We are going to Cambodia! At the end of January, there is going to be a significant celebration in Phnom Penh for the 100 Year Anniversary of the Gospel arriving in Cambodia. Kevin and I, and other team members will be heading back to Cambodia for a short trip to attend this event. The purpose of the event is to give praise to God for the ways He has worked in the past, for the ways He is working in the present and for the future. There will be ceremonies and exhibits to honour the pioneering work of IWs and national Cambodian leaders. This is an interdenominational event and we pray that the aroma of Jesus will spread throughout the country as Christians come together in unity to praise and worship the one true God. We are grateful that God has open doors for us to be able to attend this historic event.
Church History in Cambodia
The first evangelical IWs in Cambodia were Rev. David & Muriel Ellison, and Rev. Arthur and Esther Hammond; they arrived in 1923 and were sent by the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA). From 1923-1975, the growth of the Church was slow and continuously hindered by political unrest. IWs were either expelled or evacuated multiple times during the French colonial administration, World War II, and the Khmer Rouge regime. By 1975, the church had grown to about 10,000 believers. During the Khmer Rouge reign of terror from 1975-1979, about 90% of Christians had perished or fled to neighbouring countries. Many IWs and volunteers were sent to refugee camps to provide aid and the message of hope to Cambodian refugees that fled to countries such as Thailand and France. There was a revival in the refugee camps as thousands came to faith.
<<Fun Fact: My mom named me “Carol” after the Canadian Christian volunteer that ministered to her at a Vietnamese Refugee Camp in the 1970s.>>
In the 1990’s, the Cambodian government guaranteed freedom of religion for all Khmer citizens and mission agencies were given permission to return to Cambodia. Despite the enemy’s attempts to crush the Church, the small remnant has grown from a few hundred Christians to more than 250,000. As the Cambodian church grows and matures, our Alliance team is working in partnership with national believers to develop church leaders, start community development projects and bring the gospel to other minority groups in the country.
- Please pray for our safety and the other international guests that are travelling to Cambodia to attend the event.
- Pray for the well-being of our children as they will stay in Canada with family and friends.
- Pray that God will be glorified as Christians come together to praise and worship, and that Jesus would be made more known throughout Cambodia through this event.