Pray for those who persecute you
Thoun Poch seeks to serve rather than be served.
In the middle of the night I got up and went outside to go to the toilet. I saw my father under the mango tree weeping and crying out to God. As I watched him, I felt hot tears run down my cheeks. I was eight years old.
Because my father was a Christian, our relatives and neighbours made his life unbearable. They stole our animals and violated the boundaries of our rice fields.
God is our refuge
We are a family of fighters. My grandfather and great grandfather were soldiers and martial arts fanatics. My father was big and strong and owned a gun but he chose not to repay evil with evil. He was gentle and brave. He loved and served God with his time, money, knowledge and music. He taught me to trust and obey the Lord Jesus. I wanted to be like him. I decided to follow Jesus.
At university I completed a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public administration. To become a commune clerk I had to sit an exam. I came fourth in my cohort. In Battambang province there are 103 communes. In my commune there are seven villages. At first, because I was a Christian, I was ridiculed by my peers and disrespected by the villagers, but now people appreciate that I don’t get drunk or accept bribes. A nearby cafe is my second home. This is where I meet with people and listen to their stories.
Bless those who curse you
Each morning on the way to work, I watch the staff of the private hospital burn incense and pray for people to become sick or be injured in an accident. When I arrive at my office I weep and cry out to God. I pray for the safety, health and prosperity of my staff and community. God answers my prayers: last year my commune produced more rice than any other commune in Battambang province. Above all, I pray for peaceful and harmonious marriages so I don’t have to fill out divorce papers.
To pay my daughter’s university fees, every day I teach English for six hours: two hours before breakfast, two hours during siesta and two hours after work. I have 100 students.
Let us proclaim the goodness of our God
I read books to relax and feed my mind. If I do not read, how can I teach? I love to study history. The gospel was first proclaimed in our district 100 years ago. To celebrate God’s goodness, I wrote a history of our church. For ten years I conducted research, interviewed people and collected stories. My book was published as part of our centenary festivities. I am currently writing a history of Battambang province and a history of the church in Cambodia.
Please pray that God will give me wisdom, patience, humility and a love for the people I serve.
Thoun Poch is a commune clerk and secretary of the Chhkekoun Baptist Church. He attends Fount of Wisdom writers’ workshops.