We’re moving on but not out

cfamilyIt’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……… IMG_4851

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.

Please pray:

  1. For us as we begin the process of closing down our house
  2. That we would leave well the work that has been our hearts for these many years
  3. For our kids as they process the change and say goodbye to their friends and life in Cambodia
  4. For details in the States that still need to be worked out for our return
  5. For energy and focus to run our last miles with clarity and commitment
  6. 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 james.cottle@worldteam.org



The Cottles


Cottle Family Update

June 26th, 1993 two kids got married. Lynette and I celebrated 24 years of marriage. Honestly, I’m not sure how Lynette has put up with me this long but I’m glad she has. I think we were made for each other.

early days

On a recent trip together, we were able to add an extra day to our travels to see the Palace in Beijing and a few Pandas. It just so happens our travel dates were on our anniversary…..so I credit myself for taking Lynette somewhere special on our anniversary.

2017-06-29 08.20.49

Also in June, I had the chance to observe the closing ceremony of Ramadan. This was a great experience and I couldn’t help but think of the verse when Jesus told his disciples “the fields are white and ready for harvest. Some estimate that over 200,000 Muslims filled the streets near the Mosque….I believe it. There were people everywhere.

2017-06-25 09.28.48


School House News

Lynette is teaching at Logos International School and one of her classes is Bible. She has some great things planned for students this year with the goal of helping them interact with God’s Word in practical ways rather than just viewing scripture as a book from the past. One way she is doing this is through using DBS (Discovery Bible Study). After reading a short passage of scripture (1-10 verses) she asked; what does this teach us about God, what does this teach us about man, is there a command to obey or an example to follow, is there a sin to avoid or repent of, and what truth will you apply this week? I have used this approach and we highly recommend it for all ages.

Rachel and Caleb are deep into their studies, making friends and enjoying sports. Rachel is playing High School volleyball and Caleb is playing Middle School basketball. Both of them are involved in Bible studies with other students and continue to grow in their faith. Since Logos is not too far from our house they ride their bikes to school and get to experience the high heat and humidity of Phnom Penh. I, on the other hand, choose to ride the motorcycle.

Area Ministry

I (James) continue to work with three different groups of leaders in Asia focusing on growing in our leadership skills and effectiveness. Each group meets every month to focus on various aspects of leading ourselves and others well. The training is not only about learning or sharpening our skills but also identifying tendencies and defaults that hinder us from serving others well. Starting in November I along with three other trainers will launch the Leadership Cohort. The Cohort will focus on developing emerging leaders throughout World Team. These participants come from South America, Africa, different countries within Europe, and Asia. The goal is to equip them now so they are better prepared to serve in any leadership capacity that God may lead them to.

Since we’re talking about leadership let me share with you a definition of leadership that I  like.  A leader is a person “with God-given capacity and with God-given responsibility who is influencing a specific group of God’s people toward God’s purpose for the group.” Dr. Bobby Clinton

Our well-being

Living in another country (especially a developing one) does bring its physical challenges and we’ve had our share of stomach bugs, viruses, and unexplainable symptoms but since we returned in August 2016 our health has been good and we’ve only encountered the typical illnesses that everyone tends to get. We thank God for good health and the ability to carry out the ministry.

However, we have experienced a decrease in monthly giving as a result of hardships some churches and supporters have had. We are currently averaging a $700 monthly shortage. As of right now, this is manageable but we would like for you to pray that all our needs would be met so that the work can continue.

Finally, we want to thank you for your prayers and support of our family and the ministry. As we enter our seventeenth year of serving in Cambodia we are amazed and thankful for each person, business, and church that has given their resources in order to reach others with the Gospel and establish the church.

Things to pray about:

  1. Moriah (our oldest) is getting married in Dec. We are assisting in the planning of the wedding via Facetime but there is still work to be done
  2. Rachel is taking SATs in October and obviously, she is hoping to do well
  3. That our financial support would stabilize…..and for others to join our support team
  4. I’m working with several teams in order to expand our ministry to Muslims. We need open doors and more workers
  5. I’m preparing my material for the Leadership Cohort….I’m still thinking through what to and what not to present

Thanks you,

The Cottles




Life over the last few months

First, we would like to apologize for not keeping everyone up to date as regularly as we should. It seems that the days are so busy with daily activities and it’s hard to find the time to sit and record all that is happening. We would like to recommend that you connect with us on Facebook if we’re not already “friends”. That format will allow you to see into our lives a bit more frequently.

Grieving dad

No doubt the last 8 months have been difficult for James. Not being able to talk to or hug his dad of 47 years is a new aspect of life that is not welcomed. However, over the last few months, God has given much grace to James and James’ heart is slowly healing. James was back in the States in May for World Team leadership meetings in which James took two extra weeks to visit NC. to spend time with his mom, brother, and sister. This was a special time as the family worked on a memorial garden and placed the ashes under the maple tree like pops wanted.


