Forty Years Ago: Part 6

In the year leading up to the fortieth anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge on 17 April 1975 we are publishing extracts from the newsletters produced by Cambodia for Christ.

Newsletter 6, October 1974

After four years of guerrilla warfare the Khmer have learned to carry on regardless of restrictions, shortages and many basic necessities being unobtainable. The inevitable inconveniences are accepted, life must go on. There has been an increase in political activity recently, and news reports of renewed bombing, but few details to include in this letter. Marshal Lon Nol, President of the Khmer Republic, made a public call for peace on 9th July. No prior conditions before talking together were asked from the Khmer Rouge, the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong from South Vietnam. Mr. Dean, the USA Ambassador in Phnom Penh, is working for a peaceful solution to the war.

The war has had its effects on schooling, as many French teachers and lecturers left the country when bombing increased earlier this year. The building programme has had to be curtailed due to supplies being needed for other projects and a slowing down of materials reaching the capital due to hazards along the Mekong River.

The Lord continues to bless Church growth. One missionary writes that church groups are beginning in many homes, the pattern in Acts is being reproduced, with spontaneous growth of fellowships primarily in the homes of new Christians. These new believers radiate their love for Christ.

Our prayers are requested for the establishing of a Church at Battambang after the meetings held by Ravi Zacharias in July. Many attended but few have carried on who professed faith in Christ. On this same theme we as the body of Christ are urged to pray much for the young converts in this land, that they may be kept during a period of confusion for them with numerous groups now coming to Cambodia. With so many Christians being untrained babes in Christ, it is difficult for them to determine who is genuine and who is not. Training sessions are being held and Bible classes taught but it is difficult to properly instruct all of those who come to Christ before they are contacted by other groups.

Please remember Major Chhirc Taing in Phnom Penh. He has many responsibilities in the Church: Executive Secretary, advisor to other projects, also head of the World Vision child-care programme. His duties as Secretary to the Minister of Defence are also very demanding. Pray that he may soon be reunited with his wife and daughter who are in Edinburgh.

Thank you for continued prayer for the Khmer people and those who work among them. May peace soon come, and the harvest be brought in while the open-door and opportunity exists.

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