Wednesday, 3 March 2021

#234 - Set Aside: Praise and Prayer

 Vol. #234 

 

The second leg of the journey was shorter in hours, but seemed longer as we waited for over 20 minutes for transit passengers to arrive as we sat on the tarmac. This time social distancing on the plane was different since it was a smaller plane with more people.


Praise

I had all my papers and info necessary, so I just had to wait patiently for my turn to be processed. No one told us about the order of where to go and what to do first, so I went to get my COVID-19 test done first following the arrows, only to go back to retrieve my luggage before retracing steps to go in line for the bus. 

Thank you for prayers about the test. It was okay with only one nostril being tested and I had a mouth swab. The ladies who were administering the tests were chatty and were talking in Khmer about the ‘Barang’ me so I answered back their questions in Khmer, which made them laugh!


Praise

I thought I had misplaced the important form that had my deposit of $2000 with the retrieving of the luggage, but I had put them in my knapsack rather than my purse, so your prayers of no confusion and being able to sort things out were answered. PLUS, I was able to get a trolley!


Prayer Request

I am now at the hotel and got the call to go down for the daily temperature check. However there was no social distancing at all in the elevator. I am one of the only 3 expats with Chinese nationals here. Everyone is friendly! Please pray for no COVID-19, as on the plane more than a few were sneezing and coughing, which could just be normal colds since our temperatures were checked before boarding.


Praise

As I slept for about 3 hours at the hotel, I was able to be up to have my coffee time with Jesus. Again I am in awe of Leviticus 13 talking about being set aside to avoid community transmission, and having my perspective on quarantine changed to one of being set aside to rest and be with Him before entering into ‘daily life’ here once again.


Praise

Many of you prayed for a good hotel. This one is average, but the bathroom is amazing with a rainforest type of shower and a huge bathtub!



Prayer

I am on the first floor so I can hear the traffic. Please pray that the traffic sounds will become like ‘white noise’ so that I can sleep.

 
Praise

The hotel staff are very helpful. I was talking to the receptionist and the attendants who brought up my luggage. I was able to communicate in Khmer, which was good, although one of them started to speak very fast, and I am like “Whoa!” But it is good to get back in the rhythm of hearing the sounds and speaking the heart language!

 
Prayer

The three meals that are served are already established by the hotel. No choice is available and no food deliveries allowed from the outside. Pray that I would enjoy all. 

Mark 10:49 is about the Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus and what struck me when Bartimaeus called out to Jesus, Jesus told his disciples to “Call him”. Jesus could have spoken the word Himself to call him, but he asked the disciples to get involved in the process of His healing, to get involved in His work. Just so, He has called me back here, and He is calling you, my dance partners, to get involved in your own areas of influence. When He healed him, Jesus said in verse 52, “Go your way”, but Bartimaeus ...followed Him on the way...”.  That made me stop. It was a confirmation of my call back here to follow Jesus on the way, to continue to dance with Him allowing Him to lead me! 

 

Please continue to send me your stories and prayer requests as I am being set aside for this special time with Him for the next 14 days! Loving the rhythm of His heart as I dance with Him today. 



Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya 

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

#233 - Enroute Praise and Prayer Requests

Vol. #233

Thank you for your prayers! I am writing this as I wait in Seoul for my second flight! 

Praise: the fact that I was in the air meant that your prayers for a NEGATIVE result from COVID-19 test was received, and the nose swab itself was painless and very fast! 

Praise: for the time I had with Mum and Dad, bittersweet, as we held hands and prayed together, as they not only released me back to my heart country, but I also released them into the heart of Our Loving Father!
MOM AND DAD AFTER PRAYER


Praise: for Ian and Ramona L. My brother Ian was able to come with me into the airport and he helped the other counter attendants to download my specific COVID-19 insurance for Cambodia which I did not know I had to purchase beforehand! I thank God for the ladies at the counter who informed me that I needed to have this special insurance for 20 days as stated by the Cambodian government. Anyone who did not have it on arrival at Phnom Penh would have been turned back! Ramona waited patiently in the car as this process took more than half hour since we had problems printing the receipt from my phone. So Ian did his troubleshooting and all was good!
 
Praise: maybe only 6 people were in my section, so I had the whole row to myself and the rows in front, to the back and to my side were empty!
 
