Lessons learnt in Cambodia

On the busy Cambodian New Year weekend in April 2012, we travelled 2 hours via bus to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (‘Life Centre’) in Krus village, Kampong Chhnang province.

The journey led us to a small village surrounded by rice paddies, and inhabited by farmers and basket weavers, cows and chickens.

The Life Centre is the hub for Christian worship, English and computing classes, a feeding program for local children and elderly, and outreach. We joined eight Cambodian staff members (including cooks, pastors, interns and a handyman) in their day to day activities and helped with teaching English.

We taught approximately five English classes a day (four days a week) to local children aged between eight and twenty years old, as well as a class for staff members. The ability to speak English is highly regarded and it was evident that the students valued the presence of native English speakers (even with no previous teaching experience!). This made the classes a pleasure to teach, with the students very enthusiastic to learn.

Our ‘class room’ was basic and we encountered several challenges including oppressive heat and humidity, extremely loud rain storms and electricity outages.

There are many differences in the lives of the people in Krus village to those in our home town of Adelaide, but we are united by being all part of God’s family. It was uplifting to see the staff’s passion for sharing the Gospel and their faith in God. We were often reminded that nothing is too trivial to bring to God in prayer.

We have enjoyed telling people about our time in Cambodia, and although we say it was one of the hardest things we have done, it was one of the most rewarding.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au. For more information, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/volunteer/

Read more stories about volunteering at www.lcamission.org.au/category/join-gods-mission/volunteers/