In 1973 those attending the Keswick Convention heard a heartfelt plea from Taing Chhirc for British Christians to support the young and struggling church in Cambodia. As a result of this appeal, the mission agency SAO Cambodia was formed.
Tragically, Chhirc, who returned to church leadership in Phnom Penh the following year, was among thousands killed by the Khmer Rouge. But SAO Cambodia lived on as a mission dedicated to help the church and rejuvenate this once rich and plentiful nation back to recovery.
Since 1990, the mission has had a significant input among local Cambodian groups, improving their spiritual, social and physical well-being. Working with the local church and other partners, it is committed to see the nation fully restored. With this in mind, SAO Cambodia has changed its name to Cambodia Action.
The links with Keswick continue. For its thirtieth anniversary, the mission brought church leader Pastor Barnabas Mam to Keswick in 2003. It is now discussing with Langham Preaching how to develop links which will support the Cambodian church.
Cambodia Action hosted a reception at the Keswick Convention this year to mark this further significant step. Rev. John Wallis, a trustee of Cambodia Action commented: ‘There are so many opportunities to continue to meet the challenge from Chhirc Taing. We want to partner with others to achieve strong biblical leadership in the Cambodian church’.
Jonathan Lamb of Langham Preaching said: ‘We are looking forward to working with Cambodia Action and Cambodian church leaders to establish ongoing training and support for pastors and lay preachers’.