The Cambodian people are a beautiful people known for their smiles. Their smiles are contagious. They love to play games, tell stories, sing, dance, and laugh. However, I have to come to learn that there is pain, hurt, and devastation behind their smiles, and underneath their laughter. Less then 40 years ago one third of the population was killed during what is called the “Khmer Rouge” from 1974 to 1979.
Everyone was forced out of the capital city, Phnom Penh, into the provinces to work as slave farmers. The educated were killed off. Family units were disrupted. Religion almost annihilated. Less then 200 Christians remained in Cambodia by the end of the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Cambodia has been rebuilding itself as a nation trying to recover from the atrocity that affected every sector of Cambodian society. Deep darkness only makes light brighter. The light of hope has been brought to Cambodia, and the church has grown from 200 people to about 350,000 as of 2016, but that is still only 3% of the Cambodian population. Cambodia is considered an unreached country. The vast majority of Cambodians don’t even know the name of Jesus. They don’t know the hope they have for this present life and for the life to come in eternity.
Potter’s Field Ministries partners with eight different village churches spread across four different provinces in Cambodia to help play a part in transforming these precious little lives forever by providing physical needs to show the true spiritual need for Jesus that they may become disciples of Christ and mighty soldiers for the Kingdom. When I travel to our Cambodian Potter’s Field Kids village locations, I love seeing children wear their PFK shirts walking down the street, riding their bikes, in their homes, at their school, and doing their chores. When I see children in the community wearing the PFK shirts it brings a smile to my face, tears to my eyes, and I am overcome with joy, because it represents hope to me.
The stories are hard to hear. The living conditions are heard to see. The devastation is hard to comprehend. But, when I see the children in the community wearing the PFK shirts I know they have been touched with hope. No matter how dark their life situation may be I know light has been brought into that darkness. I know that they are getting a daily meal. I know that they are receiving education. Most importantly, I know they are hearing the name of Jesus.
Seeing the children wearing the PFK shirts in the community is a tangible representation that they have been touched with the hope of the Gospel in seemingly hopeless situations for this present life and for the life to come in eternity. Please continue to pray with me that God’s Kingdom would be in Cambodia as it is in heaven!
‘Til the whole world hears!
-Anna Scott, Cambodia overseer