New Year, New Update

Goodness…. I can’t believe it’s already January 2016. Where has the time gone? Luke will turn 7 in March and is in 1st grade. I am in the middle of my 9th year of teaching. John has been out of the “cubicle farm” for over a year and a half. Time flies…

Who would have thought the Lord would have us serving in Cambodia in the year 2016? Who would have imagined we would be living half way around the world in a country where we don’t know the language and only came here knowing a couple of families? Who would have known John would be serving at a wakepark along side of a guy we “knew of” but didn’t really “know” and learning how to wakeboard? Who would have guessed I would be teaching children from a variety of countries American curriculum, Canadian Science, World Social Studies and the Bible in Cambodia? The Lord has been so faithful and provided what we need when we need it. He shows us He is bigger than what we can even imagine.

Being transparent for a second… I was sitting in my classroom last Thursday before the kids came in when the state power went off, we could only run the generator. I thought to myself, “Well, it’s not quite the way I wanted to start a Thursday morning, but it will probably only be off for about 10 minutes or so.” So I started my school day, the children came in and we all started sweating. For the first time this school year, I opened up the windows and doors in hope to get some sort of breeze… but it was still hot! This was the first time since we moved here where I had one of “those moments”. The moment when you look around and think what in the world did I say yes to. Why did God send me to a place where they only have two “seasons”, dry  or wet, but it’s always hot and humid. After being frustrated for several hours, I knew I still had a job to do and the children were still going to learn whether it be hot or not (side note – the state power was out from 8am until 2pm or so that day), so we moved on with our day.

God has called us to Cambodia to serve Him, to be His hands and feet, and we are here until He calls us home. Someone asked me the other day, “Are you ready to go back home?” and I simply replied, “God’s work is not done here.” So with a joyful heart, we are happy to say, we are staying for at least another 2 school years (through May 2018). John will continue to serve at the wakepark, I have signed on for another 2 years with Logos International School where Luke will attend 2nd and 3rd grade!

We would love that you want to continue to be a part of our ministry here in Cambodia. Our prayer is that you would continue to lift us up in your prayers to the Lord, asking him for strength, guidance and wisdom as we go throughout our days. If you would like to support us financially, we would love for you to do that as well. Half of our monthly budget is paid for by Asian Hope (Logos International School) but the other half is donations we receive through people like you. Thank you for your prayers!

Love ~Ashley

November Update

This post is mostly going to be about Kam-Air.  If you are not already following us on Facebook, I recommend that you do.  For those of you that don’t “like” liking things on Facebook (cough, cough, you know who you are) then this will be a recap.

Near the end of September, things were going well for Kam-Air.  We had booked the next six Saturday’s in advance and we were actually close to breaking even on our monthly expenses with the increased business. Then we came across an electrical issue that plagued us for the next four weeks.  The crazy thing about this is during this entire process, we were preparing Kam-Air to have four professional wakeboarders help us with a grand opening of the park.

Flashback – In early August, Bill Yeargin (CEO of Correct Craft and Nautique Boats) came to Cambodia for a quick five hour tour of Phnom Penh and Kam-Air Wakepark.  At the time, he brought up the idea of sending a team to our park to help us out.

Fast forward to early September and we got the news that six people would be joining us in Cambodia near the middle of October;  Shaun Murray, Bob Soven, Emily Durham, Raimi Merritt, Brian Sullivan, and Ryan Malone.  The first four names listed are professional wakeboarders, Brian is the director of marketing and Ryan is the director of Aktion Parks.  Feel free to Google or Youtube those athletes, go ahead, I will wait…………………………..

Ok, now that you see how awesome those folks really are, you will get a little bit of perspective on how Alf and I felt going into that month.  Now onto the week of the big event on October 17th.  Up until this point, we had spent over $1,000 on our electrical issues that just didn’t see to get fixed.  The team would be arriving late Wednesday night in Cambodia.  On Tuesday, less than 48 hours before we would be hosting this team, our system still didn’t work.  To say that Alf and I were kind of freaking out would be an understatement.  We were out of money, out a time and out of solutions.

All of this buildup simply so that God could show how awesome He really is.  The team arrived safely Wednesday night and we got started first thing Thursday morning.  We took the team to Svay Pak (directly across the river from Kam-Air) which used to be titled “Disneyland for Pedophiles.”  Great strides have been made in this area through NGO’s working to stop trafficking and abuse.  We then moved on to the local brick factories which employ individuals in a form of bonded labor.  Nautique provided money to feed about 150 families living in those factories. 20151014_Cambodia_0888 Later that afternoon, we held a small private wakeboard clinic with several of the local missionary kids living here in Cambodia.111-38  What a special treat to have these pro’s pouring into the lives of the kids here.111-24  Oh yeah and guess what, if you didn’t already know that God was awesome, the system performed great.  48 hours prior it was a wreck and Alf and I walked away and gave it to God.  That afternoon it ran like a champ.

Friday was another humbling day with the athletes.  We hosted a second wakeboard clinic but this time it was with about 15 girls who they had seen in Svay Pak the day before.  These girls don’t get to have fun like this often and all of them had never even heard of wakeboarding before.  But this day, they learned to wakeboard from the pro’s.  Later that afternoon, Thy, Tha, Alf and I got a chance to have our own special time on the water with the athletes.

Then came the big event. 111-5320151016_Cambodia_214220151016_Cambodia_209720151016_Cambodia_101720151016_Cambodia_2159 Cambodia’s first ever wakeboard competition and event.  The athletes showed off their stuff to about 100 people that packed the side of the lake.  Then the youth and adult competition started.  Trey (Alf’s son) won the youth portion of the competition and Thy (our employee) won the adult portion of the competition. 20151017_Cambodia_2333 Mike’s Burger House came out to serve food and it was a blast. 20151017_Cambodia_2366 The system performed well all day and God got the glory for it.

That evening, the Nautique Cares group headed out and we couldn’t say enough about how awesome it was to have them with us for those days.

All in all, it was amazing.20151017_Cambodia_2288


Nine years ago today Ashley and I got married back in Texas.  One year ago today, we were out celebrating our anniversary.  Today, I am writing this at my kitchen table in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  If you had asked me nine years ago or even one year ago if I had this planned or even considered it and the answer would be no.  Yet here we are.  Our pastor at the church here in Cambodia said something a few weeks back that continues to stick with me.  He said (and I probably butchered the actual quote) “You are being equipped right now for a work that God will do later on.” Continue reading