Reflections from Cambodia: What Christmas means to me

Mar 2014    

For many people, Christmas is over – the lights have been taken down, the tree packed up. But the true Gift of Christmas, Jesus, shines through the rest of the year in the lives of people who have been touched by His saving grace.

As I reflect on this everlasting gift, let me share on the impact Christmas has made on the lives of the students here.

Before the school’s Christmas Service on December 20, 2013, the students decorated Christmas trees with handmade Christmas cards and used branches and cut-out snowflakes to decorate their classrooms. The parents of the students had been invited to the service, where Pastor Khemra preached on the message “Fear Not”, taken from Luke 1:26-38. A teacher and three students shared on “What Christmas Means To Me”.

Here are the reflections shared by the three students.

Norng Sereyratana (Grade 6A)

I celebrate Christmas to remember Jesus who was born in Israel. Jesus came to save the earth and heal those with diseases. He also helps the good people no matter how rich or poor they are. God is good to all and loves His people.

God sent His Son to be born and later to die on the cross. Jesus was resurrected on the third day.

I thank God for His love. I thank God for helping my family and the people who are victims of the flood. May God continue to bless us with good health and better living.



Phoung Sereycheat (Grade 9B)

Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday. I do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birthday but according to Christian tradition, everyone assumes that it is 25 December. Christmas in Cambodia is mostly celebrated in churches.

Christmas is very important to me although I realise that it may not be so to others. I get to know Jesus better because during Christmas, we are always shown and told about the life of Jesus. Christmas gives me an opportunity to share about Jesus to my friends when they are watching the Jesus story and I can read to them Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests.” I do not mean to force them to accept Jesus but I just want to share about the Good News of our Lord to them. To believe or not is their choice.

Moreover, Christmas is like receiving joy from God. God sent His only Son to come and have fellowship with us. Forgiveness makes us live in peace and helps us get over hatred and revenge. Love has more influence than hatred. Kindness is better than being greedy.

There are still others who think that Christmas has no meaning at all for them. I hope that by sharing about Jesus, they will understand better about God and seek Him personally.



Ros Reaksmey Teavy (Grade 10A)

Christmas is always celebrated on December 25 every year. If you ask 100 people what Christmas means to them, you will get 100 different responses. To some, Christmas means presenting gifts to one another; or meeting and having fellowship with friends or family; or even Santa Claus.

For me, Christmas means to rejoice in the truth in history that Jesus was born as a human being in order to save people from sin. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” The holy Word was revealed so that all people may know how much God loves them, and know the true meaning of Christmas.

Are we glad to know that God is with us? Some people thought that Christmas is all about receiving. Instead of receiving anything from us, Jesus came to earth to offer eternal life to us. The Bible says He will save His people from their sin, including you and me.

When I was a kid, I thought that Christmas was just a gift-giving event to show each other’s love. At the same time, I believed in Santa Claus too. But when I was introduced to Christ later on, I began to understand the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is God’s gift of His Son – to be born and to die – for us. The most valuable gift that God has given us is eternal life through trust in Him.

Christmas is not about packaging presents for my family but about Jesus who packed Himself as a gift for us. Christmas is not about a tree full of decorations but about Jesus who died on the cross for a world full of pain.

Jesus is the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season. Christmas is about God and through Him I can say Merry Christmas to everyone.

PRAY * for God’s wisdom, vision and guidance for the school, as they desire to be a disciple-making school * the newly-started Bible Study and discipleship sessions held once a week during lunch-time u ongoing discussions to begin disciple training sessions for secondary school students For more info, contact the Rev Teresa Wilborn at teresa.wilborn@gmail.com

Pictures courtesy of the Methodist Missions Society; background picture by Subbotina Anna/Bigstock.com

Violet Khor is the Principal of The Methodist School of Cambodia. A missionary from Trinity Methodist Church, she has served in the field for three years. She was in the Singapore education field for over 40 years, half of which she served as Vice-Principal and Principal in various schools


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