Cambodia: Bible Education Centers and Preaching
Type: Ecclesial Development & Preaching
Funding Need: $134,550 USD annually
Cambodia is a relatively new preaching area, with the first baptisms in 2007. The Lord has since called over 65 in baptism there, which, for our community, is fast growth. It helps that Cambodia, unlike many SE Asian countries, has enjoyed religious freedom since 1989. Buddhism is dominant, but individuals are open to other religions, especially if taught by a westerner. Over 50% of the population is under 22 (partly by reason of Pol Pot’s massacre) and because of this, and because of our associated student dormitory project, the Cambodian brotherhood is mainly young people.
In 2007 a Bible Education Centre (BEC1) was established in the capital city, Phnom Penh (PP); staffed by four missionaries and a single local worker. The BEC hosts regular Bible lessons and also operates as a fieldworker domicile and ecclesial meeting place. A second BEC (BEC2) was established in Nov 2012 in coastal Sihanoukville. As of Apr 2015, BEC1 has 60 students, coming several times a week for English and/or Bible lessons. BEC2 has 25 students, some of whom are studying for baptism. The two BECs employ seven brothers and sisters for day-to-day running; they participate in: teaching, translating, cooking, cleaning, administration, student liaison and advertising. We try to maintain six full-time missionaries at the two BECs. This is subject to volunteer availability, which is in turn subject to funding availability.
We run an annual Bible school in PP. Almost all brothers attend, as well as visitng brethren from elsewhere in SE Asia. The school costs $46 300. There are also three Sunday schools: Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Kampong Speu, a village outside PP. Kampong Speu is the largest, regularly attracting over 100 children. It is also the home of some brothers and sisters and the Sunday School classes take place at their family’s homes.
Cambodia is a poor country and the local brothers and sisters could never financially support the BECs or their preaching programs. The work is reliant on the generous support of others, including our volunteer fieldworkers, who are our most valuable resource. To maintain the Bible School, two BECs plus the Ecclesial Centre in Siem Reap; with rent, stipends and ongoing welfare, would require an annual sum of $134,550, for which we appeal.
Request authors: Bre: Raju Devis (Sydney, Aus), Vitou Phan (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Michael Hewitt, Jonathan Saxon, John Collins (Brisbane, Aus), Luke Mansfield (Adelaide, Aus), John Pople (San Francisco, USA)