In my travels I often meet "women you should know"...and I recently met a couple more!

Ashley and SreyRohm

Ashley McCarthy left Ontario to move to Cambodia ten months ago with her husband Chad and their four kids...all under the age of 6 (yes, you read that right).  Ashley and Chad felt a burden to minister to the Khmer people.  Initially living in Phnom Penh to study language and culture while building relationship, Ashley and Chad have certainly thrown themselves into the metaphorical deep end.

Chad and Ashley with their kids...

We spent the day with Ashley and Chad recently and they took us to see the Teen Challenge women's centre in the outskirts of the city.  You can watch a brief interview here:

Leanne talks with Ashley McCarthy

We also were welcomed into the home of good friends of the McCarthys,  Abraham and SreyRohm.

Ashley and SreyRohm initially met over language learning, as SreyRohm's husband Abraham was the McCarthy's language teacher...but the two women soon discovered that they had so much in common, both young mums, raising little ones.  SreyRohm wanted to learn how to sew and Ashley shared her skills, helping to locate a much needed sewing machine.  The women began to spend afternoons together creating patterns and experimenting with techniques.  As SreyRohm began to create little girl's dresses, jewelry and leather goods, Ashley helped market the products, including selling some to friends back home in Canada.  SreyRohm's skills are proving to be valuable as she helps support her family.  Ashley is quick to point out however the the friendship that they are building is reciprocal.  Ashley is learning Khmer and they often talk "woman to woman".  Ashley feels blessed to have found such a good friend in her first year in a new home.

Completed Sewing Projects

I find their friendship so beautiful...and I am reminded that women will always find bridges to each other: bridges that cross language and culture because we share the common experience of endeavoring to live well, loving our families and communities!

How about you?  How are you building bridges with women in your community?  You might be surprised by the richness these relationships hold.  ZOE Projects encourages you to step outside your comfort zone and see who God would bring into your life!