Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 2009 Newsletter

Our Current Gateway Family:
Top to Bottom, Left to Right:
Srey Lin, Christina, Srey Ruah, Phanet, Srey Nij, Jannaa, Dola, Srey Lih, Srey Leak, Srey Pau, Janny, Srey Niang, Lynda, Sy Naet and Taka

Greetings in HIS Name!!

First of all, we apologize for the length of time it has been since our last newsletter. Secondly we want you all to know that your prayers have been felt as you have prayed with and for us. We thank God for you—we couldn’t be where we are without that support and encouragement!

Many things have happened since our last newsletter in March!

Ebb and Flow:

We have had to dismiss one boy, Sy Nay, 17. He was the oldest and most studious among our Gateway children. This made it so difficult for us to have to make him go. However, it was he who crossed a line despite a series of correction and warnings, and from the nature of the problem he caused we had no other choice in order to ensure the safety of the other children. This incident brought many more challenges to Gateway. However, we strongly believe this happened for a reason. Now the atmosphere has changed in a positive way, and more stability has been brought to Gateway.

Since this incident, we have received 3 new children and they have been transitioning well into our family life here at Gateway. We are also anticipating the arrival of 3 more children in the near future and we also have 2 other cases to assess for ourselves the situations and whether or not we will accept them.

Spiritual Currents:

We continue to have our Bible sessions twice a day. Unfortunately, we cannot say that all of them are into it. Although we don’t force them to join the sessions, some still feel obligated to be there. Often we don’t see them actually listen to the messages, and as soon as we finish the session in prayer, they rush out of the building. It’s not very encouraging, but we keep trying to provide opportunities for them to be exposed to His message and pray that the truth of our Lord Jesus will reach their hearts one day.

On the other hand, we definitely see positive changes and spiritual growth in our core children, who have already received Jesus. Those changes are nothing big or radical, but steady spiritual growth. Just a few days ago, when I was taking care of the mango trees, I overheard our 8 year old girl, Sy Naet, praying alone in the ministry building. I don’t know what she was praying about as it was her personal conversation with Jesus and I wanted to respect that by leaving her alone. Yet, there is one thing I saw for sure: she was praying sincerely to God. It was such a blessing to me. We can only encourage – not force – them to pray, and trust that the Spirit of the Lord will work further from there.

Meanwhile, we would like to put our emphasis on spiritual growth. We as the leaders of Gateway have to continue to grow in Spirit and Truth of Jesus Christ. We would also like each of our children to develop a more and more personal relationship with the Lord and experience spiritual breakthrough.

Constant Ripples:

Our children go to public schools, and very often their teachers expect students to bring things/money such as brooms, tools to cut grass, trash bags, etc. as well as special gifts for their teachers, for holidays or Buddhist ceremonies. We cannot provide things which are initially the school’s responsibilities, and we cannot allow ourselves to be part of Buddhist ceremonies by contributing money. The problem is that when our children don’t take whatever their teachers tell them to bring, they can be mistreated, even to the point that the teachers might not give a fair evaluation for their study. Our stance is clear and it won’t change. But we ask you to join us in prayer that our children will understand that to do right things in God’s eyes sometimes costs them in various ways, yet they still need to choose the right path.

Tides of Change:

With the extended holiday coming up between school terms, we have encouraged our kids with other projects to occupy their time. One such project was in the allotment of small parcels of land with which the children were given the choice of vegetables to grow and tend. It is exciting to see them tending their little plots and we all look forward to eating the corn, pumpkin and cucumbers that are growing in various stages. Also, more requests to borrow guitars for practice are coming to us, as well as some added attention to expand their limited English.

With the new addition to our house nearing completion, we are readying the girls for the transition to their new quarters. The second room will be used as a reading/study/quiet room for our children as well as for us.

We are anticipating a couple of volunteers in the coming months. We look forward to the fellowship that we will be able to have and pray that their visit with us will be fruitful to them and also for our children who will benefit from their presence here.

Address Change:

Our contacts for correspondence in the US, Christina’s parents, have recently changed their address. Please make note of this change. Their new address is:

Stephen and Carrie Mathis
8798 N. Farm Rd 75
Walnut Grove, MO 65770

Prayer Requests:

1- That God will continue to bless our children in their spiritual journeys

2- That Srey Lin’s health will improve after these several bouts of high fever

3- That we will have wisdom and discernment when accepting new children

4- God will send volunteer(s) to serve alongside with us

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”
 James 3:17

Many blessings,

Taka & Christina



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