24 October 2008


as most of you all know, daniel & i have recently accepted positions with the mennonite central committee working in phnom penh, the capital of cambodia. we are going to be working at the royal university of agriculture as agricultural writing advisers, which means we are going to be helping masters students with editing their thesis papers, which they will write in english. we'll be headed to cambodia in early november & Lord willing, will be there for nearly three years. the whole thing is a bit nerve wracking, but we are mostly exhilarated & excited about this new adventure & opportunity to serve the Lord.

right now, we are currently at the mcc offices in pennslyvania attending two weeks of orientation. as it turns out, our orientation is at a Mennonite retreat center, but it feels more like a futuristic Mennonite utopian compound. there are beautiful gardens and streams everywhere, recycling bins at every corner, fair trade coffee in every pot, peace on earth signs all over the place, (in a variety of languages including sign language), and a big African drum and batik in every room. on top of all that, the doors don't even have locks, and the bathrooms don't even have doors (just curtains)!

plus yesterday we saw on old-order Mennonite, sporting black dress and head-covering, walk past a new-order Mennonite, sporting a yoga mat. They crossed in perfect harmony, a sort of lion laying with the lamb.

during this time we are learning a lot about mcc & reflecting on the ideas of service, mission, and faith, with other believers (young adults, married couples, & families) who are also about to embark on terms of service. we are especially challenged by mcc's vision statement, which reads,

we believe the loving God wills the well-bring of all people
& the healing of creation;

that the first fruits of the new creation the Kingdom of God,

are manifest in the peoplehood called the church.

...the utopian compound...

...our room & amanda's mom (note the bathroom curtain!)...

(we were very blessed as we left northern b.c., visited family & a new neice in washington state, & had a hastings family reunion in pennslyvania. look for some more postings with pictures soon!)


Linda said...

How exciting! Good luck to you both on this venture. Sounds like a fantastic opportunity.

Zepmom said...

Enjoyed the update and your descriptions of the retreat. It was so nice to visit with you guys and you will be in our prayers!

elle + josh said...

yes! so exciting! i can't believe it's coming up so fast!

we'll be in pennsylvania, lancaster & philly, in a couple of weeks--any chance you'll still be there?

my former spiritual director kathy (sounds like "spiritual guide", weird, but you know, my mentor) lives in phnom penh for half the year. i'd love for you two to meet!

nateshorb said...

sounds exciting!

if you have a free night and want to visit bethlehem, come on over! we're about an hour away.

erica recently applied for a job at ten thousand villages, based (i think?) at the mcc headquarters.

leah said...

so excited for you guys. also sad that I probably wont see you before you go. let me know if you have a stopover in LAX! this will be amazing!

adriana said...

haha! loved your description of the mcc compound...so true, all that you said! i enjoyed being there for my orientation and it made me excited to work for mcc...hope you're having similar feelings. when is your exact departure date friends? love and miss you both!!

p.s. super cute hat amanda and daniel looks totally cool and smart with the glasses...perfect for editing grad students' thesis papers!! :)

heidi said...

Wow! How exciting! My family did MCC in Labrador when I was a kid, and we were at MCC orientation in Akron 20 years ago right now! I remember flying to Pennsylvania from Saskatchewan on Halloween and not getting to trick or treat! Anyway, I was thinking of possibly visiting Cambodia (and Carrie) in early 2009. Nothing is for sure yet, but I am thinking about it. Maybe I'll see you! anyway, good luck with the big move!