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

The Kind Farmer and His Wife

I do not always have the opportunity to talk about Jesus, but I pray that those I meet will see Him in my life and want to know Him more. Please keep our neighbors lifted up in prayer.

By: Daniel Greenfield
January 01 2022, 3:10 pm | Comments 0

Meeting Wood and Fresh

Please pray that God will give us special moments together. Pray also, that they will meet the Prince of Peace in our home as we present Him to them.

By: Rene Theunissen
December 01 2021, 12:19 pm | Comments 0

Nary

Nary’s life has been a lot harder than most children I have known, but I see so much potential in her.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
December 01 2021, 12:11 pm | Comments 0

Reality

Even though we were disappointed that Ma Ceort passed away, the reality is that we are in a battle, and the enemy does not give up territory easily.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
November 01 2021, 8:18 am | Comments 0

An Acts 15 Experience

Nobody in the village would go near the house for fear of the wrath of the spirits. Only our believers would go near and take them food.

By: Daniel Greenfield
November 01 2021, 8:03 am | Comments 0

Tring Tring

I realized that we are supposed to reach out to people like children do. They have no filters and are unaware of time or social barriers. They only want to hear the voice of someone on the other side of the telephone.

By: Rene Theunissen
October 01 2021, 4:19 pm | Comments 0

Hi, Nancy

Would you please pray that God will give us hearts to see and eyes to find our friends and neighbors who may unknowingly hide from Him?

By: Rene Theunissen
September 01 2021, 10:20 am | Comments 0

Sloat’s Field

I thank God for the opportunity to interact with our church members.

By: Daniel Greenfield
September 01 2021, 9:30 am | Comments 0

Just a Few Minutes Longer

Now Cara was almost here, and there was no word on when Laurence would get released. I was doing my best, but I could not figure out why God was not answering our prayers.

By: Daniel & Cara Greenfield
August 01 2021, 11:58 am | Comments 0

Every Step of the Way

When our time at the hotel was over and we were checking out, we looked at the bill and were pleasantly surprised. The hotel had only charged us for Cara and my meals and hadn’t charged anything for the kids! We left feeling blessed, refreshed and ready to start working again! I want to say thank you to each one of you who were praying for us! God blessed and provided what we needed every step of the way.

By: Daniel Greenfield
July 01 2021, 8:23 am | Comments 0

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