SparkLit | More than I bargained for
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More than I bargained for

More than I bargained for

You can help Kim Bunthan bring God’s word to the Kavet ethnic minority.


My name is Kim Bunthan. I’m from a Kavet village in northeast Cambodia. As a boy I longed to be able to read and write but there were no schools or opportunities for Kavet people. 


The spirits ruled our lives and kept us ignorant, poor and hopeless.


Deal or no deal?


One year we were hungry for months on end. My brother and I made a 7.5 metre dugout canoe to sell for food. We dragged, pushed and paddled it for days until we reached a town. Nobody would offer us a fair price for it.


Finally, a policeman bought our canoe for just a bag of rice. He could see we were desperate and did not want to paddle it home upstream. 


In the policeman’s hut I saw a book for the first time. It was a Grade 1 reader. Seeing my excitement, the policeman agreed to sell it to me. I reminded him that I had no money. 


He suggested an alternative: “Do you have a chicken?” 


At home my mother was reluctant to part with a chicken. What would happen if someone got sick? We needed chicken sacrifices to appease the spirits. I eventually wore her down and she let me trade a chicken for my first book. 


Our language can be written!


The people who put my language into writing were Christians. In 1998 they began teaching volunteer health workers from each village to read and write. At night the volunteers taught the rest of us. 


Now, I can read and write in both Khmer and Kavet. I am the one training volunteer literacy teachers!


Jesus makes us wise


Literacy and numeracy have ripped open the curtain which stopped us from seeing the outside world and exercising our minds. We can negotiate fair prices for our produce. Our health and nutrition have improved.


Best of all we have received the good news about Jesus. Trusting in Jesus frees us from the power of evil spirits. Now we can trade our chickens for rice and medicine!


Our Almighty Creator God is gracious. He makes us wise in the way we live our lives.


Please pray that God will equip us to teach Kavet people about Jesus in our own language.


Kim Bunthan trains literacy workers with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Cambodia.


$15,000 will finance the publication of literacy textbooks, manuals, Bible stories and song books in the Kavet language.