting on an airplane this fall. That is not normal.

One of the school districts in our area was in need of protective supplies. In all, MANNA’s warehouse provided over 2,000 goggles and 6,500 gloves that we were able to deliver to the schools. God is good!

Lastly, I got to use some of my engineering background. Well, not really, I was the laborer, not the designer. I helped build a bridge at a camp for pediatric cancer patients. Thank you again for your prayers and support!

From a distance…

It has been a different summer. We should have been in Southeast Asia for 2 months. My calendar keeps reminding me of that. Instead, we have spent it in Northwest Fort Worth. Not quite the same. But, the work still continues, just differently. The Lord has been faithful. While we were not there in person, through generous donors, we have been able to help in Asia.

One of our supporting churches even held a fundraising walk that we attended. They raised $10,000 for our work in Asia! The pastor shared with me that while it seems like a bad time to have a missionary come to their church, this actually was a huge help. It allowed their people to maintain a global focus in a time when it is easy to look inwardly and focus on our circumstances. It provided a boost to their church, and I have since had other churches schedule us to come and share. What an encouragement to our family, the churches, and the missionaries around the world!

Here are a couple of things that have happened:

The container actually made it out of customs and the supplies made it to the hospital! It took a lot of work and 42 days, but they released it and the impact will be immeasurable. In looking at the photos below, it is hard to believe you can get that much in one container.

Food distributions have been able to happen in Thailand where the missionaries and Christian business owners have been provided a platform to distribute food and share the Gospel. Every obstacle is an opportunity.

Due to flooding, one of our feeding centers in Mongolia has been damaged, but thanks to our donors, it is now being repaired and the kids are being cared for. Speaking of Mongolia, another supporting church knitted more blankets and shipped them to Mongolia. They will arrive in time for winter! Enjoy the pictures, and thank you for your continued support!

COVID, Cleburne, Cambodia

It is hard to believe all of those go together, but it has been an interesting 2 months. Most of you know from my last update, I got really sick in April. 104 fever, rolled into pneumonia, etc. I got tested for COVID and had a negative result. It turns out, it was a false negative. In the past month we had an antibody test performed, and it appears our entire family all have the antibody, which means we all had COVID. I was the lucky one with the most severe case. Go figure.

It took me a good 6 weeks to recover. But, I am finally back to normal, minus the 20 pounds I lost during the ordeal. Hopefully it stays lost. Ha! While we have not been able to travel during this time, the work has not stopped. We were able to help some of our partners in Thailand with food outreaches in their communities. We hate that we cannot be there right now, but are thankful we can still help in ways. The container of medical supplies has arrived in Cambodia. We are in the process of getting it through customs. Which is interesting in the COVID world.

Every obstacle is an opportunity. An exciting opportunity that has come out of this was an interview I was able to give recently. A pastor friend of mine has a podcast and he asked me a lot of questions about us and our mission work. You or others you know may have similar questions, so here is a link to the podcast. Feel free to share with anyone you know.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!

Now that I have recovered, we had the opportunity to work with one of our supporting churches and fix up a family’s home in Cleburne, TX. They are both teachers and needed help tearing down a fort, dry wall repairs, plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc. A group of us got together and helped fix up their house. Our girls loved it! Especially the demo work…maybe I should be worried. Again, while we wish we were in Asia right now, the Lord has given us opportunities to serve with some wonderful people in our backyard.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Here are some pictures.

Cambodia to Pneumonia

As I write this, I’m recovering from double pneumonia.  I guess my lungs wanted to keep each other company.  The month started as interesting as it is ending.  Before I delve into the medical journey, let me share the amazing things the Lord has done this month. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, doors are opening to serve others and share the Gospel!

For over a year, a doctor friend of mine and I have been working to send a container of medical equipment for a mission hospital in Cambodia that we work with. It works in conjunction with a MANNA orphanage and feeding centers. It has been a ton of work, full of excitement and disappointment, but well worth it! With the collaborative help of Christ Chapel Bible Church, Brother’s Brother Foundation and MANNA Worldwide, we were finally able to ship a 40 foot container of medical supplies and equipment to Cambodia this month!!

While, shipping a container of medical supplies is an exciting development, the Lord had more opportunities for us. Since we are stuck in Fort Worth, and not able to travel to Asia, doors opened for us to begin delivering food to families in need in our area.  We worked with one of our supporting churches in the area and were able to provide groceries to over 400 families!  So many open doors!

Then, the second half of the month started. In more ways than one.  I was supposed to be doing more food distributions and helping a church sheetrock a house for someone.  My plans changed slightly. Kayli and I started running a fever, mine went up to just over 104 degrees.  Not the most enjoyable experience, but you get some interesting dreams.  We had difficulty breathing, joint/muscle aches, cough, headaches, loss of taste, etc.  They tested us for COVID-19, it came back negative, which turned out to be a greater blessing than I knew.  Kayli got better, I did not.

