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Pnong

  • Pre-Entry
  • Pre-Evangelism
  • Evangelism
  • Discipleship
  • Phase-Out
  • Completed

About the People

Far up in the northeastern corner of Cambodia, in Mondulkiri province near the Vietnam border, there are broad, sweeping, forest-covered hills with waterfalls and rivers in the deep valleys. Scattered throughout this woodland area are the Pnong people, who typically live in thatched bamboo, two-story longhouses with rounded ends. These farmers and foresters are known for taming elephants to haul trees and cargo. They practice labor-intensive slash-and-burn agriculture, following a 15- to 20-year cycle, using one site for up to five years before moving to a new location.

The Pnong are animists whose lives center around the worship of many nature spirits and performing ceremonies designed to appease and manipulate them.

About the Project

In the mid-1950s, the Pnong people heard of Jesus and invited missionaries to come and teach them. Mission agencies were unable to answer the call at that time, and the tribe sent another request in the mid-1960s. Then regional hostilities broke out, leading up to the Vietnam War. The Ho Chi Minh Trail ran through Pnong territory, so many fled the bombings and became refugees in Vietnam, where some were finally able to learn the gospel. Now, there are about a thousand Christians among the Pnong.

The Pnong are usually short of food for three to five months a year between harvests. During this time, they forage in the forest, hunt, fish or gather resin to sell. Major tracts of land have been logged, sold or otherwise removed from the traditional owners of the Bunong community, leading to a decrease in basic resources.

Until recently, the Pnong language was only spoken, not written. Many Pnong do not speak the trade language, Khmer, very well. Their ability to interact with the broader society is limited, preventing the adoption of innovations and ideas from the outside. The majority of Pnong people lack math skills and are often cheated in the marketplace. Also, as outside influences encroach with alarming speed and impact, the Pnong people are ill-equipped to adapt.

Most of all, the Pnong are grasping for stability and hope that can only be found in Christ. There is not yet a complete Pnong Bible translation, but one is underway.

People-Group Facts

  • Population: 30,000
  • Trade Language: Khmer
  • Heart Language: Pnong
  • Religion: Animism

Frontier Stories

Keep on Pressing

Jesus loves us and wants to be near us. When we realize that it is He who impresses human hearts, and when we are humble and teachable, we can become like Him in mind and character.

By: Rene Theunissen
December 01 2022, 11:54 am | Comments 0

Missionary Widows

Though her friends are not baptized yet, they are already missionaries.

By: Cris Jara
December 01 2022, 11:36 am | Comments 0

Jendra’s Story

God is teaching me to be patient and to wait on Him.

By: Jonathan Nicholaides
December 01 2022, 11:05 am | Comments 0

God’s Call

There will always be obstacles or someone unhappy with your decision, but don’t ignore God’s calling—it is the Holy Spirit whispering that He has a purpose for your life and blessings for those still unreached.

By: Amy Reyes
November 01 2022, 8:30 am | Comments 0

Farewell, and Thank You, The Greenfields

Thank you, and may God bless you as we look forward to Jesus’ soon return.

By: Daniel Greenfield
October 01 2022, 2:37 pm | Comments 0

Do I Need to Change My Mind?

I do not want to be so distracted by the apparently urgent that I miss the truly important.

By: Rene Theunissen
October 01 2022, 9:14 am | Comments 0

Enoch’s Fall

Surely the angels kept Enoch from serious injury! As we thought of what could have so easily been a devastating outcome, our hearts overflowed with gratitude for God’s protective care.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
August 01 2022, 10:34 am | Comments 0

All About Cultivation

Please pray that God blesses us in cultivating produce and relationships.

By: Daniel & Cara Greenfield
August 01 2022, 10:05 am | Comments 0

It is not about us.

A family deciding between God or the spirits.

By: Cristian Jara
July 11 2022, 3:28 am | Comments 0

Upside Down

Please pray with us to discover ways to help our neighbors align their lives to Jesus and for us to stay focused on Him in the process.

By: Rene Theunissen
July 01 2022, 11:53 am | Comments 0

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