On one afternoon, in several locations, around 500 adults received Christ. They burned 5 kg (That’s twelve pounds) of “sai gatas”. These are chords which are tied around the waist, once for life, and then the people purchase enchantments, inscribed by a shaman on brass or silver foil, which are rolled on to the chord to protect them form every type of malady which they can afford to have produced. These are never to be removed or: “All the curses, ailments, and disasters, the charms were written to protect you from, will come upon you!” When these people receive Christ, and actually have the faith to cut these off and burn them, you know their commitment is real. When General Supervisor, Some Ardt, went to burn these enchanted strings they virtually exploded.
Ask any Cambodian you can find on any street in the country, “Do you believe that spirits affect your physical health?” and they will look at you like you are crazy, responding: “Are you nuts? Everyone knows that is true!” Ask your average Westerner in any city in the USA or Europe, “Do you believe that spirits affect your physical health?” and they will look at you like you are crazy, responding: “Are you nuts? Who believes that nonsense? You’ve been watching to many of those weird TV shows!” After 16 years of trying to find a curriculum to adapt for teaching the Bible to our Cambodian pastors, I have given up. We have to write it here. There are concepts to be borrowed from other nations, but nothing we can find fits our reality. Much of Western theology is devoted to convince students of spiritual reality, and the “Revealed Word”, as opposed to the “Written Word”. In Cambodia it doesn’t even need to be mentioned, it’s a given, they just want to know how to move in the “New Power” they’ve found.