Shifting Gears – Same Country, New Ministry

Shifting Gears – Same Country, New Ministry

Our four daughters during Khmer New Year 2022

 

We are the Pelloni’s! We have been living and serving in Cambodia since 2015. In that time, we have worked primarily in education with young children. Since moving to Cambodia, we have had four wonderful daughters, all born in Cambodia, and have learned so much about God’s love for people of all nations. 

Anna and I moved to Cambodia as newlyweds in 2015 with a heart to experience God outside of the cities we grew up in. We got a small taste of working with international students in university and wanted to go out into the world and experience the Great Commission for ourselves to see how we fit into God’s plan for the world. One of the things we realized very quickly was that the way we viewed and worshiped God was very different from how people in different parts of the world see and worship God. Since moving to Cambodia, God has been using our Cambodian brothers and sisters in Christ to show us how to live and worship God in a communal way rather than merely a personal way. One of the biggest things we had to learn to do was be open and vulnerable about every aspect of our life. What does it mean to love God with your home? What does it look like to love God outside of your church? What does it mean to let people into the intimacy of how you spend your days outside of work? For Cambodians, these are all very natural things. It’s perfectly normal for people close to you to know everything about you as if they are extended family members. Here’s a story about how this deep intimacy allowed us to encourage and worship God with one of our best Cambodian friends/family.

One of our first friends we came to know when we moved to Cambodia is S&V (names kept confidential). We have known S&V for many years. Ever since we have known them they have had a deep desire to partner with their church to spread the Gospel in deeper parts of Cambodia and support the training of teachers outside of the major cities. This past year (2022), our friends came to us to share with us that they felt called to a change in their vocation. V has been working with an NGO but felt like God was calling him to go to seminary and plant a church in the province. Not only was he feeling this call, but his church here in Cambodia was also in support of this calling! For us it was very exciting as we were also feeling called to change our ministry from education to church ministry too. They asked us to join them in prayer and also to teach them about support raising, how to do it, and how to share with others about God’s vision for their life. We were so encouraged! Not only was God slowly changing our hearts and minds about ministry, but he was doing the same thing to some of our best friends and bringing us together despite our different nationalities! Over the next several months we met with them monthly to work on how to share about God and ask for people to partner with them as they take the next steps in their life towards full time ministry and seminary study. They are currently support raising and in their first year of seminary study. 

This is just one story of many that we have from living in Cambodia for the last 8 years. Much like S&V we are spending this next year wrapping up our ministry in education and then shifting full time into support raising and working in church ministry, with the goal of going to seminary in the future. We are very excited to join SAMS and be a part of the wider community of Anglicans who have a deep desire to see the Great Commission spread throughout the world and specifically Cambodia. When we come back to Cambodia after support raising in the USA, we will be on a church planting team in Phnom Penh with our church home of the last 6 years, Church of Christ Our Peace. Please join us in prayer as we wrap up the final year with our students and families from the school while also preparing to shift into full time support raising and church planting.

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