Cambodian Killing Fields Survivor, Kim San,Tells Her Story
God's Love Brings Believers Together around the World
More and more I am in awe of the fellowship of believers around the world. Recently friends Iíve made through this website, in England, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Norway, and the United States, have been praying for my physical and financial needs. They support me in praying for inspiration and fruitfulness as I prepare to go to a workshop for childrenís writers.
The instant friendship of believers struck me more forcefully after I did a small favor for the former missionaries who take me to church each week. Rev. Bliss Steiner and his wife Virginia are so kind in helping others. They had worked at the Christian and Missionary Alliance guest house, and ran the press where they were stationed in Cambodia.
Steinerís e-mail hadnít been working correctly, so they asked me to send a letter with pictures concerning the death of a fellow missionary who had worked with them in Cambodia, and been imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II.
The message I sent was to Kim San whose mother had worked faithfully for the Steiners until they had to return to the United States in the time of Pol Pot.
In reply, to the message she received, Kim San, showed graciousness in the way of Asian people. She offered to pick me up at the airport if I ever come to Cambodia. She also sent a copy of her testimony and a photo that were published by the organization SAO Cambodia in their publication, Vision.
I believe you will be, as I was, struck by her story of the day the Khmer Rouge came to Phnom Penh.
VISION 127: Page 3
PEOPLE AND STORIES
Kim San (2nd from right), her mother, sister and niece.
Kim San was born in 1959. Her whole family were Christians and she was converted at the age of 14. Her spiritual mentor and leader of her home group was Chirrch Taing, whom SAO Cambodia treats as their spiritual founder. His visit to Keswick and call to pray for Cambodia before his martyrdom led to the founding of SAO Cambodia.
Kim San remembers the day that the Khmer Rouge came into Phnom Penh. There was no electricity. She knew that they were lying when they said that people would only need to be way from their homes for three days. There was like a darkness surrounding them. Her family physically tied themselves to each other so that they would not be separated in the crowd of marching people as they traveled to the family home at Kampong Cham. But eventually they did become separated, with Kim San and one sister staying with their father and all their food but losing her mother and other sisters in the crowd. They searched long and hard until Kim Sanís father was exhausted and could go no further. God gave Kim an idea and the two sisters pushed their father until they could find water and he could recover his strength and found the rest of the family. Kim Sanís father blessed them both with a prophesy that there would come a time when they would be missionaries for God in their home country. Looking at the chaos and destruction around them they could not understand this and said nothing.
They stayed in that place about 10 months. Here they had a reasonable amount of food. They then had to move north. It was here that there was green grass, hills and a river. The scenery reminded Kim of the words of Psalm 23. She wrote this psalm down from memory before she forgot it. They had no bible and they were unable to meet together with any other Christians.
Kimís father grew sick and he eventually died. The family had adopted an orphan baby through World Vision and they have a poignant photograph of the smiling teenaged Kim with the little boy shortly before the Khmer Rouge came. The boy and two of Kimís sisters did not survive.
Her mother was badly injured by a bomb or land mine, losing an eye. When the bomb exploded she prayed loudly to God believing that death was near. Miraculously the Khmer Rouge leader rather than choosing to execute a self professing Christian, decided to send her by boat to a hospital. At this point other people realised that her mother was a Christian and this actually encouraged other Christians and was a witness to them.
When the Khmer Rouge were defeated the family eventually returned to Phnom Penh. Christians began to seek each other out and the underground church began.
Many of the church leaders were imprisoned during the period the Vietnamese were in control, but they did not renounce their faith. Kim has great respect for these leaders, some of whom are still leading churches in Cambodia today.
Kim still lives with her family in a large but full house, with many of her remaining family members around her and her mother. She works for ICC [International Co-operation Cambodia] in the financial department. Kim has a deep love for Jesus and an infectious smile! Her fatherís prophesy has come to fruition and at weekends she and her sister work with evangelism teams in the countryside and support small cell churches in the villages as part of her own fellowshipís outreach activities.
Used by permission of SAO Cambodia
Gregg Collett, executive director
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