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Friday, March 23, 2018

Time is winding down for us in Battambang

 Greetings from Battambang!!

The weather is warming up here! But that is  Cambodia!

This picture is one of our Conversation Class in session!! We had a wonderful time with this group of young people!! They were great participants in the class, each week preparing a speech to present! We all learned much from their presentations!

Spending time with friends is a great joy in our journey, reconnecting is important to us and them!
We want to know how their journey is... how they are... what are their dreams... what are their goals

This year it has been fun having a home to entertain in  while we are here! A big kitchen to cook in one that has a window and door for ventilation!!

Having students, former students and of course all have become friends over for Spaghetti and games has been awesome!!

The Team from our Bridge Church in Ottumwa, Iowa, USA!!
The Bridge team came for a week! Pastor Marty and son Toby, Dr Ryan and Amy with their two oldest AJ and Joe, and Callie and Mike comprised the team this year! It was amazing to have them here, mornings generally started with devotions, then off to do a clinic at a village or other adventures! It was such a joy to have them in our home for a week and to go and serve and share times of fellowship with them and YWAM staff here in Battambang!

We had another guest also Abigail Drollinger who was the Mighty Girls coach here in Battambang at Salt Academy for two years!!
Abby blessed us with the opportunity to teach some of the girls, now young women English! Abby came for two weddings and of course to keep in touch with "her girls"!

One of the weddings was one of "our girls" as well, so all of us attended Samphos wedding on a very Hot day!! It was lovely and we had a great time!!

Abby had her birthday while here so of course that called for another party!! Ohhhh but we did have tooooooo much sugar that night! Way tooo much!!

We have a short month class of Pronunciation we are currently teaching a fun group who are eager to learn; and when we are healthy we are helping two young Chinese women learn to speak better English... but the best part is we are building relationships with these amazing young people! Getting to know them, getting to learn about them, who they are, what makes them happy, what makes them sad. Who God made them to be, letting each of them know God made them perfect in His image, for a purpose!!

After all our guests left Ed and I both had a few days of being sick, which never works in anyone's schedule! And yesterday Ed had to have a tooth pulled... life is the same whether in Cambodia or in America, stuff happens!  But we are both thankful to be feeling great again and finish out strong the last few weeks here!

There is much to do and many to more time before we leave!!

God has placed so many people in our lives that we have truly come to love and it is pure joy to share life with!!
Relationships with these people have blessed us beyond anything we could comprehend!
Hopefully sharing the love of Jesus in and around Battambang can lighten their life's journey as it does ours!
Whether it be where we teach or in and around town in the shops we shop in, or the cafe's or ice cream shoppe... we have been blessed with relationships, we will always treasure!!

Thanks for traveling with is on a bit of our journey! We encourage each of you to reach out to those around you, get to know them... let them know they were created by our amazing God for a purpose!

Ed and Mary

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cambodia 2018

Cambodia 2018

We have been back in Battambang almost a month already! Time goes by so quickly! It is good to be in our second home city, with people we have grown to love deeply! God sent us on a mission trip in 2011, one that changed our hearts and our lives! We were sharing that story with a former student today, it is good to refresh our memory of how God called us to spend time here in retirement better called refirement!

Each year we come and say ok God it's up to you, what plan do you have for this year? We have spent a lot of time teaching English and English conversation; this is one way we build relationships and make friends! We thank God for opportunities He has given us, the people we have been blessed to get to know and share life with. These dear people have made our refirement so" life rich", no price tag can be placed on this amazing experience!

The last few weeks we have been able to connect with former students, this warms our hearts; it is so good to catch up and see what is going on in their lives!  Some are so stressed and worried their English is not good enough, but it is soooooo much better than our Khmer we remind them and after a time they relax and understand it is them, the student we care about not their English or pronunciation of English! Sure we will help them refresh and say that S or V correctly but each person is our main focus!!

It is not only the students we have grown to love and care about, but those in the local restaurants, Ice Cream Shoppe, Stores, Market, Salt Acadamy Staff and players, and of course the Staff and Students at the YWAM Base here in Battambang!!

Our days vary but we are acquiring a schedule as God gives opportunity. We teach Conversation Class at the YWAM YDC (Youth With A Mission, Youth Development Center), we babysit, and we will be teaching morning classes of conversational English at a local coffee shop to the staff so they are better able to converse with the English speaking customers. These classes open doors to relationships and relationships open opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus!

