June 2017 Update

The 2016-2017 school year draws rapidly to a close. Only one month left. This has been quite an amazing year!

  • It’s been the first year HoofTrek classes have been run. We’ve learned so much – mostly about what not to do! We are continually jotting down new/different ideas for next year. It has been very educational and I have enjoyed watching the students learn to interact safely with the horses. I have been told by some of them that they have learned patience and how to be confident learning new things.
  • It’s been a wetter year we’ve had rain nearly all year – even during April. This has kept the grass alive for which our horses are thankful.
  • Living by faith – may times this year we have come to the end of our financial resources. But we serve the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He has never let us or the horses go without. And God has not only provided for HoofTrek, but also for Wat Preah Yesu. He is ever teaching us to come to Him on our knees and proving over and over again that this is His work. His grace towards me is amazing, I don’t deserve any of it. I have and am having some real relational challenges this year, soem have been overcome, some still to be overcome, but God is faithful and if I can get out of the way He will do what He needs to do in me
  • Ely, Matthew and I have been learning to read and write Khmer on Wednesday afternoons with Rathom, one of our Gr. 10 students. She is a good teacher and I am amazed at how much I have learned and that I can actually read a bit (not perfectly, but better than before 🙂 )

Rathom is at the front

We have had some truly wonderful volunteers this school year. Matthew, from the USA, has been here since last September and Christel, from Denmark, has been here for a bit over 4 months. They have been great friends and teachers. Matthew will leave at the end of July and Christel leaves next week 😦 I appreciate them and all they have done for us here at WPY; I’m sure the students will miss them too.


For the last month we’ve had 4 ladies from California. They arrived just when we were short of teachers. Their love for God and for the students was very evident in their behavior and we made many good memories before they left yesterday. One of them, Rebecca, led us through a 10 days of prayer for Revival and Reformation. I learned a lot and am glad we had this opportunity. God is so good, and there is ALWAYS something to learn.

Students
Just after the April holidays we had a mini exodus of a few students who decided to go study elsewhere or work. This happens every year, and we pray that they will remember the things they learned here.
My Grade 7B English class I picked up after Anna left early February. I have enjoyed teaching them. They are energetic and friendly and have been doing really well.Over this last month they have been getting restless and noisy. This too tends to happen as exams get closer. God has been teaching me patience and love as sometimes the students have staged mini rebellions (trying to convince me of something and refusing to do what I wanted until I would give them what they wanted etc)

Gr 7B – pc Matthew

Tim has held a few staff meetings this year mostly discussing how we can implement True Education here at KAS. Please pray for Tim and all of us staff here as we look at making some big changes.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. May God bless you and continue to guide you into His perfect will..

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 ~

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.

 

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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A Moment

Here’s one of the most recent pictures of all the volunteers. Although there are some changes… Vanessa and Carly have returned to the US, and Ever has had her baby (that was a night I’ll never forget! 🙂 ). I’ll try to get us altogether for another one sometime.
~ photo credit – Vanessa

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“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:1 ~

Wind and Rain

“For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” ~ Psalm 91:11 ~

We’ve had two rain-showers in a week; it’s wonderful. The trees have lost their red, dusty look, and the grass is trying to grow back. It’s the first bit of rain we’ve had in nearly six months, and last year’s wet season wasn’t very wet. I’ve even seen the bottom of a couple of our ponds – a new sight for me.

The thing about rain in this country, is that it is always preceded by a strong wind. These two rainfalls were no exception. And the thing about this strong wind is.. well it tends to break the trees. We’ve had two big broken branches down at our house, one from a while ago, and one from last night. Fortunately, no one has been hurt.

