“This place looks fun, let’s go in!” Bun yelled to the other nine so he could be heard above the noise of people and music.
The crowd was spilling out of the building, into the courtyard and out on to the pavement. The ten teenage boys began to elbow their way in.
It was April, the hottest month in Cambodia. It was after dark, but despite this everyone was out on the streets celebrating Khmer New Year. The provincial capital was dotted with crowds of people dancing. Some were dancing to traditional Khmer music, other to modern pop.
People complained as the boys pushed their way in.
“I want to get to the middle of this crowd and dance,” Bun thought.
“Get out of my way. Let me through,” he growled.
Bun didn’t care that others were getting bruised feet and sore faces as he forced them out of the way.
“Now, I’m finally at the door, I just want to get to the middle of the room.” He kept shoving people as he attempted to find the centre of the dancing.
“Weird, why is there a big movie screen here? And where’s the dancing?” He turned to ask his friends, but he had lost them in the crowd. It looked like a boring movie but he couldn’t be bothered to try to get back out through the crowd.
The man in the movie was good, and kind to people. This really struck Bun, it was such a contrast to the men he had known. His own father was killed when he was a baby. It happened during the terrible Pol Pot time. He couldn’t remember that time but had grown up hearing about. He had had some stepfathers, they were usually out drinking. If they were home they often abused his mum, himself and his younger siblings. He was always glad when they finally left for good. So he felt drawn to this man who touched people gently, and spoke kindly to them.
“Why are they killing him?” Bun was confused. “He was a good man, why did they beat him and hang him up to die?”
A man got up at then end of the movie. He used a microphone to talk to the crowd. After explaining what happened in the movie he finished with an invitation.
“If anyone is interested in the man in this movie, you are welcome to join us here each Sunday morning.”
That night Bun walked home in the dark, thinking about the man in the movie.
“This man would be good to have as a role model,” he thought to himself, though still wondering why they killed him. Little did he know this man was to become more than a role model for him.
Bun went on to become involved in the church that had shown the Jesus movie, a year later he was baptised. A few years later he went to study at a Bible school in the capital city, Phnom Penh. After he finished studying, he worked there, and then was sent overseas to study further. He is now back in Cambodia working as a lecturer at the same Bible school.
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