Pastor Khon Khan leads a network of churches in Cambodia. This nation of 17 million people is 97% Buddhist. In the 1970’s, the Khmer Rouge killed over two million people. But today, with God’s help, these killing fields are becoming harvest fields. Today we talk about how to reach Buddhists with the love of Jesus.
Connect with Khon Khan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SokhonEMA
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:01):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus on this podcast. We love talking about evangelism, and so make sure that you subscribe and keep listening, because every single time we have an episode, we hear great stories of what God is doing around the world. Today I have a very special guest with me, Pastor Khan, from the Nation of Cambodia. Thank you for being on the Evangelism Podcast with me.
Pastor Khon Khan (00:35):
Okay. So thank you very much for having me here, pastor Evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:42):
So brother, it is so wonderful to have you here, and I have been praying for the nation of Cambodia. It’s a nation of about 17 million people, and according to the STA statistics, 97% of Cambodia is Buddhist and follows the teachings of Buddha. But you are there being a shining light for Jesus in the midst of great darkness. So tell me a little bit, what is God doing in the nation of Cambodia?
Pastor Khon Khan (01:17):
Okay. I would like to say about how God is doing in Cambodia, but I just gave a bit background in the past the gospel come to Cambodia about hundred years ago, but at the time it’s through the Catholic priest during the French colony because our country was under colonized by friend about 90 years. So at the time, the gas ball is so close at the time. But just recently, I think back, starting from 1993, after we have election by prime what temporary government by un so we have the freedom to preach gospel. However, from that time, even though we have freedom to preach gospel, but still the community or the local authorities still close to us. However, recently few years later, we have much freedom now to God, Pandora, even our prime minister is open for us to, to preach gospel in Cambodia. Even our prime minister come to talk in the Christian group leader as well. So that mean he have a heart open for the US even though to speak gospel everywhere, even the public place places. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:43):
Now I heard that you actually now have a position in the government. Tell me about that and what the influence of that allows you to do.
Pastor Khon Khan (02:54):
Yes, actually, I, now I can say that I am not, can say that I, I have a position called undersecretary of state in the Ministry of cause and religion. So through this position that mean I have the, the right to meet the higher high ranking people and tell them about Jesus. Also, I can go from place to place that people like give me a respite of me so that it’s easy for me to tell people about Jesus. So it’s really influence from that. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:27):
And so I heard that I am supposed to call you your excellency <laugh> because you are a man deserving of great honor. Well, your excellency, I I think the, the greatest title that we can have is that of Servant of Jesus Christ. And you are a servant of Jesus, and you are a wonderful pastor. Tell me about the, the, the churches that you have been planting in different parts of Cambodia and and how does that happen?
Pastor Khon Khan (03:58):
Yes, actually we plan now we, they have 155 by last year. So we plan 100 and 55 churches in Cambodia. So how we do it, we do it like, you know, I train, I train the new pastor and leader so that they can go out, they can go out to the mission field to plant the churches, to bridge gospel in the villages. Also, we do it through a community hub. Sometime we do the water, well thriller, we thrill the village that there is no gospel. We go and partner with the local authority, and then we drill the well there and we ask them to plant a church here. So they open for us because we help them and they open for us to pray gospel and plant a church. They, they help us as well. Yeah. So this is the way that we come and plant the church in the villages. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:57):
I love the idea of planting wells because people need fresh water, and Jesus said let all who thirst come to me and drink. And the lady at the well, in Samaria, in John chapter four, Jesus talked to her about living water. And so we give them the fresh water, but then also are able to give people the living water that comes straight from heaven.
Pastor Khon Khan (05:28):
Yes, that’s right. Amen. Yeah, because we not just only give only physical water, but also through that we can give them the living water as well. So because they’re spiritual for the word of God. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:45):
Now, tell me about some of the, the outreaches that you do. I, I know that you’ve been involved in Christmas, in Cambodia, and you have been talking to people about Jesus at the, during the time of the birth of Jesus. What do those outreaches look like?
Pastor Khon Khan (06:02):
Yes. For the Christmas outreach, normally we do it the Christmas gift to the children in the rural village. So we we gather the children in the village to come together. We tell them Jesus story. We treat them song, and we present them the gift because we said that this is just only the gift physical gift just last a few day, or, you know, short time, but especially the love of God. That is the really gift for, for them. Jesus is the gift for them for eternal life. So for Christmas, we, we do that. We get the ring, also, we do the Christmas outreach by do Christmas celebration. We invite people, come together to one place, we serve them a meal, and then we can have opportunity to tell them about the Lotis, subscribe during that celebration. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:54):
Now, tell me some about your testimony. How did you become a believer in Jesus, and then how did you become a pastor?
