January 17, 2012

We Need To Talk

Scot and I had a much needed lunch date before Christmas.  The lunch started with his all time favorite four words...

We Need To Talk

He swears those four words cause dread in every man.  I think he's over exaggerating. There's nothing better than a good in depth conversation where we share our thoughts and feelings....where hours slip by unnoticed because you are so absorbed in the conversation.

According to Scot, having his fingernails pulled out one by one would be more fun.


Anyways, we were at lunch and I informed him that I thought we needed to buy a house in Houston.  We then needed to rent out said house to a friend of mine and then I would feel more rooted and could stay there when I went home and could have all my stuff that is in storage delivered to the house and unpacked and then I could get my Fall and Christmas decorations and bring them back to Singapore with me.

He looked at me for a solid moment before he said....

So let me get this straight.
You want your Fall and Christmas decorations here in Singapore
and your solution to that problem is to BUY A HOUSE??

Ok, so it made much more sense in my head.  It is all kinds of fun being married to me.

You can maybe understand why he was slightly afraid that we'd go to Cambodia and I'd give away everything we have and come home with four extra kids.  

I react.  It's just what I do.

I had promised him that I wouldn't make any commitments and would limit my knee jerk reactions until after he and I had a chance to make some decisions together.

Although it was hard at times, I did a very good job of asking loads of questions, doing a lot of listening, and just absorbing all our time in Cambodia had to offer. 

Because we aren't just talking Christmas decorations here.  

We're talking about the lives of children.  Children who have had much of their childhood stolen from them and in some instances, their innocence.  We're talking about young adults that are investing every moment of every day into some boys in the hopes that they can give them a future.  We're talking about an opportunity to invest in a ministry where every single dollar counts for something. 

These kids and these ministries deserve nothing less than a very purposeful and thought-out reaction with a whole lot of prayer driving the decision.  Throwing a few hundred dollars their way to ease my guilt or discomfort over their situation?

They flat out deserve better than that.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with acting on impulse in a situation where help is needed.  I have a problem with acting on impulse, feeling better about the situation, and returning back to life as normal without some attempt to be an ongoing part of the solution.

In the course of planning for this trip, being on the trip, and after the trip, many people have been incredibly supportive and encouraging.  We've heard over and over how amazing we are to have gone on the trip.

I don't want to discount those words at all because I know they were said so sweetly.

It's just that I don't think we are all that amazing.  

James 1:27 says this:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself
from being polluted by the world.

I can only speak for myself when I say that I fight constantly to not be "polluted by the world".  Entitlement, discontentment, and blurring many lines are what I battle with.  

I really don't want to leave those words written there, but it's truth.

Our time in Cambodia was nothing more than practicing obedience to what we as Christians have been told to do.  There are many, many people that do exceedingly more than we do at a much greater sacrifice and those people are who I consider to be amazing.  Not us.  

I think my time in Cambodia was an opportunity to get rid of some pollution in my life.  And I have to be honest, it was so much easier to breathe.

Because some of you have asked, I am providing information on the Boy's Center for you below.  

The facts:

The Boy's Center (officially called Punlok Thmey which is Khmer for New Growth) needs $4500 a month to keep its doors open and meet some of their goals.  They have only been open since September 2011.

They are supported 100% through individual donations and right now they are receiving $700 a month.  They fall under International Outreach Ministries and all donations are tax deductable.

They had a fundraiser walk-a-thon last year called Traffick Jam that raised enough support to keep their doors open.  They would like to get to a point where Traffick Jam money is used for things like buying more computers or improvements on the Center.

The ladies that are running the center have raised their own support in the states and the Cambodian employees currently make around $150 a month.  The goal is to raise that amount closer to $200.

Their goals are to be able to provide lunch for the boys that walk through the doors and that would cost $75 a week to feed close to 100 kids.

They would also like to become a safety shelter that is open all night for boys who find themselves in dangerous situations and need somewhere to go.

Every single red cent donated goes directly to them and what they are doing.  You can read more about it and donate here.  

If you have any other questions, you can contact me at keri@me.com.  

My hope is that we can go back to Cambodia in May before we head home for the summer.  I just don't want to live my life without frequent doses of these four amazing people and a whole lot of awesome kiddos.

And if you ever want to go with me?

Well then, We Need To Talk!


  1. I want to frame that last picture and put it on my wall. This post is perfection, friend. And really, truly?? You've helped me sooooo much in writing my own posts about this. THANK YOU!! I love you!

  2. Keri - - You amaze me. . . and your posts make me cry. Do you supply kleenex with your talks? OH, and I have a big house right next to cypress that is yours any time you need a home to camp out it.
    You need it for the summer? Let's talk. Patty R.

  3. Keri, this is an amazing blog! Thank you very much! I have been there and I agree that those 4 people are absolutely amazing and I love them!
    Thank you for your passion. I look forward to hearing more :-)

  4. Keri - I just linked this blog post to my blog at http://schiffmanadventure.blogspot.com/2012/02/traffick-jam.html Hope that's ok! And I hope together we help a lot of boys!



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