Hostel ministry develops Christian leaders

May 2010    

ALDERSGATE METHODIST CHURCH opened the first Methodist Hostel in Cambodia last July. The primary aim of this ministry is to lead students to Christ and equip them to become Christian leaders.

Devotions and Bible Study are conducted three evenings each week, and on Sunday afternoon hostelites come together for house church. Students are encouraged to attend the church of their choice for Sunday morning worship. Aldersgate MC is collaborating with the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) to offer leadership and disciple-making training.

Recently, a youth team from Aldersgate MC visited the hostel. The main objectives of the trip were to develop friendships and share testimonies. The mission trippers stayed at the hostel, and helped with daily marketing, cooking and cleaning chores. They ate only what the Cambodians ate and lived without electronic devices for an entire week!

The Singaporeans were touched by the thankfulness and joy expressed by the students for simple things. Christopher Chng observed, “I set out thinking we could bless them, but ended up being blessed!” And Natalie Ang said: “God showed me that I should be more content in my life and focus more on Him.”

Perhaps team leader Chen Quilan expressed it best saying, “In Singapore’s society we are very money driven and often you are not yourself, but the Cambodians were very authentic with us, showing us God’s heart through their attitude.”

A second Methodist hostel opened last August to house COSI youths in grades 10, 11 and 12. Previously, these youths had to commute 1.5 hours daily on a dusty, bumpy road to attend school. Now, they live within walking distance of their public high school in Bike Chan.

This objective of the COSY (COS Youth) hostel ministry is to provide focused discipleship training and tutoring for these youths. It also serves as an effective transition period for the youths prior to graduation from COSI, whereby they learn to market, prepare meals and clean house on their own.

The missionary in charge, Ms Tan Li Diang, observes that “spiritual formation is a core component of this ministry, as living in a close community demands the exercise of Christian grace and character to achieve peace and harmony. We have small group meetings every evening for Bible study, as well as prayer meetings. The youths also learn to apply their spiritual gifts by leading in worship and sharing of the Word”.

Currently, 33 youths stay in two rented shop houses. Seven 12th graders will graduate and leave the hostel this year, while 27 new 10th graders will enter the hostel, for a total of 52 students in 2010-2011. In partnership with Bedok MC and Foochow MC, plans are underway to purchase a permanent home across the street to accommodate this future growth.

Recently the COSY hostelites sang, “God is good, all the time!” with gusto and great confidence because time and again, God has indeed been so good to them!

Teresa Wilborn is the Assistant Director, Community Development, of the Methodist Missions Society and Tan Li Diang is the Missionary in charge of COSY Hostel.

Methodist School of Cambodia: Vacancy for principal

PHNOM PENH – After four years of faithful and fruitful service at The Methodist School of Cambodia as Principal and Head of Department (English), Mr and Mrs Stephen and Jennifer Yeo are looking forward to their retirement.

The school has a cohort of 700 students, spanning Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary levels.

The Methodist Missions Society (MMS) is now looking for suitable candidates with a mission mindset to fill the key position of the principal.

Mature Christians with the necessary qualifications (preferably former teachers or principals with secondary schools’ experience) are invited to send their resume to the MMS Executive Director at mms@methodist.org.sg or call Mr David Khew at 6478-4818 for more information.


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