Sophat or Mak Phat (translated as Mom) as she is known as in FCOP church homes was born in the late 1940s and grew up as a beautiful young woman in Pursat, Cambodia. She received a 7th grade school education and later married into a good family and had three children with her first husband, a successful lumber businessman in the city. Not long after the Khmer Rouge regime took over Cambodia in the 1970s, her husband was killed and she lost their home and property. After working in the collective system and barely surviving the Cambodian holocaust of the 1970s, she lost two of her three children to starvation and dysentery. Her second husband was a food distributor of basic food commodities. She had one son with this husband who died of liver failure shortly after they were married. Her oldest surviving son from the first marriage is a Pastor and Khemara, the only child from her second marriage, is one of FCOP’s team leaders that watch over the 106 church homes in Cambodia.
Sophat had become a Christian after the Khmer Rouge and during her time of desperation and loss. She had barely survived the Khmer Rouge herself, but it was the loss of two of her kids and both her husbands that devastated her. She had come to believe her life was cursed and hopeless. She remembers hearing of a local organization, called FCOP, and learned that they took care of orphans through the help of widows. She immediately volunteered to try to help those her were in a similar situation and found a new hope. She eventually became a full time staff member and has helped FCOP develop a model of childcare that has helped raise thousands of kids. Although she is 70 years old, she is still strong and active and has become the chief caregiver in the FCOP system and is known and loved by everyone. We only wish we had more like her!