December282011

Ireland blog!

Hey friends and family!

For those of you who want to keep updated with my plans for Ireland, go here:

isaiahsixtytwo.tumblr.com

I probably won’t be updating it until January hits, so check back in then.

Thanks again for all your support in every way!

Sarah

December132011

WHY YOU NO TAKE RIEL???

It’s done.

We saw Jesus move in crazy, awesome ways.

I am not the same person I was three and a half months ago.

Reverse culture shock is taking its harsh toll on me. ( I almost cried when I got coin change back the first time I payed for something when I got back in the States - Cambodia doesn’t have coin change).

So all I ask is that you continue to pray for me as I go back home to Canada tomorrow. I might just be a wreck. Already I’m feeling depressed, but that is when I will continue to press into God even more. All my teammates left today, I have a whole hotel room all to myself, and for the first time in three and a half months, I am alone. The room is silent. And I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve been in constant community, and I mean constant, no alone time whatsoever, for three and a half months. It feels odd to be alone. Before I went on this trip, my introverted self relished every bit of alone time I got. Now, it feels alien.

And the fact that I’ve had to pay $4 for a coffee is even more depressing. I’m so used to forking out 2000 riel (50 cents) for a Khmer iced coffee, and restaurant quality meals only cost $5, so imagine the shock when I went to Starbucks for the first time in a while and I looked at a menu for the Italian restaurant down the street from my hotel. Oi veh :(

But even though reverse culture shock is being a jerk, I can still look back and praise Jesus for all that He’s done in Cambodia.

He IS moving in that country. It is so evident. I hope He sends me back some day. I will never forget the friendships I’ve formed there with my team, the girls, the orphaned boys (I got to send a few pictures and a letter to Phearum :) ), and the children we’ve encountered, especially little Huah. I miss his stuck up haired, rotten toothed, smells like urine half the time, four year old self. I remember the time he smelled so bad, my teammate Erin and I gave him a bath at the centre, he loved it. That boy loves the water. And going out at night in Phnom Penh and talking with the bar girls, the men that are buying sex, and prayer walking the red light district. Now that was unforgettable.

So I want to send out a huge thank you to all that have supported me during this season of my life, prayerfully and financially. I can officially tell you that it was worth every penny and every second of prayer. And a big thank you to my church for putting some extra money in my pocket to keep me fed and alive, to pay for tuk tuk rides to ministry sites, to paying for a homeless woman’s meal, to buying a few bottles of coke so I could stay and talk with the bar girls. I was going to give the remaining money back to my church, but God has used every penny of it :)

So now, I will go and find some supper….please pray I don’t cry at the high prices I’m not used to lol.

All My Love,

Sarah Rochel

P.S. I will be starting a new blog fairly soon about what God is doing with the next step in my life. I haven’t talked about it really at all in this blog, so here it is in a few words: God is sending me to live in Ireland to start up a safe house for sex trafficking victims. Crazy eh? I’ll be posting the link once I get it up and running.

November272011

Prayer Walkin’

Thanks for all the prayer mon amigos. It’s really been helping. Jesus is up to good things here in Phnom Penh, especially the red light districts (the bars/clubs).

So, these past two weeks I’ve been putting my fingers in a few pies. Aside from the orphanage, God is blowing my mind with the opportunities He’s putting in front of me. I’ve been able to work with several anti-sex trafficking organizations, such as Precious Women, The MST Project, and Love 146.

A couple weeks ago, a few of my teammates and I went out with Precious Women. We went into a beer garden, ordered a table and a few bar girls, sat down and had some good conversations with them. It was great to get to know them, and to give them a break from being man handled by customers.

The beer garden we went to caters to mostly bussinessmen, so needless to say, when our group of mostly women plus one man walked in with jeans and tshirts, we got a lot of confused looks from the staff.

The woman I talked with was such a sweetheart. She’s 31, and she earns $17 a month working at the beergarden. She rents an apartment with a cousin for $50 a month, and she has a second job training as a beautician. But it’s still not enough.
Can you imagine only earning $17 a month to be manhandled constantly? It’s heart breaking.

We’ve also been out prayer walking the red light district, which has also been hard, but it’s so good at the same time. Seeing Jesus move is always worth it.

