Update: September 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Remember those healthy young men, the tribal kids I mentioned last month, who were being killed, by what their animistic leaders said were spiritual attacks for allowing miners to destroy their forests in Rattanakiri? The people were crowding our churches for protection, and that first week 551 were saved, delivered and filled with the holy Spirit. (If you want to read about it go to http://www.missionreports.com/Cambodia and click on the top left “August Update”) Well, now, the rest of the story! The next week all the area churches were packed out, hundreds more received Christ, blind eyes were open, deaf ears heard, and demons were cast out. In short, God showed up. The demand to press into the Kingdom of God was so great that in the next two weeks 210 church groups of at least 25 people were started. http://www.missionreports.com/new_church_leaders_training_ratta  Each group was given a solar powered “Proclaimer” which plays the Bible audibly in two Cambodian dialects. All of these groups have someone who understands some Cambodian, so they translate from the recorded message. The need for training was so great we sent two groups of “Young Tigers” and “Young Lions” up last month. This month, one more group of women, “Deborah’s Angels”, and another group of “Tigers” make the trek.

That’s pretty good, but down in this ‘dead’ church on the Vietnam border, where we’ve been through three pastors in three years, we sent in one of our “Tigers” to take over. He had fellow “Tigers” come help for a few days. The place was filled, more than 100 came to Christ, and they took “Proclaimers” home with them to start churches.http://www.missionreports.com/vietnames_church  Thirty new church groups are now thriving on both sides of the Cambodian and Vietnamese border.  Then, there’s this large island on the Tonle’ Sap River , Tumnup, with a population of about 66,000 people. Five years ago there were no believers. A few dozen people were discipled, we built a church/home out there with the help of ICM, and they started about thirty more home churches. Now, the second church /home is under construction. A “Spirit Practitioner” (Witch Doctor) was losing a lot of business, and started putting out strong curses on the churches. The “Young Tigers” and “Young Lions” both went out there last month, this guy got delivered, and now wants to become a pastor. http://www.missionreports.com/young_lions_tumnup   So many people, who had lived under fear of him, came to Christ that 36 more home churches were stated. The island is considered predominately Christian. Now, this is just three of our 23 provinces. We know great growth is continuing in PrehViehea, Anlong Veng, Joam Kassan, and many other locations, but we don’t havethe numbers. Oh, I need to mention another 18 Church groups started in Kong Pixay. Just from what we know, 294 churches were added in August. That’s a new 12 year record for us, and I thought we’d peaked, and were possibly even in decline, with some church leaders going over to Korean congregations for offers of more money. Shows how smart I am! Most of the defectors have now come back as they want the “power”.

I was asked, “How have you been able to sustain this kind of growth?” It’s not me. I wrote it down: “Look for the gifts (five fold ministry), get them filled with the Holy Spirit, model ministry, disciple, and get out of the way!” There is a difference between what most people regard as the “Church” and the ” Kingdom of God “. When Jesus told Peter that He was going to use the revelation that Peter received that (He) Jesus was the “Christ” as the foundation upon which to build His Church, (Matt 16:15-19) He went on to say that the Church would prevail against the power of hell and that He would give the church (Peter) the “keys to the kingdom”. I really believe that the role of the Church is to be the keeper, or maintainer, of the climate for the Kingdom of God to thrive. Many times what we have created are religious dictatorships. Institutions, with structures, doctrines, bylaws and unwritten rules, so tight that they paralyze the advance of the kingdom of God . Don’t misunderstand; I believe we must have some structure, some of all of the above. But when the Church becomes divisive and controlling, something is wrong.  Ou Rang Oue Church/home is a good example. More than 110 churches have been started out of that one location. And we didn’t even know about most of them for months. Some of our “Young Lions” went and helped renovate the beat up, over used, building. You see they can do more than preach. http://www.missionreports.com/ou_rang_oue_construction That may be key; you do whatever it takes! It never stops. We brought in about 80 of our younger potential leaders from all over Cambodia for training in worship, and 21st century learning, during the summer break. They are learning much more, the “Infection of the Spirit” is spreading. That’s the only way it can continue. Formalize it, legalize it, over structure it, regulate it, and you’ll probably kill it. http://www.missionreports.com/training_music_computer

