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

Transitions

Government regulations in Cambodia are tightening, so gaining certification for our school may be difficult. 

By: Cara Greenfield
January 01 2019, 6:44 am | Comments 0

Aron and Sokha

Aron and Sokha are learning as they lead. I believe God has chosen them to do a special work here.

By: Molly Timmins
December 01 2018, 5:56 am | Comments 0

Neary and Suty

With a big smile, Suty told me that they were Christians now and wouldn’t be doing the traditional sacrifices.

By: Cara Greenfield
December 01 2018, 5:06 am | Comments 0

Tommy

I don’t know what he will decide as he grows. We are still praying for him. You can put him on your prayer list, too.

By: Jonathan Nicholaides
December 01 2018, 3:08 am | Comments 0

Tragedy in Boan Village

Please pray for Chay and the seeds that have been planted.

By: Daniel Greenfield
November 01 2018, 11:23 am | Comments 0

A Lilly in the Bog

Please pray for Savi as she continues to attend baptismal class at our school and looks forward to a new life in Christ.

By: Greg Timmins
November 01 2018, 11:19 am | Comments 0

Jym’s Testimony

Working for God is what I really want. Maybe someday I will even be a church planter. But whatever I do, I want to be serving God.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
November 01 2018, 9:35 am | Comments 0

Fenced In

How many times has God gone to great trouble to fix fences for us, and we aren’t even aware of His precautions? How often has He protected us from our enemy’s invasions when we didn’t have any idea of what He was doing?

By: Bethany Nicholaides
October 01 2018, 5:25 am | Comments 0

Sloat

His eyes shone. It was as if it was beginning to dawn on him that God can use him and has a plan for him better than he can imagine.

By: Greg Timmins
September 01 2018, 8:05 am | Comments 0

The Joash Box

Please join Teacher Pov and us in praying that God will supply a permanent place of worship. I can’t wait to see how God honors our faith!

By: Veronica Nicholaides
August 01 2018, 6:10 am | Comments 1

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