We had another meaningful experience today in Kompong Khleang village, a floating community (during rainy season) approximately 50km from Siem Reap. The church has no chapel in the area but there is a student learning center. This time, I was privileged to be able to join the Singaporean group of 32 including 2 Singaporean priests (A redemptorist and a diocesan priest) and an Indonesian Jesuit working in Cambodia.
They come on a regular basis and this time they go around to different villages in Siem Reap province to sing Christmas Carols, share gifts with the children and their parents if present and of course a special chicken curry with bread (numpang curry!) for lunch. Some of them came as first timers while some were here many times. This time, the youngest was 10 years old and the oldest I guess about 75. On the feast day of our church patron “St. John the apostle” our parish priest announced that the group is financing the construction of a community chapel in Jesus Farm. Thanks to all of you, the community will have a decent place to pray and gather for Mass every Sunday.
The group have no official name yet but on many occasions I read the phrase “God is Love” printed in their T-shirt’s. Indeed, what they are doing and have been doing in the past few years is an eloquent embodiment of that statement. Their simple act of love and kindness is in itself a gospel proclamation! The non-Christians encounter the Lord through them. They could not speak the language but they were able to make the children feel loved and cared for, by their very presence.
For every missionary trip they contributed money from their own pockets (savings), and aid from their family members, friends and networks within Singapore. They accept any amount as long as it is wholeheartedly given for the mission. They also encourage their children and young members of the family to contribute in order to develop the spirit of generosity and charity in them. This is worth emulating!
By the grace and help of God, may you continue the good works you have been doing. Salute to all of you, Betty and Singaporean group! Continue inspiring others! May people of your kinds multiply!
Glenn Diaz mhm