We have attended the Community Light Church while we are here we as a church have been praying for the City of Battambang, for hearts of people to be open to the gospel of Jesus! Not just to add another god to their spirit world but for people to come to know the One True God! The Creator of Heaven and Earth! The Savior of those who put their trust in Him!  Also the YWAM Base is praying for the City of Battambang and the Country of Cambodia! For all to know Jesus as Savior!

See the rice field representing the coming harvest? The harvest, the people of Cambodia, of Battambang are plentiful but the workers are few! Pray with the us for hearts to be open and workers plentiful and willing to go!

God bless each of you and thank you for taking the time to read our journey!

Ed and Mary

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Rewards Unlimited

 Greetings on a warm Sunday afternoon in Battambang!

The blessings and opportunities we have/receive from living in Cambodia, how do we put that in words...

We were able to attend the YWAM Conference with people from
 43 Nations, two weeks spent listening to those who have pioneered new bases, their experiences of walking with God and sharing who He is to those who have never heard. Stories of countries who thought they could only receive missionaries, but now are sending missionaries to other countries.

During this time we also experienced the graduation of students from the University of Nations Battambang! It was such a thrill to watch these young men and women receive their hard earned  diplomas. Pictured on the right are the graduates with the YWAM Founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham, the Cunningham's are 10 years older than us and continue to serve in a very active capacity as servants of Lord and Savior and great example to us, there is much to be done! Loren spoke continually about those who do not have a Bible yet, how there are 1,776  Bibleless languages yet in this world! They are working with Wycliff and many others to end Bible poverty!

The next week was teacher training for the next session of English classes that YWAM has at the Youth Development Center or as we refer to as YDC! Those who staff YDC had valuable teaching skills they shared with us!

Next is the actual teaching, we lead Conversation Classes from 4-6 pm, we are working with University Students and some who have graduated and have their own businesses but their desire is to improve in conversational English.

Our goal is to challenge them and learn from them as well, our cultures are so different, so we continually learn from our students they are gracious and kind! Challenging them but also instilling who they are- gifted people who have so much to share with others in their village, city and country! That God created each of them just as they are and also gave them the desire to learn and continue to grow as individuals!

We have been to some of their businesses and our goal is to see what they do, and learn from them about their lives.

This past week one of our visits was to the young man who works at the apartment we live in. He works nights as the front desk attendant, overseeing and tending to the needs of those who live here. He and a friend were challenged to help the children in their village, so they built a school where they now teach English to the primary students in their village!

These two young men, poured the cement, built the buildings, built the desks, bought books and all the necessary supplies, and hired teachers! Amazing initiative! So awesome to see!

He then invited us to see where he lives and farms, so of course! That is part of who he is that is important, each person God created is important that we want them to know! So we saw what was once a rice field  but now they have dug what will be a pond, to add to the field dirt so it will no longer flood as a rice field should. He and Ed talked about having the soil tested so he plants a crop that can thrive in the soil he has, hopefully a crop that can be in demand so he can provide for his family.

We walk alongside many people who have chosen to serve God
by moving to another country, or this is their country, and they
want to share who Jesus is and what He has done in their lives.
And those who just haven't personally met Jesus yet but have a servant heart, we pray for the day the Holy Spirit opens their hearts and minds to who Jesus really is!

We made a quick trip to Phnom Penh for a wedding last weekend, it was fun, a good time, our trip back home a bit hot and windy as the air conditioning went out of our car! Actually it went out before we got to PP but we chose to wait to fix it in Battambang and the two young ladies who rode with us were gracious enough to put up with the heat also! Thanks Rina and Sorona!!  This week another wedding! You might get the idea we work with a LOT of young adults! We do! They keep us young!

This weekend we joined SOMD (School of Ministry Development) on and outing to a lake close to Battambang! It was delightful! The cool water, the hammock in the shade the food and fellowship were fabulous! Thank you SOMD!

So we are two ordinary people who are here because we want to encourage, challenge, share, serve! Often we are overwhelmed by the needs of many; but so encouraged when we see those who chose to build a school, or write a book, or go to another country to share the gospel!

But we are constantly encouraged by others, we are frequently challenged by circumstances, people share their lives and stories and bless us beyond what we could ever hope for!

God bless each of you who take the time to read this blog! We covet your prayers for us and our people here and our family back in the states as they too face their own challenges!  We thank God for the internet so we can still connect!

