Last year, a team from SCF reached out to over 300 youths and children in Cambodia.
This year you have an opportunity to encourage this young population and get a deeper experience of God’s love.
Who can join?
As for the SCF church services, the trip is open to foreign ID holders, including Taiwan, HK and Macau. No particular skills are required – come as you are!
Those who are going to Cambodia must be committed. Generally, they are expected to fulfill all responsibilities assigned, including fundraising, preparation and promotion tasks. Exceptions can be made. If you are not able to join the trip, you can help with:
- Finding resources
- Fundraising, either for the team or directly to the ministry in Cambodia
- Promoting awareness
- Administrative and logistical support
Our mission base will be Battambang, a city about 180 miles (290 kilometers) away from the capital Phnom Penh. We will fly to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh. Our local contact are Sharelle & Stephane Theriault. Sharelle is an Australian citizen and Stephane is Canadian. They have a family with three children. Their education ministry covers more than 100 students each day. We have also partnered with a Youth With a Mission base in Battambang.
The ministry will mainly be directed towards kids and youth. For instance:
- Teach English classes
- Sunday school
- Kid’s club
- Hospital visits
- Sports ministry
- Practical work like painting, weeding or clearing land
- Making a promotion video for Sharelle & Stephane Theriault’s ministry
The team will consist of 12-15 persons. The expected costs per person is 5500 RMB including flights, visa, insurance, ministry donations and ground fees. The flight ticket price is the major cost. The final price depend on the flight tickets price and how much support we raise as a group. The accommodation standard is guest house with air-conditioning.
Why should you go?
In their poverty, the Cambodians need financial support. But even more, they need to see that someone cares enough to visit them. God also wants us to connect with our Christian brothers and sisters in Cambodia, so we can encourage one another in our mutual faith (Rom 1:12). The people of Cambodia are searching for truth. Be a part of how God is redeeming and restoring!
God will stretch you. Expect to grow in your relationship with Him! Overcome your fears! When you get back from the poverty in Cambodia, you will be more grateful for what you normally take for granted.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. “Go therefore…” (Matthew 28:18-19).
Cambodia’s Gloomy History
Cambodia is a fertile, forest-covered state. Logging has reduced the rainforest, which once covered much of the country. Years of war, genocide and corruption have hindered development. Consequently, Cambodia is one of the world’s poorest countries. Agriculture, garments and tourism are the highest earners. The garment industry accounts for about 70% of Cambodia’s total exports.
Since the 15th century, Cambodia had 500 years of regional and global conflicts with Thai, Vietnamese, French, Japanese and US invasions or occupations, before the Vietnam War spilled over to Cambodia in 1970-75. The extreme Marxist Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975 and orchestrated one of the most savage slaughters in the 20th Century. Nearly two million were killed, over 60 000 lost life or limb to landmines and most of the population over age 30 need deep healing from the trauma of their losses and suffering. Almost all former military personnel, civil servants, doctors, educated people and wealthy people and their families were killed. The nation was turned into a vast labour camp. In 1993 a internationally initiated democracy was established. Still, corruption is rife and profoundly affects political life. Violence, manipulation, graft and selfishness have been the rule. Officials have sold huge swathes of Cambodia’s land to rapacious foreigners, with locals driven out and evicted from their homes to make way for hotels and resorts.
Fifty percent of the population are below 25 years old, due to the genocide. Many of the young are exploited by others. Poverty forces over 1.5 million children under age 15 to work to survive, often at the price of their education, health or even their lives. Sex trade enriches a small number of wicked men, but causes suffering to many. Victims number up to 100 000 and the country have one of the highest rates of HIV in Asia. Many poor parents sell their own children to traffickers for as little as USD $10. Poverty also causes high number of street kids and unwanted children.
Also in the people in general, there have been a general moral collapse. Drug trafficking and abused have increased greatly the last 15 years and crime lords profit from the suffering. Children and young people need to be effectively discipled in the churches and shown how to live in healthy family structures.
Cambodia’s Mission History
The gospel came late to Cambodia. Buddhism has been the national religion since the 15th century. About 83% of the population are Buddhists. The first Protestant missionary arrived in 1923, translated the New Testament in 1933 and published the whole Bible in 1953. Its message was not welcome and few believed or obeyed it. They labored in 47 years before breakthrough began. In 1965 the Government’s anti-American crusade forced foreign missionaries to withdraw. After 40 years of work they left the Khmer Evangelical Church with less than one thousand members.
In 1970, with the rise of pro-American regime, and the return of missionaries, there was freedom and growth for the Church. Many turned to God. There were large evangelistic crusades and Christians labored with a sense of urgency as the Khmer Rouge sought to eradicate all religion. From 1975, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fled to Thailand, where they were housed in refugee camps. Missionaries previously expelled from the country went to the camps with the message of hope, and over the following years several thousand more Cambodians were baptized.; 90 per cent of Christians and most Buddhist monks perished. Since 1979 there has been increasing tolerance. Christians have been allowed to worship openly since 1990.
After a long and tough mission challenge, Cambodia now sees unprecedented church growth. The growth rate among evangelicals is the 4th largest in the world, with an annual growth of 8.8 %, according to the latest statistics from 2010. 1.6 % of the population was Bible believing Christians in 2010 (0.07 % in 1985). This growth is almost entirely through church multiplication done by indigenous church planters and evangelists. Who could have expected such a breakthrough 30 years ago? There is an open door for the Gospel in the nation, despite or even because of, the awful past. The rapid growth of indigenous church planting ministries and multiplication of churches has been encouraging, with new churches starting every week. Mission Kampuchea is a shared vision by the national Churches to see a church in every village and people group in Cambodia by 2021. Mature leadership for the churches is the greatest challenge. Many new Christians quickly get into leadership before they are ready for it.