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Spotlight: Gospel and the art of A/C maintenance

BATTAMBANG, Cambodia — Statues of mythical animals and an ancient king of the Khmer people line the streets of Cambodia’s second-most-populous city. Among its many Buddhist temples, members of Churches of Christ are planting a new congregation and a Bible learning center.

A team of Cambodian Christians will move from the city of Siem Reap to Battambang to spread the Gospel as they teach future church leaders how to run bakeries and repair air conditioners, said Bill McDonough, director of Arkansas-based Partners in Progress, which supports the work. The training “will provide students with Bible knowledge and a marketable skill,” he said.

Phanat Ouch

Leading the effort is Phanat Ouch, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand to Cambodian parents who fled from the Khmer Rouge regime in the early 1980s. Ouch grew up in Texas and earned a Bible degree from the Southwest School of Bible Studies in Austin and a finance degree from Texas State University in San Marcos. He has served as director of the International Bible Institute of Siem Reap, an extension of Denver-based Bear Valley Bible Institute International.

“His vision and leadership, combined with 10 years of success in Siem Reap, have prepared him for just such an opportunity, McDonough said.

As he spreads the Gospel in Battambang, minister Phanat Ouch also will train future church leaders how to run bakeries and repair air conditioners as part of a vocational ministry program, with support from the U.S.-based nonprofit Partners in Progress.

Filed under: Cambodia International Missions News

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