Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here…Recently, I found myself standing in a beat up clinic in very rural Cambodia looking into the mouth of an elderly woman whose teeth and gums were jet-black. I felt a little squeamish. I’m not the best at visiting the dentist. What an experience.
Early this month I visited Fellowship International missionaries Oeut and Nhep Pech (Rosemont, Montreal) who are serving the Lord in the Kampang-Chan district of Cambodia.
Nhep is a professional dentist who is using a mobile dental clinic (funded by FAIR) to reach villagers for Christ. Since starting in 2009, the Pechs have treated 4,527 rural patients in eight provincial districts. Thirty-six health centres have been visited in 17 villages with their mobile dental clinic—many, multiple times. The gospel is presented to each patient and those who make professions of faith receive follow up two weeks later by the Pechs and a Cambodian pastor.
These are then integrated into a small group and go through the “Firm Foundations” discipleship material every two weeks with the hopes of establishing a future church.
In three years three churches have been established in the Bosknor Village, Ta Neng Village and Kantoot Village. They have all become affiliated with the Khmer Evangelical Church of Cambodia (230 churches) and each has a pastor supported by the Pechs. Two other cell groups are currently meeting with hopes of becoming churches.
Nhep is a professor at the Regional Dental College that is currently training about 150 future dentists. The Pechs have had the joy of seeing 29 of their dental students come to Christ and meet each Thursday evening to disciple them. Five of them live in the Pech’s home.
I had the delight and privilege to baptize nine of these dental students along with three other adult converts from the Bosknor and Ta Neng Churches. It is a memory I’ll never forget.
The Pechs also sponsored the drilling of a water-well in the Bosknor Village which has increased the health of the villagers. I heard this first hand, in separate visits with “His Excellency” the Governor of Kampang-Chan Province and the Minister of Health. Their greatest concern is the health of their people and desired me to express their great appreciation to the Fellowship for sending the Pechs to perform these mobile dental health clinics (the only one of its kind in Cambodia). They personally asked that we continue to keep them here to help. On behalf of the Fellowship, I assured them we would. The Pechs have great favour with the Governor and government departments. Nhep has known the Governor as a friend since 1979. In fact, he recently gave them a plot of land in the Ta Neng Village to build a church facility for this brand new church. However, funds will need to be found to build this church as these poor villagers live on next to nothing. But imagine, a Buddhist Governor releasing free land for a Christian church. Sounds like the Spirit of God is at work in Cambodia!
Please pray for Oeut and Nhep as they continue to serve the Lord and our churches in the spiritually needy country of Cambodia—a nation of 14 million with about 200,000 evangelical believers. Missions started in the 1920s and by the mid-1970s there were 25,000 known believers. The Khmer Rouge Communist Regime martyred 80% of the church and almost all pastors in the “killing Fields”. The growth of the evangelical church since the 1990s has been encouraging. Pray for Cambodia.