Greetings from all of us working together in Shalom Mission Cambodia.
We are grateful to God that He has protected Cambodia from the worst effects of Covid-19, and that our government has been able to obtain vaccines for most of the people. Now that we are coming out of the restrictions, we are seeing great opportunities to spread the Gospel once again. In this time of fear, we have been able to offer the Gospel of Hope, Peace with God, Transformation and Eternal life.
We will end this report with testimonies of the faithfulness of God as our pastors have brought the Gospel to the lost in Cambodia.
Shalom International School
Along with all the other schools in Cambodia, we were forced by Covid-19 to close for many months, and we released the staff to find employment elsewhere. We thank God that we can now rebuild our staff and begin to welcome students back. We provide teaching at a much lower cost than other private schools, and we use the opportunity to present them with the Gospel as well as supplementing their state school learning. We also teach life skills based on Christianity that will help them succeed in life.
Please pray that we are able to fill all our teaching positions, and that parents will still choose our school.
Shalom Dream Center
Although most of our Dream Center activities in Mondulkiri had to be halted for the duration of the pandemic, we still continued to develop the site; knowing that one day we would be able to resume our work.
We have added rooms and facilities so that we can care for more students. As soon as we were allowed, we began to reach out to the Bunong villages that surround us. Here is an update on our main activities so far.
a) After School Program
Our after-school program was closed for almost 1 year for large class meetings, but we were able to meet in small groups and with individuals. We thank God that since early 2022, the government has allowed bigger groups to gather, and we are able to teach whole classes together.
We are so glad to see them and the many who came before, eager to return and resume their learning – they really missed us! These students go to public school in the morning, and come to our center in the afternoon from 2:00-4:30 P.M. every Monday to Friday. Many parents here are grateful that we provide the extra tuition that enables their children to make real progress in their learning.
Most of the children are from the Bunong tribal people who are marginalized in this country. Our after school program enables them to gain confidence in their abilities and to acquire the knowledge they need to succeed at school. We provide different classes such as literacy in their local Bunong language, Mathematics, Khmer reading, as well as English and Bible stories to introduce them to Jesus Christ.
These young people know that we care for them, and are happy to help us keep the place clean and tidy.
We have a dedicated evangelism team which faithfully travels out each week to 5 villages to share the gospel with the Bunong people. There has been missionary and Bible translation work among this indigenous people group, but many are still unreached or untouched by the Gospel message. These tribal people are animistic in their beliefs, illiterate in their own language and Khmer, and most live in very poor conditions. Many villages are hard to reach, especially in the rainy season when the roads become impassable rivers of mud. But we praise God for individuals who have opened their hearts to our evangelists and who allow them to use their homes to speak to anyone who is curious to learn more about Jesus.
c) Group Worship
After evangelizing for about three months, our team wanted to see worship groups in those villages. We praise God; by his grace, we now have three worship groups which are attracting more people who are interested in the Gospel. We believe God will grow these groups as they help to bring people to faith in Christ, and then enable them to grow together.
Impact (A Most Significant Change Story):
Doeun is one of the Bu-nong who lived under the strict animistic beliefs of his parents. Everyday, his parents brought him to work on their farm, and he sometimes went with his father to the forest to hunt wild animals for food. In his usual way of life, Doeun saw his father always offering something such as food and animals to the spirits for the protection and prosperity of his family.
He says,“Although his father did this almost all of his life, he never saw any benefit, and in fact life got worse day after day, with the family sometimes starving and often sick. He even saw his parents borrow money from neighbors just to buy animals to offer to spirits, because if they didn’t do that, they all feared they would get very sick. I got married and my wife was from a Christian family, and she shared with me about God who has power over those spirits. She told me that if I believed in Him, I didn’t need to offer anything to those spirits any more, and that they couldn’t do anything to me. At first, I was reluctant because in all my life, I never heard of such a God that is so powerful that we need not worry about those spirits that my parents are afraid of so much. Because I had no choice, and I didn’t want to live this life like my family, I decided to believe in Jesus and to save me from those spirits.
I thank God, and go to church with my wife. Those spirits don’t scare me anymore. Day by day I have come to learn more about God, and love Him more and more in my life. Now my whole family is Christian, and is actively involved in the activities of the church.
God brought me to know pastor Chhinho, and he taught me more about the Word of God. He asked me if I wanted to be involved in God’s ministry. Actually, I have been praying about this, and would like to share what God had done in my life to my people who never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. I did not hesitate to get involved in his evangelism team. I am so glad that God has given me the opportunity to serve and bring God’s kingdom to more people who are lost in the fear of the evil spirits. I thank God for saving my life, my family and my people.”
Prayer Requests for the Dream Center
- Please pray as the rainy season approaches; we will have great difficulty traveling to some villages.
- Please pray that God will open the hearts of people we meet to accept the salvation that God offers them, and that the people who accepted the Lord as their Savior will continue to grow in their faith.
- Please pray for our safety each day, and for our faith to continue to be strong in the Lord.
- Please pray that God will provide all our needs. Our Pastors testify to how the Lord is at work in our Communities.
Pastor Eoun Sothun from Onnlung Romeat Shalom Church has a lovely story.
Our member Ming John is 70 years old and she earns about 10,000 to 20,000 riel a day ($2.50 to $5) from collecting scrap for recycling. Some unbelievers in the village observed what she did; her endurance, her belief, and her life. They were interested in her testimony. Last month, they asked Ming John if they could come to our church with her. When they came, they heard the Word of God, and saw how God does good in our hearts.
After they came to worship with us for two weeks, they decided to accept Jesus as their Lord! We thank God that He never stops working.
Pastor Chanthea of Phnom Penh Shalom Church recently baptized three people – Nora is one of them.
Nora grew up in a Buddhist family in Kratie province. As a youth, he heard the gospel, but never believed, and even mocked his friends who were believers.
One day after he had finished college, his life became complicated with many difficulties. He found himself helpless, and Jesus came into his mind. For the first time, he prayed to Christ for help. In His grace and mercy, Jesus answered his prayers and became real to him. Nora’s desire to know more about Jesus grew. He decided to look for a church, and found Shalom Phnom Penh on Google. He called Pastor Chanthea, asking if he could visit his church. He kept coming every Sunday, and met with Pastor Chanthea regularly to learn more about the Gospel. Nora came to understand who Jesus really was, how sinful Nora was, and that he needed to put his trust in Jesus for salvation. He agreed to Christ’s offer, and testified to his new faith by being baptized.