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 🙂
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.
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.