Phnom Penh CAMBODIA

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Phnom Penh CAMBODIA
Phnom Penh CAMBODIA
July- October 2010
How can a place be so chao.c yet so laid back at the same .me? This is the conundrum that is Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Step out into the streets and your senses are immediately bombarded. The noise, the smell, so many things catching your eye... Every day brings a new experience. In the twelve weeks since we arrived, we have been blessed to witness eight bap.sms. Two of these new sisters, Rasmey and Saruon, live with us here at the BEC (Bible Educa.on Centre). We have grown very close to them and it was especially exci.ng to see them become our sisters in Christ. Each day there are bible classes spanning from 6:00am to 6:00pm in the evening. These include one on one sessions, small groups and a morning dorm class for all Bethezer dorm students, which at the present .me numbers about forty. The Bethezer Dorm has just been relocated . The new loca.on is smaller but has beOer communal areas including a garden and courtyard. We all really value the .me we spend with the dormers as they are a joyful bunch of young people. Currently about five of these students are aOending classes in prepara.on for bap.sm. There are currently three classes aOending Sunday School at the BEC each week, with children aged between six and thirteen. We are involved in the teaching of one of these classes and assist the local sisters in preparing and planning lessons. Deb, who is a qualified teacher, has run a seminar on the structure and execu.on of a lesson at the request of the Khmer teachers. Twice a week a team of two makes the hour trek by moto out to LCDI (Leadership and Character Development Ins.tute) to teach an evening bible class to approximately fiTeen interested students. This usually involves an overnight stay and the teaching of an English or mo.va.onal lesson the following morning. The students are always very friendly and happy to have us come and visit. We are also asked some great ques.ons during these Bible classes! An outreach program is run one weekend a month at the BEC. This is when contacts living outside of Phnom Penh come to the BEC for a series of studies. The aOendees of the recent outreach weekend were seven LCDI students who have been aOending the twice weekly Bible lessons, and one of the BEC’s neighbours -­‐ a very bright 19 year old girl called Ratana who has been studying the Bible for an hour, four days a week with Deb. A series of sessions themed around “Reasons to Believe the Bible” was run. All of the students were aOen.ve and they asked a lot of good ques.ons. It was a great weekend had by all who were involved. We received some posi.ve feedback from the LCDI students during our weekly visit following the outreach weekend. Another part of outreach involves visi.ng contacts and bap.sed brothers and sisters in other provinces. In August, Dan and Kerren Pryde, Dan Maluga and Vitou Phan spent a few days visi.ng the province of Preah Vihear. They departed Phnom Penh on Saturday morning and, travelling by bus, then car, reached Preah Vihear in the late aTernoon. On Saturday evening, a group of bap.sed brothers and sisters as well as contacts from Preah Vihear and surrounding areas met up for dinner, followed by a memorial mee.ng. This was a great opportunity as some of these brothers have no other contact with Christadelphians at the moment. The following few days were spent doing pre-­‐bap.sm classes with Savy, a contact currently living in Preah Vihear, before returning to Phnom Penh on Wednesday aTernoon. We are currently aOending three one hour sessions a week learning how to speak the Khmer language. These lessons are challenging but we are finding them extremely useful and the Khmer people seem to appreciate our aOempts to communicate with them in their own language. In the coming months we hope to con.nue building rela.onships within the Khmer ecclesia along with our other contacts. We are all enjoying the extra bible study we are doing and feel excited to share and talk about our hope with others.