Lutheran World Mission





 

 

HISTORY

 

 Mekong_Region.jpg

Since the 1990s several leaders of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Asia had been discussing about starting a holistic outreach ministry in the Mekong region – the region where the Mekong River flows 4,350 kilometers through several countries to the lower basin and into the South China Sea. These countries are Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan (southern part of China) that have a total population of over 300 million. Later the group realized that several other Lutheran churches and mission agencies from other parts of the world also had the intention of reaching out to the countries in the Mekong region. 

As such, in year 2000, under the initiative of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the first Mekong Mission Partners’ Consultation (MMPC) was held in Bangkok, Thailand from September 29 to October 5. Thirty-four (34) participants from 14 countries representing LWF member churches, related mission agencies and organizations, ecumenical partners and consultants met ‘to learn, discuss, and consider ways in which cooperative mission programs and projects in the Mekong Region might be initiated or facilitated’*. This joint cooperation was deemed a new and exciting mission endeavor as it involved LWF member churches and mission agencies from both north & south / east & west - Australia, Cambodia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States of America. Lutheran seminaries in the region (Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong, Sabah Theological Seminary, Lutheran Seminary Thailand, etc) and other ecumenical partners like the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), representatives of ecumenical churches in the Mekong region had also been actively participating in the process from the beginning.


 



rw6093cambodia-700x700.jpg

 

 After some initial facts finding through survey and field trips, the MMPC established the Mekong Mission Forum (MMF) in 2002. This Forum comprises of representatives from the various Lutheran churches and mission agencies. It meets on an annual basis to strategize and carry out the programs and projects to the Mekong countries according to country interest groups. The initial interest group keen to start or have existing work in Cambodia were Lutheran churches/mission agencies from Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore. To avoid duplication, the emphasis of the MMF was to network and strengthen existing Christian churches and groups regardless of denomination.  The first attempt by the Cambodia interest group was with the Kampuchea Christian Council (KCC) where capacity building was deemed most acute by the KCC at that time. However, after a couple of years, due to some internal problems within the KCC, the task was aborted.


 



Target Found

Krus Village in the province of Kampong Chhnang

Logo.jpg


Attempts were also made to work with other church groups like the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), but this too, did not reap the desired result. Finally in year 2004, members of the Cambodia interest group decided that they will work towards the starting of a Lutheran church in Cambodia. Dr. William Chang, a pastor of the Lutheran Church in Singapore (LCS), was appointed to spear head the project where exploratory & field trips to Cambodia were organized for interested MMF partners.  After a couple of years of surveying and engaging in community works through mobile clinics and Gospel outreach in different provinces and villages, Krus village in the province of Kampong Chhnang (about 2 hours from the capital city of Phnom Penh) was identified as a suitable base to anchor the ministry. 


 


MOU with Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed

With the need to register with the Cambodian government in order to continue the local work, LCS went ahead in 2008 to register the Lutheran World Mission Limited (LWML) in Singapore for the work in Cambodia. This led to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for LWM to operate as a foreign NGO in Cambodia.



 

 Good Shepherd Lutheran Church cum Life Centre started

 

With the goal of starting a church and diakonia ministry, LWM applied and became a member of the Evangelical Fellowship in Cambodia (EFC) under the name Lutheran Church in Cambodia (LCC). In 2008 LWM bought a piece of land in Krus village, and a church cum diakonia centre was built with support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria (ELCB) and LCS. In 2010, the building was completed and housed LCC’s first congregation and diakonia centre – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church cum Life Centre.

 

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (GSLC) continues its holistic mission through Gospel and diakonia outreach to the community in Krus and other surrounding villages. A Sunday worship service was started with about 24 adults and 40 children in the Sunday school. Initial diakonia services include English classes and a Daily Bread project that offers a balance meal a day from Tuesday to Friday for about 50 children from needy families and several elderly people in the community.

 



LWM City Church and Hostel started

In 2011, with several youths from GSLC furthering their tertiary education in the capital city of Phnom Penh, LWM decided to start a City Church (congregation) cum hostel ministry for university students. Currently there are 30 male and 20 female students staying at LWM student hostel and a regular Sunday service with an average attendance of 45. A full-time pastor had been engaged for the ministry and to care for the needs of the students who had come from different provinces of Cambodia.

 

Nine were baptized into the body of Christ and received as members of LCC in GSLC in its first baptism in July 2010; 37 in 2011 and 33 on 1st January, 2012 which included the first batch of 10 students from LWM City Church/hostel. 

 

 



 

 

 Personnel

 

2006 – 2011

Revd Dr William Chang
- Executive Director

2008 – 2009

Ms Angie Ng
- Manager of Life Centre

2008 – Present

Ps Daniel Tina Orn
- Pastor, LWM Local Representative

2011 – Present

Ps Mose Lat
- Pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

2011 – Present

Ps Vibol Khit
- Pastor, Phnom Penh City Church / Hostel

2011 – Present

Sally Lim / Kee
- LWM Coordinator

2012 – Present

Mr Sous Sophal
- Administrator & Ministry Coordinator

2013 - Present

Mr Rasmei Yan
- Project Manager




 

 

Copyright Lutheran World Mission. January 2013.
All rights reserved.