This February, I travelled to Cambodia and spent two weeks there. Instead of traveling with friends or joining a tour group, I prefer to find a local host when travelling abroad. From my past experience, I consider it’s a good way to get to know local people and their culture. I contacted with Kim, the initiator and host of a local charity school, and stayed at his place this time.
The experience in Kim’s school stimulated me to reflect on several questions that I rarely thought of before.
How much do you need for life?
Life in Kim’s place is truly simple and plain. Kim made the most use of what they have to facilitate the teaching and playing in the school.
The classroom was remodeled from a humble shack, where most of the classes were taken place; the playground was neighbor’s open space, on which all the sports activities were held; two bamboo sticks were erected as a football net for an actual one is beyond their necessity list.
However, this limited condition doesn't affect kids’ enthusiasm at all. I could tell that they enjoyed their study and sports through their bright reading sound and serious sportsmanship.
Compared with the rapidly developed and convenient life in Beijing, I couldn’t help pondering upon questions that I seldom thought of before: how much do I need for my life? When is the end of my longingness of want to have more? Do multiple of articles I own really make me happy?
How able do you need to be to help others?
Kim’s charity school aims to help local kids studying English and planting vegetables. These two skills are seldom emphasized at public school, but important for kids to find a basic job in the future.
You wouldn’t expect Kim to be the organizer of this project when you saw him at the first sight, for he is born with disability and sits on his wheelchair most of the time.
How could he possibly help others as he is the one needs help? That’s the very first question occurred to me when I met Kim.
My doubt was resolved after hearing Kim’s story. It turned out that his congenital disability is the very reason of his dedication in helping the needy and the poor.
“I used to have no roof over my head and no food to eat for several days. I knew how it is to suffer and didn’t want the young generation to experience the same.” said Kim during one of our talks.
According to Kim, it requires only a willing heart to care for others. You do not need to be extremely capable and great to express concerns over others. Though Kim is not a Christian, I regarded what he does is exactly in line with Jesus teaching: love your neighbor as yourself.
Do you have a plan for others?
Instead of indulging in his own suffering, Kim resigned his job in a NGO organization and established his own charity school in his village. Around 250 kids joined his program altogether.
Through past few years study, most of the kids are confident in making English conversations with foreign volunteers. Some kids brought some of the seeds home and already tasted the vegetables they grew. Kim’s school is shaping kids’ and their families’ life little by little.
“Moving forward, I plan to develop medical courses to equip some of the girls to be nurses. I also want to rent a farm and produce grain ourselves. Kids would practice what they learned and their parents could find a job in the farm.” Kim told me one time.
Not only was I amazed by his good will in helping the kids and his village, but his vision and outlook of the future. His idea of lifting the village out of hunger and poverty makes much sense to me now.
Kim sets a good example of caring for others. As a Christian, do you have a plan for your neighbours as well?
Cheng Xingyi (known as Cindy) was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cheng Xingyi's previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html