Volume. XXII, No. 43
Sunday, 20 April 2008

January 2008 Cambodia Missions Reports Part 2

E-Interview with Bro Richard Tee

My expectations before the trip, and why I went in the first place:

From the experience of previous hopefuls who went, I was mentally prepared for the worst:

· That I wouldn’t be able to prepare for what is going to happen and that I would need to be prepared to do anything

· That I wouldn’t be able to do much medically for the patients, and that passing the good news is more important

· That the accommodation was going to be very uncomfortable I had decided to go to Cambodia, because it was consistent with my long term vision for my service in Christ – which is to serve Him with the skills and knowledge I was given, having walked down the path I believed I was led (by prayers and confirmation time after time).

What spiritual and work preparations did you have to do before the trip?

· Spiritual – prayers (prayed that I was truly going with a heart for service, and doing God’s will rather than my own), equipped myself with the scripture ( Bible study, preparing sermon, preparing daily devotion)

· Workwise – I read up on some common medical conditions seen in previous trips to Cambodia

· I edited a Cambodia Medical Missionary Handbook (with help of the medical students, Joyce Gong and Serene) , basically trying to kick start a long term plan of writing a reading materials to prepare younger medical students for the trip, and for ease of prescribing medications to suit our resources and local infection guidelines (different demographics, different treatment plan and methods needed)

· I also prepared a talk for the nursing students. To make it a quality talk, I consulted the Burns nursing manager from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, who is also a lecturer at UniSA nursing school.

· I tried hard for months to get my leave approved and thank God He provided me with the leave.

· Stopping in Singapore for a day to get my passport renewed.

Were your expectations met?

The trip surpassed my expectations. The truth that hit me was that God did not need me to be capable to do His work, rather it was more of myself taking that step in faith to do and to go (worry was needless).

Describe what you did in Cambodia.

· I had fellowship with the other members of the trip and most importantly with local Bible and nursing students.

· I saw some patients with surgical conditions (but I realised that with our resources, there really wasn’t much we could do). Having visited there, I got a better idea of the public system there, and understood that there are other missionary medical teams that do visit there. In fact, I referred 2 patients to them.

· On average we saw about 130 patients in half a day at each location

· I preached in one of the villages on the Lord’s Day.

· I also gave a lecture on Burns Dressings to the nursing student at Life University

What is the best part of this missions trip and the worse?

· Best: Seeing patients, preaching, and teaching at the nursing school.

· Worse: Stopping in Singapore and falling sick after returning

Should we continue to send missions teams there in the future, and would you like to lead the team?

We should. If God willing, I would.

Did you benefit spiritually from this trip, and did the trip make an impact or change in your outlook to life, world, etc.... and your relationship with our Lord Jesus? Did this missions trip bring you closer to Him?

Answer is yes (to the second question), in a very personal way. 

What were your thoughts about the medical and dental missions? Should this be expanded for the future?

My honest opinion is that it is a long term mission. It cannot be done overnight, so it needs patience, not rushing it and making compromises (in the purity of our beliefs, by the use of non-BP, or even non Christian believers out of proportion).

Ultimately our goal is to spread God’s word AND demonstrate Christ’s love.

It would be great if the provision of medical service can improve (This is from my incomplete audit of the patient’s cards)

· More resources (that’s why a proper audit is useful so that we know what we are lacking, but unfortunately of the cards I have gone through, a lot of clinical details are incomplete or incomprehensible. Medical students probably need to be given better instruction or supervision)

· More qualified willing medical professionals (so that medical students are more supervised)

· More medications (we ran out of antibiotics towards the end, partially because some antibiotics were given without indications)

· If we dare to dream, we can probably even get an electronic blood analyser for basic blood tests

· To humble ourselves to learn from other medical missionary teams, so that we can learn from their experiences (medical) and bring it to our mission trips

· More intimate collaboration with Life University medical faculty (for example this time their nursing students came and helped us with the clinics, and maybe we could involved them more so that they can learn certain things, practice or habit from Australia)

In summary, I think patience is important, though improvement needs to be made each time we go. More importantly, we should not compromise our value or risk doing it by trying to expand things quickly. We need to remember all things are subjected to God’s will not ours, so we should make seeking God’s will our priority.

