Intolerance – in the United Kingdom and Cambodia

Rev Ross Rennie, Director of Grace Missions, recently wrote to Mrs Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He assured her of his prayers, and those of many other Christians, regardless of political views or affiliation, who accept the authority of the Bible’s injunction in 1 Timothy 2: 1-2 to pray for all who are in authority. He wrote,

You are my prime minister and as long as you decide to keep your position I and the true Christian church of Jesus Christ will pray for your protection, for wisdom for our nation, to heal the wounds and rebuild this country, to root out bigotry and hatred in our nation, so as an Englishman I and others can be proud again of our nation and our democracy.

Ross also alerted the Prime Minister to two dangers which cause him great concern.

The Intolerance of the British Media

In his letter to Mrs May and another to the Director General of the BBC, Ross expressed his disappointment and anger at how the BBC has abandoned the value of impartiality with which it was founded and has become a platform for elitist, anti-Christian, anti-Brexit views. This is symptomatic of the way our news media have been corrupted.

To quote The Christian Institute,

The BBC has openly mocked the beliefs of millions of Christians and others with socially conservative views in its election commentary.

During an interview on Monday morning, Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys laughed at former MLA Nelson McCausland when he stated that the DUP’s policies are “compassionate”.

The BBC also ran a sizeable feature highlighting mockery of the DUP’s socially conservative values by various satirists.

Other media outlets have attacked the party for its views on sexual morality and marriage in recent days.

Telegraph columnist Dr Tim Stanley said the hostility shown towards the DUP because of its stance on same-sex marriage and abortion shows that mainstream Christian beliefs have become toxic in politics.

Writing about the resignation of Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, who said, “To be a political leader… and to live as a committed Christian… has felt impossible for me”, Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre, said,

“Tim Farron’s treatment demonstrates that Christians are simply not tolerated by the illiberal elite in positions of influence. This, alongside the widespread reaction to the DUP’s views on abortion and same-sex unions, is further evidence of this anti-Christian morality.

“The vilification of the DUP for its opposition to abortion and same-sex unions and castigation of Tim Farron is shocking and upsetting. If we continue in this crusade of ‘totalitolerance’, we will enter a harsh and conformist world where Christianity will be ‘no platformed’ and eventually squeezed out of every sphere of public life. The elite determines what are toxic unacceptable views. Unless you approve of their ‘new morality’ you are punished. At first comes the loss of privilege, a political position, a place at university, then the detriment: the refusal of a grant and ultimately criminal sanction.”

The Intolerance of Opposition in Cambodia

Ross wrote to Mrs May about the possibility of violence in Cambodia if the opposition party wins next year’s general election:

Many in Cambodia are very concerned about the possible actions of Mr Hun Sen, the Prime Minister, who has over many years marginalised all opposition even back to the time in 1997 when using his control of the army he ousted Prince Norodom Ranariddh when they were first and second prime ministers in a coalition government.

For many years Hun Sen has been seeking to neutralise the principal opposition party and he has made repeated threats that he will hold on to power, if necessary using military force, even if his party loses in the general election.

When Ross wrote to Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, asking to discuss this with him, he was told he was too busy. Instead he was assured that the British government was giving money to Cambodia for election monitoring. Ross suggested to Mrs May that this was like giving money to Hitler to protect the Jews.

Alarm Bells

The alarm bells are ringing.

The tendency of the authorities in the United Kingdom seems to be to ignore them and only take action when it is too late, whether it is erecting barriers to protect pedestrians on London’s bridges or enforcing fire safety standards in high-rise buildings. Christians should be different.

  • It was said of the sons of Issachar they were “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do….” (1 Chronicles 12: 32).
  • The Lord said to Ezekiel, “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33: 6)

Where are the watchmen? Who will speak up? Who will give a warning? What will you do?

Write the Vision and Make It Plain

Timothy College and Business Institute

Timothy College and Business Institute

As many of you that have followed this web site will know, many years ago, Myers Cooper and I were given a vision which we have held on to for 18 years. We have learned that some things that God imparts to men and women can take many years to come to fruition. If it takes the rest of our lives we will never stop trusting, we will never stop believing, that God will build Timothy College and Business Institute in Cambodia.

In Habakkuk 2: 2, it tells us clearly that the visionary should write the vision, make it plain and wait for those to run with the vision. I believe we are very close to a major breakthrough.

We were once asked at an SAO (Southeast Asian Outreach, now Cambodia Action) conference at Bawtry Hall their headquarters, that we were kindly invited to in order to share this vision, how we were going to build Timothy College, and I remember Myers Cooper saying, ‘We are not; God is going to build it.’

