February 24, 2010

The Early Eighties – Chapter 14

Cry of the Gecko

Chapter Fourteen                      The Early Eighties


In 1981, the Kellers returned to the US and spent their furlough in Minnesota. Chuck did three short-term stints in the refugee camps in Thailand in 1982-83. His first trip there was in the spring of 1982. His assignment under the C&MA / World Relief partnership was to do a bibliography of the Khmer-language publications that had been produced in the various refugee camps. Later that year, he returned to Sakeo camp under the same auspices and did translation checking of the Khmer-language edition of the midwifery manual prepared by the Christian Medical Team working there. The third trip was in 1983, when Chuck worked at Khao I Dang camp, translating for the agriculture program of a European agency. During the first trip, while at Sakeo camp, he spent extended time with refugees who had been students there of Pastor Pen Dara, including hymn writer Sam Sarin who now resides in Australia.

Pen Dara was a mature and gifted Cambodian pastor, who taught Bible in the camps for the C&MA until 1982, when he became sick with cancer had to travel to the US for treatment. In 1985, he was elected president of the Cambodian Evangelical Church in the US, and passed away in Long Beach, California, in November 2003. He had written some valuable commentaries in Khmer as well, which Steve Westergren helped finish after Dara’s death.

These former students of Pen Dara read with Chuck through the book of Mark on which he had worked with the Khmer in France, and helpful suggestions were made. Chuck was also able to make contact with some Krung people in Sakeo camp. One Krung man there was interested in helping Chuck with translation work, and as Chuck returned to the US, he left the man to work on translating that Khmer text of the gospel of Mark into Krung. Chuck received regular airmail letters from him containing excerpts of Mark in the Krung language. When Chuck returned to Sakeo Camp in the autumn of 1982 he was able to work through this rough draft of Mark with this Krung man who had translated it.

A public baptism was held in early 1981, in a reservoir behind Seang Ang’s house. It was organized by Keo Soum and was officiated by Pastor Seang Ang, who had just returned from his brief hiatus in the refugee camps, and missionary Jean Clavaud.

In 1981, in Vietnam, Heng Cheng became a youth leader in a C&MA ‘open church’ in Saigon, where he eventually became [MI1] a youth pastor in 1983.[1]

MCC began a campaign among Mennonite Children in the US and Canada who would prepare school kits containing basic educational material for school children in Cambodia.  Since the US State Department and Commerce Department did not recognize trade with the PRK, MCC was denied permission for a license to provide the school kits. MCC haggled with the State Department for three months before they reconsidered and granted MCC permission. MCC was grateful for those within its own organization, for the Congressman and friends in the Indochina Project who put pressure on the State Department, and for good press coverage that eventually resulted in the reconsideration.  MCC continued to send pumps, laundry soap, and an ambulance and a truck for Provincial Health Committee in Prey Veng. Many tons of canned beef from MCC were also included in the UNHCR repatriation packets for those who returned from the refugee camps.

Yorng Soth, future president of the KEC and future senior pastor of Tumnop Tek Church, was quite surprised when the PRK did a documentary on his parent’s agriculture project. They used the project in the documentary as an example for others to follow, and said in the documentary that Soth’s parents were smart people who raised their children to be good citizens and good government workers who were not corrupt. The government presented the family with a gift and a certificate. For a while, persecution waned, and while no one was obvious about their Christian identity, no one tried to hide it either.

Although the Yorng brothers and their families mostly kept to themselves in the Tumnop Tek, area Keo Soum and Yorng Kosal would bicycle around Phnom Penh to all the house churches to encourage them. But on Sunday, Keo Soum would usually come down to Tumnop Tek and meet with Soth and his extended family to read the Bible and pray together. Kosal and Keo Soum would do their ministry of encouragement from 1980 until Keo Soum’s death in 1987. The PRK left them alone for a while as they were government employees, but they shut down Pastor Seang Ang when he came back from refugee camps. They told him if that if he wanted to worship with other Christians, he should go to Tumnop Tek Church.


