When you hear about the suffering in Cambodia’s recent history—the unimaginable horrors of genocide orchestrated by the Khmer Rouge or the indescribable sufferings resulting from land mines, AIDS, and child trafficking—do you feel sympathy? Or do you have pity for the multitudes of people that remain unreached with the gospel and have yet to hear the message of salvation through Jesus Christ in this tiny nation in Southeast Asia? The Joshua Project reports that 29 of the 41 people groups in Cambodia remain unreached and that the percentage of evangelicals is a scare 1.6% of the total population.
And yet, while it is good to feel sympathy and pity because of these things, sympathy alone has never rescued a child enslaved by sexual predators or carried the feet of an evangelist to faraway places. In the words of missionary David Livingstone, “Sympathy is no substitute for action.” But take heart, because your prayers and support are taking action by enabling indigenous missionaries and pastors to minister to broken lives and lost souls in Cambodia.
HeartCry is currently supporting seven missionaries in Cambodia. They are faithfully serving in newly planted churches, striving to see young disciples grow into mature saints. These churches are weekly receiving sound biblical teaching and pastoral care. They are also seeking to proclaim the gospel where the message of salvation remains untold and reach populations where healthy churches are non-existent.
There are obvious challenges in Cambodia for these men. Buddhism remains a stronghold that blinds the population. When people leave the Buddhist pagoda to follow Christ and unite with Christian assemblies, local monks instigate opposition toward the missionaries. Poverty is also a major struggle, forcing some of the people to leave the local church in search of jobs that will provide for their basic needs. Others battle with anxiety and unbelief, wondering if they can provide for their families without working every day of the week. As a result, they often fail to meet together on the Lord’s Day.
And yet—while the churches in Cambodia are constantly confronted with difficulties and opposition—God remains faithful and continues to build His church there. HeartCry is blessed to partner with faithful men who are striving to make the glory of Christ known by spreading the sweet aroma of the gospel to a nation that has experienced tremendous heartache. The newly established churches are maturing in the faith and growing in number despite the powerful darkness of the surrounding pagan culture. Praise God that several baptisms were reported this month and that Bible studies have begun in several new villages. These brothers are requesting prayer, that they “will stay strong and faithful to serve the in order to expand God’s kingdom in Cambodia.” Please join in praying with us!
Sympathy that fuels faithful activity is a potent force. Christ, our great high priest, sympathizes with our weaknesses and trials. He is also a man of action who has secured eternal salvation for us and continues to provide support and care by acting on our behalf for our good. Let those of us who know Christ sympathize with the hurting and act on their behalf for their good and God’s glory.
Timothy began working for HeartCry in 2015 and assists with the work in Asia. He is married, has eight children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.More By Timothy Jotham