In the course of our conversation, Fr. Viney informed me that a group of Korean young people will visit Prek Toal community, a floating village. He suggested that I go with them and will continue visiting other communities when he gets back. Sakiko Ishida, the Japanese volunteer in the parish who is in-charge of welcoming the guests introduced me to the group as they came at 8:30. A tourist coach brought us to the ferry station and we embarked immediately to a boat reserved for the group. In about more than an hour, I noticed from afar a structure with a cross on top of it and some hands waving. In a little while, the boat docked in front of St. Joseph Church in Prek Toal.
There were about 130 children in the church with more than 20 adults. The guests did not waste time but started right away with their planned activities. An action song was taught by some of the youth and after few practices everyone was already performing it. After accomplishing the second action song, games were also introduced. At noon, rice soup were shared to everyone, the children formed lines as the bowls were distributed. After a little rest, playing games resumed. The group and I boarded the boat back home at nearly 2:00 o’clock.
The visit of the Korean youth group was not the first time for the community to welcome guests. Since St. John Church in Siem Reap is blessed in receiving many guests from various countries, guests are also encouraged to visit other communities, particularly in the lake including Prek Toal. There is only one priest for both parishes. Aside from the liturgy and visitation of some guests, other ministries at St. Joseph Parish consist of the learning center which was blessed on November 12, 2006, catechism, feeding program, values education for children, Khmer and English literacy classes for adults and youth, as well as community education on relevant issues.
By: Blas Descallar, JVP
Jesuit Volunteers Philippines
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