A 20-strong team from CCMC set off on a short-term mission trip to Cambodia from 1 to 4 September 2023. Led by Pastor-in-Charge, Rev David Gwee, and Suzanna Lee, CCMC’s former missionary to Cambodia for five and a half years, the trip had three clear objectives:
1. To celebrate with Phoum Chress Methodist Church, the 10th Anniversary of the completion of its new church building
2. To re-connect with members of P Chress MC and to show our love and concern for them
3. To provide mission exposure and experience to members and regular worshippers of CCMC, and in particular, for them to get to know and support MMS ministries in Cambodia.
As we visited the Methodist Centre, the Toul Kork MC, the Methodist School of Cambodia (MSC); Community Outreach Services Immanuel (COSI); Community Outreach Services Youth (COSY); the Cambodia Methodist Bible School (CMBS); Joy Methodist Hostel (JMH); and Hope House, we were greeted with warm hospitality, friendship and the broad smiles of Cambodians, young and old alike. In particular, the laughter of the children at COSI during the puppet show skit which we put up, conveying the message of Christ’s healing power, warmed all our hearts.
On Sunday 3 September, as we fellowshipped and worshipped with the leaders and congregation at P Chress MC and celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a wonderful service and a sumptuous lunch prepared by the church members, it was a joy to not only witness the Cambodian church in worship but to also physically participate in worship alongside them as an ongoing fulfilment of Psalm 86:9 and a foreshadowing of Revelation 7:9&10.
At every turn, as the local Pastor, church leaders and the Singaporean missionaries shared about their Ministry, and as we witnessed first-hand the wide-ranging and enduring practical impact of their labour and diligence, we were moved by the resilience of the church in Cambodia, buoyed and sustained by the Holy Spirit, soldiering on, extending its tent and quietly advancing the Kingdom, while remaining undaunted even in the face of significant and diverse challenges.
Witnessing again this strength, after a twenty-year hiatus from participating in short-term mission trips with Barker Road MC, it reminded me of the vivid chronicles of the Church in Cambodia in Don Cormack’s book: “Killing Fields, Living Fields: An Unfinished Portrait of the Cambodian Church, the Church that Would Not Die”.
Indeed, the Lord’s work in Cambodia is unfinished, but it has made and continues to make significant and enduring strides through the local Church, inexorably advancing forward – its redemptive light illuminating, liberating and transforming individuals, families, whole batches of students (whether they be Grade 1 to 12s at MSC or COSY, or Pastors-in-training at CMBS) and through them, whole communities, one brother or sister in Christ at a time.
For the Church in Singapore, the clarion call for all of us to be part of the Lord’s important and amazing work in Missions, including in Cambodia, continues to go out. It is my prayer that more of us will tangibly answer this call in obedience.