Dear Friends and Family,
OK! Enough already! Stop! You have totally convinced me that you know how to pray! You prayed for rain. Well, we got it! Ol’e Farmer Ted is a little soggy! You guys are like the little boy who asked his dad for a brother. The dad told him to pray. So, the boy prayed for a couple of months, but grew weary of not seeing an answer, so he quit. Seven months later his dad brought his mom home from the hospital with twin boys. The dad said to his son, “See, aren’t you glad you prayed?” “Sure” said the boy, “But aren’t you glad I quit when I did?” I’ve got an idea. How about we just pray for a good rice crop?
We had not had any “flood cover” (that’s standing water on our rice crop) all year. The first came on September 14th but by September 20th we lost 20 hectares (50 acres) to flood. What happened? The “Big Flush” returned. Last year Bangkok and Korat, Thailand were flooded. This year they built diversion locks, and when China decided that their excessive rains had over filled their reservoir, the plug got pulled and overnight, a one meter high wall of water moved from Thailand to our rice land. It’s a story of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The “Good” news is that we have 125 hectares (310 acres) of good rice, our broken dikes are repaired, and that part of the crop looks good!
The “Bad” news is that we have 20 hectares (50 acres) that will have to be replanted, for the third time! Our seed, a foundation grade variety from Vietnam, that will go from seeding to maturity in 75 days, has been purchased. We will soak it in acid treated water and it will sprout before it is sewn. We should have a crop by New Year if all goes well. And, to turn lemons into lemonade, we will sell this variety as certified seed, as it is not available in Cambodia. Sadly all the roads to the rice mill have been cut by flood waters in multiple places, and life is hard on man and machine. Our tractor broke down seven kilometers from the road in deep mud our workers had to carry a 100 kg (220 lbs.) gearbox on a pole all that distance for repairs.
The “Ugly” is the emergence of the greedy side of human nature; neighbors profiteering on the suffering of their friends. At the six road washouts on the road to our mill the land owners on both sides of the road conspire to build a bridge, they then charge a toll to cross, fair enough, but their rates can be excessive. The worst is the fate of “Iron Buffaloes” that get stuck. The “good neighbors” refuse to help unless they receive fees like $25US to help pull them out. Large Russian built tractors sit by but refuse to budge unless paid the high fees, groups of villagers with ropes sit and watch their neighbors wallow in the mud but will not give a pull unless paid well. We make a lot of friends of those we pull out, and enemies of the “profiteers.” Then there are the other “Uglies.” The cobras, rats, and centipedes which have moved into any high ground they can find, causing residents to exercise all kinds of caution when they enter their homes, go near a tree, or work in a field. ( see photos)
We thank God for all of you who have been so generous in donating rice to our orphans and staff. We go through about two tons of paddy rice per day and have been out since the end of July. Your donations have allowed us to secure about 100 tons of milled rice, and with a little more help, we should make it to harvest, which we anticipate in mid-to-late November. Your sacrifice and devotion to these kids is phenomenal! Thank you. Please show this U-Tube video to your congregation or receive it as personal appreciation for your gift of life! ( see video)
The Union Church in Hong Kong not only came through with help for our rice shortage, they sent a team to explore the opportunities for partnership with us in Cambodia. God knows we need the help. We are so grateful for your help and support and look forward to seeing you again soon! You are a fun bunch to have around! ( see photos)
We took 49 of our leaders to Sri Lanka for the bi-annual Eastern Council of Foursquare Churches meeting. Both Glen Burris, our International Foursquare President and Jim Scott, the Director of Foursquare Missions, gave presentations but the most beneficial element was personal contact with the national leaders from 19 Asian countries. Our group traveled by bus to Bangkok in order to save money and grabbed a “red-eye” flight. The ECFC meeting always gives them the sense that they are not alone in the world. It costs us valuable time and resources, but the new level of excitement and enthusiasm soon gives us big returns in souls added to the kingdom of God. ( see photos)
I am personally very grateful for your prayers for Sou. She has been suffering with a persistent cough for more than three months. Last month we took her to Bangkok for thorough testing and although they identified and treated several problems, the coughing returned. The second night I was in Sri Lanka I called Sou, and she was seriously ill, actually wanting to just give up and go with Jesus. We gathered our leaders and began to pray. Pastor EL Sim, the 4′-6″ woman who leads the revival on Tumnup Island, that has brought nearly 90,000 people to Christ, was there. She received a word from the Lord, “The attack was spiritual,” and I was to rise at midnight and pray in the Spirit for three minutes. This was the strangest request I believe I have ever received, but because it came from El Sim, I was obedient. I didn’t call Sou when I prayed, it was 1:30am her time, and she had no knowledge of this request, but the next morning when I checked on her she was greatly improved and said, “Everything changed at midnight.” She was so well that she preached at the Chom Chao Church on Sunday with dozens of people saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. In this one church more than 100 people have come to Christ in the past month. Please continue to pray for her! ( see photos)
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is alive and well in Cambodia. My version of it states: “Anything left to itself naturally turns into crud!” With 30 to 40 kids in a home, and a monsoon climate, our church homes deteriorate at an astounding speed. Three years is the life of a paint job. In fact, if anyone knows of a benevolent source for exterior paint, we could use a 40′ container full of any color available. We keep battling this scientific reality by continually rebuilding homes. It is a great way for mission teams to come and really do useful service. We need to renovate about three homes per month just to stay even with Mother Nature. ( see photos)
During a 40 day period in August and September around 5000 Cambodians came to know Christ through the efforts of two medical teams. In September Horizon’s Church sent a group of medical professionals, and under some harsh conditions, they lent their skills and prayers to bring health and salvation to 2000 residents of Malai, near the Thai border. It was wet, the accommodations were basic, but they slugged it out and brought in the harvest! Way to go Horizons! ( see photos)
The medical teams increased the need for water baptisms, and there were opportunities in almost every province of Cambodia last month. Actually, you could almost just stand outside during the past few weeks and get dunked from the sky falling. It’s kind of funny to see people going to their baptism with umbrellas. ( see photos)
We continue to put up the “Kid magnets,” what you call playgrounds, in as many of our church homes as we can afford. They always produce the desired result. Kids all over the country are drawn to our churches, and once there, the kids just meet Jesus. That’s about all I have to say about that. ( see photos)
Busy month! Sorry to be so long but you need to know what’s happening! I’m done.
Be blessed! We are!
Ted & Sou Olbrich (Pa Tom and Mak Sou)
And, all those who do so much, Our Staff