The Cambodian war destroyed my families, My uncle Lee sponsor me, my grandmother who is mom mother, my cousin Elena, my cousin Peter and my nephew Terry (elena son). My mother died during the war and My grandmother took me and raised me, I was about 4 or 5 years old.
later we hop on the airplane to the United States and landed in Oregon where uncle Lee and his family lived.
We stayed a few months at uncle Lee house until we got our apartment in Beaverton. Oregon I started 3rd grade at Vose Elementary, it was already in the middle of school year year so I had to repeat 3rd grade again the following year. I remember Valentine’s day we give Valentine cards to our classmates. I remember playing hockey with plastic hockey sticks during P.E. We moved around several times during the 2 or 3 years that we lived in Oregon. Life was pretty quiet.
Uncle Lee have a friend name Mrs.Nicole, she would come and take me to church on sunday. I even sang in the choir during Christmas, went Easter egg hunting on Easter, sometimes I attend bible study at Mrs.Nicole friends house. After all of that I never really had a relationship with God.
Due to some circumstances we pack up and moved to San Diego California. Now I was in the 5th grade. Life was quiet and lonely at times. After school I would go to my friends house and hang out. During the weekend a few of my friends and I, we would walk to the park and everywhere else that our feet could take us. My friends were budhist and they didn’t go to church so I didn’t know any church and didn’t go to any church either. Somehow I went along with their budhist religion and practices. I didn’t feel anything, life was quiet and lonely.
I started hanging around with the other kids from the neighborhood. A lot of crazy things started happening to me. I would get into fight at school. I was alive walking and talking but inside I was lost, and I did not know the Lord Jesus Christ at all.
Then we moved to Long Beach California in 1986. That summer our house got robbed by a few guys with guns and knives. It was a home invasion robbery I was in my room when they rushed in. The situation didn’t help, I was mad and I started hanging around with gang members.
One day I went to visit my childhood friends in San Diego California. While I was in San Diego there was some sort of a dispute between my friend and another guy. I didn’t know what it was about but I tried to help. It was about 2:50 pm in the afternoon. One guy was standing outside by the fence waving his hand for me to come over. I told my friends to stay as I walked over alone, I thought he wanted to talk or if he wanted to fight me one on one and settle it. I got half way there as I was standing in the middle of the street, another guy was waiting by the door with a shotgun pointing at me. I looked at his eyes, his eyes was mean looking. I tried to put my hands up and say don’t shoot I’m unarmed, I heard a voice in my mind saying he’s going to shot you. I turned that’s when he shot me on the back of my neck and shoulder.
I don’t remember being shot. I only remember that I was laying on the ground and couldn’t get up at all. I saw in the corner of my eyes streams of red blood flowing and that is when I realized that I had been shot. I could not believe that someone shot me.
I thought I was going to die, I felt sleepy because I lost a lot of blood. I thought about my grandmother and cousins. I wanted to tell them that I love them and I am sorry and I wanted to say good-bye. Suddenly a lady came and she pick my head up. She asked me if I can hear her, but I could not speak. Then she said to blink my eyes if I can hear her, I blink once and I passed out.
I woke up in the hospital on a breathing machine. I must say that I was a mess and with a lot of serious injuries. The doctors did a great job to help me. I spent about a month at Mercy Hospital and two months at Sharp Rehabilitation Hospital. When I was at Sharp Hospital that is when I found out that I was a quadriplegic for life. The shotgun pilets had hit the back of my neck and spinal cord. I was very depressed at times, I didn’t wanna do anything at all. I made a few friends at Sharpe Rehabilitation. They were also in a wheel chair. Andrea was my first roommate. Sometimes when the cute girls from the cafeteria bring us dinner tray, Andrea would look at me and I would look at Andrea and we both would smiles and giggles ..crazy heehee.. Sometime we would sneak out to the other hospital to go buy some popcorn and candies. I got stuck in the elevator once because the door had closed on me heehee :). I also met Amanda she was a quadriplegic also, Amanda was our next door neighbor.
By the grace of God I was able to breath on my own and don’t need any breathing machine and in January of 92 I was released from Sharpe Memorial rehabilitation. I stayed home for about a year and then I moved to a group home. When I was at the group home something happened inside my heart because sudden there was a huge desire in my heart wanting to know about Jesus Christ. I think God was working in my heart.
I would ask people to tell me about Jesus Christ and I enjoy listening to their story. Now at the group home I had a roommate name Tracy. Tracy was a quadriplegic also from a gunshot wound. He had a bible sitting on the shelves. One day I ask Tracy if I can read his bible and he said sure. I read from the beginning about how God created the world and people in chapter Genesis. It was very interesting and I was amazed. The rest is history..
You might find it strange for me to say this but after my injury somehow I feel awaken and more aware of life. The only thing that get me down sometimes is my disability, I cost my grandmother and my cousins a lot of pain and grieved. I wish I could turn back time but I can’t. I wish I could of known the Lord Jesus Christ sooner and walk with him earlier in my life. Well God has taken away my selfish heart and gave me a brand new heart. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not perfect nor will I ever be perfect. I am a sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. As long as I live in this earthly flesh body I will stumble and fall just like anyone else here on earth. But God will save me and cleans me by the precious blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross for the sins of the world.
It’s been a long journey. It’s by the grace of God that I”m still alive. sometimes I look back at my life and I wonder why did I make so many stupid mistakes in life, Why was I so naive. I come to understand that I am a sinner, I am not perfect, without God I am lost and that I need God in my life. We have an enemy called satan the devil who wants to destroy us but I understand that God loves me so much, that he sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to died on the cross for my sin, Jesus took the punishment for my sins, so that I wouldn’t have too. I understand that God has forgiven me and one day God will make all things new. Everything is in God’s hands.
I once was lost but now I’m found. I once was blind but now I see.. 🙂
The lost son
Here is a story about a prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32
” Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
Chapter Luke 15:7 says ” There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away”
Luke 15:10 Says ” In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents ”
Now if this earthly human father love his son that much. Imagine how much more your heavenly father loves you. God loves you very much more then we can comprehend.
No matter what you’ve gone through in life, Come back to God, he loves you!