This past Friday a couple of my teammates and I went out with the MST Project. MST stands for Men and the Sex Trade. There are so many organizations out there that fight for the women in the sex trade, but there are very few out there that pray for the men who are buying the women. This is what MST does. So half of us stayed back and prayed, and half of us went out and had some conversations with the men who are out there to buy sex. My small group was along Street 136, which is a street filled with nothing but dark tint-windowed bars with flashy signs advertising sex. I’m so glad I went out. MST is doing such a great job, please keep them in your prayers.

Along with all this comes spiritual warfare. So thank you so much for praying over us, and please continue to do so, as we’ll be continuing to go out prayer walking, talking with bar girls, or talking with the buyers.

I love what God is doing here.

November232011

Street 136

I apologize for not updating this week. A lot has been going on and I’m still processing what’s been happening. I promise to update on my next free internet day (Monday). I do have some prayer requests though, our team has been going through various attacks from the enemy. Please continue to pray for us as we fulfill God’s work.

All my love,

Sarah

November212011

barrymarsten asked: Hey Sarah, I wasn't sure how to get in touch with you. Let me know if you get this. We have put your blog address in our bulletin and we are praying for you. I'd love to Skype with you sometime and pray for you on Skype. We love you and miss you. Keep following Jesus. You're doing great!

Hey Pastor Barry!

That’s so awesome!
Prayer would be great! I’m not sure how long ago you sent this, I just checked this now, tumblr didn’t send me any notifications so I’m sorry if this is from a while back. My skype is sarah.faithe
Hope to see you soon!

November132011

From BB City to PP City

We said our good byes to everyone in Battambang two days ago. There was a party at the centre, it was so much fun! Although it was so hard leaving behind those we’ve formed relationships with these past two months. It was especially hard saying goodbye to Phearum, Sahan, and Huah, as well as Mr. Seng and Manny. I haven’t cried yet but I know it’ll hit me soon enough. Expect me to be a blubbering mess when I come home, Mummy.

But we have safely arrived in Phnom Penh! It’s a pretty big shock from Battambang. PP City is twice the amount of people and twice the size of BB City, with twice the noise and quite the lack of gecko’s (they’re so cute. Can I buy one when I get home Mummy? :P). There are also traffic lights here. Do you know how long it’s’ been since I’ve seen traffic lights? And big, tall buildings? Two whole months. Culture shock has officially set in. It’s not so fun, to say the least. Everything is so much more expensive here too. I might just be broke after this month( Here in PP an iced coffee costs $1.50-$2. Back in BB it only cost 50cents). AND my iPod has died : ( Completely ca-put. No music for Sarah : ( Ah, well. C’est la vie.

It definitely hasn’t been a good start to our new month of ministry. But I know I’ll feel better once we start up our ministry at the orphanage. We still don’t know what we’re doing yet, but whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be good, even if it is scrubbing toilets :)

And I’m almost ready to come home. I’m starting to miss family a lot. Even the snow. I can’t believe I’m missing snow. And my tuque! I never thought I’d see the day! I’m not quite counting down the days yet, because I’m still enjoying the lovely 30C temperatures… maybe during the last week here in PP, when we wrap up ministry?

Thanks all for the prayers!

Much love from Phnom Penh,

Sarah

November52011

Introducing video numero deux! Enjoy :)

October282011

It’s a Scorcher!

Siem Reap was our destination from Sunday to Wednesday.  We were there for debrief with our leaders’ leaders. As soon as day one was over, I wanted to be back home in Battambang.

Let me take you through our first day in Siem Reap.

As soon as we arrived at Siem Reap and got off the bus, we were attacked by tuk tuk drivers. Literally. I kid you not, they bombarded us, yelling  “Hey lady! You want tuk tuk? What hotel you at? I take you!”. For several minutes we endured this mob scene until our leaders found us some tuk tuk drivers to take us to our hotel, without ripping us off.

