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

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

Kiry

Please pray for these young people as they seek to find the faith Kiry showed in the face of death.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
July 01 2022, 11:34 am | Comments 0

Bible Studies with Staff

Please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue working in our staff and students’ hearts and that opportunities for conversations like the one above will come about more frequently.

By: Cara Greenfield
July 01 2022, 11:29 am | Comments 0

Chicks

If you are sick and hurting, remember how much God loves you and how valuable you are to Him. God loves each of His many children, and He will never stop loving you.

By: Bethany Nicholaides
June 01 2022, 10:35 am | Comments 0

What Can I Give?

That simple, cheap, plastic truck did its job well, not only bringing happiness to a little boy and his father but also helping me realize that sometimes the best way to help is by giving happiness. How can you bring happiness to someone today?

By: Hannah Nicholaides
June 01 2022, 9:21 am | Comments 0

Mud Buddies

It’s funny how even some of our embarrassing incidents can become a blessing. You never know when you may make a new friend. Maybe all it takes is getting a little (or very) muddy!

By: Katie LeBlanc
June 01 2022, 9:19 am | Comments 0

Ripples

These situations are reminders that the best witness we can give others is not a sermon or Bible study but the power of Christ living in our hearts. May His presence in our lives send beautiful ripples always!

By: Veronica Nicholaides
May 01 2022, 9:53 am | Comments 0

Seeking Unity on the Farm

I asked him if Jon would pray and allow God to work on his heart and change him as He directed. Thankfully he was willing.

By: Daniel Greenfield
May 01 2022, 9:31 am | Comments 0

One Sabbath Afternoon

I imagine God looking down at our little group in that jungle valley with pleasure that Sabbath afternoon.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
April 01 2022, 3:20 pm | Comments 0

11 Strong

What I thought would be a setback turned into a testament to how God moves even when everything seems out of control.

By: Amy Reyes
April 01 2022, 3:20 pm | Comments 0

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