Minister Preaches Gospel of Mosquito Nets

While the July 1997 political unrest frightened multinational corporate investors, the factional fighting didn’t scare a US couple from moving to Cambodia.

Reverend Amelia Stinson-Wes­ley, a United Methodist minister, first came to Cambodia in July 1997, along with her husband, Rev­erend Tom Stinson-Wesley, who also is a United Methodist minister.

They then moved to Sydney, Aus­­­tralia and eventually to the US state of North Carolina, where he pastors a church. She’s kept coming back for visits, most recently in August.

On her last visit, Stinson-Wesley donated $300 to The Cam­bodia Daily Mosquito Net Cam­paign on behalf of the organization she leads, World Con­nections for Women.

Stinson-Wesley said she decided to move to Cambodia because a friend of hers had strongly urged her to bring her talents and her message of non-violence here. “We just moved. We came here to live,” she said.

While the job market for foreigners dried up in July 1997, the Stin­son-Wesleys kept busy volunteering, she with Nanda Pok’s Women for Pros­perity, and he with Pok Than’s Center for Social Devel­op­ment, which is now headed by Chea Vannath.

Stinson-Wesley said the Mos­qui­to Net Campaign caught her attention when it debuted in 1997, and she has been an ardent supporter of it since then.

“We like its simple message, ‘Save three lives for $5.’ It’s a neat idea,” Stinson-Wesley said. “Every time I speak about South­east Asia, I bring it up. I’ve preached about it.”

The Mosquito Net Campaign is among several causes supported by World Connections for Women, which is based in Mor­gan­ton, North Carolina.

The group sponsors a rural health-care clinic in Jamkhed, India, which is about a day’s drive from Bom­bay. And it sells handicrafts by women and land-mine victims from Laos and Cambodia.

While the group’s main focus is the prevention of violence against women and children, it also offers tours to religious sites, including Chartres Cathe­dral in France in early 2000. Future trips are being planned to Angkor Wat, Ephesus in Turkey and Stone­henge in England.

Uluru in Aus­tralia.


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