Baptised in a barrel in Phnom Penh

Six Cambodian students have become Christians and been baptised through a BMS-supported Christian hostel in the country’s capital.

Have you ever been on the edge of your seat at a baptism service, wondering if the tall man being baptised is going to hit his head on the edge of the baptismal pool? Or watched with a mix of dismay and hilarity as your friend gets knocked over by a wave on a mission to get baptised in the sea?

Well, in Cambodia, new Christians are facing a slightly different baptism experience, as they publicly commit their lives to Christ by being dunked in a barrel.

We’re really excited that Cambodian students are coming to know Jesus thanks to a project supported by BMS World Mission and set up by a mission worker from Mizoram in India. Watch this video to see the wonderful moment when one of the new believers is baptised! (Yes, in a barrel.)

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Srei (featured in the video) came to meet Jesus through the Horaios hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. The hostel was set up with BMS support and is helping poor students from rural villages who would otherwise not be able to afford to pursue further education. Youth unemployment is a huge issue in Cambodia, and 63 per cent of young people in the country are unable to complete their schooling due to poverty.

While providing a safe home and subsidised housing for 15 village students, the BMS-supported hostel is also sharing the love of Jesus. Six students have become Christians since it opened two years ago. A father of one of the students also gave his life to Jesus and got baptised!

Students from the hostel gather for church.

Chan is 20 years old and has become a Christian through the work of the hostel. Her family are Buddhists and she first got to hear about the Bible and Jesus when she moved in. “In the dormitory every night we have English class with a devotion,” says Chan. “In the beginning I didn’t understand about the Bible and I had many questions in my mind but felt shy to ask the missionary. But as time passed, I came to know more about Jesus Christ. I came to know about the love of Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us.”

The missionary Chan speaks of is from Mizoram, a region of India where BMS missionaries helped share the gospel in the 19th century. Today, 100 per cent of the Mizo population identifies as Christian and, thanks to your giving, BMS is supporting Mizo mission workers going beyond their borders to share God’s love in the rest of Asia. The latest barrel baptisms are just one example of the fruit you have helped God’s people to bear.

Leading worship and sharing testimonies
A moment of prayer following Srei's baptism
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It was experiencing God answering her prayers that led Chan to devote her life to him. “God answers our prayer,” she says.

Please pray for the work at Horaios hostel, and for Rev J Lalduhawma from Mizoram who is running it. Pray that more young Cambodians would be able to complete their education and would come to know the God who answers prayer.

Posted on: September 07 2017

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