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The ministry of Heart for Cambodia began more than a decade ago when a church in Carrollton, Texas began to pray about how God wanted their church to get involved in global missions. They asked specifically that God would equip them to help fulfill the Great Commission by taking the gospel to an unreached people group. The answer to that prayer came in the form of a new member to the church. A Cambodian refugee named Chiv In.
A Return to Cambodia
Chiv came to the pastor’s office one day to sign up for a medical mission trip planned for Guatemala. The pastor was impressed by his enthusiasm. Only one problem: the Guatemala mission trip had just been canceled. The pastor began to ask Chiv about his native land. The pastor then asked Chiv how he would feel about organizing a church mission trip to Cambodia. How he answered would change his life.
Soon Carrollton’s First United Methodist Church found itself planning a trip to Cambodia, a country and a people that is 98% unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though Chiv had not been back to Cambodia in 30 years, he still had contacts there. He got in touch with someone he knew in the capital of Cambodia. A few months later, a small investigative team from First Church arrived in Phnom Penh. Chiv’s wife Emara stayed stateside promising her husband if he came back alive, she would go the next time.
A Surprise Visit
While in Phnom Penh some of the relatives that Chiv had not seen in 30 years showed up. He shared with them his conversion to Christianity. The relatives wanted to know more. Pretty soon Chiv was telling these long-lost relatives the story of the God who so loved this world that he sent his only son. He opened his Bible and shared how Jesus had to come shine his light in our lives and die a substitutionary death for our sins. That day several of his family came to faith in Jesus. Next, they demanded that Chiv come to their villages and tell their neighbors this wonderful message of forgiveness and resurrection. Chiv promised his sister he would come.
A Short-term Mission Trip Turns into a Full-time Mission
After returning to Texas, Chiv began to organize a short-term missionary trip with his home church. The plan was to bring the gospel to his sister’s rural village in the form of Campus Crusade’s Jesus Film. The night of the presentation the generator abruptly went kaput and Chiv was forced to finish the story of Jesus for the gathered crowd. He relayed the message of how the one true God had sent his Son to take on the pain of a lost, dying world. He told how this Jesus had changed his life and granted his tortured soul rest. That night, God used Chiv to bring the message of eternal life to people of his sister’s village. Some 139 people came to Christ.
Since that night, Chiv has known that God’s hand is on him in a powerful way. Now, four years and five church plants later, Chiv In is making regular trips back to Cambodia to disciple a growing number of disciples and to share the life-changing message of Jesus. What began as a short-term mission trip has blossomed into a full-fledged missionary venture.
Heart for Cambodia Beliefs
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is both holy and loving.
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God. He lived a sinless human life and died on the cross to atone for our sins. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and will return again to earth.
About The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus as the leader of our lives and the forgiver of our sins, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. He provides us with power for living, enables us to understand spiritual truth, and guides us in doing what pleases God. As Christians we seek to live under his control daily.
About The Bible
The Bible is God’s Word written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the final authority for determining our Christian beliefs and how we are to live.
About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God – we are rational and moral beings. Because we are God’s creation made in God’s image, each person possesses great self-worth. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of self-centeredness which the Bible calls “sin.” This attitude and its resultant actions separate us from God, others and ourselves.
About Being Made Right with God
Becoming right with God and having our relationship with God restored is what the Bible calls salvation. Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We can never earn it or achieve it by self-improvement or good works. We accept God’s gift of a new life when we turn from our self-ruled life and accept Jesus as our Savior. The new life that God gives us is an abundant life in this world and eternal life in the world to come.
About the Kind of Life We Are Called to Live
Though we are not made right with God by our own goodness, “good works” are not optional for the Christian life. When we give our lives to Christ, it is expected that we will grow towards loving God with all our being and our neighbors as ourselves.
Want to help us shine the light of Jesus Christ to the Cambodian people? See What You Can Do >