by Katherine Parker
There is a real celebration to be had for the increased empowerment of the Cambodian leadership of the church, especial women leaders. In our CHAD program I was so happy to meet last week with the two clusters of churches in Kampong Speu. While I was visiting churches in the USA on itineration, Rev. (Ms.) Hong Phally had been facilitating the "congregational development for social outreach" lessons which we also sometimes call "mobilizing the church"
Last year Hong Phally had been acting as my translator when teaching these lessons and I'm excited to see her increased confidence in preparing and facilitating the lessons. She has taken on quite a bit of new responsibilities this year. In addition to pastoring her local congregation and working as the chair of the Children's Committee for the past two years, she was also selected to be the assistant District Superintendent for Kampong Speu.
The Methodist Church is unique in Cambodia in that more than 10% of the pastors are women (most churches have few to none), and particularly blessed to have young women in their late 20s and early 30s like Hong Phally who are encouraged to take on major leadership roles. Please pray for her that she will be granted a visa to the USA when she goes for her interview on January 20 since we are hoping that she will be able to attend the Cambodia Consultation at Wesley UMC in San Jose March 31-April 2. I hope that many of you will be able to attend and to meet her and the other Cambodian delegates (I am also hoping to attend). Registration is available at at the CalNevUMC.org or on the event page.
(post script - Rev. Hong Phally was denied her visa, but two other women pastors, Rev. Than Heak and Rev. Ming Hongly were successful.)