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Emmaus ‘a place where the Risen Lord meets us’

Dedication Service for Emmaus Women’s Centre in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH — Bishop Dr Robert Solomon has expressed the hope that Emmaus Women’s Centre in Cambodia’s Beung Anchagn Village may truly be like an “Emmaus of new beginnings, where the Risen Lord ministers and encounters people”.

Speaking at the Dedication Service of the centre on Sept 1, he related the Emmaus experience and told them that the centre is “a place where the Risen Christ meets them, where the Scriptures are opened by the Lord, where Jesus feeds them, and a place which sends witnesses to others”.

He said: “Emmaus is the place where Jesus meets us. He feeds us through the Word and Table and warms our hearts.

He brings new hope to us in our journey on earth. Though we may be sad, when we recognise Him, our lives change.

“Emmaus is also that place from which people go as witnesses. May this be true too of our Emmaus Centre. “May the women here be given the special privilege of experiencing the Risen Christ. May He make all the difference in their lives.”

Relating the Emmaus story, Bishop Dr Solomon said two travellers were on their way from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus, dejected because of recent events in which they saw their beloved Jesus being crucified — and die It was in this situation that the Risen Christ drew near and travelled with them.

“In this centre, may we have the Emmaus experience, where the Risen Christ draws near those who stand still and journey with them. May the residents find this Jesus here.”

The Bishop said the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) has been in Cambodia since 1996. From the beginning it was realised that women were a needy group of people, besides children and youth, who required special help.

“Thus, one of our aims was to establish a special ministry among women. A Women’s Centre ministry was established at the Methodist Centre with a missionary, Ms Betty Ng, leading the ministry.

“With growing potential for this ministry, it was decided to house it in more permanent premises. And so here we are at Emmaus Women’s Centre in Beung Anchagn Village.”

The centre, which is a complex of six buildings, can accommodate 50 women. At present, 23 are there. They are taught dressmaking skills and given literacy lessons to maximise their potential. Communal living and daily devotions and discipline will help to meet their spiritual and social needs.

“All in all, we will be helping these women find a better life,” added Bishop Dr Solomon.