What is that crowd doing? wondered Mr. Phan Ny. He was walking past a Gospel Outreach church plant project in a Cambodian village when he saw the people gathering. Curious, he approached the crowd and joined them as they watched the “Story of Jesus” movie. That experience planted a gospel seed in his heart.
Mr. Ny had been taught the Buddhist goal of reaching Nirvana—the ultimate state of nothingness where one is freed from the cycle of rebirth and suffering. But what Mr. Ny witnessed that night offered him hope of eternal life which he had never understood before. His heart was drawn to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. He saw a God who has power over death, one who offers life to humanity.
Though Mr. Ny was attracted to Christianity, his worldly friends’ influence kept him away from the gospel. Drinking, smoking, and karaoke had become a daily routine, bringing misery to his family. When drunk, he would curse and beat his wife and children.
Later on, Kvea, an Adventist member and a friend of Mr. Ny’s son Phanith, invited his friend to attend church. Phanith enjoyed the fellowship at church, because at home he had never experienced love—only quarreling and violence. When Phanith’s father discovered that his son was attending church on Sabbath, he made Phanith work on the cassava farm instead. Phanith missed the church fellowship.
One Sabbath, Phanith did not feel well, so he told his father that he was going to get some medicine at a nearby pharmacy. After he purchased the medicine, he felt the urge to go to church. There he enjoyed the singing, listening to the Word of God, and fellowship.
After church he faced a big problem. He was afraid to go home, fearful that his father would get upset and beat him. Gospel Outreach worker Dov Barang offered to take him home. They prayed before they left the church. At home, the situation was tense as first. Phanith’s mother was crying, having just been beaten by her husband who had been drinking all morning. Barang prayed silently for the Holy Spirit to work in this difficult situation.
As Barang started to share how God desires each of his children to lead good, happy, and healthy lives, Mr. Ny listened intently. Before Barang left, he invited Mr. Ny and his wife to attend church the next Sabbath. Surprisingly, Mr. Ny seemed willing to let his wife and son go to church. However, his wife refused, insisting that Mr. Ny join them as a united family. The next week Satan was working hard on Mr. Ny’s heart, and he again resorted to domestic violence.
Barang went to Mr. Ny’s house but was not welcomed at first. Barang prayed silently, pleading for God to intervene and drive away the forces of evil. Barang’s prayer was answered. Mr. Ny confessed, “I want to make things right with my wife and children and with God.” Barang offered to come have worship with them the next Sabbath afternoon, and Mr. Ny agreed. The following Sabbath when Barang arrived for worship, the house was tidy; song books and Bibles were placed neatly on the mat floor. The family, along with a few neighbors, was waiting and ready to begin worship.
Worship at Mr. Ny’s house takes place weekly now. He, his wife, and Phanith took Bible studies and were baptized last October. The Holy Spirit gave Mr. Ny victory over drinking and smoking. He now shares his testimony with friends who work on cassava farms. His wife also actively invites her friends to worship at their house. Mr. Ny testifies, “I am so grateful for the Lord’s wonderful mercy and grace shown to me and my family. I thank God that He did not give up on me.”
Gospel Outreach worker Dov Barang and his wife, Ly Chanthou (far right), stand with their baptismal candidates.
By Dov Barang, Gospel Outreach Worker
Dov Barang is a Gospel Outreach worker in Cambodia.