Dear Friends and Family,
The woman looked six months pregnant. She was carried in by one of our pastors. She had been cursed by becoming involved in witchcraft, through her in-laws, and developed fluid retention in the abdomen and lungs, that made her look pregnant. She received Christ, the curse was broken, and she was sitting up feeling better the next morning and four days later she still continues to recover in the hospital. We don’t know the long-term outcome. Time will tell, and God is good. Regardless, she did receive Christ. So, how? How do you deal with the demonic realm?( see photos)
First, you have a talk with the person, explaining that you are not angry at them, but very upset with the spirit that is messing up their life. Unless the demonic entity has them completely out of control, you usually don’t have to do much enlightening. Most of them know what has happened, or what they’ve been involved in. They simply want to be free, and they recognize that some kind of spiritual cause, curse, or entity is upon them. Sometimes, the demonic power is broken with a simple command, but often it is a battle, and you really need to know what you are up against. Demons will lie, beg, try to bargain, and even try to scare you. It helps to have a team praying in the Spirit, playing worship music and reading from some of powerful Psalms out loud.
Occasionally, I get downright nasty. “You damned, cursed devil, I command you to come out in the name of Jesus Christ!” Now, that’s not a very nice way for a missionary to talk, and fortunately not that common! I know you may be offended, but I’m not trying to be nice. We’re dealing with demons, and they don’t understand “polite!” They understand authority, and they understand the name of Jesus. Regardless, they are damned by God, and I’m just telling them the truth! I’m not cussing; I’m just summarizing their reality. It seems to help get them out if they know, that I know, their pre-ordained future. I have found working in Cambodia for almost 16 years, that fear of the demonic is a terrible remnant of past animistic ties, (much of Cambodian Buddhism is animistic) that trails even long term Christians. Until Christians really understand their authority, and have the boldness to command devils “in the Name of Jesus,” little deliverance happens.
I realize that most people in the developed world may think I live in “Fantasy Land.” With all the stupid Hollywood movies about vampires and witchcraft, it makes you believe it’s all just ‘make believe.’ But I assure you, in a country that has dealt with the spirit realm for millennia, it is very real, especially in the animistic tribes (where demons are worshiped). At the recent medical clinic held in Mondolkirri, our team had to deal with demonic manifestations that affected physical health. One young girl that was stone deaf in her right ear was healed of deafness( see photos). The team prayed for her three times (some devils, and, or curses associated with them, are stubborn) and she was completely healed.
Shaman are often used by people to put curses on their enemies. Even disgruntled Christians will turn to the “dark side” to try to destroy others. It has an effect. Paul Mok, the manager of our rice farm, came to me last week and confessed that for three and one-half years, he and the employees at the rice farm, have not gotten a good night’s sleep. Demons keep waking them up. I was incredulous! “Why didn’t you tell me?” Paul Mok hesitated, “We were afraid to tell you, because we know we should not be afraid,” came the meek reply. I took him to Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” I taught him to personalize 1 John 4:4 (paraphrased) “Hey Demon, according to the Bible, greater is He, that’s Jesus Christ, who lives within me, than you, Devil, who lives in the world, and I have overcome you, So get out in Jesus name!” Since this teaching, they have slept very well( see photos).
Devils and rats. I hate them both! We can’t kill devils, I wish we could, but the only good place for them is “Dry places” (Luke 11:24). But rats? The only good rat is a dead rat! Rats can mow down a perfectly good rice crop overnight. Paul Mok set up a car battery with an inverter and ran a 220 volt line around one paddy on inch high bamboo pegs. In one hour, from 2:00am to 3:00am, they electrocuted over 40 rats. One rodent weighed nearly a kilogram. Now, he is fertilizing the rice field with his fat carcass; ‘a good rat’!( see photo)
We have had little rain in July. Much of Australia is dry, India is dry, Thailand is dry. Many scientists blame the El Niño effect, which is associated with wide scale below-average rainfall and above-average daytime temperatures( see photos). If we don’t get a rice crop this year, it won’t be your fault. “Thanks”, is too small a word. Many of you came through for us in a big way! To think we could plant two, 500 acre, rice crops, in one spring with our mostly 40-50 year old equipment, is beyond comprehension. The cost of seed, fertilizer, repairs, herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, and fuel for each crop was about $75,000US. The unbelievable thing is, that we have it within $12,000US of being paid for. That doesn’t leave us anything to operate with, or money to care for orphans. But, at least we should have some rice this fall, if we can get rains! It looks like 20 hectares (50 acres) will have to be planted the third time. It makes me feel sick, but we won’t quit! It’s been dry in July. Please pray for timely rains, and a good harvest. And, please don’t forget to send something for the orphans in August. We are running on empty!
