"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

– Romans 8:14

We Are Expectant

As many of you may know from seeing posts on Facebook or Twitter, a team of 20 from Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg is going to serve on a Youth With A Mission base in Battambang, Cambodia. For the next two weeks this blog will serve as your daily update on the ministry and lives of the group serving in Cambodia. In reading, I hope that you are encouraged by all that God is doing in the people and nation of Cambodia. Below is a list of the people taking part in this mission and a little about each of them. Take special note of the prayer requests and please do keep us in your prayers.

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
—John 14:13-14

Kelsey Bankston

I’m 21 and I’m a recreation and tourism major focusing on international non-profit tourism with an event planning minor. I focus a lot of my energy and time researching human trafficking, rape victims, and domestic violence cases because I feel called to be a part of this struggle. I expect God to work while in Cambodia. I know that He will make himself known to the group and me as we face  trying times. Specifically I am unsure of what exactly I will be learning. I think this is a great position to be in…expecting Him, knowing that He will teach me, and not knowing what to change allows me the opportunity to have my whole world rocked. I’m so excited to see what He does! I always need prayers of soft-heartedness. I often struggle when I’m overwhelmed to remain smiling and vulnerable…I shut down. I would like prayers for being soft-hearted please :) The Bible verse that keeps me going is, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10  as well as “God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power, a spirit of love.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Hannah Webb

I’m 22, studying cellular biology right now but I’m graduating to go on to cancer research after grad school. I expect to learn how to serve God through my actions in Cambodia and to do His will, whatever that may be. I would ask that people pray for God’s will to be shown to us so that each of us fulfills a purpose and helps in all ways that we are able to the people in Cambodia. My favorite verse is all of Psalm 139.

Bryan Halferty

I'm the college pastor at Mercer Creek Church and I'm 30. I expect God to teach me how to grow in leadership and child-like faith. Please pray that through God’s grace, our team is transformed and transforms. My favorite scriptures are all of Romans 8...and every other verse too...

Kandice Halferty

I am 30 years old and I studied photography. I expect God to teach me to trust and have an open heart. I need prayer because I'm a super anxious flier and for being away from my sweet 23 month old, Zoey. "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, You of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?’ or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew6:25-34

Gretchen Morgan

I'm 20 and I'm studying cosmetology at Bluestone Academy. I expect to be completely humbled by this experience. I think often times we go into a situation expecting to minister to others and more often than not, I've found I'm the one being ministered to. Please pray that we will all go in with humble hearts ready to serve God and not ourselves. I pray that we'll all be able to make it about Him, and not us. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:2-8

Kathie Milligan

I'm 61, yeah! I have taught and directed the Christian Missionary Alliance pre-school for about 9 years, taught 1st and 4th grade in an Alliance School in Indonesia, and I have recently retired from teaching kindergarten in the Ellensburg School District. I am hoping that God will teach me to see people through His eyes and love them with His heart in practical ways. I hope to recognize the Holy Spirit’s promptings and to listen and obey. I would appreciate prayer for the long trip on the plane, for safe travel around Thailand and Cambodia, and for the strength to work in a very hot and humid place. I desire prayer for effectively living out the love of Jesus and heart of prayer for a nation that needs Christ's love and healing. "He is before all things and in Him, all things hold together!" Colossians 1:17. Daily, moment by moment, placing Christ first! I am also excited to see Anna and to encourage the Khmer staff!

Mike Milligan

My name is Mike Milligan and I am a recently retired elementary school teacher. I am currently a substitute teacher in the Ellensburg School District. Also, I teach fly fishing and guide for Red's Fly Shop. I would love to have God teach me the practice of relying on Him, resting in His presence and listening for His still, small voice for guidance and direction. Please pray that my heart would burn more for His people around the world and for the unfinished work He has called us to. One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 10:15, "How precious are the feet of those who bring good news."

Carrie Arnold

I'm 23and I'm a hairstylist. I expect God to teach me A WHOLE LOT! I'm going into this with an open heart knowing that God is going to teach me something more amazing than I could ever expect. Please pray for travel fears, good health, and many opportunities. "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Caleb Kim

I'm 20 and I studied Philosophy/Religious Studies. I expect God to teach me how to love Him and others better. Please pray for opportunities to share the Gospel, be a light unto Cambodia, rep the King always, and be the hands and feet of Christ. My favorite scripture is the book of Romans...because it is wholly dogmatic, completely Gospel-centered, and philosophically/theologically challenging.

