Siv Ashley

The Siv Ashley’s Life in America

Lum Siv Lang was born in the countryside of Kampuchea, Cambodia, on September 18, 1965. She was the eldest sibling and had two brothers and two sisters. Her father was Lum Ba Elle, who was half Cambodian and half Chinese. Her mother was Ly Pouy Cain. Siv wrote that her mother “was lovely. Her skin…as white as coconut milk, and her hair was sleek and as black as coal. She had…lips that were naturally as red as cherries.”

Though her family didn’t have much, they were happy. They had a small farm and there was love.

One evening Siv’s grandmother told her the story of how she got her name. As Siv wrote, “she said that my name symbolized the rarest flower in all of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand.”

One time when Siv’s father was in Phnom Penh, he came upon people talking about God. After listening and asking questions, he knew that he believed in God. That was when he began to tell Siv and her brother Maine to believe in God and to pray.

Siv survived four horrific years in the killing fields and Khmer Rouge work camps. She lost her grandmother, her aunt and her aunt’s child, all of her siblings, her mother, and her father. She nearly lost her life many times. She survived a harrowing escape. After three months in the refugee camp in Thailand, Siv was reunited with her aunt, her uncle, and their two young daughters.

After that, a woman named Ina Ruth—the head of mission work at Jefferson United Methodist Church in Jefferson, North Carolina—chose Siv’s family from the photos of thousands of Cambodian families looking for sponsorship. And the rest is history.

Now Siv has been happily married to Kenny Ashley since June 1, 1991. They have two wonderful children, Tia and Ty. Tia attends college in western North Carolina. Ty graduated from high school in May 2014 and will attend High Point University.

Siv often speaks at churches, schools, and community organizations telling her story. Hers is a presentation that will never be forgotten and has changed people’s lives forever.

By Siv Ashley

80 pages
Older Teens and Adults

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