Graduation and Congratulations 

Lynette was also able to travel to NC and we (proud parents) watched Moriah graduate from Liberty University. Moriah has grown so much in her faith and as an adult during her four-year studies and we wait with joy to see how God uses her to impact the world as a light bearer of the kingdom. We also were present when Moriah was proposed to by Houston Yager on May 6th. We are excited for them both and we praise God for a godly husband for Moriah.

Wedding bells

December 17th, 2017 is the big day. The Cottle family will travel back to the US in two shifts. James will arrive December 2nd and Lynette, Rachel, and Caleb arrive on the 14th. Planning has started via Facetime calls and wedding details are shaping up. It’s going to be an awesome day.

School is out and everyone is moving up

After the cake has settled and the balloons have lost their shape we now have a University graduate (Moriah), a Junior in college (Kailyn), an 11th grader (Rachel) and a 7th grader (Caleb). Lynette is also moving. This past year she taught third grade at Asian Hope International School but will transition to Logos International School to teach Math this coming school year.

Parents in School 

Lynette is one class and a thesis away from graduating with a Masters in Intercultural Education. She plans to complete her studies in May 2018. James is also wrapping up his degree with only five classes to go. He plans to complete his studies by June 2018. Crazy times…all the Cottles are in school.

Ministry across Asia

Since October James has traveled quite a bit to the various countries (Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and East Asia) within Asia to encourage and has taken two trips to America. That’s a lot of miles.

  • The trip in November was to East Asia (sorry, I can’t give you the exact location) to meet with four families who are working among minority groups in not so friendly conditions.
  • The trip in December was to work with three other leaders to lay the groundwork for a new holistic ministry that seeks to enter restricted people groups; some of which are literally living behind barbed wire. Progress has been made but they still have a lot of work to do in the coming months.
  • The trip in January was to Indonesia where James attended the Papua field conference where he led two sessions on working in Honor-Shame cultures.
  •  In March it was back to Papua, Indonesia for annual LEAD meetings. This is when the leaders of Asia gather for mutual encouragement, process ministry plans and grow in our leadership capacity. This was an enjoyable time with 10 leaders.
  • Late April took James to PA. USA for World Team Global Leader meetings then onto NC for two weeks before returning the Cambodia.
  • On June 22nd James & Lynette will fly to East Asia for 11 days. They will visit two teams. They will lead a session on Discovery Bible Study in order to give additional tools to the workers as they seek to start small groups of believers.

Working with leaders

Over the past year, James has been working with three other leaders to create a leadership training process for emerging leaders within World Team. The idea is to identify emerging leaders early and begin developing them over time. Although World Team has done this is various ways in the past, we are trying to be a bit more focused and structured in how this is carried out. The first leadership cohort will be in November of this year. We’re currently in the process of preparing the material for the cohort.

Along with this, James and his Field Directors have been working through various leadership topics over the past 8 months. Topics such as leadership bravery, assessment, vision, planning, why leaders wear so many hats, and a few other relevant topics. All of this is geared to help each of leader grow in leadership capacity.


Finally, this past December James started an online group (Leader Excel) where he invited five emerging leaders to join him in growing in key leadership skills. So far they have discussed the foundation of leadership, vision, how to write a plan, and last month they started a three session topic on Situational Leadership. The time together is proving beneficial for all involved and James loves coaching and learning from these leaders.

Such a joy

We praise God for what He is doing in Asia and for allowing us to participate in establishing the Church. The workers and leaders of Asia that we work alongside are doing an awesome job of ministering in humility, staying connected to the vine (Jesus), promoting the Glory of God above all else and all have a desire to grow in knowledge, attitude, and skill. For James, serving as the Area Director with these missionaries is a joy.

Things you can pray for

  1. For God’s grace as the Cottle family continues to grieve the loss of a husband, dad, a brother, and granddad
  2.   Lynette and James as they continue with their schooling
  3. Moriah and Houston as they step closer towards uniting as one
  4. That the leaders in Asia will continue to grow in character and competency so they can lead well
  5. That the management team for the holistic org we are starting would work well together and that we’ll soon be able to complete all the structural elements of this new org
  6. Asia has three priority ministries, all among Muslims. Pray for more workers.
  7. The Cottle’s monthly support is averaging $600 a month shortage. We need more financial supporters and God’s grace to sustain us

Thanks to each of you who support us financially and prayer. Kingdom work is done through the power of God and in the context of community.

The Cottles



The Goals in 2017

In this update we want to share with you three ministry objectives that we are giving attention to and we’d like for you to join us in praying for them.

