An elderly woman bows down before the spirit house in her backyard. She has placed there an offering of a bouquet of flowers and a small bunch of bananas. She lights a stick of incense and mutters her prayers. The flowers will remain until they wilt, the bananas she will eat herself later in the day. Shuffling away, she hopes she has appeased the spirits. She will repeat the ritual tomorrow. This is a tradition she has held all her life.It offers her no lasting peace, but it is all she knows.
A family in their finest clothing crowds into their car. They are headed for a three-day holiday in their home village. Once there, they will offer the annual sacrifice to their departed ancestors in an attempt to gain a year of blessings rather than a year of curses. They will spend time with distant relatives, laughing and feasting. This is a major holiday, maybe like our American cultural celebrations of Easter and Christmas: after an obligatory visit to the church, everyone gathers together, eating and joking and enjoying one another’s company.
is 95% Buddhist, and Buddhism is considered to be a peaceful, gentle religion.
Indeed, in many respects the Cambodian people are meek, quiet
and content. Our extroverted, outspoken American
ways often startle, perplex and offend them. Jesus declared Himself
the only way to God and to true worship and everlasting life. We believe Him.
Jesus declared Himself the only way to God and to true worship and everlasting life. We believe Him.
We do not come to Cambodia with an agenda to change culture or tradition; we do come with a message of life, hope and peace for a nation in pain and suffering...we come bringing Jesus, the giver and sustainer of life. We trust the Holy Spirit will move in the lives of those who put their trust in Him. He will mold them with godly character and faithfulness. He will deal with the issues surrounding culture, tradition and religion.
We are confident that like all true followers of the Lord Jesus, those who come to know and love Him will count their losses a very small price to pay for the incredible gain of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior .
Culture and Religion
The Buddhist monks stroll serenely
through the market, their bare feet peeking from beneath their saffron
robes. Stopping at each vendor to beg for food or money, they speak in
soft tones, and quietly receive the prayers and offerings of each person
they approach. They have been
trained to be peaceful and gentle, and have taken a vow of poverty…they
can own no material possessions. Peaceful,
quiet, gentle, and seemingly non-materialistic: this has been a way of life for hundreds of years...
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