Sihanoukville (also known as Kampong Som) is located on the west coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand, just over 200 km from Phnom Penh. This once sleepy and quiet city used to be the jewel of Cambodia’s tourism industry, but over the past two years it has been swamped by foreign investment and tourism, with vast amounts of construction taking place, making the city almost unrecognizable. The cost of living has risen rapidly, resulting in many local people moving away.
Covid-19 hit the local churches in Sihanoukville badly. People were prevented from gathering, and many churches shut down during that period. In late 2022, when the pandemic was under control, the local churches agreed to jointly organize a Christmas outreach, which the provincial governor was invited to attend. Here at DPM-Cambodia, we helped with the organization of this outreach and delivered hundreds of Derek’s teaching materials during that time.
Testimonial from Panha
Mr. Panha is 29 years old. During the Christmas celebration, he shared his testimony with our team:
“I faced many problems recently and I lost my job during the Covid-19 pandemic. By the Grace of the Lord, I can walk through the valley of death. Although I did not have money when I planned to marry my wife, I thank God for His love and care for me. By trusting God, He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. Even though I did not have enough money for my wedding, God showed me His provision for my wedding day. I never expected my special day to happen, but God made it happen for my wife and me. I believe that miracles still work among His beloved people.”
Panha is also a leader in his church where he helps with the children’s ministry. During this Christmas event, the DPM team shared with him more about the grace of God by sharing some points from Derek’s book, What’s So Important About the Cross?
Pastor Seminar in Sihanoukville
It is almost five years since we last held fellowship with the pastors in Sihanoukville, and we recognized the need for encouraging the local pastors. In March 2023, we organized a pastors’ seminar at Canaan World Church and invited 35 pastors to join us for teaching from three of Derek’s teachings - Praying for the Government, Father God and The Gifts of the Spirit.
Some significant events will happen in Cambodia in 2023, including the Asian Games in May and the national election in July. We all agree with the teaching in Derek’s book Praying for the Government that churches play an important role in praying for our nation and government. With this in mind, we will gather church members for regular prayer for our country. Of course, the Lord gives us different gifts; we also need to pray, encourage each other, and keep the fellowship amongst pastors.