Invitation to join ACTS Cambodia 2011
30th April 2011
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,
In Advent 2006, a small group of parishioners led by Dr John Lee of Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, spent a week at a Don Bosco school in Cambodia where they were inspired by the Salesian Sisters to share the joy of service with others. With the permission of Parish Priest Father Francis Lee, – ACTS – which stands for Advent Cambodia Trips as well as “A Call To Share” that follows the example of the Acts of the Apostles, was born.
This mission outreach has since grown to include people outside the parish and the Church. Since then, some 180 to 250 participants from different parishes as well as non-Catholics, have been on such mission trips each year.
The initiatives over the years include fundraising for the Don Bosco schools’ infrastructure, provision of medical and dental care, a food programme for the students throughout the year, educational and catechetical programmes and scholarships for the teachers and students, the setting up of computer laboratories, packing and distribution of love parcels that consisted of essentials for the poorest families and gift packages to the students of the three schools at Teuk Thla, Phum Chreh and Tuol Kork. A grotto building project is also planned in Phum Chreh this year. Beyond all these programmes, volunteers and children bond through dance and sports, that bridged cultural and language barriers.
ACTS is working towards establishing long term sustainable projects to alleviate hunger, disease and poverty, but more importantly, to allow children to hope and dream like children elsewhere in the world, prompting one of the students to ask Salesian Sister Ophriini this poignant question, “Why do these strangers come from so far away to love us?”
As, Joanne, one of the participants said: “This trip allowed me to see God in the faces of these children, as they showered us with warm smiles and hugs, showing us that happiness can be very simple. I realised that often in our hurried lifestyles, we forget to show gratitude for the blessings we have in life. Most importantly, the children taught me how to give and receive love.”
Advent is a time for reflection and preparation for Christ’s birth. But for many ACTS participants, this mission was an epiphany that has changed their lives.
for ACTS Cambodia 2011