The median age in Cambodia is currently 25 years. This high concentration of youths brings great challenges and time-sensitive opportunities. An estimated 96% of these youths are Buddhist in background, but the majority are drawn to Western consumerism. Like many youths everywhere, they are disillusioned, insecure and drawn to pleasure above all else.
Cambodia is broken. Poverty is significant. Violence against women is a big problem, and human trafficking is very prevalent with an estimated 261,000 Cambodians trafficked into forced labor and sexual exploitation. Corrupt politicians and self-serving business leaders are taking advantage.
Where is the hope?
The Apostle Paul asks,
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15, NIV).
The Set Free Movement has a simple focus. We want to see people set free physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Not one aspect. All four. Only Jesus can do this. Only Jesus sets captives free. Jesus brings hope and healing. The hope of the world is Jesus.
The best defense against injustice is a strong, vibrant community of faith. Whether a discipleship group, house church, brick-and- mortar gathering or Christian service organization, together, centered on Jesus, values are formed and informed. The transformation of lives moves outward to transform communities.
All of the above is the reasoning behind our Freedom Sunday 2022 projects:
- Church planting initiatives. Let’s plant thriving, discipleship-oriented churches in Cambodia that will bring joyful, transformational change to the villages, cities and countries.
- International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) support and expansion. ICCM has already proven to be a powerful bulwark against human trafficking. Let’s help ICCM thrive and grow in Cambodia.
- Set Free Movement regional leader. Let’s effectively work to protect the vulnerable, end human trafficking and create new futures in Southeast Asia by appointing a national leader.
We have an opportunity to live into Paul’s question. We can help people believe. We can help send. We can be agents of transformation. The time is now.
- “Cambodia. Statistics and Facts.” Statista. statista.com/topics/4497/cambodia/#dossierKeyfigures
- “Cambodia: Reducing Poverty and Sharing Prosperity.” World Bank. worldbank.org/en/results/2019/10/30/cambodiareducing-poverty-and-sharing-prosperity
- “A Statistical Profile of Child Protection in CAMBODIA.” Unicef. unicef.org/cambodia/media/711/file
- “Cambodia.” Global Slavery Index. globalslaveryindex.org/2018/data/country-data/cambodia
Photo Credit: Kevin Austin