A POOR VILLAGE WITH GREAT PEOPLE
As I walked into the dusty and isolated village of Krosang in Kampot province my heart filled with compassion as I saw what poor and hard lives its people had, although they live just a few kilometers from the town of Chhouk district. They have been neglected and forgotten by others but there is a positive story to tell about this small community of people. They have a spirit of unity among them which enables them to achieve things together. I saw one of their simple self-help strategies – co-operating to share the hard work of transporting water between villages to fill up local containers during the dry season. We love to encourage such people and we long to help other communities to rise out of poverty and despair.
But another story from this village really saddened me. A lady had been infected with HIV by her husband. This HIV had been passed on to one of her children who had died a few months ago. Her husband was now dead of this disease and she had also recently lost her father to illness. She has one child left, about 1 year old, and we are praying that he is not affected by the virus.
As I listened to this story I remembered a similar story told to me by a friend and I couldn’t help crying with compassion for the lost poor. The story that I am about to share is about a family who knew Christ; so they have a sure hope of a beautiful place where they will go, prepared for them by Jesus. The devastated family, that we are helping in Krosang, had no hope at all until God sent us there. It is clear to me that our life mission should be to go and tell the hopeless that they can have real Hope in Jesus Christ. They long for this. Money cannot buy it, but Jesus Christ gives it freely to those who come to him. But they can only come to him if we first bring him to them!
IF YOU STILL HAVE TIME PLEASE CONTINUE TO READ THIS HEART TOUCHING STORY
I was walking around in a Big Bazaar store doing some shopping, when I saw a cashier talking to a boy who couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old. The cashier said, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll”. Then the little boy turned to me and asked: ”Uncle, are you sure I don’t have enough money?” I counted his cash and replied: ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy the doll, my dear.” The little boy still held the doll in his hand. Finally I bent down and asked him who he wished to give this doll to. “It’s the doll my sister loved most and wanted so much. I want to give it to her for her BIRTHDAY I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.”
His eyes were so sad while saying this – he continued; “My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister…” My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: “I told Daddy to tell Mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.” Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me “I want Mommy to take my picture with her so my sister won’t forget me.’ ‘I love Mommy and I wish she didn’t have to leave me, but Daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.” Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.
I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. “Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?” ”OK” he said, “I hope I do have enough.” I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money. The little boy said: “Thank you God for giving me enough money!” Then he looked at me and added, “I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that Mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.”
I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago about a drunk in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?
Two days after this encounter, I read that the young woman had passed away. I couldn’t stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed for ever…
The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. but in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.
If you would like to support this ministry of helping the poor physically, mentally, socially and spiritually, please partner with us through whatever ways you can: prayer, financial support, or personnel. Introduce us to your friends – we can even provide opportunities for short term teams to serve the poor in Cambodia. Please contact us for more information.
“Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.” Danny Thomas