The Whole Gospel—Reaching through Prison Walls

By Soeuth and Syna Lao, serving in Cambodia

In July and August, we visited Mrs. Moum, a national believer who has been incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.

Earlier this year, Mrs. Moum became concerned for the many children living in the prison with their mothers. In Cambodia, when one or both parents are incarcerated, their small children are required to live in the prison, especially if there are no close relatives to look after them at home. These youngsters must remain in jail until their parents complete their sentences.

As a result, these children grow up in filthy, congested prison cells, sharing the same space with their mothers and other inmates. Often, many of the children become ill from living in such poor conditions. In addition, they are not adequately fed and receive no schooling.

A New Purpose

In the prison where Mrs. Moum is serving her sentence, the new warden is a kind and well-respected man who has shown great compassion toward these kids. He gave Mrs. Moum permission to start a literacy class for them.

The first class began in April with a team of three local C&MA church members, including Ms. Channy, the children’s ministry coordinator for the northwest region of the Khmer Evangelical Church (the C&MA in Cambodia). They have been teaching the children elementary literacy, basic health education, and English. At the end of each session, the teachers share Bible stories.

On average, 20 kids have attended the classes, along with some of their mothers. Also, many adult prisoners watch and listen nearby. Mrs. Moum has gotten some of the mothers involved in the classes as well.

Mrs. Moum continues to share the good news with her cellmates and has found a reason why God placed her there. The warden said he has been encouraged by hearing the women sing instead of quarreling. As a result, he has given Mrs. Moum total freedom to lead Bible studies whenever she wants.

With the arrival of the rainy season, the team has had difficulty getting to classes safely, so in mid-August they took a break from the ministry. They hope to resume teaching in the early fall. Pray that the heavy rains will subside so this outreach can continue.

What You Can Do


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Read additional stories of Mrs. Moum and her faith journey.


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