BY BRENDA KIŠ
Not long ago I was one of the rebellious ones. My teen friends and I often got into fights, especially when we played soccer and something went wrong. School was the last place I wanted to be and finally, the principal suspended me for fighting.
That memorable day I was sulking outside the school when ASAP church planter Sim Thearith showed up. He knew my potential and had mercy on me. Encouraging me to go inside with him, he pled my case and asked for another chance. Amazingly, the principal reinstated me. This second chance really touched me and made the love of Jesus seem real. Right there I decided this was a God I wanted to serve.
I’m not yet 18 but I now teach 52 second graders at a new literacy school in Cambodia. Established only a year and a half ago, it grew from 2 to 102 students in the first year and then to 158 students in the last five months! My joy is to introduce these children to Jesus, and I’ve actually come to love teaching because I learn so much myself.
Church planter Sim Thearith mentors me and the other volunteer teachers. We visit our students’ homes and spend time praying for them. Nou, a 15-year-old student, asked me what it feels like to be a Christian. All I can say is that I have such peace and joy serving the Lord. I’ve been able to teach him how to pray and study the Bible. In fact, Sim Thearith and I and 15 other young people studied for baptism every night for five months.
Yes, it feels different now. Before this, no one in the village would talk to me, but now they greet me with respect as a Christian teacher. There have been so many changes in my life. I used to have tuberculosis but God healed me. I’m back in school trying to finish high school. Even though my Buddhist family pressures me to go to school on Sabbath when exams are given, I have been able to stand for truth. Now I fight the fight of faith!