I got to see the full moon which gave light into the section I was in, and I was marvelling at how God orchestrated this because having that light made the area feel ‘light’ and not claustrophobic! I did not sleep much yet it was a restful time!
 
Prayer: for my entry into Phnom Penh at the airport, with my 2 suitcases and carry-on and my knapsack, that I would be able to manoeuvre all of this getting into the bus and off to the designated hotel! Sometimes there are no trolleys available!
 
Prayer: that the second COVID-19 test at the airport would be just as easy as the first and NEGATIVE!

Prayer: for favour with the authorities/government officials when I get to the airport; and also with hotel staff at the designated government hotel.

With a grateful heart to all of you, my dance partners, as you definitely interceded for me on the praise points above!  I felt the lightness of steps and His strong hands as He led me through this first part of the journey! 

Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya 

 

Monday, 22 February 2021

#232 - Time to Return: Praises and Prayers!

Vol.# 232 

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! 

I wanted to let you know that on March 1st I will be returning to Cambodia! Life there has not been at a standstill, but rather God has allowed church services and discipleship classes to resume on site. Schools are open and we just had an amazing Global Leadership Summit Cambodia conference on 17/18! We prayed and God did the impossible. In the midst of COVID-19 we had a big turnout for the conference with attendees who are leaders of influence from the government, education and corporate world, and from a non-Christian background! 

GLS CAMBODIA 2021!

God knew that I would not have been able to meet many of you face to face, but I have had opportunities to ZOOM and chat and messaged with many of you and I am grateful for your prayers for Mom and Dad! 

I remember when I was returning in 2011 and Pastor Chris had helped me to rewrite my personal mission statement: in the visible reality that I would be a teacher, mentor and servant, and in the invisible reality I would be an intercessory prayer warrior for Cambodia specifically for those God would bring across my path! In 2021 this has been adjusted. One of my main visible roles is as an ‘intercessory prayer warrior’ for the leadership of my church there, New Life Fellowship church, and its church plants. The leadership has graciously allowed me to partner with them in prayer meetings with the different leaders as well as with the Youth leaders at the church. I also have partnered and become a prayer mentor to the Director of Prison Fellowship Cambodia, Oun Muylen, and prayer partner to Director of BRAVE NGO, Sister Mel. 

Praise
My dad just celebrated being 94 years ‘young’ on the 18th February and I am glad I was able to be on site to be here with him and Mom! I say ‘young’ because the GREAT I AM is the AGELESS ONE so my Dad is a ‘young’ one! 


    CELEBRATING DAD'S 94TH!

Prayer Request
Please continue to pray for them to find a place with an ensuite laundry that is affordable and also for their continued good health. 

Praise
With the advice and support of siblings, we were able together to get important steps in place for my parents. I am blessed to have amazing siblings who have allowed me to monopolize my parents’ time while being here! 

Praise
God placed certain individuals to help me get my COVID-19 test for International travel. This test is on February 27th SO… 

Prayer Request
…I ask for your prayers that the test will be easy (the swabbing can sometimes be uncomfortable) and that it will be NEGATIVE and that I will be able to receive the results within the 24 hour time period. 

Prayer Request
With the COVID-19 precautions, my expenses have increased. I have to quarantine for 14 days in a government appointed hotel, since in the past week, two individuals who were in quarantine bribed a security guard and escaped and since then, there has been a community transmission and 32 people were affected! Usually I would have been allowed to self isolate at home since I live alone, and therefore no expenses, but now with this incident, I have to stay at a hotel! Please pray that the hotel chosen for me will be a good one. We all have to pay the same price but are not given the luxury of choosing which government hotel to quarantine in! Not all hotels are the same. PLEASE PRAY THAT COVID-19 TEST ON ARRIVAL WILL BE NEGATIVE AND THE COVID-19 TEST AFTER QUARANTINE WILL BE NEGATIVE!

Praise
In the past month there was a leak in my old washing machine that is on the rooftop. This affected the tiles so that the tile flooring on the rooftop had to be replaced. Why is this a praise item? God allowed this to happen while I was away so I would not have to deal with the noise of construction, the disruption of life with strangers coming in and out (and in this COVID-19 environment, not safe). As many of you know, this is my prayer room, on the rooftop, so I praise my God for allowing me to not be there. I want to thank God for Channak, Julia, Chetra, Lauren and David and Krong and Liep who have been checking in and looking after my place!

