These are the words that we use every day when we greet our neighbors and friends in Cambodia. Tommy will often put his hands together and add a little bow for this traditional greeting. We have lived here for over a year now and are blessed with an authentic community and believe that we are making an impact for the Kingdom of God and against the darkness of human trafficking.
A.T. has been busy with three new construction projects and developing a maintenance plan for all Agape International Missions (AIM) sights. Two of the projects are remodeling/renovating buildings while the third is for a boxing gym to teach men sports and what following Jesus look like as a guy. Men are usually the problem (demand) when it comes to sex trafficking and the gym teaches them that God created men to protect and not use their gift for exploitation. There are many programs that AIM operates and these days A.T. finds himself helping almost all of them in one way or another. Two other programs that he has been helping with the Kid’s Club and a discipleship program at the church.
Crystal is enjoying her new part time role with AIM and has already helped 7 people transition into full time mission in Cambodia. Two of them have become really close friends of ours whose fellowship is invaluable. Samuel and Reaksmey Haas have been an answer to prayer for the AIM community, if you have time please check out their video, and if you feel moved by it please check out their website. Crystal’s work and friendship is a gift to all those around her, she gives her all to love and build community, it is such a blessing to A.T. to see her thriving particularly as she is over 7 months pregnant!
LIFE IN CAMBODIA FOR THE HOLDERS
We have added another Cambodian to our house, Phally’s (Polly) brother Perie. He is 20 years old and going to school for agriculture. Seeing both of them grow towards Jesus and be part of our lives is a gift we do not take lightly. The only problem we have now is that we have run out of rooms!
Power and water shortages seem to have subsided for awhile!
Tommy continues to thrive. He is now 21 months, saying lots of words both English and Khmer. He loves to play in the dirt, climb, and wave to anybody. He is the delight of our hearts.
Bible study night! Our good friend is a old testament professor at a Khmer bible school here. About twice a month we host a bible night where we listen and ask questions about a book in the OT, Phally has joined us and we are so grateful for this time to dig into God’s word and learn from one another as well.
PREGNANCY AND BABY GIRL UPDATE
We are going to give birth here in Cambodia.
Crystal is 34 weeks pregnant! Due date is July 15th.
We wanted to share our precious girls name… Introducing Keiper Maria Holder! Keiper is Crystal’s maiden name, a name that she was called far more frequently than Crystal. Her father also goes by the nickname as well. Crystal has two grandma’s that she considers her best friends and helped raise here, and both of them share the root name Marie. We are thrilled to honor all three of them with our daughter’s name.
A few of Crystals close friends here hosted a lovely baby shower for Keiper and our family. Crystal and I are overwhelmed by the love and authenticity of the community here and celebrating the coming of Keiper brought such joy! Tommy even seems to understand that he is going to be a big brother and you will often catch him saying “baby” and pointing to Crystals tummy.
Kathy Holder is visiting to help us take care of baby and Tommy!
KEIPERS BABY REGISTRY
Family and friends have asked how they can bless Keiper from a distance. Due to Kathy visiting us we have created a small baby registry for some needed items that Kathy can bring with her when she visits . If you would like to visit: Amazon link.
Kathy will leave for Cambodia on July 9th so if you do send a registry gift please do so by July 2nd
Work has been fulfilling and we have seen God use us in various ways.
Joy and laughter in the midst of trials, that the Lord by his grace gives us eyes to see His mercies and how good and mighty He is
One year anniversary living here! Thankful and humbled hearts to be serving and seeking how we may participate in God’s Kingdom come here in Cambodia. Praise God that we have been able to see His hand and the beautiful redemptive work of Christ this past year.
That we are pregnant and healthy. God has been gracious to us in this season and has taken our burdens.
We are so thankful to be sharing a home with our brother and sister Phally and Piere.
afety for the remainder of Crystals pregnancy here; free from illness ( dengue season is back!) and a healthy, strong little girl.
A healthy and safe labor and delivery of Keiper here in Phnom Penh. Our prayer and plan is to have another natural birth and delivering here in Cambodia is a step of faith for us but we believe the Lord is asking us to trust Him and we praise Him for that.
Most of our community is leaving for the summer for home assignment, this is difficult as they are such a great support to us, particularly during the delivery
That we find rest and a break from our work. It has been a year and a half and we need renewed spirits. The work here can be dark and overwhelming, missing family, and pouring out into a foreign land. We would not choose a different path but please lift us up for the rest that only God can provide.
Yet again we want to thank you. Many of you inspire us to follow Jesus more, love other more, and give all we have to the King and His Kingdom. We pray for you and ask God to bless you from this great distance.