‘Is there anyone or any gods who can give me a better life?’ This was the cry of Nang’s heart and the question on her lips.
Living in the aftermath of a marriage full of conflict that had ended in abandonment, she felt sick and hopeless. Nang thought maybe she had just been born with bad luck. ‘I feel like hope has wings and has already flown off from my future’, she said to herself. Nang wept. She needed an answer. A saviour.
At a loss as to what to do, Nang returned to her mother’s home in a small village in Cambodia. Nang was 40, but in poor health. She was afraid that she would not be able to earn enough to provide for her mother and two sons. She felt the burden of responsibility heavily. ‘What will happen to my children when I die?’ she worried.
In need of a livelihood, Nang took a loan to start up a small corn business. Still, she worried about the future constantly.
An unexpected change was on the way.
Nang was walking down the road, looking for places where she might sell her corn. She saw a group of people gathered in one house and so she approached, hoping the visit might prove profitable. Perhaps some of these people would buy from her? But what she was about to receive was far more than the price of a few pieces of corn.
The group turned out to be a home church, supported by Tearfund partner World Relief Cambodia. They were in the middle of a Bible study looking at the story of Elisha and the widow’s oil and invited Nang to join them.
The value of hope
‘As the group shared,’ Nang says, ‘I recognised that there is a God who can provide for my needs. I was so excited to know this God! I asked the teacher [a World Relief staff member] “Who is that God? I want to know him! The woman in that story is just like me. I hope this God can help me too.”
‘While the teacher was sharing with me about Jesus, I could feel a hope rise up in me and it filled me with joy,’ Nang continues. ‘I told the teacher that I wanted to follow this God too. I asked, “Can you help me?” He led me to say a simple prayer and invited me to become a home church member.
‘From that day onward, I love attending my home church. I pray to God like talking to a friend every day in my quiet time. I’m reminded of my question “Is there anyone or any gods who can help me?”’
‘Now I have found the answer. Yes! Jesus is the one! I am very thankful.’
Spiritually and emotionally stronger, Nang pursued her business with fresh confidence and energy. Day by day, Nang says, her living conditions have improved. ‘The more I get closer to Jesus in my daily life,’ she says, ‘the more he renews my mind, comforts me, strengthens me, gives me hope and prospers me. Moreover, I began to read and write when I attended Bible literacy class’.
Step by step, Nang has been able to pay off the loan, send her son to school and have money to invest into her own business. Now it is profitable enough for her to support her mother and her two sons.
‘I am very thankful to God and World Relief Cambodia for continuing to teach me God’s word,’ says Nang. I pray that God will keep everyone at World Relief Cambodia healthy and that they will continue to reach more of the most vulnerable in Cambodia. Amen!’
Thank you for hope. Thank you for restoration and for your comfort, your strength and your powerful, practical love that transforms our lives. Thank you that your plans are to prosper us. Thank you for the deep joy of knowing you and, as Nang says, for the freedom to talk to you daily like talking to a friend.
In Jesus’ precious name, amen.