It’s hard to believe but its true; the Cottle family has served with World Team Cambodia for seventeen years. We recall the day we made the decision to serve and communicated to our family and friends in May 1999. We also remember the day we boarded the plane with tear filled eyes; both hands filled with carry-ons, and “Grandma grapes” (as Moriah used to call her) monkey bread to begin a new chapter in life. Little did we know at the time the path and adventures we would experience.
Over the last seventeen years with World Team, God has taught us many lessons. Although some of them very hard at the time, we wouldn’t trade the benefit in for an easier path (well, to be honest, we would probably trade a few in for easier times). During this time God allowed us to participate in a variety of ministries which gave us not only the opportunity to take the gospel to the nations and minister to the poor but to grow as a family and followers of Christ. Each event, victory, every turn in the road and struggle afforded us the chance for introspection, a moment to grow, be better equipped and to see God’s grace more clearly. We are thankful for His faithfulness and endless love.
Although we have enjoyed our time in Cambodia and grateful for the life-changing experience, we have come to the decision that it’s time for us to move on. In June 2018 we will bring to a close our time in Cambodia and return to the United States to begin a new chapter in the same journey. This decision has not been easy but has been under consideration with wise counsel, prayer, and discussion as a family. There is sadness in leaving but also anticipation in what is before us. Living in Asia for so long makes this is a big change for us with some uncertainties but we trust God will guide our steps and direct us as He has done so many times before. We’re moving on but not out………
So what are we going to do? That is a reasonable question. Let us briefly provide a big picture explanation of our new role in this update and then we will post again in a few days a more detailed explanation. In a nutshell, World Team has asked us to continue serving in a leadership capacity. The primary responsibility will be two-fold; mentoring-development of emerging and current leaders within World Team, and to develop materials helping future and current missionaries in their work. In addition to these responsibilities, James will provide leadership to one of Asia’s ministry locations working among two minority groups and finally, James will remain as one of the management leaders of a new ministry arm of World Team which seeks to serve among isolated peoples (More on this in the next update).
The leadership of World Team has affirmed us in this ministry change and views this as an opportunity to further use our gifts and experience to accomplish the mission of establishing communities of believers among the unreached people. We too are excited about this as we see this in line with one of our favorite passages where Paul is describing the role of leadership in Ephesians 4: 12. “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ”. Although we do not count ourselves as experts we feel this opportunity utilizes our gifting and passion to prepare others or the great work of spreading the gospel. We trust that you see the strategic nature of this ministry and will consider continuing your prayer and financial support.
We want to thank each of you for your friendship, support, and prayers. We realize more than ever how God has designed the body of Christ to join together to fulfill the Great Commission. The ministries we’ve been a part of would not have been possible without your participation.
- For us as we begin the process of closing down our house
- That we would leave well the work that has been our hearts for these many years
- For our kids as they process the change and say goodbye to their friends and life in Cambodia
- For details in the States that still need to be worked out for our return
- For energy and focus to run our last miles with clarity and commitment
- That our time with fellow-workers and Khmer believers will be a time of encouragement for all
Paul wrote in Philippines 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This is our confidence for our fellow-workers, the expanding church in Asia, for the Asian believers and for ourselves as we make this transition. God will complete what He has started.
We invite your comments and questions. Post them to this blog or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org