SALT Ministries was established in 1996 by Tim and Wendy Maddocks. The Ministry is based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on a 19 hectare (42 acre) parcel of land 4 kilometers south west of the Siem Reap town.
Tim had worked in theÂ Seventh-day AdventistÂ School system as a teacher in Western Samoa (1985-1987), and Fiji (1988, 1989). Wendy supported him as a faithful wife and assisted in the work of the schools as a school nurse. In 1989, Tim resigned from his teaching position and took the voluntary position as Fulton College farm manager, serving in this position for two years. In 1992, the family, which by this time had two sons, Caleb and Shannon, moved from Fiji, returning to Australia briefly. Accepting a call from Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Maddocks family moved to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to manage a rice improvement project. Tim served in this position until the end of the project in December 1995.
The ADRA years were tent making years, with the Maddocks family using their free time to establish aÂ Seventh-day AdventistÂ congregation in Siem Reap town. During the latter part of this period, the Holy Spirit laid a burden on Timâ€™s heart to establish a training centre where lay members of the rapidly growing Seventh-day Adventist church could deepen their relationship with God and prepare themselves for a greater ministry of service to God and the Cambodian people. The call was clear; God would provide if we would move ahead in faith. January, 1996 saw the first step of faith. The ADRA work was over, and the monthly pay cheque had ceased. All that was left was the family savings and a promise from God that He would provide.
A search began for a suitable location for the training centre. At the time, security was still poor in the Cambodian countryside which was a positive aspect as land prices were still low. The 19 Hectare property, which is now known as Wat Preah Yesu (Jesus Pagoda), was purchased in March, 1996, for USD10,000. The first houses constructed of bush materials were erected shortly after. The early years were pioneering years, developing a training centre out of a tract of scrubby Riceland. These were also church planting years as the Buddhist neighbor-hood was introduced to Jesus.
Two important seeds were sown at this early time of development. The Commune Chief asked if we would build a primary school at the training centre, and a friend, Marshall Smith, provided funds to purchase enough land to build an orphanage at the training centre. These seeds were later to germinate and become the Kantrok Adventist SchoolÂ and the Wat Preah Yesu Childrenâ€™s Home.
The first resident at Wat Preah Yesu was Mr. Prak Heng. Heng and his family were some of the fruits from church planting in Siem Reap town. Hengâ€™s family joined him shortly after and the Maddocks family followed in June, 1996.Â Local people were hired to assist with the development of the centre and at the same time provided a ready audience to whom we could share both the love and word of God. It was not long before the opportunity opened up for Wendy to develop a grassroots health ministry, which was to become the backbone for church planting. Today Heng serves as District pastor for the Siem Reap, Preah VihearÂ and Odar Mean Chey Provinces. The Sombua Congregation (church building located at Wat Preah Yesu) was officially organized as a church in September 2000 and the Sombua church building was dedicated in January 2002.
Wat Preah Yesu was established in 1996 with the primary goal of training Lay people. This was not to become a reality until July, 1998, when the first group of 20 laypeople moved to Wat Preah Yesu for the first four month lay-training program.Â We Praise God for His abundant blessings and miracles, especially the miracle of more than 400 people who have joined one of the twelve 4 month training programs. Many of these lay people have become church Planting Pioneers under the auspices of SALT Ministries, Global Mission, Gospel Outreach and ASAP. The combined effort of these laymen and women, under the direction of the Cambodia Adventist Mission has seen the Gospel taken to every province in Cambodia. Those who were not called to church planting have returned to their homes providing leadership in their local congregations, or taken up employment as teachers, orphanage house parents, etc.
In 2003, the dream was born of having a media centre to produce evangelistic videos in the Khmer language. This dream was realized in 2010 when the SALTCAM TV studio was opened.
Salt ministries also operates two small rural primary schools which act as feeder schools for the Kantrok Adventist School, preparing Adventist Children to further their education in the English language.
An exciting new evangelistic opportunity is Butterfly Paradise. Butterfly Paradise, located on the Wat Preah Yesu property, is a Butterfly Garden, Tropical Botanical Garden which includes restaurant, cinema, and souvenir shop, designed to generate income from tourists, while sharing with them the complexity of design in nature and providing professional work experience and job opportunities for our young people.
SALT Ministries has been supported by a faithful group of Prayer Warriors, who have upheld to God the Maddocks family and the Ministry through the last 21Â years. The news letter, known as the â€œPrayer Journalâ€, has been the tool used to keep prayer supporters up to date with how God has been blessing and with special prayer needs. Many people have expanded the prayer support by sharing these journals with their congregations and friends. If you are not already on the â€œPrayer Journalâ€ mailing list, we would be happy to add your name and keep you informed with Godâ€™s miracles as they happen.
Today SALT Ministries continues to be dedicated to leading people into Godâ€™s presence through the ministries of Church Planting, Media, Health education, Education, Orphan Care.
God has more than kept His side of the promise made to Tim back in 1995. We continue to live by faith and God continues to provide and expand our vision for the future. We would like to give thanks to God for you, our Prayer Supporters and Donors. May the Lord bless you with the same peace and joy He has given to us.