“The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.” – 1 Timothy 5:5
Champa lives in a rural part of Siem Riep, Cambodia. Her house is small and open-air, made from bamboo and other cheap materials, quite common in this area of Southeast Asia.
Champa is in her 50s now, and a dedicated Christian, but many years ago, back when her children were young, she didn’t believe in God. Until, that is, a terrible tragedy struck her family.
Her husband was a fisherman in the nearby river, and with only his wage to support their growing family, they were barely getting by.
One day her husband got very sick, so she sent one of her children to get a local doctor, but the doctor refused to come. He knew they didn’t have the money to pay for the treatment.
The infection that had started in his eye spread to the rest of his body quickly. Early one morning a few days later, he passed away.
Champa and her children were devastated. Their beloved father was not only gone, but now they had no way to make money to buy food, no way to survive.
Shortly after her husband passed away, Champa had to send each of her children away to live with other family members because she couldn’t afford to raise them herself.
“As each of my children left, I would pray that God would watch over them, because I couldn’t. I was hopeless and didn’t know what to do to survive,” Champa says.
Then one day, she met a man who told her that she needed to believe in God, but she had no concept of what God he was referring to, or where this God was.
“So I asked to listen to his radio and he let me listen. I heard the word of God for the first time. The words were so beautiful.”
Champa began listening to FEBC Cambodia broadcasts every night and always had a pen, Bible and notebook beside her to take notes. She’s been doing this for 12 years!
By listening to the radio, she began to learn more and more about God, and how she could serve Him on earth before she passed away. After the first few radio broadcasts, Champa dedicated her life to the Lord.
“After I believed in God, my mind was filled with hope. First, there was just three of us worshiping God in our village (my child and I, and one other person from another family). Then I began inviting other villagers to come. I told them to come and believe in God and listen to his Word with me. At that time, I was the only one who spread the news of God.”
Now, after several years, almost 100 people in Champa’s village and the surrounding area have believed in God through Champa’s ministry and the FEBC radio broadcasts they listen to. Praise God!
Champa was broken when she heard the Word of God that gave her life meaning. Just one ordinary person in an entire village of nonbelievers, Champa was used by God to save over 100 people! We don’t have to be great speakers, great writers, or deep thinkers to save souls for Christ—we simply have to trust that God will work in the hearts of the people we talk to, convincing them of the truth of the Gospel. What is He calling you to do, and are you trusting Him enough to use You? Remember, when you feel like you aren’t the right fit for what God’s calling you to do, so did many other people in the Bible, but God gave them the wisdom they needed.
Father, give me the strength to listen and follow Your Voice. You created the heavens and the earth, You are all-powerful and all-knowing, and yet we often choose to disobey when You ask us to be obedient. Forgive us for faltering, and renew in us a sense of urgency to spread the Gospel with whoever we come across in our day-to-day lives. May we not be timid, lukewarm Christians, but men and women after Your own heart. Amen.