Savorn's Testimony

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Savorn’s Testimony I was born into a strong Buddhist family. We were farmers. Cambodia had been fallen into Pol Pot regime “the killing field” since 1975. The period of the killing field is 3 years, 8 months and 20 days. During this regime, I was 9 years old and I got trained in a way that not to love my own parents, and be loyal to Angkar “Pol Pot regime”. Every night, I had gone to take something from my house and brought them to Angkar. I used to take boiling kettle, cooking pot, spoons, dish
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  Savorn’s Testimony I was born into a strong Buddhist family. We were farmers. Cambodia had been falleninto Pol Pot regime “the killing field” since 1975. The period of the killing field is 3 years, 8months and 20 days. During this regime, I was 9 years old and I got trained in a way that notto love my own parents, and be loyal to Angkar “Pol Pot regime”. Every night, I had gone totake something from my house and brought them to Angkar. I used to take boiling kettle,cooking pot, spoons, dishes...etc. for Angkar. My parents were very angry with me everytime I took things from the house, but they could not beat me because they were afraid of Angkar killing them. This regime not only trained children to hate their own parent, but alsokilled them. Every thing that children saw their parents did, they had to give report toAngkar. After this regime got defeated in 1979, I had asked my parents to forgive me andthey did. Cambodia was a ruined Country after the killing field and almost every thing in thisCountry got destroyed. People had no food to eat, no clothes to wear, no school to study, andno house to stay. To fill the empty stomach, I ate crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, rats, and treeleaf.I was a youth in the 80’s, walking 8 kilometers to school in the fields and jungle near the Thai border. My family was very poor. I ate crusted left over rice for breakfast, and founda piece of fruit in the jungle for lunch. I graduated from secondary school in 1986. I have alove of learning. After finishing my limited educational opportunity near my home village, in1987, I was forced to be a soldier by the Cambodian government. At that time, Cambodiawas under the communist rule of Vietnam. We were fighting against the Khmer Rougesoldiers that were hiding out in different places in our country. I was a soldier from 1987 to1988. I never received any military training, but was only instructed in how to shoot guns. Inearly 1988, I had an experience that I still remember. I was in a fortress near the forest in thewestern part Battambang Province near the border of Thailand. A rocket had been fired intoour shelter and destroyed it. We were firing guns back and forth at the enemy. Some of myfriends were badly injured, but somehow, I was safe. (I personally knew that God had predestined me to be His child, and His servant). About three hours later, the fortress wascaptured and we were scattered.A few months later, we were commanded to reassemble at a new fortress. I felt thatmy life was empty and hopeless. What I really wanted to do, however, was find a way tocontinue my studies. I heard that there was free education in the refugee camps. One day in  1988, I took a great risk; I laid down his gun and ran 12 hours through the jungle to get to the border in order to be in one of the camps which was called Site Two Camp. It was located onthe Cambodia - Thailand border. The UNHCR provided for everyone’s needs there. Indeed, Ifound education there, completing my high school coursework.In the camp, besides studying Thai, French, and English, I learned the teachings andwords of Buddha at a pagoda. I was able to teach Buddhism well to many refugees in thecamp. Soon, I became an English teacher in the camp. My friend who had fled with me to theCamp became a Christian, and one day he became one of my English students. He sharedabout the love of God and about Jesus Christ with me during every break time, but my heartwas closed to the Lord and had no interest. I raised many objections to him for why I couldnot be a Christian. I would say, “I am Khmer. I have to be faithful to the Khmer god”. Eventhough I was boastful about my knowledge and education, God graciously gave me manychances to hear His plan of redemption. He was patient with me for two years while I was inthe Camp.After the repatriation of refugees to Cambodia in 1992, I began to sense thehopelessness of my life, I was interested in listening to a God who wanted to make adifference in me. Then I heard Gospel of Jesus Christ again through an evangelist inBattambang province (in northwest Cambodia), and suddenly my heart was touched this timeand I was convinced about God’s love for my life. I kneeled down to pray with tears in myeyes to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior.After my new birth in Christ, I had immense joy. I tried to talk to God through prayer and meditate on His word day and night. I was struck by His words in Matthew 9:36 that say,“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed andhelpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. These words made me have a greater passion for God and compassion for people. The words motivated me to make a commitment to servingthe Lord. God answered my prayers by sending a faithful servant from Phnom Penh to meetme just one week after my conversion. He asked me, “Do you want to study the Bible andserve the Lord?” “Yes”, I replied. “Please pray for God’s guidance”, he said. Two weekslater, there was a baptism ceremony in Battambang and I got baptized. One month later I wasattending the Phnom Penh Bible School. It was the only Christian School in 1993 and it wasunderground. There I learned more about my God. I then earned a Certificate, a Bachelor of Science in Theology, a Bachelors and a Masters in Business Administration.I served the Lord with Campus Crusade for Christ-Cambodia from 1995 to 2002. Iworked to reach out to, and win college students for Christ. Many students did receive Christ  as their Savior and Lord during this time. Besides reaching out to college students, Itranslated some materials into Khmer so that they could be used in evangelism, follow-up anddisciple making.From 1999 to August 2006, I served the Lord as Assistant Pastor of Phnom Penh NewLife Church. In January 1997 I went to visit my family in my hometown of Battambang.After I shared Christ with them and encouraged them to accept Christ, eleven of themincluded my parents bowed down and prayed to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord. I praise the Lord that my father is now a Pastor of a home-church in their town.A few years ago after reading James 1:27, God put a burden on my heart to seeorphan children taken care of. Not long after, I accepted the lead position for Asia’s Hope inCambodia, using all of my knowledge and my network of fellow believers to develop a goodstaff for the orphan homes.
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