“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
~ Ephesians 3:20-21 ~
God is always surprising me; but nowadays I am less surprised that He provides, and more just amazed by the ways He provides. So many times we have come to the point of having nothing, and then, out of left field, God provides. I’m learning to stop suggesting to God the ways He could provide and just thank Him in advance for His marvelous provision. I also want to make special mention of the White Salmon Church in America, who have been so generous to us over the past couple of years. Thank you all so much for your sacrifice.
“Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” ~ Psalm 107:8-9 ~
God hasn’t just been providing my physical needs, but also filling every other aspect of my life with His love and care. He has taught me so much over the past six months. My life changed 100% when Eugenia, a friend working at AENON, Malaysia, introduced me to the seminars of Horst Mueller. God used those seminars to help me better understand myself, righteousness by faith, and how to completely trust God (not that I have perfected it, but there has been substantial improvement! I now feel like I have tools to use when faced with difficult situations). Another book God brought into my life that has been an immense blessing is What Shall I Do To Inherit Eternal life, by Margaret Davis. The journey has been intense and amazing. The biggest thing that brings me so much joy is that finally, many of the good things I’ve wanted to do for years I can now do. Spending time with God is now something that I not only truly desire but actually enjoy doing. Little things that annoyed me before no longer do; and useless things I did before I now have no desire to do them. Now I feel empathy for my students who give me a hard time, because now I understand why they do what they do. I just wish I had learned this all much sooner… and I know I still have much to learn! I’m grateful that God never gives up on any of us!
We just finished Camp-meeting. It’s the second one we’ve had here in the 7 years I’ve been here. The last one was 3 years ago. Tim and the Grade 11 and 12s did weeks of work to prepare the grounds for all the campers. The whole event was very well organised and proved a blessing for everyone who attended. At least on Sabbath we had about 1200 people on the property. We heard amazing testimonies of how God is working all over Cambodia, and we praise God for what He is doing. Ely and I were kept busy by a stream of people and children who came to see the horses. We were able to tell them what we were doing and testify to God’s faithfulness.
Another blessing we had was a clinic held in town by a group of international vets. They put on 3 days of neutering and vaccinating local cats and dogs. I was able to get all three of our cats desexed. Unfortunately I was not able to get our dog Hadadsah spayed as she was nursing puppies at the time… and I had tried so hard to keep her away from all suitors! The puppies were cute though, and this time Hadassah kept her health and we were able to let her nurse the puppies for more than 8 weeks before finding them good homes with some of our dorm students.
I’ve been challenged by teaching English to Grade 11 and 12. I normally only teach 7 and 8, but this year I have 8, 10, plus 11 and 12. Tim has requested that we change our teaching style a bit and try to use the Bible as our textbook. I think I’m getting the hang of it now… can’t say I enjoy marking essays all that much, but it must be done! We have a much improved discipline system this year. Teacher Sophanny and Teacher Ty have been doing a great job following everything up. There are still some difficult situations that I am not sure how to deal with, but I’m praying that God will help me understand, be patient, and keep loving the students no matter what.
We have been blessed with new volunteers, some short term – Bree, from Australia; Adina, from Switzerland; Julia, from Ukraine, and Caleb, from Australia. By the end of this week we will also be joined by Forest, from New Zealand. We thank God for sending the teachers and help we need just on time. I’ve also met some wonderful new friends through Seyha’s tour business. Seyha always invites them to join us for church.
And Emily came to visit! She was a former volunteer whom we hadn’t seen for a couple of years. She spent three very short months with us over Christmas. It was like she’d never left!
Weddings! Last September I visited Australia to attend the wedding of my youngest sister. It was great to have almost the whole family together again. I got to meet my nephew and his wonderful mother, and very much enjoyed myself. Then I was blessed to join the wedding of two former students of mine, Niet and Luon last month. We also have another wedding to attend on Monday. Two of our Khmer teachers (both also former students of mine), Peith and Sart. I wish all the new couples a long life filled with all the fullness of God.
Lastly, there is one situation that will not go away, no matter what Ely, Tim, or I do. There is a homeless man who has a penchant for drinking too much, and also doesn’t seem to be fully in his right mind… It all began about a year ago, when he first came into our yard and tried to move into our house. Started putting his meager possessions away under my food rack. We managed to send him off to one of the orphan houses for a feed… he promised he’d be back… and he has kept that promise. On average, at least once or twice every two weeks he comes back to our house. Sometimes he leaves when asked to, sometimes he’s been drunk and refuses to leave, or just laughs at us. Our dogs always let us know when he comes as they really seem to dislike him. He mostly ignores them or tries to make friends with them. A couple of weeks ago he upped his game. He brought a broom to give us as a gift. When questioned as to why he was bringing us a broom, he replied that Ely was his wife, and she needed it to keep his house (our house) clean. Three of our naughtiest young orphan boys redeemed themselves in our eyes as they placed themselves between us and him and told him to leave. This morning before 5AM, while it was still dark, and we were having our personal devotions, the dogs went off again. I didn’t think much of it, until Hadassah came inside and sat down beside me. I decided to check so I went to the front door; there was no one there, but as I walked down the steps I nearly tripped over his gift…. another broom and one of his water bottles! He’d opened the gate, walked straight through the dogs and been at our slightly open door! Tim has taken him to the police station many times and it doesn’t dissuade him in the slightest. We don’t think that he is dangerous. He does have one false leg, and is shorter than Ely. We just are not sure of how to help him understand that he can’t keep coming to our house at all hours of the day! We thank God for His continued protection.
I used to think that life was pretty straightforward, and that the kinds of excitement that you see on daytime dramas wasn’t an accurate representation of reality (and they truly aren’t!). But since letting God lead my life it has been much more filled with strange and dramatic incidents… some good, others less appealing. But one thing remains the same, and that is that God is always there with us to see us through. Whatever He allows is for my benefit and I can trust Him come what may!
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” ~ John 10:10 ~
☆ picture credits to whom they are due: studio team, Emily, Raffael, and others