Thank You for Horses

This has been a wonderfully wet rainy season. Our ponds are full and overflowing. We have been blessed that our afternoon HoofTrek classes haven’t often been disturbed by the rain. It hasn’t been this wet since my first rainy season here back in 2011.

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We have a new volunteer, Marissa, from Australia. She is living with Ely and I, and being a wonderful help in many areas including HoofTrek. She even brought enough donations to help us purchase our 4th and final horse, Starr, who will arrive next week , as he is currently recovering from his gelding procedure.

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Marissa, along with all our other new volunteers, Matthew, Conchis, and Kim, have all fitted right in to the programs here. The students especially are benefitting from the hard-work and love the teachers are giving. Anna is still here and still giving 110% to her classes as she always does. We are very thankful for them all.

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Gr. 8 Bible class is mine first thing every school day. They are a great bunch of students and we are going through a Righteousness by Faith study using a book by Morris Venden. One thing I have my class do every day is write down (at least) three things they are thankful for. I was reading some study somewhere about success – a topic my students are very interested in. The study said that often we think that success brings happiness or that successful people become happy people, but actually it’s not true. The truth is that happy people are successful people, and the secret to happiness is being thankful. Apparently it’s not something that comes naturally to many people. It is however possible to change our brains to a more positive, grateful way of thinking. The article suggested taking the time each morning to write down the things we have to be thankful about.

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So after explaining this to my class, they all agreed that we should use a few minutes of each Bible class to write down what we are thankful for. It hasn’t always been easy for them to always find different things to be thankful for. What were they to write on the day their classmate and friend had to leave the school permenantly, or on the day they woke up to find that one of their fellow orphans had died in his sleep? But after nearly 2 months they are getting better at it. I think if they and I can develop a happy, thankful attitude that will be a very successful outcome for this year.

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures ro all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5

There are many things I have to be thankful for. I am grateful to God for allowing me to be here doing what I am doing, being a part of His work. I am thankful for all the people who pray for me, and all other missions. I am thankful for those who support me and other missions, and especially for those who are actively involved in spreading the Word of God, this blessed Hope we have, to all around them.

What are you thankful for today?

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Not in Vain

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. That Thy ways may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations. ” ~ Psalm 67:1-2 ~

These holidays have been productive, but also included a couple of very sad occasions last week..

We lost two students.

1.
Khon got sick about a year ago. He went to the hospital here and they said it was tuberculosis and gave him medicine. Well the medicine didn’t work, so his Aunt (who is a house parent and teacher here ay WPY) took him to a hospital in Thailand, and they said it was a form of leukemia. They said it was quite advanved and treatment would be expensive. He comes from a poor farming family. Well he sold his share of the farmland to purchase medicine and treatment, but worsened and died the morning of Monday the 22nd August. He was 19.
We held the funeral service at his home in the village, but buried him here at WPY on Tuesday, as per his wishes. He wasn’t baptized, but in the words of his family, “He wasn’t a Buddhist.” and never attended the pagoda with them. The whole village got to hear the gospel preached to them from the 4 or so sermons over the 2 days of the funeral. We spoke about sin, death and the hope of the resurrection. We used the local custom of loudspeakers. We pray that seeds have been planted that will bear fruit and his death won’t be in vain, and are glad they allowed us to do a Christian funeral.

Khon was always a good, quiet student for me. A bit shy, but would talk when he warmed up to you. He got along with all his classmates, never rude or crude to girls, and although not the highest academically, always applied himself to his work. I remember one time being in the back of the ute going to the airport to farewell a volunteer, and the other boys were talking about how many girlfriends they have had, currently had, or wanted to have. Khon turned to me and said, “Teacher, I don’t want a girlfriend…. I want a wife!”

