[we don't have everyone's email, so here is our christmas "card"]
Dear all, friends & family,
We are thinking of you all today & are sending warm Christmas greetings & wishes for a happy New Year.
It is hard to believe the calendar; that Christmas is already upon us! In this country that does not celebrate Christmas, it does not feel especially festive. We lack the usual seasonal cues: cold weather; lighted decorations in the street; the smells of warm cinnamon & the comfort of home. But we've been reminded that the first Christmas was probably a lot like this too-a hot, dusty climate full of people going about their daily lives & yearning for God's presence on earth.
We have been in Cambodia for nearly a month & a half now. We feel mostly settled in & are very thankful to our MCC colleagues who have welcomed us so graciously to our new home. New home - we find that we have to continually remind ourselves that, yes, we live here now.
Phnom Penh is full & bustling & gives New York City a run for its money as a "city that never sleeps" (complete with roosters crowing & techno wedding music at all hours). Thankfully, we have a beautiful apartment with a breezy porch where we can escape in the evenings & catch our breath.
We are now starting on month two of our three months of intensive language training. We're trying our best to be diligent students of the Khmei language, although the intense study does make our brains very tired!
We will be starting our work at the Royal University of Agriculture sometime in February.
We are encountering much joy in this new chapter of our lives & for that we are grateful; thank you for your prayers. Friends of ours recently released a song with the lyrics '….I pray that light would leak from our pockets….' & we ask you to join with us in praying for this here in Cambodia.
Please pray that the light of the goodness of God would flow freely from us & that we would, in turn, be transformed by the people we encounter here. People who have been deeply scarred by tragedy & yet, are marked with such hope & kindness.
Joy to the World the Lord has come,
Amanda & Daniel