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, six schools form the Garuna Christian School (GCS) system, serving 1028 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 partners with the Cambodia Lutheran Church (CLC) by encouraging church plants and Bible studies at the school sites. The Garuna Christian Schools are sometimes built next to an existing Lutheran congregation. The schools are built with movable walls to allow for outreach activities for the community or a church plant where there a Lutheran church does not currently exist. 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, while providing students with needed educational support. The schools serve as a safety net for young children who might otherwise be unsupervised or otherwise endangered while their parents must work.
The schools operate as a system of schools, employing 45 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
90 students enrolled
Opened in 2014
267 students enrolled
Opened in 2014
225 students enrolled
Opened in 2017
107 students enrolled
Opened in 2017
58 students enrolled
Opened in 2019
280 students enrolled
The Garuna Christian School in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is under construction, with an expected completion in late 2020. This is the 7th school in the GCS system and will serve 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.