John Jette was one of the first missionaries sent out by EBF. He arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1982 and served there until his retirement in 2013. A key part of John's ministry was translating the Bible into the Aria language. It is fitting that EBF continue the theme of making the Bible accessible to people, this time in the Khmer language of Cambodia. Read the timeline to see how God has led us on this journey!
After being at EBF for a short time, Pastor Richard Roberts looks out over the EBF Body and says, "You guys don't look like the real Church of Jesus Christ. You're all white!” This resonates with Mission Team Leader Jim Terhune.
The EBF Mission Team decides to focus on an international ministry.
The Mission Team and Elders agree to focus on Cambodia since the church already has three missionaries there (Mary Haag and the Hogues). The Mission Team starts building relationships with Cambodians and learning about Cambodian culture and history.
The Mission Team makes contact with Pastor Mara Kong (who has relatives at Eugene Christian Fellowship), inviting him to speak to the congregation.
The Mission Team searches for Cambodians in Eugene, finding a family at Cal's Donut Shop near Beltline and River Road.
An internet search for Cambodian Churches close to Eugene leads us to Pastor Peter Im's Cambodian Service at the First Baptist Church in downtown Portland.
Pastor Im and three of his congregation visit Eugene and introduce the Mission Team to their work at Children's Center in Cambodia.
Currently there is no entire Cambodian Old and New Testament Oral Recording on the internet, though Doug Moorhead learns that Hong Meas of Friends Church in Long Beach, CA, has been doing a Khmer Oral Recording for 22 years and is up to Psalm 68. Doug (and later Richard Roberts) visits Hong Meas and Joe Ginger at the Friends Church.
After visiting with the makers of the Talking Bible, Doug brings back a sample device like the ones that present recordings to native people worldwide.
The Mission Team meets Charles King, a photographer associated with Portland Frist Baptist Cambodiam church; he takes regular trips to Cambodia.
Doug, Jim and Vince attend the Ft. Stevens State Park Cambodian Camp-Out, helping with hamburgers and participating in the church service. Relationships are built and more Cambodians become our friends: Nuen, Samuel, Joel, Elizabeth, Savin, Kakrona and others.
Missions Month includes a special missions weekend, with Hong Meas from Long Beach speaking. 25 Cambodians from the Portland Church come to sing and provide Cambodian food; Pastor Peter Im gives a message. A professional videographer records messages from Hong Meas and Mary Haag for the encouragement of EBF.
The Mission Team continues encouraging Hong Meas to continue the scripture recordings, providing her with a new microphone. However, personal issues prevent much progress.
Before returning to Cambodia, Mary Haag gives Jim the book "When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge" by Chanrithy Him, which turns Jim's heart further toward prayer for the Cambodian people.
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The Mission Team attends their first Cambodian Service at the Portland Church! Relationships continue to be built, particularly between Doug and Kakrona, who agrees to critique the Hong Meas' recordings.
Pastor Im and his wife visit EBF. The Mission Team and other EBF members attend a luncheon during which the Ims share more information about Cambodia.
Doug shows Pastor Richard and Pastor Peter Im "The Jesus Storybook Bible"; the Mission Team decides to seek permission to translate it into the Khmer language.
Doug, Jim and Fred continue to develop relationships by attending the Ft. Stevens State Park Camp-Out. At the church service, Doug reads the introduction of "The Jesus Storybook Bible," which is very well received by the Cambodians. Doug and Jim learn from Radha Manickam, President of Cambodians Ministry for Christ (CMC) that a church in Phnom Penh has just completed an oral recording of the entire Bible in the old Cambodian language.
Radha travels to Cambodia to meet with his brother-in-law, Pastor Vek Huong Taing of New life Fellowship of Cambodia (a large Phnom Penh church), and receives permission for CMC and EBF to use the recording in an app and a flash drive listening device, provided any other necessary copyrights are granted.
Reverend Arun Sok Nhep of the Cambodian Bible Society gives Radha copyright permission for CMC and EBF to use the recording of the Oral Bible.
Radha offers to support us in every way possible, including any necessary letters and documents, to get the Oral Bible out to Cambodians.
Doug consults with Jim Gleason, Asia Representative for Faith Comes by Hearing, to discuss copyright issues. Jim Gleason will check to see if the current format of the Khmer Oral Bible is compatible with their requirements for Bible app production.
Radha, in order to get permission to spread the Oral Bible, agrees to read the new Oral Bible. Doug would like to see other people help read and provide input.
Several members of the Mission Committee attend a service and lunch at the Cambodian church in Portland. Doug, Jim, and Fred take a Christmas visit to the Portland church.