Monday, June 19, 2017

A lighter blog

 Since the last blog was a heavy from the talk of the Killing Fields, I thought I would give you an "around the city" blog.

For those of you who have been here, this is the circle between our house and the Russian Market area.  Rich and I were walking one day a couple weeks ago and this was hanging there.

Probably a truck pulled the wire down and, so that people didn't walk or ride their motorcycles into it, someone attached a palm branch and plastic bag to the wires.

Here, if there is a hole in the road, even in the city, they just put a stick or a branch in the hole and hopefully you see it before running into it.  It is especially hard to see at night!  No flashing lights to let you know.
 After I saw the wires hanging down, I thought you might like to see our wiring.

This first picture is our the 2nd floor of my sister, Julie's house.
 This is on a cut-through street between our house and the school. The next picture is of the same lines, just closer.

When a truck yanks out of cable line, it is always entertaining to watch them try to find the right wire that is our and then attach a new line.

What you can't tell in these picture is that the little pole holding them
 up in the middle is not straight; the wires are holding it up.


A week or so ago, Rich and I went for pizza and this is the billboard outside of the Pizza Company.

Have you had Dancing Shrimp Pizza?  We haven't had it either!!!

We hope you all have a terrific day and are reminded of the many blessing we have from God.

Much love,
Ronda

Friday, June 9, 2017

James Glasscock, Robert and Debbie Mahaffey were here.

 James Glasscock was here for a little over 2 weeks.  He worked with our student on Evangelism for 2 weeks.  This is James' 3rd trip.

We have a special connection with James as he was in our first youth group in San Angelo, TX.  (Of course, he was "Jimmy" then)  He currently preaches in Early, TX.  We are thankful to his wife and 2 daughters for supporting him in his trip to Cambodia.  Maybe one day, they will come as well.

In his previous trip, James hadn't been to the Killing Fields just south of Phnom Penh.  So, on his last day here, we decided to go...and got caught in a downpour!!

This first picture is us up against a tree in the middle of the area trying to get out of the bulk of the rain.  Obviously we were already soaked.
 During rainy season, the sky can go from sunny to dark, windy and heavy rains very quickly.  I took this picture while we were standing under the tree.  You can't really tell how hard it was raining.

The Killing Field is now a field with holes all over it where they dug up nearly 9,000 bodies that the Pol Pot regime executed.  When you go there, you walk around the area that has signs describing what they found in each area.  For example, one plot (about 6' x 8') was labeled as having 166 headless bodies in it.  Some articles of clothing were found having the opposing party initials on them.

I will tell a little more about the Killings Field later on in this blog.

James Glasscock left on Monday, May 22nd.
 On Friday, Robert and Debbie Mahaffey came to Phnom Penh.  They had been on Partners In Progress' Ship of Life for 2 weeks working.

We were thrilled that they got a couple days to come see us.
 This is Robert and Debbie in from of the palace.  The picture in front is the king.

When we were in Broken Arrow, we went on medical mission trips with Robert and Debbie.  It was great to get to catch up with them.
 I took them to Toul Sleng, the high school that Pol Pot turned into a prison camp, where he tortured thousands of people.  It is truly unimaginable what he and his men did to their own people.  It is a hard thing to see but it really makes you appreciate this people.

After Toul Sleng, I took  the to the Killing Field as well.  In the middle front of the field is this monument.
I don't know if you can see or not in this closer view, that there looks to be white balls inside.  Those are skulls, and at the top, other bones that were found in this field.  They are in layers all the way to the top.

Both Toul Sleng and the Killing Field tells of a horrible time in the country of Cambodia.

There were fields like this found all over the country.  I don't want to give too many details here as the facts and descriptions are nauseating.  But the Cambodians (Khmers) today really show great appreciation and love for their families and for peace, as this happened not many years ago (1974-1979).

On that note, commune elections were this past Sunday and then the national elections will be next year.  The Prime Minister here has won easily until the last election.  The political situation is uneasy right now.  Please keep the Khmer Christians and the Khmer people in your prayers as the elections proceed.

Much love,
Ronda

Saturday, June 3, 2017

2 New Brothers!!!





 Meet Tola (blue shirt) and Leak (Yellow shirt).  They are your 2 new brothers in Christ.  They are both from Takeo province.

They are 2 of our newer students at the school.  Tola came to the school before and returned home.  He is now back studying.

Please keep them in your prayers.  Please pray that they might grow in their knowledge of God and His Word; that their faith might grown; and that they can stand strong for the Lord.

Much love,
Ronda

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Graduates Meeting

 We had another Graduates Meeting last Thursday and Friday.  It is a great time of study, fellowship, laughing, eating, and sharing.