Your thoughts/experience with the brethren from different B-P churches, and should this be continued?

It was great. Yes.

Bro Yick Ho Lam

I almost never really thought about going to Cambodia. That is, until I came to Hope BP church. Since then, I somehow had the idea that one day I would go on the mission trip. And when the opportunity came, I didn’t even consider much and put my hand up. A major factor for me to go was the chance to practise medicine in the area. I was never really comfortable evangelising and I did not really think that this mission trip might make a difference. However, God in his mysterious way worked in me and I was able to share the gospel with many of the Cambodians. The fact that there was a translator actually helped me because I could think in between sentences!

I did not do much preparation for the mission trip, I returned to Singapore a week earlier from my holiday in Europe and I was very busy. I prayed about the trip whenever I could and I somehow managed to delay writing my sermon till almost the last day.

My work in Cambodia was mainly medical but I also taught English for a day in Sihanoukville. The medical missions were tiring but it was worth it. Initially I focused a lot on medical problems, but after a while, I realized that most of them were seeing us not because they were acutely sick, but because they had been sick sometime in their life since they last saw a doctor. What they really needed was help with the soul and encouragement. Thus my consultation went from 5 minutes to 15 minutes as I spent as much time as I could to preach God’s word to them. Sunday came and all the boys had to preach. All of us seemed quite nervous about what we had to say but thank God for his Grace in providing a translator who seemed to make what we say interesting. Many of us were not used to speaking publicly and thus our tone was probably not very convincing or captivating, but the translator added that to our sermon.

I also had some tourist time in Cambodia where I was able to understand more about what has happened to this country for so many years. The Pol Pot regime seemed to have destroyed many families and the nation seemed really poor because of that. It was also interesting to see the Angkor Wat and the amount of effort people put in to building this monument.

The best part of the trip was the comfortable hotels we were in and the fellowship with brothers and sisters after the days work. I say it’s the best because it’s the most enjoyable time I have had in a while. When I am in Adelaide or Singapore, there’s always something on my mind over something that I have due soon; however, when the days work is finished in Cambodia, I could really just rest. I also really appreciate the time I had in preaching God’s word because that has certainly make me a lot more comfortable with doing that. The worst part of the trip was that I had to leave the team early.

From this trip, I was able to grow closer to God and understand more of his plans for me. I pray that more brothers and sisters would go to the mission field and I fully support the church if she were to send more mission teams in the future. It does not only help the people in Cambodia but it is also a very useful trip for everyone in the comforts of Australia! I hope that I can be more involved in the next trip after the experience I gained from this.

Bro Jason Tan

This Mission trip was my second time. My first mission trip was about three years ago. Being there before was useful in helping me know what to expect, so this time, I was more excited than apprehensive. I was eager to meet up with the missionaries and my Cambodian friends.

I feel that medical missions is a great way to help people and share the gospel in a very personal way. In terms of preaching material, I did not do much this time as I had already done the preparation in the previous trip. I spent more of my time this time on reading up on medical matters. I felt a bit more pressured as I was supposed to be a senior student. I had a great time. Truly, I felt tremendous joy in working together as a united team for God. What a blessing it was to co-labour with fellow believers in Christ. Although we were from different churches and there were quite a few whom I did not know previously, all of us were bonded together with a common love in Christ.

This time, I was involved in doing medical work, sharing the gospel with the patients, teaching English and Bible classes in the school, leading in morning devotions and preaching on Sunday. It was good to catch up with the people I had met from my previous trip. Some of the younger ones had grown so much that I almost could not recognize them. Surely we must press on to obey the Great Commission. May God continue to use us to be His witnesses in our home countries to the uttermost part of the world!

Bro Jonathan Liao

“ARE YOU READY?”  A sudden burst of little voices can be heard soaring through the morning skies replying with enthusiasm with the words “YES I AM”.  Standing side-by-side with their hands on their hips, the little Cambodian children are ready to start their Sunday school lessons.

