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Clothes galore!

The distribution of clothes done! Thank you all for your donations!

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Disrupted Plans…Closed Doors?

One reason for this trip was to plan the Award Ceremony for Lovea Primary School. Just before the trip, we found out that we couldn’t hold the event, and also that the arranged visit by some staff of Lovea Primary to Paradise Mission School to learn good practices was not allowed by the District Minister. We therefore we met with the Principal to find out the reason for this turn of events.

Apparently the new District Minister had found out that we shared our Christian beliefs in the Christmas (Dec 2016) and Easter (April 2017) events we held for the school. The District Minister’s stand is that we cannot share any Christian messages. The Principal still wants us to tile the floor of the library, and thinks we can still hold the Award Ceremony minus any short Christian message. Whether we will be able to hold the Awards Ceremony is now uncertain as we wait for the Principal to talk to the District Minister again.

Pray with us that the District Minister will change his mind and allow the sharing of Christian messages. Pray with us as we think about how to move forward with Lovea Primary School if we are not allowed to share.

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Introducing Paradise Mission School!

Four of our team members went to Siem Reap to meet with key personnel of Paradise Mission School (a private primary school – see www.paradisemissionschool.com).  Paradise Mission School does not charge students any school fee, and is self-funding. Presently, they have difficulties and we hope to understand their needs and to decide if, and how, we can help them.

Shortly after we arrived in Siem Reap, we met with Ms Yoo (Founder, and Principal of Paradise Mission School), Ms Sina, Ms Claudine and Mr Sophanny for dinner. Ms Sina, who worked with Ms Yoo since the school started  seven years ago, takes on Vice-Principal responsibilities and also teaches. Ms Claudine (she did most of the translating), who is fluent in both English and Khmer, helps out in the school with the older girls while Mr Sophanny helps out in the school’s PE programme.

We had known that Ms Yoo wanted to offer Grade 7 onwards, and that she needed a license to do so. Ms Yoo’s church would not come up with the USD$25,000 for the license. To raise this amount, Ms Yoo had even sold her van and now rides a scooter. Other than funds needed for the license, there is also a need to create a classroom for the Grade 7 students. Since there’s no space to build a new classroom, Ms Yoo is hopeful they can renovate a couple of classrooms to create an extra room.

Paradise Mission School’s financial needs are urgent as the Grade 6 students are graduating soon, and the new school year starts in October. Pray with us as we meet with our other members back in Singapore to discuss and decide how we can help the school.

We also visited the school premises and gave the clothes and bags we had collected to the staff. Ms Yoo and her staff will sort out and distribute to the children another day. We then went to the school hall where the entire school was assembled for worship. The students were singing praises in Khmer, English and Korean.

Praise God for the good work He has done through Paradise Mission School!

 

 

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Easter Celebration

On 22 April 2017 at 2 pm, our team of 3 went to Lovea Village to participate in the Easter event held at Lovea Primary School. The church members from New Living Hope Centre had practised hard for the drama and came up with many interesting activities to engage the students.

Upon reaching, we felt the great excitement and smelt the aroma of food being cooked in the big pots at the school’s kitchen.

The tent, sound system and fans had already been set up. After we had laid the groundsheets under the tent, about 300 students sat on them while waiting unabatedly in the sweltering heat for the programme to commence.

We were glad to see Sister Han and her child – the only Christian family in the village – whom Michael had invited, in the crowd.

After a short speech by Pastor Chhay of New Living Hope Centre at 2.30 pm, Sister Sina and the church team warmed up the students with icebreakers and led them in the singing of Christian songs. Not only did the students spontaneously dance and sing, they zealously joined in the recitation of the following verse:

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Pastor Chhay then shared a gospel message before the church team staged a short drama depicting Jesus delivering us from our sins, His death and resurrection. Together with us, the students sang “1-2-3, Jesus is alive” and other songs with much cheer.

Thereafter, when it was time for food, Pastor Chhay thanked God for His provision and the students were led into queues to get their food.

It was a very meaningful and engaging event for the children and the adults as the gospel was well-delivered and we were all experiencing God’s love and provision together. After the event, we enjoyed a meal with the church team to thank them for their overwhelming support and collaboration in God’s ministry.

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Suffering Sister in Christ

This trip to the village (31 March to 2 April) enabled us to meet and fellowship with Sister Han.

Here is her testimony:

4 years ago, she watched a movie about Jesus’ crucifixion. She felt very sorry for him and wondered why was he willing to take the torture. That very night, she dreamt about Jesus!

The next morning, as she was traveling with her children, she saw a church and asked her son to let her go to church. She went to church and prayed to receive Christ.

From believing to becoming a disciple of Jesus was not easy for her. She looked to pastors to teach her how to pray, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and learn more about Jesus. However, being one of the only two believers in Lovea, it hasn’t been easy to find out more or get support from any churches! These days, she worships at a house church in Lovea (with only ONE other believer). Her son, a non-believer, reads to her the Bible as she is illiterate.

Besides this, her personal life is also difficult – her husband has left her and she has a weak heart.

Before we ended our visit, we prayed for her. Please pray that Sister Han will remain strong in Jesus!