In 1982, the UN declared the emergency in Cambodia was over and western emergency aid ceases, and the international isolation of Cambodia began.

A group of pastors and elders took a risk and went to visit the “Krome Renakse.” Keo Soum, Khiev Vanlorg, Ngeth Marene, Seang Ang, Yorng Soth, Meak Sam Ol (Ban), and Noun Soum had an audience with Chea Sim himself where he denied their request for freedom to  worship publicly. Chea Sim told them to ask ‘Retiny’ (The mayor’s office). Keo Soum returned a second time and appealed to Chea Sim who once again denied his request and told him to go ask ‘Retiny.’ Chea Sim obviously did not want to deal with this issue. The three Yorng brothers from Tumnop Tek and some others Christians in the government felt the time was not just right.

Pastor Muth Bunthy left to study in the Soviet Union at the end of 1982, not long after Paul Ba (aligned with the Jesus Only movement and working with the Vietnamese) was jailed for evangelizing publicly. Mr. Tang Krin was the one believer during that time who was quite active in passing information around in order to gather Christians for fellowship. They used to meet at Ms. Priep Savary’s house where Paulerk first met Noun Soum who is now a ranking soldier. Ms. Priep Savary had the Santho Mok church meeting in her house regularly during the 90’s until the church split in 2005. Paulerk, Bunthy, and others also met at Seang Ang’s house until Seang Ang was hauled in and interrogated by the police, and then was passed on to Chea Sim for further interrogation as well. After his release, Pastor Seang Ang fled to Kao I Dang Refugee Camp in Thailand where he met So Nang.

Some time during the early 80’s, Jean Clavaud was expelled from Cambodia, and put on a plane going out, with only shorts and a t-shirt.  Since then he and his wife have been in France and he still travels all over France representing the Leprosy Mission, and encouraging Khmer Christians where possible.[2]

Outside of believers at Tumnop Tek like Keo Soum and Yorng Kosal, Church leaders Ban Sam Ol, Timothy, Muth Bunthy, Ngeth Marene and Paulerk were perhaps the most active underground Christians in the very early eighties. Pastor Ngeth Marene was especially interested in gathering resources like Bible helps, Bibles, hymnbooks and tapes for those meeting together. Sue Taylor of World Vision and Jean Clavaud would smuggle materials to the “Flower Girl” at the Psah Chjah market, who in turn would distribute them to Christian couriers who came by to meet her.

In 1982, Maurice Bauhahn returned to Cambodia to begin full-time work in December with World Vision.

After his conflict with Chea Sim, Pastor Seang Ang traveled to various locations in Cambodia to share the gospel and visit some congregations on the sly, because practicing Christianity was quite restricted for nationals. During his travels, he made it to the Thai border area to visit some pre-1975 believers who survived the genocide. He made himself at home in Kao I Dang camp, Thailand. There, he did what he did best; served the Lord through evangelism and preaching but he also took time out to meet with some of his old colleagues.  Pastor Ang was chosen to resettle in a third country, but refused to go for two reasons:  he did not want to go alone, and he did not want to leave the church in the midst of troubles. Rather, he decided to return to Phnom Penh in 1984 where he was jailed for four months. After he was released he was placed on probation and watched carefully.

Alli Blair remembers Pastor Seang Ang when he was in Khao I Dang holding centre. “He impressed me by preaching the curses of Deuteronomy 28, on one of the first Sundays I was there in 1982, (the bamboo church where he preached was reputed to be the largest gathering of Cambodian Christians in existence) daring to claim that the evils of the Pol Pot regime were a result of Cambodia’s unfaithfulness to God. As time passed and I learned Khmer and started to hear people’s testimonies, I found that almost every single curse enumerated in that chapter befell the Cambodian people during that unimaginably dreadful period.”[3]