Khon - red shirt

Khon – red shirt

2.
David got sick about 2 months ago. He was a HIV positive orphan that has been here since he was about three years old. He had a bad reaction to a change in his medication, and lost most the skin on the upper half of his body. They took him to hospital, where he contracted a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria which affected his intestinal tract. The poor boy suffered from chronic, explosive diarrhea, and it took a while for them to get on top of the bacteria. The first antibiotic they tried, he had a bad reaction too. He improved and came here for a week. Although we then got the diarrhoea under control, he was finding it hard to eat, due to a thrush infection from his mouth all through his intestinal tract, and lost weight. The hospital decided to admit him again when he went for a check-up, and sure enough the diarrhoea started again, as well as possible internal bleeding. He continued to lose weight. We aren’t sure if he caught another bug at the hospital.
Tuesday early morning he slipped into unconsciousness and was admitted to ICU and died early that afternoon. He was 14 years old and weighed less than 25kg. We buried him late Wednesday morning.

I once disciplined him with a cane to the hand when he was making class unbearable for Ely. But after that we got along quite well. When he came to ride the horse he looked very proud of himself. He always used to greet me when we would pass each other by the way.

David

David

Khon wasn’t expected to die just yet, the herbs he had been taking were actually making the lumps in his neck go down. David wasn’t expected until the day Khon died, and even then we were praying he would pull through. I am glad that they aren’t in any pain anymore.

I am so glad for the Bible’s teaching on death. We can know that our loved ones are sleeping in Jesus and will be awakened at His Second Coming, where there will be no more pain, suffering, tears, or death.

The following Sabbath we attended another funeral. The father of one of our students passed away. He wasn’t a Chrisitan,  but his family are and wished to do a Christian funeral. There, in that village, the Gospel was again preached to some who may not have heard of our hope before. Again we pray for a harvest from among those villagers, and for each family who suffered the loss of a loved one last week.

In other, better news, we also had three new volunteers arrive this week. Kim, she is from Germany; Conchis from Mexico, and Matthew from the USA. We are very thankful they arrived safely, and thank God for sending them.

Less than one week and then school will start again. Ely and I not only have some classes in the school, but will also commence teaching Hooftrek. Our first students will be from our Special class. These kids struggle academically, and some behaviourally, and a couple are physically disabled. We are excitred to have a chance to help the students in this way.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ue know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58 ~

Prac Teachers and Plans

This time last year I was in Canada with my wonderful Canadian family. Time has really flown by!

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We have school holidays this month, with the new school year commencing on the 5th of September. Here’s what happened over the last couple months of school.

Avondale

After missing the 2014/2015 school year, prac teachers from Avondale College (MOTO Team) arrived late June for a three week prac. They took over almost all the classes. Working in pairs they not only gave us here a small reprive, but also showered our kids with much love and attention. As we were monitoring nearly all our classes, many of us KAS teachers were able to learn some new things that we could do to be more effective teachers.

We really enjoyed having them here. The KMET team cooked 3 meals a day for the 30 visitors, and their food was much appreciated. Grade 9 was also able to practice their cooking skills every Wednesday,  when for their home economics class they would take a turn preparing the meal for the prac team. They would also stay and eat with the Avondale teachers, and have a worship time afterwards.

Activity with Avondal teacher

Activity with Avondal teacher

Towards the end of their stay we could see that they were getting tired, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasim one iota. As a gift to the teachers here at KAS they took us out to dinner at a local vegetarian restaurant. They also provided funds for the Grade 9 class to take their own trip to the same restaurant a week or so later.

The day they left was a sad one. The first class of the day was cancelled as the entire school gathered around the bus. There were many tears on both sides. My Grade 8 class was especially upset as they said goodby to Micaela and Bree, who had been their teachers for the past 3 weeks… in fact for them, the tears flowed for about a week more! I still have them coming and showing me pictures of themselves with their Avondale teachers.

I thank the Avondale teachers for the time they spent here and for loving the students here as much as I and the other staff do. We wish them God’s blessings and hope to see them again one day.

Shiyra

A high point for Ely and I during Avondale’s stay here was that we were able to take a three day trip down to Kompong Cham province and purchase our third horse for the HoofTrek program. God really guided and provided for us on that trip. You can read the story here.

Shiyra has proven to be a very gente, easy going horse that the children have become attached to very quickly. She is quite smart and is learning her lessons very quickly.

