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.




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quick US Trip

Thanks to a generous donation, we were able to make a quick trip back to the US to meet our new grandson, Ezra James.  He was born on January 2nd, to Reuben and Emily.

My dad is teaching Minor Prophets at the school now. So, that freed up Rich to be able to get away.

This is Emily, Reuben, and Ezra in front of their house in Virginia.  We had a great visit and hope we were able to help a bit.
On of the days while Reuben was working, Emily, Ezra, Rich and I went to the Botanical Gardens.  It warmed up for us a bit and we had great weather.



 Most of the time was spent in Virginia, but we did make a weekend run to TX so that we could meet up with all the rest of the kids and grandkids.  Since Rebekah and Evan lives almost exactly between Jason's and Randall's, it makes for a great meeting place.  Rich's parents were able to make the drive from Midland, so met with all of us as well.

This is Avery, Jason's daughter.
 This is Kenley, Randall and Kassie's oldest daughter.
I didn't get a good picture of Ryah, Randall's 2nd daughter, but we did manage to enjoy some great food.  This was at Rosa's.  
 This is Rich in Virginia, just keeping Ezra occupied.





















This is a picture of the gang at Rosa's (minus Reuben, Emily, and Ezra).  There are few things sweeter than getting to be with family!  So proud of my kids!!  God has blessed us so greatly!

We are now back in Cambodia.  Dad will give his final in Minor Prophets tomorrow.  He and Mom leave on Monday.  Veasna will also give his final on Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.  We will have 3 days of Evangelism week.  Then on Thursday, March 2nd, Rich will begin teaching Acts.  I will have one of our older students teach me Romans.

Much love,
Ronda

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Scott Keele and Jerry Lundy

It was nice to have Jerry Lundy and Scott Keele here with us.  For those of you who don't know them, they are both from the Broken Arrow Church of Christ.

Jerry is pictured here with Khemrin and It (pronounced Utt).  They both needed the book of Ephesians to graduate.

Jerry taught all day for a week.  I translated for him. Jerry also got to play a little soccer one Saturday morning with some of our students as well as some of the dorm students from the BEST Center.

It was Jerry's first time in Cambodia and hopefully, he will want to come back.
This is Scott's 3rd time to Cambodia.  He taught the book of Colossians in the mornings for 2 weeks.  Then in the afternoons the first week, he taught a class on how to teach a class.  Then 2nd week, he taught on song leading as well as a couple new songs.  Veasna translated for him.

This picture was taken just before Scott left Cambodia on Sunday evening.  He preached on self-control; Veasna is translating.

Rich is currently teaching all day on The Resurrection.  On Friday, my parents are coming from Thailand.  Dad will be teaching Minor Prophets and Veasna will be teaching II Corinthians.

Please keep the school, our students, graduates, and Christians in your prayers.

Much love,
Ronda

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Graduate meetings

 We had some of graduates come back for a time of study and fellowship on Jan 5th and 6th.

The study was on Colossians chapter 1.  This is a picture of Colossians 1 in my Khmer Bible.
 Rong, one of our graduates from last year, taught on Colossians 1:  1-12
 Veasna, who teaches and translates at the school, taught on Colossians 1:13-14
 Sokun taught on Colossians 1:15-17.  However, I forgot to get a picture of him.  He works in Battambang province.

This is Kimsruv. He works in his home village with his brother, who is also a graduate.  His youngest brother is in school now. He taught Colossians 1:18-23
 And then, Nuon, taught on the last verses of Colossians 1.  Nuon is working in Pursat province.  It is a new settlement that the government established.

We enjoyed a lot of singing.  One of the things that the graduates miss being out in villages is the singing.  So we spent about 45 minutes each morning singing.
 These next pictures are of lunch the 2nd day.

The first day, we had stuffed fried frog with rice.  It was really good.  We also had a soup.

Then on the 2nd day, we had fried chicken with rice.  It is fun to get together and listen to all of the kids visiting and having a great time together.

In the afternoons, Rich had the graduates get up and talk about their work; the good things, the problems, etc.  It is encouraging for the graduates to get input from others.  But also it's good for our current students listen to what the work is really like on a day to day basis.




The afternoon of the 2nd day Rich also had them play some games.  Here, each of them has a sheet of verses that they have to write where they are found.  The contest was to see who could get them all right the fastest.  One of our students got all but one of them quickly, but couldn't find the last one!

Friday evening, we had a night of pizza and sandwiches and played bunco.  It's always great to have them back.  We are so proud of the work that they are doing in their different locations.  Please keep them all in your prayers.

Our friends from Broken Arrow, Jerry Lundy and Scott Keele are here now to teach.  Next blog will be about them.  Hopefully I'll get a couple pictures.

Much love,
Ronda

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Graduation

 As I told you in the last blog, we had another graduation on Friday night.

Piset, one of our graduates, gave the talk.  He did a great job!  He talked about how before God made the light, it was all darkness; and that is how the world is spiritually.  He talked about how it is difficult but that as they leave the school, they need to be the light and stand strong.

We had 2 graduates.  Standing closest to Rich is Somrach.  And then Makara is standing by Veasna, the other teacher at the school.


Neither Somrach or Makara plan to preach full time as of now.

Somrach is studying Photography - in the form of camera and videos for weddings, etc.

Makara is finishing up his Bachelor's degree in Finance and will then go on to gt his Masters.
Please keep both of these men in your prayers; that they will be Christian examples and spread God's word to those around them.

Much love,
Ronda