It has been a busy month at the ministry centre as all the programs are fully running again. During the weekdays we offer math, Vietnamese, and English classes. During Sunday worship service, all the IWs take turns teaching the Bible in either Khmer, English or Vietnamese with Vietnamese translation when needed. We also have consistent youth group meetings to further disciple our current and future church leaders.
In our last update, we shared about 2 youth that we were hoping would apply to attend a local hospitality training program in Siem Reap. Thank you for your prayers and concerns for them. Unfortunately, both families have decided they are not ready to commit to this 1 year program yet. We tried our best to reassure the youth and their parents that this is a worthy investment of time that will lead to better job opportunities and ultimately a better future for their family. There were also some gossipers in the community that spoke negatively about the program and spread fear and doubt which discouraged the youth from applying. Our hope is that as we build stronger trust and bonds with this community, and pray against unfounded fear that we will be able to help enroll the youth in vocational training programs in the future.
In Cambodia, the public school starts again in October/November. We have been visiting with Vietnamese families and helping to enroll kids in Khmer schools. Unfortunately, there have been at least 5 children from our ministry that will dropping out of formal education this year due to various family issues. Some may be moving to another city in the coming months, some need to stay home to take care of younger siblings, and others need to start working to help support the family. We felt sad and disappointed that the parents did not value formal education enough to keep their kids in school. But we realized that their shortsightedness is due to extreme poverty so they are only able to make plans in order to survive day-by-day or month-by-month…not for years to come.
On the other hand, our ministry also wants to encourage the families that are letting their children enroll in school so we have been gifting each student with new uniforms. Carol pushed and shoved in “line” for 2 hours (LOL Cambodian Life, people do not line-up here) and took multiple trips to various schools to ensure every student had outfits for the first day of school. We hope that God will open doors for more kids in this community to be able to enroll in formal education and for their parents to see the value of formal education.
One more update is that our family is going to take a short trip to Thailand tomorrow to renew our annual Visa. The bonus is that our home church from Scarborough also happens to have a short-term team visiting Thailand at the same time so we will have the opportunity to connect with our church family! We are very excited and thankful for God’s timing in making this possible. By the way, if you or your church is interested in coming to Cambodia for a short-term trip in the future, let us know, we are hoping to receive teams in July or August 2020.
- Kids are happy and healthy. Mackenzie wants to share that she has many friends and often gets to go on play dates.
- We will be spending time with our church family from Scarborough Community Alliance Church
- Pray that we can build stronger relationships with the adults in this community as we help provide education/career counselling and care for their children.
- Pray that the Lims can renew their annual Visa to work in Cambodia without any issues.