Cambodia (MNN) — In Cambodia, streams of grace are replacing Pol Pot’s killing fields. Asian Access (A2) is teaching believers like Meng Aun Hour how to share their faith.
“Cambodia is really open for the Gospel of Jesus. We can go out and preach the Gospel, do church planting,” Aun Hour shares.
Killing fields and genocide
The ’70s were a dark time for Cambodia. Pol Pot’s brutal Communist dreams resulted in a wide-scale slaughter of roughly 25% of Cambodia’s population.
Because Pol Pot wanted to create a so-called “agricultural utopia,” he drove millions of people from Cambodia’s cities into the countryside. Thousands died along the way; the rest were forced into slave labor, working the fields from about 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to HistoryPlace.com.
During Pol Pot’s four years in power, approximately 2-3 million people died of starvation, overwork, or executions. Mass graves discovered in the 1980’s introduced the world to Cambodia’s horrors; eventually, the phrase “killing field” was coined to describe the immensity of Pol Pot’s genocide.
A man formerly at the helm of this killing spree–he used to be a Khmer Rouge general under Pol Pot’s command–has been redeemed by the death of One.
“He used to kill many people before he [came] to know the Lord Jesus as Savior,” says Aun Hour.
“Now, he [planted] about 100 churches along the border of Cambodia and Thailand. God [is] using him powerfully to plant churches, to make disciples for His Kingdom.”
Streams of grace
The first class graduated from A2’s pastoral training course in 2005. Since then, God’s Kingdom hasn’t stopped growing in Cambodia.
Inspired by the effectiveness of A2’s two-year training for senior pastors, Aun Hour developed a similar program for church leaders at every level. At the “School of Discipleship,” Cambodian Christians learn how to become better youth ministry leaders, church planters, women’s ministry leaders, etc.
“What they have learned they can put into practice right away, they [don’t] have to wait two or three years, like other Bible schools,” explains Aun Hour.
This spring, they want to add another layer of learning.
Aun Hour says, “They need to know more about the Word of God; they need more training.”
Enter: the Abe Huber Seminar. Aun Hour and his team are still getting last-minute details and funding together, but so far they are expecting 100 pastors to attend the seminar on May 22.
“We [are] excited to have him, because we want to learn more about discipleship,” says Aun Hour. “Most of the pastors became a pastor in Cambodia without training.”
With a specific focus on one-on-one discipleship, Huber’s church in Brazil has over a million members. Aun Hour says he and his fellow leaders want to see that kind of growth in Cambodia.
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