by Regin Reyno
In July 2012, we embarked on a backpacking and ministry to the beautiful countries of Thailand and Cambodia. It was an 11-day event and one of the most memorable activities that our batch did.
Klement, our batch name is from an old French word clement which means gentle or caring. Our batch graduated in 2009 and stayed in Mountain View College Annex from 2007-2009, our clinical division years. The demands of being a nursing student made our bond for each other strong. Case presentations, duties, theory classes, nursing care plans, psychiatric nursing, research, integrated seminar, community services, all these stressors, we faced altogether-plus the spiritual and social activities in campus-made our batch bond stronger.
So after graduation, we missed it other so much that we always catch up with each other in yahoo messenger conference and facebook groups via internet.
After our last meeting together as a batch during the board review, board exams and oath taking in 2009-2010, we hadn’t been together. So in 2011, we planned a travel and at the same time, ministry to other people living to our batch name, clement which, means caring or gentle. Thus, Klement Backpacking and Ministry was formed-a series of travels and doing ministry together as a batch.
Backpacking is a form of international budget travel that uses a backpack and opting for the cheapest way possible. By that, you can travel more and stay longer in a place and experience more of the place. We opted for this type of travel as it is cheaper and more fulfilling.
So July of 2012 saw us with our backpacks trampling Thailand and Cambodia for our backpacking and ministry-traveling and doing ministry as a batch.
The purposes of this are:
1. Travel as a means of education. We believe traveling is one of the best educations that we can have. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”-St. Augustine. We want to explore the world, and not just be confined in our own place and comfort zone.
2. Ministry. As a batch, we did a lot of ministry during our clinical division years. Singing bands, church visitations, and in-campus church activities. We want to extend our ministry to other countries specially those countries who do not know Jesus yet.
3. Bonding. We missed each other so much. So 3 years after graduation, we want to catch-up with each other and share those memorable moments and laughter again.
First days in Bangkok were spent in distributing religious tracts and books that we got from Thailand Mission. After which we proceed to Bangkok Adventist Hospital and sang songs to the patients and staff there. We’ve been doing this during our college years and it’s good to do it once again in another country.
After the ministry we visited the Grand Palace grounds, the place where Kings of Thailand used to stay-After which we went to Khaosan rd. The backpacker’s Mecca in Southeast Asia.
The next day we proceeded to Cambodia via train. A wonderful experience since most of us rode a train for the first time. It was a 6-hour ride that made is witness wonderful scenery along the way. After crossing the border of Thailand and Cambodia, we hired a van going to Siem Reap, our destination.
We arrived in Cambodia late afternoon, of almost a whole day of traveling, we were tired but fulfilled. We checked-in in a guest house in Siem Reap for 2 nights. We explored the city, enjoyed shopping and trying authentic Khmer massage and dishes.
We explored the amazing temples of Angkor-a UNESCO World Heritage site. We went there as early as 4am to witness the sunrise. It was one of the highlights of our travel-a wonderful experience where we were able to behold one of the world’s greatest architecture and wonder. We also sang and taped our class song, Gentle Hands, in one of the temples. Tourists were looking at us and some even stayed to listen.
One of our ministries in Cambodia is to help the orphans there. There are lot of orphans in Cambodia due to the war that happened in their country and the prevalence of HIV AIDS. Thus, there are lots of orphanages there-mostly being run by volunteers, missionaries, and private organizations. One of those is Wat Preah Yesu, a Seventh-day Adventist orphanage and school founded by Australians Tim and Wendy Maddocks. It is a faith-based orphanage. Donations are the main source of income of that orphanage.
We decided to stay there for a weekend so we can fully experience the place. Through Tim’s generosity, we stayed there. We spent our time with the kids, played with them, and at the same time had our bonding moments with each other.
During the Sabbath, we led the church programs in the town church at Siem Reap. We had a mini-concert during Sabbath school program and led the Sabbath school lesson for adults and kids. It was a great privilege to have a fellowship with our brethren there. They were truly happy to see us, and have their church visited, specially coming from another country. After the divine worship in which one of our classmates offered the sermon, we went to the orphanage and handled the AY program. We also distributed slippers and some snacks to the orphans.
The feeling we felt that moment was priceless. It’s the joy that you feel when you serve the Lord, and see other people are happy because of what you’re doing.
We headed back to Bangkok on a Sunday, and continued our travel activities there. We went shopping, did some sight-seeing and went to a theme park and water park to relax.
That activity was so fulfilling. We were able to experience different cultures and sights. But most importantly we were able to minister to other people and the joy and happiness felt was so deep and fulfilling.
Our funds came from our generous classmates who are based in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Marshall Islands. Thank you so much for your financial help.
For more information about Klement Backpacking and Ministry, visit our site at: www.klementbackpackingandministry.blogspot.com
How about you? How do you combine ministry and travel together?