The Spirit of Love

“For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  ~  Hebrews 13:5  ~

God always protects. He always provides.

He knows everything that happens in our lives – the good and the bad – and He can use both for His glory.

On September 22nd, around 8pm, two thieves broke into the volunteer house belonging to Jive, Gemma, and Donna.

Nearly every night for a couple of weeks preceding the 22nd, the volunteers who live up at the volunteer housing section were reporting attempted break-ins – even when the occupants of the houses were at home.

On September 22nd, Jive and Gemma had gone to prayer meeting. Donna was at home feeling sick and with Donna still in the house the thieves came in and stole a laptop, a camera and all of Jive’s identification papers including her passport.

We praise and thank God that Donna was not hurt and that more things were not taken. As of yet the documents have not been recovered.

When something like this happens our first reaction tends to be feelings of anger. We feel violated and want to catch the perpetrator and make sure they can never do that again. These are feelings that all of us here experienced in the wake of the break-in. There was talk of setting a trap to try to catch the thieves so that we could bring them to justice and get back the stolen items. When bad things happen to us our first thoughts are often of ourselves; of how we have been wronged.

We discovered last night in prayer meeting that God had been working on all of our hearts to bring about the same change.

In Sabbath School today we were studying about the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. We read in the Gospel of Luke where the Pharisees come to Jesus and tell Him to make the people be quiet; to make them stop singing and praising. Jesus answers that if the people were to stop singing and praising, that the stones themselves would cry out. (Luke 19:40) In the next verse we read that Jesus began weeping. Why was He weeping? Because the Pharisees were not respecting Him as they should? No! But because when the leaders of the Jews rejected Jesus they were rejecting God, rejecting His mercy and because of that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, and many Jews would die and be lost.

When the Pharisees rejected Jesus, His first thoughts were not about Himself. He did not think of the dishonor that had been shown to Him or the wrong that had been done to Him. He saw the bigger picture. He saw the Jews. He saw us. And He wept for those who would reject Him and be lost. This is the Spirit of Love.

The change that Jesus wrought in our hearts as we continued the 10 days of prayer was that instead of looking at how we had been wronged, we began to have a desire, a care for the souls of the thieves. Instead of just praying for the stolen items to be returned, we began praying for the salvation of the thieves and that God would use this situation for His glory and that we would learn from it the lessons that God wants to teach us to refine our characters.

Gemma, Donna, and Jive

Gemma, Donna, and Jive

Please join us in praying for the two thieves, for the return of the identification papers and God’s continued protection over this place. Please pray for Jive and that God will show her the way forward from here. We know that God is still in control and that He will continue to provide our every need. We want His will to be done and glory be brought to His name.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”  ~  2 Timothy 1:7  ~

The Privilege of Prayer

      “The strength… of individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.”  ~  Ed 175.2  ~

We’ve been having ten days of prayer. Today is day 10. Even though I grew up in the church, I’ve never attended a prayer meeting before! I’ve attended Bible studies, seminars, and evangelistic programs but never a prayer meeting.

About six weeks ago we had some member of the Vietnamese Underground Seventh Day Adventist Church come to Wat Preah Yesu during the holidays to do some Bible training. I was greatly impressed by their love for God, their zeal to witness and their passion for prayer. I was ashamed at how little I prayed compared to them and I put their zeal, passion and love for God down to their communion time with Him. I wanted to be faithful like them. I wanted to have a relationship with God like I saw they had.
I had already been trying to build up my private devotional time. I had already experienced what happens when my private devotional time was neglected and I was beginning to understand that I NEED time with God to have His STRENGTH otherwise I cannot overcome sin and self nor serve Him fully.

Observing the Underground Church members I was convicted that I also needed to learn to pray… To really pray and commune with God. So I began to try to pray more often and longer. God woke me up early each morning to talk to Him. I was so afraid that I would be so tired during the day that I wouldn’t be able to be an effective teacher but I really wanted to spend the time with God, and praise God, He has given me the strength each day to teach and do all the other tasks that I have. I feel tired sometimes, but not exhausted like I often felt last year… Yet I am getting less sleep!

Then the 10 days of prayer began and I determined that I would go to the prayer meetings. God worked it out that the times for the prayer meetings was when I had a free moment most days. I have missed a couple. But I have been so blessed by praying with the other staff and students who have attended. I have felt God’s Spirit with us like I’ve never felt it before. I have learned so much about prayer and worship. I have seen myself more clearly than ever before, and I feel more keenly the need for a closer walk with Christ.
I read in Steps to Christ page 98, “Whenever it is possible, let us be where people are praying. If we really want a close walk with God, we will go to prayer meeting. We will be eager to receive spiritual blessings. We will place ourselves where we can receive the rays of light from heaven.”
I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray together. To hold prayer meetings or 10 days of prayer. It is our privilege to pray to God. Let us not neglect this most important duty!

This 10 days that we are having now is actually the 4th 10 days of prayer that we have held this year. And I can testify that when God’s people pray, He hears and He works. Since we began our prayer meetings God has moved on peoples hearts. He has opened doors for witnessing and His transforming power has been working in our lives. Differences have been put aside. Love has replaced jealousy and separation.