Pastor Khon Khan (07:02):
Okay. back in 1998, I was away from my house because I was an I I, my, I am an orphan, a mother license, mean I don’t have mother because my mother passed away in 1994, and my father remarried. And then I don’t like my stepmother, so I have to live home to live in a Buddhist temple to serve the monks Buddhist mon. And then finally I end up in another town. I became the bad boy, or I can say the gangster in 1998. So in 1999, I feel that I want to study English with foreigner, because I know English a little bit already. So I want to study English with the foreigner, so that I want to be interpreter, but the place that I come to study, which is Filipino missionary, the church, so I come to study there.
However, before I don’t like to, to go to the church to study there, because I, I don’t like Christian. I hate Christian. I even Christian. I want to fight Christian and I stone the church. So, but finally, if I don’t go there, I don’t have money to study outside. So I force myself come to study, attend the class, and the class. It is not an earn English class. At that time, it was the Bible class. So I attend the Bible class, however, I don’t care the Bible class or whatever, because I want to learn English. I want to speak English.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:39):
Your English is very good. You speak wonderful English now.
Pastor Khon Khan (08:43):
So through that, through that the church require all the student come to church every midweek service, prayer meeting, and Sunday service. So I love to listen to my my pastor preaching so that I can learn English. So I keep coming on every Sunday, every midweek service I nonstop. So after five months later, I realize that after I read the Bible, and I, I, I find out especially from the Bo Man chapter three, verse 23, that for all have seen. So I look at to myself, oh, I have seen, because I, I was a bad boy. Yeah. So that’s why from that time, early of 2000, I accept the Lord Jesus s Christ as my personal Lord and Savior is through coming to the English class. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:33):
Wow. And then how, how do you become a pastor?
Pastor Khon Khan (09:36):
Oh, yes. So when I was an believer, I had to be a, a teacher because I want to teach people. So when I become Christian, and after I study the Bible class in my, my church, we, so it, God revealed to me God want me to be the pastor to shepherd the people who are lost. So that’s why from that time, I pray that, Lord God, after I finished my high school, and I will continue the Bible school so I can become the pastor. So I finished my high school in 2002 and Bible school in 2004. So through that, first I serve in my church, but finally God called me out from my church to plant my own ministry, which is called Evangelical Fellow evangelical Mission Association.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:26):
Wow. Yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit about Buddhism, because you said that you are an angry Buddhist. Yeah. You even want to throw stones at the Christians. You’re kind of like the Apostle Paul. He watched Stephen be stoned. He was there at the stoning of Stephen, but then he had an encounter with Jesus and gave his whole life to, to serving God. Yeah. And, and so here you were, you were an angry Buddhist, but the love of Jesus touched your heart. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I think that it’s very interesting looking at the, some of the, the differences between the Buddhist religion and the, the Christian religion. Of course, Buddha he was enlightened, and I got to go to India and see the tree, it’s called the, the Bode Gaia tree that they say that Buddha was sitting under mm-hmm. <Affirmative> when he was enlightened.
And so when I saw that, I, I began to study some of, of what what Buddha thought. And, and, you know, he, he had the, these four truths that he discovered mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And the first truth was that all is suffering. That everything is, is suffering that everything in the world it, it causes suffering. And then the second, second truth was that this suffering is caused by desire. That if you want some, like for example, if, if you want a car, you see somebody who has a beautiful new car mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and you begin to be jealous, then you feel bad mm-hmm. <Affirmative> on the inside because you want the car that they, well, you start to suffer because you want what they have. And then so all is suffering that suffering is caused by desire. That then the third truth is that the way to rid yourself of suffering is to rid yourself of desire.
