In Grade 4K, each week, on Friday, the students have time to journal. Sometimes they use a variation on the Six Thinking Hats to prompt their writing, and other times I give them a question to answer or a topic to write on. One of the topics that I chose was telling about the funniest things the students have ever seen, and another time it was about the kindest thing they have ever done. A couple of weeks ago I asked the children to write about what they were afraid of, and also to think about whether this fear was helpful or not. Today I finally made it a priority to catch up on reading their journal writings, and it was really interesting.
Some of the kind things the children had done were precious. Like the child who, in the absence of her older brother, set up the dinner table in a special way to make her mum and dad feel special, or the child who did all she could to help her older sister feel better when she was sick, or the boy who cared for his younger sister. I love these kids. They are so precious, and they so much want to do well.
As I read the stories of some of the things the children feared, I found it sad to repeatedly find stories of fear of ghosts, scattered among fear of big dogs, and snakes, and other more usual things. For me, it was a reminder of the "reality" of ghosts in the belief systems of many of the children I teach. We recently had the Pchum Ben holidays, and that is a time when people make special efforts to appease the spirits of the dead. On top of that, many of the children have access to cable television, with what seems to be an abundance of television shows that features ghosts or people coming back from the dead. These fears are very real to the children, especially to the Cambodian children.
Please pray for me as I work with the children. I cannot specifically talk about my faith with them, but I know that God is using me here. I also praise God that I know that, in Jesus, I have the greatest power possible to protect me from the whiles of the evil one, who loves to attack those who are sharing God's love. I praise Him that I have no need to fear, because his perfect love casts out fear. Pray for the children too, that they will come into contact with others who know and love Jesus, and that they will also come to know and love Him.