James Lambert
Cambodian Missionary needs our prayers & support
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By James Lambert
March 23, 2017

Kiri Ngyon was first introduced to me by former pastor Ron Moore in the early 1990s. At that time, Kiri was leading a small congregation in southeast San Diego, where approximately 8,000 Cambodians resided. Many of these Cambodian people had escaped from the Khmer Rouge regime in the late seventies.

Today, Kiri has retained his passion to reach out to his people, many of whom can recount their own tragic stories living under the notorious communist leader, Pol Pot. As a native Cambodian, Kiri grew up in what was and still is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. In his late teens Kiri was recognized as an extraordinary soccer player, and was selected to play on Cambodia's national soccer team. Kiri and his team were given distinction and celebrity.

When communist dictator Pol Pot took over the reins of power in Cambodia, this ruthless dictatorship birthed the infamous killing fields. Prominent Cambodians and any person who was suspected of being opposed to the regime were brutally murdered.

Upon his return to Cambodia after playing soccer for a professional soccer team in neighboring Vietnam (which was not an ally of 'the regime' at the time), Kiri realized he was living on borrowed time. Several of Kiri's former teammates were rounded up and executed. His life during the next few months was a living nightmare. Kiri witnessed the horrors inflicted on those Pol Pot's soldiers caught and the desperation of those in hiding, forcing acts of cannibalism. Kiri knew he had to escape Cambodia if he wanted to survive. After of number of months hiding and traveling through the jungle, Kiri finally made it across the border into Thailand.

It was at the Thai-Cambodian border that Kiri met several Christian missionaries who reached out to him and he first heard the salvation message. He had never been told that Jesus Christ died for his and all of mankind's sins. Kiri received the gospel message and became a believer.

Fellow believers in New England decided to sponsor him to come to the United States. His sponsors realized that Kiri's life was still in danger from the Pol Pot regime. After a number of months, Kiri was finally cleared to seek asylum in the United States. When Kiri reached the U.S., he decided to enter the ministry under the sponsorship of his church. Eventually Kiri was drawn to Southern California, where there was a burgeoning population of Cambodians.

Kiri gratefully assimilated into the United States, learning about its history in an effort to apply for official citizenship. After waiting seven years, Kiri finally became a U.S. citizen. He then served as pastor of a Cambodian church for approximately ten years in San Diego.

Kiri began to feel a call from the Holy Spirit to become a missionary to his former homeland of Cambodia. He felt led to use his expertise in soccer to attract the people of Cambodia – where he instructs young boys in the sport – to Christ. He uses his influence to share the gospel with his soccer students and their parents.

Kiri understands the challenges he faces. Although his native country is overwhelmingly comprised of a large Buddhist population, Kiri is confident that the powerful message of Christ, along with God's love, can win any heart. Kiri has had wonderful success in leading a number of Cambodians to Christ (including many of his players, their family members and friends).

Kiri reaches out to many Cambodians with the message of Christ each month. He needs your support and prayers. You can help him by sending his ministry a check c/o International Church Missions, P.O. Box 4550, Oceanside, CA 92052. (Please make reference to: Kiri Ngyon c/o Cambodian Sports ministry and make your check payable to International Church Missions). Your support and prayers are sincerely appreciated.

© James Lambert

 

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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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