Jul 3, 2024 From Gangster to Missionary

“Before I met Seyha, I was a gangster, and I used to fight in the streets,” said 16-year-old Ryan.

Seyha is a church planter and gospel worker in Siem Reap, Cambodia, who owned a bike shop. One day, a small voice told him to go for a ride, and he listened.

On that ride, he met a teenager, Ryan, riding an old bike. And Seyha decided to invite that boy to join him on his ride.

After visiting during the ride, Ryan asked if he could visit Seyha again. After that, Ryan visited almost daily. Seyha eventually invited Ryan to his family’s daily devotional time, which quickly led to one-on-one Bible studies.

Ryan began to open up to Seyha, sharing how his mother, a widow, traveled a lot for work. Because of that, Ryan bounced around from caretaker to caretaker. This was a difficult situation and led to Ryan feeling unwanted and unable to trust people. “But since I met you, it’s been different.”

Seyha said to Ryan, “I am sorry that all that happened to you. Do you want to have a father?”

Ryan quickly said, “Yes!” Seyah opened his Bible to Psalms 27:10: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”

Fast forward a year, Ryan is fully involved in the church, even sharing the hope that he now has with others.

“Seyha told me about the QHM evangelism meetings that were coming up,” Ryan explained. “He said that I should invite my mother, so every time I saw my mother, I would tell her she had to come to the meetings. Eventually, she gave in, and she came.

Since then, my mom has been asking a lot about God. Since I no longer live with her, I’ve shared about what we eat at Seyha’s house, and now she has stopped eating pork. She had a shrine for idols, and now she has put it outside. She hasn’t said that she is a believer yet, but she is starting to eat the food we eat and removing the idols from her home.”

“Ever since Ryan met Seyha, he has been a completely different person,” said Ryan’s mother. “Since I’ve been attending the meetings, I feel less worried and less burdened. My business is doing better than it was before. I feel as though God is attending to all my needs.”

Because Seyha listened to the Holy Spirit to go on a bike ride, and took time pouring God’s hope into Ryan, Ryan has now helped three other young people into the Adventist school. And because of Ryan’s persistence, not only has his mother attended the meetings—but his auntie and his mother’s friend have also been introduced to Jesus through the evening meetings. Because Seyah witnessed to one person, that person has brought five others to Christ in just one year.

“I want to be a pastor,” Ryan says. “Because I want to be a part of sharing the gospel and Christ’s salvation. I also want to help strengthen the faith of our current church members who are struggling in their relationship with God.”

Click to view: Photo Gallery: Siem Reap, Cambodia 2023

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