Slow Death

Uncharacteristic drought kills rice crop. Usually there’s a foot of water now.

Plowed under! I don’t know how many of you have farmed, but there are few things worse than watching the slow death of a crop in which you’ve invested months of your life and a substantial portion of your wealth. Granted, it’s nothing like losing a loved-one, but it’s still painful, especially when the obvious is another slow death; starvation. I’ve lost crops before, but for me there was always an alternative; I was a professional, I could always get a job.

We have no rice and consuming two tons a day until December, we’re in deep trouble. That’s about $150,000 just for rice, on top of everything else! What’s more, this is the center of the “Rice bowl” of Cambodia! By the end of July we are usually pumping water out of our paddies to keep the water from becoming too deep. Now, on July 20th, we had dust clouds like the Sahara Desert.

The inevitable question that I couldn’t help but ask, dates back from the Book of Job,”Why?” Why can’t these orphans that pray blind eyes open, pray down a rain for their own rice crop?

 

Then I learned some things. Much of the fertilizer we had purchased had been sold to local farmers by the corrupt former manager as well as the registered seed we imported. And “bin run” seed full of weed seed was planted in its place. Much of our rice bran was being sold off to unauthorized buyers. The whole area seemed to be under a curse. I was crying before the Lord, “Don’t punish the orphans!” and He calmly answered, “Don’t you think I can find another way to feed My kids?” I had to repent.

I borrowed $18,000 for new seed, and called Paul Mok, our new manager, to organize an event for Sunday, July 22nd for all the local farmers to join us at the rice mill for a time of prayer and repentance. Pastor Mop (Tubby), our old pastor, who told us several years ago he was going back to being a Bhuddist put together the meeting. It turns out he never did forsake Christ but was simply upset with the former leadership. He was one of the first to repent.

Fifty farmers showed up, including the mayor (Meh Phum) and the county supervisor (Meh Khum).  Bhuddists prayed beside Christians. We prayed for more than an hour and then had a party! In three days it was raining.

 

I hate living by faith!  But, it does work. Paul Mok called me with the good news that the planting was done. I said, “Let’s pray for rain!” we prayed and five minutes later he called me back and said, “It’s raining hard!” It rained for another five hours. PTL! Our rice is replanted, and we look forward to an abundant crop. But, how is God going to get us from here to December with no rice? I wish I knew the answer.

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