Easter Celebration at Paradise School By Pearl

Blessed Good Friday to you all readers! It’s been so long since I made a trip up to Siem Reap. When I finally had the chance to visit Siem Reap this time from 17th to 20th March, I realized that many things have changed. The city got more developed as compared to the last time I visited, which was in December last year.

When we visited Siem Reap this time, we had dinner with Pastor Chhay to catch up.

Then, on the second day, we spent our day preparing for the Easter celebration that was going to take place on the 19th! I felt that it was a good thing that we had the help of the students from Paradise School as the students could learn more as they helped.

On the third day, we had the Easter Celebration. The church members actually helped to put up a play related to Easter and it was really pleasant to see the smiles of the children. I felt satisfied and happy that the children enjoyed the celebration.

During the last two days, we also met up with Mr Pagna to give him a printer that will assist him in his school’s operation and we also had a short meeting with the teachers from PCEF.

Overall I felt that this trip was something new for me and I really enjoyed myself! Not to forget that things are changing in Siem Reap and I certainly hope to be there more often before it becomes too urbanized!


Fruit of the Spirit

As Christians, we should be producing the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives. Through this trip, I saw the nine attributes displayed!

How the Fruit of the Spirit was evident this trip:

At Paradise School, Teacher Yoo showered all of us, her students and the parents with the love of God. She reached out to every single one and touched our hearts and lives with the love of God.


Every smiling face of a child showed such great joy – whether it was when playing games, receiving gifts or giving a performance. It was a joyful time for all the children! The 3 events we held – Christmas at Paradise School, Christmas at Lovea Primary School and the Friendship Soccer Event – were filled with joyful faces.

For me, it was an afternoon walk in Lovea Village that brought me peace. The quietness and stillness I experienced as I walked along the dusty road is indescribable. My heart filled with the peace of God and I knew that this ministry is blessed by God.

Communication wasn’t easy! The teachers couldn’t understand us and we couldn’t understand them! But we were patient and learnt how to communicate with each other and work together despite the language barrier. Many times, we used hand signs to try to communicate and laughed when we didn’t understand each other!

On 16 December, we had lunch with Mr Sophanny and Claudine, a missionary couple serving in Siem Reap. They have been extremely kind to us throughout the whole trip. They were instrumental in ensuring that the Christmas Party at Paradise and the Friendship Soccer Event ran smoothly. Claudine also acted as our translator many times with Teacher Yoo! Their kindness went a step further as they gifted us with ‘kromas’ (scarfs). THANK YOU for the wonderful gifts!

From the picture, you can see my parents looking at Teacher Yoo. To me, my parents displayed goodness this trip as they embraced and welcomed the volunteers and Cambodians alike. They showed me what it meant to be followers of Christ and be Christ-like. Without my parents’ support in Love A Village, I couldn’t have come this far. Words cannot express how much my parents mean to me. Although I don’t show or say it often, I love you both very much!

During our stay at Bread of Life Bed and Breakfast, I had the opportunity to see God at work in the lives of Chhoy and Cham Nam, two of the staff working there. Every day they would have morning devotion and read their bible without fail. They serve Jesus faithfully and with such dedication!

Cambodians are generally gentle people. Singaporeans, on the other hand, can sometimes be too quick with a harsh word. During this trip, I witnessed how uplifting kind and gentle words can be and how damaging harsh words can be. The tongue is really the hardest part of our body to tame! Let us all remember to be gentle like Jesus is!

How can I balance being and doing? How can I stop myself from doing things too fast? How can I control my tongue? There were many lessons on self-control I have learnt, still am learning and need to learn! With each trip, my worldview opens up and God gives me just that bit more of wisdom.

To God be the Glory!


My First Encounters in Siem Reap (by Yee Jong)

It was literally a dusty, bumpy and narrow dirt track shared by people, vehicles and cows leading to the destinations where our hearts were. But we never failed to enjoy the wisp of freshness from the infectious smiles of our hosts and the children when we reached there.

