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Once-ravaged by Communist Forces, Cambodia Experiences Openness to the Gospel by Radio

ICC Note: Cambodia open in news ways as never before to Christian message
By Michael Ireland

1/26/10 Cambodia (ANS) — From 1975-1979, Cambodia was held in terror by the Khmer Rouge regime, and an estimated two million people lost their lives.

As Cambodia was devastated by the Communist Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, the capital of Phnom Penh was emptied, and the countryside became the tragic site of the ‘killing fields’ where 2 million people perished.

Christians, religious leaders and intellectuals were slaughtered by the thousands, leaving the nation in shambles for decades to come.

More than half the population in Cambodia now is under the age of 21, deeply impacted by poverty, lack of education and the loss of family members. Cambodia has the highest rate of child abandonment in Southeast Asia.

But now, through a combination of FM radio programs and on-the-ground follow-up, international broadcast ministry TWR seeks to minister to the women, youth, children and oral communicators of Cambodia.

“The message of Christ is changing many lives in this tiny nation, which was once a symbol of suffering and pain, through the dedicated service of the staff at TWR-Cambodia,” says an e-mail ministry update.

TWR’s ministry in Cambodia includes programs for children, youth, women and those who communicate primarily by oral means.

** ‘Happy Children’s Garden’ is adapted from Mrs. G’s Bible Stories Alive, and teaches Bible lessons as well as biblical traditions, religions, customs, culture, and the geography of the Holy Land. This 15-minute program is broadcast weekly in Khmer.

** ‘It’s Yours’ is produced by TWR-Cambodia to proclaim the Creator to non-believing young people living in Cambodia’s cities. It’s Yours seeks to help young people understand what a purpose-filled life looks like, and eventually guide them to receive the Lord as their Savior, glorifying Him as they grow in spiritual maturity. This 30-minute radio program is broadcast weekly in English and Khmer.
** ‘Learning Through Listening’ is a program for Cambodian oral communicators. It communicates biblical truths through oral means such as storytelling and songs, and provides bridges that help overcome common barriers that Cambodians may face when trying to understand the Gospel. This 30-minute radio program is broadcast weekly in Khmer.
** ‘Women of Hope (Khmer)’ caters to the great needs of the women of Cambodia. The program is designed to offer them compassion and hope, letting them know that they are understood and cared for, and pointing them to Jesus Christ. This 30-minute program is broadcast weekly in Khmer.

Given the great spiritual hunger of the Cambodian people, TWR says it’s not surprising that ministry staff regularly receives letters like this: “I like to listen because this program helps me to know God’s Word.

“It especially helps to change my life from doing things that do not please God. Thank you so much for telling me about the Savior Jesus — that He can save me from my sins and that He also can change my heart from bad to good. I have invited Him to come into my life.”