Maurice Bauhahn after arriving in Cambodia in December 1992 said, “The hymn pleads, “Oh, for a thou­sand tongues”, but I lacked the needed ONE: Cambodian! Christ had a solution: “In early 1983, we prayed in a Khmer speak­ing expatriate, Susan Taylor. Sue and I worked and prayed together complementing each other’s gifts as we sought to interpret communications, channel underground prayer requests, provide Christian literature, and help the underground church in whatev­er way we could. Those times of prayer knit our hearts together and in July,

1985, we were married.” Maurice tells us, “From 1982, the authorities in Cambodia actively opposed the resurrection of the Cambodian church, suppressing visi­ble meetings of its members. Even Bibles were searched out and confiscated.

Their hearts churned within them, try­ing to reconcile the Biblical command to obey the govern­ment authorities over them, on the one hand, and helping the Church which the government opposed on the other.  They were constantly followed and reported on. Peri­odically they were reprimanded, and were always in fear of having their visas denied. Tensions were so high that they needed to get out of the coun­try frequently to relax and recuperate. The Lord always consoled them.”

Barnabas left for the refugee camps and Timothy (Hang Sovandy) followed suit not long after but came back to visit Yorng Soth after visiting Alice Compain in the camps. Alice sent him back to inquire about the letters and the type setting from the C&MA publishing house that Cliff Westergren had set up in sixties. Soth, working for the government, knew that the Vietnamese has spirited away anything in the publishing house that was worth salvaging. Alice wanted those letters in order to preserve some of the type-setting and styles from that era of time which were not available in the camps or in all of Thailand. Timothy, as a young person had come up through the C&MA. He sneaked back into the camps to bring Alice what could only have been disappointing news.

From 1983-1988, Chuck and Sally Keller were very involved in the resettlement [MI2] of Cambodian refugees. His Krung translator from Sakeo camp and his family arrived in Minnesota in December 1983 and were the first family that Chuck and Sally helped to resettle in their home area in the northeastern part of the state. They helped resettle three other Krung families and one Khmer family during those years. By early 1986 all the families except one had moved elsewhere for family or employment reasons. Chuck and Sally were able to work on Krung studies and scripture translation during these years with these refugees. When the last family moved to Des Moines, Iowa in early 1988, Chuck and Sally began taking turns making short trips there to continue work on the translation. This pattern of work continued until 1995. Progress was not rapid during those years of translation with refugees but Sally was able to do Krung language learning and translating, drafting part of Genesis as well as working on other passages while Chuck did further work on Mark, and drafted John and Acts.

Fred and Minh Kauffman of MCC, arrived and spent the year getting established and developing relationships with the government ministries and understanding the context of the work. MCC continued to ship food into Cambodia.

[4]In the United States, a group of Cambodian pastors and leaders outside of the (CEC) Cambodian Evangelical Church, the C&MA Cambodian Church in the US, come together to discuss the possibility of creating an organization that will help independent Cambodian churches in the US help and encourage one another both physically and spiritually.

MCC helped complete the reconstruction of the Neak Loung Hospital in Prey Veng where services were established. MCC began to finalize plans for the restoration on another Prey Veng hospital, meanwhile shipping in more rice, canned meat, school kits, pumps, and equipment for a soap factory. Fred Kauffman was quoted as saying:  “It would be difficult to find another country where MCC assistance makes up as large a percentage of the total assistance available, or to find a country where voluntary agencies’ combined budgets are greater than the UN and international organizations’ budgets.”[5]


Some leaders of the Independent Cambodian Churches in the US, who met in 1983, formed Cambodian Ministries for Christ. Some of those leaders were Kong Phan Chhon, Radha Manickam, Sithan Lee, Ngeth Saman, Joseph Chhleav Chan, Sothy Trang, Petros Chhom, and Taing Vek Houng. Other founding members included Christopher Lapel, Chamron Phal, Paul Nuth, Peter Im and Keakun Thor. Pastor Saman Nget, former Cambodian underground church activist and Long Beach pastor became the first to hold the office of president from 1984-1987.

