By Lauren Vincent
Out of a faithless people, God rescued one young man from the ‘killing fields’ to be His light in the dark nation of Cambodia.
Setan Lee returned to Liberal Thursday to speak at the James Maskus auditorium during National Day of Prayer. Jason Epp introduced him as “a modern day apostle.”
“A very intelligent man who has embraced the simplicity of the Gospel,” Epp said. “By allowing the power of Christ to work through him in the most humble way, he is not only affecting his family, his community, but he’s changing a part of the world. He’s a light in so much darkness in southeast Asia through the ministry that he does.”
Lee began by sharing a short video put together by CBN detailing the brutality of the dictator Pol Pot, who gained power in 1975. Fearing a revolt, Pol Pot decided everyone with an education should be put to death.
Lee was a promising medical student at the time but was able to hide his education for awhile. He was forced to work 20-hour days on a starvation diet.
Eventually, the Khmer Rouge discovered his university ID card, proving his education. He was taken to be executed, with many others, as an “enemy of the state.” Minutes before his imminent death, he cried out to the Lord of the universe, a personally unknown God, begging for his life. As his executioner was preparing to take his life, a Khmer Rouge leader called out to stop, hoping that Lee’s education could help increase the yield of the rice fields. Lee was then given enough food to regain his strength.
In 1978, when the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, Lee was one of thousands who fled the slave camps for Thailand. It was on this dangerous journey that Lee came across a man who looked wild and appeared crazy at first sight. However, this jungle man called Pastor Paul, was actually well educated and asked Lee if he knew the Lord of the universe. He used the exact words Lee had cried out when seeking rescue from execution. Pastor Paul led Lee to the Lord, and together, they traveled to a Thai refugee camp.
Lee went on to detail the terrifying circumstances of traveling through the jungle to freedom. He often walked on corpses to avoid land mines. He occasionally laid still in the tall grass for several days at a time to avoid being spotted by the Khmer Rouge. Often, Lee was shot at. A few times, he slept under water with only his nose protruding to breathe.
Lee detailed the hope and relief he felt when he finally reached the boarder and saw a caucasian man waving a white flag with a bold red cross. Lee ran towards the man planning to grasp and hug him tightly. However, he stopped short and avoided contact because he remembered he had not showered or changed clothes in four years. He felt unworthy of touching the cleanly dressed man carrying the flag. After swerving to miss the man, Lee fell to his knees and cried for the joy of his freedom. While he was kneeling, he felt two arms wrap around him. The flag bearer had come to Lee, knelt behind him and embraced Lee, unconcerned by his appearance.
Lee said this reminded him of a story in the Bible where Jesus reached out and touched a man with leprosy. A man most would avoid, Jesus purposefully came closer to and touched to clean him.
“Jesus, regardless of my stinky smell, regardless of where I’m coming from, is willing to embrace me” Lee concluded. “The love of Christ towards you and me is so precious. Words cannot describe His love for us. I promised to God if He would spare my life, I would be His witness. And I am standing here tonight to witness to you the greatness of God. If it were not for Him I would not be here, I would not exist. Everything I do is because of Him.”