Some years later, we were invited by Barnabas Mam, then Asia Regional Director of Ambassadors for Christ International, to Spain where we met Louie Giglio. I have never forgotten the message that day when he spoke about Moses at the burning bush. I remember him saying that he thought Moses would have said, ‘I am not but I know I AM.’ We have held on to those words since that conference in Peñiscola and we know that if it takes the rest of our lives God’s word will never return void. Timothy College and Business Institute, which will be managed by the church leaders of Cambodia, will be built as God would build it.

If you feel led to be part of this, please contact us wherever you may be in the world. If you feel led to give to this (as Jesus said, ‘Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys’), then I know you will be doing a wonderful thing in the kingdom of God. You know we do not believe in this nonsense that many do: giving to receive. I believe that it is better to give than to receive and trust God for the rest. I have also learned in my walk with the Lord that I am not responsible for the fulfilment of these things. God is. As Gamaliel once said, ‘If this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.’

Please pray for the Cambodian church and its leaders, as it is their needs that need to be supplied, not ours. We have many good-quality colleges and universities. They have few.

Rev Ross Rennie

Reliable Phnom Penh Tuk-Tuk Driver: Mr Polo

Touch Polo and Ross Rennie

Mr Polo Touch (left) with Rev Ross Rennie

Mr Polo Touch, who featured in the BBC TWO programme A Cabbie Abroad in 2014, drives a tuk-tuk (a motor cycle and passenger trailer) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Mr Polo provides a taxi service and usually waits for custom outside the Golden Gate Hotel in Street 278.

We have found Mr Polo to be extremely reliable, honest, conscientious and friendly. He speaks English and knows the city well. He will give you a fair price and will not overcharge you.

You can contact him on telephone number +855 11 899 261 or by email at polodriver7@gmail.com.

Watch this interview with Mr Polo by Rev Ross Rennie:

Almost Married off at 16, Now She Needs Our Help to Study for a Degree

We want to share this need from Cambodian Communities out of Crisis:

The leaders of the Living Hope in Christ Church in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have brought to our attention the need of a young woman (whom we shall call TS) for help in going to university. This is her story.

TS is 19 years old and has five brothers and sisters, but she is the only one who has a strong commitment to study and the only Christian in her family. At the age of 16 her parents urged her to marry a young man and go with him to work in Thailand. TS attended a teaching session at which a pastor warned children and young people about the dangers facing Cambodian migrant workers. TS refused to marry and to emigrate, and as a result her mother has not spoken to her since. She left home and went to live in a church building in Baray, Kampong Thom province, where her father visited her and brought her food. She has been helping to run the church’s Sunday school.

TS has completed high school and has secured a place at the University of Commercial Law. She has saved $150 (£125) towards the fees but her father is unable to contribute anything. The fees are $480 (£400) per year for four years and the first year’s fee must be paid by 19 November.

The Associate Pastor of the Living Hope in Christ Church describes TS thus: “She has a strong commitment to serve Christ and she completely trusts the unfailing love of our mighty God.”

If the Holy Spirit leads you to help support the education of TS you can do so through Cambodian Communities out of Crisis. You can make a donation online by PayPal or through Stewardship or the Charities Aid Foundation, or send a sterling cheque to us at 32 Springfield Way, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LW. Please contact us if you would like to send a regular gift by standing order or would like to increase the value of your gift by 25% through Gift Aid.

Tell Adidas to go all in for a living wage for Cambodian garment factory workers

Go All in for a Living Wage!

25-year-old Sorn Reab spends six days a week waking up at 4:30 a.m. in order to travel to Phnom Penh to begin work at 7 a.m. in a garment factory, which supplies apparel to Adidas. Despite working 11 hours a day, Sorn cannot afford to live in Phnom Penh. Tired and weak from malnutrition, Sorn faces the real possibility that today may be the day she faints and ends up in the hospital. With the threat that her short-term employment contract may not be renewed in six months, the pressure to produce as many Adidas garments as possible is constant.

Sorn Reab’s life in Cambodia is not an exception, but the norm for the estimated 500,000 garment workers – over 90 percent of whom are women under the age of 35. In fact, a majority of the world’s garment workers are young women struggling to survive on their poverty wages. At its core, the garment industry continues to perpetuate a system of extreme inequality, providing inordinate wealth for the privileged few, while condemning the vast majority of workers in the supply chain to unconscionable poverty. It would take Sorn Reab in Cambodia over 7,000 years to earn Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer’s annual salary.

Tell Adidas to go all in for a living wage for Cambodian garment factory workers. Sign the petition.

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