Cambodia background info


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Cambodia background info

  1. 1. BackgroundCambodian glory came early in history. From AD 900 to AD 1300, the time of theconstruction of Angkor Watt, Cambodia was the dominant power in S.E. Asia. Fromthat time onward Cambodia has been in constant turmoil with more powerfulneighbors to the east and west, Vietnam and Thailand. It was pressure from theseneighbors that drove Cambodia into a colonial relationship with France, which lastedfor about 90 years ending in 1953. For the next 17 years Cambodia enjoyed a briefperiod of peace known as the "Sihanouk time".Tragedy was set in motion when the U.S. invaded Cambodia in 1970 in order tofacilitate their extraction from the politically unpopular war in Vietnam. This led tothe U.S. backed Lon Nol government being established in Cambodia. With the finalU.S. withdrawal and North Vietnamese triumph in 1975, Cambodia was left to themercy of the communist victors; unfortunately, they had none.Enraged by five years of relentless U.S. bombing the Khmer Rouge took out theirpent up hatred upon the Cambodian population. From 1.5 to 3 million people diedout of a total population of 9 million under the Pol Pot reign of terror. Pol Pot soughtto set up a communistic agrarian utopia. All modern development was consideredcounter revolutionary and eliminated. Cities were evacuated and schools, hospitals,water and sewer systems, libraries, factories, bridges, hydroelectric dams andirrigation systems were systematically destroyed. Cambodia went from being one ofthe most developed countries in S.E. Asia to the least in 5 years. The Vietnameseinvaded Cambodia in 1979 to stop the genocide. This led to continual fighting withthe Khmer Rouge, with Vietnamese dominance of the population centers, for thenext ten years, ending only when the Vietnamese benefactor, the Soviet Union,disintegrated in 1989.Various factions fought for control of Cambodia until the United Nations intervened in1992. A UN supervised election in1993 placed the Royalists under King Sihanouksson Ranariddh in power but Communist leader Hun Sen refused to yield to theelection results. As a compromise a three-headed coalition government wasestablished only to be overthrown in a Coup detat in July of 1997 that placed HunSen in absolute control. Presently, Prime Minister, Hun Sen is moving the countrytoward democracy. The greatest obstacle to this is the established corruption andcronyism of the existing leaders and the absence of the "rule of law". At the presenttime in Cambodia, the rich and the powerful rule, although steps toward democracyare occurring on an increasing basis.Back To TopCurrent RealitiesA) There is relative freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the exceptionof arbitrary government, "Requirements". These are not born of ideological beliefs asmuch as from greed and political pressure from the Buddhist majority.B) There is a hunger within the people for spiritual truth. The tragic events of thepast 30 years, and the failure of the current value system to bring any kind of equityinto the lives of the vast majority of the population, have left people searching.
  2. 2. C) Christianity is rapidly growing in Cambodia. The Foursquare Church grew from 1to 42 congregations during the first 9 months of 1999.D) The rampant, "Wild west" capitalism of the past eight years has left Cambodia tobe run by the will and whim of the, "Robber Baron" rich.E) Extreme poverty has driven many reproductive age women into prostitution as asurvival tactic. In Cambodia this profession lacks the social stigma of Westerncultures and is frequently patronized by the men.F) Cambodia has the highest H.I.V. infection rate in Asia with 100 new cases per dayin 1999.G) Constant warfare between various factions over the past 30 years has left manyareas of Cambodia virtual, "Landmine Gardens". There are an estimated 1 to 2million active landmines in Cambodia. One in every 243 Cambodians is permanentlydisabled due to a mine.H) A.I.D.S., landmines, poverty, poor health care, war, childbirth complications andmalnutrition have produced a disproportionate number of orphans in Cambodia.Deaths from A.I.D.S. alone produced 43,000 new orphans by the end of year 2000.The extended family system that has traditionally absorbed these orphaned childrencan no longer handle the supply. In addition, the temptation to, "Sell" orphanedchildren by impoverished relatives, is making family placement risky.I) Approximately 85% of Cambodians are rural and agrarian. The Government is byfar the largest non-agrarian employer. Soldiers, police, teachers and civil servantsare paid from $16-30 per month. It takes from $50-150 (depending upon location)per month for a family to survive in Cambodia. Incomes for government employeesmust be supplemented. Some employees have second or even third jobs but morehave developed innovative methods of income enhancement (graft). Police collectfines on the spot, teachers charge students for instruction, and civil servants collect"fees" for services rendered.J) More than 80% of Cambodians live below the international standard for poverty."Land grabs" by the rich and powerful coupled with drought (1998), flooding 1996-97), medical emergencies and economic depression have forced many ruralCambodians to sell land and left the vast majority destitute.K) The "Patronage" system of corruption infects the nation from top to bottom. Manybenevolent organizations have left Cambodia in frustration over their inability toestablish any kind of self-policing system of governance. Even the family system hasbeen compromised by the selling of children, especially young girls, who can bring upto $700 when sold into the brothel system.
