SLM’s Children backed at School!

October 26, 2008

Hi dear friends!

Been such a long time. I have no excuses, though! Finally SLM’s children at backed at schools after about three months’ summer vacation. Unlike the schools where I studied, all public schools in Cambodia end  academic year by the end of June every year, followed by a long summer vacation. This means that the children, teachers and the parents have enough time to prepare for the next academic year. Of course, this system of education in the public schools doesn’t effect the evening English schools which is booming in Cambodia for the last couple of years.

The schools at SLM; LawrenceRosa (LRMS) Memorial School at the Buffalo village and Primary school at the Mission House reopened at the middle of September and at the beginning of October respectively and now we can hear lots of noise around, making the school compounds more lively and cheerful.

The students at both the schools have recieved their textbooks, notebooks, and other study materials on time and the children at the schools are happy to be backed at school for another year of challenges and hope. The new students at the LRMS have also recieved set of uniforms but the students at SLM mission house could not get one due to financial problem of the mission. Please keep this in your prayers.

This year, the number of students at LRMS is less than last year. Last year we had over 170 students but this year we have only about 160 students including the new comers. This means that the school at LRMS has lost many senior students. You must be wondering why! The fact is that, the famous Mong Rithy’s Oil Palm farm has been extended until the middle of the Buffalo village. This offers a golden opportunity for the villagers to make money by working in the farm. And the daily wage being so attractive, the parents and the students think that it would be good idea to make some money for themsleves. However, this opportutnity also distracts the young boys and the girls in the village from study. In other words, instead of learning and preparing themselves for their good future life, they are being lured to make money for the moment. Of course, we don’t deny the fact that the poor families in the village need the money for living.

SLM also appointed a new teacher for the LRMS, beginning from the month of September this year. The new teacher is happy with his teaching job! Let’s keep this school in our prayers. SLM and Gil have a plan to build a larger school building for these children. We are praying for around $39,000.00 US for this project.

The school at the SLM’s Mission compound has a different story though. There are only about 65 students including the new comers, little less than last year. Some senior students stopped to work in order to make money for their families and a few of them joined in public and private schools. Most of the students at SLM’s school are from Fishermen village and Khuliang luer village. The school picked them up from their homes and take them back after the school everyday. SLM has also appointed three more new teachers to teach at the school. It has 7 classes; Nursery to grade 6.

SLM is trying to improve it’s schools by imphasizing on quality teaching and proper disciplining of the students at schools. Besides, we need to improve the teachers at SLM by appointing qualified teacher and organizing some trainings or by sending the teachers to the training offered by the Education Department of Cambodia.

As usual, the evening English classes are in full swing. But it is also unfortunate to say that SLM lost 90% of students in the FUNCTIONS OF AMERICAN ENGLISH class in the last 12 months. SLM invited a teacher from Canada to teach this class but the students did not understand/follow her teaching and were disappointed and dropped the course is being the main reason. However, the rest is okey and doing well.

Thanking you and God bless you all

Rev. Jonah Amer

October 26th. 2008

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God at work in Cambodia!

September 21, 2008

The meeting between the Government officials and Church leaders:

On last Thursday afternoon, I received an emergency call from Mr. Nob Sophal who is the present Deputy Commissioner of Prey Nob district in Cambodia. He told me, Brother, tomorrow we have a meeting at Veil Rein at 8:00 am. Please come and join the meeting.”  We have been knowing each other for the last 5 years in personal and ministerial levels. About 5 years ago, we prayed for his physical healing as he was suffering from paralytic sickness. He could not even stand up or sit down himself those days. He was in much pain and didn’t want to die in such an early age. He didn’t know Jesus as his personal Savior, then. When I told him that Jesus can do a miracle in his life and He can heal him, he asked me to pray for him. We prayed for him after giving him some counselling. I also invited him to Sihanouk Ville to get some massage from trained masseurs and he did. And do you know what? Now, he can walk around himself even without anybody help! Of course, he is not 100% but he’s much, much better than what he was about 5 years ago. Praise the LORD! Now he calls me older brother. He also wants to climb up some mountains in Cambodia with me when he’s completely healed. Let’s continue to pray for him and His salvation!

Now, this was a meeting between the government officials (Mr. Nub Sophal (Deputy Commissioner of Prey Nob district) and Director of the Ministry of religion, along with the local church leaders of the same district. Also please note that this was the first of its meeting between the two. The meeting constituted the two leaders of the district, 14 Khmer pastors of the district from 14 local churches, and Mr. Kevi (missionary from Nagaland) and I. Three of the pastors from three local churches could not participate the meeting. The Director of the Ministry of religion presided the meeting by welcoming the church leaders and announcing the purpose of the meeting. The meeting was conducted to get information about the local churches in the Prey Nob district (names of the local churches, year of establishment of the churches, sponsor of the churches, denomination of the churches, activities of each local church, and the members of the church according to sex). Each pastor took his turn and gave report about their local churches. And according to the reports, most of the local churches in Prey Nob district involve in the ministries like teaching English, running Sunday school, medical service, and some social works for the poor people in the villages.

