Reaching pastors and youth in 2 provinces in Cambodia: Kratie and Stueng Trang
PASTOR SEMINAR IN KRATIE PROVINCE
The Kratie province is located in the northeast of Cambodia, 239 km from Phnom Penh. The capital of the province, Kratie, has a population of about 47,215 and lies on the banks of Mekong River.
Kratie is the most popular place in the country to see Irrawaddy dolphins, and there is a rich legacy of French- Era architecture, as it was spared the wartime bombing that destroyed so many other provincial centers.
Pastor Huy, our DPM outreach partner, and his team travelled for almost seven hours from Phnom Penh to the Kratie province, which was flooded two months ago and the road going to the local church was very muddy, yet 45 of the local pastors and leaders coming to the DPM seminar walked through the rice fields in order to attend the meeting!
Huy: “We began with worship and pastor Veasna from the Sihanukvile Province also joined us for this trip, sharing his testimony of the challenges he faced when planting a church at Sihanukvile and how God led him during that time of persecution. Now his church is getting stronger and is a blessing to other churches.
Pastor Vicheat, one of our DPM-Cambodia translators, shared from The Divine Exchange. Another of our translators, Chhairith, led the topic of Spiritual Warfare and I (Huy) taught on Complete Salvation. It was a surprise to us when many of them said they cannot read the Khmer language. It was then that the pastor coordinating the meetings informed us that some of the pastors are from different tribal groups. So five of us helped by reading out the teaching material and leading the discussion. Most of local pastors do not receive proper Biblical training, and their understanding of the Bible is limited, simply because they cannot read. What we experienced in this situation was quite different from our expectation, and we pray that the Lord grants us wisdom to adjust ourselves quickly in these situations so that the message we share is in line with the local church needs and culture. This group of pastors is in need of more support and training and we hope to make a return visit.”
PASTOR SEMINAR INSTUENG TRANG PROVINCE
Stueng Trang is a northern province of Cambodia with a population of 112,000 and its northern boundary is Cambodia’s international border with Laos. It was formerly called Xieng Teng and was once a part of the vast Khmer Empire, known as the Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang and later the Lao Kingdom of Champassack. During the period of French Indochina, it was again ceded to Cambodia.
Huy continues his report: “Fifteen local pastors and 15 youth leaders attended our teaching seminar. After worship and a testimony, we again taught on The Divine Exchange; Spiritual Warfare and Complete Salvation. This group was really eager to learn and were amazed at the teaching; their faces changed with a lot of smiles after the seminar. DPM books were given to all of them to use in their churches. Our observation is that many people can speak Khmer and Lao and so we pray that may the Lord uses this province to bless the people of Laos with Derek’s Bible teaching.”
DPM YOUTH OUTREACH KRATIE & STUENGTRANG PROVINCE
Huy: “The local pastors shared with us that they don’t have much experience reaching out to youth, hence youth outreaches are not familiar in the Kratie and Stueng Trang Provinces. However, they invited as many young people from the village as they could and asked us to lead this outreach. Our team spent time sharing with the local church our experiences with youth and which activities are the best to hold with them.
As October is school holiday time, it was a good time to have youth outreach. Many young people help their parents by working in the rice fields and we waited for them to come back from the fields at 6.30 p.m. before starting the outreach.
Our team lead some ice-breaking games with praise and worship; Pastor Veasna shared the Gospel message and we distributed Derek’s youth cards to encourage them.
It was a touching time when they raised their hand accepting Jesus as their Savior. Some of the young people from the church prayed for their friends, who had made the greatest decision of their lives that day. The local pastors were so happy and would like to hold more youth outreach in their churches.
We pray that the Lord multiplies the number of young people in churches, and we praise God for using us to teach, encourage and share our experiences with local pastors and to be able to reach out to more young people.”