They Were All Killed

They were killed.  All of them.  Anyone who wore glasses. Doctors, lawyers, schoolteachers; those who could read and write.  Murdered.  During the mid to late 1970’s the Khmer Rouge led by elusive Pol Pot, swept through Cambodia, turning the entire country into a concentration camp.

Today, the average age of a Khmer citizen is around 30.  Young people are everywhere, the old folks are gone.  At a church we attended on Sunday, I found a few who were my age.  They were pleased we were all old guys.  The youngest of the quartet (pictured below), the guy on the right, is only 56.  His leg was blown off by a landmine.  The man on the left is the same age as me, 62.  He was so happy to discover our matching age.  The one next to him is Mout’s uncle, he is 60.

Mout’s uncle…now there is a story.  Mout was born just before the Khmer Rouge takeover.  Some of his family lived through those hellish years.  His father was taken away by communist ‘soliders’ one evening and never returned.  Mout’s uncle (his mother’s brother), took over some of the family responsibilities. He cared for Mout and carried him whenever the family had to move.  He protected Mout during that devasatating time, until the family could reach a refugee camp and finally make their way to freedom in the United States in the early 1980’s.

When we arrived in Battambang, Mout was aware his uncle still lived here.  He is a Tuk-tuk driver.  Mout contacted him and met with him on Saturday.  Mout’s memories of his uncle have dimmed over the years, but the reunion was a blessing. They were pleased to see each other. Mout has grown larger than his uncle and could carry him now!

We have been handing out gospels of John to some of the local people.  Mout wanted to be sure his uncle understood what it means to have everlasting life.  During their meeting, Mout asked his uncle, “Uncle, would you like to know how to live forever when you die?”  His uncle laughed and said, “Even kings die, how can I, a Tuk-tuk driver live forever?”  Mout keyed in on the “king” statement and replied, “Uncle, I know One King who is alive, and you can live forever if you believe in Him.”  The uncle replied, “For real?”

Mout reached in his backpack and drew out the Water of Life; the gospel of John.  Then he explained to his uncle, “This book was written by a man named John. He was inspired by God, so we can know and believe in Jesus forever.”  Mout handed the book to his uncle and asked him to read it.  It was the first time he had ever read a Bible verse and the first time he had heard about everlasting life being a gift given by God simply by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ for it.  No good deeds or works needed.  Accept the gift, by belief in Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life, and you have it. It can never be revoked.

All the people of knowledge were killed, but the Word of God lives!  Powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.

IMG_0653 2
Four OG’s. The guy on left was the guitar player in church. Next to him is Mout’s uncle. On the right is a church leader. He lost his leg when he stepped on a landmine.
Mout (my friend and staff member) and me in his uncle’s Tuk-tuk.

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.

4 thoughts on “They Were All Killed”

  1. I was not expecting to see a church there and believers attending! What a picture of Hope! It is great to learn more about Mout’s history and how his uncle helped his family in those difficult years. So thrilled that Mout could witness to his uncle especially since sometimes witnessing to your family is at times more difficult. Proud of Mout’s faithfulness. Praying that seeds are being planted and that the church there will grow and more people will hear for the first time about Who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for them!


  2. It is so great that you have discipled Mout and that he is able to go out and preach the gospel especially to his own uncle who saved his life and now Mout wants to have his uncle receive eternal life through Christ!!


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