Once we arrived at Phrom Roth Guesthouse, we were greeted by extremely friendly staff, which was a nice change from the violent tuk tuk drivers. Once we found our cozy rooms, we made our way to Pub Street for some supper, where we were once again bombarded by not only tuk tuk drivers, but from people selling things on the streets, from the shops, and the restaurants. It was madness. Every day we endured this. It became a common occurance to be stopped in your footsteps because you were swarmed on all sides. So needless to say, I was extremely glad to step off the bus into good old Battambang and see Mr. Seng (our tuk tuk driver) waiting for us at the bus station with a big smile on his face while waving at us like an eager parent picking up his fourteen children. And Manny too. And I just realized I haven’t talked about Mr. Seng or Manny yet. So here it is: Mr. Seng has been our tuk tuk driver since we arrived in Battambang. He has the biggest tuk tuk we’ve ever seen. The average tuk tuk seats four. But his hummer of a tuktuk comfortably fits about 10. But there are fourteen of us. So Manny, his 18 year old son, drives the smaller tuk tuk, which seats the rest of us. They have become like family to us. We love them.

But despite the ridiculousness that is Siem Reap, our debrief with Tamica and Hope (our leaders’ leaders and AIM staff) was great. I loved my one on one with Hope too. God’s doing crazy things in their lives. It was great to talk to a fresh set of ears. And seeing Angkor Wat was pretty cool too, despite getting up at 4:30am to see the sunrise at the temples and wanting to punch a tourist in the face for his ignorance (he didn’t realize he was in a third world country and said something extremely rude to a little girl trying to make money so she could eat). And God has revealed more of His plan to me for my future! I’m so stoked! I’m not sure if I should say anything about it yet, so I won’t. But know that He is blowing my brain cells with his abundant blessings.

So, we only have two more weeks left here in Battambang before we move on to Phnom Penh. I’ve had such a great time here, the time to move has snuck up on me. I kind of don’t want to go. Actually, I really don’t want to. I love Battambang. I know I only experienced a little bit of Phnom Penh, and that was when we first arrived in the country, but I love Battambang. It’s smaller, it’s quieter, and tuk tuk drivers here don’t yell at you. And we know our way around the neck of the city that we’re in. Most of all, I don’t want to be done ministry here. I don’t want to leave the three boys at the centre. I don’t want to leave the homeless families we’ve been spending time with. I don’t want to leave Mr. Seng and Manny. I don’t want to leave the children from the kids program on Sundays. But alas, the only way to grow is to accept change. Dang it. I guess I’ll have to learn to look forward to Phnom Penh, that crazy and loud city. Lord, help me to get excited for it okay? Thanks. You’re a champ.

These past couple of days we’ve been going to an old warehouse by some abandoned railroad tracks. Spending time with the 10+ families living there was so wonderful. I’m excited to go back next week. Please be praying for them.

That’s all, folks.

Until next week!

October222011

Get on Outta Here

Guess what? I get to have dance parties with my roommates. It’s awesome. Just thought I’d share that.

Anyways, this week has been chopped full of wonderful spiritual goodies!

I love Sunday’s here. I have to get up ridiculously early and spend all day in a hot and sweaty building, but oh man, it’s so worth it. Spending all day with those children is wonderful. I got to have a water fight with them. Two of us against 12 of them. So much fun. This is what your donated dollars are going to. Be proud :D

And then I got sick. It sucked. But I kicked that cold/sore throat in the butt, got rid of it in two days. Yes, my immune system is super man.

So, Tuesday, my team went on a prayer walk around the city. I had to miss out on that due to being el sicko, but I prayed from my hotel room.

Wednesday, us morning crew people were hanging out after our bible study with the girls,when Sothea came up to us. There was a couple who just came home with thei brand new baby (barely five pounds/ 2 and a half kilos) that were being terrorized by demonic forces at night. The wife would wake up to dark figures around her and her baby. So we went over to their house and prayed over the house, the baby and his parents. It was so great to kick Satan in the teeth. I kid you not. The next day, Sothea reported to us that they had a peacful sleep with no demons terrorizeing them. Yay Jesus :)

Later in the afternoon we did some street ministry. A lot of Cambodians generally have rotten teeth because they can’t afford the dentist, nor can they afford toothbrushes (particularly those in the slums). So we went into the slums and handed out toothbrushes. These beautiful people were so grateful for a freaking toothbrush, it hit me hard. Later on, we had just handed out our last toothbrush. We passed by an old lady on the side of the road begging for food/money. The Holy Spirit spoke to me, ‘go buy her something to eat.’ So my group and I went to a cafe, I got some steamed rice and veggies. As we were walking back to her, I was praying along the way that she would still be there. And lo and behold, there she was, in the exact same spot. That old and wrinkly and beautiful woman was so thankful for something to eat, once again, Jesus floored me. Over and over God just continues to let my jaw hit the floor. For example, another group of our team walked by her later that day and handed her a toothbrush.

