In March 2012, students of the Methodist School of Cambodia (MSC) held their first outreach to Prak Padov School in Kandal Province. They learnt how to work together, and showed their friendship and love to the children there. In this article, they share some wonderful lessons and experiences.
Cambodian students’ first outreach to fellow students
BANABAS CHAY, our team leader, remembered that when he was in Grade 8 to 10 in the Methodist School of Cambodia (MSC), teams from Singapore would come to teach the students in the school. He remembered that one of the lessons was about obedience. He learnt to become a good student and to share the Good News about Jesus.
Most of the “teachers” in the Singapore teams were youths who were at a level equivalent to Grade 11 or 12. He was envious because they are almost the same age. He and his classmates wondered if they could do likewise and teach. If the Singaporean youths could do that, why not us!
Therefore, we thought that we should go out to get some experience, learn how to work together and share God’s love. Meanwhile, Banabas’ father had started a primary school in Kandal Province. So we started to think about doing the same programme in that school and we prayed about it. As a result, the plan became a reality in March 2012.
Planning for outreach
Once Banabas decided we should do the programme, we started to plan with some friends. We went around our class to ask other students to volunteer and help us.
We took one month to plan. We had four meetings to confirm what we needed to do. We started each meeting with prayer, then Banabas would share his plans. We discussed and prepared for the games, got the names and made identification cards for the students in the school, prepared the lessons, and got some gifts for the children.
We split ourselves into three groups to take charge of the children. We also divided the work. Some of us were in the performing group, some in the drama group, and some in the art and craft group. Even though we did not have enough time to practise, we tried our best to do a good job.
We also budgeted for the programme. We decided that we would share the cost with the school. Each of us donated some amount of money and Banabas’ father donated US$20 (S$25).
We decided to ask Miss Violet Khor, the Principal of MSC, if the school could fund the other half of the cost. We presented the proposal and she willingly agreed to our proposal.
All in all, we were very happy. We thank God for His love and faithfulness. Hence, we went all out with joy and confidence.
Mission with joy and excitement
Our group visited Prak Padov Village on March 24, 2012. It is about one-and-a-half hours from our school. We left our school at about 7 am. We planned to teach the students in Grades 3, 4 and 5.
When we arrived at the village, the people welcomed and greeted us. Then, we went to the school. Banabas’ parents were the two people who started the school.
We grouped together and prayed before we visited the students in each class. We observed that all the students had smiling faces and that they were happy with their teachers. There were many programmes that we would have liked to do with the students, but the main lesson was about God and Obedience.
Prak Padov School is a Christian school. So our group taught the students new songs to praise the Lord. Some were action songs and we sang very happily together. We also asked the students to teach us their songs.
During our free time, we went for a walk outside the school. We wanted to eat mangoes, so we went to the mango farm. Some of our friends climbed the trees.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed our lunch with the students in the village. After lunch, we continued with the other activities such as art and craft. We really enjoyed this outreach programme and want to do it again soon.
Mr Hour Pichey, the Principal of Prak Padov School, said: “I am very happy to see students from the Methodist School of Cambodia coming forward to help our children to improve. They shared what they have learnt with the children in the village. I always see groups from other countries that came and helped. But now, I can see that Cambodian children can really help to develop our country.”
When we first arrived at the school, we felt so happy. We saw the children who were so happy to see us and they were friendly.
We have learnt how to trust in God. We also learnt to pray and praise God together as a group, and to pray before we begin any task.
We were able to organise activities such as games and art and craft sessions. We performed a drama about Abraham being obedient in sacrificing his son to God. The drama was to teach the students to obey God, their parents and other people.
From this mission, we also learnt how to lead a programme, how to engage the school children, and how to unite with one another to work as a group. We thank God for this wonderful opportunity.
This article was contributed by Banabas Chay and his team of 15 students from the Methodist School of Cambodia.