I am posting this here because as I prepare to visit a few cities in the next few months I wanted to make sure that everyone had the most up to date information about what I am doing and what I'm hoping for this year!
Hello friends!Merry Christmas and happy new year! It was so fun to enter all of your names in the "send to" field and think about each of you and your families and how you might be spending your holiday time this year. I'm really very blessed to have you as part of this amazing story God is putting together with my life!This was my 6th Christmas in a row that I spent outside of the US (5 in Cambodia and 1 in India)! Cambodia has become a home in so many ways but, I think since I grew up in New York I'll always miss the cold weather, hot chocolate and fancy decorations that I always associated with November-January... If you're around such things, enjoy them a bit more for me, too!2016 has been FULL of so many new things and experiences as it was my first year working with NewLife Fellowship teaching with their internship program. I can tell you with confidence that I LOVE my job! God's plan and timing of transition for me has turned out to bring so many new reasons for joy and fulfillment. I look forward to teaching each class I have (they're between 4 students to 29 students depending on the day and subject) and am always praying, "Lord, please let this lesson, these words and this time together change these students forever as they discover more of You."It's also wonderful that I get to keep my relationships with HPC Khmer staff and foreigners, they'll always be part of my life :-)I want you all to know that I am immensely encouraged by your prayers for me. The fruit of them is evident in the favor I've built with Khmer friends, the amazing protection I've experienced from both sickness and harm as well as the ways that I've been so abundantly blessed so that I am able to give to others and even run my own course and not have to ask the Khmer church here for finances. I really am blessed to be a blessing as Abraham was and it's a privilege to do so here. THANK YOU!!!As i look ahead to 2017 I'm really excited about all of the opportunities I can see God putting in front of me:-I have hired a personal assistant. Her name is Sokchea and she was one of my students last year. She helps me develop Curriculum and teach 3 and a half days per week and the other 2 days she helps me with things that are super hard for a visually impaired person to do on their own in Phnom Penh (grocery shopping, paying bills, buying supplies for teaching, going to various places for meetings...). She has known Jesus for a little over 2 years, is the first in her family to begin following Him and I LOVE having the opportunity to invest in her in such a personal way!-I have begun (once every two months) translating sermons at my church from Khmer to English! So, any time there are English speakers in our church services I am the one preaching the sermon for them! This is SO challenging and keeps both me and my amazing Khmer teacher on our toes!!!-I would like to take Sokchea to a conference about spiritual revival in Asia this January in Thailand. It will be her first time out of Cambodia!!! The cost for her travel, lodging and conference attendance will come to $600.-I am co-leading a small group of Khmer young adults at church with the purpose of getting to know God and each other. This is the first small group of this focus and I love being part of their lives.-I have been in Cambodia for almost 7 YEARS (what??!!??! I know, it's been so long already...) and am strongly considering FINALLY purchasing some wooden bookshelves, a real cupboard for dishes, pots and pans (right now, I use a wicker shelf) and maybe even a couch someday :-)-I get so excited when I think about my students and all the ways they are going to grow and change as they experience more and more of Jesus throughout the year!-I am honored to be a board member for a ministry here that was started 3 and a half years ago by some of my very good Cambodian friends. My heart, literally, leaps as I have more and more opportunities to empower and equip Khmer people to know that they have something to offer to their own people!-I will visit the States during 2017!!!There is one more thing I am dreaming about and that is being able to attend the wedding of a dear friend in America in June 2017. I hope to be in the states beginning in April and come back to Cambodia after the wedding in June. This will mean that I will leave my responsibilities here for a while (good thing I hired a personal assistant!) and that I would need a bit of extra funding this coming year to provide for travel and other expenses while in the states during June.So many great things going on and lots of BIG dreams for things to come! I do need some more partners who can give financially in order to continue at the pace I'm going and to see some of these fun things He's put in my heart come to fruition. Let me know if you'd like to give on a monthly basis or as a one time donation and I'd be happy to get you the info you need!Please stay in touch with what is going on through my blog (www.orphan2apostle.blogspot.c
om) as well as the Facebook group, "Yvonne's Stories From Cambodia". I would love to hear from you so if you have any questions or encouragement don't hesitate to send a reply!Following my Redeemer,Yvonne Stiles
Following my Redeemer,