Prayer Request
Please pray for wisdom for Channak as he seeks to get a good deal for a new washing machine and a fridge for me. YES, my fridge (bought second-hand and my washing machine a third-hand bought in 2015) also died! Praying that both of these appliances will be in place by the time I get there, and for His providence over them! 

Thank you, my dance partners, for your continued waltz, salsa, hip hop (whichever style you prefer!) with me as I put my hand in His hand as HE leads me in this dance in the country chosen by Him for me! My continued request is TO BE ABLE TO LEARN TO SPEAK IN KHMER so that I CAN COMMUNICATE HIS HEART to those there in their heart language and to be able to PRAY IN KHMER! “So Father, please attune my ears and my voice to Khmer!” 

Please continue to send me your prayer requests and your stories so I can in turn go to the Heavenly Father on your behalf. It is an honor to join with you on my knees as we approach Him who sees you and hears you and listens to you, O precious ones! 

Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya 

Monday, 1 February 2021

#231 - Praise and Prayer: Blessing Packages and Discipleship

 Vol.# 231

 

It has been a while since I have written, so here is a quick update! 

 

My Dad has been progressively getting stronger and my Mom as well. We are so blessed to have the nurse and physiotherapist still come twice a week. Now Mom joins in with Dad as the therapist puts him through the paces! With the stricter lockdown rules, I am blessed to be here on site with them, and so I am able to do laundry and groceries, since my brother and sister cannot leave their homes. It is not a coincidence that GOD brought me here at this time!

 
Praise God

Blessing packages are still being delivered to church plants in the countryside back in Cambodia. There is still freedom of movement, and as of a couple of weeks ago, churches were reopened with the new COVID precautions! There have been no deaths due to COVID-19!

SHARING BLESSING PACKAGES AS WELL AS THE WORD IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Prayer Request

Economically, however, the country has suffered with factories having to close due to overseas contracts being cancelled. The garment factories employed a high percentage of Khmer, so with the unemployment, the need to provide for families has grown much higher. Pray that many would NOT turn to illegitimate ways of earning money.


Praise God

Two NGOs with whom I partner in prayer, Prison Fellowship Cambodia and BRAVE Ministry, have been instrumental in getting medical care and blessing packages of groceries out to those in the prisons and in the poorer areas in the countryside. I am honored to be prayer partnered with the Executive Director of PFC, Oun Muylen, the first Khmer female director of PFC, and Mel, who is the female director of BRAVE ministry!

 
Praise God

At New Life Foundation church, discipleship courses have been reinstated on Sundays after being online, and it is a joy to see the next generation teaching their younger counterparts about the Bible and having a relationship with Jesus!

DISCIPLESHIP CLASS

Praise and Pray

Global Leadership Cambodia, which will have the conference on Feb 17-18th, has had the highest pre-enrolment for the conference ever and this is during COVID-19 time! We have those represented from the government, corporate, and education sectors. It has been amazing to have those in high leadership positions pay to attend and to listen to top speakers who have spiritual influences within their own spheres! Many who will attend do not have a relationship with Jesus so they get to hear through these speakers of how to be servant leaders as role-modeled by Jesus the Christ! Please pray that the logistics to setting up the translation, the IT needed (because it is live online) will be accomplished without any snags!

 
I am enjoying listening to our own Pastor TJ online, and I am praying for the creativity as we adjust to sharing about our faith in Jesus!

 

Thank you for continuing to be my dance partners as I minister to those He has given to me! 


Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya 

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

#230 - Praying to be F.A.T.!

Vol.# 230

As I listened to Pastor Candace and Worship Leader Ramona give their final interviews with Pastor T.J., I was drawn by the themes that they spoke about as their lessons learnt from their time at Rexdale Alliance Church, my home church in Toronto. It made me begin to think over the lessons I have learnt and am still learning from the past year as I borrowed their themes of life lessons and reflected on how God has been working on me “From The Inside Out”, a sanctification process to become more like Him, to be a servant leader here in Phnom Penh amongst those He has brought to me. I thought about how He has moved me beyond my comfort zone and how He has surprised me with new opportunities to serve Him! 