My experience in Cambodia has been an exhilarating one and there was never a moment I did not manage to savour.  Touching down at Phnom Penh International Airport at 10.25 a.mam together with Uncle Michael, Michelle, the Chung Brothers and a healthy dose of buffet breakfast and sandwiches courtesy of Malaysia airlines, I felt ready to take on Cambodia.  As we made our way to the hotel in the church van driven by John, a Bible student fromof Glory B-P Church, I started to observe the surroundings of this foreign land.  This place was reminiscent of my  childhoodmy childhood. How the streets and shops were structured holds a resemblance to my hometown in Malaysia, only with more people on the streets and a lot more vehicles on the road. The traffic in Cambodia is insane; no one ever gives way or obeys any traffic rules and crossing the streets requires a lot of skill and effort. I felt like a tightrope walker whenever I tried to cross to the other side of the street. They say the key to this art of crossing the road is to walk slowly and do not make any sudden movements. Perhaps it is also a good idea to keep your eyes closed to avoid panicking.

After months of prayer and preparation, I still couldn’t believe I was finally here at Cambodia. The excitement was still building up and it was taking quite a while to sink in. Meeting Pastor Choi and his wife Mrs Choi for the first time was such a blessing. Finally meeting the people you pray for week after week in the prayer list and not having seen or heard of them previously was very encouraging and it rejuvenated to my prayer life. There was a lot to learn from these remarkable Godly people. Especially, Mrs Choi. The way she explained and described the work that had to be done in Cambodia, you could tell right away that she had passion, zeal and love for God’s work and His people by her expression, her tone and the effort she puts in. Even before the translations, I somehow miraculously felt that I understood Mandarin. It is through her example that I remind myself to share that same joy and passion when I talk about God’s work. It is in this area that I realise that I fall short of and much improvement is needed.

Before coming to Cambodia, I equipped myself with a few verses taken from the book of Philippians 2: 5-11. These verses taught me that Christ came down to earth as a servant, humbled Himself and became obedient unto death. As Christians, our ultimate example is our Lord Jesus Christ and going to Cambodia reminded me that I wasn’t there for a holiday but to go there to do God’s work, to spread the good news and to serve others. This was further enforced by Pastor Ki’s email reminding us to have a servant’s attitude, having team spirit as well as having humility by always regarding others better than you.

“Experience is the mother of prudence”. By just hearing and not being able to see and feel it firsthand, I did not fully comprehend the plight of less fortunate people, both physically and spiritually.

There was once a young man at the end of his rope, groaning in distress as he prayed. “Lord, I can’t go on. My cross is too heavy to bear.”

“My son,” the Lord replied with compassion, “if you can’t bear its weight, come with me to the cross room. There you may exchange your cross for any other cross you choose.”

Filled with relief, the young man sighed, “Thank you Lord.” Briskly entering the cross room, he mindlessly discarded his own cross and searched for one he’d rather carry. He saw many other crosses, some so large the tops weren’t even visible. After winding in and out of the rows of crosses, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against the far wall. “I’d like that one Lord,” he whispered.

And the Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you brought in.”

What I’ve learnt is that to put my worries, trouble and pain in proper perspective. Sometimes it’s good to set my hassles aside and reach out to minister to those less fortunate than myself. Assisting others in carrying their load of suffering in this mission trip has helped me to recognize that God has blessed me with a lighter burden than I’ve realized.

One of my most memorable moments in Cambodia was during the first day of the medical missions.  While the doctors and medical students were getting ready to treat patients, the non-medical people were sent to schools as well as inner parts of the villages to teach English or Sunday school items. I was thrown into the deep end, not knowing what to expect. As the church van dropped me, Wui Chiuen, David and two bible students off at a village called “Tot Ma”, I could see from afar off, many set of eyes peering through the windows of a hut. At a closer look, the hut was actually a community kindergarten set up by foreigners for Cambodian children to study. As we prepared to settle down, 40 – 60 children came pouring out of the hut. I was taken aback, not knowing what to do.  After some discussion with Wui Chien over our materials, we manage to start off the lesson with a Sunday School Song. What made the lessons more difficult was that the children, ranging from 2-6 years old, had a very short attention span and their interest usually lasts less than a few minutes before their thoughts go to other things and their active little bodies follow. Having taught Sunday School at Hope Church and dealing with children of that age a couple of times, I knew this is going to be a difficult task to overcome. What made things even harder was that we needed the Cambodian Bible students to translate our lessons into Khmer.

