A cool breeze brought an air of excitement amongst the students and officers, as we celebrated our 2nd Combined Enrolment Parade and Service of the 1st Phnom Penh Girls’ Brigade (GB) Company and the 1st Phnom Penh Boys’ Brigade (BB) Company, on 3 Feb 2018 at the Methodist School of Cambodia (MSC).
Two significant events took place during this parade. Firstly, the Parade Commander, home-grown Warrant Officer (WO) Soksan Pisina, was promoted during the parade. Secondly, it was during the parade that Ms Chen Qiuluan, a Singaporean missionary from the Methodist Missions Society, handed over the role of Captain of the 1st Phnom Penh GB Company to Ms Chhom Darareaksemy.
Ms Darareaksemy is a graduate of Community Outreach Services Immanuel (COSI) and the MSC. After completing her studies, she is presently employed as an Administrator at our Methodist Centre. Her growth and development as a leader exemplifies the fulfilment of our vision and ministry amongst the young girls in Cambodia – to help them grow and develop as leaders with godly values. To see someone rising through our system and now serving the Lord is a great encouragement not only to our missionaries, but also to all our supporters and donors from our Methodist churches in Singapore.
The 1st Phnom Penh GB Company has come a long way since its nascent beginnings in 2008. In the early years, officers and leaders of the GB in Singapore came to train MSC teachers on how to lead in Bible study. Together with our missionaries, they organised the local teachers and taught them skills like cross-stitch and craft work. Over the years, the GB in MSC continued to persevere in spite of limited funding and other challenges.
In 2016, we had the privilege, in consultation with our students, to design the Cambodian GB uniform. In the same year, the group was officially recognised as the 1st Phnom Penh GB Company. That gave us a greater sense of identity and presence.
Today, the GB in MSC is an effective platform where discipleship and modelling of godly principles in servant leadership are carried out weekly. We are greatly encouraged by the girls’ commitment and growth as we journey with them from Grade 7 to 11 (akin to secondary education in Singapore). We are also thankful for dedicated volunteers – female teachers in MSC, ex-students, and others – who invest their precious time in the lives of these girls.
As we (Serene and Qiuluan) talked and prayed about our work in the GB, we were intentional that the GB would not just be a programme, but a platform for us to share the Gospel to the students. At the end of the Spiritual badge-work course last year, one of the Grade 11 girls who had backslidden chose to recommit her life to God, and has started attending church again.
Meanwhile, at our Annual Leadership Camp in August 2017, we prayed for the salvation of our girls, and one girl gave her life to Jesus. She even renounced her previous beliefs by removing her items related to superstitions, and allowed us to pray over her for her deliverance. We also had many more who responded and are seeking to know more about Jesus.
We pray that the GB in MSC will continue to be relevant and effective in training Cambodian girls to be followers of Jesus Christ, and that they will grow to become women who will make a difference in this nation.
It is also our hope that many of the girls who graduate from MSC will come back to serve with us. May God enable the local Cambodian churches to catch the vision of our work in the GB, and to reach out to and empower young women in Cambodia for His Kingdom.
Serene Lee and Chen Qiuluan –
are members of Covenant Evangelical Free Church and Aldersgate Methodist Church respectively. Both are Methodist Missions Society missionaries serving in Cambodia.
Photo courtesy of the Methodist Missions Society