The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cambodia celebrated the inauguration of its first community center, commonly called a “Center of Influence,” in the city of Battambang, on January 22, 2019.
The Battambang Essential Life Center officially opened its doors to the community after its inauguration and a prayer dedication led by Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) president Saw Samuel. Other SSD leaders attended the event, as well as leaders of the Southeast Asia Union Mission (SAUM), led by Somchai Chuenjit.
During the inauguration, international service employees who will continue the ministry in Cambodia and the new Center of Influence were also dedicated.
Leaders of the Adventist Church in Cambodia expressed their excitement as they witnessed their dream finally come true after years of planning and construction. “We praise the Lord that the Battambang urban Center of Influence building is now complete,” said Cambodia Adventist Mission president Lim Pheng. “We are very excited that this beautiful building will attract people in the community to come and visit.”
Pheng added that the building is designed to introduce people in the community to a wholistic lifestyle. “The center is designed with green plants, which make it environmentally friendly, and includes a gym, a vegetarian restaurant, a playground for the young, and a chapel,” he added. “We pray that many people will come to know Jesus through [this new center].”
Among the services the center plans to offer are health education, a language school for young students, and music education for artists who want to learn more about their craft.
Currently, missionary volunteers of the Battambang Essential Life Center are offering free medical services to the community and are preparing for a vacation school for young students.
Leaders of the Adventist Church in the Southeast Asia region also expressed their appreciation to have this Center of Influence ready for service. “It's very important to have this center in Battambang because there are a lot of opportunities to reach many young people in this vast community,” said SAUM president Somchai Chuenjit. “Also, it is a great opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ through various activities which the center can offer. We hope that this center will be a great light to the community and a place where people from all walks of life find joy to enter and interact.”
Leaders said that the Adventist Church sees vast potential in opening centers of influence like this one in Cambodia. “They give Adventist members the opportunity to engage their local communities,” they said.