SALT Ministries (established in 1996) is a supportive ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, started by Tim and Wendy Maddocks, that operates a K-12 school, orphanage, and media center on the edge of Siem Reap city, Cambodia.
Tim had worked in the Seventh-day Adventist 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 a Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Siem Reap town. During the latter part of this period, the Holy Spirit laid a burden on Tim’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 Cambodia Adventist School-Kantrok and the Wat Preah Yesu Children’s Home.
Here is a short promotional video done for SALT Ministries and Wat Preah Yesu in 2012.