Sunday, February 27, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I'm in a book discussion over the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. The group met today and has read and discussed through chapter 3. All I can say is that I'm deeply challenged and thoughtful by the content and implications.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Here's a final post from friend Molly Hagen as she finishes her time at Youth With A Mission in Battambang, Cambodia:
For the last 9 months of my life God has baffled me. Completely.
Here in Cambodia I see good fruit coming out of our staff everyday. Not that everything is perfect, but I see God's transforming ways in people more clearly then I have ever seen before. A year ago, I asked a woman who had lived and worked in Asia for 30+ years how she kept going she said, "Molly, it's simple. Don't stop believing in people and don't stop preaching the Gospel" As I look at some of our amazing Cambodian staff that have been with us for 2, 3, 4+ years I am so thankful that God helped me to see the gold inside of them and encourage and challenge them to keep going. I know I'm a bit one sided, but we might have the best staff in the entire world in Battambang. If you don't believe me, come and see for yourself! Really, come to Battambang!
As my time in Battambang winds down God is helping me to see how it really is God who builds the house. I've seen things be successful and I've seen things fail over the last 4 1/2 years in Battambang, but I'm just thankful for the privilege it has been to be a part of it all.
January was a packed month! Our Phase 2 school came to an end. We finished the school by constructing a 4-classroom building for the Youth Center, they are putting the finishing coats of paint on it right now! And also doing mini-Discipleship Training Seminars in some of the surrounding churches. It was so encouraging to hear the thoughts of the young Cambodians when the school ended. One 19-year-old guy said, " I usually only like to do what I want to do, but Phase 2 has helped me to learn how to serve and have joy when doing it." that comment was like music to my ears!
Baffled at how being a servant is truly the best way to live.
We have had some really big, long meetings in our Leadership Team. I am the first person to step out of our Base Leaders Team so we are trying to figure out how to fill my shoes (actually flip flops, we don't wear shoes here!) It's been a sad/happy process. As I step out of this leadership role I'm creating multiple spots for other leaders to fill and take on as their own. We are actually creating a whole ministry group of people to take over some of the work I've been doing. They are going to do such a good job!
Baffled at how much God has done over the last 4 years with just a simple girl like me.
And the last week of January was by far my favorite. A team from theBridge Church in Ottumwa, Iowa, has been supporting some of our key Cambodian staff for a few years now. A group of 11 people came out to Battambang to work alongside us for a week. We built a playground, did clinics in villages where there is no access to medical help, played with hundreds of children, taught in some of our staff training, had our first music night at Cafe Eden, lead worship for us and just spent time with us! It was so exciting how God used them here in Battambang, but also how they received things from God at the same time. Connections with groups of believers like this is key to continuing to advance the Kingdom not only here in Cambodia but in places like Ottumwa, Iowa.
Baffled at how in one week someone's life can completely change because they let God use them.
But that last week of January wasn't all work, because Kellee, my boyfriend, came to visit me! After nearly 5 months of skyping, he came! But I'm very happy to tell you all that he is no longer my boyfriend, but my fiance. Yah!!! One afternoon, we paddled down the river in a kayak, found a place to stop, got all muddy jumping out of the kayak, he read me a poem, got down on one knee and proposed! So I have this pretty little ring around my finger as I type this update to all of you!
Baffled at how following God's call to a dozen different nations has led me to love a man I met when I was 12 at church camp!
Baffled at how good it really is when you trust and obey God.
So I'm going to keep on trusting and obeying God. I'm closing up this season in Cambodia the end of February and will be in Iowa on the 26th. Many of you know I will be moving down to Ottumwa Iowa to get my RN and then see where God leads for further education. But by the time school starts I will no longer be Molly Hagen, because in June I will become Molly Van Hemert! (and the crowd goes wild!) :)
I have a million things you could pray for, so here a few...
1. To finish well. I'm teaching "Hearing God's Voice" in our DTS Feb. 14-18.
2. Two nursing friends are coming to do some clinics with me, pray that we would be able to help people with their health, but also know truth.
3. I'm going to be wife! I've never been a wife, pray that God would help me!
4. I need wheels. That's right, I'm leaving my bicycle behind in Cambodia. If you know of a lonely car that needs an owner, email me!
Thank you for taking time to read this and I hope you are having a great day!