In the Spring of 1975, a radical Maoist communist group known as the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia. They tortured, starved and killed over two million Cambodians during their reign of terror. They turned the rice paddy fields into the killing fields. Dareth, at the age 7 years old, was taken from his family and sent to a labor camp, where he was tortured and forced to work in the rice paddies without food. But God, in His grace and mercy, spared Dareth’s life. At the age of 11 years old, he escaped and came to the US as an orphan refugee. The child protective agency placed him in a foster home, and it was there where he experienced God’s love. He gave his life to the Lord at the age of 14 years old. Through that event, God miraculously healed and restored him for His purpose. You can watch a video of his story by clicking on the link in the sidebar under “Dareth’s Story“.
Thida was also a child of the Killing Fields. She was living in the northwest part of Cambodia, a place called Battambang, when the Khmer Rouge took power. Her father was in the military, and he was among the first ones to be killed. Thida’s family, like all families in Cambodia at that time, was separated and sent to different labor camps. However, against all odds, they survived and reunited four years later, after the Vietnamese toppled the Khmer Rouge from power. They were able to escape and came to the US as refugees. Thida, at the age of 12 years old, along with 3 brothers, a sister, and their mother came to settle in Houston, TX. The family later moved to Minneapolis, MN.
Dareth & Thida
Thida and Dareth met each other at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. They were two children of the Killing Fields, miles away from the place of our birth, but brought together by God for His purpose. They married in August, 1993. They have three beautiful daughters: Sophie, Sabrina & Saidah. They have been serving as missionaries in Cambodia since August, 1996. They are planting churches, training leaders and meeting the physical need of the people through building and running schools