For those of you who read our blog, you will remember that in early August, we posted about Ly Phalla, our dear friend and manager of the CTC & Green Mango in Cambodia. She had just received news that her house was destroyed from an electrical fire sparked within her own house, and had caused her neighbors’ houses to also burn to the ground. By Cambodian law, Ly Phalla was responsible to pay for the damage to all three homes.
At one time, we shared with you the response of those who were moved by this event: American individuals and churches drawn to give financially to Ly Phalla, but so were the Cambodian women of the byTavi program, who gave despite their own need. We praise God for the hearts of the women that showed the love of Christ to their sister by doing this.
At that time, we, as CGI staff, thought that we had learned so much from our Cambodian family. However, this story continues to get better. A few weeks ago, Ryana DeArmond, the Resident Chef of the Green Mango Café and Bakery, was telling us about the following moving experience.
One night after Ly Phalla had surveyed the wreckage, Ryana was there for her to process with. Ly Phalla shared that 40 years ago, she had lived through the Khmer Rouge genocide, that drove her out of her home and murdered many members of her family. She was able to rebuild her life after that. It took a while, and she worked hard, but she did it. And now, she had lost it all once again in a single moment. Ryana extended sympathy as much as she could, understanding that she had never endured a loss like Ly Phalla is now living through for the second time in her life.
Then Ly Phalla said something extraordinary. “But this time,” she explained, “it will be easier because I have Christ, and I have hope.”
There are so many lessons for us to learn from our Cambodian friends. Whatever you are going through today, know that because you have Christ, you have hope.
By Whitney Vance