The work started in Siem Reap is not without a hitch, but there are always hopes and possibilities, and tangible progress no matter how slow and jerky it is; and of course wisdom and guidance from our Lord.

PCEF headed by the principal Mr Pagna is facing a funding crisis because their main sponsor has withdrawn support. Mr Pagna, though not in the best of health, continues to struggle with administrative and manpower problems.

The visit to Lovea Primary School firmed up the practical help of co-sponsoring the provision of electricity to the school and provided valuable time to explore and prioritise projects that will improve facilities.

We certainly would like to see the effort Ms Yoo, principal of Paradise Mission School, and her team put in to nurture the children and spread the Gospel continue and bear fruits. Paradise Mission School has a well-run programme based on the local curriculum with infusion of Christian teaching.

On this trip we also met up with personnel of 2 social enterprises over meals and learnt about the work they do in Siem Reap, and gathered first-hand knowledge of the life and culture of the Cambodians. Singaporeans Govin and his wife Betty operate Bread of Life (BOL) BnB & Café, which doubles as a training place for Cambodian youths who wish to join the hospitality industry. Govin and Betty believe in Christian discipleship and model the training in that vein. They have had a fulfilling ministry in Siem Reap for about 8 years. Desmond, another Singaporean also manages a hospitality training school with an on-site café, Spoons, under the umbrella of EGBOK. EGBOK is an NGO which reaches out to disadvantaged youths with various programmes. The business from Spoons generates revenue for EGBOK to sustain its mission.

While we need passion in the work we want to do in Siem Reap, we also need patience and understanding. Life is tough for an average Cambodian. Help is always welcome, but we have to be sensitive and respect their space. But still, we want to be able to share the Gospel with them. It is a continuous learning journey in cross-cultural missions. May we find favour with the Lord in the work we do there. I saw this line on a banner in Ms Yoo’s school, “Everything is possible in the Lord (equivalent Mark 10:27).” Truly we rely on the Lord for the work.



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  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!




Paradise Mission School and Pagna Cambodian Education Fund

During our trip from 31 Mar to 2 April, we met up with the principals of 2 schools.

Here’s a heads-up on what we found out from them!

Paradise Mission School

The school compound

School operations

Over dinner with Ms Eu, the Korean principal of Paradise Mission School, and her Cambodian colleague, Ms Sina, we found out that Grade 1 to 6 classes are conducted by 12 teachers at the school for 190 students. Ms Eu conducts training for kindergarten teachers, as well as weekly worship and bible storytelling sessions for children. She introduced to us the Song of Hope Language Centre which shares the Gospel through English and music lessons and is headed by another Korean missionary.

Sharing about Noah’s Ark

Financial challenges

A monthly budget of USD 3000 is required to run the mission school, out of which 60% is contributed by Ms Eu’s church in Korea. She tries very hard to the raise the remaining 40% from supportive friends and family members. Despite her financial constraints, Ms Eu intends to open up Grade 7 to 9 classes to students. Before she can do so, a security deposit of USD 20,000 needs to be raised and paid to the government.

Students having a lesson

Working together to share the Gospel

Having been called by the Lord to open a mission school in Siem Reap, Ms Eu has dedicated her life to serve Lord Jesus Christ. Love-A-Village is exploring opportunities to collaborate with Ms Eu to share the Gospel.

Pagna Cambodian Education Fund

Before we left, we visited Pagna Cambodian Education Fund, a school which is fully sponsored by Wide Open Wings to conduct free English classes for the children and adults of Lovea Village. Although the principal, Mr Pagna, had been hospitalised for the past 2 weeks for cardiac treatment, he made a special trip back to the school to meet us. Mr Pagna shared that Wide Open Wings has terminated sponsorship for his school due to a dispute over rules of operation. As such, he is appealing for funding assistance. We prayed for his recovery and success in securing donors for his school.

The school compound of PCEF