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

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

Foot Scrubbing

Now I have a new perspective and understand the necessity of foot washing on a deeper level. Daily, let us pray to God to be scrubbed of our sins so that we can be ready for heaven.

By: Rene Theunissen
April 01 2022, 3:19 pm | Comments 0

Leaders in the Making

Our hard work and planning was rewarded through the changes we witnessed in the group. Please continue to pray for these students as they grow in Jesus.

By: Cara Greenfield
March 01 2022, 9:07 am | Comments 0

Meeting Angels

They picked us up by ambulance that evening. We did not know where we were going, but at least we were together.

By: Rene Theunissen
March 01 2022, 8:33 am | Comments 0

Back to Basics

As I teach this year, I want to follow Jesus’ teaching methods of love and personal relationships; these are the basics of true education.

By: Amy Reyes
March 01 2022, 8:21 am | Comments 0

he Is Our Strength

Zechariah 4:6 says, “Then He answered and spake unto me, saying . . . ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” In November, Katie (another student missionary) and I were privileged to live a firsthand example of this verse.

By: Hannah Nicholaides
March 01 2022, 8:14 am | Comments 0

Lesson Learned

Many things have happened in the six months living in Mondulkiri, but the most beautiful memory I have so far, happened on a Sunday afternoon.

By: Amy Reyes
February 24 2022, 11:26 pm | Comments 0

Lección Aprendida

Muchas cosas han pasado estos seis meses viviendo en Mondulkiri. Pero el recuerdo más bonito que tengo hasta ahora es de un domingo por la tarde.

By: Amy Reyes
February 21 2022, 6:57 am | Comments 0

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