Gospel Reaches Cambodian Trying to Bargain with God

A Cambodian accustomed to getting drunk on beer with his wife had been listening to a native missionary’s talk radio program for about a month when he called in with a dilemma.

The unidentified man, a resident of Phnom Penh here called Kimheng for clarity, told the radio host that he had sworn to his wife that if one of his beer can rings carried the winning number for a company’s give-away of a new car, he would stop drinking beer and become a Christian.

He might have been drunk.

“Just a few hours before they called the program, they had had a dozen cans of beer for dinner,” the leader of the native missionary said. “He had said to his wife, ‘Honey, if Jesus gives us a winning prize of a car on the beer can, I will stop drinking beer and accept Him as my Lord and Savior, because He is so good to us and many others in Cambodia.’”

The dubious theological basis for offering such a deal to God aside, his wife waited to see if the pledge was just the beer speaking. Not much time, though – as soon as he finished telling her, a neighbor walked by, and Kimheng invited him in for a beer.

The dubious theological basis for offering such a deal to God aside, his wife waited to see if the pledge was just the beer speaking.

The neighbor was delighted to find the winning number on the ring of the beer can given to him and, saying it was rightfully his property, he walked away, the ministry leader said.

Kimheng asked the Christian radio host what he should do.

“He said to this man, ‘Jesus is a righteous judge, therefore you should just give this case to Him in prayer without doubting – He will direct your paths to the right thing,’” the ministry leader said.

The radio host prayed for him on the air, and soon the neighbor brought the winning beer can ring, saying, “I am so sorry – I now know that I am wrong.”

With this cliff-hanger development in what seemed like a reality show plot, the radio program’s allotted time ran out.

The next time the local missionary’s talk radio show aired, his colleague was hosting it. The couple called back in, and the radio host made sure they knew the Source of the salvation offered to them and the price He paid before leading them to confess their faith in the suffering Messiah.

“Jesus is so good!” the ministry leader said.

Monk Saved

Another listener to the local ministry’s radio program was a 56-year-old Buddhist monk.

After listening to the Christian content for three months, he decided that the three decades he had spent in the Buddhist monastery were wasted years, the ministry leader said.

“The host joyfully led him to the Lord Jesus while on the air,” he said. “He has found a true, living God and true Savior in Jesus Christ via the radio program.”

Local missionaries follow up with those who put their faith in Christ on the live radio talk shows. They and other workers in the country that is about 2 percent evangelical form cell groups to which they invite seekers and others for Bible studies. As new churches are planted, they train new Christians to establish daughter churches.

Gospel Advance

In the same way, workers throughout Southeast Asia use both the airwaves and on-the-ground outreaches, as well as social media, to bring the hope of Christ to the unreached.

Local missionaries in the Philippines recently distributed relief goods to pandemic-stricken neighbors as they braved potential opposition and health risks to share the gospel, the leader of a ministry based on the islands said.

“Because of the pandemic, people are becoming more receptive to the gospel,” he said. “In Cotabato, another tribal community was reached with the gospel. Many people from the Manobo tribe who are residing in the remote areas of Libungan town yielded their lives to the true Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In Cagayan de Oro City, the owners of a trucking company invited a couple discipled by local missionaries to share the message of eternal life with their entire staff. All 25 employees responded positively to the gospel, the ministry leader said.

The owners of the company are faithful followers of Christ, he said, and the husband later dedicated newly acquired trucks to the Lord.

“The same sister also served as a resource speaker during a seminar on responsible parenthood, which was sponsored by a government agency,” the leader said. “The gospel was shared after the session and, by God’s grace, many of those who attended the seminar, approximately 70 of them, received the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord.”

In the same city, a nurse discipled by local missionaries shared the gospel with about 300 nurses and other medical staff members in a webinar sponsored by Northern Mindanao Regional Hospital, the leader said.

“She received positive feedback about the message,” he said. “We praise God that the pandemic did not hinder the sharing of the gospel to many people. Instead, God made the hearts of the people hungry with spiritual things, and they are seeking the truth as they are all confronted with the safety of their lives and an unknown future.”

Workers throughout Southeast Asia are co-laboring with the Lord to bring the message of eternal life to the unreached. Please consider a donation today to equip them for the task.

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