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David

For nearly two months, one of our teenage boys from grade 6, David, was in hospital. He ended up there because of a medication reaction that peeled all the skin off his body. While in hospital he picked up a drug resistant bacteria, and for a while there it was touch and go. Prayer was being held for him all over the world, and while he is not yet back to full health, I am happy to report that he is now back at WPY, staying in the Jungle House with the KMET team taking care of him. Please keep him in your prayers, asking God for not only for phsyical healing, but also that David will come to know God as his Redeemer and Friend. David is quite skinny, and having trouble eating due to some lingering intestional problems.

Graduation

On the 28th of July we had the Graduation Ceremony for Kantrok Adventist School. Littered throughout the program were musical items from some of our talented students. Our music teachers, Ely, Chiva and Niet have done a wonderful job with them. We thank God for the successful completion of another school year, and ask that He continues to bless and provide for us, that we all, students and staff, may be a light to the community.

Me with my top 3 students - Leang, Sun and Sophall

Me with my top 3 students – Leang, Sun and Sophall

What’s Next?

During these holidays I have been working with the horses, getting them ready for the HoofTrek program which will start in September when school commences. We praise God for this opportunity to use our love for horses this way, and ask you to pray that He will be glorified by the program. We will have two groups of 6 students for the first semester. They will come from our lower school special class. These students have one thing in common, and that is they aren’t doing very well academically. The reasons for this are varied, some have mental disabilities, and some have attitude problems. I am excited to see what God will do, and what He has to teach me.

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We will also be training 4 students in horsemanship after school on Mondays to Thursdays. They will learn everything that we can teach them… caring for the horses, riding the horses, training the horses, and even how to teach the HoofTrek classes.

Ely is currently in Australia. I miss her very much. I hadn’t quite realised just how much I’d miss her until I had to do everything alone…. we really do do almost everything together! She will be back at the end of August. Some of the orphans have been kind enough to help me with different jobs. Some cut grass for the horses, and Khim helps me prepare the evening meal for the horses by cutting up the banana tree.

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When I look at world events,  it seems like ti e really can’t last much longer. But there is still so much to do, and so many people and whole people groups who haven’t heard the Good News. May God send labourers into the fields. My prayer is that all God’s children will catch a glimps of the bigger picture, and be fully surrendered to God for His purpose and glory, that He may come soon and put and end to sin, suffering and death forever.

“And now Lord, look at their threats, and grant to Your servants to speak Your word with all boldness, while You stretch forth Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Your Holy Servant, Jesus.” ~ Acts 4:29-30 ~

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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 ~

God is SO Good!

On the 5th of February, Ely and I took a trip down to Kompong Thom to buy our first horses. You can read that story here. It was a marvelous, faith building experience. God is so good!

Since then we have been so busy!. Owning a horse here is a lot more work than owning one in Australia. Our days are full with teaching and horse care. There’s grass to be cut, banana tree to be cut, paddocks to be watered and many other things to do.

Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love having horses again. I love teaching the children how to behave and handle the horses. I would like some time to write my exams for all my classes, so please pray that we find some rice hay to buy, so that we don’t have to cut grass quite so often, which will free up some time to devote to exam writing.

It’s quite exciting to finally see HoofTrek become a reality, and we can’t wait to see where God will lead the program.

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On our trip to Kompong Thom, we stayed with Gemma and her husband Hym, who along with her parents have started a ministry in that area. They have been there for about a year now. They’ve built a house, planted gardens and are now trying to expand their gardens so they can be self-sufficient. It’s a lot of work clearing the land and setting up a working irrigation system, all down by hand or with a hand-operated tractor.

Nevertheless, they have been a bright light in that area for Jesus. Their property is located away from the village, and this has led the locals to wander over for a visit and ask them why they aren’t afraid to live alone out here. The locals are also curious about many other things, such as, “Why is the bathroom and kitchen inside?” and “Why is the baby wearing clothes?” All these encounters have given them a chance to witness for Jesus to their neighbours and to Hym’s family.

When I visited I felt God’s presence there. It was a joy to be there, away from the city, where I could actually see the stars and hear only the sounds of nature. The motto they have is taken from Philippians 4:6, and they summarize it thus:
‘Worry about nothing; Pray about everything.

