Love, the Best Healer: The Story of Kimsang*
By Cecilia Yau (Translated by Emily O’Neale)
When I first went for an interview at the Pleroma Home for Girls**, I instantly fell in love with the children. Some of them were so young and cute and reminded me of Andrew, who I will tell you about shortly. I knew I could pour out my love on these children. It was such a good feeling—I could love many, many more Andrews!
If Andrew were still with us, he would now be eight years old. Four years ago, during the holiday season, Pastor and his wife were busy rehearsing for the church Christmas program, and they left their two sons, Andrew and his younger brother, Philip, in my care. I took them home with me, and as soon as I stepped in the door, Andrew started yelling for something to eat. He was hungry, so I hurried to get him something to eat. But when I turned around, he was gone. I raced out the door, just as a motorcycle swooped past me. By the time I could see clearly, Andrew was lying on the ground, bleeding from his head and ears.
Pastor arrived shortly after receiving the news. Unfortunately, the clinic in the village was not in sufficient condition, so we had to send Andrew to the hospital in Phnom Penh. The doctors tried their best, but in the end, they were not able to save this little life. I was heartbroken and beat myself on the chest! God, why did Andrew die like this? I would rather have died than him. It was my mistake! What about his parents? Oh God, what should I do?
Adding to my sense of shame was my aunt. I lived with her, helped her with housework, and made a little extra money to pay for my tuition. She was a Buddhist and didn’t like that I went to church. She almost kicked me out when I told her I believed in Jesus. After she learned about the accident, she did not comfort me, but scolded, "You killed someone's child! Tell me how you are going to pay the parents back?"
For three years, I was guilt ridden, unable to eat or sleep well. But during this time, Pastor and his wife were amazingly comforting to me, telling me that it was not my fault, and they fully understood—and God understood too. But once, when we went to visit Andrew's grave together, they couldn't hold back their wailing, calling their son's name, "Andrew, my child, I miss you so much! Come back! Come back!" My heart was torn to shreds. I seemed to have fallen into a dark pit from which I could not climb out.
Pastor and his wife truly loved me, even telling me that God took Andrew and gave them me! Pastor gave me a job in the administration department of his organization, where I had the opportunity to meet different people. I got to visit the co-workers in the organization’s workplace and learn new things. Through this couple’s unconditional love and acceptance, God began to mend my broken heart.
Once I dreamed that I was walking alone in the dark when suddenly, I saw thousands of bright lights shining in front of me. The road was covered with diamonds. I heard a kind voice saying: "Don't be afraid, I will lead you with the light of life.” Then I walked into a beautiful garden where a lovely fragrance filled the air. Many people were there, people who loved me. They were brothers and sisters in the church.
Then I woke up. Later I found out that this was not just a dream. It was real life. God had prepared many brothers and sisters for me who understood me. I began to receive counseling, and gradually the dark shadow disappeared. I was free! Moreover, there is a deep love in my heart. I have a special sympathy for those who are hurt by unfortunate circumstances. I want to hug them and encourage them not to be afraid and not to give up. I want to tell them, “The eternal love of Jesus can heal you and lead you to a place of light.”
When I heard that Pleroma Home for Girls needed a social worker, I knew this was where I belonged—God wanted me to love these children! One day, as part of my responsibilities, I was out in the countryside going through the formalities for accepting girls into our Home. As I walked along the muddy village road, noticing the sparse village houses with no walls and doors, I felt as if I were back in my own home. Ten years earlier, I was like one of these children playing on a bamboo mat. But I had been more fortunate than many rural girls. I had the opportunity to go to school. Of the three girls in my family, I was the only one who could go to school. My older sister wanted to go, but since our family was poor, she insisted that I should have the opportunity because she said I could read better. My younger sister liked boys’ work, so she became a cowgirl, watching cattle in the fields every day.
Memories from the past flooded my mind. One day, on my way home from school, a female classmate ran up to me out of breath, very upset, and said, "Go home quickly; your sister is dead!" I was startled and ran home without asking what happened. Before I got to the door, I heard the sound of crying. My heart was pounding when I saw my younger sister lying on the ground. Her hair was burned, her legs were broken, and she seemed to have stopped breathing.
Seeing me, my father, pulled me aside to tell me that my younger sister had been struck by lightning and died in the field. I was stunned! How could this be possible? My sister was a hard worker and everyone loved her—she shouldn't have died! Still today, every time I think of her, my eyes fill with tears as I relive the feelings of loss and confusion.
“Here we are,” my co-worker tugged at my sleeve. “What have you been thinking?” We had arrived at the house of the family we were going to visit. The eight-year-old girl of that home was raped by her stepfather's younger brother. Her mother agreed that it would be safer for her to come to our Home for Girls. I looked at the girl, her face filled with bewilderment and loss. Oh, after 10 years, I was very familiar with that look. I had lost my sister, and this small child had lost her virginity. At that age, her dignity was still very fragile. And her self-confidence had not yet been established. I never fail to ask, “How can it be that she could be so ravaged?” I held her hand and told her softly, “I’m sure you will like the Home for Girls.”