Friday, July 11, 2014

Sin in a Box

Here's a skit that some fellow volunteers did a couple of weeks ago at Sabbath-closing vespers. Quite thought-provoking - and it really spoke to some of the issues and questions our kids face.

Video: Dan Serns (obtained via FB)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mission Missings

Month 1 of 11 in Cambodia:

I'm a missionary. And, as I've been discovering over the past month, there's a lot of stuff I can't get here that's readily available at home. Some of it's totally fine. I really don't mind washing my hair with little packets of shampoo, sleeping on a thin mattress on the floor, wearing only flip-flops at all times, or scrubbing my clothes in a tub by the pump. But some stuff is rather missed: 
  1. A real piano.
  2. Smoothies (specifically peanut butter/banana).
  3. Whole wheat bread.
  4. An oven.
  5. Juice (from the refrigerator).
  6. Couches.
  7. Taco Bell (I seriously never thought I'd say that).
  8. Christmas lights.

Month 10 of 11 in Cambodia:

The update...

Most of that stuff I wrote back then is totally fine now. I don't miss it much at all anymore, and I've discovered an Asian alternative for some of it, anyway. For example, we borrowed a blender from the Home Ec room during mango season, bought ice just down the road, and made incredible smoothies several times. WW bread... well... I will enjoy it at home but I've gotten used to the French baguette bread here. In January, I moved to one of the only houses on campus that actually has an oven, so I've been able to enjoy using that. Once a week I can get sugarcane juice at the market. Couches... hammocks are just as good, if not better. My mom sent me some LED Christmas lights so those are stashed away for Christmas season. The only two things that haven't really been remedied are the piano and Taco Bell, but I will enjoy those when I do go home! 

I think I'm going to have to do a switch and write a list of stuff I'll miss about Cambodia while I'm at home:
  1. Brown-skinned people (they all want to be white; I wish I were brown).
  2. A cool dipper bath in the middle of a hot day.
  3. Hearing and speaking Khmer.
  4. Morning market.
  5. Sitting on the floor during church.
  6. Leaving my shoes at the door (and trying to find them afterwards).
  7. Rice. Every meal.
  8. Riding on a motorbike everywhere I go in town.

It's been a challenge to adjust to a new culture, but I am learning Paul's lesson:

"I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content" (Philippians 4:11).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One year

Pathfinder outing! (Photo: Shannon Maddocks)

The school year is nearly over! It's so hard for to believe. A group of student teachers from Avondale College have been here for the past three weeks, but they just finished teaching their last day, and will be leaving soon. There's one "normal" week of study, then we have review and final exams in the following two weeks. Didn't I just arrive here at Wat Preah Yesu? It's crazy how fast time has gone by.

During the course of this year, my students and I have grown quite close. We've been with each other through happy times and hard times, 19+ classes a week. It's been fascinating to watch each young character closely and see the strengths blossom. I've seen so many weaknesses in myself, but I've also observed so much strength in God. It's been an incredible opportunity to be pushed toward Him as in no other way, and chosen to be a channel of His power and love.

We were really blessed during this school year to have a large variety of volunteers. A fellow teacher wrote about them here, on her blog. So many strong skills were represented this year: science, music, agriculture, photography, theology, health & nursing, accounting, math, and other things. God has provided just what we need to teach the kids.

Now we are looking ahead to next school year. We know that even though several of our teachers are moving on to new places, God will continue to give us the resources we need. However, at this point in time, we're still on the lookout for volunteers for the new school year beginning in September. Specifically, we need people to teach the following:
  • Mechanics
  • Bible
  • English
  • Science
  • Math
  • Music
We can use people with other skills as well. You don’t have to be a qualified teacher, but we do prefer conservative Seventh-day Adventists who have a commitment to letting Christ live His life through them.
If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Tim Maddocks at tim @ saltmin . org (no spaces).

I'm so glad that God has worked it out so I can stay an additional year. One of my students mentioned that he wants me to stay for seven years. I said that it's up to God - He has to provide for me to stay if that's what He wants! So my little guy is now praying that God will help me to stay for that long. :-)

I will visit the US from August 14 - September 2. I am looking forward to being home again, trying out American food (not sure how I'll cope without rice), and visiting friends. I hope to see you, give you an update in person, and just catch up on life!

P.S. My friend Kathleen is much more faithful at updating her blog than I am, and she shares much of what happens at Wat Preah Yesu. You might consider following her blog as well - Purposed in My Heart.