TO RAISE THE DESPERATELY NEEDED ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR BIBLES
OVERSEAS, WE HAVE ADOPTED CAMBODIA AS OUR A COUNTRY OF FOCUS.
Our goal over the next 18 months is $250,000. There are many factors that led to this decision:
Australia’s connections with the country of Cambodia, geographic proximity, members
with a strong interest (including the deep involvement of an Australian member with the early work of the ministry
It is estimated that the Gideons in Cambodia could distribute around 150,000 Bibles and New Testaments per year,
at a cost of $250,000. As the Gideon ministry in Australia, we need to increase our contribution to international Bibles
by around $250,000 in order to help the international ministry meet its targets. In other words, Cambodia’s need corresponds to our challenge.
Despite high economic growth since 2000, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. As of 2012, approximately 2.66 million people live on less than US$1.20 per day, and 37% of Cambodian children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. From 1975 to 1979 Cambodia suffered a genocide under the communist Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot. It is estimated that between 1.5 million and 2.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during this period. While the Gideon ministry had been established in Cambodia, all was lost during the Khmer Rouge years. The ministry was, however, reopened in 1993 and since then over 815,000 Scriptures have been distributed there!
One of our Australian members regularly visits Cambodia to encourage and support the growth of the Gideon ministry there. The following are testimonies from the ministry work in Cambodia:
Mr Phou Shet was abandoned at 8 years of age by his parents. He found shelter and food in a monastery and became a monk. At 17 years old, he came across a Bible. After reading, he joined a church. Today he is a businessman employing 15 people. He is a member of the Gideons ministry and leader of the group in Siem Reap.
Pastor Sam Chanrith came to know Christ, after receiving a copy of the Khmer Testament on campus of the Phnom Penh University in 1993 when he was a student at the medical faculty (he studied pharmacy). Now, Chief Medical Officer of Kampong Thom Province and a pastor, Sam is well regarded as he started many churches.
Doors are now wide open (blown off the hinges) for Bibles in schools, military, police, hotels, prisons…To God be all the glory!
population: 15.9 million - two thirds of population under 30 years old
religion: Buddhist (official) 96.9%, Muslim 1.9%, Christian 0.4%, other 0.8%
type of government: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
language (official): khmer
ethnicity: khmer 90%, vietnamese 5%, other 5%
gideon members: 175