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

Pech’s Angel Part 2

Jesus knows our hearts. He knows about those who call themselves Christians but aren’t. He also knows each one of us who love and follow Him.

By: Molly Timmins
August 01 2018, 5:46 am | Comments 0

Pech’s Angel

“What about our baby?” she pleaded. “Don’t leave us! We need you!”

By: Molly Timmins
July 01 2018, 9:37 am | Comments 0

Frantic Friday

Feeling convicted, I gave everything up to God and invited Him to work it out for His glory.

By: Daniel Greenfield
July 01 2018, 5:28 am | Comments 0

Our Journey to the Pnong Project

Looking back on how God brought all of us to this project, I smile contentedly, realizing yet again that He is the ultimate planner.

By: Jonathan & Veronica Nicholaides
May 01 2018, 5:55 am | Comments 0

Too Many Funerals

Each time I attend a Pnong funeral, I feel a small bit of that burden on my heart—the burden for lost humanity.

By: Daniel Greenfield
May 01 2018, 5:35 am | Comments 0

Srey Neung

Satan doesn’t appreciate Srey Neung’s initiative and enthusiasm.

By: Molly Timmins
May 01 2018, 5:17 am | Comments 0

Pnong Baptisms

May God receive the glory for the progress of the work here. He is the driving force behind every advance we make into enemy territory. We each have a role to play in this end-time movement. Let’s remain faithful until Jesus returns.

By: Daniel Greenfield
April 01 2018, 6:40 am | Comments 0

Walking Through God’s Open Doors

Though God temporarily led us to the banks of the Great River, His ultimate plan was to lead us to the highlands of Cambodia.

By: Greg Timmins
March 01 2018, 3:12 am | Comments 0

School Dedication

It had been an exhausting day, but God had blessed abundantly.

By: Daniel Greenfield
February 01 2018, 4:55 am | Comments 0

Packing Our Hearts

Through this journey, Christ is growing us and showing us that He is all we really need and want.

By: Marley Vida
December 01 2017, 5:23 am | Comments 0

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