Posted by: Laura | November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving

“How about this word, teacher,” Seitha proudly announced as he wrote “vetean,” on the board. I know that there are still a lot of words in the English language that I still don’t know but I am pretty sure that “vetean” isn’t one of them. At my skeptical look, Seitha affirms that he read it in the dictionary. But a minute later after checking said dictionary, he admits that he forgot one important letter vete-r-an. Now I can recognize as English again. But really, these kids are better spellers than me sometimes. But that is ok, they say that is why I am the math teacher not their English teacher.

Thanksgiving Day was pretty uneventful here in Cambodia. As ninth grade math class was finishing up a long worksheet, I wrote on the board Happy Thanksgiving Day and told them told them it was a holiday in my country. Those who finished quickly had to think up as many English words as they could with letters in Happy Thanksgiving Day. Hence the above discussion.

I am continually reminded of how many things I have to be thankful for, but today helped me focus on them for awhile. I thought I would write some down.

I have a very energetic (slightly on the side of uncontrollable at times) math 8 class that has no problems asking questions and telling me when they don’t understand.

I have grade 9 Math with a class that I have taught for three years now. I enjoy seeing them do so well in their studies as they advance. I love this grade because we enjoy and have fun making our own examples and illustrating simple math problems a little more complex just for kicks. I know that last part sounds cruel, but I swear they like it too.

Bible with grade 9 has of course been a blessing too. Every time I go through the book Desire of Ages on the life of Christ I see new things. Trying to phrase the complex and deep thoughts into simple easy to grasp ideas is very challenging. I often am frustrated because I really want them to see how amazing the story of the King of the universe living among us is, but don’t have the right words to express its profoundness. God help me!

The girls in the dorm constantly give me reminders of why I should be very thankful to God for as a parent and guardian figure. We ask for things we don’t need, we get impatient if we don’t get what we want right away, we see character development as something we would rather not do, we think that we can hide things from God, we think we know better than God. Simply, we act like children and rebellious teenagers! Sometimes, we need to be reminded of how we must seem to God sometimes. I am so thankful God hasn’t given up on this sometimes rebellious twenty-three year old.

I am thankful that each of my girls in the dorm are here this year. They each are a beautiful daughter of God and I am privileged to be given by God the job of trying to train and teach them about Him. Of course, that thought also scares me half to death at the enormity of the responsibility. So please continue to pray that I will do my duty well and faithfully.

I am so thankful that I have a fellow dean that is by my side to share in the joys and toils of deaning. To have a friend with whom I can discuss classroom antics or problems, world church developments, historical figures, probing theological questions, or controversial conspiracy theories is something that I am very thankful for. I am blessed to have her as a friend and know that God has helped us to work together as a team well. We are blessed to have so many volunteers here who share the same vision of true education of mind, body, and spirituality. I am thankful to count them my friends.

I am so thankful that I have parents and family that support me being here even though I am far away and gone for so long. I know that it must be harder than I can imagine, but I am thankful that their love gives me the freedom to do what I believe God wants me to do right now. Thank you and thank God for giving me a family like that.

But most of all I am thankful that God Himself, king of the universe, came to live on a small blue dot – called planet earth. I am thankful that He not only died for my sins but lived for me to give me an example of how to truly live. I can’t even truly understand how much I have to be thankful for, but I pray that I will not forget to say thank you every day for what Jesus has done for me.

I am thankful that God does not give up on me when I make mistakes, that He challenges me and strengthens me to do the job He has given me, that His word true and His promises are faithful, that He has the power to change my thoughts and feelings, and that He can change me from an unholy, unworthy rebel to a daughter of the king.  Thank you God!

Well, I better stop now or I will continue on on. Cambodian Thanksgivings are vastly different from those at home. No pumpkin pies (although my mom sent me something almost like pumpkin pie filling that we enjoyed today), stuffing, cranberries, colorful fall scenery, a cold bite to the air, or family get togethers. But it still reminds me of all that God has done, is doing, and will do in my life. Take this day to think of the things you are most grateful for. Once you really get started, it is kind of hard to stop.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” – Colossians 3:15


Responses

  1. Amen!

  2. Dearest Laura,

    I am truly blessed by your thankfulness <3 We are up early and preparing for the usually Thanksgiving "feast" and I am thinking af the many, many things that I have to be thankful for and you are one of those things. I am so thankful that you have a heart for Christ and His children in Cambodia.

    Lots of Love,

    Carol

  3. I love you Laura and am thankful to the Lord that you are a part of my life, be it oh so far away. Rebecca


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