- About WEC
The first thing the girl downstairs asked me was if I loved Justin Beiber! Believe it or not, on the surface, most Muslim young people look just like you and me. They listen to the same pop music and often dress and talk the same way. But in another sense they are so very different. For instance we’ve recently been told that our Bible is changed, untrustworthy, and that because we’re Christians we’re going to go to hell.
“Are you taking your kids with you?” It was a question which, though we were asked it several times, never ceased to surprise us. Of course we were!
No, the place we were going to was not “kid friendly”. For that matter it was not “Christian friendly” and some might say, not even “people friendly”.
God had called us to Central Asia. Us - not me. That meant that we would take the kids. I am not even sure what the alternative was. Kennels? Overstaying at the day care centre?
When we first left for the Middle East with 5 children (the eldest of which had just turned 8), many people thought we were nuts. Before we even left NZ we felt it was very important that our thinking was of going over as a team. We look at our family as a team that belongs to the team in the city of T where we live. We have tried to instil into our children as much as we can that they are just as much part of the ministry here as we are.
While Slumdog Millionaire celebrated the underdog within the slums of Mumbai, half a world away, a teenage boy was responding to miraculous stories of God at work in the slums of Cambodia. Tim Paton, of WEC’s Bridge of Hope ministry, recently received an inspiring email from an overseas family he had visited and shared with last year.
Where would you start with statistics like these? Cambodia has the highest rate of child abandonment in South-East Asia. There are over 300, 000 disabled persons, ten percent of which are victims of landmines. One third of all Cambodian prostitutes are children. A phenomenal sixty percent of the population suffer from largely trauma induced mental disorders. Yet sadly, less than one percent of the national health budget, which is only $2.50 per person annually, is allocated to mental health care.
Beijing paled into insignificance compared with the inaugural Bang Tumpong Olympics. Far from China’s fireworks and fanfare, these games played out in a humble Cambodian slum. Kiwi WECers Gordon and Jan Meehan and about forty children enjoyed competing in relays, shot put and long jump.