And I think that is great advice for everyone. After all, can worrying change anything? Not at all! But prayer to the One who loves you the most connects you with the power of the Infinite, and nothing is impossible for Him. It is also a lesson that God has been teaching to me. That of trusting Him completely with everything I have and am. It is a totally amazing experience that has to be experienced to be fully understood, and I encourage everyone to live by faith – just give it a go. You will be overwhelmed with how good God is!

Please keep Gemma, Hym, their son Hyden and Gemma’s parents, Lesley and Dana and their ministry in your prayers. God is doing great things in the world right now, believe it!

God bless

2016 Update

This school year, (started – Sep 2015) has been quite enjoyable for me. Admittedly, I did miss September as I was in Canada. I also missed most of January because I was visiting my Mum for Christmas for the first time in 5 years. It was a wonderful time. I got to visit a part of Australia that I’ve never been to before, attend a thought-provoking Camp-meeting and make many wonderful new friends.

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This school year I am not teaching any English language classes. We have two Khmer teachers who graduated from the University in Thailand with ESL degrees; they are covering the high school English classes. I am teaching Grade 8 Bible, Geography 7, 8, 9 & 10, and am also joint Librarian to cover half of the library classes.

We do not have as many volunteers for the school this year, and the main English volunteers are Ely, Anna, Rose Jean and myself. We are blessed that some of the IMET volunteers are willing to take some of the classes which we cannot cover. This keeps us all rather busy, but we thank God for the opportunity to serve, and the strength with which He sustains us. I must put out a call. If anyone would like to have an unforgettable experience, then please come and spend some time here in Cambodia with us as a volunteer!

We very much miss Emily and Laura, who both have returned to the US for various, legitimate reasons. It is nice to know however that there are people back in the Western world that have the same care and understanding of WPY, the children, and the work here.

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In our hearts and on our shelf!!

The little house that Ely, Anna and I live in has had a bit of a renovation and now has proper inside walls which have been painted a rather bright yellow color. It took a bit of getting used to, but it has started to grow on me. I thinking we need a happy name for our house. Tim also had a bathroom built onto the back of the house so that we could have a bit more privacy when bathing, and no longer have to make the trek down to the communal bathroom.
While I was away, Ely planted some papaya and banana trees. We hope to plant as many fruit trees there as we can fit in our small yard. We’re also trying to start a herb garden.

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At the moment, besides school, every spare moment is almost completely taken up with HoofTrek. We are in the process of finishing our fences and getting our water pump installed so that we can be ready to welcome the horses and begin training them. We hope to start the program after April holidays at the latest.

HoofTrek was at a point where we were thinking that we were wrong and that it wouldn’t go ahead, but just as we surrendered it all, God provided abundant blessings that have enabled us to move forward a lot quicker than we ever expected. Please keep the program in your prayers. It has the potential to minister to many children and youth in this area.

We have a new addition to our family – meet Hadassah. The smartest little pup I have ever met.

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There are always the normal challenges that come with teaching and with children in general. I continue to ask you to hold the students and staff here up in prayer. Satan gets very angry when his kingdom is threatened with the loss of members to the Kingdom of God.

The KMET (Khmer Medical Evangelistic Training) team have been working on a Khmer Vegetarian cookbook. It’s in the final stages of production and just in time because ADRA is bringing the CHIP program to Cambodia. Not only is the book full of great recipes in Khmer it also comes with a DVD that has all the recipes covered in a series of cooking shows done here at the SALTCAM TV Studio.

The first IMET class is in full swing. They are nearly half-way through the course and have learned many new useful skills that will equip them for sharing Jesus wherever they go. The next IMET course will start in August or September of this year. There are spots available for anyone interested in becoming a medical evangelist missionary.

Once again I give God glory for all He has done for, in and through me these last couple of months. I am daily being reminded of how much He loves me, and I hope that you too will today realize once again just how valuable you are to the King of the Universe.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
~ Ephesians 2:4-8 ~

HoofTrek in the Newswest

Back in March, Ely and I submitted an article on HoofTrek to the Newswest (an Adventist magazine for the Western Australian Conference) And yesterday, I was contacted by an old friend who told me she’d read it in the latest (May) addition, which came out on the 24th.

