The last 6 months have been a time of settling and figuring out how to do life here. We have been really blessed with family and friends visiting, making new friends, and seeing God move here in Cambodia. January has been a month of transition from getting settled to moving forward. Megan started her new full time position at Hope school as the PA to the director. Aaron also started full time language school.
Megan started her new position at Hope in January. The position includes several roles including secretary to the school board, personal assistant to the school director, and child protection liaison at the school. However, most of Megan's time right now is filled with preparing for the school's upcoming accreditation visit. In March Hope's accreditation agency will come visit the school and require a plethora of documents. Megan is primarily responsible for making sure all the right documents are collected and paperwork filled out. This is not her favorite kind of work, but she is doing great and almost done. When the visit is over she will be able to transition into the child protection services role which she is looking forward to.
Aaron's Language Learning
I (Aaron) started full time language school in January. In the fall I completed level one as night classes. Level one finished in mid December and the school relocated to a brand new building before the new term started in mid January. The new building is really nice and has tons of group study space. Fortunately the new building is only a couple blocks away from the old building and not much farther of a commute. Level two has been very challenging. Most of the rest of the class did full time together last term, and are ahead of me. I feel behind compared to others who had done the full time class last term, and I am not able to understand instructions as well. However, I am spending extra time studying, and working with teachers to get caught up. The teachers have been great to work with, they are helping by giving me class materials a week ahead of time so I can preview before class begins. I am also meeting with a tutor one-on-one twice a week to review previous vocab and get more practice listening to instruction in Khmer. I do feel like I am slowly catching up but it is challenging.
Life in Cambodia
I (Aaron) have not been in very good shape physically for years. I prioritized work and rest and didn't make much time for taking care of myself. However, since we are starting new life rhythms anyways, I decided to start prioritizing taking care of my body and being more healthy in general. To that end, I decided to get a bicycle and started riding it to and from school. The ride takes about 30-40 minutes, which is surprisingly about the same amount of time it would take me on a moto during traffic. It was tiring at first as I got used to the ride (and my bottom being soar), but I am enjoying riding bicycle again.
Our house helpers have been amazing! Maiy, who we hired in December watches Ember Monday and Thursday when she doesn't have school. This month we hired and trained Tina, who pickups the girls from school and starts dinner while Aaron studies. Tina doesn't speak English, but that has actually been working out great as Aaron is able to practice speaking Khmer with her. We have had a few situations like when Tina almost bleached the chicken before cooking it because Aaron didn't explain what to do with the bleach very well; but overall they have been fantastic. They are amazing with the girls and really care for our family and house well. They also are making it possible for Aaron to do full time school and have the time he needs to study and learn Khmer.
We had our good friends the Barber's and their family stay with us at the end of January. The Barbers are the directors at the YWAM base in LA. They were visiting teams in Thailand and Cambodia and managed to come down to Phnom Penh for a few days to visit. We crammed 14 people including 7 kids into our house. It was a lot of fun spending time with friends and seeing the kids all play together. We also played Banana Grams and made sure they went to C9 (restaurant run by one of our team members) and enjoyed the amazing food there. Its always an encouragement to see friends and family, and it was a ton of fun having the Barbers here.
This month God answered some prayers for Aaron concerning future ministry. Out of respect for some communication that is still needing to take place I don't want to share details yet. But I did want to share that God is moving and we are excited to see what He does. I look forward to giving you all more details next month.
Prayer Request Highlights
Thank you to all who have been so amazingly generous with our family. We literally wouldn’t be here without both your prayer and financial support. We were able to get some of the things on our list last month thanks to you all!
Below are some additional needs and ways you can partner with us financially.
1. $500 by March 25th for Aaron's next term of language school ($3,000 total to pay for the rest of school)
2. $500 more a month for our house helpers, ministry expenses, and annual costs such as insurance, taxes, visas, home visit, etc.
3. We would also like $2,000 for some additional setup items:
To partner with our family go to: www.holmeslove.com/donate
All donations are tax deductible and directly support the Holmes Family in Cambodia.
Thank you for partnering with us!
Megan, Aaron, Harper, and Ember Holmes
If you'd like to write us a post-card or send us physical gifts, our permanent address is Megan’s mom’s house; and she will send things with people coming to visit us:
Aaron and Megan Holmes
3664 Sunwood Drive
Redding, CA, 96002
We no longer have our old phone numbers. If you would like to contact us please email hardplacesaaron@gmailcom, or use any of our other social media listed on our website to connect with us www.holmeslove.com/contact.
If you would like to find out more about the Holmes family and what they are doing in Cambodia please visit their website: www.holmeslove.com.