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Cambodian children's ministry focus of visit to ALC
5 April 2019
It’s not unusual for ALC to host people from the LCA’s international partner churches. In the past such people often studied for higher degrees. In more recent years, due to costs, many of those visits have been for shorter periods allowing our partner guests to have a ‘taste’ of theological study in the LCA. It’s a good…well...adequate, arrangement which often holds very few surprises. We have a general sense of who is coming to us because we have a general sense of their sending church.
Over the last 3 to 4 weeks ALC has hosted a guest from Cambodia who has come to us via an arrangement that is outside of our usual church relationships. Her name is Charia You and she is a Christian leader in her community. Her project at the moment is to train teachers who will then train Sunday school teachers. Listening to Charia, this is a project that she never expected to undertake, but it has her full commitment. In 2018, she was able to train around 500 teachers and this year, expects to train another 800 teachers.
Another remarkable feature of Charia’s context is that, at under 40 years of age, she is a senior leader not just in her Christian community but in the nation of Cambodia. That’s because the generation above her was wiped out by Pol Pott’s evil pogroms in the late 1970s. Cambodia is a young country.
Charia came to ALC because a group of Lutheran people are financially supporting her independently of any church to church arrangements. And it’s working for all concerned. Unlike our other more formal international arrangements, Charia’s presence with us was full of surprises. She is a surprise herself. Capable and competent, she soaked up every opportunity to learn, resource herself and organise Christian resources for her home community. We wish Charia every blessing as she returns home to continue her ministry.
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