On 5 September, our morning drive to Peam Village took us 45 mins on a paved road with a short 10-min bumpy ride. We arrived at Peam Village Foundation around 9.30 am to observe the English lessons. We were met by the English School principal, Ms Sreysros, and Ms Sreyka who teaches the Grade 3 students.
The English School presently offers English enrichment lessons for Grade 3 and 4 students (16 students per class for each morning and afternoon session, Monday to Friday).
We went to observe lessons in the English School. The morning session had 12 Grade 3 students in attendance.
While waiting for lunch, our team prepared balloons and distributed them to government primary school children next door after their morning session. What joy to see the kids’ faces light up and their posture of thanksgiving.
After lunch, we observed an English class session with 14 students in attendance.
In both English School’s sessions, we handed each student a toothbrush. Proud moment of the day – young Timothy, went on stage to present a lesson on dental brushing with his parents, helping with the props.
I was pleasantly surprised to see some students coming in early on their bicycles to play games and have fun at the compound. The school hall is well equipped for both the teacher and students as a place of learning. I can sense the joy in the kids as they were very eager to learn and participate in classroom activities.
On 6 September, we visited Thansure School which is currently supported by Christians in Korea. This school currently has more than 200 students from K1 to Grade 8. This large school is managed by a Korean ‘Lady of Faith’, Ms Yoo, who continually prays for better conditions and environment for her students. She shared her prayers to build a cement road and her prayers were finally answered as the government finally did that after 13 years. The students are always thankful for help and support from visitors to the school, and never forget to count their blessings. Each of us was given a nicely wrapped present with handwritten thank-you messages.
Reflections on Food Ministry Home Visits (Chin Mai)
Altogether, we visited 10 families in Peam, Lovea and Skun. These are families in poverty who are regular recipients of the food pack distributions.
The first home in Peam was particularly memorable because the initially cheery lady burst out in tears when we asked for her prayer requests. She opened up that she suffers under her husband who drinks and physically abuses her. As we visited more homes, it seemed that this was not uncommon. It’s heartbreaking to see these women working hard to make ends meet, care for their children and yet have to live in fear of their husbands. These women were strangers at the beginning, but we got to learn about their lives, and we were glad to be able to pray with and for them in the end. We praise God for giving them courage to be vulnerable and share their troubles with us. May the Lord grant the husbands release from the bondage of alcohol so that they will become caring and responsible men of the house. May He also grant the wives peace and comfort, as well as wisdom and strength in this trial.
The local leaders Om Sipark and Om Puerth knew the families quite well, and were fully involved as we visited each household. May the Lord continue to grant them and all the food distribution volunteers fervour to serve Him.
Reflections on Visit to Peam English School (Gladys)
Gratitude – We have nothing to boast but everything to be grateful for. Working with Sreisros since Dec 2020 to set up the Peam English School, I never felt as touched as when I got to see the physical school and meet the teachers and students in person.
Seeing the students coming to the school hours before their lessons showed me how comfortable and happy they were to hang out in the school compound. This is definitely due to the love and joy the students received from Teacher Sreisros, Teacher Sreika and Teacher Meng.
I was pleasantly surprised by how clean the classroom and kitchen were and how well the children interacted with one another. Sreisros told me this wasn’t the case during the first month when school started in February this year. But having been taught by the teachers to keep the compound clean, take care of the items in the school and speak kind words to others, the children now impressed me with how they behave, and how they relate to the teachers and to each other.
On 10 June, Friday, I was able to teach the special Friday programme on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Kindness. It gave me an opportunity to witness the students’ love for their parents during the hands-on activity to write words of kindness to loved ones. It was also delightful to hear them sing along to Christian songs as they designed their cards.
I thank God for His patience and guidance throughout the process of setting up this school, sending the right people to work in the team in Singapore and in Siem Reap. I pray that God will continue to grant His wisdom to the team and send the right people to join the team as the school grows. I pray that the school will be a beacon of light and hope that will draw more children to know Him.
Reflections on Love-A-Village Team (Seow Chin)
It took me some time to get the names right but I will not forget the overwhelming display of servitude of the Cambodian team – especially Sreisros, Srey Ka, Meng and Vichea. The many needs and limited resources did not deter their wholehearted labour of love. I’m amazed by their faith to trust God to provide for their needs and their earnest service without complaint.
On Thursday and Friday, I observed that the English School team (Sreisros, Srey Ka and Meng) were able to go about their different roles in a certain clockwork – getting tasks done and making time for people, especially the students. Even though it was our first time meeting them, we warmed up to each other quickly and were able to talk and work comfortably with one another. I think this is only possible because there is a common bond among us – the desire to be used by God to bless the children, women and families of the villages.
On Saturday, we organised a day-long retreat with the local Love-A-Village leaders, volunteers and their families. Laughter resounded through the church building as we played our icebreakers (one which involved drawing each other one facial feature at a time)! There were shouts of joy and encouragement to one another as we tried our hand at archery (we discovered that some brothers are especially competitive haha). After being separated by a screen (meeting virtually via Zoom) for so long, it was such a pleasure to be able to share meals, to discuss and collaborate, and to forge close bonds which transcend language, culture, age, etc. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
I pray for God to continually provide for the team in Cambodia, especially for their spiritual fortitude and rootedness in the word of God. I pray that whether during formal ministry time or in casual interaction, eternity will be sowed in the hearts of every soul that is touched by Love-A-Village.
The villagers were blessed with the food pack distribution. Every villager said they were so happy to receive the food pack. It will go a long way in helping their family. Thank you so much for your support in making this happen.
It’s been 3 months since we started Food of Love on 1 Dec! This ministry was started with the intention to show the love of Christ through giving hot meals to widows from the church and those who live or work close to the church.
Ministry to the Widows
The widows have been gathering at the church every week for a time of Bible teaching, praise and prayer. After their time together, they then brought home hot and nutritious meals for themselves and their grandchildren. The widows have shared that having a programme dedicated specially for them makes them feel loved and cared for, because they feel forgotten by the rest of society. God is a protector of widows (Psalm 68:5), and what a joy and privilege it is to be able to be part of this ministry.
Ministry to the Needy
The Food of Love ministry is also supported by volunteers who walk along the streets around the church to give out meals to those in need such as garbage collectors, construction workers, cleaners, etc. Prayer is offered, and they are pointed to church if they are in need of any help in the future.
The volunteers shared that on the first week, they were at a loss as to where to go, but God led them to an alley near the church to families that were in need of help. They have been reaching out to these households every week since then, and have built up relationships with them.
One household consists of a grandmother with 13 grandchildren under her care. When the volunteers first met her, she was not able to walk and requested for a wheelchair so she could move around. The volunteers taught her how to pray and noticed that she’s been increasingly open to not just receiving but wanting to join in prayer as well. About a month since they began praying for healing of her legs, she was able to stand up and walk!
The neighbours started taking notice of the regular visitors (who they know to be Christians) to the household, and peeped in to try and see what’s going on. Now, this household and the grandmother’s household (her grandchildren are now attending Sunday School in the church) have become Christians. Praise God for his mercy and power – for the salvation of these entire households. WE pray for the church to continually be a beacon of light to those around them!
Glory to God for how he has multiplied the little that we’ve given him into so much. Pray that every act of love will make an impact far beyond all we ask or imagine!