LAVIM volunteers serve in Cambodia

Fourteen volunteers from Louisiana and California served on a Volunteers in Mission team in Cambodia the last two weeks of July. The team traveled through Cambodia visiting Methodist projects, worshiping with local congregations, conducting a mini-VBS program, touring historical sites and facilitating a week-long youth rally.

The Cambodian Methodist Youth (CMY) planned the rally theme, the program, and the venue nearly a year in advance. The team from Louisiana and California prepared Bible studies, small group lessons, sermons, songs and games based on requests from the CMY planning committee.

Approximately three weeks before the team’s scheduled departure, leaders received word that the Cambodian government was prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people owing to the upcoming national elections on July 28. Organizers for the rally were concerned because nearly 200 Cambodian youth were expected to attend the CMY rally. Instead of cancelling the event, the VIM team and the CMY committee obtained special permission to gather at a different venue, the new Gwangju Vision Church in Kampong Chhang province.

“Despite the last minute changes and the challenges relating to the national election, approximately 180 of us studied, sang, danced, fellowshipped, served local communities and worshiped the Lord,” said Diane Reich, team leader and co-chair for the LAVIM Advisory Committee. “We certainly felt that we grew ‘strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.’”

Plans are already underway for next summer’s CMY gathering. For more information or to join the team, please contact Diane Reich at diane845@gmail.com