KEP CITY — CAMBODIA. The experience of sending students of theology to their missionary land during their annual vacations is actually a positive idea with great experiences and help for the local communities. Between December 2019 and February 2020, two students of theology and Salesian missionaries, traveled from their centres of studies to the Kingdom of Cambodia to give a pastoral hand to Don Bosco Kep.
Fr. Roel Soto, as superior of the Cambodian Delegation, invited Nigerian Br. Joshua Pilaku of Parañaque, Manila and Indian Br. Michael Gaikwad of Clifton Hill, Melbourne to stay in Kep Province to animate the pastoral activities of a community made by 400 children, youth and teachers of the Don Bosco Technical School and Children Fund.
Br. Joshua stayed for four weeks of December, but it was enough time for him to animate the Christmas celebrations, sports, English lessons and even he reopened the youth leaders association of the school. He remembered his happy days as practical training at the same site, but now as a student of theology, he led the youth with a deep Salesian encouragement. It was also a good opportunity to train his Khmer Language speaking.
Br. Michael stayed the three months and he was involved in a youthful animation of the whole educative and pastoral community with Fr. Albeiro Rodas, the director. Training the assistants of the resident students, giving lessons, preparing sport activities, animating the Don Bosco feast and planning different outing activities. In preparation of the Don Bosco feasts, he led a vocational youth camp at the Don Bosco Kep seaside.
The presence of the two clerics, missionaries from two distant countries, studying theology in other two countries and opting for Cambodia as a missionary land, make an impact to the youth, who is reflecting in the 2020 Rector Major´s Strenna that in Cambodia has been translated as True Faithful and Upright Citizens.
Br. Michael (1stLeft) with Fr. Eugene Xalxo, Fr. Albeiro Rodas and Br. Roberto Panetto.
Br. Joshua with the youth leaders of Don Bosco Kep.