There have been many things happening these last few months, as you will soon read of. God has been pulling us and leading us onward through several different valleys and mountaintop experiences. We praise HIS Name for HIS hand on our lives and continue to press onward for the upward call that HE has impressed on our hearts for Gateway.
As many of you already know, we welcomed our daughter, Senoka, on the 4th of November. She is now a happily chubby 3½-month old. Her addition to our family has blessed us tremendously. Lin is a wonderful big sister to her (when she isn’t jealous of her) and it is a blessing to watch them interacting with each other.
Lin is doing very well. She is finally 10kgs! And due to her body’s good response to the ARV medication, her CD4 count is up to 30. Praise the LORD for HIS goodness!
SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE:
One of the joys and added frustrations that come from caring for 24 kids is that many things happen at one time. For instance, we are currently experiencing the chickenpox. So far the number of children affected is 16. We first tried to quarantine those with it, but it is next to impossible here since we don’t have separate quarters apart from putting them in a separate room (hence the spreading).
TIMES OF TRIAL:
While Christina was in Phnom Penh awaiting the arrival of Senoka, Taka was experiencing other forms of apprehension. On two different occasions within a week, thieves came onto the property and tried to gain entrance to our living quarters. Seeing their tenacity, it was quickly decided that we need to do more for the protection of all of us here at Gateway. So now we are fortified with extra iron grating surrounding our inner compound with more gates, padlocks and even concertina (razor) wire. In addition to all of that, we’ve also added a dog to our family, Hannah. She is doing well by barking at any newcomer to our property. God is good in that the thieves never did gain access and that we now have better peace of mind with the added protective measures we have undergone.
Another experience is that we hired a lady in Oct as a housekeeper in hopes that Christina and I would be able to leave Gateway together occasionally just one night or two each time; but due to dishonesty in character and action, we were never able to do so in the course of the three months. She left us in Jan. It’s sad to say that whatever she did didn’t hit us hard, nor did it surprise us any longer. She was our 9th housekeeper. Starting from the first all the way to the 9th, everyone we’ve hired has all displayed the similar attitude toward their work as well as to our children as if they learnt from each other!
However, all those events and experiences have allowed us to be stronger and a little more united each time as a “family,” and to come to realize things we probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Thanks to the thieves, we have now a better security system, which had long been sort of neglected. Thanks to unpleasant experience with all the housekeepers in the past, we now know that apart from cooking meals, together with our children we are capable of running this place by ourselves.
The most significant discovery of all is the thirst for His word. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, we still continued our daily Bible study and worship time, with some adjustments. We had to shorten both the morning devotion and evening Bible study because the space among three separate living quarters was not secured yet at the time. We also had to cancel these precious times of the day as I would leave for Phnom Penh very often. That helped our children come to realize what it means to not receive His word on a daily basis. Many of our children still need to be encouraged to open the Bible. Naturally, when I am absent, they don’t get a chance to be exposed to God’s word. Now there is more desire and thirst to receive His word than ever before. This is another example that nothing in our life is to be wasted. There is always something positive we can learn even out of unpleasant experiences.
Back: Phanet, Dola, Lih, Mao, Hoan, Leak-2, Leak-1
Middle: Roe, Wuan, Naet, Hiang, Sroh, Nij-1, Sopia, Troab
Front: Radt, Nij-2, Janny, Pau, Pia, Niang-1, Niang-2, Aun, Lynda
We are excited to receive a youth team from Japan towards the end of March. We hope and pray that this time will be a faith-growing experience for each of these young men and women as well as a blessing to Gateway.
In April, we are planning our annual Gateway trip. This year’s trip will take us to Phnom Penh where we will cram loads of fun and entertainment for all of us in a 1-night, 2-day stay. In the midst of the excitement, we will be blessed with a baptismal service for those of our children who have received the Son. Please pray for the heart preparation for each of those who will be baptized and that their faith journeys will be rich as they follow in Christ’s footsteps.
1- That God will continue to bless our children in their spiritual journeys
2- That God would continue to bless Lin’s health as she continues the ARV medication
3- That God will help us to discern the characters of the two staffs we are currently monitoring during their initial trial period
4- That God will provide committed missionaries or long-term volunteers to work alongside us here at Gateway.
Our hope for us all:
“…walk in a manner worthy of the LORDD, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
- Colossians 1:10
Taka & Christina