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Cambodia Mission Trip (8-12 June 2015)

From 8-12 June 2015, a team of 6 individuals from GBC visited Cambodia for a dental mission trip: Tan Kim Cheng, Dr Wee Thiem Heng, Esther Cher, Lydia Lee, Daniel Ng and Neo Yi Ling.

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From left to right: Lyn, a Singaporean staff at PKH Aoral; Deborah our GBC missionary; Lydia, Thiem Heng; Esther; Lawrence, another Singaporean staff at PKH Aoral; Kim Cheng; Daniel; Yi Ling; and Benji who guards the Centre.

You may have heard of Project Khmer H.O.P.E. (PKH) from the recent blog post by Deborah Teo, our GBC missionary currently in Cambodia. Project Khmer H.O.P.E. was started by St Andrew’s Cathedral with the aim of alleviating poverty among Cambodians by equipping them with useful skills like speaking English, hospitality and industrial skills, alongside sharing God’s word with them. Grace Baptist Church has been partnering with Project Khmer H.O.P.E. in their outreach efforts in Cambodia since 2010.

On this trip, we visited PKH Centre (Trang) for the first time. PKH (Trang) is located in the Chom Bok Province of Cambodia, in a village known as Trang.

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It is located opposite the local Primary school where students from various villages in the area attend. PKH (Trang) was completed only late last year, 2014. It functions as a supplementary tuition centre for students of Chom Bok Primary School. It was the first time the team conducted dental work at PKH (Trang).

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The children at Chom Bok Primary School.

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Deborah Teo teaches an English class at PKH (Trang). The children studying at PKH (Trang) are mostly within the range of 6 to 15 years old, taking Grade 1-4 classes. There is a small Grade 7 class of under 10 students aged 16 to 21 years old.

We spent 4 warm nights at PKH Centre (Aoral), a slightly more established centre in another province. For 3 days, we commuted for 45 minutes by van through fields and plantations from Aoral to Trang. We started our days early. Different team members volunteered to lead daily devotions at 6:45 am, dedicating the day’s work to God, before we went for breakfast together.
Each day, we would visit Chom Bok Primary School before the start of the dental clinic to follow up on students who received dental treatment the day before. Many of them had bad tooth decays or infections that required extractions (some had up to 4 teeth removed) or fillings.

The GBC team with the dental set-up in the children’s library at PKH Centre (Trang).
Esther & Yi Ling assisted Dr Wee as he checked the teeth of the children and treated them, Lydia and Daniel helped to conduct English classes for the children as they waited to see Dr Wee for dental treatment.

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Lydia’s makeshift class under the tree.

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Daniel’s English class in the corridor.

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Local Cambodian Pastor Thona leading a class.

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The village kids posing for a photo.

We praise God for seeing us through the dental operations among a rural setting even as we faced power trips, generator issues, and the warm heat (37 degrees Celsius) of the season! We had the opportunity to interact with the children for about 2 hours a day during their breaks in between classes.

On one of the days, we conducted a spontaneous lesson in the corridor teaching them to sing of God’s grace and thanking Him for the food they eat. This was particularly meaningful as part of the ministry at Trang includes the provision of free meals to the children while they attend tuition at the Centre.

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Gathering to learn to sing “Thank you for the food we eat yum yum!”

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Teaching the children how to sing of God’s grace and provisions.

In total we saw 134 patients over 4 days, including the children at the Centre, the local staff (teaching and pastoral) and some older students. Some of the staff were previous students of other PKH Centres and have benefitted from their English, Hospitality and Industrial Skills classes.

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Group photo on our last day at PKH (Trang).

After the end of our time at the PKH Centres, Lydia, Daniel and Esther went on to visit other missionary projects in Cambodia. They dropped by Hope Village in Siem Reap – a project that seeks to empower village youths to gain skills and find employment. These youths visit a particular village once a month to share God’s word with the villagers. They also went to Prey Veng to visit a kindergarten started by a missionary couple from Singapore. Their presence was an encouragement to the missionaries who have been in Cambodia for a long time.

Please pray:

  • for our own GBC missionary Deborah Teo as she teaches the children at Trang – for guidance as God leads her to use Biblical examples in her teaching and to be a role model to the children.
  • for the discipleship and spiritual growth of the local Cambodian workers as they serve at both Centres, particularly for Pastor Thona at Trang who ministers directly to the village children that come for tuition.
  • for the children attending the PKH (Trang) Centre, that they may understand what they are taught and experience the love of Jesus Christ through their teachers.
  • for each PKH Centre to be salt and light to their surrounding communities as God’s work flourishes within.

You can contact Kim Cheng at kimcheng.tan@gmail.com for more details on our next mission trip to Cambodia!