May the good Lord bless and keep you!
Ed and Mary

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Battambang 2017

Hello from Battambang Cambodia!

We arrived a week ago, are settling in to a new apartment, same complex, and we didn't move on up we are actually on the second floor instead of the fourth floor, but we did move to the east side instead of the west side...enough of the Jefferson's, to those old enough to understand my pun!

We came with colds so took a bit of time to relax, rest and refresh! Attended part of a Cambodian wedding ceremony, but weren't able to attend all but were thankful to share parts of Bunry and Sally wedding celebration! So beautiful!! The bride, the ceremonies,

all have meaning! We attended the fruit walk where the groom and guests bring food gifts to the bride and her family! And we finished that part with a wonderful meal!

When we left last year we sold our car, at arrival this year after hiring Tuktuk's for a week and riding bicycle's in this crazy traffic, we bought a car again! When we started coming to Battambang, traffic consisted of a lot of bicycles, Tuktuk's, some motors and a few cars, some trucks, and some buses. Now there are hundreds of moto's, cars, trucks, many vans and buses, many Tuktuks, some bicycles on the exact same small streets and roads! Unsafe for us who do not turn our heads as easily as we used to, and I could go on; but the fact is we feel safer in a vehicle, even a little one a KIA Visto!

Enough of that!

It is extremely good to see our friends again in Cambodia, we have sooo many we have not seen yet! But are starting to catch up with some, anxious to catch up with all!

While we are here the YWAM Base is experiencing some lasts and firsts!! They have mostly moved to a new base on the northwest corner of Battambang, it is an exciting time! I believe it is 3 or 4 years ago Ed helped when the dirt was added to a rice field to build the base on. So this is something we are invested in as well; blood, sweat and not tears just possibly more sweat!! But this past Wednesday we had our last Community Worship at the Old Base we are literally busting at the seams there; but Rady spoke on Zacheus - how Jesus has a heart for individuals that he is literally seeking them out! Jesus wants to spend time with you and me! Just like he wanted to spend time with Zacheus!

Next week Community Night will be at the New Base!

Tomorrow will be the last Sunday worship service at the old base, it is a bit sad but we will have so much more room at the new base! Pray for those who live close to the old base that they will not feel we are leaving them, but that they will be able to join in the celebration of the new!

We were able to help at the YWAM YDC testing for the next English Session, on Friday! Love meeting new faces and seeing the eager expectation of learning in their eyes. The new Session will not start until February.

This week at the YWAM Base here in Battambang will be the DNA Conference so many people are traveling and will join in. The staff has been extremely busy preparing for the Conference and preparing the new base for many more people!! The staff is doing a fantastic job of preparation! We are excited to join in the Conference and enjoy fellowship, learn from speakers around the world! A two week leadership conference, equipping all into the future God's way!! Which is truly our desire to do all to honor and glorify God!

The week after the conference one of the young couples from Battambang will be leaving to serve in China! Another couple and another woman are planning to leave for Laos, in the next year! Some of our staff have moved to another province in Cambodia,  they are setting up in a big home there serving the people in Pailin! It is exciting to see this base branching out to other provinces and countries to share the love of Jesus! What an honor it is to take some time to walk alongside these amazing people! We receive so much more than we ever give!

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine on you and give you peace!
Ed and Mary

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Almost time to go back to the U.S.

A short three months to connect with people.

People we have grown to love, it is so awesome to continue to strengthen relationships and God allows us to build new ones too!

There are long term and short term relationships, at the YWAM base some people stay long term, some are here only a few weeks or months. They are people from all over the world. They become part of our hearts.

Then there are the local relationships with those who live in Battambang, those we have taught over the years, or those that work in the local shops, banks, restaurants, coffee shops. They become part of our hearts.

All these people are real and have real life issues good and bad.

Relationships are personal, beautiful, joyful, messy, hard, fragile, warm, loving... the list could go one and on!

But again it is all about people, real people. People that know Jesus, that need to know Jesus and those that are trying to figure out who this Jesus is. A big reason we choose not to post pictures, is because they are real people, and there are many! But we treasure their relationship, them letting us into their lives, they are not trophies! they have souls that our one desire is for each one to know the risen Saviour... and we are just two people who God allows to enter a bit into their journey here on earth!

Are we always the picture they need? Are we a reflection of Jesus in our daily lives? In our relationships?

