April 2, 2014
Thanks to your support, we have had another successful year of school! We now have classes through fifth grade, with eight staff members teaching 130 students. In addition, we continue to strive to plant house churches in the Kampong Cham area.
In conjunction with partners like you, we have accomplished many things over the past year. Most recently, a youth Bible study was started for our older students. At this time, we see an average of thirty students every Saturday, with many becoming more and more grounded in the Word. Join us in praying for the students to see this meeting as an opportunity to bring out their friends! It has also been a great training ground for our teachers, who are learning to teach a new subject and to serve in new ways.
The staff spend a great deal of effort and time working with families to keep our students in school. It is difficult to navigate through the many challenging family situations, but as we see students stay in school we know those efforts pay off.
Tearah is an example of how the teachers' efforts pay off. She has been a student at the Friendship School since first grade in 2009. She has always been on the edge and seemed like she would not stay in school much longer. Her home life was and continues to be extremely difficult. Her father died shortly after she came in 2009 and she lived in a single room shack with her mother, who struggles every day as a laborer at the market. Tearah was often on the verge of failing and dropping out, with pressure from family and friends to find work and help support her family. She even stopped coming to school at different times; however, her teacher convinced her to come back. Five years later, she has really come to life and is doing very well in school, and has even been coming out to the youth group every week! Her attitude has changed completely.
Over the past year, we have also gone to great lengths to train and develop our teachers. Finding qualified Christian teachers is one of our greatest challenges, but to help ensure a quality education we have invested in them through seminars and personal development.
Friendship School Staff
A big part of our vision is to share the Gospel and plant Bible studies through relationships created at the school. At one point, we had as many as three adult Bible studies in different homes, throughout Kampong Cham. Currently, we have two, with one being threatened by a different religious group who is using money to pull people away. Please pray for these groups, that they will become firmly grounded in the Word and not swayed or tempted by worldly gain.
We are excited to see what God has planned for 2014 and expect it will be awesome! Thanks again for both your prayer support and financial gifts.