Forty Years Ago: Part 8

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 8, February 1975

Sine January 1st the Khmer capital of Phnom Penh has felt the brunt of the New Year offensive by anti-government forces. Daily rocket attacks, artillery shelling and mortar fire have pounded the city and many have been killed or injured. “Almost constant booms and rumblings fill the air,” writes a missionary. “We have heard of many new refugees fleeing to the city, including Cham people, and others who didn’t make it.” The international airport has been hit by rockets, and barges bringing supplies up the Mekong river have sometimes been attacked and sunk. Necessities such as rice and fuel have been affected as supply routes are attacked resulting in shortages in the city.

Pray for the Khmer people. Especially remember our brethren in Christ. Pray also for the missionary personnel. How hard it is to really understand what it must be like to be surrounded, continually wondering where the next shell will fall. May God’s people know His peace and the assurance of His Word that “their times are in His hands”. He will not fail them.

Agreement has been reached between one remaining Vietnamese Christian family still in Phnom Penh and the Khmer congregation using the Vietnamese Church to convert the ground floor of the former parsonage into a well stocked Christian bookstore.

There are now twenty-eight Sunday Schools in the capital. Last month classes for teens began. Scripture Press teen lessons are being translated to meet the need.

A Bible Class in English sponsored by the Chinese Church in Phnom Penh attracted over a hundred students and business people. Several have professed salvation as a result of the classes. Daniel Lam, from Hong Kong, is the Church’s pastor.

The first Christian hospital (a joint project of World Vision and the C. & M.A.) should be ready for patients in April. Pray for this testimony to the love of Christ.

During the latter part of 1974 a number of Khmer in the vicinity of Cantho in South Vietnam prayed to receive Christ. Some of them were contacted during a leadership training session in which participants spent two and a half afternoons in personal witness.

With provincial dignitaries and Khmer speaking Christians from other parts of the province in attendance, the first church among the Khmer in Thailand was dedicated at Surin. Four other groups of Khmer-speaking believers hope to build churches in the near future.

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