God has been blessing the ministry of sharing the Good News of Jesus with the children (Garuna Kids) and the families of those who attend a Garuna Christian School. Over 250 Garuna Kids have been baptized through the school ministry. Thank you for your help, prayers, and support.
The Garuna Foundation has established a system of Christian tutoring schools in the country of Cambodia. At present, seven (7) schools form the Garuna Christian School (GCS) system, serving more than 1,200 students in grades K-6. The goal of the school system is to provide a daily, year-round opportunity for children to learn about Jesus, while also studying Khmer (Cambodian) reading/writing, Math, and basic English. These schools are in communities where only 2% of the population are Christians and most have little or no knowledge of Jesus.
Garuna helps support the Cambodia Lutheran Church (CLC) by encouraging church plants and Bible studies at the school sites. The Garuna Christian Schools are built next to an existing Lutheran congregation or designed to be a new church planting site. The schools are built with movable walls to allow for outreach activities for the community, such as Sunday Schools, Youth soccer teams, holiday events, TESL classes and more. In this way, the entire community can enjoy the blessings of an excellent education in a Christian school while learning of the love of Christ.
The schools are funded by donations, largely through the Garuna Kids and Garuna Teachers sponsorship programs. Sponsors provide their students with a free education, uniforms, backpack, school supplies, and the opportunity to study with caring teachers in a safe and nurturing environment.
The Garuna Christian Schools operate for ½ day sessions—for 3.5 hours in the mornings and afternoons. This complements the Cambodian government schools which are in operation for ½ days, allowing students to attend both schools. This arrangement allows for mutual respect and appreciation between Garuna Christian Schools and the communities they serve. The schools provide students with needed educational support and introduces them to the love of Jesus. The schools serve as a safety net for young children who might otherwise be unsupervised or endangered while their parents must work.
The schools operate as a system of schools, employing 50 indigenous workers. Each school team has weekly Bible study and many are enrolled in (or have completed) Garuna’s Luther Institute Southeast Asia (LISA) Bible training program. If you would like more information on how to help with the Garuna Christian School ministry, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheryl Ehlers is Garuna's Educational Ministries Director. Her duties focus on the coordination and development of the Garuna Christian School system and the sponsorship programs. This includes curriculum development, teacher training, ministry outreach through the schools, mission trips, and the expansion of regional and stateside partnerships.
Before joining Garuna, Cheryl served as the Principal of Christ Lutheran School in Phoenix, Arizona, for ten years. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Principal and elementary school teacher in Phoenix and in East Point, Georgia. While serving at Christ Lutheran School (CLS), Cheryl was instrumental in developing a strategic partnership between CLS and the Garuna Schools and Garuna Kids’ ministry in Cambodia.
Cheryl has also served with her family for eight years as a missionary with the LCMS in Bangkok, Thailand.
Opened in 2013
100 students enrolled
Opened in 2014
267 students enrolled
Opened in 2014
213 students enrolled
Opened in 2017
112 students enrolled
Opened in 2017
68 students enrolled
Opened in 2019
287 students enrolled
The Garuna Christian School is now open in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is the 7th school in the GCS system and serves as the site of our home office in addition to serving as a K-6 school. It is Garuna’s first 2-story school building and is on a larger plot of land. This space will allow for expansion for additional Bible training with the Luther Institute Southeast Asia (LISA) programs, English classes, or to meet other needs which are identified as future ministry opportunities. The school currently has an enrollment of 167 students, the staff have begun afternoon English and music classes for over 50 youth, and they have also just opened up a
Sunday School for nearly 100 children.
The Prince of Peace Partnership continues to grow:
Garuna and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and School (Fremont, CA) are working on designing and building GCS #8. It will be our second school project together with POP in Siem Reap. Many thanks to our mission partners at POP.
Announcing the Omaha Partnership:
Our Garuna Cambodia Organization's (GCO) leadership team is shown looking for land for GCS #9. It will be the second GCS in Prey Veng Province. Garuna is very thankful to be partnering with 8 Lutheran congregations and Concordia Schools in the Omaha area in the construction of this newest school. Thanks Omaha!
What is it like to build a Garuna Christian School?