In and around the small village of Sobhan, Dar and I work with a growing group of committed Cambodians to offer hope and real opportunities to poor and desperate people who are struggling to live from day to day.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Change is coming, sort of . . .

In the last 22 years, Dar and I have boarded an airplane to leave Cambodia many times. Each time, we knew we’d soon be back to carry on the relationships and activities that God had placed us in.

Tonight, five minutes before midnight, we’ll leave Cambodia with slightly different plans.

Darlene and I will make America our primary residence.

We will get to establish new friendships, enjoy our families, children and grandchildren. We will find and fellowship with a new church family. We will move to place we’ve never lived previously - Cape Coral, Florida. When we first visited that area a couple years ago, we were amazed at the similarities with our long experiences in southeast Asia, at least in terms of weather and environment. We expect we will fit in quite well.

But are we really leaving Cambodia, the village of Sobhan, the staff and children at Jumpah?


We will continue to equip, train, motivate and encourage a growing team to strengthen their relationships with each other, with God, and with their neighbors.

In America, we will tell more people about what God is doing through the lives and actions of Jumpah. We will encourage new and existing friends to pray, to give and to volunteer their time and skills.

We will travel to Cambodia a couple times per year, hopefully with some of you — volunteers with skills in business, wood working, gardening, or some other expertise needed by Jumpah. We will provide training and support that will enable Jumpah staff to meet the needs of poor, rural families.

Basically, life and ministry for Jumpah will continue without missing a beat.

Children who lost their parents to the impact of the HIV virus are part of a loving family. Village families with issues of domestic violence, alcoholism, disease, and poverty receive opportunities to turn their situations around. Men and women with very little hope receive vocational training and, even more important, a job that provides money. Ultimately, that is the key ingredient that fuels real hope… A hope that will begin to slowly transform the life of the individual and the family.

Jumpah serves neighbors in the name of Jesus, because Jesus first loved and served us.

Finances have been a real challenge this year. Giving by the many friends of Jumpah has dropped rather significantly. At the same time, Jumpah has implemented a plan that will help…but it will take a while to be effective.

Social enterprises will provide jobs for more rural Cambodians and provide income to Jumpah, income that will reduce the requirement for outside funding.

The Jumpah School, the Farm and Demonstration Center, the Wood Shop, and the Wood & Things retail store in Phnom Penh are all in the startup phase of businesses. All of these businesses require financial investment and skilled volunteers to become profitable.

As I hit the button to post this update on the blog, I will also publish the link to our long overdue update to the Jumpah website. In addition, you can follow our social enterprise activities on Facebook. And you can now donate online - easily, quickly and securely.  (this address is temporary)  (online giving)

Please continue to support Jumpah. View the sites above and share the links with friends.

Together, we can continue to offer Hope and Opportunity to families who currently have very little of either.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jumpah needs you. We always have. We always will.

Together, for 20 years, we’ve extended love and compassion to so many desperate people.

In the beginning our actions provided a measure of comfort and extended life (a bit) for moms and dads suffering from the impact of HIV-AIDS. Your support enabled Jumpah to provide daily support and to build simple but beautiful, small homes for so many families.

When parents died, Jumpah welcomed the surviving children (some of them also desperately sick) into a loving, growing, Cambodian family. Again, your support purchased land, built homes, trained and hired staff, and cared for surviving children.

In the beginning, we developed relationships with very poor families in the village and provided some with simple jobs. One man who was first to be helped is now the village leader. Another lady is currently cooking meals at Garden of Joy. Your partnership with Jumpah made it all happen.

In the beginning, Jumpah reached out to the the sick, the unwanted, the handicapped, the poor, the helpless. We did it all because Jesus loves us and we wanted to pass that love on to other people in actions and in words.

Jumpah needs you. We always have. We always will.

Today, Jumpah people and programs continue to extend the same love and compassion to our neighbors…

…But there is a difference - now our love and compassion can do much more than extend life, provide a measure of comfort, bring temporary relief to overwhelming circumstances, or provide surgery to a very sick person.

Now, your continued support provides genuine hope and real opportunities for individuals and families to break out of poverty and improve their quality of life.

Most of you know how we are doing that. Here are a couple reminders.

Improving health— modeling a healthier lifestyle to our neighbours, teaching hygiene practices to children in community, offering occasional health seminars to villagers.

Providing education— opened a private school for village children (pre school through grade 6) that is becoming self sustaining through mandatory school fees.

Vocational training and Job creation— providing training in agriculture, wood working, teaching and small business. That is then followed by hiring some to work full time with Jumpah activities.

Agriculture assistance— developing a small farm that we hope will become profitable and eventually offer a model for farmers and other groups to follow.

Family support— through normal relationships with people in surrounding villages, our staff are finding opportunities to counsel, support and help families with needs.

Your support makes sure that these activities continue and lives continue to be changed.

Jumpah needs you. We always have. We always will.

