My name is Bryan and this is my story.
I was born in a small village in central Vietnam. I am Khmer Krom (Vietnam-born but ethnically Cambodian) and I speak Khmer and a bit of Vietnamese. I grew up in a very strict Buddhist family. My Dad was a Buddhist monk when he was young. I’ve lived in Cambodia, Thailand , Philippines and finally America. I was 10 and was introduced to church for the first time in America. I became a follower of Jesus the end of my Junior year in college and I’m the only Christian in my family.
Before I became a follower of Jesus, I was very selfish and uncaring. I didn’t care too much about my family and didn’t appreciate my parent’s sacrifice in bringing us to America. I took a lot of things in my life for granted. Although I never break any laws or did anything bad to anyone, my heart was full of darkness. On the outside I was trying to please everyone and putting a front but on the inside I was confused and directionless.
There were times God personally challenge me of my sins but I was scared that my life wouldn’t change if I make a decision to follow Him. I stopped attending church in high school because I was too busy with sports. I began to think about the direction of my life more seriously in college. I also needed guidance in my career. I received an invitation for a mentorship program called AAMP (Asian American Mentor Program). I was the first one to apply. Little did I know that God orchestrated this and led me to a Baptist Christian group on campus called ABSK (Asian Baptist Student Koinonia). I met up with my mentor and we began to share our lives together. I told him my story and how I used to attend church. I mentioned to him that I’ve asked Jesus to come into my life but I didn’t see any changes. He began to share with me and gave me verses to read over. We met up one last time before he headed out to become a full time missionary in Central Asia. He shared how Jesus died for my sins. I recognized I was a sinner. Knowing this, what is my decision? I didn’t know if I’ll have another opportunity to make this important decision. I know that if I die, I wanted to be with God in heaven and not be separated from Him forever. We were about to leave but I sat there not wanting to leave. I knew I had to make this decision now and not delay any longer. I told him that I want to give my life to Jesus Christ and accept Him as my Lord and savior. They were so overjoyed. We prayed together and tears began to flow uncontrollably from my eyes. I was overjoyed and I can’t help but think of Jesus; how he hung on the cross for a wretched sinner like me. I was so thankful to God. I’ll never forget that night on July 14th, 1999 at Pho Thanh Long restaurant in Santa Clara, CA. It was the day I knew I wanted to live the rest of my life for Jesus. I got baptized on October 3th 1999. It was a spiritual marker for me.
God gave me direction for my life and helped me to love my family and care for them so much more than I can do myself. He also provided me with a wife who also is a follower of Jesus and two rowdy boys 🙂 . And together we had an opportunity to serve him by committing two years of our lives to teach and tell the students in Cambodia about the love of Jesus. Through it he brought us closer in our relationship. My relationship with God draws closer as I spend time talking to Him and reading his Word, the Bible. I thank Him for everything and I look forward to living a worthy life that brings Glory to Him.