Dear Friends and Family,
Precisely accurate: You’d have to be dead from the knees up if this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, and though it’s already gone viral, that’s all I have to say about this, except, that this young woman, with this song, has captured the heart, the mission, and the soul of FCOP. ( See video)
Imprecisely accurate: “My Hero!” He-ro (hir’o) n. 1. A mythological or legendary figure, often of divine ancestry, who is favored by the gods, endowed with great courage and strength, and celebrated for bold exploits. Now, Mak Sou is not mythological, she is a daughter, favored by the one and only God, has courage and strength, and does perform bold exploits. So, we think she’s qualified, and at least the Prime Minister of Cambodia agrees. Sou was awarded the “Medal of Service” by Prime Minister Hun Sen through the Minister of Social Affairs, Ith Sam Heng, at a special ceremony. Sou was recognized, as the President of FCOP, for the contribution the organization has made over the past fourteen years to Cambodian orphans, widows and the poor. A special certificate of appreciation was also awarded by the government. Present to receive this honor were several orphans who have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, nurses, mechanics, agriculturists, and medical technicians through continuing education funded by the donors of FCOP. The ceremony was shown repeatedly on Cambodian television for several days, and appeared on the front page of Cambodia’s most widely read newspaper. It made this position in the paper due to the request of the orphans who benefited from FCOP. ( See video & photos)
Pastor Des Klingspon, our FCOP Canadian Representative, brought a large team to Cambodia. They left -20 degree F. Yorktown, Canada in a blizzard, to arrive in 105 degree F. Phnom Penh, to serve Cambodian orphans and widows. Des observed: “Since we started giving to the orphans God has blessed our church with more than we ever gave.” Now, that’s Biblical accurate! Deut. 24:18b-19 “…therefore I command you to do this thing. 19 When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” What part of this do many churches not understand? (especially in the US) They trip over themselves to openly bless Israel (which I think is wise, but the actual blessing was to those who blessed Abraham. And, it is his decedents who are to bless the world) but choose to ignore the more certain, personal blessing, “that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” which comes from an open endorsement and participation in ministry to orphans and widows. Thank God, our donor churches choose this path of blessing, but why, with millions of dollars in debt, would any church organization ignore this promise? The Canadians didn’t, and they are blessed! Yorktown, Canada went from rags to riches during the height of the global recession. ( See Photos)
The International Community School of Singapore and the Community of Praise Baptist Church of Singapore have figured this out, very precisely as well. They not only came and re-built the Snule Church/Home, but several of their members have given toward helping with our rice crop expenses. ( See Photos) Hey! Singapore is blessed as well. “Ahhh, come on! Is that the real reason?” Well, it sure didn’t hurt!
There’s an element of accuracy in obedience. That’s why FCOP is blessed, and we certainly will succeed. We not only leave a few sheaves of rice behind, we give the entire crop to the orphans and widows. Now, if we could just get some more help with the cost of our seed, fertilizer, diesel fuel and herbicides, we’d really have something to celebrate! But, FCOP is certain to be blessed, or God will have to resign for breach-of -contract, and we know that isn’t going to happen! He hasn’t missed a promise yet! So, we proceed to ditch, lime, and plow as fast as our busted up fleet of 50 year old equipment will allow us. ( See Photos) Next month, God willing, our first crop of rice for 2013 will be growing strong!
“Your problem is that you’re precise but not accurate.” Now, the problem, for us, was that the civil engineer who was speaking made that statement with a very matter-of-fact tone of voice. Sonny (our FCOP International President) and I had just returned from surveying most of our 500 acres of rice land in Balang. We looked at each other, and in unison scratched our heads and said, “What in the world does that mean?” We had five decimal points of accuracy on both latitude and longitude from our GPS. We checked it out on Google! That meant we were within about one meter of ‘spot on’. What kind of double talk was this? “Well,” explained our engineer friend, “you only have one satellite in a good position, and the other is at about ten degrees off the horizon, so, though your readings are very precise, your accuracy could be off by five meters.” We just groaned. Sonny was close to needing a kidney transplant after bouncing over paddy dikes for three days. But, with all that work, we were determined to see the results, regardless of how accurate they were! At least our laser level readings would be precise! So we paid him to feed our data into his computer. By imposing his plots over “Google earth” maps we were able to maneuver our data over the photos, and come up with some decent drawings. Surprise! Our flat land was not as flat as it looked, but at least we knew what we had. The problem is our “Hercules” (our land munching, leveling hero) is being held hostage! After 30 days the government still won’t sign off on its release. Please pray! ( See Photos)
If there is an organization that knows how to be precisely blessed, it is “Reach Now International”. Bill Meyer, with some help from several donor charities like Mission of Mercy and Feed My Starving Children, along with Lou Binninger of Glad Tidings Church, has poured blessings into the Cambodian orphans, widows, and poor. I think I’d like to just stand next to him for a while and see what rubs off. Bless all of you! ( See Photos) Thank you!
All of this precision and accuracy is for one central point, to bring all of Cambodia to the “Truth”; Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it, we proselytize! And we are doing it at the rate of about 1000 people per week. There is no way we can document the rapidity of what is happening here. Just look at these few examples of people coming to Christ, new congregations being planted, and remote areas being reached. All of which are daily occurrences in many parts of the country. ( See Photos)
Easter was accurately celebrated on the last day of March in the US, but we put it forward until April 7th due to a coincidental overlap with a Chinese religious holiday which celebrates the memory of dead ancestors. Easter is about new life, so we are holding our events around the country on April 7th. The Young Lions have not missed the significance of the holiday, and have been criss-crossing the country bringing the good news with them wherever they go. Life is busily good! ( See Video)
Be blessed and Happy Easter! (Whenever you celebrate it!)
Ted and Sou Olbrich, Pa and Mak Thom
And those doing all the work,