“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His Love endures forever”
As we enter into the Canadian season of Thanksgiving, Cambodia enters into the height of Pchum Ben, one of the most important holiday/festivals in Cambodia. Pchum Ben practices predate Buddhism, originating from the Angkorian era when people followed animism. This year, Pchum Ben holiday is October 8 – 10 which is at the end of fifteen festival days. During the festival, people return to their hometowns, bringing food and monetary offerings to the temple for the monks and to “feed” hungry ghosts who could be their late ancestors, relatives or friends. The Khmer do this in hopes that their gifts will help alleviate the sins of their ancestors. Cambodians observe this festival annually because there is no real way of knowing if their gifts have “helped” their ancestors. They believe that if offerings are not made, then their ancestors cannot find their “food” and then the ancestor will curse the living relatives. Pchum Ben is a great reminder of why our family is in Cambodia. God has called all believers to shine His light in spiritually dark places and proclaim freedom in Christ Jesus.
After two months living in Cambodia, we are thankful for this reminder. Another item of thanksgiving is for the kids’ school – HOPE International. This past week before the Pchum Ben holiday, it was F.L.A.G. Week – “Forever Learning About God”. We appreciate that with such a spiritually heavy festival, the school has chosen to bring our kids’ focus towards God. Every day this past week, the focus was brought back to this year’s F.L.A.G. theme – “Thankfulness”. How apt this theme is! We are so thankful that we have stayed healthy during these past two months in Cambodia. God has protected us as we continue to adjust to the climate and such. We are also thankful for our team. We have discovered that many of our language school classmates do not have the same team support as we have. We are thankful for the friendship that this team brings and the family that we are becoming.
Please continue to pray for us in the coming weeks:
- Praise Him that we have developed somewhat of a routine with school (both kids and adults). The kids are making new friends at school and joining afterschool activities. Elisabeth has already been to 3 friends’ birthday celebrations and a 4th is coming up. Dave and Joyce have also made new friends at school! 😉
- Pray that during this Pchum Ben festival, we are protected spiritually and will recognize that we must depend on God even in the smallest, most mundane things.
- Pray for safe travels as we head to Siem Reap from Tuesday – Friday this week. We will have a 6-hour bus ride (each way) and spend two days in Siem Reap to visit the existing ministry as well as let our kids see the place we will be moving to next July.
- Pray that as we visit Siem Reap we will hear God’s voice and understand how we are to serve when we settle there next year.
- Pray for our Vehicle Fund as we need to raise monies to purchase a car to use.