As the clock struck 11 indicating the end of the lesson, I felt a sense of relief having been able to complete my first lesson in Cambodia. By God’s grace the lesson turned out quite well. Indeed, this would not be possible without His guidance and the reliance on Him for wisdom and strength. After our first Sunday school song, we split the group of children into two. Wui Chien and I took a group each and we taught English, Bible stories as well as some games. What made the lessons easier was being able to see the faces of the children radiate with joy as well as the invaluable assistance from the Bible students. As soon as the lesson was over, clothes and food were distributed to the children. Cambodian children are remarkably polite. They place both palms together, as if in prayer and with a short bow, they say “Or Kon” (thank you) whenever they receive something.


Once the medical mission team treated all the patients, we would usually have lunch outside and later have some free time to rest, go sightseeing, do some shopping or to prepare materials for upcoming lessons. Sometimes the medical mission work lasted till late in the afternoon and all we had were packed lunches. Later in the evening there would be a team of people set forth to teach the Bible students English, Mandarin and computing. This was pretty much our daily routine with some variances.

Mark 16:15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  I would not forget the first message that I had to preach, also turning a quarter of a century old on that same day. During the Sunday service, all the men were sent out to different villages to preach at local churches. Most of them were first-timers like me. I was a bit reluctant at first and wanted to back out but I recall a verse from 2 Timothy 4:2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” This reminded me to be always ready to preach God’s Word, regardless of whether I didn’t feel able to do it or it was an inconvenient time to do so. As I was called to the pulpit, I prayed earnestly to God to lead me and guide me in this task. I did what I had to do and delivered my message on “Why should we read God’s word daily”. I thought the message went pretty well as many of the people were listening attentively and I managed to bring across the points. The congregation even applauded after the message. I wasn’t sure if they thought it was a good message or whether it was getting boring and they were clapping because it was finally over. All in all, I really thank God for this task that He set before me and for pushing me to do what I never thought I could. It was only through putting aside my nervousness, relying solely on His strength and through
the leading of the Holy Spirit was I able to say the right words.

I never realised that the next message that I was to preach would be a greater lesson for me than my listeners. After the first message, we had to travel to the next village for their service. I preached a second time because a  teama team member’s computer broke down with his message in it. Having good feedback from the last message added an extra boost of confidence and I thought I would be able to handle it without any problems. Moreover it was just a repeat of what I had already said before.  My pride took the better of me and halfway through the message, I could see some of the listeners getting lost and starting to fall asleep. I could come up with many excuses. It could have been a new church with new people not being familiar with listening to message or I was getting tired and my voice was getting monotonous or worse, I could blame the translator for not doing a good job but I knew that the real problem was that I did not pray much before this message and I did not commit this task wholeheartedly to the Lord. This made me realise how difficult it must be to be a pastor and how discouraging to see someone falling asleep in his sermon. Furthermore, it also reminded me of my first visit to Hope church where there was this Korean man with a funny Korean accent preaching up in the pulpit and I didn’t understand a single word he was talking about.

This Cambodia Mission trip has profoundly impacted my life in ways that I never knew possible. Coming to Cambodia, I thought I could contribute and serve as much as I could to the people, but in reality I’ve actually received far more that I have given.  It has changed many of my perspectives in life, made me learn to appreciate what I have more, understand my long term commitment to Christ better, humbled me in many ways, rejuvenated my spiritual walk and helped me to develop a better awareness to the need of less fortunate people, physically and spiritually.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Pastor Ki and Uncle Michael who led this mission team, the beautiful Rosalie and Joseph (my roommate, he is a good roommate, he doesn’t snore and he attracts a lot of mosquitoes) for organizing accommodation and transport, and also to the many others that have helped out in one way or another.  It is really encouraging and edifying to see everyone working as a team having a common love, joy and goal to do the work that the Lord has appointed to us. I’ve truly enjoyed my time in Cambodia and the many friendships iI have made, not only with the Cambodian people and the Bible students, but also with the people from Melbourne and Singapore.

