Preparing to Leave

Hey Y’all!

My time in Cambodia is down to the last three days. I begin the journey home tomorrow. As I think back on the past two months, I am realizing that there is so much I have learned. From contentment to hard work, God is steadily teaching me wonderful things about himself, me, and the world.

The past few weeks have been a time of growth and learning.. and fun! I’ve been able to form stronger relationships with some of the students and learn more about who they are. One evening, while teaching the advanced english class, I was able to see a side that I hadn’t yet seen. We were going through a bible english book and the question was asked, “are you leading your family to Jesus?” One (very outgoing) student spoke up and said, “no”. I gave him a strange look and asked why he wasn’t. When I asked, Another student chimed in and said, “Afraid”. To that, I replied, “afraid of who?” Then a third student spoke up and said, “afraid of my parents.” I was very taken aback; so I turned to the whole class and asked the question, “is everyone afraid of their parents?” Multiple students shouted, “YES!” I paused for a few seconds, very surprised at what I had just heard. Before then, I did not realize how real the verbal persecution for being a christian is for these kids. Their families are not okay with them being christians, yet they are still faithful and come to church week in and week out. It is so so beautiful and encouraging to see and think about.

Teaching the noon class

Teaching the noon class

On a lighter note, we took a trip to the mountain this past Sunday! It was so much fun! There is a banana farm on the side of the mountain that we hiked to. Many of the students came and we all rode motos to the base of the mountain and hiked up. The students love going to the mountain and I thoroughly enjoyed it myself. A very special characteristic of the kids is that they are very caring for one another and for others. On our way to the mountain, one of the girls lost her shoe… So in order for her to get up the mountain, another student carried her on her back all the way up (it was not an easy trek). I volunteered to carry her down but failed at my duty and slipped on a rock, so a different student stepped in and carried her all the way back down the mountain (an even harder trek because the rocks were slippery and we had gravity working against us)! Witnessing this self-sacrificing kindness and generosity was truly indescribable. I’ve found that most people I have had the pleasure of coming in contact with have these same attributes. They will give freely… whether it’s a chair, their time, or their food. Generosity is something that I have learned from the people of Angk’jeay.

Our trip to the mountain!

Our trip to the mountain!

On the way to the mountain.. They can fit so many people on one moto. It's amazing to watch.

On the way to the mountain.. They can fit so many people on one moto. It’s amazing to watch.

We are also able to take a quick 24 hour trip to Kep (the beach) a few weeks ago. It was such a great trip!

Reaksmey and I in Kep!

Reaksmey and I in Kep!

The students came to send me off this morning as we left the village! I received so many caring notes and letters!

My send off!

My send off!

Sokha was wonderful in teaching me how to crochet(among other valuable lessons that I learned from her)! I was able to crochet a headband, a hat, and a dishcloth!

Our crocheted hats!

Our crocheted hats!

Things I have learned:

God’s strength is truly made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I have been blessed to be able to see the depth of God’s strength when I am weak and only have him to turn to.

We need not to be anxious. (Matthew 6:25-26) Why? God will take care of everything.

Pray about all things. (Philippians 4:6) When I have needed strength, when I have been totally weak, God provided.

What next?

Needless to say, I am still processing my time here and thinking about all the things I have learned and how to apply them in my life. I am so grateful for my time in Cambodia. It has been so different than I could have ever imagined and for that, I am very thankful.

You can pray for:

  • Me as I transition back into the states and figure out what to do with what I have learned.
  • The ministry here in Cambodia
  • Luke, Sokha, and Hannah as they continue their english teaching ministry in the village of Angk’jeay.
  • All the other MTW interns around the world as we travel back to the US for debrief.

Thank you so much for praying for me, thinking of me, and supporting me!

Blessings,

Whitley

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