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Touch teaching

April Banner Article: The Effects of the Khmer Rouge on the Church Today by Mr. Touch Am in Cambodia

Posted on Apr 5, 2018

With an honor and respect for the calling of God, I would like to give an overview of ministry from my perspective. I hope to give an objective layout through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So here I divide my thoughts into two parts: first for adults and second for the children.

An average of seven to eight individuals are participating in the Sunday service regularly. Though not much in number, they are growing spiritually. They show passion in both reading and understanding the Word of God. Part of the history of the dark past of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge is that not only were people murdered, but also Cambodia’s entire system, most especially its education system, was ruined. This event manifests its effects to the generation of the elders today, at least to rural areas where learning is scarce. and they can neither read nor write.

Because this present older generation was able to survive and outlast the Rouge without giving importance to the revival of a good education, they do not encourage the young generation to get into school and learn. They rather send the youth to labor or apply as factory workers, opting to stop studying so that they can help in providing for their family. For this reason, I am glad to see the congregation’s passion in learning through reading the Scripture. Now, most of them are able to read and write properly.

Along with this, they are no longer ashamed of carrying and bringing their own Bibles when coming to our corporate worship. Many are now taking down notes from the teachings of the message every week.

Second, children are unstable in terms of numbers. The attendance fluctuates in line with weather, events, or life situations.  Most of the children, when they turn 15, become timid and shy in church and Sunday school, especially in songs. And eventually, they cease to come to church.

This is a recurring concern to most Cambodian Christian churches, and the absence of children in churches is taken advantage of by their Buddhist community. But most of them stop coming to church because they need to go to the city where jobs for factory employment can be given, even at young ages.

Thus, this pattern becomes a cycle of history. Always remember us in your prayers as we ask for God’s wisdom to resolve this recurring concern of the country, or if there is an existing solution, may we all be a help or agent to give way and rise to a Christian nation.

Mr. Touch Am, Cambodia

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