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

Because He is Love

Friends, as we start the new year, let’s open our hearts as never before to our Savior and see how He transforms us.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
January 01 2021, 10:35 am | Comments 0

Farewell to Cambodia

As our chapter with the Pnong ends and Christian’s and Solange’s chapter begins, will you continue to play your part in the story of the Pnong people?

By: Molly Timmins
January 01 2021, 9:59 am | Comments 0

Dot and Lima

Please pray for Dot and her family as they continue to learn more of Jesus’ love for them.

By: Veronica Nicholaides
December 01 2020, 11:38 am | Comments 0

Chained

Communication with her is somewhat difficult. Please pray for Rachay. We hope she can find true freedom in Christ and no longer have to be chained.

By: Cara Greenfield
December 01 2020, 9:41 am | Comments 0

The Spirit at Work

Please pray that we will have wisdom as we nurture their growing interest, and that the Holy Spirit will continue working in their hearts.

By: Jonathan Nicholaides
November 01 2020, 11:03 am | Comments 0

From Crumbs to Loaves

So why did the Bread of Life seem stale to me? I had been storing it too long, saving it up for doomsday! Bread is made to be shared, not stockpiled.

By: Molly Timmins
October 01 2020, 11:01 am | Comments 0

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

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