A Voice Like Thunder

Photo by Marianne Long on Unsplash

"Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." --John 14:6

I count it a privilege to have parents who are followers of Jesus Christ who have intimately experienced his presence in their lives. They live today to display God's strength and grace in their lives before, during, and after the genocide.  Both of my parents had grown up in a home where both sets of parents called on the name of Jesus to be saved.

Evangelism in Cambodia:
In the early 1940's, before my mom was born, a missionary named John David Ellison (he was one of the first American born in Cambodia) had come to the village that her parents lived to present the gospel. My Grandmother Gnum and later Grandpa Tin became believers. Grandpa Tin had been an alcoholic. My mom retells a story from her parents: day and night, her dad would have a drink in hand. He had seen the missionaries share about Jesus and had seen his wife become a believer. After some time, her dad had hit rock bottom! Thirsty, yet no amount of alcohol quenched his thirst; he went for kerosene, yet still parched. Finally, he decided to trust in Jesus and in the instant of becoming a believer and follower of Jesus: alcohol no longer had a grip on him. He found living water; a well for his soul!

Grandpa Chan at a young age decided to be a Buddhist monk, yet that life would not satisfy.  As a monk, he saw people bowing down to give honor and receive blessings. He felt no honor should be due to him, a mere human; it was unsettling for his soul. According to my dad, Grandpa Chan often pondered the things of life asking, "Who created the world? How did the skies and the earth come to be?"  He eventually left the life of a monk and he married Ette (grandma). While in early years of marriage, Grandpa Chan had heard about Jesus through someone in the village. He chose to trust Jesus. 

One night he went to sleep, he was frightened. Even though Grandpa Chan had recently thrown away carved wooden images of Buddha, he still feared the laboeung (the devil taunting him), feeling an evil presence around him. Shortly after falling asleep he had a nightmare.  In his sleep, he was so stressed and scared; sweating profusely, until he dreamt of the overwhelming protective assurance of God, a voice resounding like thunder saying, "HE CANNOT DO ANYTHING TO YOU!"  

Growing up, I loved hearing this story about Grandpa Chan. Gathered in a circle a bunch of black haired Cambodian kids listening to their awesomely animated and confident Dad share this bedtime story. I imagined my grandpa in this round hut home on stilts. The hut had open windows. I imagined Grandpa Chan laying there on the mat: the camera zooms in on his face. He's wincing; his body twitching from the taunting nightmare and then a thundering voice calls from above: HE CANNOT DO ANYTHING TO YOU! Then suddenly peace: the trees outside of the hut goes from windy to still. The heart pounding softens and calmness returns to his breathing. He continues to sleep, this time his sleep is peaceful. 

I can't wait to share day 4 on Monday! I'm honored that you've read these stories of God's goodness and faithful to my family. 


By MamaDea

Life can be full of hope and abundance; I am certain we can find it because the life we want and desire: Jesus came to give us life and we can have it abundantly! A little about me: I am a wife, first. Next, I am a mama to five children; my husband and I have four daughters and son! I love to connect and talk about things of God and look for beauty in life.


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