Where are we, and what are we doing?
We are volunteer teachers at a school and orphanage called Wat Preah Yesu near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
How did we hear about Wat Preah Yesu?
Sarah: I first heard about Wat Preah Yesu when I attended FaithCamp 2008, a campmeeting about faith and the needs of overseas mission work. Tim and Wendy Maddocks, the directors of Wat Preah Yesu, were speakers and I was impressed with their ideas of reaching the people by adopting their culture wherever it did not conflict with Biblical principle.
How many children are in the orphanage?
When we arrived, 70 girls and 99 boys lived in the orphanage. Several more have come since that time, especially boys. People usually like to keep girls instead of boys because they can make money when the girls get married (in Cambodia, the groom’s family pays the bridal price).
How many students do you have?
We’re not sure how many students attend the school, since it includes most of the orphans, day students from the village, and boarding students from all over Cambodia (although we’ve heard over 300). We have approximately 20 students per grade (at least for grades 7-12), and we each teach three different grades.
What are we doing about finances?
Initially we did not intend to say anything about finances, let alone write about them, but so many have asked that we decided we should share and satisfy the curious minds. Really, we don’t blame you for asking since we have done the same thing of other missionaries.
Even before we heard God’s call to work overseas, we decided that should we ever go, we wanted to work as unpaid volunteers (only our housing is provided). We chose this because we truly desire to be continually growing in faith and our experience with God, constantly learning to depend more fully on Him for all our needs. This “method” may seem rather unconventional in a day where we often think of missionaries with a stipend or financial support team, but someday soon we’ll all be volunteer workers relying completely on God anyway. Why not start now by trusting God to provide completely for our own personal expenses?
When Jesus sent His disciples, first the twelve, followed by the seventy, on their first missions, He gave them special instructions: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.” “And as ye go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor script for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.” Luke 10: 2; Matthew 10:7-10. A little later, when once again discussing physical needs, Jesus reminds His followers to not worry, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12:31.
God has not changed and is just as capable of providing for His children today. We have been excited to see what God is already doing through the least expected places! It makes us more aware that this is His mission, not ours.
Outside of our own personal expenses, there are many projects for which we will share specific information. We have chosen this for two reasons. First, people keep asking us if there are any projects they can personally support. When I was small, I always enjoyed saving my pennies to share for specific missionary projects and knowing that my money was being used in specific ways to forward the work. This knowledge gives a sense of ownship and incentive in the work. Secondly, although we have chosen to leave our personal needs before God, we certainly don’t mind sharing with the needs of others.
Remember, we’re sharing this not because we’re asking for help, but because you were wondering how to help. If you do not feel impressed to help, then don’t! If you do want to help, then first ask God what He would have you do. You might be surprised to hear Him actually calling you to serve overseas yourself. He also might ask you to send someone else, and if He does, ask Him who you should support, how much you should give, and how often. He might lead you to support one of the many projects or provide for the needs of those we tell you about. Regardless of what He calls you to do, pray for us. Prayer is the greatest support we can have in this battlefield.
If you feel God calling you to help, you can make tax deductible donations, marked with our names, through Jesus for Asia:
(Go to the donate page, then follow the link to see the Complete List of Projects)
Jesus for Asia, Inc.
P.O. Box 216
McDonald, TN 37353
You can also send a check to either of our moms, who manage our home bank accounts:
55 Cottontail Ridge Road
White Salmon, WA 98672
Rebecca Van Hee
1400 Rockford Road
Hood River, OR 97031
If you have things besides money you would like to donate, or are interested in donating to specific projects, you can email us through our “Contact Us” page. We are happy to share details of specific projects and any costs we know about.
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being interested in God’s work overseas.