Containers of food and equipment are backed up for seven months. The fallout of all the political upheaval in Cambodia has been a doubling down of “oversight”. Put simply, clearance that used to take two steps, now takes four. That may seem like double the work and money, but in reality, it’s actually more like four times. This backlog caused a container full of needed equipment for the rice farm, sent in December of 2013, to just arrive this month ( see photos). The most important item was a “sheep’s foot” roller which we need for levee and reservoir construction, obviously it didn’t see use this spring. But, better late than never! We are supposed to be receiving six containers, nearly 20 tons each, of foodstuffs, mostly nutrition rice, by August 7th. It is sorely needed! Since we have no money, at least there will be something to eat.
I believe the Devil is the author of disease, but most diseases have physiological causes, and modern medicine, and medical doctors are a blessed source of healing. Healing is always welcome, and it keeps the church growing. In one week of medical clinic ministry, around 1800 people came to Christ out of the 3000 that were seen ( see photos). This was in an extremely difficult area with both animistic and Muslim influences. Mak Sou opened the clinic with the assistant governor of the province. We had 20 foreign workers, and another hundred or so Cambodians serving at the site. Everyone who came through the clinic heard the Gospel at least four times. About one-half of those seen prayed to ask Christ to be Lord of their lives. (‘Fox hole’ prayers? Well, maybe a few, but they were never forced.) The rains were a daily occurrence in this eastern area of Cambodia (I wish we could have moved them 600 kilometers west to our rice farm). It takes a lot of work and money to prepare for a major clinic. Just the construction of proper sanitary facilities, to care for thousands of sick people, is a major problem in the muddy soil, let alone the cost of medications and clinical testing. The New Life Church in Everett, Washington, USA, was the main funding partner and team organizer, but a number of team members also came from a church in Oregon, pastored by our old friend Rick Sawczuk, as well as Idaho, Iowa and Nebraska.
A group of professionals visited from Singapore, one, the pastor of a partnering church, and new FCOPI Board Member, George Butron, another member of the group, manufactures agri-chemicals, a University educator from Canada was a member, and the team filled out with a Singaporean petroleum engineer from Africa ( see photos). They are seeking specific ways to become involved in helping FCOP, and we were delighted to show them around. As usual the “Proclaimer”, an audible Bible for oral learners, which we receive from Faith Comes By Hearing, was a big hit with the rural church we visited. We really don’t have to sell our “program.” I just explained to them that if they want to really get involved in seeing a nation come to Christ, I honestly know of no better place to invest treasure and talent.
Somat, our General Supervisor, and I made a quick trip to the Philippines to visit with the leaders of several other Southeast Asian Churches ( see photos). It just so happened that we arrived in the midst of a small typhoon and, other than the meetings which were our primary objective, we saw little of the countryside due to the incessant rain. I’d like to have dragged that back to our rice farm as well.
Cambodia is a young Country. Youth from eight tribal regions gathered together in Rattanakirri to learn more about Christ.( see photos) All who came were born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. They will definitely see a huge impact in their home tribes. These people cannot be persuaded by philosophy and preaching alone, they need to see God’s power. When this is demonstrated and demons they feared all of their lives are cast out, people are healed and they know they have a God that is all powerful, they become bold, “Young Lions!”Sorry, I’m too long again. There’s more to tell, but I must quit.
Be greatly blessed!
Ted (Pa Thom) and Sou (Mak Sou) Olbrich,
And, those doing all the work, Our Staff!