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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kenyon

September 2019

We have been back in Cambodia for 3 months now, following our support raising trip to England, California and North Carolina in April/May. We loved getting to see many of you and having opportunities to share the dreams God has given us for Cambodia, and the amazing things we get to be part of here. It was a special time for us being able to introduce Tonlé to family and friends, and our 'home' countries. While we were traveling we asked many of you to pray with us for a good childcare solution, so we could both have more time to focus on ministry here, while knowing Tonlé is well cared for. An answered prayer is that we now have been able to hire a lovely Cambodian lady called Nee (pictured below) who looks after Tonlé 5 afternoons a week + 1 evening (when we have a date night). Tonlé is a joy, he is now 11 months old, full of giggles, speed-crawling everywhere and almost walking. At the end of September we are heading to Malaysia for a conference, plus a few extra days to rest. Our Church here Kingdomcity Church, is a plant from a Malaysian Church, and so many of our Church friends, including 125 Cambodians and most of the Hard Places team are heading to the conference together. Life here is full paced and can be draining, so we are excited to have a time of spiritual refreshment, and a break away to recharge.


We don't receive salaries from the Restaurant, Art Ministry or Hard Places Community. All our living costs are generously donated by churches and individuals who partner with us. During our time in England and America one of our main focuses was to speak about our ministries here in Phnom Penh, with churches and individuals, hoping that we would meet people who wanted to partner with us financially, in prayer, and become part of our teams here. The past year some of our supporters have ended their giving cycle. Our financial needs increased a little because of the blessing of adding Tonlé to our family, meaning we need additional monthly money for health insurance, childcare etc. We are so encouraged to have new people as part of our support team. We are very thankful to all of our supporters, past and present, those who give finances, those who pray and those who encourage us. THANK YOU! We couldn't be here without your partnership. We are constantly in awe of God's provision. Every time we need finances we receive just what we need. For a recent testimony of God's faithful and perfectly timed provision, just when we needed it, please read this post on our Facebook page. When things like this happen we remember that God is with us, He see's us, and goes ahead of our every need. For our British supporters: While we were in England we were able to set up a Stewardship account. So if you would like to give through Stewardship please see the link at the bottom of the email.



It has been hard to build consistent relationships with the adults in the community. A lot of them sit around playing gambling games, drinking and are very burdened by their situation. Many of the kids who come to the Hard Places kid's clubs in the mornings are not in school because the families don't have money to pay school fees (or gamble/drink away the money they do have).


Create jobs, to help adults earn money to support their families. We are planning/dreaming/praying about starting a small creative business, employing local women, and men, who would like to be trained as artisans and designers. Our aim is to raise up local creatives (not to produce foreigner's designs, but to see Cambodians empowered to have creative new ideas), build relationships, and be able to share the love of Jesus with people and help them walk free from strongholds into their true identity as sons and daughters of God.


- More staff to join the team. We are hoping to recruit at least 1 more Cambodian staff member, as well as 1 or more creative ex-pat volunteers. Emma would love more people to come and join her and be part of this ministry.

- Initial start-up finances and/or donations of materials, and sewing machines so we can start training people and creating commercial products.

- The right adults who want to be employed and learn creative skills. We have been doing outreach and building relationships, there are many who say they want work :-)


We are so proud of the restaurant guys, they did an incredible job during the time we were away. The high standards of service and food continued to impress customers, and generate rave reviews. April-June was a challenging time for businesses in Phnom Penh as the government cut off the power for hours each day during hot season. Century 9 had to buy a generator and spend a lot on gasoline to keep the kitchen equipment and air-con running. Many people left Cambodia during this time to get out of the heat, so customers were fewer, which has impacted finances, and tested the faith of the Khmer leaders. We know God was so clearly guiding the start-up of Century 9 so we continue trust Him to lead the team, grow our young men deeper, provide customers, and sustain the business. Schools are back now which means lots of families have returned and business is really busy again.

Since we got back Michael has been focusing on discipleship with staff, some training with newer kitchen staff, and marketing strategies for the restaurant. We have quite a few new staff and we are already seeing God move in there lives. We had a young guy come to us a few months ago from a small village and he was in need of an opportunity. He had just come to the city and was starting down the road of drugs, partying, and had people influencing him toward the male brothles here in Phnom Penh. We took him in and he has not only become one of our best chefs but the last 3 weeks he has made the choice on his own to join us at church. He has quickly become part of our family. He is not a christian yet but it's pretty evident that God is up to something. Please pray with us for this young man as we believe there is amazing things in his future.

Michael and the Khmer leaders are also pursuing some exciting new opportunities to expand. Century 9 leaders were approached by one of the biggest language schools in Phnom Penh, wanting to open a cafe in their new building to go along with their co-working spaces and conference rooms. We are so excited and feel like the Lord is definitely in it. Not only will this project expand the business but we will have space for another 20 to 30 young Khmer men needing an opportunity to walk a new path in life. We are currently planning, praying, and moving forward with this project. Please pray for wisdom and finances as Michael and the team continue to walk out this new opportunity.

Finances Needed for The New Century 9 project - $25,000/£20,000

This could seem like a crazy amount to raise, but God amazed us with how we received funds needed to open the 1st Century 9, so we believe that where God leads us He will provide.

In November Michael, and Sothea, the head chef from Century 9, will be heading to Redding California to cook for a fundraising dinner, Dine Against Darkness. This annual event raises money for The Hard Places Community as a whole. They also plan to do some additional fundraising dinners to raise money specifically for Century 9.

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