The last two weeks have been pretty intense to say the least. The week before last Steve was off school for the Deepavali Holiday and I had some meetings set up in Singapore so we went down together hoping to fit some relaxation into a busy week. On Thursday and Friday we were graciously hosted at the home of Annelies, who is Director of Teaching at the Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Germany and we are so blessed to have her on our team for the Cambodia project. Bill and Sharon and Su Min were all in town as well and we had a very productive time reviewing the progress and just rejoicing in what God has done thus far. Steve carefully documented all of our discussions and by the end both he and Annelies were up to speed.
Then came the difficult part, that of planning for the future. Our hope is that we can move the work forward to the point that it will be ready for pre-intervention research by May. Annelies has two students from the University of Heidelberg who are willing do the research as part of their Masters program. One will focus on evaluating the impact of the training we have completed while the other will carry out a baseline community survey prior to the formal implementation of the program. It will be a real advantage to have this type of academic credibility applied to the evaluation of the pilot area. By the time we parted on Friday evening we had agreed on a timeline for the Cambodian staff to follow in order to ensure that we will be ready for the researchers who will arrive late May. With our team members spread around the world and all very mobile, it is not often that we can all be together for this type of planning and it was great. Su Min and Sing Yu hosted us at the Black Angus for a very lovely lunch on Friday before they headed off for New Zealand.
Our friends Blossom and McDaniel are in the process of returning to Canada and we were looking forward to Friday evening dinner together to thank them for all their support and encouragement during our time here. While waiting for them to arrive, Steve received the sad news of his mom’s passing and later that evening we learned that Aunt Lil was also gone. With very little we could actually do until plans were in place for the funeral, we opted for some down time on Saturday just wandering and riding along the East Coast Park.
After a very quick weekend at home in KL, Steve returned to school to get his year wrapped up before going to England and I returned to Singapore. Blossom and I began the daunting task of sorting, distributing and packing up their treasures and belongings collected over twenty eight years on various mission fields. Clearly yet another visit will be required before we are even near completion of that task.
Ray Alary, President of TWR Canada was passing through on his way from India so we had a great opportunity to compare notes on the similar challenges and effective strategies in Africa and Cambodia and I look forward to ongoing opportunities to work together. I got some meeting time in at the office around my new role with Holistic Ministry which was also most pleasant and productive. This weekend we found ourselves very tired and yet so grateful for the amazing opportunities God continues to give us.