Greetings, and Merry Christmas from Brian and Bophal.
Writing from a very frosty 28 ° F Bellevue, WA. Youch! Bophal’s citizenship process remains ever complicated. She will be called to take the US Citizenship test within 4 or 6 months but they may insist that she stay in the States for a year. The jury is still out on that. Meanwhile, the process is putting us in the poorhouse – not that we are strangers to the poorhouse, we just don’t like it much!
My time in CT was great. I got to see so many old friends, hangout with my mother, and enjoy the great scenery of Connecticut’s Northern/Central Hardwoods and river valleys. I even got to visit with a forestry classmate from Paul Smith’s college who I hadn’t seen since 1979.
Great to have Alana visit mom and I in Southbury, CT. She flew into JFK, took the air train to a subway station, then two subway trains to Grand Central, then a train to Fairfield, CT, and then Uber to Southbury. I don’t think I could do that without great anxiety. Just as I froze Bophal on short hikes around Southbury last year, I froze Alana this year as well. Now Bophal and I are being frozen in Bellevue, WA! Bophal is now studying for her Driver’s permit : ) !
Although it is considerably cold here, we have had some great views of Lake Washington, Rainier, Cascades and the Olympics and even a Super Moon for a few nights. When I leave the beautiful PNW in a few weeks, probably alone, I will be fully recharged after reading the first Bible, God’s beautiful creation - on both coasts. Now I can survive another Tour of Duty in the bowels of Phnom Penh.
Already met up with many close friends and colleagues in the PNW, which has been a joy. Saw ‘the veteran’ Jazzy Piggy (Jacqi Stabbert), and a ‘back-up’ Jazzy (Jacqi Heng), and might even see another original who will fly into the PNW around Christmas (all are nurses for some reason). Bophal and I attended Cambodian Church at Westminster and caught up with that gang. Toward the end of this month, Alana and Jordan will fly into Seattle to join us. Matthew lives here already. It will be great to have all of them together.
Bophal’s Homestay, House of Peace now has 4 children and 7 teens. By mid-2018, the 4 children will have been re-integrated or sent to another organization. Bophal will keep the 6 teens. She has them in High School and at some good vocational schools. The last few years living in authentic Christian community has shaped me considerably, not like being in the spiritual bubble of a bible school, but in a Christian community where there are no barriers to protect us from some of the ugly realities of life in a developing country. The application of our faith to gritty situations is required on an hour-to-hour basis. I thank God for those children and teens because they have taught me about love.
Both House of Peace and our own personal finances could use a boost right about now. Both are running on empty. Bophal just sent 25 kilos of pepper from the farm to the Cambodian Church in Bridgeport, CT. They will sell it for us and hopefully that will keep HOP going for a month or two. Citizenship costs have been a big time drain on us personally.
Please consider making a year-end donation this month toward HOP or our personal finances.