Testimonies of the Cambodian Team
On 24 – 27 Sep 2015, a team made up largely of members of the Adults Fellowship visited Pr. Tann Heng in Siem Reap. Leading the team were Rev. and Mrs. Gabriel Gan. The team from the AF were: Bro. Henry Lim, Bro. Aaron and Sis. Carol Tan, Bro. Tng Wee Kwang and Sis. Celia Chua, Sis. Annie Poh, Sis. Goh Mei Hwa, Bro. Sameer Amburle. They were joined by Bro. Vincent Tan from the SAF and Bro. Simeon Choo and Bro. Joel Ye from the YAF.
Below are testimonies of some of the team members.
Testimony by Aaron and Carol Tan
We are thankful to God that we were able to join the Cambodian team from AF in this mission trip. (This was Aaron’s very first mission trip and Carol’s second.) God put together a strong team which quickly organised itself into curriculum and games teams to plan for the Vacation Bible School for about 80-100 children. Together with Bro Sameer and Sis Celia, we had great fun preparing the lessons on the 10 Commandments and the art and craft that went with the lessons.
When we arrived at the mission house, we were very encouraged by the attention the children gave as the songs were being sung and the stories told. Those were simple songs, but the children sang them with so much strength and enthusiasm despite repeating the same stanzas many times over. What simple faith!
Initially we were pretty worried that teaching 10 commandments over 2 lessons would be overwhelming for the children coupled with language barrier, but the children’s eagerness to learn them in simple English really surprised us and boosted our confidence to teach them. The fruits of our labour were seen when the children were able to recite the commandments in sequence (even in reverse order with some of the children!), and they also presented simple skits that showed their understanding of what they were taught.
Our objective for the VBS was to impart to the children that we can never keep God’s laws perfectly due to our sinful nature, and that obeying the commandments may make them merely good children, but will not give them eternal life. An invitation to receive Jesus was given and we praise the Lord for the 9 hands that were raised. May the Holy Spirit continue to work in the hearts of the children through the ministry of Pr. Tann Heng.
All praise and thanks to God for leading and guiding the team. We look forward to future mission trips and may more be encouraged to join in.
Testimony by Henry Lim
Sustainable Organic Growth
A Chinese saying goes: “远水不能救近火”. In essence, it means “pressing local issues cannot be solved by distant resources”. In the same way, I felt that a more sustainable way to run any overseas mission would be to organically grow the mission.
Ask Important Questions
Before starting any work, it is important to ask ourselves the right questions and in some way, we need to count the “cost”. Luke 14:28 says: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
We need to ask questions such as:
- Who is our target group of people?
- Are they currently receiving help/gospel?
- Where are these people living?
- What are their immediate and future needs?
- How can we meet theseneeds?
- What are the cultural barrier(s) for Christianity in Cambodia?
- How can we live amongst them, to reach them more regularly and cost-effectively?
- What are the practical ways in which we can share the gospel with them/their parents/their children?
- In what ways can the Singapore church help?
- Do we have the resources to help?
We need answers to these questions so as to provide clarity for the mission team as they prepare for the work in Cambodia.
Meet Physical and Spiritual Needs
Just as Jesus in Matthew 9 not only healed the sick (meeting physical needs), he also forgave their sins (meeting spiritual needs), the mission could similarly start by exploring ways to meet both physical as well as the spiritual needs of its community. I was immediately reminded of a verse from James 2:16 “And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”
Education and healthcare are some areas of needs which the mission can consider for a start. This can be via a combination of home visits and group/classes. The home visits lend a more personal touch especially in the follow-up. The group/classes have the focus on mass equipping at the church during the weekdays.
Multiply via Second-Liners
Luke 6:40 says “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” First, we need to start with a strong, humble and praying leader – one with a clear vision and roadmap on growing God’s work. Next, we need to develop a critical mass of young adults who are committed to God, and are intentionally mentored and spiritually developed in the work of the Lord. This will help multiply God’s work (as opposed to one or two appointed persons doing all the work). These God-honouring second-liner disciples (to the likes of Timothy and Titus under Paul’s mentor-ship) will then gradually become the capable hands and legs to help spread the gospel and teach God’s word to other younger believers.
These are just some of my personal reflections and thoughts over the few days in Cambodia. May the Lord be gracious and give us and the Cambodian mission wisdom and strength in finding ways to spread His gospel to the unreached in practical and effective ways.
Testimony by Joel Ye
By the grace of God I was able to participate in the mission trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I had been down with the flu just before the start of the trip, and I thank God I was well enough to join the team for this mission trip.
The team helped to organize a 2½ days’ Vacation Bible School (VBS) for the children from the nearby villages. About 60-70 children attended the programme, which was held in the church building. We started the 1st day with songs, followed by teaching the children the first 4 of the 10 commandments, which focused on man’s relationship with God. In the afternoon, we organized games for the children.
On the morning of the 2nd day, the children were taught the next 6 commandments, which focused on man’s relationship with their fellow men. Pictures were used to help the children remember the 10 commandments better. Another session of games was also organized for the children in the afternoon.
On the last day, which was a Sunday, we attended the church service. Pastor Gan preached the message, while Pr. Tann Heng helped with the translation. We ended off the VBS programme by reviewing the 10 commandments, followed by sharing the gospel message with the children.
We thank God for protecting and guiding us during the time we spent in the mission field, and also being able to share His word and love with the children despite the language barrier. May we continue to pray for the Lord’s work in Cambodia.
Testimony by Bro Vincent Tan
I thank God for the privilege to be part of the recent Cambodia mission trip. With a team of 13, we conducted a two & a half days’ Vacation Bible School(VBS) programme for about 70 children at New Life Bible Presbyterian Church in Siem Reap.
As it was my first mission trip, I was apprehensive at first about how I can help in the trip. However, through the few meetings before the trip, under the guidance of Pastor Gan and the more experienced team members, we managed to finalise the programme and the allocation of tasks. Some of the team members were in the curriculum team while the others were in the games team. I was in the games team. I experienced that God has a way to assign us in an area where we can contribute as long as we are willing to step forward for Him.
At the mission location in Siem Reap, I observed that the children were generally from poor families around the villages nearby. They wore old clothing, some torn and dirty. They ate white rice with only one meat dish for their meals. They may be poor but their spirits were high and they were keen to learn about God. They could sing hymns very well. Having spent two and a half days with the children, I am encouraged with the knowledge of God’s wonderful love and grace to save us no matter where we are or who we are. The children may come from poor families, but their eagerness and attitude to learn about God is admirable. I am very humbled by what I see.
The trip has also provided excellent opportunity for me to get to know our team members better. It is through building relationships and working as a team with fellow church members that we can better serve and glorify God. I would like to encourage you to sign up for mission trips to learn and experience God beyond our usual comfort zone.