Above all I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for his provision, protection and guidance throughout the trip and for making it possible for me. Indeed all of us in the team have been blessed with a new sense of God's love, hope and compassion for the nations.

Lastly I would like to encourage many others to be involved in future mission trips.  I do not consider myself an expert in the matters of Cambodia and her people with only 2 weeks experience, but I hope to share this blessing with you and I guarantee that you will find it very rewarding.  After two decades of war and isolation, Cambodia is now truly starting to recover from the Khmer Rouge's genocidal rule. Areas like education, health and sanitary system require lots of improvement and even more so in the spiritual needs of the people. There are many out there, who have not had the privilege of hearing the Gospel.

As Forest Gump states, his life is like a box of chocolate. My life I believe is like a candle.

There was once a little candle that stood in a room filled with other candles, most of them much larger and much more beautiful than she was. Some were ornate and some were rather simple, like her. Some were white, some were blue, some were pink someand some were green. She had no idea why she was there, and the other candles made her feel rather small and insignificant.

When the sun went down and the room began to get dark, she noticed a large man walking toward her with a ball of fire on a stick. She suddenly realized that the man was going to set her on fire. “No, no!” she cried, “Aaaaagghhh! Don’t burn me, please!” But she knew that she could not be heard and prepared for the pain that would surely follow.

To her surprise, the room filled with light. She wondered where it came from since the man had extinguished his fire stick. To her delight, she realized that the light came from herself.

Then the man struck another fire stick and, one by one, lit the other candles in the room. Each one gave out the same light that she did.

During the next few hours, she noticed that, slowly, her wax began to flow. She became aware that she would soon die. With this realization came a sense of why she had been created. “Perhaps my purpose on earth is to give out light until I die,” she mused. And that’s exactly what she did.

God created you and Ime to produce light in a dark world. Like that little candle, we all can produce the same amount of light, no matter how small we are or what colour we might be. But we can’t produce light until we receive it from an outside source. That source is Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

Also like the little candle, we have to die in order to produce light. If we try to preserve ourselves, our lives will be meaningless. But if we are willing to “lose our lives for Christ’s sake,” (Matthew 10:39) we will find our true purpose and meaning.

I believe that ministry is participation not just passive observation. We should seek the opportunity to serve whenever possible and by being involved we can discover and unlock the gifts we have that God wants and will use, anywhere whether it be in the streets of Phnom Penh, the sandy beach of Sihanoukville or the ancient buildings of Siem Reap. I pray and hope to see you in the next mission field.

More Lively Hope




No Working Bee on Sat, 26 April, but there is a special Working Bee on Sat, 10 May.

Accommodation required for Sis Rebekah Neumann. If you can help please call 0400 527 136 or 8532 1793

Volunteers required for transport. If you can help please see Dn Tony Law.

Hospitality Roster: Anyone or family wishing to have fellowship lunch or dinner with Pr David Weng & family, please leave your name on the roster on the notice board.


Looking Ahead

22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 25 May. Speaker: Rev Patrick Tan


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Dn Yaw Chiew Tan (Sibu); Bros Leonard Teo & You Wen Yeap (Adl), Sis Min Yen Chia (Melb), Tabitha Heah, & Bernadette Ng (Adl), Kristy Liao (NZ) & Mary Ting & family (Vic).

Church activities: BBK Class, BSAG, Joy, Ladies’ Fellowship Meeting, Maranatha, Sparks4Christ, & YAF Bible Study.

Answered prayers - much needed rain


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - Sis Siang Lai (recovering from car accident, Siem Reap).

Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Pr David & Sis Susan Weng (& Elizabeth) (Adl); Bro Charles & Sis Rachel Scott-Pearson (UK); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Cairns); Bro Raphael Ng; Campers from Melb, and to Victor Harbor; & all those travelling during the school & uni vacation.

Job - Bro Cong Pham

Sabbatical Leave: God’s guidance & protection for Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Chiangmai).

Ministry of Pr David Weng in Hope Church.

Family Bible Camp: Speaker - Pr David Weng, Camp Committee & campers.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom as they take care of our Church. Session meeting this afternoon.

Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

God’s blessings on wedding: Sis Mariam Ziegelmann (Melb) on Sun, 27 April.




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041