The Church of the Nazarene in Cambodia was reorganized in 2012 after six years of crisis, making it the newest district in Southeast Asia. Nearly 70 percent of Cambodians are under the age of 30 years old, and many of them learn about Jesus through the more than 50 Nazarene churches in the Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Battambong, and Phnom Penh provinces.
The district recently held its first Nazarene Youth International training retreat. Read more about the event from a participant, Ratha:
Our district regularly holds Course of Study training programs for the pastors, team leaders, and youth in those areas in order to increase the number of the believers and to make them stronger for God’s mission.
The Khmer (Cambodian) leadership team, field and regional leaders, and partners around the world pray a lot together for a strategy to teach and reach these young people. God led us to partner together to sponsor and hold this first NYI training retreat. Praise the Lord!
We travelled from many different locations to join together August 14 in Sihanoukville. With leadership from Korea, the Southeast Asia Field, Cambodia, and youth participants, there were about 100 people for this first-time, district-wide event!
We worshipped and praised our Father in heaven together for all that He does. We dedicated our time together to Him, asking for His protection and guidance for our days together. He protected and guided us! We learned together about how much God loves us, His plan for our lives, and what He wants us to be for Cambodia. We worshipped, studied, went to the beach, worshipped, and studied more of God’s Word and plan together.
Although the NYI training retreat is over, the teachings and memories are still with me. The first thing I learned was the NYI theme, “Be Do Go.” I saw these words and started to ask myself: What do I need to Be? What do I need to Do? Where do I need to Go?
I know God needs me to Be the one who loves the Lord my God with all my heart and all my soul and with all my strength and my mind and also love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27).
What God needs me to Do is go and share the Good News, make disciples, teaching them to obey everything God has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). We need to follow in the footsteps of our master by contextualizing the good news and living out timeless examples of Christ-centered living.
God wants me to Go to other towns to proclaim the Good News of God (Luke 4:43). Especially the places around me.
The second thing that I learned was unity. We are from different places and different families, but we join together as one family in Jesus’ name. We became one as we had activities and games, danced, and worshipped God together. We cooperated with each other to achieve the same goal. I think this is what God wants.
We all returned home with good memories about our time together at the NYI training retreat, grateful for this chance to meet each other, know each other, pray and worship together, build relationships with each other, and study about God together. During this year we will be praying for the situations in each other’s lives and churches, with hopes and dreams that Cambodia NYI will join together again next year so we can exchange more how we have grown in Jesus Christ since this event.