Travel was normalized in Cambodia and restrictions were removed for World Vision expatriate staff. Preventative health services began through seven RINE (re-hydration, immunization, nutrition and education) centers. These centers become a focal point for World Vision’s community development work.

In 1984, Heng Cheng found a Vietnamese wife named Son Da, and at the end of that year he and his wife returned to Phnom Penh. Shortly after his return, he started a church in 1985 which would later be called the Jerusalem Church, a Vietnamese-Cambodian church, and Pastor Khieu Vanlong began a fellowship group in his house


Site 2 refugee camp overshot Khao I Dang and became the largest camp on the Thai-Cambodian border.

Around 1985, Tumnop Tek Christians met together and frequently worked with Christians in Battambang.  Pastor Sorn, Deth and Barnabas had cell meetings in houses, in and around Phnom Penh. The Catholics held one secret house meeting and Timothy also had one. Christians at that time believed that some of the police knew about the secret meeting places but didn’t turn them in, although one Christian policeman named Vonn was killed as his fellow officers poisoned his tea.

Mam Barnabas had opened an underground English school and was recording Cambodian Christian music to be exported to Cambodians abroad, and was under surveillance.  The net was closing in on him, and Barnabas would flee with his family to Site 2 later in the year. The next year in 1986, Timothy was under suspicion by the police and Paulerk guided him to the border camp, Rithy Sen, Site 2.

Cambodian Christians in the underground church remembered the teaching material smuggled to them came from all different sources. They had received literature from Europe, the Philippines, Australia and America from the Nazarenes, Baptists, Catholics, the AOG, and others. Sar Paulerk described trying to smuggle music tapes produced by Barnabas to believers on the outside as a slap stick spy comedy. Leaving his house, he took the package of tapes from Barnabas only to be followed on the way to the market by undercover police. He would pass off the package of cassettes to Timothy, who was also followed. Timothy passed it back to Barnabas who they didn’t see, and follow Timothy instead. Barnabas passed it off to Muth Bunthy, who gave it to Channak. Channak finally delivered it to a cyclo driver named Iang Changkieng who had a special compartment built into his cyclo to carry the contraband cassette tapes. The cyclo driver would then take the package to Sokorn, a Catholic guard at the Le Royal who would crawl through the ceiling ducts and pop out in someone’s room through the ceiling, dropping the package of music tapes to a very surprised Christian expatriate, who would then smuggle it out to New York, Sydney, London, France or other destinations.

In July of 1985, Sue Taylor and Maurice tied the knot. Maurice relates one incident that he remembers vividly:

“Our boss in World Vision at that time held a dim view of honeymoons, hav­ing only had a one day honeymoon himself, so he insisted that we return promptly to work after our out of country wedding in 1985. However, when we arrived in Bangkok, word came that my visa was being held up by the Cambodian authorities because they disapproved of my illegal contacts (i.e., with the Christians). We con­tinued our honeymoon in Thailand, extend­ing it further down in Singapore when our Thai visas expired. Although we were thoroughly enjoying our extended honey­moon, the growing fear was that I would not get a Cambodian visa and would soon become an unemployed groom. One evening in our devotions the Lord gave us an encouraging message from the Psalms about “news in the morning of God’s unfailing love”. Sure enough, the next morning a telegram arrived from Phnom Penh assuring that at long last my visa had finally been approved.”

Maurice writes, Christian weddings and funerals periodically brought the Church into public view. Furthermore, missionary radio car­ried the gospel to a wide, unseen audience. Radio transmission problems and ‘churchified’ programming, however, limited the impact of that ministry, and it took years to remedy.”

James and Debbie Taylor arrived to replace Fred and Minh Kauffman of MCC, as country directors. MCC continued to import food and help support the oil and soap industry. They also undertook school repairs.

