There will be no more death or mourning. (Rev. 21:4)

The Khmer Rouge guerrilla movement started in 1970 with only a few people. However, under the leadership of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge grew to well over 700,000 men. Pol Pot was angry about the westernization of Cambodia, and he felt the cities were reflections of westernization. For this reason he forced millions to leave their city homes and return to living in primitive villages. Families, friends, and neighbors were separated from each other to prevent them from forming alliances that could lead to rebellion against the Khmer Rouge. Many innocent Cambodians died from starvation, disease, or execution. While figures are disputed, most estimates say between 1.4 million and 2.2 million people were killed (21 percent of the population). The sadness of losing loved ones still lingers deep in the hearts of many Cambodians.

At one village where we were hoping to plant a church, I spoke about heaven, where there will be no more death or mourning. When I finished sharing, I asked how many wanted to learn more about heaven and how to get there. Almost everyone raised their hands.

The leader of the village spoke up and said, “Cambodia has gone through much sadness. If there is a place where there is happiness, we want to go there. Yes, we want to learn more about this place called heaven.”

Be encouraged by the hope of heaven and share that hope with others.

Jim “Umfundisi” Lo is the author of Connect with God: The Purpose of Prayer (WPH) and the dean of chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.