Lutherans in Cambodia seek Canada’s assistance


The church in Kampong Chang

by James Morgan

Our Cambodian Lutheran brothers and sisters in Christ need our help. Severe flooding in recent months has affected over 90,000 families and killed 148 people in the Southeast Asian country, destroying 63,000 homes and 170,000 hectares of agricultural land. Rev. Vanarith Chhim, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia (ELCC) says most church members lost their crops and livestock and are finding it difficult to receive government aid due to Buddhist flood victims being given priority. 

In response to the crisis, the ELCC asked Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) for support to help 150 Cambodian families recover from the flooding. LCC responded by pledging $10,000 US. This will go toward providing families with water filters, rice, tents, medication, and canned foods. 

“We signed an agreement of cooperation with the Cambodian church earlier this year,” explained Rev. Dr.Leonardo Neitzel, LCC’s mission executive. “The funds we can provide are a concrete way for us to show them we support their efforts to touch lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through social ministry.”

In a report outlining the project, President Chhim states the church plans to help the families with health and wellness issues and provide assistance preparing for any future flooding. While most of the aid is being delivered in a one-time, ten-day time-frame, the ELCC plans to make the water filter component of the project a two-year effort. 

The materials will go to five provinces in the upper part of Cambodia.  Twenty-five families each in the Kampong Cham and Prey Veng provinces will receive assistance along with 30 families in Kampong Thom province. Help will go to 35 families each in the provinces of Kampong Chhnang and Kampot.

Relief efforts will reach anyone affected by the floods, not just ELCC members

“Our partner church in Cambodia will distribute LCC relief efforts to all who have been affected by the tragedy and will give impact to the voice of the Gospel in each community as our brothers and sisters respond to their call to reach out to those who suffer,” Dr. Neitzel explained. He suggested to keep in mind the words of Jesus: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,” (Matt. 25:35-36).

Dr. Neitzel asks Lutherans across Canada “to continue praying for our fellow Christians in Cambodia and make a contribution to the relief efforts.”

To donate online go to or send a cheque made out to Lutheran Church–Canada, with Cambodian Flood Relief in the memo line to 3074 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3K 0Y2.

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Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: November 24, 2011
Posted In: Headline, International News,

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