Mr. Polly, the teacher-in-charge at the LawrenceRosa Memorial School at the Buffalo village gave an extensive report of the activities of the Samaritan Love Mission (SLM) in the Buffalo village. He reported that LawrenceRosa Memorial School (LRMS) is part of the ministry of Samaritan Love Mission which is also sponsor by Mr. Gilbert Hoelzer and the West Layton AG Church in the USA. Polly talked about the SLM’s ministry in the Buffalo village; running a school, digging wells, sports activities, gardening, medical service, humanitarian works, and the Sunday activities which was warmly welcome by the house.

It was also an opportunity for the local church pastors to share some of the problems/discrepancies they have been going through in the past, especially, in terms of their relationship with the non-believing public in the villages. Two of the pastors had some problems with the villagers in the matter of land (construction of road and graveyard). But later, it was found out that those issues were not presented to the local administration. Therefore, the local church leaders were asked to present such issues to the local administration as early as possible. They were also assured of security and help from the the administration.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Nub Sophal, the Deputy Commissioner of Prey Nob district gave an extensive speech to the house. He begun his speech by appreciating all the pastors for their good works for the poor people in Cambodia and encouraged them to continue with their good works. He also told the house that all good works of the Christians and the church leaders should be recognized by the people and also by the government of Cambodia. Such as, for good works like construction of schools and building roads in the villages should be recognized by even presenting Prime minister’s award! I felt my soul lifted up, praising God for such an opened doors in Cambodia for the Kingdom of God! Mr. Nub Sophal also surprised the house when he talked so many good things about the ministry of Samaritan Love Mission in the Buffalo village. He also mentioned about how the Director of Samaritan Love Mission prayed for him. He said , “I can walk now because he prayed for me.” He also talked about his good relationship with the Director of SLM in a personal and ministerial levels. I was especially so happy when he appreciated how the children in the Buffalo village could speak some English, pray in English, sing in English, say the Bible memory in English, and also know some dances. And jokingly he added, “Next time you should also include some Khmer songs”, hahahahah! Finally, he encouraged the local church pastors to keep a good relationship with the government officials to avoid unnecessary problems by saying that as long as everyone abides by the laws of the country, all are free to practice one,s belief, no matter what religion you belonged to.

Finally, I was also given a chance to address the house. I started my brief speech by saying that, “In my 9 years of attending different meetings in Cambodia, this was the best meeting, and the speech from Mr. Nub Sophal, the chief of our meeting today was the best speech I’ve ever heard in Cambodia.”My sense of homour brought smiles to everyone but that was true. The main emphases of my brief speech was on the relationship between the State and the church.The church/Christians should respect the laws of the country, help the country to develop, and pray for the leaders of the world/country. Meanwhile, the State should provide freedom to the church to exercise it’s faith, for evangelism and also protect the church/Christians from oppressors. Finally, I encouraged the local church leaders to keep doing all the good works they’ve been doing for the sake of the poor and needy people and for the glory of God.

The meeting closed with a prayer by one of the local church pastors.

Rev. Jonah Amer (Director, SLM)

