Friday, July 5, 2013

Gateway News: July 2013

   Greetings in His name!  Again we send this many months after our last news—which in turn means that we have much to “catch-up on”.  Thank you for your continued understanding and grace towards us and our intermittent Newsletters. 

Private (vs) Public School:

   We have put serious thought to the option of sending our children to a Christian school.  But there are several factors that have led us to conclude that we will not send them. The most decisive factor is from a scene I (Taka) saw one day in the morning.  As I saw them off to school in the morning in front of our gate, I saw so many children on the street walking toward the state school.  Some of them even joined the crowd of Gateway kids. 
Our Newest Children: L-R: Srey Uach, Srey Pau-2, Chamroeun, Srey Pich, Wot

   It is true that there are many private schools springing up all over Phnom Penh, however, majority of the children still attend state schools.  We have come to sense that pulling our kids out of the state school system and putting them into an overly protected environment would probably not do any good for them because that would mean that we would keep them from the very society where they will go back one day upon completion of their education.

   We want our children to be equipped with life skills such as cleaning, cooking, washing.  We would also for like them to learn social and spiritual skills, which are compatible in the unique environment in which they are going to live; not the kind of skills and tools, which might work only in certain Christian circles or privileged group of people.  We don’t want them to just survive—we want them to thrive in this age of darkness and we want their lives to beam through the cloud of hopelessness.

New members of Gateway

   From the end of April to the beginning of May, we received five children from four different families with several more children still pending.  As you may well know, we had kept ‘losing’ children over the last couple years, and that made us even wonder at some point whether or not we had been faithfully listening to God’s voice and guidance.  Every child has been placed under our care according to His will and plan.  That is why we even misunderstood that they were all meant to stay with us until they complete their education.  We fell to thinking that “They are not meant to leave us or we should not make a decision to let them leave as they wish or to send them back home when they actually still want to stay with us despite their actions crossing the final line.”
Lisa, Lin and Jelba riding in a tuk-tuk
   But each time a child leaves, we also feel some sort of assurance from Him.  We feel as if God is rearranging Gateway from within.  Of course, it still hurts us when having to see them leave us. But we have learnt, and are still learning, to let go and remain focused on those still with us.

Jelba & Lisa

   We have been blessed with the presence of Jelba, a lady from India with a background in pastoring several churches in her homeland who has answered the call of her heart to come and serve in Cambodia (specifically children).  She has been living with us and serving with us in the areas of Bible teaching and teaching English since late March.  Though we don’t know how long she will be with us, we are continually blessed with her presence and her heart to serve and teach the children of Gateway alongside us. 
Our latest family picture!

   Another short-term volunteer is Lisa who hails from Regina, SK.  She was with us for just 5 weeks (May-June), but her presence was an additional blessing to us and we hope that she has been touched and strengthened in her walk of faith and that God has opened her eyes to more of what He has in store for her and her life’s work in Him.

A New Tuk-Tuk for Gateway

   Acquiring a new Tuk-tuk has been a blessing to us allowing us to travel around Phnom Penh with our children instead of hiring transportation.  It allows us much more freedom and ability to take the children on short excursions throughout the city (usually on the weekends).
Our new tuk-tuk (and NO, Christina will NEVER drive this!)

Prayer requests:

1.    Five new children will continue to settle down and sponsor families will be provided.

2.    There are several more children who might be sent under our care.  Please pray that the Lord will lead them and let them reach Gateway safely if they are meant to be with us, and that even if not, the Holy Spirit will continue to guide them to wherever they are meant to be, of course, under Christian influence.

3.     We are constantly in need of volunteers in the area of teaching English and assisting Gateway leaderships (only Taka & Christina…).  The longer, the better.  Yet, we value any guests and their hearts to serve alongside with us regardless of how long they could stay with us. 

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4)

Blessings and Love,
Taka, Christina, Lin & Senoka and all the children at Gateway!
Kids will be kids...wherever they are!