But last night, Ely and I were returning from the studio. It was dark, and the road was muddy and slippery. Our motorbike has no light (no problem – we use a flashlight), but apart from that it works fine. Well this thought came into my head that there could be trees down so I should drive slowly. I was like, no problem God, I got this, slow it is. So we headed back home, dodging all the small branches that had come down and littered the road. We reached a more open path and I tried to increase the speed a little, but for some reason the bike refused to change into 3rd gear. I was in the process of telling Ely how now we have no choice but extra slow because the gears wouldn’t change, when we rounded the corner near the school and this loomed up out of the dark at us…

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I guess God’s idea of slow and mine are a little different, but I am thankful that He kept us safe. We stopped, jumped off and the motorbike just fit under the tree. This morning, hopped on the motorbike and it changes gears no problem…

We did have one tree fall on a house last night, but the young man who lives in there wasn’t hurt, nor did he lose any of his belongings.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 ~

All this talk about wind makes me think of the story of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, and all the amazing things that God did through His disciples. I pray that, like the strong winds here, God’s love will sweep over Cambodia and bring refreshing and new life in Him to the Khmer people.

I have some pictures from the Evangelism Team. They seem to be working hard and having a good time. Keep them in your prayers, and may many people see Jesus in them. They’ve been doing house visitation, a children’s program and night meetings I believe.

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In other news; after many years Tim and Wendy are rebuilding their house. The old wooden one they’ve lived in for 20 odd years has served them well, but finally it became evident that the termites were winning the war and the house was no longer stable. There was a concern that it might come down in some of the afore mentioned strong winds that occur a lot during rainy season. So it has gone from looking like this:

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to this

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I was told that as the builders pulled it apart, 5 of the columns simply collapsed – they’d been eaten nearly completely through by the termites. So soon work will begin on their new house, and hopefully it won’t take too long.

God bless, please keep the Khmer people, and WPY in your prayers.

Jol Ch’nam Holidays

Happy Khmer New Year!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” ~ Psalm 34:8 ~

We’re nearly to the end of our holidays here. It’s been hot and busy, but very enjoyable for me. Mainly because we had a Canadian family here to help plan and build a playground for WPY. So once school was out I went to work with them. They are a very hard-working, and very kind family. I spent a lot of time working and playing with them. I love them very much, and was very blessed by their time of service here. 20150410_103531 They worked very hard on the playground. They built swings, seesaws, a sandpit, a climbing wall, a cargo net, and many other wooden and tire climbing structures. They also left us with equipment to finish building a zipline and a tire swing. The children love their new playground, and spend much time playing there each day. We also had a group of grade 8 school children from Taipei, Taiwan come for a week and help with building the playground. 11149345_10152671653377484_3919433511289553555_n This holiday I was blessed to attend the wedding of two of our graduates, Ty and Laihun. They have both been to study at LIGHT in the Philippines and recently returned to begin working together here for their fellow countrymen. 1528524_968287233181388_2559533748989260738_n I was also blessed to be at Caleb and Savorny’s engagement, which took place at Savorny’s home in the village. It was a beautiful ceremony, and afterwards some of us climbed up the mountain behind her house to the waterfall. There was no water falling over the falls, but there were a few lovely pools. We had a wonderful time running from pool to pool trying to find the coolest water. 10985314_812273305495240_587257334608890800_n20150408_141225We also celebrated the orphans birthday last Monday. A day filled with games, pizza, presents, and a very soapy water slide. The Canadian family left the next day, and since then I have been catching up on school prep and other work that I had originally planned for the holidays. School begins this coming Monday. I don’t feel very rested, but I do feel very blessed when I think back to all the experiences of these holidays and the many ways that God has shown me His love and tender care. 10403176_10153184556348363_7965052162606374303_n The 10 month IMET (International Medical Evangelism Training) course starts on May 1st and there are still openings available for students if anyone is interested in joining. The last of the teachers arrived yesterday and they are eager to begin teaching others and equipping them to share the Gospel with the people around them. Also if anyone is interested, we have teacher openings for our new school year which begins in September. Qualifications are a love for God and a willingness to serve. See the Be Involved page for more details and contact Tim if you are interested in volunteering. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always, amen. IMG_6473.jpg Kat

A Christmas Song

I know it’s way past Christmas now, but this has just been uploaded to Youtube. I’m having a proud teacher moment, and want to share it…. after all, everyday is a day to celebrate our Savior and the work He has done to save us… and aren’t the children wonderful?

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.