Vietnam and Cambodia: A Missions Report
Originally posted at: https://anglicanfrontiers.com/vietnam-and-cambodia-a-missions-report/
from Joni Flye, PhD, AFM US-Based Cross-Cultural Workers
I just returned from a one-month mission trip in Cambodia and Vietnam, countries I lived in for many years. When I was 21 and a new Christian, I was praying about what to do with my life. God strongly impressed on my heart one day that there was going to be a great movement in Asia. Then I sensed him say, “Would you like to be a part of it?” At that moment, I knew that I was called to missions.
I first served in Hong Kong among Vietnamese boat people from 1983-1993, then on to Vietnam for ten years, doing teaching and training “under the radar” in several capacities. In 2004, I handed this ministry over to a Vietnamese leader and moved to Cambodia to serve among minority groups through teaching and training in church planting. Seeing the great need to help children in these nations, I began a non-profit, We Love Kids, to help children in Vietnam and Cambodia receive an education. Today, 370 children receive supplemental scholarships.
During my PhD studies at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, I began to see how Anglican distinctives like liturgy and Holy Communion could be missiologically fruitful for the spiritual formation of the Stieng, an unreached people group whom I had been serving. The great majority have yet to hear the gospel; most come from animistic and therefore ritualistic backgrounds. Nonetheless, up until that time, their corporate worship was bereft of liturgy and ritual. My conviction was that Anglican-based liturgy and ritual could help them worship God more organically and in a more culturally appropriate way to accelerate and deepen their discipleship.
In 2019 I joined AFM as a US-based cross-cultural worker (CCW). Being an AFM CCW has led me to deeper collaboration with the Anglican Diocese in Singapore and their outreach efforts in Cambodia and Vietnam. Last year I married Gary and he has joined me in these wonderful new faith ventures!
Gary and I recently traveled to Saigon, the southern tip of Vietnam, and Cambodia where we were able to visit a total of over 200 children. Many of these children do not come from Christian homes, but our local partnering church reaches out to them.
One such child is Srey Kuoi, the daughter of one of the Stieng ethnic minority church planters who we are training in Kratie, Cambodia. Srey Kuoi is trying to continue her education through high school, which is a huge challenge for her family. Since the only high school is far away, it costs $75/month to educate her. Because of the prohibitive cost, many children drop out of school around 7th or 8th grade.
The best solution to this problem seems to be opening a private school in the area. We are praying seriously about doing this, but it’s a big commitment on our part. We need to see fellow laborers and partners from the Anglican world come alongside as a confirmation that God truly wants this to happen. A school in this area would be a wonderful Christian presence in the community, which greatly needs a long-term gospel witness among this Stieng minority people group and their Cambodian neighbors.
And so now, I ask you the same question God asked me many years ago: Would you like to be a part of it?
If so, please pray for our continued efforts and for these children, both those who are members of God’s kingdom and those who have yet to join! And if you feel called to get more involved in reaching the Stieng with the gospel, please reach out to me or consider sending financial support via AFM (click “Joni 232”). I’d love you to join our team.
To contact Joni, email her at email@example.com. Learn more about We Love Kids right here.