Mom and Dad call for the kids to come close. As the sun tucks into the Cambodian horizon, they see a man running towards their camp. “Hey, you!” he calls.
They saw him earlier, walking around chatting with different families. It wasn’t a secret: he’s an informant. He’s the known as one who snoops and spies for the Khmer Rouge Army.
He jogs towards their house. Waving at them with a faux-friendly “hello”, he continues, “I see you guys have light. It’s been a few nights: how do you get the light?!
“Well, we made a candle from the pig fat and oil.” Mom explains.
“Really? Pig oil?! Where did you get it?” he inquired.
“Well, you know the pigs out in the field. I can show you, if you’d like!” Mom replies. Picking up the carcass with her beautiful beaming smile, she presents a rat. She shows him the bowl of oil. She explains that the wick is from torn mosquito netting they find. With pieces of metal, they have a makeshift stand to help hold the “wick”. (My parents would cook up the rats and they would keep the grease from the rats as oil for their candle).
“Wow, you guys are creative! You get light by getting oil and fats from the rat and with some cloth and scraps!” He exclaims. Amazed and content with their answer, he salutes them.
“Thanks for showing me! I should be going!” he remarks. Up he stands from squatting position, he nods his head and rushes off to the next house. He never bothered them again.
Mom and Dad lived under Pol Pot Regime for three and a half years. The soldiers required families to gather for a meeting in the evenings. The content of messages would range from work tasks for the next day or interrogations, or to promoting the evil beliefs of Marxism. When the families were released, with a sigh they huddled and gathered together weary from hard manual labor dressed in black from top to bottom and under the hot sun. Yet, as Scripture says, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, Run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.” (See Isaiah 40) Yet, every night for three and a half years they were able to have candlelight and read their Bible. Mom and Dad show me even to this day, the Word of God remains. Seeing God’s faithful and goodness in such a time of tragedy only solidified their faith. Such a time of loss and yet they lived abundantly by grace through faith.
Isaiah 40:31 New Living Translation 31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:8 New International Version 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”