Ut started us off on Thursday morning leading some songs.  Ut will graduate in August.
 Rich then greeted everyone and had our current students and graduates introduce themselves.  As we have several new students, they don't know the graduates.
 Leak is one of our new students.  He also lead some songs.
 This is Panya.  He is our newest student.  His dad is Tee, the leader of the church in their village.  Just a few months ago, Tee, who has diabetes got very sick and was in the hospital for several weeks.  He is now back in his village.  We are happy to have Panya at the school.
 Kimsruv, one of our graduates taught a section of Colossians 3.
He got a call that his wife's aunt died so after his lesson, he had to return to his village.  Kimsruv and his wife have twin boys that are only a few months old.
Kimsruv works in his home village with his brother, Kimsrun.
 Soklee taught next.  All of the lessons were from Colossians 3 and 4.
Soklee works in Battambang province with Sokun.  
 Of course, they love to eat.  And it is more enjoyable when they are all together.  So here are a couple shots of lunch the first day.

 Kimrun taught on Friday.  I didn't get many pictures taken on Friday because Phally, one of our girl graduates, brought her sweet 7 month old son.  So, I played Grandma and kept him entertained so the Phally could listen to the lessons.  (Such a hardship!!)
 Rong taught the last lessons.  Rong graduated about a year ago.  He has been working with one of the congregations in the city, trying to encourage the Christians there.
 This is most of the group.  There were a couple more that came part of the time.

Sweet souls! We are privileged to get to be here and work with them.
 Friday afternoon, Veasna planned some Bible games to test them knowledge.

So these are the 3 groups that competed against each other.  They are quite competitive!
 This is Group #2 and they won.  For prizes, they each got a towel, notebook and pens.
Group #3 was sitting by the door, so the picture isn't very clear.

Friday night we ate together and then played Bunco.  It is so fun to get to be together.  And we hope that especially the graduates can be encouraged as they go back out to their villages to work.

Much love,
Ronda

Monday, April 24, 2017

Church Camp in Thailand

 We were blessed to be able to go to Thailand for their church camp.  It is for Thai Christians of any age. There were over 500 attending this year.

The camp is held in Chaam, Thailand.  It is a fantastic time to enjoy God's beautiful creation, see friends, have some terrific singing, and hear God's Word taught.  It is truly an uplifting time.

 We know a lot of time goes into the preparation of camp.  The Soi Somprasong 4 congregation in Bangkok organized the camp each year.  They put in a lot of planning and go down a week early to get everything in place.
  This is a picture of Prasit and Praguy, with their sons and daughter-in-laws.  Prasit is one of the elders at Soi 4.  This entire family is very active in the congregation there, and are just a wonderful family.

 When the Thais get together, they can really sing!  One of the things I miss most about not being in Thailand is the singing.  I know that God is pleased!

The theme of the camp this year was
Leaving A Legacy.
 There are also a number of deaf brethren that attend.  This is Prateep signing for them.  There are several people who are able to do this ministry.
 In the mornings, after breakfast, we would sing, have 2 speakers, then sing some more before breaking off into the classes.  Then came lunch and afternoon activities (blessings, Bible Bowl, etc) and free time.  After supper, we met together again to sing and listen to 2 more lessons.  Then there were games for the kids before lights out.
Most of the people stayed in tents on the grounds.  Some of the older people (and us) stay in a hotel nearby.
 Rich taught the men (ages 20 and up) during class time and I taught the women.  Our topics for the 3 days of classes were:  Leaving a Legacy as a Husband/Wife; Leaving a Legacy as a Father/Mother; and Leaving a Legacy as a Grandfather/Grandmother/Strong Families.

It is always a time of homecoming of sorts for me. There are so many of the Thais that I have known for years.  It is quite frustrating however, to understand a lot of what they are saying, but not being able to answer back.  When I open my mouth, I speak Khmer (Cambodian), not Thai.  Thankfully, they are kind and endure with me!

One blessing that we certainly didn't expect was that a Khmer man, who is working in Bangkok, was baptized on the first night of the camp.  He speaks street Thai well.  But as the Bible is in an upper level of Thai (Khmer is the same way), he doesn't understand a lot of it.  We got to spend time visiting with him.  Then on Sunday, Rich preached and taught class.  Mavin, the Khmer man, sat beside me and I translated Rich's lesson into Khmer for him; while Glome translated the lesson for everyone else into Thai.

It is our prayer that one day in Cambodia, we can have over 500 Christians meet together and praise God in song and listen to His Word being taught.
We are grateful for all of you that are a part with us in this ministry.  We couldn't do it without you.

Please keep us and the work here in your prayers.  Please pray that we will have wisdom to lead in the right way.
Much love,
Ronda


Monday, April 10, 2017

Khmer (Cambodian) New Year Time!

 OK.  Ignore the dorky picture.  I was trying to show you the size of our mangoes.  I did have one mango the other day that weighed almost a kilo (2.2 lbs).  Forgot to take a picture before cutting it up.

April is the hottest month of the year.  But, to make up for it (at least some of it), it is MANGO SEASON!  We have terrific mangoes!