Meanwhile in France

After pastoring for a few years, Rev. Sok Nhep Arun received a call from the French Bible Society in 1985, asking him to sit on a translation committee that would include both French Catholics and French Protestants.  In 1985, it didn’t look like Cambodia would open up soon to receive Bibles so Arun was not too enthralled with the idea but it made him think some. He had noticed that Cambodian Christians who could read the Chinese, French and English Bibles seemed to grow more quickly in their faith, while those using their Khmer Bible seemed to stagnate or not grow as quickly as the others. He investigated the matter further and came to the conclusion that these people were having a very difficult time understanding the Khmer Bible. With that in mind, he thought that Cambodian immigrants might be open to a newer and more understandable version of the Khmer Bible. His name was put in as a candidate for the committee but when he found out Father Ponchaud would be involved, he told them he would not stand because he was unable to work with Ponchaud. Previously, Ponchaud’s old committee of 1973 had translated the whole New Testament into Khmer by themselves but the French Bible Society and the Catholic Church rejected it, and would not publish it. They asked Arun to check it and he found it too couched with Buddhist terms.

The New Translation committee in 1985, and upon the suggestion of the French Bible Society, chose to begin a new work apart from the work begun in 1973 by the UBS because only the first four chapters of Matthew survived the Khmer Rouge holocaust. Francois Ponchaud, who had helped with the New Translation as an exegete, took the remaining chapters of Matthew to France and produced a Roman Catholic Translation which the UBS rejected because it still contained too much Buddhist terminology. After meetings in France in January and April of 1985, a new committee of four was proposed by Rev. Norman Ens (C&MA), and formed.  That committee was made up of Rev. Sok Nhep Arun, Father Francois Ponchaud, Mr. Prom Chan and Mr. Sokhom Chhoeung. Many other nationals and expatriates were included in the revision work.  Here were a group of people who saw the opportunity to make a better translation for the believer and unbeliever alike.  They now had the resources: better manuscripts, modern translation methods, straight from the original languages, Khmer stylists, and Khmer revisionists, all well educated and mature in the faith.[6]

The French Bible Society provided Arun with some training in order to take part in the translation work with Father Ponchaud who said they would start again from scratch, with Arun being the main translator. They started planning their work on the book of Mark in January of 1985, and met every three months to review the work. They actually began in April of that year and it was tough going with Ponchaud.  After six months, Arun wanted to quit when he found it too difficult to work with Father Ponchaud and could not abide with the Catholic approach to translation. Father Ponchaud himself was not too thrilled with Arun’s complaints and desired also to quit the project, so the French Bible Society urged them both to take a day off solely to think about the future of the work. Ponchaud had agreed to compromise some, and after working together for a while, the two become friends and they finished the New Testament in 1992. Many were invited to proofread the text both in the refugee camps and inside Cambodia itself, such as Barnabas Mam in Site 2, and Yos Im Sithan in Phnom Penh.  The whole Bible was completed in 1997, and was presented to King Norodom Sihanouk in Siem Reap by Arun, Father Ponchaud, Rev. Mok Wai Mung, Dale Jones, Yorng Soth, Sar Paulerk, Barnabas Mam, Yos Em Sithan, and some others.

A Boy in the Killing Fields, a Man in the Living Fields

My name is Uon Seila and I was born on January 1, 1960.  I was raised in a Buddhist farming family in Tong Neak Village, Baphnom District, Prey Veng Province in the Kingdom of Cambodia. I am the oldest in my family and I have five siblings. My village was very primitive and there was no kindergarten or first grade, therefore I was enrolled to the primary school when I was eight years old.

