Journey to Cambodia

As a child of missionaries, I always assumed that when I grew up I would move back to the developing world.  But college, marriage, grad school, children and family needs kept appearing as the next step for life. When I became pregnant while working full time and going to grad school full time, I put my plan for international work on a shelf.  I literally could not do any more than I was and holding onto the moment took all my energy. In the following years, from time to time, I would take down the “plan” and look at it, but it never seemed like the right time.

Through a series of coincidental encounters, in January 2018 I started emailing with a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) service worker doing Occupational Therapy in Vietnam.  The first email exchange opened up a strong desire in me to do international work. Over the months I processed this feeling, the longing to go and be part of God’s work in the developing world.  I talked with my husband, my pastor, friends and family about what considering something like this would mean. The specific Vietnam position was concerning for our family as it was far from other MCC workers and did not have work for my husband.  Still, it seemed that every month or two, something would occur that pulled at me again, renewing the strong feeling of being called to move overseas.

Over the next year we learned that Mennonite Central Committee was not renewing the Occupational Therapist position in Vietnam at this time.  I struggled to understand what this meant for me and I waited. Then in January 2019 we received information that Mennonite Central Committee was looking for leadership for their Cambodia and Myanmar teams. As soon as we saw it, my husband and I knew that it would be a great fit for us.  The position would utilize both of our strengths and experiences in management, team building and hospitality. Being located in Phnom Penh, our children would also have access to excellent schools.

We applied for the position, interviewed and were offered the position at the end of March.  We accepted immediately and then began the progress of preparing for departure in the summer of 2019.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Marcia W. Parker says:

    The photo of Crystal and the girls is so beautiful! It radiates God’s love and their joy. The account of the formation of MCC and your own history and call to serve as a couple and family is powerful and poignant.
    Thank you!

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