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The Tears of My Soul [Paperback]

Himm Sokreaksa
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

24 Jan 2003
Sokreaksa was a young member of a large family in Siemreap City, Cambodia. When the country feel to the Khmer Rouge on April 17, 1975, his family was forced to join the exodus to the jungle villages. As the young Khmer Rouge soldiers consolidated their grip, the deaths increased. Anyone who complained; anyone educated; anyone an informer disliked: all were "sent to study" - killed. Teenage boys were brainwashed into amoral, vindictive thugs. Finally the day dawned when the family was marched to a grave ready dug in a jungle clearing: one by one they fell as the hoes hacked down. Sokreaksa, gravely wounded, was covered by the bodies of his brothers and sisters. His executioners walked away laughing. That morning Sokreaksa climbed from the mass grave. Could he possibly forgive his family's killers?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books (24 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854246127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854246127
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

In 1977 at the age of 14, Sokreaksa "Reaksa" Himm saw 13 members of his family murdered by Khmer Rouge soldiers in the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Miraculously surviving the massacre, Reaksa swore revenge against the men responsible for the loss of his family. Years later, after surviving the horrors of refugee camps and roving death squads, Reaksa had a life-changing conversion to Christianity that gave him a whole new reason to seek the murderers: to forgive them. He is currently a missionary in Cambodia, where he builds schools, plants churches and trains leaders. Reaksa authored two books on the tragedy and his journey to forgiveness: The Tears of My Soul and After the Heavy Rain.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST reading! 4 Oct 2006
The searing story of one man's journey from torment, terror and overwhelming loss, who suffered and survived the horrific genocide of the Pol Pot regime, to freedom, faith and new purpose.

The Tears of my Soul is a story which seems so far from reality that it stops you cold.

It is as awe-inspiring as it is heartbreaking, a compelling and uplifting read which takes you on an emotional roller-coaster as you begin to realise the depths of human suffering, abandonment, loneliness and physical pain, right up to death, that this man has had to overcome, with forgiveness, through the love of God, to give him hope, so he could cope.

Tears of my Soul points the way for a nation, on its knees, searching for absolution.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping but disturbing read 18 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This book can be read very quickly but is disturbing. It is difficult to comprehend that a bitter regime can demonise young people and make them behave like animals. Yet there is hope and Reaksa comes to a realisation that he needs to forgive. You get the sense that this is still "work in progress" but he has returned to Cambodia to continue the healing process with himself and with others. There is a message here that can apply well beyond the land of Cambodia.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and inspiring 14 July 2003
By A Customer
I just finished reading this book...took me about 2.5 hours straight through. The story really gets to your emotions as you hear the accounts of the Cambodian killing fields. Reading that part made me wonder why nobody was around to help. Awesome how the author comes to find forgiveness. A good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Communists cruelty revealed 12 April 2007
By R. Rampey - Published on
Sokreaksa was an eleven-year old Cambodian boy when the Pol Pot regime took over. His parents and nine siblings were killed before his eyes. The Communists thought that he was dead as well. After they left, he got up and managed to survive. He eventually immigrated to Canada in 1989. He became a Christian and wrestled with the problem of pain and the nature of evil. Sokreaksa returned to Cambodia in 1999 to teach at a Bible School. The story was gripping and sad. The details of the Communist's cruelty was horrifying. Fortunately, the book does not end on a sad note. It has an uplifting ending.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best testimonies and life stories you'll ever read. 9 Nov 2010
By Justice Pirate - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was really an amazing account of what life was like for a man who grew up on the killing fields as a pre-teen. He suffered from PTSD after he survived (unknowingly to the killers) "being sent to school"/sent to be killed with his very large family, including his baby brother. He explains how God had always protected him in Cambodia and how if it were not for Jesus, he wouldn't be able to live in peace today. What a beautiful man of God he is. I read this book in a day because I was just glued to the pages.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely incredible 24 Aug 2007
By Binary Eric - Published on
I met Reaksa accidentally a few days ago after returning from my first visit to Cambodia. Amazing but true. I was given his book and finished it almost immediately. Cambodia has a history that I believe very few truely know and almost no one understands. I strongly recommend this book. It is so difficult to believe that these events occurred so recently.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Account of the Logical Conclusion of Atheism 31 July 2011
By Ron Coia - Published on
As we prepare for our missions trip to Cambodia, the team all read Sokreaksa Himm's The Tears of My Soul, an account of his experiences in Pol Pot's Cambodia in 1975. It is an excellent account of the oppressive rule of the Khmer Rouge.

Reaksa was 13 when the Khmer Rouge "liberated" Cambodia from the monarchy, and quickly emptied the major cities by sending all families into rural communities. This was a part of Pol Pot's Year Zero campaign, to return Cambodia to its glory by sending it back to agricultural villages and removing "American-influenced" professions like teaching and medicine. If people question or challenge the leaders, they are "sent to school," a deadly euphemism for death.

The boy Reaksa and his family worked for years as farmers, until the Khmer Rouge decided to eliminate all the new-liberated people (those who were moved from the cities after 1975), and brought his family to a pit and brutally executed all but Reaksa. This scene was one of the most violent accounts that I've read in print, bashing babies' heads and chopping the adults with hoes and shovels. Absolutely wicked. Reaksa was in the pit assumed to be dead, but his lay there with his families' blood and entrails staining him and weighing him down.

The book then continues with two themes: how to find a will to live after this, and how to reconcile these events with a good God. Both of these are Sisyphusian tasks for the young man Reaksa. I like that this book does not provide easy answers, even after he becomes a Christian in a Thai refugee camp. He still has questions after his conversion, but he refuses to dwell on them to let them sap his life. Rather, he seeks comfort in the God of the Universe who knows his pain and suffering.

The Tears of My Soul provided me insight into the pain of the Cambodian people after a devastating time in recent history. This is a massacre that occurred not in history books, but in my lifetime. I was six when Pol Pot snatched power in Cambodia, and I was eight when Reaksa's family was murdered. Cambodians have a different experience than mine, and I think this book helps me to see that difference better.

This book also shows the devastating nature and logical conclusion of atheism. Pol Pot joins a long list of men who were vehement against God: Mao, Hitler, Stalin, and Lenin all killed in the name of no God. Fortunately, we have men like Reaksa who can tell the story.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgiveness exemplified 16 July 2010
By JSwerk - Published on
This book documents an incredible first hand account of the killing fields of Cambodia. The courage needed to write such vivid memories is God supplied. This biography gives the reader a clear understanding of such attrocities and the impact on the human psyche. Such a wonderful story of faith and forgiveness birthed from such deep pain and trauma. This is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the Cambodian plight.
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