If I can sum up our visit to ICPC Cambodia in 2011 in one word, that word would be “overwhelmed”. What started out to be a “teaching” mission became a learning mission. We are overwhelmed by the genuine love of the class of 2011. They overwhelmed us with love for each other, love for their teachers and love for the word. Never have we seen students who genuinely show such devotion to the word of God. We are humbled.
This is my 2nd trip to Cambodia and my first as a teaching leader. I had the privilege of the company of Murphy, Kin Yip, Lillian, Cathy, Joe and uncle Jeremiah. On this trip I learn the strengths of my team. I found out Lillian and Murphy love to teach. They would come into my room and ask me all sorts of questions just to be better equipped before they go to class. Cathy is simply a natural with kids. So are Murphy and Joe. Kin Yip is simply an innovative man! That leaves uncle Jeremiah. He is simply a man who solved problems effortlessly. I was truly blessed to have them as my team mates.
Through out the trip, my team members expressed great encouragement. Murphy shared with us how he was deeply touched by the students’ feedback. Lillian about how God would work miracles towards those who farmed. She told us about stories about how the flood had destroyed crops planted and how the pastors would anoint their field and thereafter reap the crop in weeks instead of months!
We were greatly encouraged also by Joe who taught his first ever class. He is such an encouragement. We were almost amazed how he and Cathy were just magnet to the orphans we visited. The kids loved them!
Let’s come back to the teaching. We were to teach Romans this year. The teaching team was given specific chapter to teach. At the end of each session, students came up and gave a short message about what they had learned. Murphy was especially encouraged. He had told me that he was in 2 minds as to whether he would want to go to Cambodia and from what the students told him, he was much moved.
I was overwhelmed by the students’ interests in the word. They sat through lessons and I mean (long) lessons. Without wavering in attention, they had just absorbed almost everything that was taught. Such detail to attention to their teachers is hardly found today. The students are warmed, friendly and very welcoming. They exude love, gentleness and the fullness of the Spirit’s fruit.
I can hardly say how proud the team to have the class of 2012 as their torch bearers and the fruit of tNCC’s partnership with ICPC. It is obvious that the grace message is well embedded into their personality and character by Pastor Barnabas, Somnang and Soo Kun. We are also overwhelmed by fact that ICPC had baptized more 1196 believers in one baptism service! It is then we realized what ICPC has done is to turn our “small little seed” into a tree filled with fruits. I am very blessed by Pastor Samnang Meas who patiently interpreted for us. He is really a beacon of light for the students. I am humbled by his dedication to his sheep. He would always ask them about their welfare. Pastor Barnabas said that he cannot find a better shepherd than him for his students.
Class of 2011
I am going to Cambodia again this month. I hope I will see familiar faces. I hope I will meet the staff of ICPC again. I hope I see their smiles. I can honestly see that I see them reflecting the smiles of my pastor Peter Sze (Those of you who attend tNCC will know what I mean), the man who brought the vision of the partnership to pass. It is clear that his friendship with Pastor Barnabas has brought this partnership to its fruition. So I hope. I hope to see the class of 2011 and the churches they have set up. I hope to see them pastors ministering to their flock. But I should change what I am saying. I must say “I know” rather than “I hope”. I know this July, I will not just hope to be “overwhelmed”, I know I will be overwhelmed by the class of 2011 and of course 2012!