The 1st Phnom Penh Company of The Boys’ Brigade (BB) in Cambodia came of age on 30 Nov 2014, when they were presented with the State and Company Colours (flags) and put on their BB uniforms. This milestone was reached through the work of faithful volunteers from Cambodia and Singapore, including many Methodists.
The BB movement in Cambodia started in 2003 with the BB Learning Centre (BBLC) in Puok Commune in Siem Reap, Cambodia, an initiative from The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore to provide youth development. It was from this learning centre that the idea was mooted of establishing the first BB Company in the Methodist School of Cambodia (MSC), Phnom Penh.
An ex-principal of MSC decided to bring the movement to the school. He started the 1st Company in 2010 together with five volunteer teachers.
After the initial few weeks, assistance was provided through the efforts of Mr Chou Fang Soong, Chairman of the Methodist Missions Society and at that time the Local Church Executive Committee Chairman of Bedok Methodist Church, who gathered the necessary expertise to assist in the planning and running of BB activities at MSC. Several key persons were also involved in the setting up of the 1st BB Company in Phnom Penh, including The Boys’ Brigade HQ in Singapore.
The impetus of establishing a BB Company in MSC is to complement the quality education provided by the school with a meaningful opportunity to develop the students’ leadership and team skills in a spiritual environment, in line with the object of The Boys’ Brigade, which is “The advancement of Christ’s kingdom among Boys and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness.”
The motto of The Boys’ Brigade is “Sure & Stedfast”, taken from Hebrews 6:19 (KJV), “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast”.
Since the first official enrolment service in June 2010, the 1st Phnom Penh Company has been running every week on Saturdays with help from youth volunteers of the Community Outreach Services Youth hostel. Through these four years of running the programme, it has seen many boys being groomed and challenged. This is a great opportunity to share the gospel and some have come to Christ through this ministry. In line with developing leaders for the future, courses were also conducted to train potential officers to lead in the Company.
Over the last four years, many boys have benefitted from the work put in by volunteers from Singapore who have assisted in the administration, logistics and training programmes.
The 1st Phnom Penh Company has much gratitude for the pioneer volunteers from Singapore who have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to the Company. With their continued support and participation, we look forward to the coming years, to groom and develop our boys to become leaders with sound character and a strong foundation in Christian manliness to achieve the object of the BB.
PRAY for the 1st Phnom Penh Company that:
The boys will have an encounter with God whenever they participate in BB activities. u The boys will grow to be men of God. u God will raise up leaders from within the BB.
The officers and teachers involved will see the urgency to disciple the boys. u God will bring in more people to help in the BB in Cambodia.
Benjamin Lee currently serves as the Principal of Methodist School of Cambodia. He is in Cambodia with his wife and four children. They worship at their home church at Covenant Evangelical Free Church (Woodlands) in Singapore.