Dormitories with Purpose
God Opening Doors
A Story from Paul Lee
Khmer Christian Church (KCC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia opened the doors to the new women’s dormitory last month and has welcomed nine university students. Five of the students are believers and four non-believers. Since entering, the students have been hearing about Jesus Christ and the Good News and have been learning about Christianity.
One of the female students is Yean Channa, Pastor Tet’s younger sister. She is a 20-year old university student, who works part-time waitressing at a restaurant and also as a seamstress. She has been a believer for about a year-and-a-half and she was baptized in November 2012. Below is her testimony translated into English:
Before I believed in Christ, I was a person who always seemed to experience failure in every part of my life. It showed in the lack of hope and faith I had in myself. When I was younger, I always felt unloved and neglected by my family. When my older siblings went out, they would never take me with them. Rather, I was left alone in the house or made to watch over my younger nephew and niece. I always felt abandoned and unloved. There was no one who understood how I felt.
I hated myself for all my failures and the insecurity I felt. I started hating others as well. I enjoyed tormenting others. When I got angry I would tear up my sister’s books. I especially hated younger children. I would bully them and cause them to cry. This desire to hurt others is what I hated the most about myself.
When I was in 11th and 12th grade, my family ran into financial problems. We had borrowed a great deal of money and I felt this constant uncertainty about how we would survive day to day. I felt sick to my heart when I saw my mom and dad full of anxiety. I remember when we started selling all of our livestock and, even after all of that, we still could not repay all the debts we owed. My family borrowed more money from another lender to pay the first lender. When I went to school, I tried to put my family problems out of my mind and enjoy my time with my friends but whenever thoughts of my family entered my mind, I couldn’t study. I felt like there was no light in my life. I was tired of life and, as more and more problems seemed to crop up, I felt exhausted.
My life changed completely when I believed in Christ. The first difference I noticed was the hope in my heart in whatever I was doing or thinking. I lived with the truth that every minute I lived and every step that I took God was always with me. Whether good times or bad, I was encouraged by God’s Word. His Word told me that everything I was given and everything I experienced came from God and, more than that, God was mine and I was his.
After I started believing in God, I saw my family differently. I came to realize that they loved me very much. Even when I felt unloved by my family, the truth was they loved me so very much. It is the same with God as well. There was a time when I didn’t know God and lived against God but the truth is He has always loved me more than I could imagine. Eventually I realized this. He died on the cross because he loved us and he cleansed us of all our sins.
God never threw me away. God never left me alone. Rather He was always with me, encouraging me, whether I was crying or smiling. I thank God for giving me the ability to love other people, people I hated before. I thank God for choosing me to be His child. I thank God for changing my life. I thank God for dying for my sins.
Learn more about the ministry work at church plants and dormitories in Cambodia at www.plantingcambodia.com