The weather has been rather cool lately, which is a welcome change for some. Unfortunately there’s been some kind of nasty flu bug going around. I think nearly everyone has had it. There was a stage where I was missing nearly ten students from my Grade 7 classes. Most of that seems to be over now, thankfully. There was a blessing in it however, and that was that the Grade 12 students, who have all been studying natural healing using massage and water therapy (among other things) where able to put all their learning to good practice. They were very dedicated in treating all in the orphanage and dormitories who fell ill. It is awesome to see they way they rise to meet each new challenge that comes their way. I praise God for the way He is being manifested and glorified in their lives.
These students also have patients that they are treating in the village and many more are starting to come from farther away to be treated. Some members of our church in a different location have said that they would like to study natural healing remedies so as to be a blessing to their own communities.
In other good news there is a good number of the current Grade 12’s who are looking to continue their education either at PAFCOE (Philippines Amazing Facts Centre of Evangelism) or LIGHT (Lay Institute for Global Health Training) School in the Philippines. Currently we have three girls at LIGHT, Chhorvy, Savorny, and Teav. Their course is almost finished and they will be returning in a month or two. It will be so good to see them again. The goal for the students who choose to go to PAFCOE or LIGHT is to be able to return to Cambodia and teach others what they know, with a focus on teaching Khmer people in their own language. Maybe one day we’ll have a LIGHT school here in Cambodia. Please pray for the Grade 12 students as they reach the half-way point of their last year at school. Pray that they will trust God with their future, that His will be done in their lives, and that they may be used to glorify Him here in Cambodia.
The Grade 11’s have been working very hard on many projects as part of their LIGHT/Grade 12 course, and not without opposition – sometimes from surprising places! Nevertheless, we press forward. One project has been hospitality – food preparation and serving. Today they put on a ‘restaurant’ for teachers, staff, and house-parents here at Wat Preah Yesu. They worked very hard on the preparation. Some were even up until late last night preparing for it. I was not able to attend, but I did go to check it out. They had prepared beautifully. The food looked delicious, the tables were lovely. Laura told me that it was “very, very good!” I’m very proud of them.
This Sabbath afternoon, Laura, I, and our girls will be going out into the village again to run another children’s program. This is only our second time, and it will be our last until the students return from their two-week Christmas holidays, when we will begin them again.
The volunteer group led by Paul Marlow that is here at the moment has been doing a wonderful job of sorting out the electricity issues that the orphanage has been having. They will be here for another four or so weeks and they’ve already done so much! Also, our pathfinder club will be having its annual Mt. Kulen camping trip just after Christmas. All the children are looking forward to it. Even some of my dorm girls will be returning early from holidays so that they can attend. (I know random change of subject, sorry 🙂 )
Many of the Grade 12s have been studying together here for many years – most from primary school days. As their schooling time here draws to a close they are beginning to realize that soon life will draw them their separate ways. Some are planning for the future, but all are feeling a sense of loss. There is still half a school year to go, but reality is sinking in and they know that change will come. I understand how hard it is. For most of them, growing up in the orphanage, they have seen numerous teachers come and go over the years. Teachers whom they loved and cared for. Some returned to see them and some haven’t, but they’ve always had each other. But soon that will change, as happens in life.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot too. We’ve been blessed here that for the past two years, the teachers who have taught here have been long-term, many are in their 2nd school year. I love them all, but I know that the end of this school year is going to bring about the biggest change in teachers that we’ve had for a while. I know that God will provide the new teachers we will need, but I feel really sad that I will be bereft of these dear ones’ company, especially spiritually. Some, thankfully will return to Cambodia after their training has finished. Others will go to new places that God is sending them. They have become like family to me and I hope they will know that I will always care for them and pray for them, no matter where God sends them. I look forward to spending eternity with each one of them.