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Trials of Cambodia

In the book of James chapter one it says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Its been about a week and a half since we entered ministry in Cambodia. Ministry started out strong in this school school full of wonderful students. We had such a great first day playing soccer, worshiping, eating Cambodia food, and enjoying fellowship with them. Its been a really great place to focus on God and to grow in intimacy with him because He is the focus of this school. We did kids ministry and evangelism on the weekends and everything was going smoothly for the first few days.

Then the Khmer New Year came around and put a damper on ministry. Most of the students went home for a week. Our class sizes were drastically reduced and evangelism stopped on the weekend because everyone was celebrating the new year. We still had classes to teach, but it raised a lot of questions like, “what we supposed to do with all this free time?” Many might see this free time as a blessing, but when you are in a city where there is not a lot to do and the average temperature seems like 110 degrees the inactivity can get to you. I’m a very active individual in ministry and on off days so the down time is difficult. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about a story a wise man once told me. It goes like this: “When you sow corn, you get corn. When you so wheat, you get wheat. When you sow nothing you get….weeds.” It seems like since the new year weeds have been sprouting up in various aspects of life. I started clashing frequently with one of my teammates. We both said things out of anger, but we recently apologized to each other and our relationship is all good now. We concluded our conflict was mostly the result of putting two very different people together for 3 months and that it was bound to happen at some point. 

Over the weekend, a Cambodian church member invited us to her home for dinner and made us delicious spring rolls. Unfortunately ever since we ate dinner at her house last weekend we have been suffering from chronic diarrhea. With the heat of the night and our bowels waking us up there has not been much sleep around here lately. Also one of my teammates has been to the hospital twice this week from other stomach issues.

This may seem like a list of complaints, but I am not complaining by any means. This is what we signed up for- the good and the bad, the adventures and the hardships. The funny thing is we still have joy. Joy is not a typical human response to hardship and thus the result of God’s grace. We are bringing our issues before the Lord and we know he is working in them. We are asking God for more opportunities in ministry and attempting to really encourage the students that are here. Its easy to think that God has abandoned you when everything seems to go to crap (literally), but we know he allows these things to happen for our benefit. As James said: trials lead to perseverance, which brings us into maturity of faith, knowing that God will come through for us. 

If your reading this pray for our health, sleep and unity. Pray that through these trails God would continue to give us joy and perseverance. Also pray for more opportunities for us to serve the students and the rest of this community.


  1. Every one of the things you listed, asking for prayer, is exactly what Mike & I have been praying for you & the team every day this past week. And we will continue, believing.

  2. Very wise Nick! Keep moving forward, learning, growing, seeking adventure and compassion. Love, Frank

  3. Hi Nick. I know that on trips like the one you are on you want to maximize all your time and efforts to accomplish what the Lord will do! Events out of your control will happen. It is how you approach things that get in the way. The Holy Spirit will empower you and make aware to you what is important even though you might feel a different thing.Expectations are great and at the same time, unexpected things come up and we make the best of what we have. I know that the Lord is using you for His Glory, your strengthening for future happenings. Friendships can be sticky even though you have the same mission at hand. I think that God softens us at times to prepare us for what is next. Be humble, God is using every aspect of ups and downs to show you Himself as well as you to yourself.God loves you and is smiling because you are his child and that is a fact. keep on doing life through his guidance. Much love from the MACS. see you craig

  4. Nick it is funny how God uses us to show us what it is inside us. And so it is crap and all. Think -ing and praying for you and the crew. God bless be safe and pray all of you are better. Love and blessing, Deb

  5. Prayers for you all, Nick. He promises that when we walk through the fire and pass through the deep waters, they will not overtake us. It’s His glory in us that overcomes all obstacles. We’re believing for quick healing for each of you. We love y’all and can hardly wait to see y’all!

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