Since I began trying to pray God has worked in my life even when I didn’t realize it was His doing. One example was my beloved horse, Ace. I felt impressed that it was time to sort out what I was going to do with my horse who was still at my family’s place in Australia. They have been faithfully taking care of him for the past 2 and a half years. I didn’t want to have him being a burden on them. So I casually put him up for sale not really thinking that he would sell… at least not very quickly given the horse market is not the best at the moment. Well within one week I had received many queries about him and he had gone to someone for a two week trial period. The trial period ended and they kept him. Ace has the best home that I could have wanted for him, and I thank God for providing them for him. But I didn’t realize just how much God had provided until 2 weeks later when my family suddenly moved house to a place where they can’t have horses. God had provided in such a way that I wasn’t suddenly presented with the fact that I’d have to rehome Ace. He knew that if selling Ace was my idea that I’d have so much more peace about it than if I’d felt forced to do it! This is just one example of a “God Thing” that has happened in my life recently.
I know God wants to do “God Things” in all His children’s lives. I pray that we will all let Him work in ways that haven’t been seen before. He wants to pour out His Holy Spirit on us in latter rain measure. Let us pray for that so that the work may finish and we can all go home.ACEYBABYMay you all be abundantly blessed this Sabbath Day.

Hello world!

I’d like to start off by sharing something I read out of the book Steps To Christ by Ellen G. White.

“And He said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” ~ Mark 4:26-27 ~

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 ~

“God gives life, and then He makes things grow. He makes the flowers bloom and the fruit grow from the flowers. By His power seeds form in the fruit…

The plants grow only by receiving what God gives them. They do not take care of themselves or worry or work. A child cannot make himself taller by his own power or by worrying. Neither can we grow in our spiritual life by worrying or working in our own strength.

The plant and the child grow by receiving what they need – air, sunshine, and food. As these gifts of nature meet the needs of plants and animals, so Christ also meets the needs of those who trust in Him…

The flower turns to the sun to receive its bright rays. The light helps the flower become beautiful and perfect. So we should turn to Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. Heaven’s light will then shine upon us, and our characters will grow into His likeness.” ~ STC 66,67 Growing Up Into Christ ~

As we look at nature we see that by simply receiving what God gives it grows and flourishes. Equally we see that if a plant or animal is deprived of any of the basic needs that is withers and dies.

When we allow God to feed our spiritual man – by focusing on Him, our Creator and Life-giver – We will grow as simply as do the plants and animals in nature. How do we do this? We can’t work to make ourselves grow spiritually. We can’t do anything except choose… Choose God. Choose Jesus. Choose to be His every day. Choose to read the Bible. Choose to pray, to talk to Him, to get to KNOW Him. By placing ourselves under His care we allow Christ to provide us with the Holy Spirit and everything that we need to grow spiritually. By beholding we will become changed.

I want this. I want to be changed. I want to grow like a beautiful, fruitful tree for Christ. I pray that we will all allow Christ to work in us to grow us up into Christ.

In this blog I hope to share the things that God is doing here in Cambodia in my life, at Wat Preah Yesu Orphanage (WPY), Cambodia Adventist School – Kantrok (CAS-K) and Cambodia in general.

At the moment we are in our third week of the new school year. The school year runs from September to July. Our school has close on 400 students and classes from kindergarten to grade 12. This year we are implementing a new curriculum based on the True Education model. We teach the core curriculum subjects – English, Math, Sciences, Geography, and History – As well as run a work-study program with many extra-curriculum subjects such as music, agriculture, mechanics, textiles and sewing, hospitality, and teachers training. The grade 11 and 12s are the ones who are participating most in the work-study program. They also study the LIGHT (Lay Institute for Global Health Training) course which gives them many practical health knowledge and treatment skills. This enables them to be medical missionaries to their own people – which I have discovered is about the most effective way to share Jesus with the Cambodian people. Here is the address for the LIGHT Website

We encourage all students to get as much education and further education such as university but we recognize that not all will have that opportunity. Therefore we aim to give them an education that will enable them to be useful citizens as soon as they finish school.

We have many wonderful teachers in the school. There are in total over 30 Khmer and Foreign teachers. The Khmer teachers primarily teach the lower school, while the volunteer teachers teach primarily the upper school. I teach Bible 10, Geography 8, Geography 7, and English 7 as well as act as co-dean for the girls dormitory.

Our current volunteer teachers this year includes teachers from the Philippines, Germany, England, America and Australia. I myself am currently learning to speak American…

Laura Caulkins from Washington State, America is my co-dean and wonderful friend. I will introduce you to all the volunteers in subsequent posts. This picture is of Laura and I with our dorm girls from last year. We have a few new girls in the dorm this year. Hopefully I’ll get an updated photo soon.

Laura and I with our dorm girls

Laura and I with our dorm girls – school year 2012-13

We hope by God’s grace to share Jesus with all the Cambodian people and especially with our students that they too may ‘grow up’ into Christ Jesus.

There’s much more to share and I hope you’ll all join me on this journey that God has called me to.

God bless and may your name remain in the Lamb’s book of Life.

~ 2 Peter 3:18 ~