A Year In Review – 2021

A Year in Review 2021 for Naleng

What an amazing and incredible year 2021 was for me!  The verses I took with me into 2021 were Jeremiah 29:11-13:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Looking back, I can certainly see God’s plans for me and how He definitely protected, and how He’s given me a future. And I know that it has been because I have been calling on Him and seeking Him with all my heart in everything I do.  I can definitely testify to God’s steadfast and unfailing love towards me.

COVID And My Health Situation

I have not been able to get a vaccination against COVID because of health issues due to my disabilities, and I have been given a medical exemption by the Ministry of Health.  The most serious issue I face is the adult medication would be too strong for me because of my petite stature & poor immune system due to my disability.  I am actively seeking the USA version of the children’s COVID vaccination so please pray that I will be able to find a hospital that can sell & administer this for me and for the funds so I can get the correct vaccination.  As you can appreciate, without a vaccination I must be so very careful everywhere I go and in everything I do that entails interaction with others.

The COVID restrictions have made working and going to work a real challenge.  I spend over two hours each day travelling back and forth to work and because the traffic is bad and the roads are bad, it has been very hard on my physical condition with pain in my back and shoulders.  But I am slowly getting accustomed to having to wear a mask all the time, social distancing, and coping with the isolation.

Words of Life Ministry

I have been working as a translator and an editor at Words of Life Ministry now for almost two years. During this past year I have edited and translated over 15 books.  At Words of Life, these books that I have translated to Khmer, are being used to teach leaders, help new believers, and help as materials for Christians to share the Gospel with others.  It is a great blessing to know that I am helping in some way to bring Gospel resources into my country. Many of the resources are very informative so I get a double benefit because I am learning as I am translating the books.

Teen Challenge & EEC (East Extension Cambodia)

In addition to the translating work I do for Word of Life (which is my full-time job), I also have two other jobs that I do after hours, on weekends, and on holidays.  This extra work has been quite challenging to do – because of the demands on my time and the mental strain of having to work such long hours.  However, this extra work is helping me financially to make ends meet and, in the case of the ministry that I serve God  and it is also helping me learning new skills and how to walk with God and with others leaders internationally.  We have class every Saturday via Zoom and sometimes during the holiday. EEC is the extension Bible academic class for those students who are unable to manage their time to go to study full time in Bible School but the school itself is willing to offer the courses by bringing the teachers in the country and at this situation, Zoom class is the most suitable.

The work for Teen Challenge is like what I do at Word of Life (book translating) but the materials I am working on are focused on Teen Challenge’s work in Cambodia helping teenagers, who are struggling with drug and other addictions, come to have a personal relationship with Christ.

The other part-time work I do is as a Teacher’s Assistant with EEC. I work for EEC three to four hours every Saturday and sometimes during the week. I help the Singapore teachers as they conduct Zoom training for about nine students here in Cambodia.  EEC is conducting virtual training for students here who are working on their Master in Leadership and graduated[NR1]  in diploma.  I am becoming quite proficient with Zoom and on top of that, when I listen to the teaching, it helps remind me and gives me a good refresher on what I learned when I was doing my Master’s at EEC in Singapore.

Precious Woman Organization

You might remember that in 2020 I was appointed a Board Member for Precious Woman Organization here in Phnom Penh.  My role for them is helping me to further develop my leadership and decision-making skills, and I am also doing budget reviews and I have to review and approve all expenditures in the organization.  Recently, I have been asked to lead some online devotions for the staff. Such a blessing indeed.

Church Ministries

I have been attending and serving at Good News of Jesus Church, that is under AoG Organization, for over 20 years.  In 2021 I scaled back a lot of my work at the church because the church was often in lockdown, and because of my other commitments.

The Good News of Jesus Church in Takeo has been growing a lot since it was planted over three years ago.  With the COVID lockdown, our church planting team has not been able to visit as often as we used to do.  On Christmas 2021 I went with our team to the church and we were all so blessed to see how the church is growing and the Christian impact it is having on the community.  There were over 50 children and teenagers that came to the service and more than 20 adults including teachers and the school principal.  Even more of a blessing was that some received Christ as their personal savior after the service! To God be praised.

Looking Forward to 2022

At the beginning I said how, looking back, I can see how God had so many plans for me and how His plans were to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. 

Early in 2021 I took a big leap of faith to move to new accommodation and leave a place and friends I had had for over 10 years.  The new location where I am living now, is quite far from the office and from many amenities. Also, the Borey (small group of townhouses) where I am living is very new so there are lots of problems with water, phone & internet, safety and security, etc.

I have had to cope with many things which, if I wrote them all down would take a few more pages, but through it all God has given me the courage, wisdom, finances, and friendships so I could get through each day and with each situation that arose.

Again, I want to testify how steadfast and unfailing God’s love has been to me.  Even simple things like having my dog stay with me (she was my landlord’s dog where I lived previously but she came with me when I moved) has been a big comfort and I really believe that she’s been God’s guardian angel the way she has warned me and helped me.

I have met a family, here in the Borey, who are young believers and we have been able to share, pray and study the Word together and I am trusting God that we can have regular Bible and prayer times with them in 2022. 

I know God has put me in this community for a reason and I will be listening well and seeking Him to make sure I follow the plans He has laid out for me to be as a witness and teacher here. 

Only God knows what the future holds and how He will guide our work and personal lives so we can navigate the obstacles we will all be facing this year – especially if things don’t improve with the COVID pandemic.

I covet your prayers for God’s guidance and strength and especially for continued good health and safety from COVID.

My verses for 2022 are these:

Romans 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

 

Romans 5:1-4 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

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