After a whirlwind 6 week trip home to Australia, Dan and I (Kerren) returned to Cambodia to continue where we’d left off. We had finished on a high with a fantastic December Bible School and returned to Phnom Penh (minus Esther Pryde and Deb Collins) to continue our work in Cambodia.
Needless to say, time flew by. Our routine, although somewhat busier than the previous six months, was much the same. We would begin our mornings with a 6:00am start at the dorms, where Dan would give a group lesson and I would teach a preparing for baptism class. Throughout the day, many more lessons would follow, either at the B.E.C. (Bible Education Centre) or at the dorm. It was great to continue building relationships we had formed in the previous six months, with many of the students continuing their studies long term. We saw them grow in their knowledge of the bible, and their comprehension and execution of the English language. Most importantly, we continued to see great growth in the ecclesia, both in numbers, and in maturity. By the time we departed Phnom Penh in early August, the Khmer ecclesia had taken on many responsibilities, such as interviewing baptism candidates and presenting ‘Outreach Talks’ for our monthly outreach weekend where we would have a series of talks presented to contacts and students from the LCDI (Learning and Character Development Institute) school.
There were many highlights in our final six months in Cambodia, but I will only mention a couple. Firstly, there was the tabernacle weekend. My parents (Dan and Ros Venn) came to visit us in Cambodia for three weeks, bringing with them a scale model of the tabernacle, built by my Grandpa. It was a challenge for them to fit it in their suitcase, but it was well worthwhile. We had a series of talks on the tabernacle, setting up the model and learning about the furniture. It was a fantastic visual aid, and everyone learnt a lot.
During the last few months of our stay, I also got the opportunity to teach at the LCDI School every Friday afternoon. We (either Jess Pryde and myself with Loy or Saroun to translate) would prepare a bible lesson and activity and make the journey out to LCDI for the afternoon. Fortunately for me, by this time the terrible road out to the school had been repaired, which made it a lovely moto/ tuk tuk ride out (with the exception of the dust!) I was met enthusiastically every week by the students, who always made the long trip out there worthwhile.
The final highlight I will mention for our trip was the weekend before we returned home. Brother Peter Heavyside, from Hong Kong, came and presented a study weekend on ‘A Mature Ecclesia.’ The talks were very encouraging, giving all of us a lot to think about. It was a fantastic note for us to finish our time on.
Thankyou WCF for the funding and support that you provided to us during our year in Cambodia. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, and benefited from it spiritually. We still talk of Cambodia a lot, and miss the wonderful friends that we have there. God Willing, we are hoping that we will be able to make it back for a quick visit around the Bible School at the end of the year.
Please see below for a few photos of our trip.
Yours in Christ,
Daniel and Kerren Pryde
Preparing the tabernacle model for a talk at the dorm.
A lesson at the BEC with Brother Dee (front left); Sister Sokun (front right); Chear (back left); Kerren Pryde (middle right) and friends of sister Sokun (back right).
Joel and Joseph
Sister Kimserean and Sister Vichera on her baptism
The baptism of Brother Rottana
Saying our goodbyes at the airport