Every year World Team leadership asked us to identify what our leadership objectives will be for the year. As you all know, having objectives/goals gives people purpose in their work. It gives direction in how to be and/or achieve God’s glory. Having a clear sense of what your’re trying to accomplish gives focus, which also determines how to use time and how to accept or reject opportunities that come along. Focus is a powerful friend in a busy, high-demand world where many “good things” call for our attention. The objective/goal that people identify for themselves (or company, team, Church, etc…) should represent the most needed step/s to move them forward. If the goal that a person identifies is one that burns deeply within, without question, must be done and will move towards fulfilling the overall vision rather than just a good idea–that is the making of a good goal.

For us, we have three objectives that motivate us and determine how we spend our day, how we spend money, what we pray about and so on. These objectives are to develop leaders around us, grow Muslim ministry in Asia and launch a holistic organization in Asia. These stated three are key areas for us as leaders within the Asia Area. We believe these three objectives help World Team be where they need to be and to fulfill their purpose as a mission.

Develop leaders: We meet monthly with the leaders in the Asia Area to pray for each other, talk about ministry, to learn and encourage each other and to grow in our leadership competencies.We are focused on growing in areas such as vision, planning, team building,  conflict resolution, delegation, and developing other leaders.


Muslim ministry: We launched PRAY GREEN several years ago for the purpose of drawing attention to the great need for more workers in Muslim ministry. Currently we are working in three countries but among 4 different Muslim people groups. Each of these teams need more workers. Hundreds of millions of Muslims live in Asia but the workforce is really small. We would like to see that change.


Holistic Organization: Building relationships and meeting felt needs are two of the simplest ways to introduce people to Christ. However, addressing physical needs is not the only focus. We want to grow the holistic organization to meet the needs of people and point them to their Creator. The holistic organization that we want to develop has one distinctive reason for its creation, and that is to gain access to restricted regions. Some of the world’s unreached people live in isolated situations and religious-sensitive areas therefore one of the only ways to access them is through a development organization. The holistic organization we hope to launch will be able to enter restricted areas–places that many organizations cannot go.


We are looking to make progress in these three areas in 2017 but we realize that we can’t do them alone, in our strength, or without God opening doors. We are asking you to make these three ministry objectives a part of your prayer time.

From Home-Assigment to now….at a Glance

As you all know we were in the States from June 2015 until August 6th 2016. During that time we were able to visit all of our supporting churches and most of the individuals that support this ministry. When we landed in the States we were $1,500 a month below our needed support. So we hit the trail meeting new people and churches that could possibly be interested in joining the ministry in Asia.

Besides traveling to churches, I took a job with a construction company which allowed us to:

  • offset the cost of being in America
  • pay on some college loans
  • buy a car for our eldest & second daughter
  • pay for Caleb’s ear surgeries
  • pay for Moriah’s travel expenses for surgery
  • make some repairs on my parent’s house
  • and we managed to go camping at the beach

Back to 2016. In early February we,  Lynette and James, headed off to Central Asia. Our role was to facilitate Crucial Conversations training for 7 people. We had a great time meeting this team and discussing the importance, roadblocks, and process of navigating hard discussions we so often find ourselves in. This training, in our opinion, is a must for teams. We had an awesome time with this group; working through the material proved helpful yet again for us. We also saw some amazing sights and experienced a little bit of snow.


After leaving Central Asia we headed to South East Asia where Lynette went to Cambodia to participate in a teacher training conference and James went to Thailand to join workers from East Asia. Five days later we were both in Thailand meeting with regional leaders where Lynette co-led a training on how to effectively administer ministry assessments. We enjoyed being reunited with everyone even though it was only for a short time.

At the conclusion of our broad Asia visit we went back in North Carolina where we continued to visit churches and see our financial support go up. Although it took over one year to get our support back up to a healthy level, this time afforded us more family time with my dad. Looking back, the delay in getting back to full support was a real blessing.

While in the States I continued to meet with the Asia leaders online.Each month we discussed Asia plans, progress and spent time growing in leadership skills. Although leading from the States was difficult, I  was encouraged that the leaders I work with are faithful leaders. I am so encouraged because these leaders are leading others…this makes my job easy.

With all our support in we returned to Asia in August 2016 which also marked our 15th year in Cambodia. It doesn’t really feel like fifteen years but this picture is a clear reminder that time has passed by.


Since our return we have been quite busy. Lynette is teaching third grade and has 40 students. She is paired up with another teacher which has been a blessing for both….and the kids too!  Lynette has also been making progress on her Masters courses.She has two more classes and a capstone project and then she’ll be done.  I have been touching base with the leaders and ministries within Asia. Since October, I have flown to Thailand, America, East Asia, and the Philippines and have enjoyed meeting with leaders, teams, and working on ministry strategy.

