cambodia

History and Cultural Challenges

Cambodia is a beautiful tropical country with an exotic culture—but it is a country still recovering from the murderous reign of Pol Pot from 1975-1979.  During this period, nearly 25% of the population were murdered by their own government in what historians have called an “auto-genocide.”  The Khmer Rouge swept to power promising a utopian society based on communist equality.  However, almost immediately after they seized power, Cambodia descended into a hell on earth—marked by work camps, torture, starvation and wholesale murder.  

 

By 1979, when Pol Pot was toppled, Cambodia was in ruins.  Nearly every family had lost someone to the Killing Fields.  The economy was devastated, hunger was rampant, and everyone with an education had been murdered.  Poverty and illiteracy remain widespread to this day.  And when people are desperate, many social evils emerge such as sex trafficking, crime and political corruption.  

University Student Graduates of Harmony’s
 Learn2Work Center in Phnom Penh

Former Buddhist-background Students, Baptized!

REACHING BUDDHIST-BACKGROUND STUDENTS

Only a small percentage of Cambodians have a university education.  Having a college degree is a game-changer that opens doors for the best jobs, including positions in government.  Harmony's popular Learn2Work (L2W) Center offers free English and computer courses to Buddhist-background university students.  We invite our students to weekly Coffee-Table parties for fun and fellowship.  It is here that they are exposed to the Good News for the first time, while they experience worship and Christian community.  The result is a steady stream of Buddhist students becoming born-again Christians!  L2W has become so popular that our classes are typically filled to capacity.

New Life for Exploited Girls

Esther’s House
a Refuge for Young Girls

Team Harmony (left) and Team Esther’s House (right)—a Legendary Partnership

RESCUING YOUNG GIRLS FROM SEX EXPLOITATION

Poverty, dysfunctional families and spiritual darkness all contribute to rampant exploitation of young girls.  Harmony helps bring girls from unspeakable backgrounds into the loving care of Esther’s House, where they will be loved, provided an education, and taught about Jesus.  What was intended for evil in their lives becomes the Romans 8:28 catalyst for a life-changing experience where many meet Jesus and are healed—on every level. 

 

A large part of our fight against trafficking involves prosecution of sex-offenders.  Many offenders have been successfully prosecuted in Cambodia and in the U.S.

VILLAGE OUTREACH

Cambodia is a provincial country—the majority of people living in remote and primitive village settings.  A growing focus of our work is in the area of village outreach where we plant and support village churches, train pastors, and operate Christian schools for hundreds of village children.  Currently, we have ministry in Kandal, Prey Veng, Kratie, and Kampong Chhnang provinces.