Volume. XVIII, No. 39
Sunday, 28 March 2004

Brother Dillon Changs experience in Cambodia (Part 2)

Kampong Som

After prayer we set off on a four-hour drive to Kampong Som.  The van was comfortable enough and we were all thankful for the air conditioning.  Being seated at the front, I found Ciden, our driver, to be good company.
I’d like to say we did not meet with any trouble along the way.  As is expected, the devil will always try his best to prevent God’s work being done.  At about 15 minutes from reaching our destination we heard a bang under our van.  The van had begun to leak oil badly and decided it could go no further, stopping at the apex of a hill.  We managed to hitch a ride (for a small fee) with a self made taxi van, which brought us safely to Life BP Church Bible School.  Poor Ciden was left to guard the luggage, however Ciden and our luggage were recovered not long after.  On our arrival, we met Reverend Koo’s wife and sons, as well as two Korean girls, Hope and Grace, who had been helping out with the ministry for the past few months.  Hope and Grace were in charge of all the programs.

After another hearty dinner (it was this particular evening that Pastor Ki made his short speech on eating too much) we were shown our program for the first time.

Needless to say, all my worries of not having anything to do quickly vanished as I realised all my previous preparations only covered 1 day of work.  I really do thank God for the tasks that He laid before me.  As He pushed me to do what I never thought I could, I came to rely heavily on the Lord’s strength to get me through the day and only by the leading of the Holy Spirit was I able to say the right words.  Even as I prepared for each message, I found myself challenged by the passages that I read which was a blessing in itself.  My first message was on Sunday afternoon.

Our daily “routines” were generally as follows:

6am – Morning Message/Devotion
7am – Morning Prayer
7:30am – Breakfast
8:30am – Primary School Children English lessons
9am – 11am Bible School Students English lessons
Initial gathering and teaching of a song to break the ice.
Split into Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced groups.
11am – 12pm – Break (Table Tennis or sleep)
12pm – Lunch
1pm – 5pm Doctrinal Lectures
Alternatively 1pm – 5pm – Visiting Villages.
Children Ministry
Short Bible Message
6pm – Dinner
7pm – 9pm – Free time (Table Tennis or sleep)
9pm – Prayer meeting (Mission Team)
10pm – 2am – Preparation of Morning Message/Devotion

We managed to sneak a couple of town visits into this schedule for a little bit of shopping. Sam and Daniel also had the task of teaching Peter and Solomon English during the afternoons.
On average I slept about 3 hours per night, as I had to prepare for the next morning’s message.  Coffee was a staple breakfast for me. Considering the number of mosquitoes flying around in my bedroom, God blessed me with a solid 3 hours sleep and no mosquito bites, which is a miracle in itself.


Our visits to the Villages were exciting and apprehensive at the same time.  I was never quite sure of what to expect.  It also felt a little intrusive to go into these people’s homes to preach and sing etc.  If it was in a more developed country, we would have had to ask for permits and authorization. However, the villagers were always accommodating and eager to enjoy the children’s ministry and listen to us speak of our Lord and Saviour.
It was hard work to travel to these villages, especially Puom Svay village, which involved a 3 hour drive, a 45 minute boat ride and a short hike on foot.  The boat ride was exciting. Keeping afloat seemed a task on its own as water was constantly pouring in through cracks, and by the river banks there were never any shortages of overhanging branches that threatened to swipe at unsuspecting heads.  There was a lot of heavy PA equipment and food to carry on foot after the boat ride.  Just be ready to sweat a lot.

The Students

By far, the most I got out of this mission trip was getting to know the students.  Their devotion and willingness to help, and their love for their own people really shone out especially in the villages when they interacted with the elderly and the young.  My impression of these Bible college students is one of ‘premature maturity’ if there is such a term.  Maturity seems to be a necessity and perhaps a survival need for the Cambodians.  It seems so strange to see such small frames with such focus.  A 14 year old boy in Cambodia resembles a 7 year old in Australia.  The stunted growth I believe is a result of the lack of good, nutritious food.

You cannot help feeling compassion and shame for having so much more than these people.  They are resourceful people, eager to learn, bright eyed and intelligent.

However, what they have they are grateful for, and what they have is given generously back to those around them and is never given sparingly, especially smiles and laughter.  If it were anywhere else in the world, their lives would be so different.  I saw all kinds of potential in their eyes - Doctors, Builders, Architects, Businessmen and women, but what makes for a successful life?  I believe whole-heartedly that their lives in the Bible College are rich and fulfilling because they are doing God’s work 7 days a week.  Again it just shames me to be the one preaching to these students when they are the ones living out God’s words daily.  I see great men and women of God rising from the Missionaries that we support.

(To be continued next week)

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 41: Where is the moral law summarily comprehended? The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments.

Please continue to pray for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. Peter Clements,  Bro. Surish Dharmalingam, Sis Susan Varadi, and Sis. Aranka Rejtoe. “Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” (Psalm 105.4).

Thank God for granting journey mercies to Sis. Michiko Kishita (Japan), Sis. Wendy Gong (Alice Springs), Rev. Ed and Sis. Lehia Paauwe & Grandpa Ki (Adelaide), Bro. Lincoln Law (Melbourne), Bro. Dillon Chang (Melbourne).

Please pray for journey mercies for Sis. Peng Ha Yeo (New Zealand), Sis. Sooi Chin Gong  (Adelaide).

YAF Picnic at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens on Saturday, 3 April.  Please invite friends to attend.  Information sheets can be found on the foyer table.

Praise and Thank God  for all those who helped out in the Working Bee yesterday.  May the Lord bless you richly in your service to Him.

Cambodia Mission: Anyone planning to go to the Missions in Cambodia in May 2004, please see Pastor Ki or Dn. Michael Lee ASAP.

Church Rosters for the second quarter of this year are available.  Please collect one on the table in the foyer.

Easter Family Bible Camp at Douglas Scrub: 9-12 April. Speaker: Rev. Prabhudas Koshy. Camp forms are available on the literature table.

Easter Camp food: Could all who are willing to donate refreshments for morning and afternoon tea sessions at the Easter Camp, please inform Sis. Joyce Gong.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041