Situational Leadership training with leaders from Cambodia

One of my priorities is developing other leaders.In early October I co-led a training on Situational Leadership. Just this month a new leadership development group was started (Leader Excel). I meet with these leaders every month to discuss different aspects of leadership with the goal b eing to grow in leadership character and competency.

Today, we, like most everyone else, are gearing up for Christmas Day. Moriah and Kailyn have arrived from the States ( a week ago) and we’re enjoying them being here. It’s like they never left. The Cottle family is taking this time to rest, spend time with each other, attend Christmas meals, musicals, and parties. It is that time of year.

As we get closer to the end of 2016 we are reminded of God’s love, power, provisions, sustaining right hand, protection, and the many ways He has shown Himself faithful. As we turn to 2017, we look forward to the exciting opportunities God will bring our way. We look forward to how God will continue to work in our own lives molding us into His image. We look forward to how God will transform our children and build their faith. We look forward to how the Church in Asia will grow and expand.

Thanks to each of you for the role you play not only in the ministry of Asia but in our very own lives. We realize that your love, prayers and financial giving provide the encouragement we need and the resources required to continue working here in Asia. Thank you.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas,

The Cottles

My Dad’s Birthday

Today, November 30th my dad would turn 73. To a young man/woman in their twenties 73 may seem far off, but anyone that has reached their 40’s will tell you that life goes by very quickly. Like a high speed train. God tells us this too. In several places in the Bible God reminds us that life is like smoke, water vapors, the blooming of a flower, and dew on the ground…..it’s presence is brief.

We should not be overly concerned about how brief the moment is, but rather who will we be and what will we do with that “brief” moment we are given, that should be our focal point. We are made to love God and love others; that is the most power yet simple description of how our life is to be spent. May the sum of our life be focused on these two points.

I have attached a poem which was used for my dad’s eulogy. It doesn’t explain it all but it gives you a sense of who my dad was and how his presence in our lives shaped us kids. The poem was recorded and sent to my dad on September 25th. The poem was my way of acknowledging the influence my dad had on me personally and it was my personal thank you to him for being a great dad. The poem is called There. Click on the word there  above the pic to get the link.



Our heavenly home

Three days after I wrote my last blog sharing how difficult it was leaving my parents to return to Asia I received a phone call from my mom. It was call I knew was coming at some point but one that you can’t really prepare for. The Lord called my dad to his heavenly home in the dawn hours of October 19th. My older brother had stopped by the house that morning on his way to work (as was his custom) and was with my dad and mom during my dad’s last moments.


Two days later I boarded the plane and I arrived at my parent’s home on the 22nd. What I walked into was a home filled with love. Love that was expressed in cards, flowers, food and the presence of family and friends. I also walked into a house that was very different than when I left on August 6th. I would be lying if I told you I was’t expecting my dad to be sitting in his room when I got home. He was supposed to be sitting in the chair asking; “what are you doing son”…a common question he would ask as I walked through his room on way outside.

The following day our family held a life celebration service. It was a time of sweet memories. The words spoken by family and friends were a testimony of the impact our dad had on the lives of many people. It became apparent as we listened to each person at the service and through other encounters that our dad was the same giving, encouraging, a developer of lives, a believer in people, and a thankful person to everyone. These remarks were not a surprise seeing that he was the same with everyone and he didn’t appreciate pretense. What you saw is what you got.

Dad and James in Koh Kong, Cambodia

Now ten days later the family is missing an awesome man. A man that valued impact over praise. A man that would rather give to a need than horde for himself. A man that cared about the mission of God and found great joy in doing his part in seeing the Church established. A man that was excited that his children loved the Lord and were serving Him.

Losing a loved one is hard. It cuts deep into the inter-most part. It’s real pain. I know people (some I work with) that have lost their parents. As hard as you might try to identify with their grief you can’t fully grasp it until you are faced with it yourself. Today, we’re faced with that grief.It hurts. Really hurts. Life is different than it was before. Along with this pain is the truth that our dad (and my mom’s husband) has laid down his treasure at the Lord’s feet. He is worshiping the Father; even now as I write these words. WOW! That truth has never felt so real as it does right now. There are tears mingled with a smile. Moments of hurt followed by an awe that Kenneth Cottle is with God.

Please pray:

1)For my mom as she grieves the lost of her husband and for me, my brother (Wayne) and my sister (Sheila) as we grieve the loss of our dad

2) For the grand kids, other family members and friends as they grieve

3) Please pray for Lynette as she holds down the fort in Cambodia along with Rachel and Caleb

4) Pray for those who were at the life celebration service that don’t know Jesus. That they would reflect on their life and would draw closer to God.