Think of a nation like Northern Ireland – most have heard of Jesus whether they choose to believe or not. Now think of a nation where many have never heard the name of Jesus let alone had the opportunity to believe or not. Cambodians have been steeped in tradition and the teachings of Buddhism, from birth they are very careful about what they believe and don't believe.
Elim has a church in Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia, which was officially planted about three and a half years ago. Starting with about 12 people the church has grown to about 70 adults. But it cannot stop there. We yearn for so much more and although we have many more ministries than just Sunday morning services in our city church we also have started planting churches in the villages we work in.
We started with a kids club; within weeks over 100 children and maybe 6 adults were listening to what was being taught. It didn't take long to start seeing things happen; the children’s singing and worship to God was so anointed, we were regularly brought to tears listening and watching them raise their hands in praising God. The usual Bible stories were taught, the ones we all know so well yet none of them had heard before; about Abraham and Isaac or Noah and his boat. Every single word they heard they were breathing in and before our eyes we were witnessing change in these little lives.
English classes were started because we wanted to help these kids not only in spirit but also in every aspect of their lives. We are really passionate about this. If the child has an education and gets a good job the cycle of poverty is broken in the family. This then led to the older youth starting a Bible class and it was at this point that we were ready to plant the church.
We eventually got permission from the district chief to start the church and because the elders of the community had seen that our hearts and intentions were honourable they have really embraced us by coming and listening and even interacting as well.
Our first service saw 25 adults sitting on the ground in circles, sharing food… it was amazing. As expected numbers dropped over the next few weeks to 10 but that was still more than we first anticipated attending. We now have regularly close to 20 people meeting and the best news is that 7 of them have now given their lives to Jesus. There is no other place on earth that I would rather be than sitting sharing Jesus to these wonderful people who trust us because we impacted those around them in all areas of their lives.
Moving forward our second village is primed for a church with a further village work starting in 2016. In Cambodia things that last are the things that are carefully built and we believe this is the structure God has led us to use. Our vision is to see Elim church plants all over Cambodia but we need your help through prayer and through giving, why not partner with us today through the BeChurch Campaign, may God bless you all.
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