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!