What’s in a Name?

With most of the hysterical-politically-driven worldwide mandates in the rear view mirror, international travel is becoming a bit more tolerable. I haven’t, in practice, tested it out yet since I don’t leave until February 23, but at least on paper it appears normal. I received my entry visa today, the last step before visiting the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The Kingdom of Cambodia; it has a mysterious ring to it, don’t you think? That name was first used from 1953 to 1970. At that time Cambodia was a Monarchy when late King Norodom Sihanouk was its head. Prior to that it had been under the French Protectorate until finally gaining its independence. Vestiges of French architecture can still be seen on many of the streets throughout Phnom Penh. It must have been quite exquisite.

Without going into all the geopolitical factors, right or wrong, in 1970 the U.S. got involved and backed the Lon Nol government, overthrowing the monarchy. The country’s name changed to The Khmer Republic. Civil war spread to the relatively peaceful former Kingdom. U.S. bombings increased, and the country was ripe for a takeover–but not from the good guys. And one wonders if the U.S. had just stayed out of it if the outcome would have been different.

In 1975 the capital city of Phnom Penh was overthrown and fell to the Khmer Rouge communists. It was emptied; literally emptied. All of the city dwellers were forced into the countryside and the entire nation became slaves of Pol Pot. Millions were killed. The country’s elite and educated citizens, including doctors, teachers, artists, politicians and even those who wore glasses, were all  killed.

Christianity, which had experienced a growing and tremendously successful revival in the early 1970’s was wiped out, completely. The gospel had to be reintroduced. The name of the country changed from the Khmer Republic to the not so Democratic Kampuchea. Death and carnage reigned.

In 1979, Vietnamese forces took over Phnom Penh, defeated the Khmer Rouge and renamed the country, The People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK). It remained that name until the PRK was unable to garner international backing (that means money), and in an attempt to gain popular attention renamed the country The State of Cambodia.

That name stuck until 1993 when the first “democratic” elections were restored, Sihanouk (Died in 2012) was reinstated as the King of Cambodia, and the country’s name being changed again, back to The Kingdom of Cambodia, the official name it proudly displays today (See my visa). There’s a lot more that goes into this restoration, but that is the gist.

In just the relatively short 13 years I have been working in Cambodia, the city has changed tremendously. Today, China has a huge influence on the country. China is building skyscrapers and pumping money into the Kingdom, yet the people remain poor. There is animosity among the local Khmer people who do not like the Chinese (That’s a story for another day).

The good news is that travel is open, and I am thankful after three years absence, to be going there soon. Thanks for your support and prayers.


  1. I’ve been praying for your trip, Roger! Encourage the men there and be safe!!
    Prepare your sermons with wisdom from your studies of God’s word rightly divided!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the history lesson, it helps explain the poverty. We can be comforted in the fact that God has been in control throughout the changes in this Kingdom of Cambodia. I pray that more and more souls are introduced to the Kingdom of God and become dual citizens.

    Safe travel Roger, and may you be a blessing to the Hope Now men, Dr Tom, and everyone you come into contact with. I also pray that God richly blesses and encourages you throughout the entire month you are there.


  3. I pray that the Holy Spirit will fill you with wisdom and spiritual, understanding. Father I pray that you would bless Roger spiritually emotionally and financially, as he goes forth like your servant, Paul, in Jesus name.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I continue to pray for the men you will minister to. Along with prayers for safe travels and a filling of the Spirit to direct and guide you during your time there. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

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