top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichael Kenyon

Cambodia July 2021

What's happening with us and Cambodia

OUR NEW HOME: We have moved into our new house - Hurray!!. There were many delays due to the Covid-19 situation here but we finally moved on June 10th. We are getting settled and feeling more and more like it's our home. We have some outside space which is great for Tonlé to play, its really quiet with lots of plants. The apartment we moved from had a strict 'no visitors' policy because of Covid, so now we are enjoying being able to have friends over again and the C9 guys over for meals and fun hangouts. We have lots of friends already living on this street, so there are little friends for Tonlé to play with, community for us and Emma has already joined a weekly women's bible study on the street. Moving from a 2 bed apartment to a 4 bedroom house means we have a lot of space to fill, but it's the time of year for moving sales as many people return to their home countries so we have picked up some bargains and had a few pieces of furniture made (which is easy to do here). This week we have been working on setting up the Workshop/Ministry Room used for training sessions and creative workshops, and Emma's little Art Office. Emma will continue with the children's book illustrations and other creative projects she is working on, as-well as starting up some new creative workshops and inner healing art workshops. She would also like new opportunities to train and empower Cambodian's to be creative from our workshop space.

Emma leading an inner healing art session with the Century 9 guys in our new workshop space.

COVID IN CAMBODIA: Cambodia did an impressive job of containing imported Covid cases for almost a year, then the inevitable happened and Covid has been spreading throughout Phnom Penh and Cambodia since February. Many countries are relaxing Covid restrictions, but here it is the 1st wave. We had one very intense lockdown in March where the whole city had many strict regulations. Most of the C9 guys and other Hard Places staff were in 'Red Zones' which meant they were not allowed to leave their homes at all and were even beaten with canes by police if they went out looking for food. It was a difficult few weeks for many here as food and drinking water was hard to come by for us all, especially those stuck in a Red Zone. A few parts of the city are still 'Red zoned' but mostly we can move around freely following Covid precautions. Limited number gatherings are allowed (but churches, schools, gyms etc. etc. are still closed). People who test positive for Covid are sent to a government quarantine centre (by all accounts its similar to a prison!). The vaccination program here has been well organized. Because the Cambodian health care system isn't reliable, and no-one wants to be in a quarantine centre, everyone here is keen to be vaccinated against Covid. Unfortunately we have been hearing many reports of people (without Covid) being turned away from hospitals recently, and several people have died while trying to get a hospital to admit them. Hospitals are so nervous about Covid. Please pray for no emergency medical needs for us during this time.

EXCITING NEWS: Our other big news is that we are expecting a baby! Thank you everyone who has been praying with us for this baby. We had a scan at 12 weeks and everything looked good. The strangely named 'morning sickness' (more like all day and night sickness) has been very unenjoyable and made moving house more challenging but Emma is starting to feel better now. Our baby is due January 3rd 2022. We hope to be able to travel to England for Christmas and to deliver the baby there, then on to USA to see our American family. We really miss our families and haven't seen most of them for over 2 years now. We are looking forward to being able to travel and see all the people we love, and it will be special for Tonlé to spend time with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and get to know them in person instead of through a screen. It will also be good for us to take some furlough time out of Cambodia. Of course travel plans can change a lot when Covid is a factor, but this is what we hope and pray will be able to happen.

Whats Happening at C9


The Century 9 team continue to be so resilient and hard working in-spite of covid restrictions. They were all very effected by the lockdown in March, but came back to work cheerful and eager to be busy again.

Century 9 moved earlier in the year and is now operating out of Hope International Christian School (we plan to send Tonlé to this school when he is old enough in August 2022). This has been a good move as C9 has the contract to do all the school catering, as-well as being allowed to use the large school kitchen to do outside catering and delivery of C9 food. Schools are closed here at the moment (they have only been allowed to open for 6 weeks since March 2020), and right now it is summer break. Hopefully the government will allow children to go back to school in August, but it seems unlikely as Covid cases continue to increase. While they wait for a school full of children to cook for the C9 guys are keeping busy. As well as making lunches for the Hope School staff (during term time) they are doing a weekly BBQ for take-away/delivery. Michael has taught himself and the guys how to make Texas style slow smoked meats and amazing sides in their big smoker. Every week the BBQ sells out, and no wonder because it’s super delicious! The guys have also learnt to be delivery drivers so the food gets hand delivered to customers. You can follow ‘Smokehouse BBQ Cambodia’ on Facebook/instagram to see more and make you hungry! Another reason for you to come and visit Cambodia when travel is easier.

The new C9 location working from the school also provides more time in the week for discipleship; English classes; Team building; Culinary training; Personal development (lead by our teammate Angel) and Therapeutic Arts (lead by Emma). Each of these young men came to C9 following difficult backgrounds, most have not completed their High-School qualifications, so all the opportunities we can offer them are helping them grow in their own identity, in their walk with the Lord, and in skills that will help them in whatever they choose to do in life.

Thank you for your continued prayers for the C9 team, for wisdom for Michael as he leads them and for God to meet all their needs.

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page