Friends Mission in Cambodia: History, Vision, and Values
History: The churches of EFCSW first became involved in Cambodia in 1994, in response to the invitation of some Cambodian-American members of Long Beach Friends Church.
In 1997, Ray and Virginia Canfield, and Gary and Christine Colfax were commissioned by EFCSW to strengthen and build upon the pioneer work of those at LBFC. Afterwards, a number of other Friends missionaries followed the Canfields and Colfaxes to Cambodia to assist with the work.
From the beginning until now, Friends missionaries in Cambodia have had the same goal—that is, to bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed, and to build up a strong Cambodian church. Much good work has been done. And there’s still much work left to do.
Vision: To glorify God by making Jesus known and forming Christ-centered congregations that are locally led, locally supported, and active in reaching out to their local communities and beyond.
- Servanthood: Our model is Jesus. Like him, we don’t seek to dominate or control. Instead, in everything we do, our aim is to serve humbly in love (Gal. 5:13).
- Spirit-led: The Holy Spirit is our leader. We believe that he leads us as we pray, read Scripture, and patiently listen to one another so as to discern the mind of Christ (Php. 2:1-5).
- Sustainable: God wants us to bear fruit—“lasting fruit” (Jn. 15:8-16). For this reason, we seek to consistently use methods and models that are sustainable and transferable.
- Bible-based: The Bible is the source of both our message and our methods (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We strive to understand and obey it, and to teach others to do as well.
- Church-driven: The local church is the hope of the world. It exists to uniquely showcase and serve God’s purposes for all creation (1 Pt. 2:9-10). This is why, as much as possible, we seek to root our activities—whether social or spiritual—in the life of local congregations.
- Emphasis on the Unreached: The gospel is good news for all people (Mt. 28:18-20). We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to hear and respond to it. Because of this, we give priority to serving in under-resourced areas and among unreached people groups.
- Personal and Family Vitality: Jesus said that his yoke is supposed to be easy and his burden light (Mt. 11:28-30). That’s why, in the midst of the challenges of ministry, we care deeply about one another’s health, families, and total well-being.