Alliance News Feed – Kesiah’s Story

by Syna Lao, an Alliance international worker serving in Cambodia

After a service at a Khmer Evangelical Church* fellowship in Srae Kandal village, my husband, Soeuth, was asked to dedicate a baby girl to the Lord. When he asked for her name, the young mom was embarrassed. She confessed that she had always wanted to give her baby a biblical name but couldn’t think of one—and so she asked us to suggest an appropriate name.

Soeuth dedicates Kesiah to the Lord. (Photo courtesy of Syna Lao)

We named the little girl Kesiah. We told her family that her name could be found in Job chapter 42 and challenged them to read and study the entire book.

But as we held the little one, we sensed that something was not right with Kesiah. She appeared pale and lethargic. We encouraged the family to take her to the children’s hospital and provided for their travel and food expenses.

Soon after, we had to leave the country for two weeks. Upon returning, we were sad to learn that Kesiah had gone home to be with Jesus. When we asked what happened, the family and some church members took turns telling us Kesiah’s story.

The Grander Purpose of a Short Life

Everyone had been very pleased with Kesiah’s given name. In fact, her father and grandfather loved the name so much that they took our challenge to read the book of Job.

But the news from the children’s hospital devastated the entire family. Kesiah had severe heart defects that eventually claimed her life nine days before we returned.

All the members of the Srae Kandal church are young believers. Since they could not reach us by phone, they called Pastor Dy, a Khmer pastor from a nearby village, and asked for help. He gathered a number of church families from other villages, and altogether about 50 people attended the first Christian funeral in Srae Kandal.

During the service, Pastor Dy preached. “Because of sin, death is unavoidable for all ages. But Jesus promises hope and eternal life after death. If you want to see Kesiah again, you must believe in Jesus Christ.”

Kesiah’s story triples attendance at a discipleship class. (Photo courtesy of Syna Lao)

At this, Kesiah’s grandfather, who had been attending church off and on, recommitted his life to Jesus. Kesiah’s father and three other family members also prayed to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Kesiah’s life didn’t simply impact her family. As a result of the funeral, a total of 25 adults and 15 children came to the church service on the Sunday we returned—more than double our average weekly attendance! Also, the attendees of our Wednesday Bible class tripled. We’ve been seeing more men attend our classes and services as well.

Kesiah lived on earth for only 30 days, but God used her short life powerfully for His Kingdom. Her death brings truth to the words found in John 12:24—“unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

*The Alliance in Cambodia

Source: Alliance News Feed – Kesiah’s Story

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