Here’s a link to the magazine, and the article is on page 17
HoofTrek in the Newswest

And here’s a link to the HoofTrek website

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Semester 2

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” ~ Psalms 37:25 ~

Exams are finished, and all marking is done. Semester Two has officially begun, and I’m going to do things better this semester. I’ve set up my teaching system better and have been doing actual recorded-in-a-findable-place class planning (as opposed to a jot-down-some-ideas-on-a-random-piece-of-paper class planning style). I’m liking it, and I know it will make exam time much easier… but finding I’m giving more worksheets than before (not a bad thing, but I’m also marking them.. and I have over 90 students so it takes forever!).

Today I had the opportunity to talk with one of my Gr. 8 students about the process of sanctification. It’s these moments that I teach for.

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We have had a few students from Gr. 7 and Gr. 9 leave us. Some changed schools, and others returned to their homeland. We miss them, and pray that God blesses them and continues to guide them. We also said goodbye to Claudia, who headed back to the US after spending a few months here teaching. We miss her and know that God will continue to use her to bless others wherever she goes.

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I did pick up Grade 9 English, and I am finding them a slightly distracted, but enjoyable class. I only teach them in the afternoons, when it is hot and they are tired. I am having to use all my limited creativity skills in keeping them interested and interactive. But it’s great to have a chance to teach a higher level of English, and be able to do some more critical thinking activities.

KMET (Khmer Medical Evangelism Training) began on the 2nd of March, it will last for 3 or so weeks. There are ten or so students of varying ages from all over Cambodia. We pray that the program will be a blessing to them, and they in turn will use the skills they learn to be a blessing back in their homes. The Khmer students who returned from PAFCOE and LIGHT are teaching the course. It is a big step for them, and they are doing a wonderful job. The other new project, IMET (International Medical Evangelism Training), will begin on May 1st (I think). It is a 10 month course, and we are eager to see it begin.

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Ely and I have been working on the paddocks for HoofTrek, clearing them of sticks and debris and working on getting the ground flat and grass growing – a challenge in dry season! We very much enjoy living in our little house, and I am thrilled that we’ve managed to block up all escape routes and our dogs now stay inside the fence. But being that we’re quite busy with teaching that is all going rather slowly for now, although we do praise and thank God for a recent donation from Australia towards the HoofTrek program.

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Ely will be visiting Australia in April, and will be at Easter Camp 2015 held in Perth this April. Hopefully she will be able to share with our fellow church members there about mission work in Cambodia, and hopefully encourage others to get involved.

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Here are two small, not overly huge things, that God has done in my life… (well they mean a lot to me)

Firstly, just after we moved into our new place, at school one day, I lost my keys. I looked everywhere for them: in my bags, my classrooms, the staffroom. I couldn’t find them anywhere, and I was so disappointed with myself for losing my keys. We’d have to buy all new locks for the house and gates and so on. Well Ely and I prayed about it and went to look one more time. We entered the staffroom again, and I was rummaging through the key box hoping someone had put them in there, when something prompted me to ‘look down’. So I did and there, right under the desk, hanging on the edge of an empty box was my keys. I have no idea how they got there, as if I had dropped them or they had fallen off the desk they would have hit the floor not gotten stuck on the box which was pushed under a ways. I know keys are just little things, but I am so glad that the angels put the keys there and helped me to find them.

Secondly, three or so years ago, I ‘lent’ some money to a struggling Khmer family. I say ‘lent’, but I didn’t expect to ever receive it back, and honestly I forgot completely about the event. Well, just yesterday, I was reviewing my financial situation, and stressing a little bit. I was wondering how God was going to provide when I couldn’t see a way. But that afternoon, the family approached me and started talking to me, at first I thought they wanted to borrow money, but after a bit I was made to understand that they were returning the money I had lent them. I was shocked, and ashamed of doubting God. It was like He was saying, “O ye of little faith!” to me. I remembered the quote from EGW, “Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 481. (1905) 
I immediately confessed my doubt and lack of faith to God and I give thanks and praise Him for being so gentle and merciful to me. I only hope that I can show the same grace, gentleness and mercy to my students in the different situations I face with them.