On March 18, 1970, Cambodia was thrown into a state of civil turmoil because our Prince, Norodom Sihanouk, was overthrown by Defense Minister Lon Nol while he was out of the country. This coup d’ etat was allegedly encouraged by the United States in order to ensure an official invitation for an American presence in Cambodia during the Vietnam War era.  It was a short lived presence as the American Congress pulled all troops out of Cambodia by the end of 1970, with exception of a handful of military advisors. My school was closed during this time for a while because most of the teachers went to Phnom Penh for a mass demonstration in favor of the return of the king.  Some teachers went into the forest to join with the movement of the Sihanoukists.  Cambodia was at war and school became irregular at best.  In other words, it was off and on. In Cambodia during the early seventies, factions and armies fighting in Cambodia were FARK (Sihanoukists), FANK (Lon Nol Republic), Khmer Rouge, Khmer Vietminh, US Armed Forces, North Vietnamese, Viet Cong and the South Vietnamese.

On January 31, 1971, around 2:00 PM, [MI3] two American aircraft roared over my village, dropping 24 bombs.  My house was blown up and fragments sailed into the air.  Hundreds of chickens, dozens of pigs and other livestock were killed.  My family’s rice paddy became a field of smoking craters and then after the rains came and filled the crater, we called them fish ponds.

I wondered why the Americans did such a thing to my village. From that moment on I became a refugee, though I was only eleven years old.  Moving from the province to the city was hard for a refugee family like ours, especially for my father who had to support my schooling.  So my father sent me to stay and learn with the Buddhist monks at the Botum Waddei pagoda.  I felt hatred toward the Americans because I was separated from my parents, brothers and sisters, and especially my home village where it used to be peaceful and pleasant. As a village boy I used to tend the cattle and sit on the backs of cows and sing happily. Now I found myself as a city boy—a Khmeng Wat, (pagoda boy)—who had to wake up at 4:00 a[MI4] .m. to sell bread along the streets in Phnom Penh. These streets were sometimes deserted and quiet because of sporadic Khmer Rouge shelling. I was fearful, but my business went well because other sellers feared the shelling and stayed home. They did not venture out to eat kuy tiev (noodle soup) in storefront restaurants, so they bought my bread instead as I walked the streets crying, “Nompang, Nompang, Pang-Pang[MI5] , Sreuy Lahawe, Kadow!” (Bread, Bread, crunchy and warm).

Life grew harder and harder. I woke at 4:00 a.m. to sell bread and had to return by 7:30 a.m. to attend school. Sometimes my business did not go well. I was late for school and was punished by my teacher. The more I suffered in the city, the more I missed my country life—and the more I hated the war and the Americans. I was looking forward to Khmer Rouge coming and liberating this city that was rife with the corruption of the American-backed Lon Nol regime.  My family became refugees in my own country.  Even though I had a father and mother, I lived my life as an orphan-refugee-street urchin.

At last, on April 17, 1975, around 9 o’clock in the morning after intensive shelling and fighting from the two previous days, the Khmer Rouge invaded Phnom Penh. I heard the news in the radio in which Khmer Rouge broadcast said that war is over but something about the announcement did not seem quite right.  They said the war was over and that they had won, not by negotiating but by the flow of blood. It was both sweet and bitter. I was overjoyed that I could return to my home village and study in the school I used to attend, and I contemplated the hope of seeing all of my schoolmates there.

Before the Khmer Rouge invaded the city, they pounded it with artillery. At first, I was happy and looking forward to returning home. However, I lost my father in the artillery barrage.  Hearing that he had been injured and suspecting that he had died, my mother turned back to look for him, leaving me in charge of my five siblings. At age 15, I was the oldest of six siblings, so I became the head of my family during the forced evacuation from Phnom Penh. I led my two sisters and three brothers on a trek from Phnom Penh to Kompong Trabaek, Prey Veng Province. I heard nothing from my mother. One sibling cried for rice, another for water, and the smallest for breast milk, because when my mother left us she thought that it would only be for a short time. That is why she left my youngest brother with me. The evacuation from Phnom Penh was hard.  I hated the Americans.

