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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cambodia trip - Phnom Penh & Battambang (Part I)

It was a great eye opener for me during my recent 9 days mission trip to Cambodia....
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As I begin to blog about the trip, I was reminded of a very meaningful song... I encourage you to let the youtube clip play as you listen to this beautiful song and read my very emotional entry about the trip....

Oceans Will Part Lyrics by Hillsong

Verse 1:
If my heart has grown cold,
There Your love will unfold;
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.


When I’m blind to my way,
There Your Spirit will pray;
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand,

As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.

Chorus:
Oceans will part; nations come

At the whisper of Your call.

Hope will rise; glory shown.
In my life, Your will be done.


Verse 2:
Present suffering may pass,
Lord, Your mercy will last;

As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.

And my heart will find praise,
I’ll delight in Your way,
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand,

As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.

Bridge:
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand,
Jesus open my eyes to the work of Your hand


Just like the opening of this song, I feel that living in an urban jungle like Singapore (with the convenience, luxury, prolification of education) has caused my heart has grown cold to the conditions of the poor, the hungry and the needy. It's hard to picture what poverty is, till you're placed in the exact landscape of that exact form of lack.

I guess the main issue battling such poverty-stricken countries like Cambodia is the careful balance of not being over-dependent on foreign aid. Most NGOs tackle the part on the immediate needs (ie: distribution of food packs, money)...

The next step is to empower these people through education and feed their emotional & spiritual needs. That is the vision of Pst. David Lim (a missionary friend of mine that gave up a comfy retirement life with his wife in Singapore to slog it out in Cambodia)... You may read more about his work in Cambodia here -> http://www.wchrist.org/

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[Pst David Lim in his rooftop workshop. There's not many plumber or furniture shops in Cambodia, which gives him the perfect excuse to DIY most of the stuff in his home... ]

I've also realised during the trip that a S$50 can mean an entire month of salary to an average Cambodian employee there. That has helped me to be more content with the life I have.


If you would like to find out how your little can mean much more to the people there, do contact him to see how you can help!


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[His tools.... Nicely organised.... You know a meticulous person when you see one...]

I will blog about my trip into 3 segments, with each school that we've visited in each blog post...

School 1 - in Battambang town
(Pst. David has been working successfully with 9 churches in the past 3 yrs since he landed in Cambodia)
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[I think the little girl on the extreme left looks like Janet Jackson! And check out the twins in the right photo...]

Our main mission for the trip was to do some de-licing work. You may be shocked to know that 99% of the children have lices in their heads and do not brush their teeth due to lack of oral hygiene.

However, all that's gonna change. Pst David has been working with the schools on educating them on health & proper oral hygiene.
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[kids sitting on bench, preparing for the de-licing process]

The kids putting on their Cape-Crusader capes to keep their uniforms dry..
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After the de-licing lotion has been applied, it's time for the volunteers to wash it off!

[Girls waiting for their turn @ their hair wash...]
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We also conducted handicraft work as prepared by the team from Bethesda Chapel...
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The tuckshop/school canteen... What a stark difference from the canteen I used to buy my candies from back in school...
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We played a game of catching with the entire school of 250 kids... The 7 of us tried to catch 250 screaming, hysterical but happy kids... It was MAYHEM... :)

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The kids can play games around anything....
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We also conducted a game of Eagle & Mother Hen... The kids picked it up quite quickly and started playing it on their own even after we have ended the game....
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They love the camera... Especially when they know that they can preview their faces immediately after I've snapped the shot...
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After all that fun... Many of the students went home happily in their bicycles...
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1 more school in Batambang to de-lice & a visit to a run-down church in the village... Will blog about those in part 2 & 3....

2 comments:

Carlos Encinas said...

Thank you for the sharing the experience. The pictures are very nice and I can't wait to see next posts.

Kara said...

Thanks Carlos!!! I'm looking forward to see your photos for your Vietnam trip! I'm quite sure u'll find many picture-worthy things to shoot there...

Meet up soon, yah!!!