Twenty-nine leaders completed the Adventist Community Services & Urban Ministry Certification Program in Cambodia on September 9-13, 2019 at the Battambang Essential Life Center. Pastor Lim Pheng, Cambodia Adventist Mission President, stated that, “This training is meeting a key need of equipping our team with the know-how to develop and implement Adventist Community Services in our field. Pastor Berson Richard, Adventist Community Services (ACS) Director of Southeast Asia Union Mission, also participated and shared different ACS activities that are happening within Southeast Asia Union Mission and encouraged participants to practice what they learned.
The training was conducted in a flipped classroom method where the participants watched lectures and completed quizzes on the Adventist Learning Community website prior to the session, then participated in facilitated learning led by May-Ellen Colon, Ph.D.. May-Ellen from the General Conference office in Maryland, USA where she holds three roles as 1) Director, Church & Community Engagement/Special Liaison, Adventist Community Services—ADRA International; 2) Special Liaison ACS—General Conference Sabbath School & Personal Ministries Department and 3) Director, Adventist Community Services (ACS) International.
The Certification program actively involves participants in the process of learning, discussing, and sharing experiences. The skills gained for the key participants will help churches in Cambodia to plan and implement ACS strategies and activities developed in partnership with their church community. “I was interested when we were asked to sit in a group and discuss about community services activities we could do back home. We then came up with some ideas and got even more confident in the presentation as guided by our facilitator…,” said Pastor Nhean Thonsovan, one of the participants attending the sessions.
The Cambodia Adventist Mission is strengthening its community outreach programs and is working towards formalizing Adventist Community Services as a ministry in Cambodia. Those who completed this certification program will be better able to support and implement an ACS/Total Member Involvement project funded by Advocates for Southeast Asians and the Persecuted (ASAP), Cambodia Adventist Mission, Southeast Asia Union Mission and Adventist Development and Relief Agency Cambodia (ADRA) which began in May 2019.