Training Tribal Pastors in Cambodia

Huy Ly
DPM Cambodia Outreach Director
Huy Ly
DPM Cambodia Outreach Director
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Ratanakiri is a province located in north-east Cambodia, bordering Laos to the north and Vietnam to the east, and is about a 10-hour drive by car from the capital city, Phnom Penh.  A combination of different tribal groups live in the area, which is among the least developed provinces of Cambodia.  Life expectancy is low, with men’s at just 39 years of age and women’s at 43 years. Education levels are also low, with just under half of the population illiterate.

We contacted a local pastor from an ethnic group and asked him to gather 40 local pastors together so that we could hold our first ever DPM pastors’ seminar in this province – a very exciting event for us.  It was a great experience for our team to stay in a tribal village homestay surrounded by many trees and simple facilities. Unfortunately, pastor Veasna and his family got a skin rash due to an allergy to the old bed, so we moved to a proper hotel for the second night.

The seminar was amazing!  The pastors are from five different tribal groups and they worship in their local language using their musical instruments. We brought different DPM teaching materials, and we focussed on Derek’s book, Applying the Blood. Many wonderful testimonies were shared during the seminar; we would like to share just four of them with you:

Pastor Knaktha

I was born into a Christian family; they became Christians in 1940, at the same time as my Grandmother. However, at that time, I was not a believer. My Father was a pastor with eight children. I never appreciated him as a pastor, and I disliked him. The pastors are never wealthy, and he always had mission trips away from home. As children, we always had rice with soybean sauce, which might have made others think my Father was rich, but he was very poor.

I was a drunkard; I had been drinking since I was 18 after passing high school. I would drink until I became very drunk, lost consciousness, walked naked, and slept at the market. My first wife was a musician, and we had a daughter together. But because I drank too much, she could not bear to be with me and so we broke up. After waiting for seven years, I decided to marry my second wife, and she was extremely patient with me.

By the grace of God, one day, I was ashamed to be with my wife and children, and prayed for God to take my life. That night, my wife and I held hands and prayed for God's help, and the next day we went to church. It was wonderful. Since we prayed that day, I was no longer interested in alcohol, and I started reading the Bible. My life has changed so much. I take up the responsibilities for my family. One day, my wife asked me to have a can of beer. I replied, “How can I drink if I am not thirsty? I don’t want to drink alcohol anymore”.

“God's love is amazing to me. The Blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin. I believe my Father prayed a lot for me. Now I am a believer and a pastor; a good Father and a good husband.”

Pastor Pinuck

My name is Pinuck and I am a leader in the church in Ratanakiri province. I was born and raised in the Phnong, a Mon-Khmer tribe of north-eastern Cambodia.

As we learned about Applying the Blood from Derek Prince’s book, it helped me to better understand the power and great value of the Blood of Jesus shed for me.

The villagers in my community (the Phnong tribe), including me, who did not yet believe in Jesus Christ, applied a similar practice to help the sick to be healed and to be forgiven. When people get sick, the Elder in the community kills a buffalo, puts the blood in a bowl, then dips chicken feathers into the blood and applies it to the patient's feet. Then the patient recovers, but most of the time (a few months later), he/she would become sick again and die. This tradition continued from generation to generation in my community.

“But the Blood of Jesus, the Son of God, has great power. He shed His blood and offered Himself as a sacrifice once and for all. His Blood cleanses us from all sin, free from all curses, Christ's righteousness imputed to us and allows us to enter into the Father’s presence with confidence. Amen!”

Pastor Sitha

I am the wife of a pastor and a leader in the church in Ratanakiri province. Before I believed in Jesus, I was sick for four years because of a demon. My family was in dire need because I was sick. My parents always packed their clothes and went to the shaman's house to do the watering ceremony and other ceremonies to cast out demons. In the end, no one could cast out demons and heal me, and my parents were devastated. At that time, I was called a lost soul. I lost consciousness and my parents were very desperate; they did not know how to help me anymore.

My brother knew a believer, and so he took me to a church. At first, I did not believe it, and I hated the name of Jesus.  I even cursed Him.

Two weeks later, I heard the Word of God, and I confessed  in Jesus' name that I should be free from sin and overcome the devil. God worked miracles through that proclamation. When I returned to my hometown, I removed and burned all the altars in my house.

My tears are shed today because I am so excited about the love and redemption Jesus Christ has for me. Because of the Blood of Jesus, I am redeemed and free, as the Bible says.

In Him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.  (Ephesians 1:7)
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)

I am now a very committed servant of Jesus Christ, proclaiming the Gospel of His love and redemption to many people in Cambodia.

Pastor Sattya

My name is Sattya, and I’m a pastor in Ratanakiri province. We came to live in Ratanakiri province in 2016 and started a church there. At the foot of the mountain, there is a place called the head of water; the water there never dries up and it is always wet. This was the land that I bought. The Pnong tribe people believe that it was here where the demons lived. The devils always scared the villagers who went there and made them sick. Many people are afraid to go there and I was warned not to.

After much prayer, we decided to buy the land. When my family went to live there, the villagers waited to see what would happen. They wondered why nothing happened to my family. Instead, there was a change in that place to a beautiful land with a garden, a fish pond, and other crops. I was asked why my family could live there. I told them that it was by the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ that set us free and overcame Satan.

Relief Work to the Tribal Community

Praise the Lord for His provision!  This meant we could organize relief work with the local churches for 50 families after the seminar. The community here is very poor, and they were extremely happy to have the food we gave out.  We also preached the Gospel of Jesus and prayed for the sick and for deliverance for those who needed it. We also invited them to church every Sunday and the local pastors will follow up with them.

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