Love – God’s most treasured gift

Kim Lita sits in front of Erin and I at the Rainbow Hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is a young, bubbly, intelligent lady with, what we were to discover, a disarming and beautiful honesty. To keep the story true to her honesty, I have only made ‘flow’ edits to her conversation about life, a questioning faith and the impact that living at the hostel has had on her life ….

“I was born in 1995 in Sihanoukville. I have two sisters who are now married. My older sister has a three month old daughter. My second sister is pregnant. I grew up in Buddhist family. When I was young, I went to church because they gave me gifts. Next door to my house was a church and they taught English so I learnt English and joined worship on Sunday. I finished high school and then went to Phnom Penh. I lived alone and was not involved in church or anything. I am in my second year of studying Pharmacy.

A friend who was staying in the Rainbow Hotel asked me “do you want to live in the church?” I didn’t want to learn anything about God. (When living by myself) I just read book or touch my phone and I feel free but after one week, I said yes I will live here. I said yes because as a single girl, it is not safe for me to live alone so it is better to stay with others. When I came here for the first time I felt like everyone have a love. I remember, a foreigner, she hugged me so warm, so I think ‘why she hug me like this?’ After that I tried to hug them like they hug me.

Pastor Sreyleak asked me ‘do you want to be a Christian?’ I say ‘I am considering. And even now I’m still considering. I think I might believe in God already. At night five months ago I dream. I saw a big flood and saw someone wearing white clothes, just like Jesus in the story. The flood is really big and everyone will die. And then immediately the flood is down – Because of the word of God. God is carrying one boy in his hands. Everyone was singing. When I get up I say the words unintentionally “I believe in God” This is my real dream. It still gives me goosebumps now.

In this place I feel home. Sometimes we fight with each other but we still have love. In my room there are 4 girls. We have love. When Sister Sreyleak comes to Phnom Penh, she stays in our room and shares something to encourage us to love each other – Just like a best friend. What I love most about being a Christian is love. Sometimes I wonder if God exist? I first met Sister Sreyleak when I came here. I came here for worship on Sunday because of my friend. Sister Sreyleak gave a Bible to me. She said this is the first time that she has given a Bible and opened it up for someone. She opened the Bible for me. I don’t know how to open the Bible and she opened it for me. She is very friendly and caring. I love her so much. I will (have) stay in the Hostel for nearly 3 year. God teach us love. Buddha also teach love but sometimes to love yourself. For God love yourself like others. I still have questions about God. Sister Sreyleak teaches me about God. Sometimes I ask a question “does God exist? Did God really make the word? Why you believe in God?”

I asked Kim Lita if she ever asked God questions? “no.” she replied. “I think you should ask Him.”

“I should? – I will” she responded. “I don’t read the Bible but I listen, at some points I sing. I ask so many questions.”

In many ways the ‘broken English’ of this story is more eloquent than any words I could write.

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