by Yuzo Imamura
Mr. Bun Song is one of the elders of a local church in a rural city in Cambodia. He used to work for a military. It was years ago when he heard of the salvation of Jesus for the first time through a Bible school student who came from Phnom Penh to share the good news in his city.
MR. BUN SONG IS ONE OF THE ELDERS of a local church in a rural city in Cambodia. He used to work for a military. It was years ago when he heard of the salvation of Jesus for the first time through a Bible school student who came from Phnom Penh to share the good news in his city.
After he became a Christian, he resigned from the military service and started serving a church while he works as a night watch man for a NGO office. He has a beautiful wife and two children. I met him when I was the last residential missionary for his church where our mission agency tried to hand over everything to local leadership. His family has had a lot of life events, especially in the last decade. I journeyed together with them.
Bun Song & his family
First, he had a difficult relationship with his wife, as he was too busy at church and with ministries. Their relationship had become soared and tense. After his time in church and ministries reduced, their relationship improved.
Second, when he was taking a shower from the well outside his house, a coconut fell and hit his head. When we heard of this news, I thought he might have been killed as I heard of many cases in rural Cambodia. God saved his life without any after effects.
Later, his wife got a strange illness. It prolonged many months. Local doctors could not help her so she traveled to a neighboring country a couple of times, but her symptoms did not improve. She ended up unconscious and they rushed her to one of most expensive private hospitals in Phnom Penh without thinking of medical fee. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and began getting better little by little. Every time she visited the hospital after her discharge, she had to pay for an expensive bill, but God provided for them through many mysterious ways.
In the same year, Mr. Song’s daughter started tumbling and was later was diagnosed with brain tuberculosis. By God’s grace, she received medical treatment and was healed a year later.
One day, I visited Mr. Song and his family and I asked, “Have you wanted to doubt God’s existence and love as you had a lot of difficulties and sufferings in your family?” He boldly replied, “No, I’ve never doubted his love and mercy because he has always helped us in different ways.” I followed up by asking, “As a former Buddhist, have you had a temptation to offer something to a temple or thought that you had a bad karma in your former life?” His response was very intriguing:
No way. I was saved by Jesus my Savior based on his love, not my good deeds. I know that I am a very timid human being and I cannot save my spirit by myself. The temple is no meaning for me now, and only Almighty God can save me, even when I face death, I know God is with us and does best for us. Therefore, I have no fear.
Praise the Lord that I am always encouraged by such a people who believe God from their heart. I am challenged by their faith while they live in very simple houses, but their faith is very pure and simple to trust Jesus as their Savor. I always ask myself, “Probably I studied the Bible more than them, but do I live my faith like they do?”
I thank God that I know him better and deeper because I have come to Cambodia and met beloved brothers and sisters in Christ who live out their faith in Christ. At the same time, I recognize that I am not a senior Christian by the title of a missionary, but a fellow follower of Jesus who lives in the Kingdom of God, currently in Cambodia. And it is joyous to work with Cambodian brothers and sisters for his glory.
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Being born and raised in Japan, Yuzo Imamura, MD & PhD, and his wife, Hitomi, have served as church workers in Cambodia with OMF International since 2003. He holds a Master of Christian Ministry from the Discipleship Training Centre, Singapore.
EMQ, Vol. 52, No. . Copyright © 2016 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.