This Year

This year has been amazing! In fact, the latter half of last year was pretty amazing too. Meeting the Balasingams, aka my Canadian family, in April 2015, which led to me spending summer in Canada. Where I was blessed, refreshed, and got to meet many wonderful people.

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Balasingam Family + 1

This year, I got to spend Christmas with my wonderful mother. Our first Christmas together in 5 years. My second summer for 2015. As a bonus, I got to visit Tasmania, where she had moved to the year before. I’d never been there before. It is a beautiful state, full of big-hearted, kind people. 2015 was the Year of Two Summers.

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Then I arrived back in Cambodia to a whirlwind of activity as God opened the way for Ely and I to purchase two horses. Then we had a couple of different groups of visitors who arrived bearing gifts of tack and equipment from different donors in their respective countries. Not only that, I’m still teaching full-time so with the horse duties added it makes for a very full schedule. I fall into bed exhausted each night, but constantly amazed at God’s sustaining power, His love, and leading.

I am also blessed to be able to be teaching Righteousness by Faith to my Grade 8 Bible class. It is exciting to see them start to understand and catch the first flickering of hope and love for God that I see in some of them. I’m using Morris Venden’s book 95 Theses on Righteousness by Faith, and I highly recommend it for everyone! Please keep all the students in your prayers, we long to see a Cambodia filled with young people who love Jesus and are actively sharing Him with their fellow countrymen.

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Fruit shakes with 2 Grade 8s

April is the time for Khmer New Year; also the New Year for Thailand, called Songkran there. My Canadian family was headed to the Bamboo School, in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, to build a library for the children there. Would I join them they asked? Oh Yes Please! And so I went. It was so good to be able to spend time with them again. I was very interested to see the Bamboo School, meet the children, and help out with food preparation. I can’t believe I’ve only known the Balasingams for a year, it feels like forever. It was very hard to say goodbye and leave them once again.

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Last Sunday, I put one of our donated saddles on Khzak, and rode him with tack for the first time. Today, we saddled him up again, and this time Ely rode him. Her smile matched mine. As Khzak is not quite 3, we are only riding him for 15 mins on Sundays, and only at a walk. He is proving to be a fast learner though. We are working on turning, halts, and backing-up, and he improved by more than 100% for only his second ride. We are so blessed with the horses that we have. Hopefully both boys will be gelded this month, and God-willing we will be able to purchase some bigger, older horses for the program.

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This year is not quite half way over, and yet I feel so full of blessings. God is amazing, God is awesome. God is love. I hope you can know, this year, how much God loves you.

“How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You; You have worked for those who trust in You before the sons of men!” ~ Psalms 31:19 ~

June 2015 Update

“Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:3-4 ~

So, time for an update

Soon it will be holidays again. Sooner for me in fact, because I leave for Canada next week. This week I am giving my exams to my English classes. We’ve been reviewing and I hope they all do well. It’s hard to believe that it’s been another year of school already. At the beginning of the year I remember thinking, “Well this will take a while.” And now here we are, at the end already. I thank God, and give Him all the glory for His wonderful watch-care and love to us. Here’s some pictures of the students from this year.

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Next year will be different. We are saying goodbye to two of our long-term volunteers, Laura, who has served here for 4 years, and Emily, who has served here for 2 years. I love these two, and they are some of my closest friends. I am going to miss them a lot, and so will the students who have received the love and attention from these two dedicated missionaries.

Emily front left, Laura, 3rd from the left

Emily front left, Laura, 3rd from the left

On the note of teachers – next school year, beginning in September, we have openings for volunteer teachers. Is God calling you? Being a volunteer missionary is something neither I nor my fellow volunteers regret. It has profoundly opened our eyes, changed our lives and brought us closer to God. The Bible says we are ALL called to go – Have you responded to God’s call in your life?

Here’s some things that have happened recently:
The Grade 11 and 12 Evangelism project in Svay Sor finished. Every day they had one-hundred or so children attending, many of whom at the end of the program expressed an interest in learning more about the Bible and the God of the Bible. There was also four elders from the village who also desired to learn more. Please keep them and the Bible workers who remain there in your prayers.