Before COVID-19, when the Skills Teaching Centre was opened to provide free education for those who could never afford an education, I was basically a facilitator, a teacher and a co-teacher and mentor. During COVID-19 when the Skills Teaching Centre was closed, and teaching went online, I had to learn new skills on teaching online, on preparing curriculum to be presented on a new medium. Previously, my relationships were centred on those I worked with at the Centre. In this unexpected season I now have to work with the staff in the office, with the church planting team, and with the pastoral and prayer team as we mobilized to look after the community, not only in the city, but also in our satellite sites as well. God surprised me with these new relationships as I was drawn into not only a discipleship role but also as a partner in delivering and praying over blessing packages which we delivered to over 200 families within the city, and to even more families in the countryside. I was humbled by the dedication of the staff and was introduced to other organizations who liaisoned to help Cambodians all over the country! There was severe flooding and the aftermath of that with dengue fever and other illnesses. I was humbled to be a small part of different teams who lent a helping hand at such a time as this!
BLESSING PACKAGES STILL BEING SENT OUT: THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME THAT WE CAN TOGETHER BE A BLESSING TO MANY!


As I think of the new year ahead, I am reminded of Ned Graham’s words as he spoke at his father’s funeral, the noted evangelist Billy Graham. He said that he wished everyone would follow his father’s example to be F.A.T.: faithful, available and teachable

I pray that I would remain faithful to His words, to speak and not compromise His truth, but to do so in grace and love. I pray to be available to step out of my comfort zone to follow where He leads, and to have a teachable spirit, to have a hunger to know more about Him so that I can be His servant leader in my heart country of Cambodia! 

I pray and thank God for all of you who have helped me in my different roles dancing with Him in Cambodia! I never want to become nonchalant of the awe of serving Him and experiencing His Presence! 

A Blessed New Year to all! 

Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya 

Thursday, 10 December 2020

#229 - Caring for parents and Cambodia

 Vol.# 229

 

Thank you to everyone for all your help with calls, food, and prayers throughout my quarantine time at the duplex! 

While in quarantine my dad was admitted to the hospital for 5 days. It was not COVID-19, but with pneumonia at the YOUNG age of 93 they wanted to take precautions as he also has a pacemaker. Thank you for your prayers, for BECAUSE of your prayers and advice, we were able to get transitional care for him at home!

 
I have joined my siblings in the care of my parents. They have done and continue to do an amazing job of taking care of my parents in this season of COVID-19. We now have a nurse, occupational therapist, and a physiotherapist coming in about 3 times a week. The first day I was back here from quarantine, my brother Vish had arranged for home care and they were all coming every day so we were quite busy here!

 
Cambodia is now going through their first wave of COVID-19. The first community transmission occurred last week, so malls, some banks, schools and churches are once more closed. The government is urging everyone to stay within their ‘bubble’ to stop the transmission. Whilst Canada and rest of the world were concerned with the health effects of COVID-19, Cambodia was more concerned with the economic effects with businesses closing and tourism down. With the onset of the rainy season, we were more concerned with the floods and the mosquito borne diseases from this! However, now they are hit with a double whammy of getting food to those who desperately need it combined with diseases. We are concerned that legitimate businesses are closed down whilst illicit businesses are on the rise!

 

KHMER LEADERS PRAYING ON BEHALF OF CAMBODIA


Praise God:

 

I praise God for my community back in Phnom Penh who are helping me with keeping my house safe. Thank you especially to my former housemate Channak who was able to get workmen to go into the house to repair my fridge. It had broken down and unfortunately was stocked with food for those who were going in to use my place as their refuge! He was instrumental in talking to my landlord and negotiating for repairs to be made etc. I thank God I was able to pass on the spiritual authority of my place to those who would be using it as their retreat/refuge centre.

 
Praise God:

 

Even though I am here, my former students from Refuge are sending prayer requests to their “Holy Spirit Sister, Mr. Bean” (that would be ME) for protection from COVID-19. 

MY CHRISTMAS TREE AT NEW HOME OF FORMER RESCUE STUDENTS


Prayer Requests:

 

- Would you please pray with me and the leaders of the churches in Cambodia for my heart country against COVID-19, but at the same time pray at this time we would have a hunger to know Jesus the Christ more intimately!