And then Buddha taught an eightfold path to help people to rid themselves of desire. And, and when Buddha was born, he was a prince. Yeah. Yeah. And one day he was being carried down the road. He looked out through the curtains, and he saw a beggar man who had leprosy sitting beside the road. And he had never seen anything like that because he was, he was a prince. He was grew up with great wealth. And when he saw that, that really impacted him. And, and that’s where he went on his search for truth. Now, what’s really interesting is that Jesus also dealt with suffering. And when Jesus saw a leper, man, you remember what Jesus did? Yeah, yeah, yeah. He healed the leper. Yeah. He took away the leprosy. It is beautiful. And then Jesus sat under a tree in the garden of Gase. Yeah. And he be God. He said, you know, take this cup of suffering away from me. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, but he says, but if it be your will,
Pastor Khon Khan (13:40):
Not my will,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:41):
Not my will, but yours be done. Yep. Yeah. And so Jesus actually went to the cross and he suffered so that we could be set free from suffering. Hmm. Jesus took stripes on his back. Yeah. The sin of the whole world was put on him. They put a crown of thorns on his head. Jesus suffered so that we could be set free from suffering. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life. And I find that very interesting because the, the, the, the problem that Buddha was confronting is a very real human problem. I mean, people suffer. Suffering is very real. It hurts. Mm-Hmm. But Jesus came with a solution to the problem of suffering. Yeah. What do you think about that?
Pastor Khon Khan (14:31):
Yeah. I sing
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:32):
That it’s am am I right when I’m describing some of the teachings of Buddha? I don’t, I’m not Buddhist, so I don’t know, but maybe you know more
Pastor Khon Khan (14:39):
Yes. Actually that that is right. But the way that Buddha try to try to help the people out of dusk, there is four thing. One about he want to help people because some kind like people have to be born and grow up, get old born, get get born and getting old and sickness and die. So this is Buddha thing about his first thing that he want to try. How, how to get out people from that thing. Yeah. Because why people have to be born sickness all and die. But when he suffer himself a lot in order to find a way, finally, he said that he cannot, cannot take out the people, the nature of people from all of these. That’s why he throwing that he tried to do something else, he said, he’s not a God. This is what the Buddha said.
He’s not God, but he can solve what is right, what is wrong, what is good to do, and what is not good to do. So that’s why Buddha said that we cannot depend on him. We have to depend on ourself. Yeah. We have to depend on ourself, not depend on him. But he said that let the people who follow him need to Risa wait for another God who is the, the real God who bring peace to the world and who can help bring love to the world. So this is what Buddha one people not look to him, but to another God who come later after him. Yeah. So this is what Buddha’s teaching Yeah. Telling the people. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:30):
What do you say to a Buddhist who may be like, you, does not want Christianity? Maybe even would say that I don’t want a, a religion from the west, from the white man. What would you say to somebody who is Buddhist, but you want to present the hope of Jesus to that man?
Pastor Khon Khan (16:59):
Actually what we can say, Buddhist or Buddha Isk the leader of one religion. So if we compare the word religions, it mean that religion, Chas leader teaching. So all religion, most religion teach people what is the good thing to do? What is the bad? But religion cannot say people. So what we come to tell you to come, to tell you, the creator of the world, the one who create everything, and the one who can help us, and the one who die on the cross, and not just only die, but he resurrected from the dead. So this is what we can tell them, that Jesus is not one of the religion. Jesus is the God of the world. Jesus is the savior of the world. So we believe in Jesus, not mean that we change the religion from Buddhism to to believe in religion of Jesus, but we believe in the personal of the Lord Jesus, who is the real God. So this is the way that we present the gospel to the people of give hope to the people. Hmm.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:05):
That gives such wonderful hope. Yeah. And, and really, that, that is what the, the message of Jesus is. He brings hope. Yeah. To those who are hopeless. I remember I was in the nation of, of Myanmar mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and of course there’s many Buddhist temples in Myanmar, big beautiful golden temples. And I was outside one of the temples, and there was a, a man who had a, a cage full of birds and an an old Buddhist man, and his wife came, they, they bought two birds. They paid money, they bought two birds mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And then they take the birds out of the cage, and then they, they let the birds go free. Yeah. And I asked, why, why did they do that? And someone explained to me, he was like, well, you know, maybe they’ve done some bad thing. Mm-Hmm. And so now they want to do something good in order to, to make up for what they did that was bad. And so by setting the bird go free mm-hmm. They’re doing a good deed to make up for a bad deed. And the problem is that as humans, the Bible says, all have sin. We’ve all done so many things that are bad. Yeah. And no matter how many good things we do, we cannot balance the scales. It’s impossible to be as good as God.
Pastor Khon Khan (19:23):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:24):
But that’s what Jesus does for us. He lived a perfect life. And then the, the Bible says that the punishment for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. So Jesus, he died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. And now by trusting in Jesus, we can be made perfect before God. Yeah. And he takes away all of the bad deeds that we’ve done. And He, he gives us his righteousness. That righteousness means to, to be standing right in to be good before God. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And that’s what Jesus does. Yes. He brings hope. Yeah. That’s right. Where releasing a bird can never get you to heaven. Yeah. <laugh>. But Jesus can take you to heaven.
