Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for your interest in what God is doing in His ministry in Cambodia. We wanted to keep you informed of the happenings here in Cambodia so that you not only see the ways that God is answering your prayers, but also that you can pray more deliberately for us and the Cambodian ministry. The following pictures and explanations are from our Opening Ceremony for the Wesleyan Bible Institute’s new school term.

As a mission team, we had a vision to start the new term with a ceremony that would involve the parents and the pastors of the new students. We wanted it to be a time of appreciation and involvement of these parents, some of whom are not Christians. We envisioned a ceremony where we would be able to develop relationships with these parents, assuring them that we were not taking their children from them, but instead we were educating them to be pastors, which is a high honor. We also hoped that throughout the night, we would be able to share the Gospel with these parents, planting seeds toward their future acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior.

It was great to see all of the students eating together, even during this first night. It was a great encouragement to see them all together, knowing that their unity as students is essential to their time of development and learning at the Wesleyan Bible Institute.

During the ceremony, the students sat together at the front of the chapel, and their parents and pastors sat in the congregation. Seeing the students pray and sing together, worshiping God and dedicating their lives to His service was a great ministry to our hearts.

To further involve the parents in the ceremony, we had gifts for the parents to give to their student. Giving of gifts is very important and binding here in Cambodia, so the parents felt involved not only in the ceremony, but also in the educational process of their students. Here, you are seeing the national superintendent, Luc Kong Kimsan give his daughter Channa, the gift of notebooks and pens during the ceremony.

After the charge to all of the students concerning their dedicating their lives to serving God as pastors and teachers and a thank you to the parents and pastors for coming to the ceremony to support their students, we had a time of prayer. Corporately, we prayed for God to bless the students in their education, development, and discipleship while they study at the WBI. We prayed for God to bless the parents and the pastors so that they can be actively involved in their student’s educational process. And finally, we prayed for the country of Cambodia and the impact that these students would make on it in the name of Jesus Christ. It was an emotional prayer, and even some of the Buddhist parents had tears in their eyes when it was concluded.

After the prayer, we had the students present their parents with certificates of appreciation for attending the ceremony. We wanted this experience to have a lasting effect, and we felt that having a reminder that the parents could put up on their wall would remind them that their students is in God’s hands during this time that they are away from home.

After the ceremony, we had a time of fellowship and food. It was a great time of laughing, taking pictures, and showing our excitement at the beginning of this new term.

We want to thank you for reading this update about what God is doing here in Cambodia. We will continue to keep you posted on the happening here at the Bible School, and we hope that you are getting a great encouragement at seeing our God in heaven work in these specific ways in His ministry in Cambodia. Remember, He is working in the same ways in your life as well, so never, ever, stop looking for God’s hand in your life. It is there, and you can trust it because He is trustworthy in all circumstances.

Only by His Grace,
Tim and Tiffany Gallant