Titmakara Chim (Timothy) dedicated his life to Christ after nearly drowning in the bottom of a swimming pool in Phnom Penh. He was raised in a Christian home, but had not fully embraced his faith. Had it not been for this near-death experience, today Timothy might not be executive director of Fount of Wisdom Publishing House (FOW), Cambodia’s only general Christian publishing house.
During a church retreat in 2001, 19-year-old Makara took a cool evening dip in the retreat center’s pool. But he didn’t know how to swim and soon sank. A cousin discovered him and quickly called for help.
“They thought I was dead. I could hear what they were saying and I could hear their fear,” Timothy said. He remained unconscious for two days.
“The first words I said to my mother were ‘I commit my life to Christ.’ ” Timothy renamed himself after the biblical figure as a sign of his commitment.
Although today Timothy is dedicated to Fount of Wisdom, he had questioned God’s leading into publishing. He considered resigning shortly after completing training to become the company’s first Cambodian executive director. The possibility to earn a higher salary elsewhere to support his growing family, plus challenges at work, caused Timothy to question staying at FOW.
In 2011 Timothy traveled to Hong Kong to attend the MAI-Asia Publishing Forum. There he heard testimonies of publishers from hard places like China, who remained faithful despite untold difficulties.
“After hearing them, I had the desire to do something for my country, too,” Timothy said. “At that point, I stopped working for myself and what I could gain.”
Timothy has launched several new initiatives at FOW. He wants to reach the people of Cambodia by placing books on family topics on the shelves of secular bookstores. Timothy also aims to develop Fount of Wisdom into a self-sustaining business that will thrive beyond his generation. “Now, I am totally committed to Fount of Wisdom and to making Christian literature that will impact my country,” he said.
Have you ever doubted your calling in publishing/writing? What was your turning point?
By Meaghan Zang, MAI intern