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Pieter & Dawn Heres

Youth With a Mission

75-5851 Kuakini Hwy #186

Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

THE HISTORY

Past

Cambodia is a nation recovering from a tumultuous past. Internal war and subsequent genocide led to the death of an estimated 2 million people or 25% of the population between 1975-1979.

 

Many who resisted the Red Khmer’s communist revolution paid with their lives, particularly those who were educated, teachers or doctors, and those in business. Families were torn apart during the Khmer Rouge regime. Hundreds of thousands fled as refugees and resettled in other countries. One could say there’s a “missing generation”. Adding to the destabilization of Cambodia, after the Khmer Rouge, there were another 10 years of Vietnamese rule before UN governance and elections in 1993.

Present

Presently, Cambodia is still struggling with its past. There’s been a steady recovery from the physical devastation, yet educational, cultural and societal development remains weak.

 

This provides for a unique opportunity for the Church to strengthen family values, discipleship and community building. Although Cambodia is primarily a Buddhist nation, Christianity is growing rapidly, now nearing 3% of the population from 0.1% in 1993. Evangelical church leaders have a vision for a home fellowship in each of the 14,000 villages by 2020.

Future

With 50% of the population under the age of 22, Cambodia is a fast growing nation. Because of cheap labor and major foreign investments, economic growth is topping 6%.

A strategy to influence and disciple a new generation from its foundation is the start of Christian education on the village level. Public education in rural areas is extremely limited due to the lack of trained teachers, school buildings, solid educational programs and lack of funding. The need is exacerbated by fast

population growth.

 

All of this has created a demand for private education. We see this as a huge opportunity to launch Christian schools in conjunction with new church plants.