Pastor Khon Khan (20:12):
Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. So that is wonderful. Yeah. Because only Jesus, as he said, that he’s the way, the truth and the life. So if people don’t come to him, they cannot take hope for their life. Yeah. Actually, normally people who believe in Buddha, they don’t have hope at all. They just, you know they sometime they know, but because they said that is because of their tradition, their forefather, when they was born as a Buddhist believer. So they just follow, but they don’t understand, clearly understand what they believe. So what they see, they just follow. And sometime for back in Cambodia people know that Christian are good, Jesus Christ are good, but they said that they cannot stop. They cannot give up their religion. Because if they give up the religion, their parent or their grandparent or relative will get angry with them sometime like that. So they can say, Jesus is a, a good Jesus, good. Or can give her, or can give the, but the hard thing, when they want to come to believe in Jesus sometime their parent, their relative criticize them. Yeah. So, Jesus, only Jesus is the hope for the people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:29):
Pastor Khon Khan (21:30):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:31):
Well, I’m so excited to hear that Jesus is working in the nation of Cambodia. You are raising up leaders, training pastors, planting churches, preaching the gospel. And I encourage you to continue in in that. I believe that Jesus loves the nation of Cambodia.
Pastor Khon Khan (21:53):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:53):
And I believe that God is going to send a great move of His Holy Spirit to Cambodia. And I believe that every person in Cambodia needs to hear about Jesus and have the opportunity to, to give their lives to Jesus and to receive the salvation that comes through Jesus. So I have a question. A lot of the people who, who listen to this podcast mm-hmm. <Affirmative> if, if they wanted to, to pray for Cambodia or come to Cambodia is is there opportunities to do that? What what should they be praying for for the nation of Cambodia?
Pastor Khon Khan (22:29):
Okay, so days before, and answer your question, I, i dunno what it is term called, but I say that my heart is to turn killing field into how Westfield, why Wow. Why I said turn killing field to how Westfield, because the, he, I was bad history last in 1975, up to 1979, we were under the Khmer Rouge that that communist kill their own people amongst, when amongst 1 million people, they kill at least two to 3 million people. So that’s why if you go there, you can see a lot of bond that they college and keep in one place. So this is what I want to see Cambodia turn back to God. So there are many opportunity that if anyone want to come and minister to Cambodia, we either can come to do the, you know, we can do the public evangel, public evangelism, or we call crusade, or we can do pastor leader training or do some outreach as community help through
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:44):
That. We can, maybe someone wants to help dig a well…
Pastor Khon Khan (23:46):
Dig a well or maybe help build a community school. Or maybe they can, you know, like there are many opportunity because there are needs, many needs there in Cambodia. So, and all those need through that, we can bring hope to the people through what we can have. We can have the way to reach out the people also. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:11):
Amen. Yeah. Well, I agree with you that we need to turn the killing fields into harvest fields. Amen. And I believe that Jesus can do that. And I pray for a great harvest of souls in the nation of Cambodia. Let’s finish today by praying for Cambodia, okay. And lifting up the people of Cambodia. Yes. To Jesus. Would you pray for Cambodia? Brother?
Pastor Khon Khan (24:34):
Okay. Dear heaven, father, thank you Lord for this opportunity that we come together and we share about what is God doing in Cambodia. And thank you Lord for evangelist Daniel King for help me to share here. So Lord God, now I lift up Cambodia to you, Lord God, that you will turn the killing field into the harvest wheel and turn the heart of the people in Cambodia from believe in religions and come back to the through God, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, who die on the cross for Lord God, I pray that God will bless the people and send more laborer to come to Cambodia to have or to the mission, feel their Lord. Because we need more people come to work alongside with us in order to bring the gospel of salvation to the hopeless people. Lord, thank you Lord, that you love us and you care for us. And your Christ is abandoned also. Lord. Now I am praying also for those who are listening the podcast today, Lord, that they will be touched by what we have been sharing, Lord God, so that they can pray for Cambodia as well. Lord, I pray to you that you will do great thing in Cambodia before you are coming. This can time, Lord, in the name of Jesus we pray, amen.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:04):
Amen. Amen. Well, brother, thank you so much for being on the Evangelism Podcast. I appreciate
Pastor Khon Khan (26:09):
It. Amen. Thank you for this opportunity. Yeah,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:13):
God bless you.
Pastor Khon Khan (26:14):