Short-term mission trip to Cambodia 2017
Over 6 days a team from GBC demonstrated the love of Jesus to rural Cambodians through dental care, teaching, and sharing the word of God. Neo Yi Ling shares with us the joy and encouragement that the team experienced and how we can pray for Cambodians and God's workers in the field.
Project Khmer H.O.P.E. (PKH) is a registered NGO in Cambodia started by St Andrew’s Cathedral in 2000 to meet the socio-economic needs of Cambodians living in poverty. At present, there are 3 main centres under PKH: PKH Chbarmon (the main school) where English and Hospitality classes are taught, PKH Aoral (teaches only industrial skills courses) and PKH Trang (a supplementary after-school day care for children where English is also taught). GBC has been a partner since 2010 and sends a team there 1-2 times a year, headed by Kim Cheng.
Read more about the PKH project here.
Read about a previous trip by the GBC team 2 years ago here.
This year, nine GBC members and one former member flew to Phnom Penh on 12 Jun 2017, arriving at PKH Anglican Centre (Chbarmon) by afternoon. The dental team stayed on at PKH Chbarmon while the teaching team moved on to PKH Aoral, a base from which they travel on to Trang.
From L-R: Sook Fun, Yi Ling, Susan (Director of PKH Chbarmon), Vani (Staff at PKH Chbarmon), Carrie, Kai Mun, Ps Ollie, Elder Thiem Heng.
Starting from PKH Chbarmon before moving on to PKH Aoral, the dental team was in charge of providing dental treatment to the students. These students receive dental care only when the GBC team visits. Our Elder Thiem Heng (a dentist by practice) has been involved in providing dental care to PKH students for 7 years now. On regular days, unless emergency treatment is required, the students cannot afford dental care. There were many bad teeth lying in wait for us as we saw a new batch of first-year students straight out of rural villages from provinces as far as Kratie, Kompong Thom and Kompong Cham! Over 4 days the dental team attended to 91 students and staff.
The dental room at PKH Chbarmon.
Chatting with the students while they wait in line for their turn.
Over at PKH Trang, the teaching team partnered with our GBC missionary Deborah to teach English to almost 350 students over the course of the week. The students from Trang range from 6 to 20 years old; sometimes this age range could all be present in the same class. It was a challenge to teach in a structured manner to varying levels of abilities. Most of them were happy to attend this “English tuition” as free meals were provided. For some, the meal at PKH Trang once a day could be their only meal the entire day.
Kim Cheng, Daniel and Seok Eng at a local market.
Georgina with some students at PKH Trang.
This trip, some team members also visited the homes of students at Trang. This provided a platform for Deborah to build relationships with the families, share about Jesus Christ, and for the team to show the love of God.
Students at Trang waiting for their meal together.
Daniel teaching English to one of the classes at PKH Trang.
Ps Ollie sharing from Matt. 8:5-13 about the faith of the Roman Centurion.
Kim Cheng inspecting the inventory of tools for the Industrial Skills workshops at PKH Aoral. Each year, Kim Cheng also teaches related class to the students there. This trip, he also helped to check the next batch of solar panels for installation at PKH Trang.
One of the industrial skills classes at PKH Aoral.
Discipline is part of the education at the PKH centres. The students adhere to a strict routine of meals and classes with breakfast starting at 7 am, with prayer and Scripture verse recitation before every meal, led in Khmer by one of the students. While some students hold on tight to their Buddhist traditions, many others are moved by the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ and ask to be baptised before they graduate. Bible classes are held on Saturdays and a simple church service is organised on Sundays.
It was very encouraging to hear from students who have accepted Christ, how their lives have changed having experienced God’s love through the provision of studies at PKH, the new community they have, and how family situations at home have changed. Some of them face persecution by their own parents, while for others, even their parents have come to know Christ! We praise God for their faith in Him and trust in His enduring love for them.
Dental care and English teaching are but bridges for gospel opportunities, as we reach out to our Cambodian brothers and sisters compelled by the love of God, and encourage them to persevere together with us in this journey of faith.
With local staff from PKH Aoral and students from PKH Trang. Deborah our GBC missionary (rightmost, first row) took the young students out for a day, their first time in a truck venturing beyond their village.
Group photo with the students at PKH Aoral Centre.
- For the many young Christians of mostly Buddhist background who have come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, to grow in the faith
- For the hearts of local staff to love God’s word and think about full-time ministry themselves
- Pastor Ream of PKH Aoral, Pastor Chi Of PKH Trang in their ministry to the students
- For follow-up church link-ups with the students who have graduated and started working in cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
- For the new church plant started by a missionary couple from Singapore that comprise of students who have graduated
- For our missionary Deborah based at PKH Trang to continue to minister to the students through the administration of English classes and running of the school