Dear friend of OM MTI, Thank you for your prayers and support for the ministries of OM MTI (Operation Mobilisation Mercy Teams International) over the years. As part of OM, MTI seeks to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached. Towards this, OM MTI’s focus has always been on proclaiming and demonstrating Jesus Christ in practical ways among the poor and marginalized least reached, through our ministries in children’s education, social work, vocational training, community health and disaster relief.
In the last few years, OM MTI has also grown more intentional in discipleship of those we serve towards maturity in Christ, and in partnering with OM teams, other mission agencies and the local church across Southeast Asia. We believe that it is only through these three key elements: transformational development, discipleship and partnerships, that vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached will be effectively established.
Come serve with us, give financially to our ministries, and pray for us in our work to transform lives and communities holistically through Jesus Christ!
Spotlight on OM Cambodia Local Leaders and Staff
Operation Mobilisation (OM) Cambodia, previously part of OM Mercy Teams International Cambodia, is based in Phnom Penh. OM Cambodia aims to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers in least reached communities in Cambodia, particularly among the poor and marginalised.
To fulfill its mission in Cambodia, OM provides practical aid and training, while sharing Jesus with Cambodians and discipling future local leaders. Led by Johan Crezee, from Holland, critical roles in the OM are filled by Cambodian staff, such as social work, counselling, teaching, training, coaching, developing curriculum, administering the office and maintaining the grounds. They are intentionally “discipled” so that they, in turn, can disciple others.
This strategy of developing local staff has been proven effective as they understand the Cambodian culture and social networks better than expatriate workers. Through OM’s discipleship efforts, locals have also been identified and trained as leaders. With the establishment of local leadership, a greater sense of ownership by local communities will lead to a more sustainable ministry.
Discipleship Bible study and answered prayers
Through daily devotions and prayer, OM staff continually learn about God’s Word. “Every morning, we have a devotion time for an hour with our staff, and we tell them about the Bible,” Johan said. “We can see they have not much knowledge from the Bible. Sometimes we have to go back first to tell the story before we can share something about the story with them. So we see there is a need to have more Bible study.”
Dara also mentioned that he has grown spiritually through gospel presentations and personal testimonies shared by visitors and short-term teams. Another beneficial discipleship tool was the Alpha course, a series of questions exploring the Christian faith. “The Alpha course taught us about God, and the Holy Spirit touched us and [taught us] what we should do to share the gospel,” Dara described.
Johan, too, said Alpha was a successful tool for discipling the staff and others. “When we reach out to the people in the slums, or we ask them to come to our office, we share about the gospel, we share about how Jesus will help them and how Jesus has died for their sins, that they do not have to be afraid of the spirits, but that they can trust Jesus and Jesus will take care of them. And so people are thinking about that and changing.”
Even the OM staff, who are Christians, have expressed fear of spirits. “We try to tell them … to not be afraid; they can pray before they sleep,” Johan said. “When we pray together with our staff, we see that prayers are heard. The staff also see that. They learn to look back and see that God has really heard their prayers.”
The following stories of Seyha, Dara and Kosal, OM Cambodia staff, are vivid testimonies of how God is using Cambodians to bless other Cambodians.
Seyha – Used by God
Ork Seyha, one of OM Cambodia’s newest staff members, first encountered the organisation as a young child. “I came here and listened to the staff share the gospel, and they gave me a Christmas gift pack containing a New Testament,” he recalled. At that time, although he heard about Jesus, he did not believe. His parents were worried that the Christian organisation would “curse him” and “put him into the water” [baptism].
After high school, Seyha returned to OM to study computer skills under Chheuy Dara, who developed the IT curriculum. Seyha also took a job as a cleaner and gardener. When he returned at age 20 for English lessons, Seyha discovered a newfound love for study—which led to a promotion at his job. Eventually, he experienced God. “After I tried to know more and pray, I felt God’s love. When I pray, He always answers me,” Seyha shared. “I think He wants to use me, and He always teaches me new things and gives love to me.”
In early 2017, Seyha began working at OM teaching English and computer skills, as well as coaching football. “I like teaching and working in a group, and I like to learn more about God,” he added.
Seyha has seen OM develop and vary its academic offerings, which are important for the community. He affirmed: “In Cambodia, if we do not have knowledge, we cannot develop our country.”
He has also experienced the transforming power of the gospel. “In my family, I am the only one who believes in Jesus, and sometimes it’s difficult for me. I trust in Jesus, and I want to share His love and bring the students to God.”
Dara – Sharing God’s love through teaching
Dara, who has been working at OM since 2011 as a computer teacher and football coach, said, “Everything I have learnt is from God. I need to give back to God. I want to serve God. All the children who come to study here, they are poor like me. They don’t have the opportunity to study English and computer outside of school. When I see them smile, I’m very happy.”
Computers are fairly new to Cambodia, whose technological advancement was stalled during the Khmer Rouge regime. Dara, who developed—and constantly updates—the computer curriculum for OM said that computer literacy is very important to students’ ability to pursue higher education and employment.
In addition to computer classes for children, Dara also teaches Excel, PowerPoint, Internet, email, research and Photoshop to adults—and computer repairing to a few individuals he selects as assistants. For example, when Seyha showed up several years ago, Dara immediately approached him. “He came here; he was so smart. I wanted to disciple him also,” Dara remembered. “I taught him computer repair … and also Bible verses. After that, he knew more and more and had a heart like me—he wanted to serve the children here.”
That theme extends across all disciplines at OM, he explained. “Every time we work and teach English, Khmer, computers, Mathematics, we are always sharing God’s love and showing God’s Word to the students. They also hear the gospel and believe in the gospel. Many people believe in God through OM.”
Kosal – Kampong Speu
OM Cambodia’s satellite outreach project—a kindergarten in the rural Kampong Speu province—offers fewer programmes than the base in Phnom Penh but reaches a more remote population. The kindergarten premise is also a base for adult English classes and a church on Sundays.
Kosal Phann, who started volunteering as a teacher at the kindergarten in 2017, first attended adult English classes there in 2006.
“When I was a child, my family didn’t want me to go to church because they think God is the foreigner’s God,” he explained.
Kosal encountered some problems when he started attending English classes. “My teacher and pastor, always encouraged me and told me about God,” he said. “I started to fall in love with God.” In 2009, he started to believe that Jesus was the way to salvation.
Kosal, who grew up in Kampong Speu, said he understands the situation of local children. “Families here tend to keep their children at home or make them work. They don’t want their kids to study.”
However, Kosal wants the village children to have the opportunity for a better life. “I want to see all the children around here get more education. Also, I want to see them know God more,” he stated. “We believe the Word of God can change lives.”
Support Cambodia Workers
“It’s a blessing that we see the people, who were first themselves in our programme, are now able to reach out to their own people,” said Team Leader Johan.
For the Cambodian staff, OM Cambodia is not only a place to develop professionally and spiritually, it also provides them with opportunities to reach out to their own communities.
OM Cambodia is appealing for financial support to cover the salaries of its local staff like Dara, Seyha and Kosal so that they can continue to serve the poor and marginalised, and bring the gospel to communities that have not heard it before.
Join us as partners to reach Cambodia!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute financially to OM Cambodia, to cover the salaries of its local staff. The average salary of each staff is about USD400 per month.
Your prayers and donations will go a long way in encouraging them to continue serving their communities. Thank you!
Cheque: Payable to “MERCY TEAMS INTERNATIONAL LTD”
Please note that 10% of all donations will be retained for administrative purposes.