After the Heavy Rain
is the second memoir from Sokreaksa Himm
and was published by Monarch Books at the beginning of last month. Thirteen of Reaksa's immediate family, including both his parents, were executed by the Khmer Rouge during their murderous regime, in 1977. The young killers marched them from the remote northern village to which they had been exiled from Siem Reap, out into the jungle. One by one the machetes fell. Severely wounded, Reaksa was covered by the bodies of his family. His remarkable story of survival is told in his first memoir, The Tears of My Soul, which was published in 2003.
In this second book, he describes how he tracked down his family's killers, one by one, embraced them, gave them a scarf of friendship and presented each with a Bible. A tale of forgiveness. Reaksa had left Cambodia for the border camps of Thailand and was later accepted to live in Canada. However, he found himself drawn back to the country of his birth and in recent years he's taught at the Phnom Penh Bible School to pastors and church leaders, volunteered at a psychiatric hospital, funded and built a clinic, school and five churches in the area.