Dear Brothers and sisters, friends and family,
Greetings from Cambodia! As we approach the end of 2009, we wanted to write you to express our thankfulness for your faithful prayers and support.
When we think about all that has happened in this last year, we have much to be thankful for. God has provided for us in ways that we didn’t even know to ask for. He is so good to care of all matters in our lives here. As you know He blessed us with the ability to build an addition which currently houses all our girls and two housemothers. We are currently working towards making more use of the space available that will enable us to more than double the current capacity.
We have had several volunteers come to join with us and not only to help, but to teach us and our children, to encourage and fellowship and to pray with us in this life here at Gateway.
Since the beginning of the year, we have had our share of comings and goings among staff and also among the children here at Gateway. All in all, we have had 3 staff and 9 children come and go. On the other hand, we have continued to increase in number. In January we had 11 children (8 girls and 3 boys). Now we have a total of 19 children (14 girls and 5 boys).
With this increase, we knew that we needed to start reorganizing our means of caring for the children. This led us to start teaching our cook to become a housemother who is now in charge of 10 of our girls. Srey Ruah has proved to be a quick learner with many resources. It is a blessing to have such a self-motivated and caring woman to look after our girls.
All but 3 of our kids are currently in school and they are doing well, with the exception of some struggles here and there in reading and arithmetic. We are quite proud of their efforts and their desire to improve their knowledge (some of the girls in grade 4 who are weak in their reading abilities have asked for additional tutoring). God has blessed one of our boys with the ability to advance from grade 1 to grade 2 within the first month of school and several children are ranked number 1 or 2 in their class.
Life as it is:
Aside from the 19 children currently living at Gateway, we have met with roughly 12 other children who are still waiting to be accepted. Due to the sudden increase since this summer, we have recently hired two more housemothers in addition to Srey Ruah, our first housemother. They have just started their three month provisional period for training. To be a housemother is not as simple as it may sound. This position requires them to be at service 24/7.
Furthermore, it’s not about getting given tasks done, but more about caring for our children in the love they rightly deserve. In this sense, there is no guarantee at this moment that those two ladies will still be with us after three months of training. We would rather take care of the children by ourselves just as we have been doing than have someone who only takes this position just as a source of income. Please join us in prayer that God will help us have discernment in this matter.
Very often our children look like nothing but wild monkeys to our eyes! But lately we have had opportunities to compare Gateway children with others from outside, and the difference is remarkable, making our children seem more like angels than monkeys; and so we now know that the small teachings and small disciplines we place on our children daily have actually begun to bear fruits already. Those fruits may still be tiny in a sense that we need outsiders to compare in order to realize. Yet, this is about life, which we hope will be led to eternal life in Christ Jesus. We have to understand that some children may need months or years of steady teaching and discipline. We are so thankful for such positive changes growing in the lives of our children. Some of them have even started sharing with their friends at school what they learn from our daily teaching sessions from the Bible. These precious lives have already begun to be used as His beautiful instruments!
Currently at Gateway:
Health: The long-lasting cold still persists and in several cases has morphed into more serious illnesses including Pneumonia, Pharyngitis, Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Tonsillitis and ear infections. We could write a medical journal, I think. Three of our girls have recently had Tonsillectomies and we thank and praise God for their speedy recovery.
Christmas: We are currently readying our children for the message of Christmas. They have heard all about it before, but we are taking it a step further with actually having a program this year. Christina found a play to translate and is currently working with the children to practice in preparation for our Christmas celebration, which will be held on 27th of December.
Again, we want to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to all of you: for bridging the gap and standing with us, for without you Gateway Cambodia would not exist!
1- That God will continue to bless our children in their spiritual journeys
2- That God would bring healing to Gateway
3- That our new housemothers will be positive and long-term additions to our Gateway family
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”
Taka & Christina