“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, “Here am I, here as I.”
Isaiah 65:1 (NIV Version)
Theravada Buddhism has been the national religion of Cambodia since the 15th century. Every village has a temple that is supported and maintained by everyone in the village, even the poorest. These local shrines are often tiny and drab structures with roughly formed representations of the Buddha inside.
Temples in the city are larger, ornate, and have impressive idols of Buddha. But the worship is the same: burning incense, bowing in supplication, and attempting to placate the myriad of spirits that control the world.
Despite this devotion Cambodians remain poor and are frequently victimized by the social traumas of the past under the Khmer Rouge. Half of the governments budget is underwritten by foreign aid. The opportunities for education are very limited. Crime is rampant, human trafficking, orphanages for profit, and the sex trade are widespread.
The Khmer language word for happiness and personal peace is sok. Cambodians strive to achieve sok by placating spirits and wearing amulets. These efforts do not provide spiritual peace, this can only come through a relationship with the living Jesus.
Despite the attention to Buddhist traditions and merit making, the people of Cambodia are searching spiritually. This is an open field for the Lord of the Harvest. Every village has a temple that is supported and maintained by everyone in the village, even the poorest.
Ways To Pray:
• Pray that the Jesus followers in Cambodia will lead the way in healing the wounds still remaining from the Khmer Rouge genocide.
• Ask that Cambodian Buddhists come to know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the only way to achieve sok.
• Pray for deliverance and salvation for the millions of children in bondage to forced labour, human trafficking, and the sex trade.
Use these resources to help pray specifically each day.