Harvest Time in the Former Killing Fields Out of the ashes, a church-planting movement spreads

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Harvest Time in the Former Killing Fields

Out of the ashes, a church-planting movement spreads

By and

Kune was terrified of her husband, Kong. He and his brothers ran a brutal crime ring among the floating villages of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province.

Hoping to escape his raging violence, Kune fled to Anlong Veng. This district near the Thai border is shrouded in its own history of violence. It has one of the first burial sites of the Khmer Rouge regime’s Killing Fields and was once home to their ruthless leader, Pol Pot.

But this “land of bones” is now getting “flesh.” (See Ezek. 37.) The Holy Spirit is bringing new life to this spiritually dark land that once ran red with blood. Alliance churches are springing up across Anlong Veng. Villagers are experiencing miraculous healings; still others are being set free from evil spirits. Some liken these events to the Church in the Book of Acts.

Assigned to Disciple

The Alliance commissioned my husband, Soeuth, and me to help disciple the hundreds who are choosing to follow Jesus in Anlong Veng. When we moved here a couple years ago, we heard Kong’s story.

About five years ago, Kong tracked Kune to Anlong Veng, where she attended the Srae Nouy Alliance Church served by Pastor Dy. Kune began pleading with Kong to attend church with her and their young son, Judah. He refused, continuing his heavy drinking, brawling, and working at his business—making charcoal to sell.

“Jesus, Help!”

Judah always tagged along with Kong as he gathered wood to burn in a deep pit dug in his yard that functioned as a kiln. One day, father and son both climbed into the pit. Kune was working nearby and looked over just in time to see the earth collapse on top of her husband and Judah, trapping them inside.

“Jesus, help!” she shouted.

Kong later said that while buried under the heap of dirt, “I felt strong hands grip my shoulders, lifting me up and out of the rubble!” When he emerged, blood dripping down his face, Kong’s right eyeball was lying on his cheek!

But there was no time to worry about the eye. Kong and his wife immediately started digging for Judah. They found him and pulled him to safety. Miraculously, he had sustained no injuries!

As the adrenaline began to wear off, the couple realized Kong’s injury was quite serious. Blood was still dripping down his face; his eyeball, attached to muscles and nerves, dangled on his cheek.

The two set off to find help. But after visiting several local clinics and a hospital, they had found no one able to give Kong the medical care he desperately needed.

“An Electric Shock”

Out of options and without enough money to travel to the city for help, Kong asked Kune to take him to her church. When they arrived, Pastor Dy and the small congregation gathered around the hurting couple. They cleaned Kong’s wounds and then prayed for his healing.

“When the church people prayed for me, I felt an electric shock run through my body!” Kong told us later. Immediately, the muscles and nerves supporting the damaged eye strengthened and pulled Kong’s eye into his eye socket—without scarring.

“I am healed! Your God healed me!” he shouted. Pastor Dy and those praying for Kong were stunned; impressed that Kong needed immediate medical attention, they quickly took an offering. With the collected money, they insisted that Kong go to the Siem Reap provincial hospital.

“Who Healed You?”

Once in the hospital, Kong repeatedly shared about his accident with curious doctors and nurses as other patients and their families listened. Someone finally asked, “Who healed you? What power, what magic, do you have? Can I buy it from you?”

“I don’t have any magic,” Kong responded. “It was Preah Yeasue—my wife’s God—who healed me.”

After a few days in the hospital, Kong left for home, stopping by the clinics where staff had been unable to provide him assistance. “Were you the guy with the eyeball sticking out?” they all asked. “What happened? Where did you go for help?”

Kong responded, “It was Jesus who healed me!”

Kong finally arrived at the Srae Nouy Alliance church, where Pastor Dy and the congregation were in awe of God’s healing hand upon his life. From that point, Kong became a disciple of Jesus and began studying God’s Word under Pastor Dy.

After regaining his strength, Kong set off on his old motorcycle to visit each of his nine siblings in their home villages. Everyone was astounded at the change in him, exclaiming, “This Jesus must be real!” They wanted to know more about the power that saved Kong from certain death in his kiln, transforming him from a feared crime boss into a passionate follower of Christ.

Eight of Kong’s nine brothers and sisters now follow Jesus and have brought their families into God’s Kingdom.

From Gangster to Evangelist

Kong continues to be unstoppable! Every week, he travels on his motorbike to distant villages where he distributes Christian tracts. Wherever he has relatives, churches are sprouting up and drawing groups of villagers.

Kong often says, “You saw who I was, you see who I  am—Jesus did that!” Almost every week, we receive  phone calls from Kong, reporting that “so-and-so has recently received Christ.”

“We Can Hardly Keep Up!”

My husband, Soeuth, and I continue with our weekly discipleship classes in the villages. Many ask for new classes, but we can do only so much with just the two of us teaching so many new believers. If we had more time and extra helping hands, we could easily start two or three new classes in each village!

Kong and his new believing friends, all on fire for God, are winning so many new converts into the Kingdom that we can hardly keep up with them!

As you can see, the fields are ripe in Anlong Veng. We are experiencing an abundant harvest season. Praise God with us for what He is doing in these former Killing Fields. And please ask the Lord of the harvest to send more workers.

Read more stories about what God is doing in Anlong Veng in Syna’s blog, “The Living Field,” at http://thelivingfield.blogspot.com.

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