In 1975 a radical Maoist communist group known as the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. Under their reign of terror, over two million Cambodians were tortured, starved and killed. The genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge turned the rice paddy fields of Cambodia into killing fields. At the age of 7 years old, like most children in Cambodia at the time, they sent me to a labor camp. I was tortured and forced to work in the rice paddies without food. God, in His grace and mercy, spared my life. At the age of 11 years old, I escaped and came to the US as an orphan refugee. The child protective agency placed me in a foster home, and it was there where I experienced God’s love. I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 14, and through that event, God miraculously healed me of my nightmares and restored me for His purpose. You can watch a video of my story by clicking on the link below 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 came to power. Her father was in the military, and he was among the first ones to be killed. 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
Thida and I met each other at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. We were two children of the Killing Fields, miles away from the place of our birth, but brought together by God for His purpose. We were married in August, 1993. We have three beautiful daughters: Sophie, Sabrina & Saidah. We have been serving as missionaries in Cambodia since August, 1996. We are planting churches, training leaders and meeting the physical need of the people through feeding program and operating schools.