During the month of January 1863, Union (US Army during American Civil War) General, Ambrose Burnside, snatched disaster from the jaws of defeat by trying to march his badly beaten army up a muddy road along the Rappahannock , River. Entire horses were reported to have disappeared in the mire. Well, it’s Cambodia , 2010, and we haven’t lost any horses, but our rice harvest is challenging both man and machine. We grab our guys by the ears just before they go under. (Just kidding!)  Rice in Cambodia is planted in small paddies in huge tracts. Only the farmers know which plot belongs to a specific individual. Farmers live in villages and walk to their fields. On our 400 acres of rice land, some of our harvestable fields are as much as 6 kilometers from our rice mill. We are developing our productive land to raise three crops of rice per year instead of one. It is painfully slow, but education is never cheap!  We put up dikes that were too low, and roads that are too soft for our equipment. http://www.missionreports.com/havest_balang_water  Due to the onslaught of rain we received this year (In a country where some areas are dry), we are stuck in the mud.

We fertilized, limed, sprayed weeds and insects, and planted several improved, early, varieties of rice this year. Our objective? To increase the 1.5 ton per hectare per year yield to an eventual 8-10 tons per crop, three times per year. (Someday, with three crops, that will be 30 tons per hectare, a 20 fold increase!) The only good news is that we are harvesting 5-6 tons per hectare on our first try, on one remote, 30 hectare (75 acre) field. But how do you harvest and transport 200 metric tons of rice 6 kilometers through waist deep mud? Very slowly! We’ve used everything from boats, to floating tarps, to bulldozers, to carrying it out on our backs. We will get this done, and we are making progress, but it isexcruciatingly slow! We’ve learned a lot, and next year we’ll be prepared. We already have almost as much rice in the bin as we harvested all last year, and we are not done with our early crop yet. We still have 75% of our crop, the normal, long season, varieties to be harvested in December, and it looks good right now. But never measure your rice until it’s in the bin!

This rice may come in very handy! We may be forced to sell some of it to get our kids into school. With the floods in Pakistan , China , and drought in Russia , and areas of Laos ,Vietnam and Thailand with poor crops, I hate to sell any until we know we’ll have enough rice to feed us for the next year, but the kids must go to school. And, to go to school inCambodia , they must have uniforms. I need 2500 school uniforms by October 1st, And there’s nothing that can make calendar pages fly off a wall faster than a dreaded deadline. If we buy cheap uniforms and shoes in mass quantities we can do it for $20,000 US. I haven’t got an extra 20 cents. Thank God for Warm Blankets Orphan Care and for the rice from the Butte County Rice Producers and Lou Binninger. It’s feeding us right now!http://www.missionreports.com/rice_load_agu10  

Financially, this may be our toughest year yet. This month we’ve had three donors/churches with similar stories. ” I’m so happy to be apart of it and help out with the orphans, however I’ve been unemployed most of this year, and things aren’t looking good, with no job opportunities. I’d like to temporarily cancel my monthly giving until I am financially able to support again.” But, we’ve been here so often, it always hurts, but it seems almost normal. These are God’s kids, and His church, and if He wants them fed, clothed, and trained He’s got to help us find a way. He always has, so I don’t expect Him to quit now. BTW, our kids and staff have started praying earnestly for the destruction of this devilish attack against the financial blessing of all those have blessed them. Better times lie ahead, financially. Regardless of money, we do what we can to advance the Kingdom of God, feed the hungry with the supplies we receive from Gleanings for the Hungry   http://www.missionreports.com/dried_soup_fruit , heal the sick with the power of medicine, as well as the power of God, http://www.missionreports.com/sick_kids  and cast out devils. The times are hard, but the Kingdom of God is alive and well, in fact I’m not sure they get better that this in the real important areas of life. To paraphrase Dickens, “It is the best of times, it is the worst of times…” 294 churches in one month is not bad news. 

The most fun we had this month was the marriage of two of our orphan kids, Ratah and Sarom. Now, that’s the kind of efficiency I need! Two for one! It was strange as Sou and I were “Father and Mother” to both bride and groom.  Ratah, our first orphan who became a trained dentist, married Sarom, one of our office staff members. Ratah is first in his class by the way! Thanks to the many dental teams from the US that he has worked with over the years, he was actually able to teach some new techniques to the teachers at the dental college. They are honeymooning on the beach. http://www.missionreports.com/ratha_sarom_wedding

And that makes it a great month!
Thank you from the depth of our hearts! Be blessed!
Ted and Sou Olbrich (Pa Thom and Mak Thom)
And all those who really do the work, our staff

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