Visit From Home
We have been in Cambodia for four months and we are finding our groove. In November Megan's dad was our first visitor from back home. We got to spend lots of time together and show him around Phnom Penh. Two of the highlights were introducing him to some of the HPC center staff leaders, and going to Siem Reap. Ken is a family therapist and did a great training with the leaders. He also took us to Siem Reap for a few days, which was lot of fun. We got to rest, eat traditional Khmer food, and see Angkor Wat. We also got to see one of the center staff up in Siem Reap, which was a highlight of the trip. She was one of the staff I met when I was here in 2017, and it was a lot of fun catching up with her. But it was also fun introducing Ken to Cambodia and spending time with him. Overall we had a great time with Ken here and we look forward to having more of you come visit us in the future
The holiday season has been both hard and good. Thanksgiving was really hard for me (Aaron). I wasn't fully prepared for the implications of trying to celebrate a holiday in a country that doesn't celebrate it; which included Megan having to work and Harper being in school. I realized later that as a quality time love language guy, not being with family on Thanksgiving would really take a toll on me. We did get to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal with our HPC family, which was really really good. However even that was bitter sweet as we were only there for a couple hours. We had to leave early to get Megan and the girls to bed because they all had school and work the following morning. It all reminded me that this was different than normal, and we didn't get to celebrate it the way I would have wanted, which would have been to spend all day with family and friends without any time concerns or commitments the following morning.
With that said, a whole month of getting to prepare for Christmas felt really good. We spent lots of time decorating, watching Christmas movies, reading bible stories, and talking about the reason for the season. We were so incredibly blessed to have our friends Lauren and Carol visit the week before Christmas. It was a huge blessing getting to share our journey with her, share our home with her, and share some laughs and tears with her. She also brought us loads of Christmas cards and some gifts from all of you that also blessed our whole family.
Megan and the girls last day of school/work was the 19th. It has been amazing having some quality time to play and rest together. We have also spent a lot of time calling family and friends back home. We still have a few days before the girls and Megan go back to school, so be sure to hit us up with a Facebook audio/video call if you have time.
Life In Cambodia
In general we feel really good. The "settling" season we have been in since we got here has been exactly what we needed. We really believe it has helped Megan to be working. She really thrives with structure and having a place to connect with people, and pour herself into. For me (Aaron), it has really helped to not have full time work, but instead do part time language and full time family things. To be able to spend time figuring out how to live here, where to shop, what we can do for food, fun, retreats with the Lord, etc. It all helps. I do better with lots of time to process through things. We have also been making friends individually and as a family. Off and on the girls have taken turns having a hard time with the transition. But everything they have been feeling has been normal and overall they have done really well. As of right now they are both doing great and ready for school to start again. Now that we have all transitioned we feel ready to step into a new season.
Aaron's Language Learning
In January I'm excited to start full time language school. This will be a transition for the whole family, but one we look forward to now that we feel like we have a base for how to do life here. The faster I learn the language the sooner I get to step into more ministry opportunities. It is exciting to step into full time language and feel like I am getting closer to spending time with HPC. Up to now I have been doing part time classes in the evenings. As I mentioned up above, I spent most of my time doing things around the house for the family; which was great. But I am really excited to focus on language.
Doing that means we will need a Nannie for Ember on the days she doesn't have school. We will also need someone to watch the girls after school until Megan is off work. We think we have the right person to watch Ember. She is a Christian gal that works for some friends of ours that live nearby. She has a lot of experience and seemed awesome when I met her. She is going to start this week and we will see how it goes. We are still looking for someone to watch the girls after school and would really appreciate prayers that we find the right kind of person.
Like I said before, we have been so blessed by the opportunity Megan has had to work at the girls school, Hope International, for a variety of reasons. It has helped her transition, it has helped financially, its nice for her to be there for the girls, and helped us all get more connected. With that said, there was a bit of trepidation when she first started because it was an interim position that was scheduled to end in December. Megan spent a lot of time looking at other jobs. However, after a few shorts months Hope told Megan there was a new position opening up, and they wanted her to apply.
Due to required processes, they couldn't just give her the job, but no one else applied. It was pretty clear from the first mention of this position that they wanted to do whatever it would take to keep Megan, and this position was more or less designed with her in mind. She accepted the new position a few weeks ago, and really steps into it when school starts again 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. For those who know Megan, you'll know how great a fit these roles will be with her experience and passions. It also turns out the current director is leaving this summer and they are still looking for a new director. Megan beginning this position now is strategic to help with the transition to the new director, whomever they may be, and whenever they may start. She will excel at all of this. Also, Hope is a great school with great people, and it is a blessing for our family to be part of it.
Prayer Request Highlights
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.
Also please note that from now on we will be sending out monthly updates through our newsletter, which will also be posted on our blog at www.holmeslove.com/blog.
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. An additional thankyou to those who sent Christmas cards and money for gifts; we are so thankful for you all! Below are some additional needs and ways you can partner with us financially.
1. Aaron needs $500 by January 13th, and about $800 more a month starting in January to step into full time language learning and ministry, as well as to save for annual costs such as insurance, taxes, visas, home visit, etc.
2. We would also like to raise $3000 for the remainder of the expenses to fully setup our home and prepare for upcoming ministry opportunities including:
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