HOPE Video

How do you convey the wonderful news of Jesus Christ to people with whom you don’t speak the language, don’t have a Bible translated into their language and the vast majority are illiterate? The HOPE video is one avenue being pursued to reach the Brou of northern Cambodia.

hope project
Most westerners have heard of Jesus so clarifying who He is works well. Hence the popularity of the Jesus film. However, many of the Brou do not know who Jesus is (and I’m not talking about arguing prophet vs. God vs. teacher). Some have never heard His name.¬†They need a more complete picture of Christianity and the HOPE video starts at creation.

You can check out the HOPE video here. Great! Let’s order a couple hundred copies. We Americans all think the same way (throw some money at it). Huge problem: there is no HOPE video in the Brou language…..yet.

Enter Ethan Crowley….a man among boys.

Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 11.56.33 AM

there’s a reason that looks like a youtube screenshot


Take 5 minutes to watch this video detailing his work.

He and his young bride, Emily, came over to Ratanikiri province to work on translating the HOPE video into the Brou language for the next 6 months. You can read about their adventures and life in Banlung on Emily’s blog.

I stole this from Emily’s blog. Thanks Emily! Royalty check’s in the mail.

Makes me homesick for the shack ūüė¶

Ethan’s father, JD, has been working with the Tampuan tribe in RTK province for 20 years.



You guessed it: Tampuan have their own language and culture. There’s also the Krung, Jerai, Khmer, and others in addition to the Brou located in RTK.

There are unreached Brou peoples located across the border in communist Laos. However Laos is a closed country and #9 most persecuted country on this list. Unfortunately someone would probably get arrested and deported if they ever tried to smuggle Christian¬†paraphernalia into that country so I can’t recommend anyone doing that. I mean a digital copy of the HOPE video would probably be gigantic – like the size of a micro SD card.

“Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”
John 4:35 ESV

‚ÄúThe harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.¬†Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”¬†

Luke 10:2 ESV

….now go watch Ethan’s video¬†and check out his incredible photography


3 Minutes….Lifetime of Smiles

Going through our photos (thanks to Moose for most of ’em) it became apparent very fast that there were tons of smiles. Big ones, little ones, smirks, rehearsed, natural, instantaneous, wonderment, and others.

3 minute slideshow for a taste http://youtu.be/HQQDrd65-HA

I guarantee you’ll smile…or at least smirk.

Changing Trajectory

Motorcycle accidents can be horrific…duh. Fortunately if you dump your bike in the states you have paramedics, ambulances and medevac helicopters on call 24/7. Not so much in rural Cambodia.

We met two gentlemen who had similar injuries but the outcomes may very well be worlds apart. The first fella joined us in our “taxi” from Phnom Penh back to Banlung: about 8 hours’ journey.

14 passengers

14 passengers

He dumped his “motodup” and broke his fibula and medial malleolus of his tibia (my reading of his x-ray; but that’s a long way from the eyes).

doesn't take a radiologist to realize that's no bueno

doesn’t take a radiologist to realize that’s no bueno

Well in Ratanakiri province Cambodia you’re pretty much screwed at that point. Enter fella #2.

He was in his late thirties hanging out in Ta Veng village.


As best I could get through Kevin translating, he isn’t able to go into the rice fields or harvest cashews with one leg missing below the knee. Not good when you’re supposed to support your family including your parents after they can’t take care of themselves. Nursing homes? Social (in)Security? Not where the average daily income is around $1. He broke his leg in a motorbike accident, somehow made the journey to Vietnam, and they gave him a decision: lop it off for over a grand or try surgery to save it for nearly double. Years later, he’s probably still paying extended family back for the whack and sew.

We got him some reading glasses to help with his basket weaving. It was fun to chat with him for about 15 minutes. Chatting consisted of him pointing to a random pig and pronouncing the Brou word for pig and then me pointing to some rooster wandering by and doing the same in English. No translation necessary for smiles however.

of course we got him some glasses too :)

of course we got him some glasses too ūüôā

Back to fella #1. Broke his leg….but his wife knows Kevin, our missionary host. If you ever meet Kevin (and I hope you all do someday) it doesn’t take long to realize he has a HUGE heart for hurting people. Some of the other missionaries in Cambodia laugh about Kevin taking people on the long journey to Phnom Penh, advocating for them in the medical system, and helping them pay for it. They were glad¬†he does it.

looking better after trip to Ace Hardware

looking better after trip to Ace Hardware

changing bandages

changing bandages

This villager’s entire life and his family’s well being are now on a completely different trajectory.

Join us in praying that he would come to saving grace in Jesus-the ultimate change in trajectory.

