By Noit Hyde (Translated by Steve)
When Steve wanted to go on this walk remembering the walk that I had made with my sister more than thirty years ago, I didn’t want him to do it. I knew it was a difficult journey and I thought since I already went through great difficulty, why should Steve and my son go through the same thing? When Steve insisted on walking I was already crying inside.
On the day we were leaving, Steve wanted me to take him to the drop off point. I didn’t want to go, but somehow he convinced me to take him. I wanted to only take them into the general area, not to the very place I was held which I have never been back too. However, as we approached the area with Steve driving, he drove to the very spot to where I was held as a slave of the Khmer Rouge. I had previously tried to visit the area about ten years ago with Steve, but after getting off the main road and seeing one of the canal construction projects I worked on my body went numb and started shaking. The memories were still too painful to bear. We left the area immediately. However, this time with Steve we went right into the village where I was held. I looked around for a moment to get my bearings. I told him it didn’t look right, so please continue driving down the road slowly. I was looking for a certain bend in the creek and a tiny elevated hill. Then, less than 500 meters away I saw it. I told Steve to turn onto a small dirt track and as the trail ended we were facing where I was held. We were on the very spot. I was not shaking. I was not crying. I was ok. I got out and Steve and I started walking around the now empty field.
I knew immediately that my heart was different. It was healed. My memories of the Khmer Rouge are still there, but I have no pain in my heart. I have no paralysis which had previously been present. After a brief stay on the land with Steve, he and Paul headed out walking down the dirt track. As they walked away I didn’t want them to go, but I thought in my heart that God must have a special plan for them. So, I just let them go.
From there I drove back alone to the north of Cambodia in Poipet where I would spend the week teaching children in our center there. Each day I prayed for them and my other two children who were still in school back in the capital city, Phnom Penh.
Each day Steve would call in the evening and talk about who he met and the experience he had. Steve talked about how everyone welcomed them and helped them and that put my mind at ease because I was thinking about their safety. I had nothing in my heart that made me fear the walk they were on, or fear that anyone may try to hurt them. I felt at peace with it.
After five days of walking I got a call from Steve again that they had arrived at Kompong Chhnang city. In my journey it took me two months to get there because I was too weak to walk and had no food. When Steve called me, I knew the hard journey was finished and I had great joy in my heart. At this moment I then thought about the love of God. I thought how I didn’t know how great or how deep is the love of God. I thought back to when I received Jesus. My friend who shared with me about Jesus that if I believed in Jesus, he could be my father. However, I didn’t want that, nor understand it at the time. Then I thought how much Steve loves me. That he would be do such a thing for me just because of love. I again thought about the love of God and how recently I was praying and I had a vision of a deep ocean. In the vision I was peering down into the ocean and could see very deep down the seaweed waving in the currents. Yet I heard God tell me, “No matter how deep the ocean is, my love for you is even deeper.”
I asked God, “how deep is it?” There was no answer.
I knew that God loved me already. I knew it in my heart, but it was like I was still missing his love. Then when Steve walked I felt Steve’s deep love for me. At the same time I felt God’s love for me. At once it all came together and I felt the deep love of God, deeper than the oceans.
That night as I finished talking with Steve I immediately told all the children in our home about God’s love and began to pray for them. The Holy Spirit moved and filled them with even more love that night too. Two girls were especially shaken by the love of God. That night I began to think of how I could thank my husband for showing his love to me, but it is hard to find the words. I now know the deep love of my husband and now the deep love of my father God.
Noit from Steve: If you would like to write Noit an encouraging word her e-mail is: noithyde (at) gmail (dot) com.