A Blessed Week

I’m very grateful for this Sabbath. It has been a very busy week. Last Monday, Ely came down with an extremely high fever, and was out of action for the rest of the week. We believe she had dengue fever. So Emily, Caleb and I covered her classes for her, and I took care of her at home here at the dorm – thank God for papaya leaf juice…. it’s as unappealing as it sounds, but helped Ely a lot. Ely is doing a lot better now, and attended church this morning.

Tim and Wendy are still in Australia, we miss them and at times really wish they were back here already, but God has been with us still, and is blessing Caleb and Shannon as they take charge here. I think it has been a faith-growing experience for all of us.

We were blessed in that Thursday was a holiday. We’d been planning a special event with our girls, but have had to postpone that until some other time. Thursday night, three new student volunteers from America (who previously had been serving in China) arrived. We thank God that He has sent us more teachers to help share the workload. Two of the girls will stay until the end of the year, and the third girl will stay until March, and I’m sure that God will then supply us with our next lot of teachers… (anyone interested in a life-changing experience???)

Actually, Ely was supposed to preach this Sabbath. On Wednesday I remembered and knew there was no way possible that she would be up to it. I mentioned it to Emily and then set out to find a replacement speaker. I had no idea who to ask, and forgot about it, until my Grade 10 Bible class, when as my students began walking in the door I remembered and started asking them one by one if they would like to preach this Sabbath. I honestly wasn’t expecting them to say yes, and true to form, each replied with an emphatic, “NO!”

Part way through the song service one of the students, Nak, said that he didn’t want to take the sermon, but he might have a topic… but it was such short notice and he was very afraid. He spent the rest of the singing time looking at his topic, but decided that he couldn’t do it. I thanked him anyway for even considering and went on with the class. Then, just as I asked them to stand for the closing prayer, Khin, one of the quiet studious boys who comes from the surrounding villages, asked me if I needed to find someone to preach. I replied that I did and jokingly asked him if he wanted to preach. “Baht (yes)” he replied quietly. It was so unexpected I had to ask him again to check that what I’d heard was in fact what he’d said. Well it was so. He preached today, and he did a wonderful job. I pray that his willingness and the message touched the hearts of the other students. I hadn’t expected to find a speaker from among my students, but I’m so glad that Khin let God use him in this way.

Khin does not come from an Adventist or even Christian family. His family is all Buddhist, and he and his younger brother have faced opposition from them to their wanting to be Christian and changing their lifestyle. Khin has, in his own quiet way continued to let God lead him and teach him and give him the courage to stand for what he believes in. As far as I am aware, his family is more accepting of his beliefs today.

Khin (back row far right) with his classmates and Teacher Ely last school year

Khin (back row far right) with his classmates and Teacher Ely last school year

This Sabbath I would like to praise God for being God whom we can always trust; for being so high above us; for knowing and seeing all. For giving us the strength to serve Him; for allowing only to happen to us that which will grow us up into Christ.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-9 ~


Tani School

One project I forgot to mention in my previous post was the Tani School project.

Tani is a village about an hours drive from Siem Reap City. Recently TIm was asked to start a school there. It took a bit of planning, but this month, the school opened. As yet there is no school building, they are meeting in a house, but hopefully, as God provides, it will be built soon.

Nimol and his wife Yan, graduates of last years grade 12 class, accepted the call to go and teach there. At the beginning of September they moved to Tani, and held a registration day. As far as I am aware they have 13 students. The goal is to have them teaching grades 1 -3 and also doing outreach among the village people, eventually expanding in the future..

It was a big step of faith for them to leave. There was no guarantee of students, and it is far from their family and friends, but we praise God for their willingness to serve Him.

Please keep Nimol, Yan, and their students in your prayers. We hope this school will be a light to the Tani community and many people will come to a saving relationship with God by their example.

Nimol and Yan on their wedding day

Nimol and Yan on their wedding day

October 2014

This year we have thirty-eight girls in the dorm. Myself and my co-dean Ely (also from Australia – whom Laura kindly allowed to have a chance to experience life as dean) have our hands and time full with the dorm and teaching. This will most likely be our last year as dean (for now), as Ely and I hope to be able to focus on developing HoofTrek, and hopefully there will be some new deans arriving this year. I really do love being the dean. I have had two of the most awesome co-deans I could ever have asked for – Laura and Ely – both of whom have taught me so much in all areas of my life. I will admit, I am rather tired and will welcome a break from the rigorous routine of trying to juggle teaching and the dorm, but I will also miss the close communion with the girls that I have been blessed to have for the last two and a bit years. But not to get melancholy about that yet, nothing is set in stone and I’m still in here for now 🙂

Laura with some of her students whom she tirelessly labors for - I admire her dedication and endurance

Laura with some of her students whom she tirelessly labors for – I admire her dedication, patience, and love she has for her work

Laura and I in Australia last April - I was so glad she was able to travel with me :)

Laura and I in Australia last April – I was so glad she was able to travel with me 🙂

This year I am teaching English grades 7 and 8, Bible grade 10, and Outdoor Activities grade 10, and Guitar grade 4. My guitar class are so cute… their hands are so small they can barely fit around the neck of the guitar. They are also quite young, between 9 – 13 years of age or so, and only two are big enough to really get their arms around a guitar. Only one understands a little English, and I am finding that I have to teach mostly in Khmer, which is an interesting experience.

Outdoor Activities is a new class started with the intention of giving the teachers and students a chance to work, experience, and grow together in the grounds of Wat Preah Yesu, whilst also helping to improve the look of the grounds. We are hoping to get more native trees and bushes growing and increase the native wildlife, of which there is less and less. There is a lot of development happening in Siem Reap right now, especially around our little sanctuary. All the farming land around us is being transformed into a new suburb. It is a blessing to live in a place that has trees and shade, ponds, and open areas to spend time in.

A new project on the horizon is the Butterfly Paradise. This is an exciting project that would have many functions; some of which would be, helping to make WPY more self-supporting, and more importantly, using nature as a witness to all visitors of our Creator God.

SALT Ministries Promotion Banner copy

So far this new school year, I have had to lean more on God than ever before. This is a good thing… kind of like a never-ending falling, as I learn to trust God and let go even more of self. Some days it’s like I feel like I’m getting somewhere spiritually – then God comes and shows me a whole bunch of new things in my life that He wants to take out. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but I don’t want it to stop! I have such a long way to go! Daily I am so amazed and overwhelmed by God’s love for us, for me, and what He wants to do in all of our lives. I hope and pray that daily you are also amazed by the love of Our Wonderful Heavenly Father.

Ely and I

Ely and I