Posted by: សារ៉ា(Sarah) | November 14, 2013

Highlights & Heartaches

Mixed feelings vied within before relaunch.  So now highlights and heartaches accompany my return to the field.

Little feet pound toward me.  Little arms fling around me and little hands tug at mine.  Little voices chant, “‘Cher! ‘Cher!”  Older girls wrap arms around my waist, rest chins or heads on my shoulder, whisper, “I miss you.”  Older boys grin, echoing the girls’ words.  My smile begins deep inside my heart.

But days pass.  I scan faces around me, always hoping to see others – others who don’t return.  Sros, Ny, Mondul, Chhanny, Seyha, Noun, and others – lured away by prospects of riches in Thailand, a “free” life of no rules outside of WPY, marriage, family challenges, sickness, and more.  Others vanished – I don’t know where they are – yet God knows.  I pray His Spirit continues to strive with them all.

Some names and faces you recognize, so I will tell you about them: our Grade 12 graduates.

I have not personally heard from Gechchou (Chou), Nea, Lucky, or Rachou, but other teachers and students share reports with me.  Chou still attends Asia-Pacific International University (APIU – formerly Mission College) in Thailand.  Nea finished teaching at the Caleb Centre in July and now works as an assistant to school bus drivers for a high class school in Siem Reap.  Lucky married his songsa, Samoul, and works as a mechanic.  He also bought a car and drives taxi.  Rachou recently returned after a couple months of working at the Poipet border area.

Tob and Nico were married last May.  They live in Germany while Nico finishes Physical Therapy.  Tob keeps life lively – she’s as much a character as ever – while doing her best to conquer the German language.  I enjoy communicating every so often via Skype and email, and both speak passionately of returning to Cambodia once they’ve completed their education.

Nico and Tob with Nico's parents (the wedding day).

The groom’s parents with the happy couple on their wedding day.

Niet works part-time in the studio where she creates music accompaniments for children’s songs.  The rest of the time she teaches recorder to various grades in the school.  In September Sophear left WPY to attend a four-year secular (there are no Christian education options past Grade 12 in Cambodia) media school in Phnom Penh.  In his last email he asked me to pray for a job.  He needs to offset housing and other expenses not covered by his sponsor.

Like Niet, Sameth and Pisei both teach in the school now (we lost many Khmer staff this year).  Sameth also takes classes in town, working towards a degree in education.  Pisei also wants further education: his first step is to attend the next session at PAFCOE (Philippines Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism), beginning in January.  He is also interested in pastoral ministry or possibly pursuing something he’s never heard of a Cambodian doing before.  He desires to give his people opportunities they’ve never had.

Chantha still works at the school in Samraong although he’s a bit unsettled about his future.  He is praying God will show him what to do.  Teaching kids is easy, but politics and various visions for the future and opperation of the school often create difficult dilemmas.

Chantha working on the school grounds with some of his students.

Chantha working on the school grounds with some of his students.

Sokea and Saram both still teach here.  Chhorvy, Savorny, and Teav left WPY in August to attend L.I.G.H.T. medical missionary training in the Philippines.  These three girls are the first fruits of a dream – a dream to see missionary training centers in Cambodia operated by consecrated Khmer people.  We believe God is preparing them and several other young men and women who will attend L.I.G.H.T. and PAFCOE over the next couple years to establish Cambodian versions of the training centers.  If you want to be involved in supporting committed young people train to be missionaries to their own people, let us know.

The L.I.G.H.T. training center.

The L.I.G.H.T. training center.

Teav studying.

Teav studying.

Savorny continues bringing life and laughter to all she's around.

Savorny continues bringing life and laughter to all she’s around.

The girls' Filipino home.

The girls’ Filipino home.

Chhorvy working in agriculture.

Chhorvy working in agriculture.

Chhorvy and Teav enjoying a meal with a couple of their classmates.

Chhorvy and Teav enjoying a meal with a couple of their classmates.

Changes.  Some bring joy.  Others sorrow.  But above all God does not change.  And He loves these people more than I do.

Please continue to keep each one mentioned in this post in your prayers.  Satan’s attacks have not subsided and he’s succeeded in distracting several.  But prayer is powerful and I expect to see victories.


Responses

  1. This breaks me. I could just hear the outbursts in my head. “‘Cher!!” 😀
    So happy for the ones who have gone on to make light their own, and shine… So sad for those who’ve melted back into the world they came out of. I know how His heart can break and sing at once…

  2. Thank you for the updates Sarah! I always like to know what is happening. We continue to pray for you and Laura.

    Love,

    Carol


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