A Growing Church in Cambodia


This week's post is an excerpt from Rachel Brink's newsletter. Brink works with World Renew (formerly known as CRWRC) in Cambodia.

When Kompong Phnom Church (KPC) started partnering with World Renew five years ago, there were just ten members. Despite their small number, the church wanted to make a difference in the community. They faced serious challenges in the beginning.

Pastor Soy Thon said, “Discrimination was a problem at first. When we tried to do agriculture training, people thought we were preaching and they wouldn’t come.” However, KPCwas persistent in loving their neighbors, and they have become an example in their community. Today they have 95 members and they are working with three villages to address issues identified by the community members. KPC has two community organizers that manage a lot of the day to day aspects of this important work. They are not hesitant to share how their lives have changed: 

I thought Jesus was a European God, but now I see that God is also an Asian God. He is for everyone. I have been transformed through the Good News.

One of the ways these kingdom workers have grown is their courage in speaking out on behalf of their neighbors. They have a good relationship with the local authorities and work together with them to respond to the challenges the communities face.

One of the most serious issues the community members deal with is lack of income. In order to address this need, KPC has started several savings groups and animal banks. Two years ago, the pig bank started with eight pigs. They were given to some of the poorest families in the community. When the first litter of piglets was ready to wean, the families gave two of them back to the bank. These piglets were then given to another family, and so on, so that the income cycle could continue. To date, 24 families have benefited from the pig bank. The church also has a similar chicken bank. Sor Choun started out three years ago with three chickens, and he now has over 200. If the pig and chicken bank members take good care of their animals and sell them at the right times, they can also make a good profit.

Pastor Soy Thon has also become involved in a more unique kind of animal raising project. Behind the church there are over 2,000 frogs! Pastor Thon learned how to grow frogs from another church, and he decided to try it for himself. The first two times the project failed,  but on the third try he was successful. After learning from experience, he has had the opportunity to train more than 20 people in frog-raising techniques, including community members and visitors from other churches. He plans to teach another group in the next few months. Frog meat is popular in Cambodia and he is able to get $3 a kilo in the dry season when wild frogs are hard to come by, and he can get $10 a kilo for breeding stock. So far he has sold more than 200 kilos. Pastor Thon said, “The frogs are a blessing from God. It looked like the project would fail, but now they are growing fast!”

God is using this growing church in unique ways to meet the needs of their community. If you’d like to give a gift that keeps on growing  this year, consider purchasing a pig or chicken from the World Renew gift catalog.

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