31 May 2013

snapshots [may 2013]

snapshots [may 2013]

29 May 2013

family photos [eight years!]

A few months ago, our lovely friend Chatti from Savady Photography took these beautiful, vibrant family photos for us.  We've really loved getting to know Chatti & her TJ, who played with Daniel in the Grass Snake Union band as the guitarist/lead singer.  
They've run off to Italy to get married & we sure do miss their presence in our lives here.


When we were thinking about locations for a green photo shoot in this urban jungle, we realized that the University of Agriculture, where Daniel & I taught when we first moved to Cambodia, would be the perfect place!  
So we took shots in the crop test plots, probably the only corn field in Phnom Penh!

cambodian cornfield

When I saw the pictures, I nearly cried because Chatti did such an amazing job of capturing the sweetness of our little Cedar & Ezra Sparrow & the deep love we have for our family.

[kissed] he wears checkers

And now, the day I am finally getting to posting these, just happens to be our eighth wedding anniversary.  Thinking back to that beautiful, sunny Vancouver day, its crazy to think of all the incarnations our life together has had.  From Ft. Langley, to New York City, to Terrace in northern BC, & now to Cambodia.


We've spent more than half of our married days here, in this chaotic city where we've become a family & built a home.  I think we will treasure these pictures in the years to come - such lovely snapshots into the deep joy we're been given for this season.

family photo

19 May 2013


Home Church: December 2012
[phnom penh home church: december 2012]

We were filled with joy to dedicate our Ezra Sparrow with our home church community here in Phnom Penh.  Just like with our Cedar, we felt that it was important to say out loud, in the presence of our community of believers, that are we are grateful for the gift that Ezra is to our family, and that on our own, we are completely insufficient for the task of raising her.  We are now, and will continue to be, dependent on the grace & wisdom of God and the love & support of the church (in whatever form that takes for Ezra in the years ahead), in our endeavor to raise her well.  We are so thankful that she was born into this beautiful community & pray that she will find shelter & encouragement in the body of Christ her whole life long.

ezra's dedication collage (edited)
[dedicating our sparrow, as captured by julia's iPhone: may 2013]

A Reading of Dedication
Ezra Sparrow Talstra

Leader: Daniel and Amanda, God has given you the beautiful gift of a child.

Amanda and Daniel: We joyfully accept His gift.

Group: We join you in thanksgiving

Leader: This gift is also a great responsibility.

Amanda and Daniel: With God's grace, we accept this responsibility. We will depend on God to love Ezra unconditionally, to have patience with ourselves and with her, to care for her well, and to accept the help of our community.

Group: As your church community in Cambodia, we will help. We will happily hold Ezra, change diapers, read stories, and most of all have grace with you as you learn about caring for your children.

Leader: Jesus said: let the little children come to me. [Luke 18:16]

Amanda and Daniel: We commit to teaching Ezra about Jesus, and living in a way that demonstrate to her God's peace, compassion, generosity and service.

Group: On behalf of your future church and communities as Ezra grows, we will also provide Christ-like examples to Ezra.

Group: Daniel and Amanda, Don't you see that children are God's best gift; the fruit of the womb, His generous legacy? O, how blessed are you, parents! [Psalm 127:3-4]

Amanda and Daniel: We prayed for this child. And now we give you, Ezra, to the Lord.

Everyone: Amen!