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Check out what the Holz family is up to in Cambodia this month!
Updates from the Holz Family
My Early Christmas Present
 
This year I got a bit of an early Christmas present.  After the tough year that was 2015, I've spent much of 2016 trying to find my purpose in Cambodia.  I've known in my heart that God has me here for a reason, but after so much turmoil with staff, kids, and my family for much of this last year I've been fearful of getting close to street kids again.

It's because for all the joy we have working with these kids, there is also a lot of hurt and struggle involved too.  This is why there aren't many people or groups that work with street kids.  In fact, as far as I’m aware we are one of only 2 organizations the government recognizes as working with street children in Battambang.  It is because working with street families is an emotionally, mentally, and spiritually taxing job.  Everything we do makes sense in principle, but in practice it requires either a level of patience and understanding that no one on earth truly has or a vast amount of money to pay lots of people to keep doing the work.  Neither of which we happen to possess. 

Children don't want to go to school, they're used to having freedom and doing whatever they want, they act out, their parents often won't back up our decisions, parents make really bad decisions, families are always looking to take advantage of us, at times families blame us for problems we have nothing to do with or for not helping them enough, the government puts all sorts of regulations and requirements on us, and we get extremely exhausted in every way.
 
I don't look down on people who try to reach street families and eventually give up.  To be honest I sometimes envy them.  In late 2015 I nearly did throw in the towel, and for much of 2016 I've been fearful of jumping back in the water like I once did.  Sometimes I cry when I think about these kids and where they live.  Sometimes I get angry at God for not making it easier to help them.  Sometimes I ask God to let me walk  away, to let me have an easy ministry with lots of salvations, people who are falling over themselves to say thank you, and an everlasting supply of funds.
 
But then I look down at the tattoo of Romans 8:28 on my leg and remember that God has purpose in everything.  He is not the cause of my struggles, but in all of it He can give me purpose.  And when I’m wrestling the most with what my purpose is, He finds subtle ways to remind me and give me a push to keep going.
 
Lately we've been stressed out at our center.  One girl in particular has been acting out.  And in all that stress someone asked her if she wanted to quit coming and going to school and she got really scared.  She cried and went and isolated herself in a corner.  When I came to talk to her she clung to me and just bawled into my chest.
 
I ended up having Sinuon talk to her, got her some food, and have been doing my best to try and smooth things over.  But I was reminded how much our ministry means to many of these kids.  Some, like this girl, have nowhere else to go, no one else that will care for them.  We are their family.  Losing us is terrifying for them, and I knew that I was right there, in her life, at that very moment because God wanted me there to give her a hug, to let her know everything was going to be ok, and that I was not going to let her go.
 
While I can't be the one there for them day in and day out, I am the person who keeps finding the pieces to keep them there.  Who can be the big uncle who steps in when they're having a bad day.  Who can look for the solutions that many of our staff might be too busy to see.  And while I can't save every child out there, I can remember that God has placed me where I am to reach out to at least one child when they need me.  When I remember that, and when I give myself over to God, He continues to use me and gives me purpose and the will to keep on going when I need it.  And that's one of the best Christmas presents I've ever gotten.
 
As this year draws to a close, I give thanks for God’s reminders and His ever present gentle pushes that keep me moving forward.  Pray that God’s purpose continues to be strong on my heart and that with His grace we will continue to make His name known to the street children of Battambang.

We hope and pray that this Christmas season God will bless you and your loved ones as we all celebrate the birth of Christ and the hope which He brings!
We know you're probably getting lots of requests for donations, but it is the end of the year and we need all the help you can offer!  Please consider making a year end contribution to Crossing Cambodia!
I'm going to be travelling in the US in less than a month!  Just waiting on one more church confirmation.  But in the meantime I need your help!

Do you have frequent flier miles or are you willing to help buy a one-way plane ticket?  These are my travel routes.
  • Sacramento, CA to Billings, MT around January 13th
  • Billings, MT to Austin, TX around January 19th
  • Austin, TX to Minneapolis, MN around January 25th
  • Milwaukee, WI to Sacramento, CA around February 3rd
Travelling and visiting churches around the USA is essential for raising crucial support for our family and the ministry.  Please pray about helping us with this major need!
Halfway there!  20 weeks down and 20 more to go.  Keep praying for a healthy pregnancy!
Our Current Needs & Prayer Requests
 
- Monthly Supporters
We need several more donors to help us get to a consistent $1500/month
- For Sinuon and the kids to be taken care of and be safe while Greg is in the USA.
- Plane Tickets!
- God's guidance and patience as we finish off 2016
- Patience as We Pursue New Ministry Ideas
Richard and Julianne are doing great as well and are most definitely ready for Christmas!

Please pray for Sinuon, Richard, and Julianne while I will be travelling next month.  They will be staying behind with a team at our home to help out while I'm away.
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