In 1975 Pol Pot lead the Khmer Rouge to power in Cambodia and proceeded to orchestrate genocide. Although no one can be sure how many people were killed during the 4 years they ruled Cambodia, it’s likely that 1.5-2 million people (of a population of 8 million) died. The capital, Phnom Penh became a ghost town as people were moved all over the country to work on cooperative farms, often separated from their family.
|The course participants and trainers|
Last month I was able to travel to Cambodia with another colleague from KISC to attend the Leadership Matters course. This was a great course as it looked at many elements of leadership, from management to communication, from motivation to relationship skills and how all the theory on doing these well stem from biblical principles. Most of the course was focused on practical skills that we could use straight away in our roles to enable us to be better leaders. I really enjoyed it.
While we were in Cambodia we didn't have a lot of time for sightseeing, but we were able to visit the Genocide Museum, a former High School that was turned into a concentration camp during the Khmer Rouge. We saw pictures of those who had been detained there, all but a handful of the 12,000 inmates over 4 years didn't survive and were able to enter the cells and read their stories.
|At the Genocide Museum|
But what was particularly special was being able to spend time with people from all over South Asia, and further afield, people who had a desire to serve God in whatever role they were placed in, and hearing many stories about how God was at work across the region.
In particular hearing from the Cambodians on the course and those living and working in Cambodia. Hearing how 80% of the Christians were martyred under the Khmer Rouge, about how, despite all that was going on, the church had effectively reformed and regrown in refugee camps during that time and hasn't stopped since. Meeting people who had lived under the regime and had personal experiences to share. Hearing about people who had nothing, yet risked everything to continue in their faith, and the results that was reaping 30 years later.