Marilyn Sovann Chan
Marilyn Sovann Chan, missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, has been serving in Phnom Penh, Cambodia since 1998 with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia (MMC) as Women and Music Ministry Coordinator.
Marilyn is involved in organizational development of Methodist women in Cambodia by seeking opportunities for exposure and leadership development through networking with local and international women’s groups. Mrs. Chan coordinates and follows-up on ‘livelihood’ projects – pig farming, silk weaving, bamboo basket weaving, vegetable farming, sewing, fish farming and hammock making. Marilyn also advocates, encourages, counsels and networks with local and international churches and non-government organizations that promote empowerment and attempt to improve the health, physical, emotional and spiritual growth of Cambodian women.
Born in the Kralanh District in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, Marilyn was the third of seven daughters and completed high school in Phnom Penh in 1974. The following year, her family was forced from their home and enslaved by the Khmer Rouge. After living and working in the jungle for four years, Marilyn, together with her husband, Joseph, escaped to Thailand following the Vietnamese overthrow of Cambodia. After meeting a group of Christians in their refugee camp, Marilyn became a Christian and was baptized in December of 1979. While still in the refugee camp, she became active in Bible study, worship and faith-sharing with others, and volunteered as a clerk in the CARE feeding center.
Marilyn came to the United States in 1982, living in New York City and Richmond, VA, before settling in Stockton, CA, with Joseph. Resuming her education, Marilyn earned an AA degree and certificate in Early Childhood Education from Delta College in 1990 and a B.S. degree in theology from San Jose Christian College in 1991. She worked as a bilingual aide in the Stockton Unified School District and was a Sunday school teacher for Cambodian children at Central UMC in Stockton. She has also completed the United Methodist Local Pastor's Training Course and the Disciple Bible Study I (Trainer's Course).
In 1995, Marilyn was a member of a fact-finding team organized by the General Board of Global Ministries sent into Cambodia to explore the possibility of establishing United Methodist congregations in that country. Of her current ministry, Marilyn says: “Daily I thank God for choosing me to serve. I believe this is a call from God to serve Christ by sharing the truth by building trust, hope, and love. I joyfully and faithfully accept it.”
Marilyn and husband Joseph, also a GBGM missionary serving in Cambodia, have three children: a son, Nyda and two daughters, Sodani and Christina. Marilyn is a member of Central United Methodist Church in Stockton, CA.
Missionary code: 12904Z
Last update: 1/09
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