Have I got a book for you!
When our National Director Michael Collie visited Cambodia in 2019, Vann Menghoeun told how reading has sparked and ‘fanned the flames’ of his faith.
As a young Buddhist, Menghoeun was prevented from joining a monastery.
“I wanted to become a Buddhist monk. But because I have only one arm the head monk said ‘no’. I was not surprised. I knew this taboo was consistent with Buddhist teaching, but I felt angry. I decided to change my religion. I began to study Taoism until I again discovered that having an incomplete body made it impossible for me to enter a monastic order.”
Fearfully and wonderfully made
But when Menghoeun met Jesus he knew he was welcome.
“A Christian friend included me in his social circle. Together we went to the beach for picnics. He invited me to church and gave me a Bible. I am by nature curious, earnest and thorough so I started to read the Bible beginning at Genesis chapter one verse one. God spoke to me when I read Psalm 139:13. ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’ I was overwhelmed by gratitude and joy. I decided to trust in Jesus.”
Books make us strong
Menghoeun thanks God for many blessings. “My father was a labourer and couldn’t afford to send me to university, but God enabled me to do tertiary study, have a computer, get a job, marry and find a house.”
“Christian books have made me strong. If we want to become more like Jesus we first have to know him. Reading helps us to know and follow Jesus. Christian books help us to understand God’s word and put it into practice. Books are especially useful for young people making big decisions and church leaders teaching and caring for their people.”
Sharing the gift of reading
“In my spare time I distribute books published in Phnom Penh by Fount of Wisdom. These books are published in the Khmer language for people from a Buddhist background. I sell books in universities and churches. I choose books to complement each conference, lecture or sermon. Before I recommend a book, I read it so I can explain what it will teach us and how it will help us. Once people discover how useful books can be, they ask me what they should read next. They ask me to tell them when I think a new book might be important for them.”
“Reading is good for you. Reading is encouraging and makes us strong. Christian books even helped me choose and court my wife. Love and Courtship is a book I can recommend from personal experience! Please pray that books will also help me become a faithful and loving husband and father.”
For five years, Vann Menghoeun has distributed books published by Fount of Wisdom in Cambodia.