Want proof that Jesus came for the humble? There you have it.

Thursday we finally went back to the orphanage we visited a month ago. It was so great. It helps me look forward to our last month in Phnom Penh, when we’ll be working at an orphanage.

So my team leaves for Siem Reap tomorrow morning! We’ll be there for debrief, to check in with AIM, and to see Angkor Wat. So stoked outta my brain cells!

Aaaand I’ll be starting my October video soon, so stay tuned, it’ll be up in a few weeks, hopefully :)

P.S. Our hotel is near a crocodile farm. So cool. But we are also next to a couple of night clubs. Every night we see girls who work there sitting outside waiting to be picked up by a client for the night. Please keep them covered in prayer.

Y’all come back now ya hear?!

I’m Canadian, I promise.

October152011

Surgery on a Stage

A lot has happened this week: We moved again. One of our teammates had surgery. Another had worms. And another little boy from the neighbourhood has attatched himself to me. His name is Huaa, and I love his little rotten toothed smile. He’s so stinkin cute.

Okay, so we have moved. And here’s why: We were getting too comfortable with two people to a room, we weren’t growing anymore. So now have four to a room. I’m loving our new home. Why? No more cockroaches! Jesus loves me. And I’m loving my new roomies. They’re tres awesome.

And we’re still living on under $12 a day, including transportation and food, so no worries, we’re not being big spenders.

So, a lot of us were sick these past couple of weeks; about half our team was taken out with some form of illness. My teammate Kori got worms, I’m sure it’s from the “river” we walk through to get to our ministry. There are many things in that water, including fecal matter, just putting that out there. And one of my team leaders, Kendall, fell when she and our other leader went running in the morning, and she somehow managed to get some tiny rocks stuck underneath her wounded hands. So our translator, of all people, with his swiss army knife, of all things, performed ‘surgery’ on her hands to get the tiny rocks out of her skin. This all happened on the church stage at TransformAsia. Yes, you read it right. It worked though! Seang did an excellent job, and Kendall is free from any infection that could have occurred.

Huaa is probably about four years old. His baby teeth are already rotten, which we’re wondering about, why so many people’s teeth fall out so early here. The first day he came to the centre, I immediately started playing with him. The next day, he came running up to me and clung to me. He hasn’t let me go since. He’s another one I could put in my backpack and take home with me. Recently he’s developed a fever though, and he had stuff leaking out of his ears the other day. I really want to take him to the doctor, but there’s the matter of checking with his parents if he has any, seeing if Seang can tag along to translate for us, and all that jazz. So please pray that it’s possible for a trip to the doctor soon.

God grew me yesterday. He pushed me to do something I really, really didn’t want to do. My teammate Emily has got crazy musical talent. That girl’s voice is crazy awesome. She also rocks on the guitar and piano. So naturally, she’s been leading worship a lot. She’s been asking me over and over if I want to sing with her, and I’ve kept on declining. Because, here’s the thing: I hate speaking/singing in front of a crowd. I always have, even when it’s a worship band.  But God just gave me a gentle nudge and said, ‘you need to do this.’ Great. Just great. So I finally said yes to her offer. I told her my dislike for being in front of a crowd, she was completely understanding, and was incredibly patient with my negative attitude in the beginning of rehearsal. But God started to break down those walls of the past. He showed me that it’s okay,  that this is different. I’m amongst friends, and this time we are truly worshipping him. It’s not performing for one another, like I’ve experienced in the past with other worship bands. I did start to experience a panic attack near the beginning of the night, right before we were supposed to be on stage, but one of our leaders prayed with us and I was fine. All in all, it was a great night.

Also, my dad passed away Sept. 2nd, the day after I left for Cambodia. It didn’t hit me until October 10th. I bawled my eyes out and was able to finally accept his passing. My teammates were so great, as always, and my teammate Kerina was there for me to talk to the next day. All your prayers have been helping immensely, keep em coming. God’s been so good during this time.

I’m looking forward to what adventures God has for our team next week!

Until next week,

Sarah

 

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