One young woman we hadn't seen yet this year, we saw at a local stand so we walked over to say Hi! we chatted, for maybe 5 minutes. A couple days later she messaged us thanking us for chatting and sharing a bit of her heart. Every minute counts, every encounter is God ordained! The last few weeks have been so unbelievable only God could have ordained the encounters.

So are we ready to leave to go back to Iowa? Of course because we have family there and are again anxious to be part of their lives. Again we trust God's timing! We struggle daily. Does our coming and going help or hurt? Are we serving God to the fullest?

Can we encourage those we walk beside? Daily we see how God orders this world and the people in it! Yesterday, traveling from Pailin to Battambang an almost 2 hour trip; we stop looking for cold coffee! We step out of the car and someone yells "Hi ED" there coming into her village with a sister is one of our dear girls we have come to know and love!! God let us say "Good bye" to her without us just disappearing. That meant so much, we thank God again for that precious meeting!

It is hard to say goodbye to our Battambang family, so we will say until we meet again!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lead, guide and direct us oh Lord

Sunday a gift of rest and refreshment!

A wonderful service at Lighthouse Church, needed that message on patience this morning! Ok so we followers of Jesus want to let His light shine; but on the way to church we loose our patience with the crazy traffic! This town is getting used to FOUR new traffic lights!!! Battambang has never had any!! So our journeying through even one of these creates a new stress! For us who think we understand, those who chose not to understand, and everyone else!! Yup, thanks Garth, that message on one of the fruits of the Spirit all Christians should be #1 on continues to show, my/ our (I wasn't driving, but I will admit I was voicing my opinion) patience needs more of the Holy Spirit! Less of the flesh!!

So that was how the day started, since then we have been enjoying the day of rest God needed and we need even more! The 23rd Psalm speaks for itself!

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We have been in Battambang a bit over three weeks, renewing relationships, sharing life with those God places in our path and even some we go looking for because He has placed them in our path in
previous years and we have grown to love them dearly!

We thank God for each relationship and pray that He will continue to lead, guide and direct us and all of our loved ones here and in the states!!

a friend buying corn at a roadside stand
We covet your prayers for us as we speak into lives of the younger generation.

We ask God for wisdom, that it is His words and His ways we speak into their lives.

We ask for prayers for the young people with decisions that will impact them for their life ahead!

We ask that we see all in God's eyes, not our own agenda!

We ask for prayers for our children and grandchildren back home as they live out their lives with their own challenges and we are far away, we know that God is in control; but oh we are so human!!

God bless each of you who take the time to read this and ask for prayer for us to be "refired" each day to serve our risen Saviour.

Good evening from Battambang!
Ed and Mary Rozenboom

Sunday, May 17, 2015

For a Season

For a Season...

We come to Cambodia for the hot season, or so it seems.

But we come to Cambodia to love people and open doors to share the Gospel and God's Amazing Love with the people God puts in our lives.

Sometimes we come thinking we have plans; but God's plans and ways can be very different, so we must stop, and ask ourselves, why do we come? Whose plan is best?

People come and people go, good byes are hard, change can be painful, but our God is faithful and His plan has eternal goals.

We teach English, we lead Conversation Class, we build relationships, we watch soccer games, we play games, we bring girls home when they need a ride, we meet people in many different ways. We encourage, we listen, we pray with people in all walks of life.

We meet people from all over the world for a season. So many we would like to know better, spend more time with, seems so many are in our lives for a short time. But again it's Gods timing, we trust His plan, His will and His ways.

Some days are hearts are so full and some days we feel so empty. We just had a short break thanks to the King of Cambodia taking three days to celebrate his birthday, we only taught three hours in the morning. We took time to refresh, read, do crossword puzzles, swim, and rest!

We miss our family in the states, we miss concerts, games, track meets, birthdays... But we are thankful for Internet, phone calls, Viber, photos and videos are priceless! We know God is everywhere with each of us, we are so thankful for their love even from a distance! We love the phone calls sharing new things or chatting on messaging or Viber, letting us know what is going on in their lives.

Each season has a purpose, "there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:" Ecc 3: 1
" Ecc 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him." Fear meaning, realize He is God, the only God!

So we go with great vigor to open our eyes, hearts and minds this season while we are in Cambodia, to each person our lives touch, may we love them with God's love and grace.

The Pastor this morning reminded us of one of my favorite verses. Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen