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 the performing of 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 though 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 ownership 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 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, and 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

Pleasing God

Komlang was so eager to please and make me happy. What a refreshing thing to see in an employee! Then the thought hit me: Am I this eager to please God and make Him happy? He is my boss. Do I look for ways each day to show Him respect and honor? It’s something for each one of us to think about.

By: Cara Greenfield
September 01 2020, 11:05 am | Comments 0

Fields of Blessing

Though our new believers had already planted their rice for the year, they still wanted to put into practice the planting ceremony to ask for God’s blessing on their crops next year. So, this past week, we performed the first rice-field and garden dedications! Praise God!

By: Molly Timmins
September 01 2020, 8:50 am | Comments 0

Persecution

As the children get older and start standing up for Christ, like Sunshine has, they may suffer persecution from family members and be pulled out of school. Please continue to pray for the students at the school here and the impact we are having for eternity.

By: Cara Greenfield
August 01 2020, 4:50 pm | Comments 0

The Jyak Who Met Jesus

Though Jendra had gone far from her village of birth, she couldn’t escape the jyak label.

By: Molly Timmins
August 01 2020, 1:59 pm | Comments 0

Blessed by You

Following Jesus doesn’t mean we are exempt from pain and suffering or suddenly taken out of the battle. It means we’re on the winning side. Even if we lose our lives in battle, we are victors in Christ!

By: Veronica Nicholaides
June 01 2020, 3:59 pm | Comments 0

We Have a Truck!

We’re looking forward to using the truck to haul loads of avocados, durian and bananas to sell so that our students can be locally funded and not dependent on outside assistance. Thanks again for all your prayers and support! If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have this four-wheeled blessing.

By: Daniel Greenfield
June 01 2020, 3:04 pm | Comments 0

Ary’s Test

As she continues to grow and learn to be a representative of God, Ary will be a light for the Kingdom among the Pnong. May we all live likewise!

By: Ryan Schmid
June 01 2020, 8:21 am | Comments 0

Then, Seemingly Out of Nowhere…

They are choosing to leave spirit worship behind and enter Jesus.

By: Molly Timmins
April 01 2020, 1:57 pm | Comments 0

Missionary Life

Missionary life rarely has a dull moment. Thanks for your support and prayers!

By: Daniel & Cara Greenfield
April 01 2020, 10:05 am | Comments 0

And the Fear was Gone

God is willing and able to take away your fears, too. Will you let Him?

By: Michael Babienco
February 25 2020, 2:56 pm | Comments 0

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