March 19, 2019
“I’m not the pastor. I’m just the temporary leader, and I want to stress temporary,” Rumduol told Resonate Global Mission missionary Justin Van Zee.
Rumduol has been a “temporary” leader at her church in Cambodia for two years while her husband is away, working in a factory in South Korea.
In rural Cambodia, many families struggle to make ends meet. There aren’t enough jobs, and most families rely on subsistence farming to produce enough food for their families. Those who do have a harvest leftover earn measly profits in the market.
For this reason, a parent or child often leaves to find a job in a bigger city or another country to send money back home—a temporary solution.
As more and more people left her community, Rumduol stepped in as the sole leader of her family and a leader in her church. She leads worship each week and the Sunday School program for about 50 kids. Even though she sees herself as a “temporary” leader, she refuses to let her community fall—she has a clear vision for sustainability to help her community flourish.
That’s why Resonate missionary Justin Van Zee and World Renew staff worked together. They visited community and church leaders like Rumduol in rural communities and asked how the Christian Reformed Church can support them. Justin explained that they were not there to “fix problems,” but to listen to their community needs so they could empower figures and strong women like Rumduol to be “drivers of change.”
Because Rumduol has a passion for permanent change, instead of asking for money to improve the community, she asked for training. “A market for our products! And agricultural skills!” she said when asked about the community's needs.
She explained that by learning better agricultural skills, the community can start growing excess produce that can be sold for a profit.
She has ideas on how proper teachers can help with their agricultural problems, on creating a sustainable market for their goods, and on digging a pond that would help with local farming. These ideas make her a force for change that can help her entire community.
Thanks for being part of the CRC’s work through Resonate Global Mission and World Renew. Your support empowers leaders like Rumduol to make positive changes in their communities throughout the world.
This article was originally published on crcna.org.