Vanny Keo is an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Vanny is a member of Christ Family Church, a Protestant congregation in Kompong Chhnang, Cambodia. She has taught Sunday school and led a Wednesday evening youth group. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Preah Sihanoukraja Buddhist University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
“I have believed in God for 17 years,” Vanny said. At first, she attended church to practice her English-language skills, use the free computers and eat a good meal. “That was me at that time,” she admitted. “However, I never stopped going to church.” Every Sunday, she participated in worship. And as she learned more about God, her love for God grew.
“I started to help with many tasks,” Vanny continued, “like teaching children, cleaning the church and typing songs for slide shows on Sunday. When the opportunity came to me, I started to study in Bible classes.” She completed one class called “school of ministry.”
Vanny especially enjoys working with children. “I love to do it,” she said, “because it is my gift from God. Day by day, my pastor saw my spiritual growth, and he started to encourage me to preach on Sunday. Some Sundays, he encouraged me to lead worship.” She realized her once-empty life had become full.
“One day, God called me to become a professional teacher at a public school,” Vanny recalled. “I needed to study in Phnom Penh for two years.” Meanwhile, her brother completed his Bible studies. She began helping him teach children at his church.
Some of Vanny’s former Bible study classmates now lead their own churches, but she trusts in God to direct her life. “Although God hasn’t called me to be a pastor,” she said, “he has another plan for me.” She believes that God called her to become a Global Mission Fellow because many of her experiences fit the program’s needs.
“I am ready for God calling me now,” Vanny continued. “I have worked in both Christian and social communities for three years. It has taught me a lot. I hope I can use these experiences to serve God everywhere he lets me do so.” She also looks forward to growing spiritually and gaining capacity to serve and love God.