We Grieve But Not Without Hope
Posted by Kandi on September 16th, 2019 | 5 comments
One of our first year students, Srey Ruah, received news last Wednesday that her mother was in the emergency room with what appeared to be a heart attack. She, of course, returned home to Poipet that night. Her mother passed away the next day.
When the other students heard the news, they asked if they could also go and support Srey Ruah and help at the funeral. One of the benefits of having a small number of students is that we can easily cancel class and transport everyone to Poipet in a short period of time. The students (and teachers) all pitched in where they could – helping serve food, greet guests, prepare the burial site and sitting with Srey Ruah as she cried.
I’ve known Srey Ruah’s mother, Yula, for many years. She was my language tutor when I first went to Poipet and worked with her at the Santepheap (Peace) Church, where she has been a leader from the start of the church. She was a woman of faith who loved God’s Word and her four children. Her loss is felt not only by her family, but by the wider church family and community in which she lived. Despite heavy rains that made travel to the church and the burial site difficult, a large group of people came together to remember and honor this amazing woman. She is missed already.
We didn’t know if Srey Ruah would want to continue studying at Antioch Bible Institute, as her mother’s death leaves her and her three brothers alone (her father died when they were very young). Her youngest brother has not yet completed high school. But Srey Ruah is adamant that she must continue to study. Her mother was so, so happy when Srey Ruah decided to study at Antioch. She was so proud! And Srey Ruah said this decision made her mother happy, so no matter what she must complete her studies. She plans to return to school this week.
Pray for Srey Ruah and her brothers. This was an unexpected death and leaves a lot of regrets behind, as well as, the pain of the loss. Pray for Srey Ruah, who despite it all, isn’t waiting long to continue her studies. It’s not going to be easy for her. Pray for her. And pray that God would give wisdom to the teachers – that we would know how to help her in this time of grief. Pray that the school would be a supportive and loving family to her in the weeks and months to come.