Dear Friends and Family,
Hey! I was nine days late one other time! I know this is bad, (I’ve been in the USA for the Annual Convention of the Foursquare Church) and I have much to tell you. There are so many good things, and one very important, but to you probably boring, thing. So, we’ll put the boring and important at the end.
The “Lions and Tigers are roaring!”. Since its not wise to keep hungry ‘Lions and Tigers’ waiting, I’ll start there.
The church home at Bakou has been a solid church, and a well managed orphan home, but it has never been known as a spiritual powerhouse. Assistant PastorPhirom brought his English class into Phnom Penh for the evening Easter Service. Many of the students did not know Christ. By the end of the evening they’d all met Him, and most were filled with His Spirit. Since then they have formed a chapter of the “Young Lions”, a group Spirt filled orphan youth that are really tearing it up! They spend most of their class time together studying the Bible and praying. Just down the road was a family that had never attended the church, in fact they openly opposed it. The Mom was nearly full term in pregnancy, and she suddenly went totally nuts. She tried to kill her neighbors, tried to kill her family, and even tried to kill herself. The family tied her up and called a doctor. He’d worked with her for several days with various treatments and sedatives. Nothing was working. Not knowing what to do, he’d heard of the deliverance of a demonized boy bound in chains by the Chom Chao Church. He knew that the Bakou Church was in the same organization of churches, so he suggested the family ask the church to help. As only God could set it up, the distraught husband showed up as the evening class of Lions was meeting. The entire class responded. They marched down the road and took unvarnished control over that devil and cast it out of the woman. She was instantly set free, the entire family came to Christ, and the next day a healthy baby boy was born. Since this happened just before I left for the States, I don’t have pictures.
Another picture-less event was not supposed to be that way. In fact the pastor tried to take three pictures with his perfectly functional camera, none turned out. It worked fine before and after the event. So, what happened? Some of you, who have been following the work in Cambodia for years may recall what I refer to as the most “Astounding miracle of all”, the “Fire that fell in Toule Dam Na”. Since I don’t want to bore you with repetition, I’ll summarize: A group of crooked pastors (taking kickbacks) got zapped at about 8:00pm, Friday, Jan. 17, 2000, with a rainbow colored cone of fire that lasted for about five minutes in front of a town of about 500 people. It brought repentance and revival. For a full account, click here. Now, fast forward to May 20, 2011, one of the original members, who witnessed the event, is now the Senior Pastor. The kids were finishing up their Friday night prayer (A tradition that began when the first fire fell) and the last prayer topic was that God would show the people of Toule Dam Na that he is the God of truth, hope, and love. Remember that the next day, May 21, 2011, had been hyped all over Cambodia, and the world, by a waco from the US, as the end of the world. The kids walked out of their building at about 8:00pm. Immediately a pair of two year old twins began pointing at the roof and crying out, “Look!” There was a ring of fire encircling the cross. The pastor ran to get his camera, he tried to get the pictures three times and it would not work. Most of the town saw it.
There has been an ongoing string of Baptisms in water, and the Holy Spirit, since our annual meeting in February. Between 160 and 320 people have been reported baptized every week, and most small home churches don’t report back every month. To see the photos from around the country, click here.
One of the things we do well is our agricultural and economic development. Our true motto is: James 2:18b “I will show you my faith by what I do.” (NIV) Introducing appropriate technology has been one of our hallmarks. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor. Good news to them is; “There is a way out of poverty”. Paul Mok, the founder of our “Tractor Factory” came up with another transforming bit of mechanical wonder. It is built with old russian jeep parts, a single cylinder Chinese diesel engine, and a lot of innovation. This thing looks like a cross between a “1916 Rumely Oil Pull” and the “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” It can apply fertilizer, insecticide, and herbicide in one trip. It treats in excess of 100 acres a day, and does almost no harm to the rice crop. Previously, as our kids applied these chemicals by hand, they got sick. Now? No problems! By the way, notice the picture of this contraption moving through the rice field, and look at the neighbors crop to the left of the machine. Our rice is a much darker green. Both are similar varieties planted at the same time. The difference? Lime to correct the pH and fertilizer. This is technology we share, click here.
You’ve all heard, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The problem is; it’s not true! You feed him until the rivers are fished out. That is pretty much the case in Cambodia. What we say is: “Teach a man to raise fish and you feed him for a lifetime!” Now, that works! click here
People need to interact socially. We were not designed to be isolated. We love having fun in Cambodia, especially when it leads communities into holistic health through connecting to God. The good people at the Union Church in Hong Kong believe this, and have built a miniature Disneyland out in the middle of nowhere, Phadau Penn, Cambodia. The kids can’t get enough of it! click here. Bob, Christal, Jenny, and a small army of our Cambodian kids slaved for three days to put it together, but it was worth the effort! “Thanks!” to Union Church and the Nutland Family!
