T minus 14 days

**This is an interactive blog post**

Open up Google maps on your browser, and type in “Sobhan, Cambodia”.

Can’t find it? That’s because Sobhan isn’t on Google maps. Or pretty much any map you can find.

But it’s a real place! With real people!

Real kids who take the bus to school.

Real parents who grow vegetables.

Real cows who do cow-y things.

And soon, a real Anna doing farming and ministry.

Yes, I am moving to Sobhan for the next 6 months!

There’s an NGO there called Jumpah Ministries, run by a couple of missionaries and a handful of locals. This little organization  is reaching some pretty significant goals, educating children, providing job training, and supporting families affected by HIV. Among other things, here are some of Jumpah’s activities:

  • Providing a home and an education for orphans/unwanted children
  • Teaching local children in a cost-subsidized school
  • Training locals in woodworking and employing many in a woodshop
  • Demonstrating sustainable farming techniques on a farm that also employs many locals

Here’s some links to more info:

https://www.facebook.com/adventurecambodia/timeline

http://ratzloffcambodia.blogspot.com/p/overview-of-jumpah.html

I’ll be primarily working on the farm, helping with organization, research, and everyday farm tasks. I’ve also been asked to lead some Bible study-like times for the staff to practice English. Cambodia is 96% Buddhist, so many of the staff are not Christian, but they are eager to practice English and learn about the Bible, so we’ll be putting those together. I may get to do a little teaching as well, although details will be ironed out once I get there.

I’m excited but I’m also really nervous. This is a new experience, and it’s impossible to know everything to expect. I would so appreciate your prayers as I get ready to leave- pray that I wouldn’t just prepare physically but that spiritually and mentally I will be prepared as well. Pray for trust in God with the unknowns.

 

 

 

 

Graduation! Now what?

Hello dear friends!

In one week I will be finished with my undergraduate education and moving on into a new chapter in my life. I am graduating with a degree in International Agriculture Development, and I’ve discovered a passion for agriculture that fits in perfectly with my love for the world and my heart to see change in struggling communities. I have also fallen in love with with the people who work in agriculture. Down to earth (haha), friendly, honest, and very spiritual, these people fight hard to make a living and help their families and communities. My dream is to use my skills in agriculture as a way to bridge cultural gaps in closed countries and reach this often-marginalized group with the Good News of the Creator who provides for them, loves them, and can give them more hope than the rain clouds in the sky.

workin' on the farm

And that is why I am staying in Davis next year, interning with Cru on the UC Davis campus!

What?! Yeah, that’s what I thought at first too.  By the end of fall quarter, God was opening my heart to the agriculture majors on my campus, and I was having incredible spiritual conversations with them. I loved my classes, loved my internship, loved my plants, loved everything, and was looking at grad school. A friend asked me if I’d thought about interning with Cru on our campus, and it was flat out no.

Then I went to Cru’s winter conference and seriously started to consider applying to intern with Cru in South Africa for a year.  I got home and began the application, but my heart was growing for my own campus. “Maybe God is leading me to stay,” I wondered. The thought really scared me, as one of my biggest desires was to get as far away from Davis as possible, as quick as possible.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Davis. But Davis is small. The culture on our campus is to go to another country for missions. The blatantly “expected” thing for me to do was to intern in SA, and rumors had been circulating for months that I had made up my mind. Plus, I love SA so much. Our campus has seen so much staff and intern transition in the last four years, and staying in Davis started to seem like a halfway house,  a consolation prize of sorts, that thing that they “congratulate” you for after telling you to wait a little longer. I applied to intern with Cru, and I stated that I would be willing to go to either place. After about 8 hours of phone calls later, I was assigned to Davis.

I am THRILLED. God has softened my heart so much, and He is working in mighty ways on our campus. I am excited to get valuable ministry training before I work towards reaching people in closed countries, and I can’t wait to see how God grows me here in Davis before I leave.

I get another year to continue relationships with my ag friends.

I get another year to pour into the girls I’ve discipled since their freshman year.

I get to share my joy with our students and show them that Davis is not a halfway house. They are worth 100% of my passion and are just as worthy of my love as South Africa.

This is where I’m called. This is where I want to be. I can’t wait. I’m thanking God that He’s made His will so clear and that He’s chosen to reveal how it fits into the long-term dream He’s given me.

 

So that’s the story 🙂 I’ll be spending the summer finding people to partner with me and my ministry, both financially and in prayer and words of wisdom and encouragement. I’ll likely contact you at some point in the summer to let you know how you can partner with me, but feel free to contact me anytime with questions, comments, anything! Hope to see you this summer!