Today, the Jumpah account at Mountain View Community Church is extremely low. Actually, I believe it is an historic low. Under $1,000 low. In Cambodia, we have enough cash to operate for July and part of August.

Each month, Jumpah requires $11,000 to operate normal activities in Cambodia. This includes all salaries for Cambodian staff, all program expenses, all funds to operate Garden of Joy, and Ratzloff’s allowance. There are no administration charges from MVCC, only small bank fees for money transfers from America to Cambodia.

In addition to the monthly operating costs, Jumpah is currently raising funds for a couple major capital expenditures that will significantly help our AdVenture Cambodia businesses. These funds will require gifts over and above the amount required each month for operating expenses, but they are a one-time gift, not an on-going requirement.

An additional school building with three large classrooms and one teacher resource room will require gifts of $58,000. To date, friends have given about $20,000 toward that opportunity. Jumpah will begin construction as soon as necessary funds are received.

Giving normally lags in the summer, but this summer we desperately hope and pray this trend turns around. Would you be part of making that happen?

As always, checks marked “project Cambodia” can be sent to:
Mountain View Community Church
Project Cambodia
12033 Seattle Hill Road
Snohomish, WA  98296

Here is a relatively new, but simple, quick and secure way to give online.

And if you’d like to follow our progress in establishing small businesses in Cambodia:

I hope you have stayed with us through the rather lengthy letter. And I really hope and pray you will continue to follow and support the people and programs of Jumpah. Together, we will bring hope and opportunity to more and more Cambodians. As we are faithful, we expect to see more people enter the kingdom of God.

Thanks so much for your encouragement, prayers and support — in the past, now and in the future.

Tim Ratzloff

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jumpah people and programs attempt to make our small world a better place.

Our motivation: God loves us and sent his son to serve and die for us. We love God and desire to serve and love our neighbors, pointing them to a God who loves them and wants to be a part of their lives.

Here's some of what we try to do:

- Care for children at Garden of Joy orphanage and in surrounding villages
- Train adults in a variety of vocational skills
- Teach children
- Change behaviors
- Give girls a positive future
- Protect the environment
- Support families
- Build character
- Instill new and reinforce positive values
- Help people become productive
- Develop a new spirit of cooperation in our communities
- Help villagers to make good decisions
- Develop and build small business that provide income to more families

Sounds simple, but it is not. We grow weary. We lose patience. We wonder about the value of spending so much energy with so few results. We make mistakes and beat ourselves up. We fear making more mistakes.  We focus too much on obstacles, roadblocks, and lack of resources.

But then we are surprised. A child makes a hard but right decision. A village husband stops beating his wife. A young man accepts a job at the wood shop and spends less time with friends who are not positive influences. A teacher rejects a better paying job offer, preferring the joys and rewards of teaching children in rural Cambodia. A family decides to spend money to send their three children to the Jumpah School.

You play a vital role in making this all happen.

Read the blog below to learn how to support Jumpah.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Donations to Jumpah Now Easier and Quicker... 

but still Safe and Secure

Online giving ---

You may now make donations to Jumpah by clicking the link above.

Donations can be made with a Credit Card or via an ACH bank transfer.

Just register your information and your giving options will be securely saved for future donations.

ACH bank transfers do charge a lower processing fee.

All gifts are tax deductible in the United States.

To see how your support changes lives, click here:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A gentle reminder -- bringing Hope and Opportunity to rural Cambodia requires Money

We've experienced the faithfulness of God and the sacrificial commitment of people throughout our 20 years in Cambodia.

The cash balance in the Project Cambodia fund at Mountain View Community Church is at an all-time low (edited--NOW.. end of October). We aren't in panic mode. We have money in Cambodia that will last for about two full months, so we have time to let our friends know and then watch how God prompts some individuals, families and groups to respond. Click here for how you can help.

Here's some of the rewards of your gifts, prayers and encouragement.

Cambodian staff: Jumpah currently employs 27 men and women, and we have openings for three additional team members.

Orphans: Of the many children who lost their parents to the effects of HIV-AIDS, only nine remain at Garden of Joy. What happened? They grew up. Some already completed university and are working. A couple are married. Others are attending university or are working. A couple, unfortunately, we've lost track of. Several are back, but no longer children. They now fill roles of pastor, teacher, farm worker and wood worker.

AdVenture Cambodia establishes social enterprises and creates jobs:

Jumpah School -

Without a doubt, this school is our most exciting and most successful activity, both in terms of growth and in terms of meeting needs in the community we serve. Local schools are not meeting needs. Jumpah currently is registered with the government to operate preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 through 6.

A new school year begins in a week, and we expect at least 130 children from relatively poor rural families to attend. Parents pay $7 per month for each child; scholarship gifts pay the other $84 per year.

We now have started an overflow list for preschool and for kindergarten. If we get enough children registered, we will open two afternoon classes, as well. Obviously, this could require additional teachers and other resources in the coming years.

The former Place of Peace property has been converted to this school. Many moms and dads lost their battles with the effects of HIV-AIDS here, but now some of their children, along with many village children, are growing and learning in a friendly, beautiful, encouraging and safe environment.

