A youth testifying of her mission trip to Cambodia:
On the 3rd of June 2011, a team of 14 youths, under the direction of Rev. Mathews, embarked on the 9th Youth Mission Trip. This time around, the destination was Sambur village in Kompong Thom province, Cambodia, a brand-new mission station that had been set up only 2 months ago. Besides members who had previously been on other youth mission trips, this trip we welcomed several youths who were on their very first mission trip!
On Sunday, we conducted a children’s program. Initially, we had been informed to expect about 50 children. However, on Sunday, close to 100 children turned up – Praise God! Thankfully, we were sufficiently prepared to handle the large group. We led the children in a time of singing, and then a Bible story (Noah’s Ark), before engaging in art & crafts. The children seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, judging from their enthusiastic responses to all the activities we had prepared for them. It was definitely encouraging for the Moriah team to hear the children singing so loudly during singspiration – and we were pleasantly surprised when they put up a ‘special’ song item for us! We ended off the session by distributing sweets and tidbits to the children. Even though the items were small, the eyes of the children immediately lit up once they saw the goodies, and gratitude was etched on every little face in the room. This brought to mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:42 “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Indeed, though our efforts were small, we rest assured knowing that they would go a long way in making a difference in the lives of the children.
After the children’s program, we had Sunday worship service, where Barnabas shared his testimony, and Rev. Mathews delivered the message. Even though this is a relatively new church, we were encouraged to see that the pews were all filled up during the service – the Moriah youths were forced to sit on the floor – and we were honoured to be able to present a song item to the Cambodian congregation. Even though we speak different languages, look different, and live vastly different lives, it is amazing to know that we worship the same God, and that this same God loves us all equally.
The highlight of our trip was the painting of the church building. This was certainly back-breaking work, for the sun seemed to be shining relentlessly on us everyday! Even though the task was not easy, the team worked well together and we managed to finish what we had set out to do. We also had the privilege of having several of the church youths and children to assist us in the painting. Knowing that they could do their part, however small, in contributing to the makeover of their church building definitely provided them with a sense of ownership over their own church. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children as they ran their fingers over the newly-painted walls, seeing them laugh and be filled with a sense of wonder as they inspected our paintings really warmed our hearts – and made all the hard work under the sun fully worth it. We were also glad that we could use the youth mission fund for various projects, which included repairing church windows and doors, leveling of the surrounding church compound for farming and recreational use, and the building of the fence to protect the church compound. We also purchased a motorcycle to facilitate the missionary’s travels in the village, considering that the nearest town is 4 kilometers away.
Throughout the time spent in Cambodia, we were able to fellowship with Ev Sokhon and his family (his wife, Cho Vy, and son Nathaniel) who are in charge of this new mission station in Sambur. Their passion for their ministry, in spite of the setbacks and difficulties, was inspiring and taught the team from Moriah a lesson or two about the importance of having a Servant’s Heart (Mark 9:35) – serving God faithfully, and putting the needs of others before ours.
Back home in Singapore, we are so blessed in numerous aspects that we sometimes forget to count our blessings – for example, when was the last time we gave thanks for clean water? For good governance in the country? Or for a roof over our heads, complete with electricity and warm, fluffy mattresses? This trip certainly was an eye-opening experience for the team and allowed us to see exactly what Paul meant when he said that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (from 1 Timothy 6:6)
We thank God for this opportunity to do our part for our brethren in Cambodia, and we look forward eagerly to how the Lord is going to use us again in the furtherance of His kingdom, both here in Singapore and abroad. To God be the Glory!
on behalf of the 9th Youth Mission Team