Hello friends and family,

March flew by, and it can be easily broken down into three main activities. Working on the water filters, repairing the house, and spending a week in the capital, Phnom Penh.

The first week of March Lukas focused on the water filters and figuring out where to buy all of the supplies we need to build them. We always try to use locally available materials so that it’s easy to repair and looks familiar to the local population. He also spent some time experimenting with virus filters. In the past we’ve only worked with bacteria filters, but now we have some donated virus filters and we are excited about the broader possibilities they will offer in the future.

While Lukas was focusing on the filters, I decided to do some home repairs. But our house is a bit like a loose thread on a sweater, and when you pull it, the whole thing starts to unravel. When I took out the termite-infested wood laminate floor, we discovered that the old tile floor underneath also needed to be repaired. Then we tried to patch the holes in the walls so we could paint, only to discover that it was water-damaged and mouldy, so it had to go, too. 😂 What a MESS!!!! But it feels good to have a clean home. For us, “comfortable” doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but when it’s clean we can relax and feel at home.

As we were nearing the end of the house repairs, we got a heart-wrenching message; our mentor, pastor, former boss and good friend Pastor Ted Olbrich had passed away suddenly.

Ted and his wife Sou have been missionaries in Cambodia for 25 years and have changed the lives of thousands of orphans, and planted churches and home groups all over the country. Lukas first met Ted in 2004 when he came on a mission trip to work in one of the church homes. I worked with him as a staff missionary for nearly 4 years from 2010-2013. He had an enormous impact on both of us, and even played a part in bringing us together as a couple. ❤

As soon as we got the news, we started getting ready to go to Phnom Penh, as is culturally expected here.  For the next six days we join in with our friends and the church family to mourn his death and celebrate his life. Each day began around 8am with breakfast, then a service from around 9-11, then lunch and a break until 5 when dinner was served, followed by another evening service which lasted until around 9pm. The weather was very hot, but we felt so privileged to be there and to celebrate the life of this great man. It was such a beautiful experience to be together with our friend and his family, talking, eating, singing, and remembering his life. I think it would be healthy to practice more of this kind of mourning in Western countries. It was an experience unlike anything we’ve ever participated in. Here’s the video link to the last service. Most of it is in English with international speakers. https://fb.watch/jydIRaeA-F/

Well, that was March. Here’s some photos and a few video clips.



Jenny, Lukas and Benjamin