Have I shown you my new pocket knife?!

Those of you who have followed us since we arrived in Cambodia almost 7 years ago will know that of the various adjustments and difficulties we’ve experienced as strangers in a strange land, nothing has compared to the difficulty of acquiring the Khmer language; for me in particular, the language has been the source of much frustration and, at times, even despair. All the growth spurts everyone else talks about—never happened. And so for these many years now, you’ve read our updates, no doubt eager to hear and pray about new opportunities for gospel ministry … but instead, it’s Jeremy again, complaining about how hard the language is. But these past six months, the Lord has finally been answering your and our prayers in uncommonly encouraging ways. Various tasks that not too long ago were either impossible or demanded inordinate amounts of time and effort, are now reasonable opportunities for building relationships and ministering the gospel.

I feel like a little boy who just got his first pocket knife. It’s in his pocket right now, but he’s ever aware of it as he roams about, just waiting for an opportunity to whip it out and put it to good use. Just look at all the stuff I can do now! For the first time as a missionary, I’m having to choose what ministry opportunities to pursue and what to pass by—because I can do so many things with my knew knife! What a blessed dilemma. Thank you, brothers and sisters, for persevering with me in this. And please thank the Lord for this new competency with the language.

So, by God’s continuing grace, I’m hopeful that these updates going forward will not have that much to say about language learning (at least Khmer language learning; stay tuned till next month when we get to do it all over again with Lao!).

Weather update

What I can’t promise is that these updates will have nothing more to say about the weather. While a fair number of you are still shoveling your sidewalks, we’re realizing yet again that the snow is indeed whiter on the other side (of the world). Hot season is upon us, so please pray for physical stamina and the ability to focus mentally as we go about our tasks.

Pastors School next month

Thanks in part to the herculean efforts of my co-workers JD and Rhit, the curriculum for the Pastors School next month is ready: 144 pages surveying the message of Genesis–Judges. Please pray for both the teachers (me and my teammates) and students (about 70 pastors from 5 different language groups) as we work through this material next month (May 13-18). Pray also for favor with the authorities—specifically that their concerns about unrest in the months preceding the July elections would not lead them to prohibit us from meeting.