September 21, 2008

Press Conference

April 26, 2009

Hi friends! The world is becoming louder and louder as the days go by. What is next after my historical trip to Preah Vihear in Cambodia? Um, a Press Conference at Phnom Penh with the national reporters and journalists! This was something I was not expecting but it happened, and it happened on Friday the 24 of April, um! On 23 April my Cambodian brother, Mr. Phorn called me up and told me that Mr. Moeng Sonn, the President of the Cambodia Civilisation Foundation (KCF) is organising a Press Conference and that my participation is neccessary in the conference. I declined immediately, thinking, it was not neccessary for me to participate.Besides, I didn’t have the time and money to go Phnom Penh. 10 minutes later, Mr. Moeng Sonn himself called me up and informed me that I should participate in the press conference. Now, I could not escape, therefore I had to accept the invitation. The next day, I took the earliest bus to Phnom Penh and arrived at the conference hall at KCF. They were still setting up the venue, therefore I cheched into a guest house and rested there for a while. At 2:20 pm I went backed to KCF center. Now the stage was set for the conference. The conference was well attended by about 9 reporters and journalist from the TV,news papers and radios along with some staffs of KCF. I was the last person to talk for which I was happy. My talk was simple; greetings, appreciation for organising the press conference, brief report on SLM’s activities in Cambodia, our historical trip to Preah Vihear for the medical service and to make assistment of the damage caused by the Thai soldiers to the Cambodian civilians on April 3rth.s attack, my own observation about the soldiers, the refugees in the refugee camp in Preah Vihear, some positive commends, and call on the Cambodian rich and the powerful people to help, to take care, and provide the needs of the poor people in general and the refugees at preah Vihear particularly. By the way, I talked through a Cambodian interpreter who did an awesome job. To me, the press conference was interesting and challenging. Besides, it was a golden opportunity for me to let my feelings be known publicly about the poor and unfortunate people in Cambodia. I was happy that I even went further by saying that the rich and the powerful people in Cambodia are not doing enough for the poor people.
Right after the meeting, everybody left the room very quickly except for a few of us for a short chatting.
I would like all the readers to please pray for Cambodia, especially for the refugees in Preah Vihear. These are the attention they need immediately:
1. Shelters for 260 families.
2. Food for around 1000 refugees
3. Clothing
4. Water
5. medicines, etc etc.

Thanks

Rev. Jonah Amer
April 27, 2009

Children back at School!

April 22, 2009

Hi everyone!

Been such a long time! Um, SLM children are all backed at school and our school compounds are noisy and lively again! Unlike the schooling system/session in the country where I was born, brought, and educated; in Cambodia, all schools close/end academic year by the end of June. This is followed with a long summer break; at least 3 months of summer vacation. It’s pretty long, right? Right after the summer vacation, the new academic year begins in early October each year. This means that the students, the teachers and the parents have enough time to prepare for the new schooling year. Of course, this event doesn’t affect the SLM’s Evening Language Academy for it has only a week or so vacation between Christmas and New Year.

The schools at Buffalo village is in full swing with 170 children under 4 full  time teachers. Mr. Polly is the teacher-in-charge. One more class has been upgraded this year. We also appointed one more teacher from Veil Rein town. The academic year opened by the middle of September. All students have received their textbooks and school materials and set of unifrom for all new comers. The onfortunate thing is that, some senior students stopped studying to make money for themselves and their families. From last year)

Visit to Preah Vihear

April 22, 2009

My historical visit to the war-torn border between Thailaing and Cambodia, called Preah Vihear begun on Friday, the 17th of April 2009 from Sihanouk Ville-Phnom Penh-Seim Reap-An long to Preah Vihear, covering almost 1500 kms by bus. This means that our journey was not easy. I was invited to go and visit this historical place by the President of the Cambodian Civilisation Foundation, Mr. Moeng Sonn and my Cambodian brother, Mr. Phorn. The team consisted about 15 people including my interpretor from SLM, Mr. Rachha.
The journey was long and tiring as the road to Preah Vihear was not really good, especially about 70 kms towards Preah Vihear. On arrival at the base of the mountain, the team rested in two wooden guest houses for the night.
Waking up early in the morning, the team went up to the preah Vihear mountain which was very high and the road, which was recently made was narrow and dangerous. Just normal vihicles can’t climb such high and stiff road!!! Reaching the mountains, we all walked up further to the top of the mountain since there were no road for vihicles. Reaching the top of the Mountain, we were greeted by the General of the army, Mr. Dara. The team also have a time of sharing with the general and we were brieved about the locations,the atmosphere and the recent attach by Thai soldiers from the other side of the mountain. We were also shown the bullet marks on the walls and doors. After the team left, I could have some private time of sharing with the general. The team gave away some medicines to the soldiers on the mountain. Later more medicines were sent to the soldiers and military police on the mountain. The team also survied the market which was completely destroyed by the Thai soldiers on April 3, 2009. The Khmer soldiers on the mountain were all very friendly and cooperative. They appreciated out visit.
Preah Vihear mountain is famous because there is an ancient hindu temples on the top of this mountain. Besides, this mountain is located in a very strategic location which is very close to Thailand.
After decending from the mountain, the team revisited the Refugee camp where more than 270 families are living together in about 4 buildings that has no walls and no separate rooms. These buildings seem to be under construction. This means that the buildings are opened and there’s no privacy for each families as they can see each others both the day and night times. Their living condition was terrible and are exposed to many dangers. Some of the children were totally or partially naked as they did not have enough clothes. Since they did not have enough time to collect their things from their home when the Thai soldiers suddenly attached their village, they did not have enough money with them.
Our mission (SLM) prepared two bagful of medicines for the refugees, the military police and the soldiers on the mountain. Those medicines were given away to the patients. We were sorry that we did not have enough medicines for some sicknesses like fungus infection etc. Talking with the refugees in the camp was heart breaking for they were really fighting for their survival. The team spent about 4 hours with them. Leaving them in that condition and heading towards Phnom Penh made me so sad. How I wished to stay with them at least for a couple of days, if not for the time, responsiblity in my working place and the team’s schedule.
I am praying to the LORD that he will give me another opportunity to get back to those poor and needy people as soon as possible.
Returning backed to Sihanouk Ville on Monday, I started talking with friend and students and also writing emails to friends, challenging them to be part of the sufferings of the people in Preah Vihear by donating medicines, clothes, money ot whatever.
Please pray for these poor and needy ones in Preah Vihear. Thank you very much and God bless all readers.

