Mrs. Sopheap Horng, a pastor’s wife, is also the director of Family and Children’s Ministries, and coordinator of the literacy program in Cambodia Adventist Mission. She shared the following regarding this article:
Two weeks ago I went to visit children’s literacy classes in Kampong Tom. I really appreciated all the teachers in this province for good work. Even though they do not have a good classroom where their students can study, they still enjoy learning. Of course, they have class in the villages far from the church. Some classes meet under the big tree, other classes study at a church member’s house.
While visiting this province, I was very interested in a woman named Chor Sochy. She lives in the village of Sochey. There is no church yet in the Sochey village. Sochy has a small hut, and every day from Monday to Friday, the children gather in front of her hut and study literacy under the big tall tree. They just sit on the tent (tarpaulin) and write on their laps. Sometimes they play funny games to help remember vocabulary. Sometimes they use the Reflect Method to involve the students in empowerment.
I asked Sochy if she would share her life story with people overseas. She was glad to share her witness and secret. The following is her story.
My name is Chor Sochy. I am 23 years old. I have two boys. My husband is staying far away from the family. He works as a house builder. He usually comes to visit home once a quarter. He told me that he has to work from place to place as a builder. Though he keeps busy working, I didn’t receive enough money to support the family. I used to invite my husband to go to worship God at the church with me. He said he believes that Jesus is the true God. I wish my husband loved God and kept God’s law in his mind. I wish my husband went to church on the Sabbath. It’s been two years that my husband works far away from home. He doesn’t come home often. Therefore, I really do not know how he lives or how he thinks about our children and me. I can just say that he is careless about the family. Though I told him that the children were sick and we needed some money, he still said that he had no money. Sometimes, I get help from my mother or the pastor when we lack food. I pray that my husband will become more responsible as a good father and husband. This is a secret thing that I keep praying, and I request you who read my story to please help pray for my family. I do not want to get a divorce because I don’t want my two children to become fatherless. I do not know how long I can find happiness in my marriage. However, I trust that God will help me and show me how to live in this world.
I feel happy when I go to church on Sabbath. My pastor’s wife and church elders always encourage me to be strong in Christ and give all my problems to the Lord.
When I think about Jesus, it makes me happy. I had been teaching literacy to the children for two years. For now, I have 15 students attending literacy class. They all come from poor families. Some of them come to class carrying a baby brother because their parents have to work in the rice field. I do not mind helping them learn how to read and write the Khmer language. There are not many people who know how to read in my village. There is a government school also but poor people mostly stop to find small jobs making money or selling vegetables. So I am teaching these people who have no opportunity to study at school.
Besides teaching the children to read and write, I like to teach them how to sing Christian songs or tell them Bible stories. I am so glad that God called me to be His servant. In 1 Timothy 6:12 it says, “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made good your confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
This text encouraged me to live and struggle in Christ. Sometimes I feel hopeless getting my husband to be with the family, but the Holy Spirit strengthens me to be strong in Christ and He comforts me to stand on Christ’s side, and take care of my lovely children even though their father is staying away from home.
Every morning I get up early to have my own worship, then I make a pot of porridge for my children. Then I take them to my mother’s house and keep them there so I can go to the rice field. It is growing well now, but I need to take off the grass. Of course, I don’t have to work full-time at the rice field. I need to go home to take care of my children. My husband does not care much about how we live or what we have to eat. I get a stipend from the literacy program. It is not much, but it’s enough to buy food for my children.
God is a loving God. He always answers my prayers. Last year I got a special gift from Him. It was the well that I asked Him for. One day the pastor came to me to wait for the well digger. My pastor told me that some special people from far away knew how difficult it was for me to get the water. It didn’t take long to dig the well, and now I can get water. I want to give thanks to the Lord for blessing me with a well near my hut. It is a big help for my family.
I believe God is my special friend and He will provide what is needed. I am glad that He loves and cares about me. I love to share my love for God with my neighbor and my literacy students. This is the end of my witness today. Thanks for your prayers.