The months of March and April have been topsy turvy for me. Things that had not been on my ‘to do’ list were now occupying a number there, which seemed to be in a somewhat constant state of flux. I had presumed my life was going to be smooth sailing as preparation for the Immanuel short term team entered its final preparations. Not so much.
First off, we have had some staff who have been quite ill, which when your staff is small in numbers, can make a huge impact. Additionally, when your language skills are not up to the level of the locals, it means that we have to rely on them at some point to be sure we are doing the best we can with/for them.
That being said, when the office translator took seriously ill and up till now has been in the hospital four times, it truly impacts everyone, including this wonderful man whose heart is to share the gospel to the youth (and he has a youth ministry offsite). If he is in the hospital he cannot work, and if he is not able to work, he cannot pay for his medical care. He can’t buy food to eat, pay for his rent, medication, his whole life is upside down. The church, as fragile as it is till now, can only help so much.
He was also our second option for our Immanuel team as our team translator for the time that they are here with us in Siem Reap. Our first option is also dealing with some unknown illness, not yet figured out with the local medical people. Sigh! Neither one will be with us.
In steps our next option, a very gracious young guy whose roll here is IT on staff. His english skills are ramping up at breakneck speed as we continually cross cultures and language to figure out how to do all of the prep work. I can’t begin to count how many trips to the printer he has made in the past three weeks to get samples, price quote, and copies (coloring pages and bookmarks as an example.) Sometimes I wondered if I had spoken correctly of what needed to be made up. Gratefully God’s example of patience and forgiveness has gone around a few times. He is learning to ask more than enough questions and when I hear “I got it” then I am able to breathe out that he indeed understands. Mind you, he still has his other responsibilities to do as well, so he’s gone way beyond the call of duty at this point in my book.
In the midst of all of those needs, comes along a request to gather in a Christian day school curriculum and do a Sunday School seminar. AND I am in the midst of a gargantuan Sunday School translation project graciously shared from a wonderful church who had exhausted their use of the materials sent our way to initiate an ‘official’ program.
And I am a nurse by profession. I don’t think that in any of those classes did I learn about these topics?
Have I lost any of you readers yet?
Well, here’s the catch. NOTHING has gone as planned. And as you all know my crazy detail oriented mind for a ‘perfect’ result didn’t ever happen. Only this time I realized I was so far out of my comfort zone that there was no way I could do it on my own nor did I have to stress out over it. It just wasn’t going to work out. God is smiling and said “Well, are you going to let ME help you this time.?”
Oh, did I mention that it’s Khmer New Year next week the 13-15 timeline. The country literally shuts down those days ~ and cruises along a few days before and after too. That means that no one will be available to complete the list I talked about above.
Today, as I write this the following has happened:
1-three pastors have come forward and are sharing in the translation that would be beneficial for the team to have in Snor Village at the end of the month. Each has / is taking some of what remained undone and are even working over the New Year holiday on their own time. Wow!
2-A dear friend in the US, a retired Lutheran elementary school teacher, has graciously stepped up to help me roll out the beginnings of a platform for the Garuna Christian Schools. Amen!
3-The Sunday School seminar is completed, thanks to the encouragement and prayers from our eldest daughter, who sat in the back row of the classroom waving at me (on my phone no less) as I stood in front, sharing the mission, structure, and ministry of Sunday school across all age levels over a two day time span. When the translation wasn’t completed due to illness as noted above, plan R came into action ~ make English copies and translate it ‘on the spot.’ Good way for the locals to get an English lesson in along the way free of charge. Even George was able to step forward and give a ‘story telling’ of one of the Bible events just as if he was talking to a group of children (older ones). Surprise, surprise, I don’t think the staff had a clue that was one of his favorite things to do in ministry.)
4- Additionally, I’m now understanding that starting in June, these 18 books will begin their translation process with the ultimate goal of 100 copies to be distributed for teaching to the village congregations. Wow, wow~
5-Early English and other Sunday School materials gathered in for a DVD for distribution to strategic persons to use in the start of the new school year coming forth is done.
And to give credit where credit is due, whose been doing the laundry, cleaning the two rooms we occupy, and running for groceries and meals while I worked. George. He’s the one who has stomped on the heat index as he has marched outside to do all of those things while I was in another cloud frame. And he also continued In his own projects too. Thank you!
You know what, God is good. He has had His mighty hand in all of this, and whatever goes, is going to be just fine. It’s kinda nice to let him drive the car once in a while actually, knowing that at the end of the journey you know you’re going to get there. Gotta do that more often I guess.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8