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“Please Pick Me:” The gospel at work in the heart of a Cambodian nanny

By Laura Ambrose, Oct 2, 2018

“Please pick me …”

These were Sokleng's parting words. I had just told the Cambodian woman that I was interviewing other nannies and would let her know whether or not she got the job. But, among all the applicants, I found her eagerness for the job most memorable.

In Cambodia, having a nanny is common. In addition to providing much-needed work for Khmer women, hiring a part-time nanny would allow me to continue language study and do ministry when I’m done homeschooling our sons. And, we knew that it would be an opportunity to be a light for Christ as we welcomed a Khmer woman into our home and family life.

After the interviews, eight in all, after much prayer and discussion, and remembering her "please pick me," we did pick Sokleng for the job. Or was it really us who did the picking?

Although it's been a little less than a month since Sokleng was “picked,” so much has happened, so much that we could not have known and certainly she could not when she asked us to “please pick her.”

Within the first week of Sokleng working in our home she was ready to open up to me a little bit. She told me about losing both of her parents when she was 5 months old, and about growing up in an orphanage with her brothers and sisters. Then, through tears, she told me that her older brother is a pastor.

Although Sokleng and her brothers and sisters did not live in a Christian orphanage, they had the opportunity to attend children's programs at a church nearby. Her brother always attended. Eventually he believed in Christ and is now serving God in the provinces and villages sharing the good news.

Though he had also shared the good news with Sokleng many times, she had not yet believed. But she did not think it was an accident that she had come to work in our home. Somehow she already knew that this was from God.

Later that day as I was walking her out, Sokleng asked me if I would pray for her, as she did not know how to pray to Jesus.

Really? Did she just say that?

Our daily habit of praying to Jesus started that first week. Now, Sokleng doesn't leave our house unless we have prayed.

Since then, I gave her a Bible and she started to read the gospel of John. We read the Bible together two days a week. We talk about sin, salvation through Christ alone, God's great love for us and our great need of Him. We pray together.

Walking through the gospel and hope in Jesus with Sokleng has been an unspeakable joy that I can’t fully express, and we praise God for His working in her heart, for her many questions and desire to understand and know Christ, for our daily interaction and developing friendship with Sokleng. These days, her face lights up with newfound peace and joy. 

Laura Ambrose serves with MTW in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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