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Why a Year with YAGM

Joom Reup Sool! That is how you say hello in Khmer, the local language of Cambodia, where I will be moving this August for one year. I have been appointed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to serve as a volunteer in the ELCA Young Adults in Global Missions Program. I will be living in Cambodia for one year, in the new and growing Lutheran Church community in Kruos (sometimes spelled "Krus") Village.

Making the decision to quit my job and leave my family and friends for a year was not easy. But I know that I have been especially blessed in my life, and something has been stirring within me for a long time telling me that it was time to give back to the world that has given me so much. When the YAGM program just sort of fell in front of me, it felt like exactly the type of opportunity my soul craved - the chance to live and work intentionally with a community for an extended period of time in which I can make a tangible difference while learning and growing alongside my community.

I will be living and working at the Kruos Village Church with the Lutheran Church in Cambodia. It is the original congregation of this young church (2010) and has an incredibly vibrant ministry that includes: a feeding program for local children and shut-ins, a sustainable agriculture program for community income generation, English and computer classes for children, and three worship services on Sundays. I will be serving with these various programs along with finding my own niche/ministry there, as well as most likely teaching a few English classes at the local school. The village is located in the western portion of Kampong Chhnang province, roughly 88 km (55 mi) north and slightly west of Phnom Penh. I will be living on-site at the church where the pastor (Pastor Mose - how cool that we have almost the same name?!) and his family also live.

I want to make sure you can all get involved with my journey - I'll miss everyone at home immensely and want to be sure I can keep in touch.

1) Follow me here, at www.moesgoes.com. This is my personal blog and travel website. While I am not 100% sure of my internet availability in Cambodia, I will try to update my blog regularly and post pictures as often as possible! There is also a lot more information here about why I'm choosing to get involved with YAGM, and more information about YAGM in general. 2) Sign up for my newsletter here or by emailing me at jessica.moes@gmail.com. I will be sending at least 5 email newsletters with more in-depth information about my site placement, the work I'm a part of, and the people I will be living with.

3) Send me emails, notes of encouragement, and pray for me. Unfortunately, it seems pretty likely that I will be unable to receive letters or packages while I am in Cambodia. Please send me pictures, notes, hopes and prayers electronically! Again, my email address is jessica.moes@gmail.com.

4) Support me financially - sponsor a day of my year in Cambodia for just $25! It's always especially humbling to have to ask people for financial support, but if you are able to give even a small amount to help me get to Cambodia, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance for all your support on this journey!

#cambodia #yagm

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