I was in the kitchen at 5:45am making coffee, I heard the shout from my wife, Sou, upstairs, “El Sim’s dead! Murdered, and thrown in a well!” I was numb. I put down the coffee ran up the stairs and started to sort through the details. El Sim had been missing for two months. The story, which was circulated and never seemed credible to Sou and I was that she had run off with the orphans’s support money, a big loan on the family land and a foreign lover. The truth was she’d been murdered by her husband, her personal effects burned and her body thrown in a well on the family farm. He made up the story, which gained credibility as El Sim had become quite famous throughout missionary circles and several foreign led delegations took her to various meetings around Cambodia to have her speak. Local residents testified to violent arguments ensuing between El Sim and her husband as he would accuse her of having affairs with these people, which she denied vehemently. In reality the husband was having the affair, and he used this excuse to cover his dastardly crime.
El Sim is greatly missed but will never be replaced. She was a once in a century apostolic miracle. She was led to the Lord by a pastor we had purchased a boat for to evangelize the cities along the Tonle Sap River. A four foot six inch, illiterate, tent making mother of two daughters, became living proof that God uses the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Over the next three years, after her salvation, she saw both of her daughters die. The second and youngest, Ruthie, was raised from the dead, after being dead three days from leukemia. That was more than ten years ago, and she’s still alive and well. El Sim went on to work every miracle in the Book of Acts. Thousands of people were healed and delivered of evil spirits, tens of of thousands saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Her loss is painful beyond belief. Thousands of people filed through the church the day before her funeral and as the family and close friends filled the church hundreds more stood outside for her service held the day after her body was discovered. She is buried next to her oldest daughter on Tumnup Island.