I Knew You Would Come Back

In 2010, when I first came to Cambodia, I hired a young man to drive me in his Tuktuk. Each time he would take me somewhere he would charge a different price. There was no doubt (me being a foreigner) he was taking advantage. Finally, I said to him (through an interpreter), “Look, you keep charging me a different price and each time the price goes up. If you are fair with me, I will be fair with you.”

Virak became my friend over the years and each time I would come to Phnom Penh, he was my driver. Even with his limited English and my nonexistent Khmer, we could communicate, and I was always fair with him. He was a Jehovah’s Witness, and I shared the truth of Christ with him often. Once when Bryce came with me, he prayed with Virak and it was meaningful to him. On one trip in 2012 Carol joined me; Virak invited us to his humble home (see photo from 2012) where his wife had prepared lunch for us. 

Today, Chantha and I went looking for him near the riverfront where he works. As we came around the corner he caught glimpse of me and recognized me. He said to Chantha with tears in his eyes, “I knew he was a man who would not just leave without ever saying goodbye. I knew one day he would come back!”

Virak is no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, but has need of understanding eternal life is gained through belief in Jesus and not by works. His JW/Buddhist/Animist background is all works centered and is hopeless. I invited him to church on Sunday at Calvary Chapel where Chantha and Sharon attend and he assured me he would be there. I pray that the pastors will teach the Word.

The three of us went to lunch and enjoyed renewing our friendship. Tonight, I’m paying for the spicy Indian food we all enjoyed!

Author: pastor roger

Pastor Roger is retired Executive Director of Hope Now For Youth. Hope Now is a Christian rescue organization. The ministry helps young gang members get out of the gang life and into a job. He is a licensed pastor in Hope Now Bible Church where he preaches on various Sundays throughout the year and leads an adult Bible study during the week. He serves on the Board of Directors and assists the new executive director as the organization’s Director of Communications and Director of Cambodia Ministries. He graduated with High Honors from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies. He attended Riverside Community College, Biola College (University), and he received his certificate in Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing from Babson College. Roger was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 70s. In 1980 he began a 24-year career with Berean Christian Stores (now Lifeway Christian Stores). In 2000 he became president of the company and served in that position for four years. He became Executive Director and CEO of Hope Now For Youth in 2004 and retired from that position in 2018. He has traveled to Antarctica, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Cambodia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Jordan and Israel. In 1975 he married Carol and has two married daughters and eight grandchildren (Six grandsons and two granddaughters). He believes in the U.S. Constitution and supports all efforts to defend it. Roger enjoys learning how to be a better writer, coffee (not tea) reading, playing golf, watching (soon to be World Champions Dodgers) baseball, and hanging out with his grandkids.

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