Sam always knew he wanted to be a teacher.
So even as a young boy living at home with his mom and sister, he would gather his friends in the village to teach them English and Khmer, the official language of Cambodia.
His dream: to show God’s love to the easily overlooked and forgotten by teaching students who are poor and cannot afford school.
This was his dream, because he was one of these kids.
“I have no father. He left when I was born. But God is my Father. He has always provided whatever I need.”
God, in His infinite grace, steps into the tender spaces where earthly fathers are absent. Sam knows this personally.
Hear Sam’s story in his own words—
Sam grew up in Southern Cambodia.
He spent his time wandering through the countryside, doing whatever he pleased. By his own admission, he often made his mom sad with his choices.
But in 2015, everything changed when he met Pastor Mony.
Pastor Mony was a local pastor who came to Sam’s village to preach the Gospel. At first, Sam only went to hear him because Pastor Mony also offered milk and bread.
“I didn’t need the Gospel. I didn’t need God’s Word.”
But every weekend, Pastor Mony faithfully returned to share the Gospel with him. Then one weekend, Pastor Money told Sam that if he trusted Jesus, God would faithfully provide.
By God’s grace, Sam accepted an invitation to study the Bible and trust God with his life.
Sometimes the Gospel becomes more precious to the one who longs for a Father who never fails. This certainly became true for Sam, who quickly learned to love and treasure God’s Word.
“People used to say, ‘You are a poor boy. You are a boy with no father.’ But when I trusted Jesus, I had a place to belong.”
Then in 2017, our team in Cambodia opened a children’s home on the church property.
Because of his mother’s health and because he lived an hour away from school, Sam was invited to move into the home—which would more easily allow him to continue his education.
Sam became one of the first children to move into the church home.
In Sam’s words—
“When I came here, God changed my life 100%.”
Sam quickly became an integral part of establishing a family environment and providing leadership.
He began teaching Sunday School and became like an older brother to the rest of the children, leading by example and joyfully serving others. He intentionally discipled the younger kids and led student outreaches in the nearby villages.
Today, Sam attends university in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh.
He’s studying English and is on track to be a teacher.
Because he was unable to go to school as a little boy, he’s determined to help kids get an education and learn about God from an early age.
“I will try my best to help them. Whether they have money or not, I will teach them. I want to change their life like my life was changed.”
And though Sam now lives in Phonm Penh where he studies, he still comes back to the church home every weekend to spend time with those who hold a special place in his heart.
At Lifesong, we believe God intended all children to grow up in a safe and loving family.
Unfortunately, living in a fallen world means many children grow up without the love or care of a family, and many of these kids become young adults without the life skills or support network to navigate adulthood.
Because of this, our team cares full-time for 30 children at the church home, providing holistic, Christ-centered care, safe housing, nutritious food, and a good education.
Furthermore, they learn every day about God, the Father Who never fails.
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5).
Your Part in This Story
With your support, Lifesong Cambodia continues to reach students like Sam. And these students know they are loved.
Across the world, according to research, more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Fatherlessness remains one of the biggest contributing factors to poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, poor physical and emotional health, crime, and lack of educational achievement.
So when we welcome fatherless and vulnerable children in a community to school, to have their daily needs met, and to learn about the Father Who never fails, we participate in breaking unhealthy cycles.
Sam knows God loves him.
In Sam’s words—
“Without God’s love and without the support of God’s people, I could not have lived at the church home or gone to school. So I am very thankful. Nothing is impossible with God!”