 
- Please pray that as I am on site here at home with my parents, for wisdom as we meet with health workers to ask the right questions to get the best help for them.



Finally, I want to say thank you to all of you in the medical profession. My Dad has received wonderful help from the hospital, and again I want to thank Dr. Gamble and Dr. Stel for their continued medical care of my parents and myself! Dr. Gamble, you are truly a doctor/shepherd for us all! We have been blessed by the quality of care my Dad has received which has released some of the stress off my Mom.

I am looking forward after this busy season to connecting with you all! 



Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya 

Friday, 20 November 2020

#228 - The Journey to Canada and Beginning Quarantine!

 Vol.# 228

 

Thank you all for your prayers for my travel back here to Toronto.

FIRST SUNRISE YESTERDAY MORN IN REXDALE!
 

I am now in Day 2 of my quarantine right here in the duplex next to the church! 
Thank you to all of you who helped to prep the duplex and stock up the larder for me. 

 

The second and third legs of my travels were much better than the first journey from Phnom Penh to Seoul! The 10-hour stay at the airport started off a bit tiresome since most places were closed and finding a lounge to stay in was a bit difficult, especially after following instructions from the persons at the info desk. I wandered around for half an hour before finding a lounge where I could sit and be ‘safe’ and have snacks! 

 

PAL AT SEOUL AIRPORT QUITE FASCINATED WITH MY HAIR!


On the second plane I had not only the whole row to myself but also the rows in front and at the back of me were empty! I was served a box of cold sandwiches that I declined because it really was not tasty or inviting to eat. HOWEVER, your prayers allowed me to not feel claustrophobic like in the first plane, and I slept with not only my mask on but also the blanket over my face!  

 

Just as I was on the escalator to board the third plane, this carry-on came hurtling down and slammed into my leg. I looked up and it was this older gentleman’s carry-on and he was so sorry. Thankfully, all I have from that incident is a huge black and blue discoloration of skin to match the color of my hair! It is a bit sore but praise God I did not lose my balance or fall when the suitcase hit me!

 
I got through the thorough customs in Vancouver and, with no time to waste, entered into the pre-boarding for third plane. Here only coffee was served, and no blankets, but I was warm enough with my jacket.

 
I got into Pearson, picked up my luggage and when I got to the curb, an airport limo was there, so I was able to get to the duplex in a short time, and the driver helped to carry my suitcases up the outward stairs!


Again I am thankful for your prayers. God reminded me that when I carefully prepare, HE would give the results! I had prepared by doing the COVID-19 test, inputting relevant info on the ARRIVE-Can APP so that going through Customs on my arrival to Canada was a breeze as opposed to others who did not have the info prepared beforehand!


At my last Sunday service in Phnom Penh, Pastor Samdy had preached on the topic of the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, and God reminded me of His mission for me just in case I would become nonchalant about my calling in Him. 
I am so thankful to have a place here to quarantine where there is an ensuite washing machine and dryer. YEAH! When I get to my parents’ place after the quarantine on December 1st, I will have to use the laundry facilities in the basement of the apartment building and with COVID-19 restrictions, which should be interesting to say the least!

 
Prayer Requests:

 

- Please pray that acclimatization would go smoothly. Already I have found the air to be very dry with the heat on. Thankfully Chris K has a humidifier that I can borrow! Sleep then would be much easier!

 

 - Please pray that my mind would disengage from things in Phnom Penh and I would relax and enjoy this 2-week quarantine, getting stronger spiritually as I spend time with Him.


- Please pray for my parents’ health, especially my dad, as with winter coming on the cold just seeps into the bones. 

- I do have one ZOOM meeting in the next couple of days with the Head of Prison Fellowship International from New Zealand. Please pray that we are able to connect with the change in time zones. We will be talking about Prison Fellowship Cambodia and my role as prayer mentor for its Executive Director, Oun Muylen! 

 

DOWNTIME WITH EXEC. DIRECTOR OF PF CAMBODIA AND DIRECTOR OF BRAVE NGO


I am very grateful to be here and send my love and appreciation to all!



Love, His Warrior and Disciple, 

Submitting to be His Dance partner here in Cambodia, 

Your sister, Vidya