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The KMET (Khmer Medical Evangelistic Training) Team left today to start a four week medical evangelism program in Kralanh Town about 50kms away from Siem Reap City. The participants of the 5 week KMET course graduated a couple of weeks ago, and now are getting the chance to put their skills to use assisting the Church Planter there to do some serious evangelism in his area. Please pray for them and pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare the hearts of those who will hear them to receive the message of life they have gone to share.

A couple of Sabbaths ago we had a baptism here. Sixty-eight people were baptized. Most of whom were students at our school, but there were a few from outside of WPY. We had to hold the baptism in the dormitory pond, instead of the church pond because of the lack of rain which meant the church pond was completely dried up. Please pray for those who were baptized, that they will understand the commitment that they made, and continue to grow up into Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

A wonderful thing that happened was the engagement of Shannon, Tim’s son, and Sreiya a couple of weeks ago. Now both of Tim and Wendy’s sons are engaged, and prayerfully hoping to travel to Australia in August – visa approval pending – to get married.

 

 

In other news, IMET (International Medical Evangelism Training) is ready to start. Deadline to apply for the July 20th 9-month Medical Evangelism program class is almost upon us, apply now and get certified for FREE — and remember the last month’s practical is planned to be held in China!! Learn more about IMET here!

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IMET Staff

Looking around at current world events, I really believe that time is short. May your house be built upon the Rock, where it will withstand all of Satan’s fury and be found ready in that Great Day when our Lord returns to take us to be with Him forever.

 

Giving of Thanks

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~

Phil 4:6So by living with Americans I have become more keenly aware of many of their holidays. Most of them I knew by name, but not their dates. Some of them are worth keeping and others not so relevant. But Thanksgiving Day, I think, is a good one and I wish Australia had a traditional Thanksgiving Day.

“Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Thy name: the upright shall dwell in Thy presence.” ~ Psalms 140:13 ~

Giving thanks is something we should do each day. It helps to refocus us, opens our eyes to all our blessings and privileges, and helps us to have a better attitude about life in general.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” ~ Hebrews 13:15 ~

I know that sometimes I can get so caught up in the bad things that are happening that I forget that the fact that I am alive is a gift from God; I forget that the fact that I have a body part that can be in pain is a gift – some people would give anything to have an arm or leg that could have pain sensors. I think about all the work I have to do and yet some people don’t have a job.

Thanksgiving Quote“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” ~ Colossians 3:17 ~

So today, on this Thanksgiving Day I want to give thanks to God, for the following:

  • Jesus – my Lord and Savior, merciful and just, who gave up heaven and came to this sinful earth to take my place, my punishment, my death – and rose again! – so that I could live with Him forever.
  • The Holy Bible – The most amazing book I’ve ever read. It is God’s letter to humanity. It answers all of life’s questions. It changes lives, it reveals God’s true character, and the future of this world.
  • Life – It is a precious thing that is so easily wasted or lost. Each day God wakes me up to spend time with Him so that I can, by His grace, give glory to Him through my life. Then He gives me the strength and wisdom to do the tasks I have for each day. He gives me an abundant life.
  • Purpose – If you had asked me 5 years ago what I would be doing today, I would not have said that I would be in Cambodia serving as a missionary. I didn’t really have any definite goals or plans. I was just living each day for myself – selfish and unsatisfied.
  • Family and Friends – God knows whom I’ve needed in my life at the right times. I thank God for those who love and support me, and I thank those people for their love and care. I especially thank Him for my co-missionaries, past and especially present, whose dedication and love for the Lord and His work inspire and challenge me. I thank Him for their friendship and love.
  • Trials and Challenges, Heartaches and Shortcomings – As difficult as life gets sometimes, I recognize that God is molding and shaping me by all the experiences that He allows in my life – As gold and silver refined in the fire!
  • Tim and Wendy Maddocks – who have granted me the privilege of serving here at Wat Preah Yesu for the past 3 years. I admire them both greatly. I have learnt so much about service and faith from them. I love them both so much.
  • My Students – They are all so special, so different from each other, and they teach me so much!
  • Prayer Meetings – I wonder how I ever lived without them!
  • Provision – God is faithful and is providing all my needs
  • Viathar – my dog who is right now barking up a storm and generally being a little bit annoying – but I’ve learned to appreciate his barking after nearly losing him to a mystery disease a month or so ago.

There’s obviously so much that we have to be thankful for. So today, take the time to stop and thank God for all He’s done for you, and also take the time to thank the people around you for who they are or what they do.

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