Steve and Sheryl Nutland of Hong Kong, fell so in love with the kids at Phadau Penh, that they adopted the nearby Or Ral Church/Home. They brought their parents and are enthused about partnering with FCOP to make Oral a real oasis of blessing for the people in that region. click here.
We often get criticized for building dependency. To which we plead, “Guilty as charged”. What do you call your kids on your tax forms? “Dependents”, right? How, and why, would you expect kids to be self sufficient? Now, the part you don’t hear is that they don’t stay that way! We teach them a profession, or a trade, and they go on to become leaders in their communities. We have cared for about 4000 kids that are no longer under our provision. They are working as doctors, lawyers, farmers, fishermen, pastors, businessmen, and productive workers all over Cambodia. Everyone needs a little help to get going, so that’s what we do. Like the help we get from Gleanings for the Hungry, and other partners. Kids need to eat, and the oil we just received sure helped! Cooking oil is $8.00 per gallon! How are orphans supposed to buy that? click here.
Jesus cares for the poor. There were 30,000 people forced from their homes, including those from four of our church homes, in the recent fighting along the border with Thailand. They needed some quick help, and since we have a rice mill, storage, and vehicles we sent two, five ton truckloads of supplies to help these hurting, hungry people. click here Fortunately, the residents of our Church/Homes, and the surrounding communities have now returned home. Pray for peace!
We bring in so many containers, of everything from food to tractors, that the ‘Council of Development for Cambodia’ (CDC) suspected that we must be a scam business, which uses the N.G. O. (Non Government Organization) as a tax dodge. They decided to investigate. The officials told Naret, our Chief of Staff, that they would go through our list of 106 active church/homes and randomly pick one to investigate. If the CDC found we were not doing as we claimed, they would shut us down. Only God could have pulled this off! They picked the Chamka Jake Church/Home in Pursat. It just so happened that a team from one our medical partners,Medical Teams International, was there doing dental work for eleven surrounding Church/Homes, and members of the community. Five shinny black Lexus SUV’s pulled up unannounced. As they walked through the door of the church/home their mouths literally dropped open. The Director of the CDC came to Naret and told him, “You can have what you want. Even the King of Cambodia cannot get a foreign dentist to come clean his teeth, and you are doing it for orphans!” click here.
First and foremost we are the church! Everything we do begins and ends with the church! You see, we are convinced that a healthy church cares for the entire community. So, the first thing we do is establish a church, and the church does what Jesus expects, which is to care for the orphans, widows, poor, hungry, imprisoned, etc. So that’s what we do, and we do a lot of training of our pastors and staff to make sure that it happens. click here.
That’s the good stuff. Now here is the important, but boring thing. We are “FCOP International” www.fcopi.org. God gave me a vision in 1999 which has become who we are, and it has never changed. For those interested, I urge you to open it, much of it is dated, but the important heart is as solid as ever. (Just glance at pages 7-10 – click here) This is who you are supporting. Through the years we have had many faithful partners. Here is a list of those organizations (not the churches and individuals) currently supporting us in some capacity, and please forgive me if I have missed any of you!
Bar One Resources
Children of Promise
Children’s Hunger Fund
Covenant Frontline International
Cup of Cold Water Ministries
Faith Comes by Hearing
Feed My Starving Children
Gleanings for the Hungry
Home of English
International Cooperating Ministries
Kids for the Kingdom
Medical Teams International
Reach Now International
Swiss Warm Blankets
The Butte County Rice Growers Association
The Foursquare Foundation
Warm Blankets Orphan Care Australia
Warm Blankets Orphan Care International
These are organizations which partner with us, not the more important churches and individual donors, which really carry the load for all of us! The whole point is that we have so closely identified with our partner Warm Blankets Orphan Care International, that we have become known as an “Orphan care organization”. Not that we are ashamed of that, we do care for orphans, but we do much more in the Body of Christ, and that has tended to be overlooked. I fear that in addition to losing our identity, we have, unintentionally, failed to equally honor those who have stood by us so faithfully in all areas of holistic health in the body of Christ. So, effective immediately, we are now operating under the name “FCOP International’. We ask that all donations to FCOP be sent directly to FCOP International at www.fcopi.org
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operating as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) under Covenant Frontline International. We have an International Board of Directors, which will ensure that all donations go 100% to the field. Our Cambodian Board of Directors remains the same. I could go on, but details are in our website: www.fcopi.org Please understand that Sou and I are still fully funded missionaries under Foursquare Missions International, and I draw no salary from any of the FCOP funds. We continue to work with Warm Blankets as one of our supporting partners.
Any money sent to FCOP, Int. will be forwarded to FCOP in Cambodia, as is the case with Warm Blankets. We simply separate this special relationship that we have had with Warm Blankets as friends, leaving each organization to pursue the vision God has given us, grateful for the past, and hopeful for the future. Paul and Barnabas separated for the good of the Gospel. May that be true for us!
With Thanks and Blessings for you all!
Ted and Sou Olbrich (Pa and Mak Thom)
And those doing all the work! Our staff