A Testimony From The Killing Fields

Testimony of Van You Dany:

This is the testimony of Van You Dany, pastor Sambath’s wife. Sambath’s testimony is very similar. Almost his entire family was killed in Toul Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. This is just one example of a believer’s testimony here. There are over a million others that are similar.

1. During 1972 I got a leaflet about the good news of Christ. At that time, my family were Buddhists so they tore and burned the leaflet. I was very sad and cried, but dared not protest against them because they were my parents.

2. In 1975 my family was ordered by the Khmer Rouge to leave Phnom Penh. All of my family went to Koh Thom district of Kandal province and lived there for two or three months. Then the government of the Khmer Rouge declared that people who had worked had to start working at the same position again. My parents and siblings felt very happy that they could return to our home.
In the same year, my family reentered Phnom Penh. My father was an electrical engineer. Organization of Khmer Rouge said that they would help teach the illiterate people.
Khmer Rouge sent my parents and siblings on a truck to Phnom Penh. My elder brother and me were sent to Pursat province, the place in Cambodia where many were massacred. My family was separated, without anyone knowing who was alive or dead.

3. In 1976-77, my elder brother and me were put in a separate mobile group in Bakan Krom district next to Tonle Sap lake of Pursat province. They forced us to work without enough food daily. We worked from 16 to 20 hours a day and only received two tiny bowls of watery rice porridge, sometimes less. People were killed everyday. At that time I was very thirsty and so my brother stole palm water for me. Later, militants captured my brother and killed him by beheading him, cutting his liver and heart out so they could eat it. Before they killed him they accused my brother as a betrayer. They said, “You are the foe of our organization, you are to be executed by the organization. Keeping you is not profitable and putting you away is not a loss.”
The people who killed my brother were no older than 16 years old. They were brainwashed by the Khmer Rouge.
Later, I was so hungry I decided to steal corn to eat it. It tasted sweet and I felt relieved from tiredness. Then, the militants captured me and took me to a place about 6 km away from where they killed my brother and where there was a thick forest with a lot of graves. They tied 10 people including myself with a rope to kill us there. I was the first person to be killed. When they took the axe to hit my head I fell into a pit. They hit me about 10 or 11 pm, and only sounds of frogs, crickets, and owls could be heard. Before they killed me, I prayed to God to save me, and then I was hit and pushed in the pit. I miraculously didn’t die. During the night it rained heavily and I regained consciousness and saw many dead bodies all over and around me. The blood soaked my black dress. Later, I crept up from the pit. I escaped and went to live in another village. In the morning, they went to check the dead bodies that they killed the previous night. When they realized there were only 9 bodies, they searched from village to village within the commune. At that time, a village chief took pity on me and hid me. He hid me while they look for me in the villages. I prayed to God again to help me. That village chief took me to hide in a quiet place without anyone knowing.

4. In 1978-79 the Khmer Rouge fought with Vietnam. At that time, many people and I were gathered by the Khmer Rouge to climb a mountain. If we did not follow them, they would kill us. They said that if anyone entered the village, we would be tortured and killed. I was very afraid. Later, there was a serious battle and I was ordered to carry cooked rice and ammunition to the battlefield. While I was carrying it a bullet hit me in the chest and I lost consciousness. Later, the Vietnam army defeated the Khmer Rouge and the Khmer Rouge fled into the jungle. The Vietnamese saved me and treated me for my wounds, but the bullet could not be removed, even to this day.

5. In 1979, the Cambodian Army and Vietnam defeated the Khmer Rouge. Then, the top leaders declared over the radio that all patriots had to drop arms and participate with the government and so they granted amnesty to all Khmer Rouge soldiers.
I was happy to be able to be reunited with my family, but found out that my parents and brothers and sisters had all been murdered in Toul Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh. I did not believe this was true until I went to the prison and saw their pictures on the walls. Others tried to comfort me by telling me that I should stop crying because many other people were in the same situation as me.

6. In 1979-86, my life seemed more hopeless and I wanted to die. In 1986, I heard a radio broadcast from the Philippines called the “Voice of Love.” I heard about the good news of Christ. I understood and believed that God’s salvation is through Christ.
Later, my life became very happy, just like in John 1:12, “but as many as received him, to them He gave the right to become children of God to those who believe in His name” and God accepted me as His daughter. He removed my tears and sadness. My life changed and now whatever I face I can face with hope.
Now I serve God with my life. I live for him and tell the truth of His gospel. I must continue to fulfill my duty to him and to sacrifice my life for Him. I have already passed from this world. AMEN!

Sincerely,

Van You Dany

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