Hello, my name is Phon Sitouch but people usually call me Touch (too-wich). I work full time with FCOP as a data support analyst, helping track and administrate the documents for FCOP’s 106 church homes taking care of orphans and separated children. I am so pleased to share my life story as God has blessed me with a testimony of restoration.
After I was orphaned at a young age, I was rescued and taken in by FCOP when I was 15 years old. I am the eighth child out nine in my family. When my parents were alive, we were a pretty poor family that lived on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and farmed a few small plots of land. We were pretty poor compared to people near us but we had land so we always had hope that our farming would help take us out of poverty.
When I was about 9 or 10 years old I can remember one particular day vividly. Both my parents had been gone for days farming or fishing to find income for the family. Someone came running to our house to tell us my mother had died. She was fishing out on the river, passed out and never recovered. She and my father had dealt with various illnesses but our family had no way to pay for medical care. About a year later, my father also died from a cough he had for about a year. This made the situation for our family pretty desperate. Many of my brothers and sisters moved away to get jobs or get married to try to find a better life. The oldest of my brother never left the family, trying to take the place of Dad to provide for the younger ones. Eventually it was only two of my older brothers, one younger brother and me.
Every one of us had to quit school and find work to try to provide for the family. We would often work through the night and sell through the day to try to earn some money. I was probably 15 years old when I remember one night I was trying to catch fish in a flooded rice field and it was a full moon. When it was about 2 or 3 in the morning I was exhausted without having caught a single fish. I sat down on a dirt mound and looked up at the moon and said, “If there is a true God, please help my family find a way to provide.” I had never really prayed before and I didn’t even know what prayer was, but we were desperate. God answered my prayer!
After a couple months, someone told us brothers that there was a church called FCOP that wanted to help us. We went and met with them and asked about how much or what would it take to come into the church. They said we didn’t have to pay anything, they just wanted to make sure we were taken care of well. I couldn’t believe it! They only wanted to help us and they didn’t want anything from us. We did the necessary paperwork to move in and I immediately felt like my life had been restored. I mean, I still missed my real parents, but being cared for, loved, provided for, and having opportunities to go to school and play abounded for us. We were apart of a family again.
FCOP helped us all finish high school and attend post-secondary education programs, either academic or skill-based trade schools. In 2008, at the age of 24, I graduated from college with a bachelors in IT (information technology). A year later I got married to my beautiful wife and we have two wonderful children.
I’m so thankful God, through FCOP, has taught me about love. It was God who showed me love. Even when you think everything around you is really bad, faith in God’s love will always be with you and there is always hope. I’m so thankful for FCOP being an example of God’s love in my life. My only hope is that I will live everyday showing God’s love to others, including anyone who is reading this. Be encouraged, God loves you. God bless you!