In 1975 a group of radical Maoist communists known as the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. Under their reign of terror, over two million Cambodians were killed through murders, tortures and starvation. The genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge turned the rice paddies fields of Cambodia into killing fields. Dareth was 7 years old when the Khmer Rouge came to power. They separated him from his family and was sent to a labor camp. He was tortured and forced to work in the rice paddies without food. God, in His grace and mercy, spared Dareth. At the age of 11 years old, Dareth was able to escape and came to the US as an orphan refugee. You can watch Dareth’s incredible and inspiring story by clicking on the link below under “Dareth’s Story“.
Just like Dareth, 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 came to power. Her father was in the military, and the Khmer Rouge killed him right after they came to power. Thida’s family was separated and sent to different labor camps. However, against all odds, they survived and reunited four years later, after the Khmer Rouge was ousted from power by the Vietnamese. 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 her mother came to settle in Houston, TX. The family later moved to Minneapolis, MN.
Dareth & Thida
Dareth and Thida met each other at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. They were married in August, 1993. They have three beautiful daughters: Sophie, Sabrina & Saidah. The Lys 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 feeding program and operating schools.