Homes for families living with HIV-AIDS ... But now a beautiful school for village children
Preschoolers in their bright and cheerful room, and taught by a great teacher
Already learning to read and write
Self discovery in the library
Teachers and students

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Excited to post after a bit of an absence. Hey, sometimes life gets hectic, daily habits change, and important things are avoided.

Going forward, I still may not post here as often as I'd like, but we've just started a brand new Facebook Page which will provide regular updates.

Jumpah activities have changed as the situation in Cambodia has changed. The crisis brought on by HIV-AIDS, land mines, fighting, orphans and widespread extreme poverty are mostly gone.

Now rural Cambodian families need support, encouragement, training, new ideas, medical advice and jobs -- mostly jobs.

Jumpah continues to raise the children at Garden of Joy who were orphaned when their parents died from the impact of HIV-AIDS. But only nine children remain. Yes, the rest grew up. Some are married, some attend university or are receiving vocational training, and a few have stayed to work with our various activities.

Jumpah also participates in community development activities -- teaching health seminars, counseling families and individuals, offering emergency assistance for those with financial and medical emergencies, providing school scholarships to village children, etc.

Social Enterprises have become a major focus of activities. Small businesses seem to offer the most sustainable model for on-going development. When profitable businesses are established -- offering jobs for rural Cambodians -- economic and social conditions of rural villages improve and families choose to improve their quality of life.

Visit the other pages of this blog to find more information and to see how you can participate in our efforts to make a significant impact - holistically - in the lives of our neighbors in rural Cambodia.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and . . . the Spam?

Thursdays are generally our longest day of the week. We back the truck out of the house before 8:00 am and return after 5:00 pm, sometimes even after dark. I suppose I should also tell you I was up past 1:30 this morning watching the livestream of the Apple Event -- Back to the Mac.

Just outside of town, we encountered more trucks than we've ever seen stopped and blocking traffic in both directions. Coming home, the intersection was similar but less chaotic. Not sure what the problem was, but we could only think of the video we had seen last night on CNN -- Truckers in France. I'm quite sure that wasn't what was happening here. I've never seen that level of organization in our 15 years here.

Anyway, The Good:

We really didn't experience anything "real good" today. So I'll just pick a couple "nice" things.

We found some pretty good quality plywood (made in Cambodia) and the guys in the woodshop began to cut and assemble some shelving units for the children. Dar designed them. Our only real problem this afternoon -- We were told by the saleperson that the plywood's thickness was two centimeters. We cut the pieces accordingly and ended up with about a centimeter gap. That's when we discovered the plywood is actually only 18 millimeters (kind of like America's 2X4s). I guess it's a universal problem that mankind can't resolve. Anyway, with some minor adaptations along the way, our first unit is useable, for sure.

While we were meeting with the leadership team, a truck with a crew of four delivered a couple cement table sets. They are very heavy, can withstand some abuse, and are water proof! Just an hour or so after delivery, they are proving to be a welcome addition to life. When Dar yelled to this group that she was not taking their picture, she got some perplexed responses. She tried to explain her remark in the Cambodian language and got some laughs. Still not sure they understood why she wanted a picture of a 'table,' no matter how 'nice' it is. Anyway, the tables are compliments of the Bribie Team from Australia.

The Bad:

We've had trouble with some of the children's relatives. When kids at Jumpah, previously unwanted, get to an age that is valuable for domestic service, manual labor, and the sex industry, they are suddenly wanted.

One particular combination, a gramma and an aunt of a group of our siblings, have requested that we allow the kids to come home to celebrate various holidays. Ever since our very bad experience a couple years ago when a girl never returned (against her will), we always refuse these requests. We do permit genuine relatives to come visit children here, but they rarely do.

Recently, this particular gramma and aunt have stepped up their requests and expressed interest in 'taking' the children. We are alerting the village leader, neighbors, school teachers, and local police to help us insure the safety of our children and all the children in the village. In Cambodia, powerful people or people with means can make 'deals' with local officials. We are doing what we can, but we urge you to remember the kids before our heavenly father, as well. Thanks.

The Spam:

This probably isn't what you think.

We've been trying to raise pigs for years, as most of you know. Over the past two years, I think, our project activities have had access to artificial insemination. Our local staff weren't so sure about this -- "Oh no," they said. "The boar is better."

Their group view changed quickly when the first sow to be artificially inseminated had 13 piglets. Since then, we have had mixed results with no conclusive evidence that either AI or the boar is better.

So, the discussion came up again this morning. I kept referring to the "spam." After our heated debate, some of the guys went to Dar and asked her why I kept saying, "spam."

Well, I had heard them say "spam" for years. I assumed it was a technical name, either in French or Cambodian, for sperm. Turns out the guys were all trying to say "sperm" but couldn't actually do it, since they don't have that series of consonants and vowels in their language.

We all had a laugh. When I got home, this was the only experience of the day that I thought might fit the end of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."