Jonah Amer
April 22, 2009

Funds for the construction of school building at Buffalo village

September 12, 2008

Dear reader,

The LawrenceRosa Memorial School at Buffalo village has been reopened by the beginning of this month after two months’ summer break with 25 new students joining the school, totalling 170 students. Well, that’s a lot of students from a small village, right? The reason is that LawrenceRosa Memorial School (LRMS) is the only school in this village. The old school at the village has been closed down when LRMS was opened about 6 years ago. Besides, more families from another villages are moving into this village with houses coming up around the school compound.

The government of Cambodia has given the permission to SLM to upgrade the standard of the school to Higher Secondary level at the village and we have upgraded one more class this year. We have also appointed one more teacher, beginning from this year. Please continue to pray for the parents, teachers, and the students at the school. The students are showing lots of improvement in their life style, education, and social life. Many students at this school have also been baptized along with their parents. They’re growing in their spiritual life, too.

Mr. Polly and the teaching staffs at the LWMS are doing a great job. Life at the village is difficult as there’s not even electricity at the village. The salary is low and but their work load is heavy. Yet they have been working so hard for the sake of the LORD and the villagers.

Mr. Gil Hoelzer and the members of the West Layton AG church have been doing a good job ever since the inception of this school by sponsoring all the children at the school (uniform, textbooks, school material, teachers’ salary, construction of the school building and all other school related programs in the village. The parents are so happy to the sponsors, teachers, and SLM for teaching their children and making their lives more meaningful. They chief of the village said, “There are many changes happening at the village because of the school.” Please continue to pray for the villagers.

SLM has a plan for the construction of a larger school building at this village. As the village is enlarging, more children are born, the students increase in number year by year, and classes are upgrading, the present school building has become too small to accommodate all the students, office room and teachers’ room. Therefore, SLM is coming up with a $39.000.00 (Thirty nine thousand US dollars) which is expected to begin by the beginning of next year. Mr. Gil and I are jointly raising funds for the construction of this school building. Therefore, I would like to request all readers to kindly pray and give towards this project. As the Bible says, it is more blessed to give than to receive, may the good LORD continue to bless all the givers, even hundred times more than what you give.

See you soon!

 

Rev. Jonah Amer (Director, SLM)

Visit to Kompong Trach

August 31, 2008

Hi dear reader!

It’s been such a long time again! All SLM’s ministral activities are in full swing as usual and there’s nothing new happening except for the trip some senior students and I made to KOMPONG TRACH last weekend. There were 12 of us including the driver. The senior students at SLM in my TOEFL class, decided to make a trip to Kompong Trach to explore some of the historical caves located in that area. We left SLM at 6:30 in the morning. The exploration team stopped over at Veil Rein and also at Kompot for breakfast and also for picking up some food to eat at our destination. To our ill luck, all meat stuffs were sold out in the market because just the other days there was a Chinese Festival which was celebrated all over Cambodia. Finally, the team got some food for the day. The team arrived at the destination around 11:00 am and straight away we were led into the caves by some local children and an old woman who posted themselves as the regular tourist guides there. They were explained to us about the caves.

The caves were so dark inside and kind of scarry as I have never been to that kind of places before. We used flash lights to see clearly inside the caves. However, the team members enjoyed exploring the caves. Our tour guides tried to explain to the visitors all they knew or thought about the objects/stones inside the caves. They showed us from the dragon tail, dragon body, giant tortoes, eel’s head, monkey, and general’s foot etc. Of course, what they tried to explain about what we saw had some semilarities but I don’t know if I had to believe them for they were not archeologists, hahahaha! According my understanding, they were trying to explain to us or to make us believe that those caves were a great zoo with many kinds of animals many, many years ago. But to me, it looked like many years ago, there was a volcanic erruption at this place which errupted right through the middle of a huge rocky mountain that help those caves to form with many different shapes of rocks

The children were given some tips by each of our team member. I did carry some medicines with me as I always do this whenever I go around the villages. When we made an announcement that we will have a free medical service for the people around there, almost everyone came to get medicines. They were 52 of them who were treated, including some old ladies (nuns) who were living in the pagoda by the caves. I was happy that we had enough medicines for everyone. The general sicknesses were headache, body pain, temperature, fever, caught, chest pain, physical weakness, and skin problems. Two elderly women had some women-related problem. The best thing I could do for them was to give them some antibiotics and to see professional medical doctors as early as possible.

