30 Orange Grove Road, down Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 258352
Mailing Address: 1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, Singapore 308899
Email: email@example.com; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
Dr Chan Kay Heem
On 31 Aug 2018, a team of 10 comprising nine True Lifers (Pastor & Jemima, Dn Charles & Jenny, Katherine, Qiaoyan, Janelle, Soksin & me), and one Berean (Judy) left for Siem Reap, with a primary mission to conduct a Vacation Bible School (VBS), and also with a secondary intention to minister to the sick at the places we visited. After a 2 hr 15 min flight, we were greeted at the airport by Preacher Tann Heng and Bun Kouy. Lunch was followed by a meeting at the mission house at Khong Teakson Thoung village. Pastor gave a short exhortation with references from Philippians 1 and 2, after which Tann Heng and Bun Kouy updated us on the work in Siem Reap. We retired for the day after preparing the place and arranging the art and craft and gifts we brought for the children.
The VBS was conducted at the mission house in the morning and the lesson repeated at the village in the afternoon after lunch. This village is a 20 minutes’ drive from the mission house and Tann Heng would pick up the children in the tuk-tuk for the VBS and send them back after that. The children at the mission house were divided into 2 groups, viz, the younger and the older children, with the lesson conducted at an age-appropriate level. Over the course of the 3 days, the children were taught that God speaks to us through His Creation, His Word and His Son. At the end of each lesson, there would be a short break before art and craft. For this, the children were given the opportunity to draw and colour, paint T-shirts, create bracelets, Bible verses on pencil cases, decorate files, etc to remind them of the lessons taught to them. The nuggets of Truth were further impressed upon the children through singing of choruses, memorizing relevant scripture and Bible quizzes. The children would then be given some clothes, shoes and bags donated by church brethren from Singapore. The number of children attending the VBS at the mission house were 26, 22 and 15 on the 3 days we were there. Team members who were not involved in a particular lesson would chip in to prepare the art and craft or help to guide the younger children.
Due to logistical reasons, the VBS at the village was conducted under the shade of a tree in a large group, including adults. The number of villagers present at the VBS on the 3 days were 50, 60 and 64 respectively. Clothes, shoes, bags and toothbrushes were given out after each session. While the VBS was going on, those with medical needs were tended to in the breezy shade under a house on stilts. The number of villagers requesting medical help on the 3 days totalled 27. Not a few villagers were pale and complained of fatigue, likely due to iron deficiency from malnutrition.
During the Sunday evening worship, Pastor spoke from Romans 10:8–15 and administered Holy Communion to a congregation of 15. Preacher Tann Heng assisted by translating the worship service to the Khmer language.
During the trip, the team witnessed the providence of God. He provided good sunny weather for our travel within Siem Reap. This was despite the wet season had already started and many roads were flooded and impassable to traffic just the week prior to our trip. God gave rain in the early morning of the 3rd day, cooling the temperature for us and without impeding our journey around by van. There was a light drizzle at the village in the afternoon which necessitated the erection of a temporary shelter for the VBS to start.
It rained more heavily in the early morning of the last day, but stopped after breakfast, allowing some of us to explore the nearby Old Market. Thank God the health of the team was preserved and none were any worse off for the weather. At the beginning of VBS at the mission house, a policeman came to inspect and reminded us that a permit had not been issued for the house to be used for religious purposes and we were not supposed to conduct such activities. Unbeknown to us, he returned to observe us from outside the compound on the 2nd and 3rd days as well. Tann Heng was summoned to meet the authorities the day after we left. Despite agreeing the team from Singapore was doing good there, the authorities warned Tann Heng not to conduct religious activities until the application has been approved and the permit issued, which was estimated to take another 3 to 4 months.
Siem Reap is developing rapidly with influx of foreigners like the mainland Chinese, driving up land prices and rentals. Tann Heng has been forced to change location because of this, and the new landlord has also refused to give a contracted duration of the lease i.e. Tann Heng may be asked to vacate if a higher-paying tenant can be found. The South Koreans (mostly charismatics) have also come in to evangelize and build churches. They invite the youth to join them and even provide food and transport when the youth attend their conferences. Some youth who used to go to Tann Heng’s church have joined these Korean meetings.
The team is thankful to our Heavenly Father for the privilege of being able to conduct this VBS cum medical mission to Siem Reap, to teach the children more of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and to give the Gospel to the lost. We remember how Jesus loves the children and how He wants them to go to Him (Luke 18:15–16). Seeing the enthusiasm on their faces as they learn God’s Word and how they can remember the truth taught has certainly brought much joy to the team.
As we see more of the signs of Jesus’ soon return, let us re-double our efforts in doing God’s work, especially in the area of evangelism, teaching and making disciples (Matt 28:19–20).
Please pray for:
Soli Deo gloria!
(1) Tann Heng is an FEBC graduate (2008–2012). He started Word of Life BPC in 2016 and he stays in a rented mission house with his wife (Navi) and 2 boys (Daniel and Timothy).
(2) Bun Kouy is Tann Heng’s brother and is also an FEBC graduate (2014–2018). He has so far travelled on a motorcycle to about 10 different villages looking for a receptive place to start a ministry.
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