Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cambodia STM Trip 2013

I went on a STM trip to Cambodia from 3-9 August with ELCHK Overseas Mission Dept. Our group of 17 were split into three groups: one went to Kandal, one to Preah Sdach and our group stayed in Toul Kok, Phnom Penh.

Going on the Cambodia mission trip, I really experienced God’s provision, timing and protection. My stay in Hong Kong this summer was mainly to visit relatives and to take a break from studying, without much of a plan. When I first heard about the mission opportunity to Cambodia, it was during my university deadlines and I initially ignored the email. But after praying about it, I made a decision to go even though I didn’t know much about Cambodia, because I have wanted to go on a short term mission in the past few years and because Cambodia is such a different place to Hong Kong or England.

As I missed all the training sessions, I felt rather unequipped and having not met any of my team members, was worried that we would not get along or that I would be left out. Another struggle I faced was during the preparation of the teaching materials for the ‘Advanced English’ class, targeting university students. With no experience in teaching, I was not only worried about what to teach but how.

Although my preparations were lacking, God was ever-present and transformed my worry into thanksgiving. Praise God that our team worked extremely well together and have moments where we explode with laughter. different personalities complimented each other and I believe that this was God’s plan. Praise God for providing students that had a real heart and enthusiasm or learning. I was especially struck by a particular university student called Sarern, who studies English, is a Christian and aspires to go to the province to teach English and spread the word of God. It leads me to think: If the people of Cambodia had the same passion for God as they have for learning, what would it be like?

Part of the trip included visiting missionaries and local ministries that are taking place in Phnom Penh. Jamson and Kitty, a couple who run a student dormitory, spread the gospel by living it out with their daily lives. It was a great reminder that we should be living sacrifices to God and though difficult, their ministry of almost ten years really show their passion and perseverance. Another dormitory ministry we visited, run by a Singapore team, has over fifty students in just three years. This was also the dorm that Sarern is staying at (coincidence? I think not). It is extremely encouraging to see God working in Cambodia and to see his love gradually penetrate the lives of these people.

Returning to the UK and my studies in architecture, Cambodia will remain in my prayers and although we weren’t able to ‘do’ much in these short few days, I really experienced God and am really thankful for everything I was able to see. I believe that He wanted to introduce me to this country and placed everyone who He wanted me to meet. If I get the opportunity to return to Cambodia, it will be because of God’s calling! Keep praying!  

See more images after the jump~


Photos by James Zee

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