How does a missionary work during COVID? Boundless
Posted on: 30th June 2020
Bethany Vaughan discusses what she has been up to during COVID. Bethany usually works with people in Cambodia, but she is at home for the duration of the virus, and she tells us how she is able to continue some of her mission work online.
CMS Victoria’s Communications Coordinator, Andrew Hinge, interviewed Bethany Vaughan. Below is the full transcript.
B: Well we’re rolling! Oh are we? Oh I didn’t need glasses! Yeah all right. I know the answers – I’ve got this!
AH: So Bethany, tell us a little bit about yourself.
B: So I grew up in Albury in New South Wales but I have lived in Melbourne for a long time and I became Christian at 37 and I attended Glen Waverley Anglican Church.
AH: Fantastic! So Bethany what is it that you do in Cambodia?
B: In Cambodia… I have a few different roles that main one is as an occupational therapist so I work with disabled children mostly autistic or ADHD children and I also work in a school as the school counsellor so I see kids who are having problems at school or at home and I like to teach conversational English so I teach my neighbours and other people in this city as well.
AH: Some people have described you as ‘lightning in a bottle’! How would you react to that?
B: I haven’t heard that! But I do have a lot of enthusiasm I guess. I love my work I love my job and I love Cambodians.
AH: Isn’t it hard now that you’re here in Australia for the duration of the coronavirus how do you navigate being a missionary here in Australia?
B: Well I think we always have opportunities to connect with people and at the moment I was spending a lot of time connecting with various people and churches and I’m loving that we’re also I’m in some prayer groups and we’re praying for people in Cambodia as well but my Cambodian neighbours and friends are all very good at contacting me and so some of them ring me every day and I love that as well so I’m still able actually to continue tutoring online so I still am connecting with some of my students that way.
AH: Bethany, have there been any particular stories now that you’re in Australia are you just connecting with the people that that you’ve known from Cambodia?
B: Yes I have been in touch particularly with a friend of mine he and his wife were expecting their first baby and I was to be in Cambodia when the baby was born but I had already come back here but my prayer group here in Australia we prayed for the situation because his wife ended up in hospital early and the baby actually was born just last week so eight months old…
AH: Praise God!…
B: Yeah and so it came a month early but it was fine and so I was actually in touch with them a lot and praying for them and I was telling them I was praying for them and that we were praying for them and yeah he was very grateful and it’s really helped him to come to faith and to deepen his faith in God so he comes out of a Buddhist background and sorry his wife is still a Buddhist and so he’s attempting to share with her now so I’m just praying for that as well.
AH: Are there any particular insights you’ve gained from dealing with people in the Buddhist world about how to connect our faith with a background of Buddhism?
B: Well I think the main way that I connect is really just through loving and relationships so connecting with people getting involved in what’s going on for them and really supporting them in whatever they’re journeying through and also I guess sharing what God has done in my life and how God helps me everyday how I connect to God and I think that does help to draw them away from their Buddhist traditions the animistic traditions it is difficult for Cambodians because they come from a long line of Buddhism and other worship so it does create issues in their family so it’s being aware of that and also spending time talking to them about how that process might happen but the main thing you notice when people come to faith in Christ is just they just have this joy and I have seen that happen and it’s just wonderful it just changes their whole outlook on life so it’s a beautiful thing I hope to see a lot more of it!
AH: Fantastic! Well I think that’s what what people mean when they call you ‘lightning in a bottle’ because it is about that joy!
AH: You know? And I think you have brought joy to a lot of people in Cambodia’s lives so thanks for joining us today. Thank you.
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