Before living in New Hope Children’s Home, Bunthorn was a smart, cute, and quiet child who had a cheerful, lovely, safe and caring family in the slum area on the outskirts of Phnom Penh City. He has a father, a mother, one sister, and aunty that live together as a happy and peaceful family. Unfortunately, his father past away from cancer. His father mean very much to him. His mother also fell sick after the father’s death. All of hopes and dreams that he put on his father were wiped out. Thus, he doesn’t have a father to call “Pa Pa/Daddy” as other children do. Before the father’s death, his mother mourned and wept until she fell sick. Without the father, no one was able to earn money to support the family. His mother couldn’t work because of becoming ill after the father passed away. Also it is very difficult to get hired for a job when a person has contracted the HIV virus. Because of these events the family became very poor.
After his father left, he had only his mother, aunty and sister living with him so his aunty and sister left to go work as a house keeper and seamstress in order to earn a living and support his education and the family. Bun Thorn said, “I never cared about their sacrifice, discipline, housework or my mom’s business. I just only knew happiness in my life. As a result, due to hardness in the rain and under the sun, trying to make a living and for my education, finally, it took away my mother’s life with cancer.” “Both my aunty and sister were busy making a living working long hours, so they do not have time to take care of me, they decided to send me to stay with my aunty- in- laws and gave a sack of rice and 30$ per month as living expenses. Living there seemed to live in the hell because when I returned from school, I had to work until 12:00pm and I went to bed at 1:00am every night. I didn’t have any right to protest and choice although I wanted to study English and computer, if could not be. I felt so much hurt and pain because of my mom’s death. I always cried and wanted the time to turn back, so I could have an opportunity to be grateful for my mom and what what she had sacrificed. However, this was not possible. After a year, of living like this my aunty and sister decided it was time for me to live at the orphanage, which was recommended by a houseparent of Kompong Cham orphanage, who was also my neighbor,” added Bunthorn.
His Life in the orphanage:
Bunthorn said, “Living in the orphanage was like starting a new life. After a while, I also got used to living with brothers and sisters in orphanage. Especially I began to have a relationship with God who saved me from my darkness in the past. I really accepted him into my life. The word of God always comforted me and gave me hope. And he always did wonderful things for me. What I haven’t had and what I have wanted, right now are given to me. Things such as: comfort, encouragement, discipline, and being taken care of by the leaders of the orphanage. More than that, I have an opportunity to study Khmer, English and computer which are my dreams so far. Currently I am a first year student in university majoring in IT. I am able to do this through the grace of God by providing me with a spiritual mother who is supporting me financially and with much encouragement. Her name is Juliana LING. I have never thought that I can have everything I had dreamt about. By the faith and the grace of Jesus, I am able to stand here today and in the future use my skills as I am going to live in the society after graduating in 3 years’ time. Right now besides doing my best to study, l also try my best to impart to others computer knowledge and the word of God that I know. I want to serve God in return for His love towards me. l would like to take this opportunity to thank all the brothers and sisters in this church who have supported the children in New hope for orphans so that one day they will be a channel of blessings in Cambodia as well as around the world, please remember to pray for us because only God has the power to change our lives. Thank you and God bless.”