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Cambodia: A converted Christian delights preparing meals for others as God's gift

Park Kong (35), a Cambodian convert to Christianity, has relished cooking for others as a gift from God for a number of years.

Park Kong, a chef, works in the Welcome Office of the Phnom Penh Thmey Center, which belongs to the Phnom Penh Vicariate, which Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, an apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh, founded.

Kong responded to RVA's inquiry about his work by saying, "I cook food for people to eat, and I am happy to be able to do so because it is a gift God has given me, and I am very satisfied."

Kong prepares cuisine for church gatherings, meetings, and conferences, where the majority of attendees are Catholics.

"Cooking for hundreds of people sometimes made me anxious, but I always prayed to God to help me succeed," he said.

For Kong, cooking has become a metaphor for living a 'new life' with the love that the church has taught him, and he vowed to always "practice this love for those around me."

Kong recalled that his conversation tale took place during his senior year of high school, when he attended a Christmas celebration in the village and encountered a local Catholic.

The father of a son and daughter, who was born in Oh village, Trapeang Reang commune, Chum Kiri district, Kampot province, decided to be baptized after enrolling in the catechumen class.

Since then, he acknowledged that his faith has been nourished daily by the priest's homily.

"My faith has grown day by day through prayer and preaching from the priest, and many years later, I decided to become a Catholic in 2017," Kong said.

Kong, who is the head of a family with a Buddhist wife and Catholic son and daughter, believed that "The Spirit of God guides the happiness of the family."

He stated that, as a Catholic, he will continue to proclaim the gospel to those around him, not only the children in the family, but everyone, so that God's love may spread.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.