Hitomi Gray & Alongsiders

Cambodia, Southern Asia

If you saw a close friend in trouble, how would you handle it? To put it another way – what are the lengths you would go to in order to save another life? Would you stand idly by and allow the disaster to occur? Or would you risk your well-being for another?

To understand this story, imagine being in the midst of Cambodian flood season. This doesn’t mean a minor water pooling in the cove outside your neighborhood. These torrential downpours can prove fatal in the means of a few minutes.

 And they did just three months ago

When a 15-year-old named Noeun saw a friend who couldn’t swim fall in the flood waters, he didn’t flinch. Undoubtedly, the current was pulling the boy under as he fought for air. Noeun acted quickly and jumped into the raging flood. Despite the overwhelming force slamming against them both, Noeun was able to push the helpless boy to safety. The boy was saved by a selfless, sacrificial act.

While the action saved the boy from danger, it drained Noeun of his strength. The flood waters took his life. Noeun died so his friend could live. Does that sound like a familiar story?

Noeun was a part of the ministry of Alongsiders. This story came to us from our partner Hitomi Gray, who works with Alongsiders. They are focused on implementing mentoring relationships that allow older kids to build into younger ones. I am thankful for Noeun’s courageous example.  

I was touched by this story and even reminded of my own soul in the midst of it. Like the little boy who couldn’t swim, the waters of judgement and sin were overpowering me as I attempted to flail my way to shore. I quickly realized an inability to save myself. 

But God, being rich in mercy, sent his only son Jesus Christ to plunge into the waters of judgement on my behalf. Jesus lived a perfect life, shed His blood on the cross and now saves the soul of every person who places their faith in His sacrifice. He transfers believers from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son.


We are honored and proud to partner with Alongsiders staff in multiple nations of the world.