Volume. XXI, No. 22
Sunday, 26 November 2006

From the Pastors Heart: Outreaches

I have been one of those blessed pastors who have loving and very understanding people in their congregations.  I have been traveling a lot this year, which is quite contrary to the plans I had made in last December.  I had only one trip in my mind for the year 2006.  Instead, almost every month I was somewhere overseas.  I am very grateful to the Session and the Hopefuls for their kind support and understanding.  As you know, I went to Cambodia in late October.  It was to fulfill the pledge I had made about a year ago.  A young Cambodian man, Kosal, met a tragic death in Pailin, Cambodia, and I wanted to remember his life and faith in meaningful ways.  This desire came into fruition when a lady from Korea promised to provide a scholarship fund to the students in Pailin, and the name of the scholarship fund became “Kosal Scholarship Fund.”  This year I witnessed 12 students from local high schools being awarded with scholarships, as well as 3 students from a primary school run by Paillin BP church.  There were more than 2,200 high school students present for the ceremony.  School principals and a man from the education department were also present.  For kindergarten children, lots of toys and learning materials were also provided.  Swings and see-saws were manufactured in Phnom Penh and transported to Pailin by a truck.  A notebook and a pen were also given out to every student in the ceremony.  As the ceremony started, the reason for the scholarship was explained and communicated to the students.  It is my hope and prayer that the good will of Christians is well felt in their hearts and that they may visit Pailin BP church some day.  At least two school principals are Christians and members of Pailin BPC.  Especially, one of them was very passionate not only for his faith but also for his profession as a teacher.  He passionately appealed to me to donate two computers for his school.  He is a young man, but very zealous for his faith and work.  I do not know about the exact figure.  However, I assume that about 400 US dollars will enable him to buy a computer from Phnom Penh. 


I had a privilege to visit with Preacher Zhang and Mr. Lee.  They have been faithfully serving the Lord in Kampongsom for the Chinese congregation.  While they live and work there, they have suffered with ill health.  They made a timely and understandable decision to return to Singapore for further medical treatments.  They are going to leave Cambodia at the end of next March.  Hope Church has enjoyed the privilege of supporting them for a few years.  It is also my thought and prayer that Hope church will support them at least till next year.  They need support in order to resettle down in their homeland and to settle the medical bills.  I was not able to meet the Koos because they went to a conference in Thailand.  However, Rev. Koo called me and had a nice chat with me.  He thanked the Hopefuls for their five-years-support for Esther.  She is now in year 11 at Logos International School in Phnom Penh.  Some of our previous mission team members had visited the school and, in fact, met the couple who had founded the school.  Gill Fisk (wife) gave us her testimony as well.  Rev. Koo’s school is very huge by now.  He is in the process of making extensions behind the main building in order to accommodate University students.  That’s right.  I said, “university students.”  The name of the school is “Life University.”  Lots of construction work is going on in the campus.  I was not planning to be at Rev. Hahn’s place, but unexpectedly I was asked to preach in his church because he had to travel to Laos during the week I visited Kampongsom.  It is regrettable that I was not able to see the ocean this time.  There were more cars on the road, and more foreigners are coming to the region. 


Phannith was still busy with his work.  He organized all the necessary meetings for me and the team I brought to Pailin.  He is now a father of two children.  As you know, he is going back to Singapore for further training, probably next year.  The Session has decided to support him as before.  Hope and pray that all of you will pray for and support him for the next two years.  He needs plane tickets, school fees, visa and passport fees, pocket money, and family support.  One person cannot do it, but if we all work together, we will be able to do it, as we have done for Esther Koo for five years.  Training the nationals is more efficient way for foreign missions.  They know the language, custom and people of the land.  They know how to communicate with and approach their own people, while missionaries are only aliens.  Though missionaries are working hard and trying to help the people in their mission fields, it is true to say that they are foreigners to the eyes of the people.  When missionaries are ministering to the people, the latter has different expectations than when they are ministered by their own people.  Sometimes it means more financial burdens in the mission field.  I have seen many missionaries suffering with endemic diseases.  Therefore, sending Phannith to Singapore is a good progression toward the evangelization of the people in Pailin.  We ought to remember his wife and children, too.


During this trip, I experienced quite a number of new things.  I have traveled to Pailin a few times already.  However, I have never seen such bad road conditions before.  I had to sit in a van for more than five hours for about a distance of 80 kms being between Battambong and Pailin.  Battambong to Seam Reap was not any better.  I left at about 5pm from Battambom to Seam Reap.  For about an hour, the road was very good.  Then, there was an unpaved highway for the remainder of the journey.  It was dark already.  The road was cut off here and there because of floods.  Lots of cars were in the water.  There were at least six places where the driver could not possibly drive through.  Whenever there was a problem like that, there were always some local people willing to guide the driver through safe passages.  Of course, they charged for their services.  It was interesting to observe their negotiations.  On one occasion, small boys of about 7-8 years were waiting for cars like mine.  They asked for five dollars initially, and the driver cut it down to one dollar.  In one place, there is no possibility to travel through.  There were heavy equipment vehicles waiting for their preys.  A huge tractor pulled the van through the flood for six dollars .  At least the half of the van was under the water.  I read 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 again.  In particular, verse 26 says, “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.”  My experiences were nothing comparing to Paul’s.  Through the hard work and sacrifices of the forefathers of faith, we have received the Gospel.  Some of the Hopefuls have never been in the mission field before.  Maybe some of them have never given anything to missionary work before.  Whatever we do for the Lord in this life shall be remembered and not in vain.  Life is more than making money and enjoying it.  Hope and pray that all of us will use our temporal gains for eternal gains. 


Thank you for your support for Esther, Phannith, Preacher Zhang, the Bjurs and missionary work in general.  May the Lord bless you all!

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 72: What is forbidden in the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.


Please pray for health & God’s healing: Ps Ki, Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev David Koo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Sheila George, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8).


Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Rev & Mrs  Stephen Choi & ministry in Phnom Penh; b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) Pastors & believers in India & Pakistan; d) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; e) Journey Mercies -  Ps Ki (KL); Preacher & Mrs Lee (Adl); Dn Tony Law (Adl); Bro Pitchet, Sis Katie Opaskiatikul & Josiah (Udon Thani); Bro You Wen & Sisters Sarah Carpenter & Purdee Yeo (Perth) & others travelling this week; f) High School students - examinations; g) More rain - to end the drought in Australia; h) Farmers - in their distress and difficulties; i) Ebenezer BPC (Melb) - sufficient funds for property settlement in two weeks; j) BP National Youth Camp in Perth, 28 Nov - 2 Dec; k) Ps Ki’s ministry at Evangel B-P Church (KL).


Praise and Thank God for – a) AFG Activity, Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Quiz Night; b) Journey mercies - Rev George van Buuren (Perth & Adl); Deacons Tony Law (Hobart) & David Yeo (Adl)); Mr & Mrs Opaskiatikul (Udon Thani); Bro Jason Tan (Perth); Sisters Shu Jun Liew, Charlotte Lin (S’pore), & Juanita Tong (Perth), Miss Bernice Tan (S’pore); & others who had travelled.


Praise the Lord & Special Thanks to all organisers, helpers, & donors who helped to make the Garage Sale & Food Fair a success. All proceeds to Ebenezer B-P Church.


Looking Ahead: Christmas Carols Night & Special items on Sat, 9 Dec 2006, 7:30pm at Concordia College Chapel. Please invite your family & friends to join us.




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041