 

Guitars and Bok Choy

We have one more week before camp-meeting. It’s all rather exciting. Plus we’ve had some new volunteers arrive. Some are here for a couple of months, some are here only a few weeks, but we are grateful for them all. Especially for Petrina, Vanessa and Miranda who have taken on some of the excess classes that we had. Petrina leaves soon and I may pick up her Grade 9 English class. We’ll see how that pans out.

God has been very good to me over the past three weeks. My classes have for the most part gone well. God has taught me new ways of looking at the students and understanding them and why they do what they do. He’s given me more patience and mercy – something I have lacked in the past. I now enjoy teaching more than I ever did before (ok well not the marking side but who really does!?!).

My last class on Friday is Grade 4 guitar. To say that I have control of that class would be a big fat lie. They are so cute… they can barely fit their hands around the guitar neck to make the chords. A couple of them really want to learn, and they try hard each of the two lessons a week that we have. Some need more one on one time – which with 16 or so students and one teacher, I just cannot do. And some really just like seeing how much noise they can make the guitar make – then when they tire of that they take to playing marbles, or kick-boxing, or any other game that is popular that day. Mainly I just try to protect the guitars (I once had a student trying to set a guitar on fire.. just because). I also try to make sure their games don’t get too rough. I also try to spend time with those who do want to learn (disclaimer – I am no expert guitar player!). But they are all great children.
Here’s some pictures of them that I took today (I took pictures to distract them from destroying the cafeteria chairs – it kind of worked :))

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Speaking of patience; we were hoping to be in our new house this Sunday, but it doesn’t look like it will be so. No problem, it will happen in due time. So speaking of houses, here’s some pictures of things of importance in my current house.

This is our shower. It doubles as an arm exercise machine, and the water even comes out warmer than if you had drawn it from a well – a bonus on some of the cold mornings and evenings we’ve been having here (it IS cold!). That said, having a well inside the house has been awesome – especially for privacy, but the floor of the house is almost always in some stage of wetness… which usually leads to tiny dirty footprints from the girls or critters. Our new house has an outside well.

This is my rice cooker. An excellent and well-used device that even has an inbuilt steamer – which I especially like to steam pumpkin in for breakfasts. Also shown is our kitchen. Our pots and pans hang on the wall, and our gas stove sits on our bench. Underneath the bench is all our other supplies.
Also pictured is my coconut oil – so many uses, from food preparation to skin and hair care. (also shows proof that it is cold – as you can see it has solidified 😛 ) Also Bok Choy – I live on the stuff, often eating it raw for breakfast as it is quick and easy to prepare and doesn’t hurt my stomach.

Here is our most recent addition, Juliet;

She’s about as big as my hand and not very pretty. She lives in the toilet room and is allowed to stay there because she eats cockroaches. So long as we can see her it’s all good.

We have two walls in the house that are covered with photographs. One is dedicated to students, the other to family. They are a testament of the last four years of my life here.

That’s it for now, but here’s a few last pictures of important things (not in order of importance) There’s our two dogs, Viathar and Kip. There’s Ely and I in front of our new home, and there’s a picture of me and one of my girls. Her name is Pheak. I don’t have favorites – If you asked me to choose just one girl to take somewhere it would be a very difficult decision; that said, Pheak is very special and I love her very much, and very much enjoy spending time with her.

May you all have a blessed Sabbath.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts. Please pray for the camp-meeting, and for the IMET course that will begin in March or April, and also for the One month medical missionary training in Khmer program that will also be started here at WPY. Once again I must exhort you to listen to God’s voice and if He is calling you to a life of service, to say, “Here am I, Lord, send me!” You’ll never regret it!

“I will answer thee, that God is greater than man!” ~ Job 33:12 ~

 

Making Our Mark

UPDATE

All the fence post holes have been dug, and the builders are cementing in the upright poles as I write. They started that yesterday and have almost finished doing the poles around the house and arena. Rett and his builders are doing a fantastic job.
The front windows of the house are in. We’re just waiting on the bars to get put on the windows. The electricity (lights and receptacles) should be finished today. A big thank you to Paul and Sawyer for all their hard work.

Pictures

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