Of course, more important is the work that is going on here.  Dale Lundy finished teaching Isaiah, Rich finished Acts and I finished the Romans class a week ago.  Then last week,, Rich taught Christian Ethics all day long.

Now, it is Khmer New Year time.  It is technically April 14-16, but it is a big holiday here and most people will take at least a week off.  It is a holiday where the city empties out because most everyone goes back to their villages.

 For celebrating Khmer (pronounced k-my) New Year, our students decided to have a party on Friday night starting at 5pm. At 12:30 noon on Friday, after Rich got home from giving their final in Christian Ethics, he told me that we had been invited to a party at the school at 5pm....and if we would bring sandwiches, that would be great....oh! And if we could bring that Bunco game too, that would be really fun.  So, that changed my plans for my Friday afternoon and evening.  Instead of what I was planning, I got to go to the store for sandwich things and Bunco prizes; make the sandwiches; fix the prizes; make sure I had all the things needed to play Bunco; and then get to the school at 5pm.

We did have a really good party!  It was fun!  This is obviously the food table.  On top of the sandwiches, they had pizza, and then all kinds of meat (beef, chicken feet, oysters, shrimp, quid, etc)to grill.

 Here is the chicken feet and oysters on this grill.
 And this is another picture of the others meat that they were grilling.

The way this is done is everyone gets their chopsticks and just stands by the table.  You put what you want on the grill, cook it to how you want and then eat it.  No need for plates!  Less washing!


This is just a funny picture.  You have Starbucks...we have Starcups!  I pass this quite often walking down the street and have wanted to get a picture without being too obvious.

By the way, we do now have a Starbucks in the new mall.  We have only been to that mall 4 times since it opening in 4 or 5 years.  Why bother to go there, when I can get to Starcups much quicker!

Tomorrow (Tues, the 11th), Rich and I will be flying to Thailand to teach in their church camp.  We will be teaching each of the 3 mornings on :  Leaving a Legacy as a Husband/Wife; Leaving a Legacy as a Father/Mother; and Leaving a Legacy as a Grandfather/Grandmother and strong families.

We will come back to Cambodia on the 17th.  Classes start back on April 19th, with Veasna teaching on Evangelism and Rich teaching World Religions and then The Preacher's Work.

Keep us in your prayers; that we might have wisdom to guide these sweet souls.

Much love,  Ronda

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March Happenings

March is moving right along.

This is Dale Lundy.  He comes every year to teach in the school as well as help build up the church here.
This year, Dale is teaching Isaiah in the afternoons to all but one of our students.  We are grateful that he loves the Khmers as we do and is willing to share his knowledge with them.
(Sorry; this is an old picture but I haven't taken a new one this year)

Rich is teaching Acts in the mornings.

I am having one of our older students, Kimsroeun, teach me Romans in the afternoons.  He didn't pass it the first time he took it.  Since we have Richard Roger's commentary "Paid In Full" translated into Khmer, along with the study guide, Kimsroeun is reading and studying that.  He goes over his answers in the study guide with me.  In addition, he has to read each chapter of Romans 3 times and then each day, he teaches a chapter to me (with the exception of chapters 7 and 8 that are broken into 2 lessons each).  He has to select the most important verses in each chapter and memorize them(so far, he has memorized at least 3 verses in each chapter).  This will take us to the end of the month. Kimsroeun has nearly completed all his courses.  He is very sharp and is doing a great job teaching the book of Romans to me.  He has taught through chapter 5 so far.

We are having to make a bit of a change from this however.  Tuesday, I am going to assist Doris Morrison on her trip back to the US.  She is an older lady that has lived her for many years.  She runs a children's English school in Phnom Penh.  She has had several medical issues in the last year and her doctor has finally told her that she needs to return to the US to have more extensive testing done. However, she is very weak and has other difficulties, so it was decided that she didn't need to make the trip alone. Thanks to the donations of many people, my plane ticket as well as hers, has been paid for.  We leave Phnom Penh late Tuesday night and will arrive in Lubbock, TX  on Wednesday afternoon.  I will stay a couple days to help her get settled; then stop off at Rebekah and Evan's in the Dallas area (I am flying through there anyway, so might as will enjoy it a bit!)for the weekend before returning back to Cambodia.  I will be gone a week.  During that time, Rich will meet with Kimsroeun some of the afternoons to help until I get back.  Please pray for Doris and I; that our trip may go smoothly.

We always request that you keep the school, our students, graduates, and Christians here in your prayers.  Also, in April, Rich and I will both be teaching in the Thai Christian Church Camp on Leaving a Legacy as husband/wife, father/mother, grandfather/grandmother, strong family.  Please pray for us to have wisdom to teach as God would have us to teach.

Much love,
Ronda

PS.  We also just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary!  It has been a terrific 34 years.  We have been extremely blessed and are looking forward to more blessings to come.