Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom PenhDaily News

At the service of others

Mrs. Ngan Sochea was a person who underwent much suffering and depression. However, now, she is a woman who spends her time meeting the needs of other people. She is a Catholic trying hard to always serve others. Even though, she does not have much education, she is a compassionate person who receives from God and the Church, thereby prompting her to continue the mission of service with love and without fearing exhaustion.
Mrs. Ngan Sochea spends time staying near those experiencing depression. Ngan Sochea , 40, stays in Kong Noy commune’s Kong Noy village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district. She is the second daughter of six. She is now a member of the Charity Committee,
chairperson of Phnom Penh diocesan St. François Xavier’s Church in Kong Noy.
Regarding charitable services, the 40-year-old said: “I am happy to perform all the tasks. Although sometimes there is no time to rest, what I do is not for monetary gains, but for compassion and love for the sick and the poor and those who have been abandoned in society in order that they know that God loves them.”
She was born into a Buddhist family. Her husband is also a Buddhist. Today, she is a Phnom Penh diocesan staff member and also the Charity Committee chairperson in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district.
She has three children who are studying. She recounted that after getting married at 16, she had experienced the hardships of life because she is not much educated. There were often family quarrels and the family was in poverty.
“When I was a poor person and not well, no one was interested in me and no one even came to visit me.” God’s love enabled me to meet the Catholic Church unintentionally and entered to perform such charitable work. However, I have to spend
time staying near those experiencing hardship because I did not want them to feel hopeless as I did,” With tears in her eyes, she said.
Sochea recounted that in the year 2000, she encountered the Church by chance. For the first time, she thought that the purpose of becoming a Catholic will be when she will get household goods to sustain her livelihood. However, because she loved prayer and reciting them and listening to homilies by priests, it made her decide to learn to understand this religion, despite having someone constantly opposing it.
With her overcoming it and striving to learn the catechism, Sochea received the sacrament of baptism in 2008 at Kong Noy church. She said that in times of tension and depression to the point of almost discouragement, she had tried hard to strengthen herself and reflected a lot on the faith. She acknowledges that the faith had helped her life in receiving true joy.
Sochea says: “No one encouraged her. It made me want to kill myself but recollected the love of God and His sacrifices and the teachings by priests.”

“Without encouragement, and ways to solve problems, it would have made me kill myself. However thinking of the love of God and His sacrifices as well as priestly advice prompted me to struggle to live on, with beliefs that albeit many people hating her as a poor widow, God did not abandon me. That is why I must be firm to encourage those who are encountering problems in life like me,” Sochea says.
Every day, either day or night, she goes to meet with many people in the village, encourage and accompany patients to hospitals and meet their needs that are needed. She continued: “If I didn’t
have known the Church, perhaps I would have been lost. But now I would like to thank the
Catholic Church not only for saving my life and have hope but also teaching me to love people around.”
The lady said that her work was related to love, not taking credit. “Doing so, it is not taking credit but on the contrary it is the participation in the joys despite being a bit exhausted.”
Sochea added that every day she tries to pray and reads the Bible. The faith is not about to speak loudly in order for them to listen to, be praised and respected. She says: “For my deeds, it is a crucial witness in spreading Gospel values. Everyone will be happy as well as know the
Church when Catholics show mercy for others through actions without having to say the name ‘Jesus’. I will carry on this work as well as maintain a purity of heart forever no matter what happens. ”