During the years we’ve been working on the church plant in Prey Pdao, we’ve had some very faithful young people like Gom Saroun coming to our meetings. Gom Saroun’s mother is a good Christian with a great hunger for God’s Word and a desire to please Him. When we went to the countryside a while back for a day of pastoral visitation, we stopped to see her and her family. We hoped to encourage the family and invite the father to join our services. He does claim to be a Christian though he is a (mostly retired) traditional musician who performs at weddings in the countryside.
Our visit brought curious neighbors who were not happy to have Christians in their midst! Mom endured the persecution in stride and simply asked us to pray. Both continued to come and feed upon God’s Word.
Recently her dad has become concerned about their pig’s health and safety. He feels the family needs to erect a shrine / spirit house to assure the pig survives until it is old enough to be sold. (Most pigs in that area die of illness before reaching full size.) Mom has resisted and dad has insisted but nothing has been built yet. We asked Mr. Srong, from 20 minutes away at our work in Kpbaom, to visit and encourage them.
In rural Cambodia people believe spirits (mostly ancestor ghosts) govern everything that happens. If you fail to please them with your worship and offerings, they will hurt you by bringing sickness or disaster upon your family and property.
Many rural Cambodians also believe that people can curse you, bringing the wrath of their ancestors or evil spirits upon you. Each year there are incidents of people, and families, being killed because one is accused of being a “sorcerer” and causing death, sickness, or disaster to befall someone else. I’ve read it’s the Buddhist monks who determine that sorcery is involved and that only the death of the sorcerer can undo the curse.
Please remember to pray both for Gom Saroun’s family and for this dark land. — Rev. Mark Baldwin