Cambodia - Friendship School


On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. In order to turn Cambodia into a Maoist, peasant-dominated agrarian cooperative, all city dwellers were forced into the countryside or to labor camps.

Hospitals, schools, stores, religion, and family were banned. People were killed for not working hard enough, for being educated, for being ethnically different, for many random reasons. By execution, torture and starvation, an estimated 2 million Cambodians, or 30% of the population, died during the rule of Pol Pot.

Cambodians are now rebuilding their lives, their culture, their very identity. The country is young, the average age a mere 20 years old. A small middle class is emerging, though heartbreaking poverty is still the norm.  Families from XCF have set out to communicate the gospel in both word and deed by serving the poor through free medical care and education.

The Friendship School

Poverty is a vicious trap for Cambodia’s poor. Education is one form of development that can help free them from the cycle of poverty; however, education is also hardest for them to attain.  Most children in the provinces are unable to receive a sustained education, and many of them drop out of school by second grade.

To meet this need, our team started a small school introducing first grade in the fall of 2009.  The staff consists of Cambodian Christian teachers who have a unique opportunity to serve communities and influence students, their parents, and neighbors for Christ.

Meet the team

Chris & Amy Gesler and their 2 daughters administer the Friendship School, which provides a quality education to rural children, who would not otherwise be able to afford the public educational system.


Bill & Amy Barson and their 2 sons recently joined the Friendship School team and are engaged for the time being in full-time language acquisition.

For information on how your contribution assisted this ministry please visit the yearly report.