May peace be with you all in times of the pandemic! Because of COVID-19, my colleagues and I have returned to Hong Kong and resumed normal life after self-quarantine. I was not too used to the humid and cold weather here in the beginning of quarantine and really missed the sunny and dry weather in Phnom Penh.
The Situation in Cambodia
After my return, a lot of you have asked, “what is going to happen to the children now?” It is true that schools and religious gatherings are suspended in Cambodia and the Pleroma School for Girls (PSG) and the Pleroma Community Center (PCC) are unable to operate. I have shared the detailed PCC prayer items in May and the present situation is similar. But we have started inviting youths back to talk to them about their mental state and family needs. They were very bored at home and wanted to go to school. Some of them were worried about their parents’ relationship as they were always arguing after losing their jobs. Some of the children have to work to help out at home. Our colleague, Bopha, regularly shares with me their situation and prays with them. I miss them very much, but I know I have to trust that God will provide for them and He cares about their needs more than we do. I would like to thank our brothers and sisters for their offering, so that we can buy food supplies for them and help them through this difficult time.
Aside from the children from the PCC gatherings, we have also met with the students from our community tutorial classes and children that received our school sponsorships. Originally, we were going to organize the PCC Tutorial Classes Graduation Ceremony in July and invite parents to see the cute performances of their children and to witness their growth. It would have also been a good opportunity to introduce the PSG to them. Sadly, the ceremony has to be cancelled now. But the most important thing is to maintain contact with the children and to give them worksheets for revision at home. The epidemic has put all ministries on hold and we can utilize the time to process our past experiences and pray to God about the situation of the children and place our hope in resuming our ministry and our work in the future.
I am very happy to start studying again after returning to Hong Kong, as it is not easy to find a suitable course as a missionary given the limitation on the mode of teaching, duration, and location; It is a real joy to study again. I have chosen a course about children’s holistic development at the Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary. Online classes commenced last month and it is very challenging and interesting to learn with students from other countries online and to experience foreign cultures again. I hope that I can develop a broader vision on children development and leadership and hope that I can focus more on children ministry. I am very grateful for the support of our organization, so that I can study without worrying about money or time.
Thanksgiving and Prayer Items
1. Although we returned to Hong Kong due to the epidemic, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my mother. May God continue to bless her health.
2. Although we are not in Cambodia, my colleague Bopha and I are still planning ways to serve our community together. Her ability to work and execute duties independently and responsibly greatly reassures me – thanks be to God!
3. May God grant us wisdom so that we can help the low-income families in the community. We wish to set up a small workshop once we return to Cambodia, so that the women can earn more by processing garments.
4. Due to unemployment, many parents can no longer sustain living in Phnom Penh and have returned to the countryside to find work. May God protect the villagers and children and deliver them from evil, so that they will not encounter human traffickers and will be able to continue to study and go to church in the future.
5. At last, please pray for all of our missionaries who have returned to Hong Kong that they can smoothly go back to Cambodia for work, as their return relies on flights and Cambodian entry policies. May God prepare a suitable time and way to return for the missionaries, so that they can continue their work in the country.