Festivities to celebrate Christmas in Cambodia attracted an interested audience and participants, but also has increased slanderous remarks.
“We are bluntly called crazy many times in the market [and] in the school,” reports Edwin Dangallo who, along with wife Rowena, helped plan several Christmas events for their students of Allied Ministries Academy in Touk Meas, Kampot Province. The festivities included drama presentations, music, and gospel messages at a local house church under its pastor Sivin Kong. The Dangallo family also coordinated events at their school and outlying villages. About 100 people attended the church event, including neighbors, and 10 adults even joined a worship service in one village.
Rehearsals for the events, such as for a pantomine of Jesus’ life, attracted interested school students such that the Dangallo team was “overwhelmed” by their eagerness to participate. At least 40 students joined in a separate program at the school. Despite the attendance and interested participants at the different Christmas events, the Dangallo family has been the target of insults and minor vandalism. Some students have quit their studies at the school, and the Dangallo family was awakened one night when someone threw a rock on the rooftop.
After three years of operating the school and concentrating on building friendships and goodwill, the Dangallo family is being bolder in declaring their faith in Christ. Despite the opposition of some of their townspeople, “we somehow rejoice as partakers of Christ’s suffering but pity and feel sorry for them,” Edwin Dangallo said.