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

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

Rose

Rose knows that Jesus loves and cares for her. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will soften her heart and that someday she will choose Him.

By: Daniel Greenfield
December 01 2017, 4:50 am | Comments 0

Just Another Day in the Mission Field

Sometimes a section of road seemed impassible, but either God would provide another route, or it was as if we had angels pushing on the back of our truck to keep us moving closer to the sick child.

By: Daniel Greenfield
November 01 2017, 10:08 am | Comments 0

Student Missionaries: A Thank-You

If you are between the ages of 19 and 35, please consider serving a year as a student or short-term missionary. It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

By: Cara Greenfield
October 01 2017, 1:07 pm | Comments 0

On The Edge of Extinction

Living in a Pnong village gave me a firsthand view of what I finally decided was most important—people in need of their Savior.

By: Camilyn Clayville
October 01 2017, 12:45 pm | Comments 0

Back In Cambodia!

Once again, God has answered your prayers mightily!

By: Daniel Greenfield
September 01 2017, 5:22 am | Comments 0

Returning to Cambodia

Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to share Jesus with the Pnong people. We are excited to be back.

By: Caa Greenfield
August 01 2017, 10:15 am | Comments 0

God Is Still At Work

Kuis and Rien told me they wanted to become Christians, but the village elders would not permit it.

By: Cara Greenfield
June 01 2017, 5:55 am | Comments 1

The Missing Bag

I knew God had big plans for this trip. I was excited to see how He was going to work.

By: Cara Greenfield
April 01 2017, 12:49 pm | Comments 0

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