Situated on the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia is bordered by Thailand and Laos on the north and Vietnam on the east and south. The Gulf of Thailand is off the western coast. The size of Missouri, the country consists chiefly of a vast alluvial plain ringed by mountains with the Mekong River to the east. The plain is centered around Lake Tonle Sap, which is a natural storage basin of the Mekong.
Cambodia is situated in South-East Asia and is home to 15.14 million people. It is estimated that 26% of the adult population is illiterate, and 18.6% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day. The lives of children in Cambodia are also challenging, with 36.1% of children working as child labor, and 31.4% of children receive inadequate care. Cambodia is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.
Vessels of Mercy International has been working in Cambodia since 1992, sending medical and dental teams to serve those with little to no access to healthcare. Our partners on the ground focus on the unreached people groups to share the gospel. Currently, their focus is on the Chinese population that has grown in this country. They have also been extremely instrumental in changing the standard of care for orphans and started an organization that places Children in Families, which is now the standard on an international level.
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Challenges for Prayer
Pray for the less-reached. The window of opportunity that now sees many enter the Kingdom may not stay open for much longer; the opportunities must be urgently seized. Pray for:
- a) The Buddhist majority.Buddhism has lost some of its monopolistic grip on the people, but reactionary forces are moving against the clearly noticeable growth of the Church.
- b) The Cham, almost entirely Muslim.The majority practice folk Islam, which incorporates animistic practices into more orthodox Islamic practices; within this is a strong strain of Fojihed Islam, which is rife with pre-Islamic magic and superstitions. There are a few Christians; pray for them to be gathered into fellowship together. Khmer Christians have not yet met this evangelistic challenge; pray also for wisdom for those already reaching out to the Cham.
- c) The tribal peoples.Only among the Mnong, Jarai, Krueng and Stieng have significant numbers come to Christ. A further 18 Southeast Asian peoples can be considered unevangelized; pray for loving and appropriate witness to these peoples.
- d) The six Chinese language groupsconstitute nearly 600,000 people who have largely assimilated into Cambodian society, but who are mostly unreached. Pray for Chinese believers from abroad to come as apostles to these people.