Kim took me to an urgent care. They were willing to see me due to the negative COVID-19 test. Otherwise, my only option would have been the hospital.  They found a secondary infection of pneumonia was beginning in my right lung.  They gave me steroid and antibiotic shots and sent me home with oral meds. Over the next 48 hours, my right lung became completely covered and my left lung decided to join the party.  I’ve never had pneumonia grow that quickly, while on heavy meds.

The good news, my left lung is clearing up and I’m sure my right lung will follow soon thereafter.  It will be a slow recovery process. I have a hard time sitting still, but I’m learning patience and I can’t speed up the healing process.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  You may not always know what is happening, but your prayers are always on time! Here are some pictures from the month.

The Journey of Thanksgiving

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.  Today begins a month long journey.  I will fly to Guatemala and work with a team there for a week.  Next Wednesday morning my family will leave Fort Worth via a vehicle and head to New Mexico for Thanksgiving while I leave Guatemala City via a plane and try to catch them in Amarillo on the way.  Pray for flights and connections.

We will drive back from New Mexico the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  As soon as we get home, I will wash clothes, repack, and we head to Israel first thing Monday morning.  Once the team is finished in Israel, we will get them on the plane home and a couple of us will continue on to Jordan and Iraq where the Lord is opening some amazing doors.  We have so much to be thankful for and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

I covet your prayers and look forward to keeping you updated along the way.

Japan – Youth Camps to Bullet Trains

We had a great team to Japan in August as we hosted a youth English camp.  We were able to take a homebuilding company that uses their company and profits to invest in the Kingdom and their employees.  They have invested in the camp in Japan and it was great to take them to work with the kids there and experience the impact of their generosity.

We started the trip by doing some work on a church in the Tokyo metro area with some great missionary friends who also organized the English camp. We replaced flooring, installed some trim, painted, cleaned, and did some gardening. But, the most amazing impact of the day happened after we left.  A girl had been watching us from across the street the entire day. Unbeknownst to us, the missionary and his family had talked to her on multiple occasions and she had even gone to a youth camp with the church.  After watching us work all day, she came over to the church and gave her life to Christ!  You never know who is watching and what impact your service is making.

The next day we went to church, and then headed to the campgrounds with the missionary and his family.  We prepared the camp for the kids to arrive.  We got to work with them on their English, play games with them and spend time in Bible studies and preaching.  We even played a giant game of Scrabble to help with English words, and they loved it!  The kids there are now able to speak Texan. LOL!  After the camp was over, we did some more work on the camp and then took the team back into Tokyo via the bullet train, and let them tour the city before they flew home.

Thailand – Water Wells to Refugees

After we sent our Mongolia team home, our family stopped in Cambodia for a day and I was able to preach in a church on Sunday.  As soon as church was out, we continued on to Bangkok and picked up our next team. We had so many things going on simultaneously with this next team it was hard to believe.  We worked in Southern Thailand for the first part of the trip.  Some team members taught the children at the project, others put on a medical clinic that saw 200 patients, others did construction work to install a fence, and we drilled a water well.

The water well was a great blessing to the project and the community. For several months each year the community runs out of water.  Now they will not!  The medical team was able to love on the kids and do check-ups and hand out much needed vitamins. Meanwhile, the teaching team was able to work with the kids all day and help take them home in the afternoons.  The rest of us got soaking wet as we installed fence posts in a downpour.  It wouldn’t stop raining, so we had to do the work in the rain, for days.  At the end of the week, all of us were able to go work at a Thai public school and share about our Thanksgiving Holiday and that allowed us to share the Gospel with the kids.

Once our time in Southern Thailand was finished, we flew back to Bangkok and got to work with missionaries there.  We were part of an English outreach on Saturday, then on Sunday we got to be a part of the church’s 25th Anniversary!  It was a great honor for us to be there and see what the Lord has done the past 25 years in Bangkok with this church.  The next morning, we went and visited the homes of Pakistani refugees and got to hear their stories and fellowship with them before flying home.

We tend to focus on what happens on a trip, but I need to share what happened a week after the trip too. The pastor of the church that came on the trip with us contacted me.  He was sharing that next Sunday with his congregation an overview of the trip. He shared the stories of the Pakistanis we met with. As the Lord would have it, a Pakistani woman happened to visit his church that Sunday, heard the stories from our trip, and got saved that morning in Tulsa, OK!  Amazing!  You never know how the Lord will use a trip, even after it is “complete.”