After being part of an Umoja programme in her home community in Cambodia, Saren and her family in Cambodia have seen their lives change for the better. ‘God has transformed our family,’ she tells us, ‘and I believe he can do it for you. So seek him while he may be found.’
Umoja is a Kiswahili word meaning striving for (and maintaining) unity and it’s the name given to a Church and Community Transformation programme that uses Bible studies as a starting point to help empower and equip people, like Saren and her family, to change their circumstances. You can read more about how it works here.
This is Saren’s story of Umoja in Cambodia:
‘My name is Saren, I have been married to my husband for 17 years and we have two children who are eleven and fourteen.
‘Many years back, our marriage was on shaky ground because my husband wasn’t faithful to me. He gambled and had an affair, and our financial state wasn’t stable either.
‘I remember how devastated, disappointed, hopeless, discouraged and unlucky I felt. A sickness got hold of me, and so did the negative thoughts rooted deep down in me. All the bitterness blinded me and I could not see God’s blessing in my life. I looked only at the dark side of things and turned my back on God, running after idols and seeking help in witchcraft. I hoped these things could save my marriage and family.
‘I was in big trouble and put my own life at risk. I lived like this for many years.’
Living words, grace and Holy Spirit boldness
‘The woman you see before you today is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He transformed me through the hours of studying his word in the Umoja lessons. No-one could have imagined that I could be a woman who would speak up, be bold, and be actively involved in church!’