I have been slow to get this post written, but better late than never.
After three intense days of exams, a couple of days for marking we were all finished, and ready for the graduation ceremony. Emily and Thomas, along with some of the Khmer staff spent a long time preparing the cafeteria for the graduation. This was the biggest graduation program that we’d ever had. Every grade had a musical item to perform that was spread out throughout the certificate giving. I was very proud of all the students. One of them, a grade 7 student, played the song Ten Thousand Reasons on the piano, and he did an excellent job.
I was actually coming down with the flu on graduation day and consequently was not able to attend any of the activities for the next three days. Which was a pity, because the day after graduation was the wedding of two of our grade 12 graduates, Nimol and Yan. During these holidays, Nimol has been working in the studio, and in the future they will go and teach at a new school that Tim is starting up at the village of Tani which is located about an hour away from Siem Reap City.
The day after the wedding, was the engagement of two more of our grade 12 graduates, Ty and Laihun. Both of whom have now gone to study at LIGHT in the Philippines. There was one more event the following Sunday, which was the engagement of Sokha (grade 12 graduate) and Srey Leak (student). I remember teaching all these students when I first came and I feel privileged to be able to witness these new milestones in their life.
We actually had quite a crew who went to the Philippines to study at either PAFCOE or LIGHT. Gemma, and her husband Hym, Tony (our NZ volunteer mechanic teacher), Khone (former student), Sreiya (student) and Chhorvy (former student and LIGHT graduate) are all studying at PAFCOE. Graduates Lin, Sarai, Ty, and Laihun, along with Thomas (German volunteer teacher) are all studying at LIGHT. We had a couple of days of goodbyes as we sent the students, and some staff off to the Philippines to study.
Then staff started leaving – either for a holiday at home before they return for next year, or for good. We said goodbye to Dustin and Caitlin, as they moved on to new missions. I am so thankful for their time here. They were so dedicated, loving and kind. The students loved them and learnt so much from them. We also said goodbye to Thomas, who is going to study at LIGHT in the Philippines before returning home to Germany. Lastly we said goodbye to Donna and Francis who have returned home to the Philippines to rest up before they go on to new mission fields. One of our grade 12 graduates, David, left to go to the North East part of Cambodia to help teach English at another mission project headed up by some lovely missionaries from America.
One sad note was that the man in the village with the ulcerated leg died suddenly of a suspected heart attack early one morning last week. The Friday before, Wendy had been telling me how he had been reading the Bible and was really impressed with the story of Job, and how Job said he would trust and worship God even if things remained bad. He said that he too believed in and trusted God, even if his leg never healed. I am sad for his family, but glad for the experience that he had with God. We are praying for his family that they will come to trust in God too and be able to be reunited with their father on that great resurrection morning when Jesus returns to take His children home.
Then ASI Asia happened. Tim and Wendy and the SALTCAM Media crew were working very hard doing the recording and transporting of many of the people who came. I was privileged to help out. I was blessed by the sermons and presentations that I was able to listen to. The testimonies of Sebastian Braxton, Robert Costa, and Herb Larson were especially inspiring. I met so many wonderful people, and heard so many stories of missions, miracles and challenges from other parts of Asia. With ASI over, many of that group were staying on for the Self Supporting Ministries Conference, which will last for the next couple of days. At this conference different ministries will come together, network and discuss mission work in Asia. They will see where there is lack, where there is overlap, as well as learn and get new ideas from each other. It is a very encouraging, uplifting time for the different representatives of these missions.
I also just realized that it has been almost a year since I began this blog. A big thank you to all those who have read, prayed, supported me and the ministry here in Cambodia. I’m very thankful and keep you all in my prayers. Please keep praying for us, for Tim and Wendy who run SALT, and the students here. Also that God alone be glorified in this place, and in our lives.
God’s blessings be upon you all.