The younger guys in our team visited some more caves nearby but I stayed in the van, exhousted after exploring the major cave and the medical treatment. You know what? Our team wanted to visit a watertfall at the end of our trip but I said, “NO WAY!” I needed to be backed at SLM as a very busy Sunday awaits us and I needed time to prepare some sermons and some medicines for another medical service at Khmer Christian Church the next day!

The bottom line is that, it was a good day with good experience. Our God is so wonderful and He created the world so beautiful with so many beautiful people on it!

 

Rev. Jonah Amer

August 31, 2008

Medical Service at Preah Krang (Buffalo) Village!

August 2, 2008

Hello dear friends!

Here is the account of another medical service we did on August 2nd. 2008. Last night, I went to the pharmacy and bought some additional medicines for the medical service in Preak Krang village where SLM is running a school. I packed all the medicines I needed for the medical service with the help of Mr. Rachha, an English teacher at SLM. Having got up early in the morning, I got to know that unlike other days, it was drizzling and cold in the morning in Sihanouk Ville, and I thought if this could be a sign of an approaching cold winter in Cambodia. By the way, this is already wet summer in Cambodia and it rains occassionally. Our medical team consists of Mr. Polly, my interpreter, Mr. Kevi, a new English teacher at SLM from Nagaland, a Cambodian van driver, and I. We left SLM at 8:00 in the morning. Stopped over at Veil Rein for breakfast and picking some breads and water for the patients. At 9:30 am, when we arrived at the Preah Krang village, a little more than 50 people were waiting for medical attention. After a brief introduction, straight away we started the medical service for both adults and children. Most of the cases were some common sicknesses like headache, fever, high temperature, stomach pain, respiratory problem, toothache, skin problems and physical weaknesses etc. Fortunately, I was ready with all the needed medicines and treated 50 patients in that village.

I still had some time and medicines, therefore we decided to stop over on the way and do the same thing in Samake village. The chief of the commune was very co-operative to our team. Immediately, he went around the village and announced about the free medical service. In few minutes time, more than 50 people gathered together for medical attention. As in the Preah krang village, the patients had the similar sicknesses. Straight away, we started giving away the medicines to the patients; to 53 patients. As usual, our team received lots of PREAH BODINBO, which means “God bless you!” from the patients.

I would like to thank the mission team from the West Layton AG church from the USA for the huge amount of medicines you left with SLM last January when the team visited SLM. May the good LORD bless the members of the same church!

This is also for the readers’ information that SLM has treated around 7000 patients in the last 6 years of its ministry in Cambodia for free. If anybody wants such service or wants to donate medicines, please contact 855 012 789 443. Thanking you again!

Rev. Jonah Amer

August 2, 2008

Cambodia (Present situation)

July 20, 2008

Hi dear readers!

This is just for your information that Cambodia is going through two important events at the moment. (1) The general election will be helt on the 27th of this month. Therefore serious campaign is going on everywhere in Cambodia. This is the time we have to keep ourselves low and inside, specially in the night time. (2) There’s a tension buidup between Thailand and Cambodia due to the long time border issue and for an old Hindu temple. Both the countries are claiming that it belonged to them. Let’s keep this in our prayers so that the tension won’t be escalated!

Away from Home!

July 20, 2008

Hi dear readers!

I have been away from SLM for a week or so. Made a trip to Cambodia-Vietnam border to apply for a re-entry and working visa for one, Mr. Kevi at SLM from India. The trip was a fun but getting working visa for Mr. Kevi was never easy! Fortunately, Mr. Nara, the Assiatant Director of SLM who is a Cambodian high ranking government offical was also with us. And with his help, we could obtained the re-entry/working visa for Mr. kevi. This is for your kind information, unlike the other years, the Cambodian government made a new law to give only 1 month visa on arrival; before it was three months. Which means that after one month, all the applicants for the working/business visa can apply for one year visa. But make it sure that you get the business/working visa status if you are planning to stay longer in cambodia. The bottom line is that, Mr. Kevi got a working visa. Talk with you guys later!

 

Jonah Amer