  3. 3. L) The value system of Christianity and the centralized polity of the FoursquareChurch have endowed it with a core of honest, dedicated leaders eager todemonstrate the love of Christ, and a governmental system capable of dealing withlapses of integrity when they do occur.M) There are several Non Government Organizations (N.G.O.s) in Cambodia willingto work cooperatively with other groups when they can provide leaders of integrity toaccomplish the organizations stated goals. Often there is an overlapping of purposeand areas of shared mission between organizations.N) There is a willingness of certain individuals, charitable organizations andfoundations in the developed nations to fund the care of orphans if they can haveconfidence that their gifts will be used for the intended purpose.O) The Foursquare Church has established a nationally recognized N.G.O.,"Foursquare Children of Promise", dedicated to planting churches, the care oforphans, and developing an economic and agricultural base of support for the peopleof Cambodia.P) Every Church in Cambodia faces the challenge of a "spiritually hungry" population,the extreme poverty of the people and the increasing number of orphans. Very fewCambodian churches own a meeting facility.Back To TopObservation, Truth, Assumption & ConclusionObservation:Human existence consists of three aspects, body, soul and spirit. God created allthree to function in harmony as a unified whole. Current missionary efforts inCambodia, as a reaction to the past error of establishing dependency buildingmaterial aid centers at the expense of proclaiming spiritual truth, have shunnedministering social and material aid to the Cambodian people. The result has been ananemic church with spiritually informed but skeptical and impoverished believers.The church has left the economic and social concerns of the Cambodian people tosecular agencies, which have often conflicted with church teachings due to differingvalue systems.Spiritual Truth:… "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt.16:18) The promise of Christ for triumphal power against the forces of darkness inthis world rests only upon the church. No other institution on earth carries thisguarantee. In addition, God is especially interested in some specific social activitiesfor the church, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to
  4. 4. look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from beingpolluted by the world." (Jas. 1:27)Assumption:God wants to bless Cambodia. Jesus proclaimed: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me toproclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release theoppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor." (Luke 4:18-19) This messagehas not lost its potency in 2000 years. The concept of "Gospel Lift" is more than a"Warm fuzzy" from some optimistic preacher, it is the truth of God interceptinghuman reality.Conclusion:The "Church" must be proactive in developing spiritual life through the proclamationof the Gospel but at the same time work in cooperative effort with other dedicatedorganizations to bring holistic health to the body of Christ, specifically to build strongfamilies, assist the orphans, widows and impoverished and thereby demonstrate ourlove for the total person body, soul and spirit.Back To TopRationaleJames 2:15-18"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him,"Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physicalneeds, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied byaction, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faithwithout deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (NIV)VisionTo establish and build the Church of Jesus Christ in Cambodia by proclaiming thetruth of the Gospel and by demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways.MissionTo establish and build the Church by proclaiming and demonstrating the Gospel ofChrist to the holistic community through ministering spiritual, social and materialtruth to the Cambodian people.Spiritually, this will be accomplished by evangelizing and training the people inChristian truth and by equipping "called" spiritual leaders from among them to plantnew churches.
  5. 5. Socially, the Gospel will be demonstrated by teaching family values andstrengthening existing family structures, according to Christian principles, toeventually absorb homeless children. In the interim the church will be proactive by,feeding, housing, loving, and training orphans, building facilities, and assistingdestitute widows.Materially, the Gospel will be demonstrated to those without clothes and daily foodby assisting them with the establishment of self-sustaining agricultural enterprises.City dwellers will be assisted through appropriate cooperative training opportunitieswhen available.Back To TopApproach
  6. 6. Back To TopPlan Spiritual Social EconomicA) Spiritual: The Cambodian Foursquare Church seeks to follow the pattern of Spirit-empowered church development found in the book of Acts. The plan is tostrategically follow the four-stage pattern of church development as adopted byFoursquare Missions International. (See appendix A). Emphasis will be placed uponthe following areas for 1999-2001.
