40 Years since Khmer Rouge

April 17th 1975 - April 17th 2015

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A victims story

I have known Solina Chy for nearly 8 years, but it was not until we shared a house together in Ratanakiri last month that she told me what happened to her during the Khmer Rouge years. This is Solina's story, a condensed version, as told in the recently released book 'God's Faithfulness' published by OMF:

'On the 17th April 1975 the Khmer Rouge ordered us to leave the cities and go to the countryside. Even hospital patients were ordered to leave at gunpoint. My mother who was in hospital for knee surgery, was forced to come with us. A month later she died by the roadside as a result of an infection in her knee. After a simple cremation we were forced to go on. Eventually I was separated from my father and sister and sent to the fields for hard labour. We worked day and night digging with very little food to eat. Many of those I worked with were taken away and killed. One day I asked myself ‘Where did I come from? Who made these crops?’ And I started to believe there must be one God who made everything. From then on I started to pray to this God, the first God who created everything, whose name I did not know. In 1977 I was put in jail with my feet in stocks for refusing to marry against my will. They gave me electric shocks, put plastic bags over my face till I fainted and held bayonets against my head. They accused me of being a CIA spy. I despaired of life and wanted to die, but something compelled me to pray, ‘Please God only let me live if there is a good reason for me to live.’ Two years and three jails later I emerged alive - very few others in those jails survived. When the Vietnamese brought liberation in 1979 I managed to escape to Thailand, but our pain did not end there. The refugee camps had limited food, water and privacy. One day I met a lady called Yvonne, who beginning with the creation story to Jesus’ death on the cross, told me the whole gospel. My soul was touched by the words Jesus said on the cross, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’. If Jesus could forgive his enemies maybe with his help I could forgive the Khmer Rouge. Peace flooded my heart. This was the God I had been seeking. From then on I became a believer'.

A year later Solina was relocated to Canada, where she went to Bible College. In 1996 she returned to Cambodia with OMF as a mission partner, where she works with the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) bringing the hope of the gospel to people throughout the rest of Cambodia.

A perpetrators story

Duch is a murderer of the most horrid kind. He was responsible for S21, a prison where people suspected of opposing the Khmer Rouge were systematically tortured and executed. Over the past 5 years Duch has been on trial for crimes against humanity in Cambodia. After visiting the S21 prison (now a genocide museum) and knowing that Duch has since become a Christian, I was repulsed. I did not want that 'that evil man' to be in heaven! But as I watched footage of the Khmer Rouge trials on the Cambodian news, I could not deny there was something different about Duch. Whereas the other Khmer Rouge leaders gave proud, unremorseful performances, Duch was truly humble and repentant throughout. I became convinced his conversion was real and was amazed afresh at the enormity of Gods grace and forgiveness - which is way bigger than mine! Instead of asking you to pray for me this month, I would like to ask you to watch the attached video of Duch's story. Its 45 minutes, so you'll need to make the time for it, but I promise you its worth it! I hope his story touches you as much as it did me. Just press on the link below......

Thank you for your prayers

Love Joelle Xxx