ON AUG 1 THIS YEAR, more than 80 people attended the opening of a permanent home for the Methodist Hostel in Phnom Penh.
After two years of operating in a smaller rented property, this ministry has expanded to occupy two newly-constructed adjacent buildings. While the previous home was able to house 25 students, the new hostel can now accommodate up to 60 young men and women.
The hostel students diligently spent two afternoons cleaning and decorating their new home in preparation for the dedication service. The evening was clear and warm as students greeted friends, pastors and supporters.
Honoured guests included Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, the Rev Dr Lorna Khoo, Pastor-in-Charge of Aldersgate Methodist Church, and Methodist leaders from Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, Europe, and the United States. Student guides conducted guests on a short tour of the premises before the dinner and after the dedication service.
A simple buﬀet meal preceded the dedication service. Students led the service in prayer and singing. Three hostelites, one of whom will be graduating and returning to his home province to work this year, gave heart-warming testimonies. They shared how living with other Christian brothers and sisters brought them encouragement and strengthened their faith.
The Methodist Hostel was then dedicated by Bishop Dr Solomon to the work of the Lord and to the provision of a Christian home and haven for students from outer provinces studying in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
As chairman of the hostel project, I gave glory to God in my introductory speech, saying: “I am especially grateful to the Lord for His leading and provision. The hostel work came as a vision from the Lord to me to start a hostel ministry to provide a safe Christian place for university students from the Cambodian provinces to live.
“My church took up the vision and I must share that in all my 30 years working in church and community, there has been no other project which has taken such a short time from start to permanence, nor has one moved as smoothly as the Methodist Hostel in Phnom Penh.
“It is not due to the church, the Missions Committee, Methodist Mission Society in Cambodia, or to me … It is from our Lord. I know this is the work of the Lord as it has gone so well. When we walk in the Lord’s work, He clears the path, opens doors and provides for all our needs. Today we give thanks to God’s wondrous provision!”
I concluded with this message to the students: “You have been blessed and given a safe home to live in while studying in Phnom Penh. Take good care of it. Also study hard and do well in your universities and colleges, so you will be good workers for the Lord.
“As you have been blessed, be a blessing to others while you are staying here and even after you leave and go into the world of work. Remember well the things you have learned and the God you have experienced in this place, continue then to walk in His way and to spread His blessing to others. You are blessed to be a blessing!”
The student hostel ministry has long been a vision of the Methodist Mission in Cambodia. It is the goal of the church to ensure that each student from remote provinces is connected with and spiritually covered by the Methodist community while studying in Phnom Penh.
If you are interested in supporting this growing ministry, please contact the Rev Teresa Wilborn at email@example.com for more information.
Dr Seet Ai Mee is a member of the Missions Committee of Aldersgate Methodist Church.
30 at East Asia consultation
THE METHODIST MISSIONS SOCIETY (MMS) held a consultation session on Sept 15, 2012 to discuss East Asia with the Rev Dr David Wang. About 30 participants turned up for the session at the Methodist Centre.
The Rev Dr Wang, an expert on East Asia, is a highly sought-after speaker at international mission conventions and congresses. His leadership, writings, ministry and messages have touched countless lives.
In 1966, he joined Asian Outreach, and made it an outstanding mission in cutting-edge evangelism throughout Asia. Today, as the President Emeritus of Asian Outreach, his focus is on East Asia as he leads Hosanna Foundation to “catch up with the Holy Spirit in East Asia”.
He is also the Founder/Chairman of ActionLove, the social development arm of Asian Outreach, serving the needy in East Asia and other parts of Asia.
As a writer, he has translated, authored and published more than 20 books, including several Christian best-sellers in the East Asia world.