Luke 10:

33¬†But a¬†Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.¬†34¬†He went to him and¬†bound up his wounds, pouring on¬†oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.¬†35¬†And the next day he took out two¬†denarii¬†and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‚ÄėTake care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.‚Äô¬†36¬†Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?‚Ä̬†37¬†He said, ‚ÄúThe one who showed him mercy.‚ÄĚ And Jesus said to him,¬†‚ÄúYou go, and do likewise.‚ÄĚ

We found him!

If you remember from this post https://2020aroundtheworld.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=8&action=edit I talked about how this trip began to form. Two years ago my older brother Jonas went to Cambodia and out of his hundreds of pictures this one JUMPED out at me:

big lens


Before I left, I kinda sorta hoped we could find that gentleman because it would be an amazing story. “Kinda sorta” because I don’t like to admit I would love to be a part of an incredible story. I knew it would be tough though – it’s kind of hard to tell who he is and the photo is grainy with half his face covered with that gigantic lens and I had no idea where in Cambodia he was from.

Well lo and behold a week ago today as we were in church/crockpot trying not to die from heat exhaustion-43¬†people in 10’x15′ wooden building with tin roof and¬†outside¬†temperature above 85*

a bit different than Sunday in the USA

a bit different than Sunday in the USA

Jonas leaned over and said “I think he’s here.” “Jesus? That would be a huge relief right now.” “No that guy with the big lens.”

Honestly (I promise!) I had completely forgotten about that picture and finding him. God answered my prayer of leaving expectations back in Prescott. After church when we started seeing patients Kevin pointed out “the guy.” Of course Kevin knew who he was, where he was from and even his name so it was no issue saying yep that’s him.

much smaller and more useful lenses

much smaller and more useful lenses

Letters From Home

I want to encourage you right now. You have the ability to truly make a difference in someone’s day/life. Often times we think we aren’t¬†good enough, or know someone well enough, or aren’t special enough¬†but click here to remember¬†that’s just not true.


My 9 Letters From Home

Before I left for Cambodia, Stacy planted 9 letters in my backpack. These were letters from her, my parents, coworkers, friends and even Lilly and Berto. I would open one every morning and each one was an incredible blessing of encouragement. Jonas had similar letters organized by Greta.

We often times find it hard to say how much we care about someone else. It makes us very vulnerable. Writing means we get to tell them on our own terms and our own timing without their immediate reaction shaping our thoughts. What I do know is people wrote things that I will never forget. Ever.

Before I left, I ordered 3 cards from http://www.etsy.com/shop/RedLetterPaperCo because going to the store to buy cards is way too difficult. I left one on the counter for Stacy to find after dropping me off at the shuttle, and scheduled delivery of the other two for separate days during the trip.

Red Letter Paper Company Card

It is sad but I haven’t given her a handwritten note, letter, or card in a long time. I don’t like to write and my handwriting is horrible….but that makes it even more special!

I don’t write this post to brag about how great our marriage is – although if it were a competition you’d lose ūüôā¬†I write it as a challenge:

Write someone right now.

Write to your spouse, friend, pastor, soldier serving overseas, or¬†missionary. If you don’t have a card, write it on a scrap of paper. Just write it. You are playing online and obviously have 5 minutes of free time. In this world of email, Twitter, Facebook and texting, a handwritten note shows someone they are worth your time.

1 Corinthians 13:13
“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

….I’m serious. Write it!

Sobbing On Way Home

I’m not a very emotional person. I used to be, but the emotional roller coaster was too much so now I try to stay on an even keel. Not a zombie but I just try to avoid the high highs and low lows because I function so much better that way.

…but it doesn’t always work out. I boarded a plane in Phnom Penh sometime “this morning.” In quotes because it was 20+ hours ago but I’m still in the same day. International date line, flying 450mph east and all.

I started looking through the photos that my brother Jonas took on this trip. They are amazing-I saw the trip from my own two eyes but now I get to see it from a different perspective.

I was smiling, processing thoughts, and moving along just fine until I got to this one:

Use me in spite of me Lord compressed



I just started crying…uncontrollably. For those who don’t know me well, Stacy has probably seen me cry less than six times in a dozen years. It was this kind of joy:

Psalms 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

….and then I got sick. Maybe I came back from Cambodia pregnant?

Deflecting Praise

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:7 ESV

As I sit in the PP airport getting ready to begin the 23 hour journey home, I pray that this trip would glorify God for ages to come. My head is spinning and I don’t have any deep thoughts other than I don’t want this trip to be about me, our team, eye care or anything other than our Lord Jesus Christ.