Category Archives: News

New Life in Christ for the Suoy People

The Joshua Project estimates that there are about 1,600 Suoy in Cambodia. This people group has its own language but most people also understand Khmer. Most are animist in their beliefs, worshipping spirits to whom they offer sacrifices in order to appease them. The Joshua Project puts the number of Christians among the Suoy at 1.5%, or 24 persons.

Recently, a CCC team had the privilege of accompanying pastors and a church planter from the Association of Living Hope in Christ Churches on a visit to a Suoy village near Phnom Aoral, Cambodia’s highest mountain. We were joined by our long-time friend Barnabas Mam, one of the pioneers of the Cambodian church, who was to speak to a gathering of Suoy adults and children.

Having reached Aoral District, we drove through steady rain along a further 20 miles of muddy, uneven roads to the village. We prayed that the rain would stop so as not to hinder people from attending the meeting and hearing the good news of Jesus. As we arrived, the rain petered out and did not start again until Barnabas had finished speaking.

Barnabas Mam preaching to the Suoy people

Starting from the existing beliefs of the people, Barnabas delivered a humorous but compelling presentation of the Christian message. At the conclusion of his talk he invited any who wished to put their trust in Jesus Christ and turn to Him from spirit worship to signify their intention. 42 adults and a similar number of children did so. If they were all born again the percentage of Suoy Christians has increased from 1.5% to nearly 7%.

The CCC team contributed nothing to this outreach other than our prayers and encouragement. Even after, say, 20 years of language and cultural study we could not have achieved what Barnabas (in the power of the Holy Spirit) did in a single hour. We came away humbled and renewed in our conviction that the people best able to reach Cambodia for Christ are the Cambodian Christians. Khmer can reach Khmer, but they can also cross barriers to other people groups in their country far more effectively than could an expatriate missionary.

Children of Cambodia

Original dumpWe started the Dump Kids project nine years ago with the aim of rescuing 15 children from scavenging for recyclable materials in appalling conditions on Phnom Penh’s rubbish dump. We sent them to school, gave them some basic healthcare and provided a daily cooked meal for them in order to improve their standard of nutrition and remove some of the pressure on their parents to force them to work in order to get enough money to pay for their food.

Some of the children have completed school and found employment or are in vocational training centres. Some were placed in orphanages following the death of both parents from AIDS. Some families’ level of income has risen sufficiently to enable them to provide for their children without our help. None of the parents now has to work on the dump (so we renamed the project Children of Cambodia) but all are still desperately poor. Every time a child has left, another needy one has taken his or her place.

HomeThe dump was filled up and has been replaced by another in a different location. What used to be wasteland just outside Phnom Penh’s city limits is now part of the suburbs. The standard of living of people in the area is rising, but the families whose children we support are an exception to this. Some of the parents work in Thailand and their children are living with grandparents in little more than shacks. Support for their education and the daily meal are still vital.

In December, I spent a morning with the pastor who manages the Children of Cambodia project for us, and some of the children whom we help. Because of the shortage of teachers, Cambodian children go to school either in the morning or in the afternoon; these were due to go in the afternoon. Those cared for by our project cross over at the pastor’s home where his wife cooks their daily lunch that we pay for.

HomeTen years or more ago, the pastor planted a church near the then Phnom Penh municipal rubbish dump, located just outside the city’s built-up area. His vision was to make disciples among the dump scavengers and their families. Since then, the dump has been filled to capacity and the city has expanded. Much of what used to be waste ground is now heavily built up. The pastor bought a modest house in the area and the church now meets on its roof under a metal awning, but the church members, most of whom had to find other sources of income after being excluded from the replacement dump, have been displaced by the new development and have had to find new places to live outside the ever expanding city.

AlleyThe pastor told me his calling is to preach the gospel to the poor, so where the poor go, he will follow. He anticipates that when he retires from his job he will move to a poorer area to plant another church and serve the people there. I admire this humble man, who could have done well for himself out of the corruption normally associated with his job but has instead decided to serve the kind of people that Jesus delighted in spending time with. He even pays for food for the children out of his own pocket when CCC has insufficient funds to send to Cambodia.

After our meeting, the pastor took me in his dilapidated car to visit some of the children’s homes. As I trod gingerly along a path of scattered bricks and stepped over a rivulet of something unpleasant I offered a silent prayer of thanks that this was the dry season and the area was not under a foot or more of water. As you look at some of the photos of these homes that the pastor took, please pray for the children and their families.

Myers Cooper

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CCC’s Open Day a Success

We thank the Lord for answered prayer for our successful open day, held on 14 March 2015 at Ellesmere Port, UK.

Following our regular Council meeting, held four times a year, we welcomed a succession of visitors who came to learn about Cambodia and the work of CCC from displays, video presentations and conversations with Council members, while enjoying a buffet lunch.

We hope to repeat this event on future occasions to inform and get to know existing and potential supporters of CCC.

CCC Council members
CCC Council Members at the Open Day