When the pandemic first hit the country of Cambodia, everything shut down… just like everywhere else. And just like everywhere else, the economic impact has been devastating. And while this time has been incredibly difficult for everyone, this pandemic has added to the situation of the people of Cambodia who already suffered from extreme poverty.
In May, just as COVID was getting into full swing, a severe drought caused most of our church families to lose their rice crops. And when the rains finally did come, they came in such force that, this past month, many families lost their second crop of rice to massive flooding.
We are so thankful for the support of those who sacrificially give to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM). In both May and October, NCM has provided much-needed assistance with food, seed, and even two water wells, which has blessed over 700 families.
But amid so much hardship, disappointment, and difficulty, our Nazarene pastors are standing firm, persevering, and pressing forward!
At the last DAB meeting, District Superintendent Kevin Campbell-White asked the question, “What obstacles are keeping us from fulfilling our mission to make disciples and serve our communities, and what can we do to overcome these obstacles?” And their response brought tears to his eyes.
The pastors began to list the many difficulties they faced but quickly stated, “There are many things that keep us from meeting together and sharing the Gospel and helping others. But none of that matters because, with God, all things are possible, so we just keep meeting, sharing the Gospel, and helping anyway.”
And that is precisely what they have been doing!
In the past six months, the church in Cambodia has begun new works in eleven unreached villages. They will continue to disciple them until there is an established church in each village and then send them out to reach more unreached villages!
In mid-October, our pastors came together in various locations to baptize almost a hundred new believers!
Because of extensive flooding in one area, those present had to wade through slippery, knee-deep, muddy water to get to a place where they could baptize twenty people. All the believers were filled with joy as they shared a meal afterward. Because of the generosity of some donors in the US, each new believer was given their very own Bible, a priceless gift for which they were exceedingly thankful!
Our Cambodian pastors traveled for three days to different areas, baptizing, teaching, and worshipping with children and teenagers, moms and dads, and grandmas and grandpas as they celebrated all that God is doing in their midst.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18 says,
“We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
We are so thankful for our local team of missionaries, Yacob & Sunok Ko, Shannon Smith, and SeungYub Jang & Yeji Kim, who continue to live the truth of this Scripture as they serve alongside our pastors and the people of God in Cambodia amid these difficult times. Together we fix our eyes on the glorious future that God has prepared for us all!
Article submitted by Kevin Campbell-White
District Superintendent of the Cambodian District
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