Finally we arrived at my childhood village. What I had looked forward to did not happen.  The villagers labeled me a pro-American imperialistic betrayer of the village.  Now it was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.  Life was excruciatingly hard under the Khmer Rouge.  We endured continual intimidation and verbal persecution.  What I expected to be a better living situation in my home village was even worse.  Our three years, eight months and twenty days under the communist Khmer Rouge was brutal. The Khmer Rouge authorities had accused my family of escaping from my village to support the puppet government of American imperialists. I was sent to the mobile camp where I was forced to work hard.  There was no school for me to pursue my studies.

I slowly began to realize that the Americans had tried their best to save my country from the communists.  I began to feel a deep love for the US.  Every moment I thought about America.  Deep down in my soul and my spirit, a kinship for Americans became rooted in my whole being.  I longed to go there.

On January 7, 1979, the Vietnamese soldiers liberated Cambodia from the communist Khmer Rouge.  I hoped my country would be at peace but the war continued to rage along the border in the western part of the country.  I was under yet another communist regime and I was asked to join the military, which was the last thing I wanted to do, so I decided to escape to the Thai border camps, hoping to be repatriated to the USA.

In 1981, I traveled to the Thai-Cambodian border to try to get to America. In the refugee camp people asked me if I would be willing to go to Australia, France, Canada, or some other country.  I said, “No, the only one country I want to go to is America.” I ended up stuck in the camps in Thailand for 12 years, where I committed my life to following Christ as my Lord and Savior through YWAM’s (Youth with A Mission) ministry, and never got that chance to go to the United States.

In 1989, I decided to work with Campus Crusade for Christ as an evangelist team leader in Site 2, the biggest camp in Thailand, where I was chosen to be a pastor of a church.

At last, on March 10, 1993, I was repatriated to Cambodia and decided to stay in Phnom Penh ever since.  I started working with YWAM again. I attended one of the churches in the city. I helped the church as a translator for seminars, which were led by various missionaries from Malaysia or Singapore. I served in the church as leader of the elder committee.  I chose not to return to my home village because I did not want to face the intimidation of 1975 all over again.

In October 1995, I was invited by Scripture Union to attend SU institutes and SU camp.  After returning from SU camp in Malaysia I started working as a council member for SU and was instrumental in calling together nationals and missionaries to organize Cambodia’s first national youth leaders’ camp under Cambodia [MI6] Christian Service’s Youth Commission. I also pioneered the movement of teaching sexual awareness from a Biblical perspective to Christian young people, encouraging them remain pure in the midst of a sexual revolution where many young people were dying of AIDS. For years I led workshops during youth camp about boy and girl relationships. Using some of the material SU had given me, I wrote a book on sexual awareness in the Khmer language and taught from this book in all the forums of the EFC Youth Commission, such as youth camps, sexual awareness seminars, regional youth seminars and provincial youth seminars.

On February 14, 1999, I moved from YWAM to work as an assistant to the leadership development coordinator in the Training of Timothys project at World Vision for Dr. Russell Bowers. In July of 2003, I left the Training of Timothys to serve as the co-director of the EFC’s Youth Commission.  I am also a contributing member of the Committee of Children at Risk and EFC Children’s Commission. Now I am the director of the EFC-KEY[7]


Email Correspondence with Ms. Alli Blair and Miss Alice Compain, 2003.

Interviews with Arun Sok Nhep, Chuck Keller, Doug Shaw, Sally Shaw, Yorng Soth, Mam

Barnabas, Sar Paulerk, and Uon Seila, Phnom Penh 2003-2004.

Bauhahn, Maurice, CCS News and Views, Article 1994, Phnom Penh.

Manickam, Radha, History of CMC, Seattle Washington. 2002

Uon, Seila, Personal Biography. Phnom Penh, 2002

Written by: Cambodianchristian.Com

Filed Under: Chapter 14, Cry of the Gecko - By Brian Maher

Trackback URL: http://www.cambodianchristian.com/article/wp-trackback.php?p=335