Cambodia Boarding Academy
Cambodia is 95% Buddhist, with only 3,000 active SDA’s in a country of 18,000,000 people. Many of our young people in the church do not have the option of attending an Adventist high school which has a Christ-centered environment. This school will give them the opportunity to see Christian principles at work on a daily basis and will make a huge impact in many lives. We are working together with the church leadership in Cambodia to establish it, in fact this was their idea that they developed in a strategic planning session in 2015.
Current status: We have purchased 32 acres, had it checked for landmines, and leveled the building area. We would have the first school building finished by now but Covid got in the way. We need to drill a well, bring electricity onto the property, and build a small house for the Howell family to live there, as well as the first school building.
Here’s a 2 minute video explaining the need and how this project got started: Cambodia Boarding Academy Preview
If you’d like to hear more of the story, we’ve recorded a couple “Jesus for Asia Now” shows for broadcast on 3ABN. Here they are:
The total goal for the entire school is $500,000. Currently we have the land and enough funds to build the first school building. We are needing to build a small house for the principle and her family. We estimate the cost to be about $24,000.
Miranda began 2019 on her knees with her parents and Pastor Yohan in Cambodia praying that land would be provided or they would reconsider God’s leading in this project. Truly disheartened, after a year of searching for land without any breakthrough and trying to begin a scholarship program that didn’t take off and had to be postponed till the next fall, they prayed earnestly, honestly seeking God’s will. There was no team, there were very few prospects, no promise in any direction. So the year started out discouraging, full of unknowns, yet the constant reminder that this calling was not our own.
What has followed is nothing short of a miracle. Though satan attacked in any area that he could, especially through personal attacks on team members, we are excited to announce that God has been victorious once again.
In January 2019 a beautiful parcel of land was located 43 km southwest of Battambang. Within three weeks a purchase agreement was negotiated and the initial payment was made. Also in January Sawyer Lundby, Miranda’s brother, came to Cambodia and has been a permanent member of the Eternity Builders team ever since. He assists in a variety of ways during his trips to Cambodia and usually writes our Eternity Builders newsletters.
February 2019 God provided us the opportunity to swap out our unreliable vehicle for a newer and cheaper Toyota Tacoma (a blessing in itself) and PRAISE GOD it hasn’t had any serious mechanical issues since purchasing. Probably the most reliable vehicle any of us have ever used.
By the end of March 2019 the land was completely paid off, thanks to a very generous donor, and not much later the land titles were turned over and put under the Mission’s name.
At the end of April/beginning of May a group of young people from around Cambodia (along with Jon Wood and Gem Castor) gathered together in Miranda’s house for two days of prayer (and strategic planning which just turned into more prayer and meditation time), seeking God’s leading in Cambodia and the part they had to play. Within a couple days of completing these days of prayer the plan was hatched to have 11 young people (13 including those already going from Eternity Builders) attend Philippine Youth for Christ at the end of May/beginning of June. Three weeks out, with no funding, and lacking four passports, God provided the means and the way for ALL to attend (one more for the list of miracles). After returning to Cambodia these young people began planning for a Cambodian Youth Conference (GO2020). It was scheduled for November 2019. After political tensions rose in Cambodia our request to gather for this conference was denied by the local Cambodian government. After much prayer the youth director decided to submit to this decision. The conference was rescheduled for December 25-29 and over 70 young people expressed a desire to get more training to serve God, a large number of them were high school age.
Miranda returned to Montana in June to help watch over her siblings while her mom went through chemotherapy and also traveled to do fundraising in Montana, Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, and Tennessee. During these travels she attended ASI, and Faith Camp West and East.
In July 2019, design drawings were completed for the school project by architect David Shull. These drawings were also a huge blessing after a struggle trying to get an architect to help design the school for over a year. Three attempts and three failures and then God provided us with David Shull, another miraculous and timely answer to our prayers!
Because of God’s providence, and amazing donors assisting our Teacher Scholarship program, we were able to start four students in college in Battambang in October 2019. Another joined the program a few weeks later. We have three students waiting to start in the fall of 2020 and are praying for at least 4 more students to join them. Please pray for: Savay, Kimhum, Reaksmey, Chandy, and Sara as they study! Pray for: Sokhen, Ounrous, and Srey Mon as they prepare to begin studying next year and for the others we are claiming even before they join! Also pray for Yen, a law student in Phnom Penh being individually sponsored to work with our project when he completes his degree.
The Howell family prepared throughout the 2019 year to join the Cambodia Adventist Academy project. They arrived January 2020, officially joining the ranks in Battambang! Pray for their family, especially their two daughters, as they all are learning Khmer and learning how to live in a new country and culture.
We are also ever grateful for our local Cambodian missionaries. They may be last on the list but only as the climax of how God has blessed this project. First, Pastor Yohan Mao, has been assisting in this project for over a year and a half and is truly devoted to this work. Because of his service we have been able to have all the paperwork signed from the village level on up to the provincial level to get land mines cleared (or the land thoroughly checked) from our school land! He has also completed the first translation of the book of “Education” by EGW this year. We will be using this book to train our scholarship students in Adventist Education.
Next, Sokhom assists in distributing stipends and salaries, helping with other financial transactions and looking out for Christy and (soon) the Howells! She is such a blessing! Her presence has significantly lessened Miranda’s stress as she brings a talent of dealing with finances, something that always stresses Miranda out! She also saved the day (with some help from Yen) in registering the scholarship students for college before Miranda made it back from the USA.
We are also grateful for all the help provided by the Cambodia Adventist Mission! Special thanks to Pastor Lim Pheng, Hang Sarim, Eam Okhna, Sieng Kimsreng, Seak Chhai Kaing, Hang Dara and others from the mission who have supported this project.
The JFA administration and the office staff are a constant support and have been there for us and have helped us learn and grow throughout this process. We are ever grateful for each and every one of them!