Emily Shuttleworth

I am 22 years old majoring in psychology with a minor in social services. I expect God to show me a different perspective of His love and grace. I expect to see our world from a different perspective and be humble by what I have been given by being born in the USA. I am not sure of what God will do with this trip but I will be expectant and allow God to work in all of the lives involved in this trip. I would love if people would pray that I am able to put my fears to the back of my mind and really allow God to work in me and through me on this trip. Please pray that if God puts an opportunity in front of me that I will not shy away, but will meet it head on for God's glory. One of my favorite verses is "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 This verse gives me so much hope for the future and it just reminds me that God has great plans for me (and you). Even we do not know the plans God knows them and He wants you to prosper and grow. I just find this verse so encouraging. 

Megan Linder

I’m 21 and I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist. I expect God to teach me to learn and adapt to a different culture. I ask for prayer to get to know my team on a more personal level and that I keep my mind off of home distractions when we head out. Music is my soul, so my favorite verse is, “The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places…” Habakkuk 3:19 

Katrina Fultz

I am 21 and I work full time as a receptionist at a local Vision Clinic. To be honest, I’m just ready for GOD! The way He works is so unpredictable and spontaneous. When He speaks, things happen. When He moves, people change. And that's what I expect, that God EXPLODES this trip with His love, power, and strength. I pray for a heart that is ready to jump in faith and an encouraging and comforting mind. Isaiah 58:7-14. Let us love the unloved...

Missy Newman

I’m23 and I’m a Broad Area Music Education Sr. (aka I'm getting certified to teach K-12 orchestra, band, choir and general music but want to go into missions) I work as a piano teacher and am a lab technician with Center for Disability Services. I need to learn how to let go, be still, and know He is God, trusting Him with the reigns of my life. I'm hoping I'll also find a bit more direction for my life after college too. But really, God's just going to teach me what He wants, and I'm totally fine with that. :) I would love prayer that my heart would be humbled, challenged, submissive, and broken for my team and the people I meet, learning to love through God better and that I would get out of my own way and not be distracted by thinking about things from back home. Favorite verses... “Be my Rock of Refuge, to which I can always go, give the command to save me for You are my Rock and my Fortress.” Psalm 71:3 Also! By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 And! 1 John 4:7-21 :)

Krista LaComb

I’m 21 and a Sociology Major, Non Profit Administration Minor. I want my selfish desires and wants to be broken and God to teach me how to serve with my whole heart. That we as His children, can truly serve His people, as he desires us to. Please pray for safety, that we would all have a clear mind each day, that God’s will would be done, that we would let go of any worries or anxieties that we are holding onto, and definitely for the Khmer people's hearts, that they would come to know Christ. "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12:9-13

Bryce Toney

I’m a junior majoring in Recreation and Tourism. I am looking to make a real difference on this trip, love those who haven’t known Christ’s love and help those who really need our help. My favorite bible verse is Matthew 17:20 “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Kasey Channita

I’m 19 majoring in Religion with a Biblical Studies specialization. I expect God to teach me to be a servant and recognize each person, no matter his or her background, as someone that Christ died for. God sent His Son to die for them, we should be able to share Christ’s love with them. I also expect God to just completely destroys our pre-conceived ideas of what we think we can do for His kingdom. He is so much more than we could ever imagine and He is able to do far more than our minds could even grasp. I ask that you please pray for safety for the duration of the trip and that God shows each of us something that we have never seen before. Pray that we are able to do all that God asks of us. “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:35-38

Luda Udodik

I am 23 majoring in Piano performance/teach & accompany. I expect God to teach me to learn, grow, and be useful. Please pray that we go into this humble and gracious; that we are open minded to seeing and learning what God intends us to, regardless of any preconceived expectations; and that we may be a blessing. "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?"  Psalm 8:3-4

Kuang Ko

I'm 24 and I studied Biology. I am currently working as an NAC and an RA. In Cambodia I hope God teaches me true humility. I pray that He helps me to grow further in my faith which will help keep me on the path in pursuit of Him. Please pray that I don't forget that we are not individuals but a whole. Pray that we have the ability to balance both the desire to help others while continuously climbing to grow in our own faiths. I pray that God allows connection with the people of Cambodia and that we, as a team, are able to share the Gospel so genuinely and faithfully. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." Philemon 2:3-5

Kjersti Hanson

I’m 21 (almost 22 on the 18th:)) majoring in Elementary Education with a literacy minor. I expect God to teach me patience, understanding, and trust. Please pray for health, nerves, that what we do glorifies Him. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.” Colossians 3:17

Day One: Travel

Out of the Fish