God is the light and the Compass

By Ly Y Phinh
I grew up in a city in Cambodia. Being raised as the eldest of three children in a traditional Chinese family, ancestral worship and customary practices were a constant part of my life. Consequently, fulfilling my elders’ wishes became my purpose and seemed imminent to take over what I desired to do with my life.

In spite of what seemed to go then, God revealed a bigger plan. Even before I knew it, God was already making the way for me and leading me, like a compass. I was placed in a Christian school when I was 8 years old. This school was the first and only Christian school in my province! Christian teachers imparted to me and I found the way to know Jesus. The joy of knowing and receiving Jesus was truly light that shone for me in the darkness.

God continued to make the way for me to draw closer to Him. When I was 13 years old, I received a scholarship to study in Singapore. I went to Singapore alone without the companionship of family or friends. At that time, feelings of loneliness were often discouraging and overwhelming. I had difficulty adapting to life in Singapore. But again, God had already provided me with more help beyond my own imagination. God led two teachers who used to teach me back in Cambodia, to connect with me in Singapore. They invited me to their church, The Harvest Force.

Within a short time, I had moved from being lonely and isolated to meeting and making friends who treated me like family. I could sense God’s love and kindness through the church family. I was touched by genuine and sincere kindness; the way I understood Jesus would teach us to love and accept others. Before long, I started to learn how to love others, how to care for others, how to treat others and how to love God in a deeper way. As God’s light shone brightly, I began to appreciate the assurance of His Word that declares God has a plan for His children — not to harm but to give us hope and a future.

I am now confident that wherever I go, whatever I do, God is working His plan out for me. He is light for me when the path seems dark, and compass for me when I did not know where to head. God never took His eyes off me. I am grateful that He has provided me with a large family here in Singapore; a spiritual family that cared for and accepted me so much with sincere love.

My experience leads me to bring this encouragement to others who experience hard times: “do not think it is your bad luck or misfortune that you are facing difficulties. God is faithful and He is in control. As you stay close to Christ, He will be the light and compass to guide you out of the rough times. Remain in Christ and He can lift you up!”