  7. 7. 1) Training pastors and church planters through the establishment of a Bible Schoolwith a short-term "church Planting" emphasis.2) Develop lay leadership through training sessions held regionally on a periodicbasis.3) Plant Churches as leaders are called, identified, trained, dispatched and equipped.4) Mobilize church members with an evangelical outlook and mission.5) Demonstrate the Gospel through the Holy Spirit empowered ministry of our Lord.6) A major focus of the teaching of the Cambodian Foursquare Church will be onstrengthening family values and teaching Christian principals of compassion, with agoal of eventually equipping church members to absorb the supply of homelesschildren.B) Social: "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of yousays to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing abouthis physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is notaccompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I havedeeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what Ido." (NIV)1) Every community is faced with the problem of orphaned children.2) Often widows are destitute and uncared for.3) Family structures, devastated under Pol Pot, are not strong enough to absorb thehomeless children, children are frequently sold or abused.4) The church is generally poverty stricken and unable to adequately care for thechildren in the congregation let alone build a facility for church meetings and thecare of orphans.5) Benevolent organizations are willing to help with the care of orphans but difficultywith corruption make oversight of funds a nightmare.6) The Church will partner with organizations like Warm Blankets Orphan CareInternational, International Cooperating Ministries (ICM), Children of Promise(COPI), Kids for the Kingdom and others to construct church facilities to give a morepermanent physical presence to churches in each community.7) The church has dedicated clergy who subscribe to ethics of integrity.Win - WinWhen congregations sense the will of God to care for orphaned children, theCambodian Foursquare Church provides pastoral leadership and disciplined oversightto establish an orphanage within the local church setting.The Cambodian Foursquare Church recognizes that the "Family" is the God given andordained structure for child rearing. The problem in Cambodia is that the supply oforphans, the extreme poverty of most families, the temptation to sell unwantedchildren, and the devastation of family values under Pol Pot have rendered familyunits incapable of meeting the demand.
  8. 8. Children of Promise, ICM, Warm Blankets Foundation, Kids for the Kingdom andother benevolent organizations provide funding for the monthly support of orphansand the construction of facilities. The local church supplies leadership and adedicated staff and benefits by being able to demonstrate the love of Christ in apractical way and by meeting in the orphanage facility.Widows are housed at the orphanage facility as staff members and given food,clothing and a meaningful job. The children receive Christian care and upbringingand the church realizes a debt free facility (see appendix B). The donor organizationshave assurance that their funds are used properly. The community benefits byreceiving care for orphaned children and by experiencing genuine Christian love. Thenation profits by the development of stronger families, citizens with Christian valuesof compassion, and the development of emerging Christian leaders.C) Economic: Most of the Cambodian people are agrarian (85%) peasants; morethan two-thirds are illiterate and the majority are landless. The introduction ofmodern agricultural practices and improved livestock varieties through the proventechniques of Heifer Project International along with micro-enterprise developmentbusiness practices allows the community to become self-supporting and empoweredto reach out to help others.Win - WinHeifer Project International benefits from finding leaders of integrity to watch overthe funding of their project (appendix C). The church benefits by breaking economicbondage and dependency of the members and by teaching the concept of the tithe(i.e. If you have ten pigs to sell one belongs to God). The community benefits astrained members "pass the gift".Back To TopThe N.G.O.Foursquare Children of Promise (F.C.O.P.) is a nationally recognized Non GovernmentOrganization (N.G.O.) licensed to operate anywhere in the Kingdom of Cambodia bythe Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Cults and Religions. Specificauthority is granted to:1) Plant and develop churches.2) Aid orphans.3) Establish schools4) Drill wells5) Provide for agricultural and economic development.6) Construct facilities as needed to carry out mandated responsibilities.
  9. 9. Back To TopS.W.O.T. Analysis(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)Strengths:This plan:A) Builds strong, healthy, self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagatingchurches in Cambodia.B) Contributes to the development and training of church leaders.C) Builds the church by demonstrating the love of Christ to the Cambodian people ina manner that fulfills a requirement of "true religion". James 1:27D) Gives the church a debt free meeting facility.E) Involves the local congregation in a participatory level. They provide labor andservice as they sacrificially give themselves to the care of orphans.F) Helps the Cambodian government by assisting in meeting an expensive andembarrassing need - the care of homeless children.G) Allows the benevolent donor organizations a high degree of confidence in theproper use of funds.H) Develops a renewable and sustainable economic base for the congregation.I) Teaches the concept of tithing.Weaknesses:This plan is:A) Subject to the uncertainty of foreign benevolence.B) Subject to the favor of local and national government officials.C) Subject to the integrity of leadership.Opportunities:This plan has the potential to:A) Develop 50 strong, healthy, reproducing congregations over the next three years.B) Provide for the care, education and Christian upbringing of 2000+ homelesschildren in Cambodia.C) Provide for the development of a trained clergy.D) Provide for the economic self sufficiency of church members.E) Assist the Cambodian government in meeting an urgent need.
  10. 10. F) Fulfill the mandate of God.Threats:This plan is vulnerable to: A) The discontinuance of foreign support. B) Government graft and corruption. C) Governmental politics and control. D) The failure to maintain a high level of integrity.SummaryThe Cambodian Foursquare Church recognizes that this is a departure from "Businessas usual" for Foursquare Missions International and suggests that this plan beimplemented as an experiment for the next three years subject to annual evaluationsof the effectiveness of the plan in reaching stated goals.It is the opinion of The Cambodian Foursquare Church that the "pendulum" ofmissiology has swung too far in the direction of indigenosity so as to neglect thesocial and economic aspects of church health that may be beyond the reach of animpoverished people. It is the intention of this experiment to bring balance betweenthe essential aspects of evangelism, compassion and development in terms ofgrowing healthy churches.