A former alcoholic shares how his encounter with Christ and his church’s pastor saved his marriage and his family.
My life was pretty typical for many Cambodians.
I was a Buddhist but also believed in all kinds of spirits, charms and traditions from the old religions before Buddhism came. I went out every day and drank alcohol with my friends without a worry for my family. When I was drunk, I got into arguments with my wife, so there were almost constant quarrels in my house.
When it became particularly bad, I would leave home for several weeks to go off with my friends. It was probably a relief because my bad behavior also affected my neighbors. When I was drunk, I shouted and played loud music no matter what time of day or night.
No one liked me, except maybe my drinking buddies. Certainly not my neighbors. Not even my wife and children.
When a Pastor Comes to Town
A pastor who was a World Challenge partner came to know my family. He found out about our troubles and introduced my family to Jesus Christ.
He wanted to help, but I didn’t like people who believed in Jesus. When he spoke about God or his Word, I would harass him. I wanted him to suffer, so I persecuted him any way I could.
However, my family seemed to be getting worse and worse every day. Our poverty and unhappiness made people avoid us. We felt like we had no social value in our community.
One day, the pastor showed up at our house again. He’d arranged a family fellowship at his church: time to study the words of God in his Bible, to encourage each other and to eat together. Normally, I would’ve started harassing him like usual, but this day was different. The desire to hurt him had flowed out of me. It was gone.
The relationship between me and my wife was so distant that I decided to give this family fellowship a try. She and I planned to go to this event with the intention of seeing what we could do to better our family relationships. I also want to see how those who believed in Christ acted at this church.
The event was a shock. Everyone was so happy to be there. I saw my wife smile, and my children were having fun playing with the others and eating the good food.
I wanted to see my family happy together like this more often. After the event, my wife and I decided to come worship God every Sunday.
It wasn’t long before we decided to believe in Jesus Christ.
Living in a New Life
About two months after coming to believe in Jesus, I stopped one evening and took stock of my marriage and my relationship with my children.
My wife and I were getting along better, probably in great part because I had been able to stop drinking alcohol. Not only that, but I’d discovered that I quite enjoyed preparing and planting gardens around the house. I’d also started raising chickens to sell for extra income.
I wanted to continue growing, though. I wanted to know more about the Word of God, so I asked the pastor if he could send my wife and I as a couple to attend a Bible school in the capital of our province.
This way, our family will continue to grow closer and more loving, and our faith will be strengthened. In the end, we want to thank our pastor for all his efforts to help our family know God. It has changed our lives.
May God bless you!