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Sam Ban

Out of the dragon’s mouth

    Sam had to travel 8,629 miles to find Hope Now.
      The youngest child of Cambodian refugees, his family fled the Khmer Rouge.  Sam was born in a Thailand refugee camp and with his family sought the hope of a better life in the United States.
      In Fresno, young Sam found himself surrounded by the gang culture in a low income  neighborhood.  He was forced to grow up quick.  He was brought into a gang at 11.   By 12, he was kicked out of school. He was fighting anyone and everyone and the result was a two-year stint at the California Youth Authority. He was 14. 
      Incarceration just made him sharper.


    Sam wanted to change, or at least that is what he told his parents. When in prison, he would have visits from his parents and a friend John Musgrove who used to teach Sam Bible verses as child.  As much has he may have wanted to change, as soon as he was released from prison, he would go back "into the Dragon's mouth".
      Drug use, violence and drive-by shootings were his recreation. Then one day he realized his girlfriend from Jr. High had never given up on him

      Through the years she was there, in spite of his gangbanging, drugs and prison.  
      A friend told him about Hope Now who found him a job and refreshed his mind about God, but Sam had still not surrendered. He left those jobs and kept falling.  Finally, he gave up on himself, and allowed God to work.
       Today he is married to that same girl who waited. Sam and his wife are living proof that the "The old has died and everything is new”.