Hope, in Life and in Death

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15

This past Friday we received news that the father of Sokra (married to Sana), a staff member at IHSI, had passed away. Thun was a hard-working, soft-spoken man who cared about his family and was kind to his neighbors. He had a reputation for being gentle, persevering, and dedicated. At the age of 90, after witnessing war, hardship, and much change in his nation, Thun had quietly and peacefully died after a brief conversation with his wife.

As soon as we heard what had happened, staff and youth from the Church and community sprang into action, helping to work through the practical needs of the family in order to plan a funeral that would honor Thun’s memory and comfort his loved ones. Though mourning with them for their loss, we knew that for Thun this was a joyous occasion, because nearly two years ago he began attending church and made the decision to accept Jesus as his Savior. In fact, Thun was the oldest man we have ever baptized at Gospel Community Church Saang!

Traditional Khmer funerals are full of superstition, veneration of the dead, and rituals that perpetuate curses, fear, and despair. But Thun’s funeral was in a completely opposite spirit. Words of encouragement, comfort, and exhortation were offered, and beautiful hymns reminding of the Lord's faithfulness were sung, all amid a gathering of friends, family, neighbors, and many church members. Truly our God is one of hope, in both life and death!


We are blessed to see the beautiful witness of Thun’s life and death, and believe that the local community has seen a glimpse of the love of Christ in action as His Body worked together to honor Thun’s memory. Please join with us in praying for those still grieving, that God would comfort them as only He can.