Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
To our supporters: THANK YOU! Your prayers and donations this past year have helped our ministry greatly. We hit our faith goal for supporting the New Eden Bible School. We will keep you updated with any new initiatives regarding this Bible school. We thank you for supporting us in our ministry and language learning. Both Kevin and Carol are heavy into Khmer language learning this quarter. Like Paul said to the church in Philippi, “I thank the Lord whenever I remember you.”
We thank God our kids have been back at school in-person since January and they both adore their incredible teachers. Mackenzie has a new teacher that just arrived from New Zealand over Christmas break. Her family had to endure a 14 day quarantine in a hotel room with 3 kids before settling into Cambodia. Marcus’ teacher is from Australia, and he has become good friends with both her sons. Their family will be going back to Australia this summer. Our kids shared this week that they are already starting to mourn some close friends soon leaving in 5 months. To be honest, the transient nature of overseas life is difficult on us as parents too and we will need to process these feelings of loss together as a family. Kevin’s sister taught at a Christian school in Malaysia and knows this reality well. Each year the school has a “Leavers Assembly” to say farewell to students and teachers that are moving back to their passport countries.
We often get asked, “What kind of school do your kids attend?” We feel very blessed that in Siem Reap there is a Christian School that was started and funded by various Christian denominations to provide Christ-centered education for the children of international Christian workers. The kids are studying a UK curriculum in English, as well as Christian Studies and some Khmer language class. There are also non-Christian families enrolling their kids in the school. Carol has befriended one of the moms, who is a Buddhist, and asked her why she enrolled her 2 kids in a Christian school. The mom explained it was because she can see the teachers genuinely care for the students and she appreciates the moral teachings. Her kids have been asking deeper questions about Christian faith and having spiritual conversations with their teachers.
The teachers and principals come from all over the world for short-term and long-term commitments and work alongside local Cambodian staff. We see them as brothers and sisters supporting us in our ministry work and intentionally living life with a mission-focus in the classroom and community. We worship with some of them regularly, hang-out with them on weekends, and even vacation with them. They are our friends, spiritual support and ministry partners. The school has two locations and is currently looking for new staff for the following school year. If you are a qualified teacher and you are interested in a unique experience to serve in Cambodia, please check out the school website: https://www.hope.edu.kh/current-opportunities/
We share this so you can get a sense of our support system here. We thank God for the friendships we have with expats and nationals, and the new friends we make every year. Next week, our family will be heading out-of-town to volunteer and serve a group of children. Another Christian organization is having their annual prayer retreat, and Kevin and Carol will be volunteering to run the Children’s program. Pre-Covid, this organization would have received a short-term team from overseas to volunteer and help coordinate programs. We thank God for the opportunity to work with other Christian organizations and we seek partnerships with them as we work toward sharing the gospel to the least-reached people.
- Pray that Marcus and Mackenzie will see themselves as part of God’s plan and that they will have assurance of why we are living in Cambodia.
- Pray for the non-Christian families in the school, that their eyes be open to the gospel truth as they continue to have spiritual conversations.
- Pray for Kevin and Carol as they plan for the Children’s program event on Feb 20-23. Please pray that all the children will learn biblical truths about prayer, grow in their Christian faith and have fun at the Prayer Retreat.