missionary intent – direct or indirect!

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This photo is of the meeting of The Rotary Club of Phnom Penh Metro on August 1st. It was a wonderfully busy meeting with visitors from around the world. I’ll tell you about the meeting briefly then I want to share a very serious concern with you.

On the left there are two great Rotarians from Hungary and Chris from England- who was a Rotarian in Bexhill but now lives here and will probably join the club..Chris has a professional employment company in Phnom Penh. Next to Chris is a guy fro Kenya who is friend of Chris’and may well join too. Towards the end of the left side are two very very welcome men from the province of Kompong Spieu. The older guy left Cambodia as a refugee 30 years ago and has come back from the USA to help.. He has a school in a village. It is wonderful and sadly quite rare for past refugees to return to help.. I write about that issue and its reasons within the website (please look for it).

Tom at the end is President of the club. On the right side we have Sokchea and Sophea from Attitude Centre… They do marvellous things and I refer to them throughout the site. There are also two people from Sydney: The lady is starting out trying to make sure that children in an orphanage she deals with close to Phnom Penh can actually afford to attend a school. ….This resulted a much talk because of course if it costs children money to attend school…then WE HAVE FAILED.. the main answer is that we or someone, pays the teachers to teach ALL children and not just a select few.. again this is covered in several places within the site.

I WANT NOW TO GET TO SOMETHING THAT CONCERNS ME GREATLY… MISSIONARY INTENT.

Recently I have seen an increase in the number of organisations seeking to be either under the ROTARY umbrella or close to it – with Christian missionary intent either directly or indirectly. Many churches, particularly in the USA and Korea are utterly determined to spread ‘Gods word’, to under privileged people and build schools and clinics while they do it. Rotary will have nothing to do with projects that have direct or indirect missionary intent. It is regarded as an abuse of poor peoples situation

Churches are well organised to raise money for good works and surely can do whatever they want, but not under the Rotary umbrella. Cambodia is 90% Khmer Buddhist and much of the rest is Khmer Islam. Buddhism is central to this country – that doesn’t make it any better than Christianity but it is THEIR religion and the basis of their society.

Regardless of all the above, Rotary does not help or support direct or indirect missionary work in any guise or disguise.

 

 

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