Humble Heroes: Arun Sok Nhep

In a Vietnamese prison at the height of the terrifying Khmer Rouge regime, Arun Sok Nhep made a promise. If God got him out, he vowed, he would return to serve the ethnic minority people of South East Asia.

'I forgot this prayer for many years,' he reflects, sitting in his office in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. 'But God never forgets. What I prayed that day in the prison is exactly what I’m doing here now.'

Arun is now chief executive of Bible Society in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and is responsible for bringing Scripture to one of the fastest-growing churches in the world.

As a Cambodian who fled his homeland during the horrific Khmer Rouge regime, he knows how vital God’s Word is to healing this traumatised nation.

It was just five months after he’d become a Christian, in 1975, that the Khmer Rouge came to power. Arun, an army officer, was forced to flee. He was caught and spent four months in prison in Vietnam and later 18 months in a ‘re-education camp’ in Laos. He met Christians with scraps of Bibles that sustained him. He lost touch with his family for decades.

It took two years, but eventually he escaped to France. Arun trained as a pastor, got married, and served in a Cambodian church. He went back to Cambodia in 1993 to complete the translation of the Khmer Bible – and was invited to head up Bible Society's work across the region.

'I have learnt especially how God has used the circumstances of my life – how pain and suffering can turn to the benefit of his kingdom,’ said Arun. ‘The difficult time, for me, has become a personal opportunity – an opportunity now to supply Scripture.'

Find out more about the Bible Society’s work here:

Posted by Christian Legacy on October 22, 2015 8:00 AM

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