September 24, 2021 | View All Stories

Bibles Are Turning Cambodia’s “Killing Fields” into Harvest Fields

At the beginning of 2021, ANM partner Sokhon in Cambodia asked for funds to buy 300 Bibles in Khmer, the national language. His goal was to distribute them to four indigenous groups in his country who didn’t have a Bible in their own tribal language but could read Khmer. Members of his evangelism and church-planting team had several new believers who wanted a Bible. One of those new believers was a Kui (“koo-wee”) woman named Sam-Art.

A Seed Is Sown

As a child, Sam-Art’s Buddhist parents encouraged her to attend a Christian church outreach that shared the gospel, did fun activities, and handed out candies at the end of the meetings. As people from the poorest-of-the-poor Kui tribe, the couple welcomed this opportunity for their child. Sam-Art went for the enjoyment and the sweets, not God’s Word. At the age of 14, she stopped going, but years later, the verses she had heard would come back to her.

After school, Sam-Art worked hard to earn money by helping others. Then she married a plantation worker, started a small farm, and had two boys. She struggled with finances but enjoyed her predictable life.

Another Person Reaps

In 2017, a missionary came to her village. Sam-Art politely shooed him away and refused to listen to what he had to say. Still, this man of God returned often. He helped her with projects, brought food and supplies, and offered to pray for her family. 

Each time the missionary visited, he explained more about the assurance of salvation and eternal life that can be found in Jesus Christ and that nothing can ever separate them from the love of God. Many of his words sounded familiar to Sam-Art as she remembered the teachings from her childhood. 

By the end of 2019, Sam-Art’s entire family came to realize that they were sinners and that Jesus died to save them and bring them into His kingdom, now and for all eternity. They each accepted Christ. 

The Fields Are Ripe

As a new believer, Sam-Art had a passion to share the gospel, even the little that she knew, with her fellow Kui people in a neighboring village. The close distance allowed her to walk there, and she shared her testimony to those in the streets. She explained who Jesus is and what He did for them and the world. Several embraced her message and accepted Christ. 

Our native partner Sokhon gave Sam-Art her first Bible. Even though it was in Khmer and not her mother tongue, she could understand what it said. She held it in her hands, turned it over, and leafed through its pages. She looked with appreciation and disbelief at Sokhon. Tears escaped her eyes, and she clutched the Bible close. 

According to Sokhon, “After she received a Bible from me, she has been so joyful and fell in love with Jesus deeper and deeper because she has been reading the Bible every day. She told me that if she had it before, she would be strong in her faith already.”

Equipping Laborers for the Harvest

This bold woman’s plea urges us to remember that the work of native missionaries abroad is both necessary and urgent. With obedient disciples like Sam-Art, Cambodia — once known as “the Killing Fields” — is beginning to show signs of becoming “the Harvest Fields” to the glory of God.

The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Sam-Art knew she needed this vast resource and treasury of truth to equip her for all she felt God calling her to do. 

ANM donors helped meet this need. Years ago, donor support through ANM enabled Sokhon to buy a motorbike to reach more villages. A recent generous gift has enabled Sokhon to purchase several motorbikes for some of his missionaries in Cambodia that have been waiting for them.  A further gift would provide a motorbike specifically for Sam-Art. 

Gifts like Bibles and motorbikes can be found in ANM’s Gift Catalog.

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Dee writes for ANM's Marketing team.

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