I come from a city that’s up by the Vietnamese border. When I was eight months old my father wanted to buy some used toys for me to play with. He asked the person to bring the price down because it was expensive, and the person didn’t agree. My father was drunk, and he shot them dead. He shot one person three times. My father took the person’s moto and fled, and when he was near the Vietnamese border he was caught...
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He was in jail for eight years, so I was eight when he got out. While my father was in jail my mother had two different husbands. Then when my father got out of jail he took my mother back. My mother got AIDS from one of her other husbands, and then when my father got out of jail, he got AIDS from my mother.
When I was a little older my parents were working far from home. My mother got really sick, and went to Thailand. My father brought my mother back to Cambodia; he put her in a hospital here in Kampong Cham and then abandoned her.
At that time my father started to abuse me. I don’t know how or when, but I also got the AIDS virus.
I lived with him until I was 12. I was thinking about it and I decided I needed to live somewhere else, not with him. So I left him and after a month’s time, he went to Phnom Penh and got another wife. And he died in the home of his new wife.
I married someone from Vietnam. I became pregnant and had a child, and my child was one month old, and died. My child had AIDS and also a heart issue—her heart was too big—so she died. My mother-in-law figured out during the pregnancy and the birth that I was HIV-positive, and she was not happy. She got ahold of my mother and told her to come and get me, and take me to the Kampong Cham hospital.
I was treated for about four months in the provincial hospital, and then I was released to go to my house. I had to do observed TB medication every day. I would ride my bike to Sunrise every day to do my medication, but it was too far. I was losing weight. My mother had stayed here before, and so I asked if I could stay here and do the observed TB medication.
When I came here, people took care of me, they were loving to me, and they told me about God, my Father. And they led me to know how to have a relationship with God the Father. So I went to church on Sunday with the staff here, and I became a Christian. And I still am—I became a believer.
My life now is much better than it used to be. I’m grateful to this organization—for Sunrise—and to God for giving me a new life. When I got out of here, Sunrise helped me find work. The staff here also helped me find a place to live at a church, so I was with Christians. Now I work at the stadium. There’s a pool and a restaurant. I’m an assistant to the chef, and cut up the vegetables for the food people order at the restaurant. I’m still living at the church. Since I’m there at night I help the church remain safe. I help them, and they help me.
So I would say that now I have victory in my life. I really want to thank Sunrise, and thank God for arranging a new kind of life for me, that I’m living up until today.
Sunrise is supported by donations of CRM ministry partners. Your gift makes it possible for Sunrise to continue reaching out to the poor in Cambodia.
ABOUT: Sunrise was founded in Cambodia in 2001 by an InnerCHANGE staff member to address the needs of the highly vulnerable Cambodian population with HIV. Sunrise is now led by an all-Cambodian staff and has increasing influence across the country.