Today, after devotion led by Gloria and breakfast, the team kicked off the day by visiting Emmanuel Community Primary School which was started by Pastor Bien and his wife Fei in 2004, missionaries from Philippines and partners of BLi. The school was opened in a government donated building but privately run and now provides free education to 450 children from Grades 1-7. The school vision is to offer the very best standard of education in the city to local children and at the same time share the love and grace of Jesus Christ at the school. The school teaches in two shifts through the day, and there is a strong emphasis on excellence through continuous training of their teachers and partnerships with international organisations to bring a higher standard of education to the children.
The team lead children’s programmes at two sessions throughout the day, with music from Brian and Jonny and games with Rui, Gloria, Josh and Winston. Mike and Yuk gave short talks on the love of Jesus. This resulted in over 400 children and young people inviting Jesus into their lives and asking Him to walk with them daily!
The team also ran a careers workshop for the older children. Hui King, Ning Wen and Mike spent time exploring the children’s future dreams and aspirations. It was an amazing experience to see the passion and the range of careers that the children wished to pursue. Doctors, teachers, policemen topped the list, along with engineers, artists and fashion designers. In a country that so recently lost over 80% of its educated workforce; it was truly encouraging to see such a passion in the young people of the future to begin such professions and build towards the future. Ning Wen spoke on what a doctor does and fielded questions on the sorts of education and subjects the children should focus on to pursue such a field; Biology, Chemistry and Science. Hui King talked about what engineering meant in the development of smartphones and was joined by Mike in a later discussion about ethics in the workplace.
The session at Emmanuel Community Primary School was then rounded out with some time for prayer for those children concerned for their family situations.
After a short lunch of fried chicken, the team moved on to Power of Grace orphanage. The team played a basketball match with the older children and the children’s ministry team arranged outdoor games with the younger children. The children at Power of Grace shared beautiful Khmer songs with the team. During this meeting, we met with three brothers (names omitted for privacy) who came to the orphanage as very young children and babies. Sadly their mother passed away due to complications during the birth and a lack of medical care. The wanted to study medicine in the future and Ning Wen again was able to offer some advice on the future study path and career; a touching opportunity to see the resolve and hope of the young people of Cambodia in the face of adversity and loss.
In the evening the team went for a hot pot dinner and some light entertainment before retiring for the night. Tomorrow the team travels to the Killing Fields to observe a tragic yet critical set of events in Cambodia’s history and visit to our dear BLi friend, Pip from UK who had stayed behind in Cambodia for the last 2 years and is now serving full time at Agape international ministry which rescues and helps children and women in the sex trafficking industry. AIM also provide a way for them to be self reliant through education and job training.