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About Foursquare Children of Promise, Cambodia

Background  Current Realities  Observation, Truth, Assumption & Conclusion  Rationale  Vision Mission  Approach  Plan  The N.G.O.  S.W.O.T. Analysis  Summary

Background

Cambodian glory came early in history. From AD 900 to AD 1300, the time of the construction of Angkor Watt, Cambodia was the dominant power in S.E. Asia. From that time onward Cambodia has been in constant turmoil with more powerful neighbors to the east and west, Vietnam and Thailand. It was pressure from these neighbors that drove Cambodia into a colonial relationship with France, which lasted for about 90 years ending in 1953. For the next 17 years Cambodia enjoyed a brief period of peace known as the "Sihanouk time". 

Tragedy was set in motion when the U.S. invaded Cambodia in 1970 in order to facilitate their extraction from the politically unpopular war in Vietnam. This led to the U.S. backed Lon Nol government being established in Cambodia. With the final U.S. withdrawal and North Vietnamese triumph in 1975, Cambodia was left to the mercy of the communist victors; unfortunately, they had none. 

Enraged by five years of relentless U.S. bombing the Khmer Rouge took out their pent up hatred upon the Cambodian population. From 1.5 to 3 million people died out of a total population of 9 million under the Pol Pot reign of terror. Pol Pot sought to set up a communistic agrarian utopia. All modern development was considered counter revolutionary and eliminated. Cities were evacuated and schools, hospitals, water and sewer systems, libraries, factories, bridges, hydroelectric dams and irrigation systems were systematically destroyed. Cambodia went from being one of the most developed countries in S.E. Asia to the least in 5 years. The Vietnamese invaded Cambodia in 1979 to stop the genocide. This led to continual fighting with the Khmer Rouge, with Vietnamese dominance of the population centers, for the next ten years, ending only when the Vietnamese benefactor, the Soviet Union, disintegrated in 1989. 

Various factions fought for control of Cambodia until the United Nations intervened in 1992. A UN supervised election in1993 placed the Royalists under King Sihanouk's son Ranariddh in power but Communist leader Hun Sen refused to yield to the election results. As a compromise a three-headed coalition government was established only to be overthrown in a Coup de'tat in July of 1997 that placed Hun Sen in absolute control. Presently, Prime Minister, Hun Sen is moving the country toward democracy. The greatest obstacle to this is the established corruption and cronyism of the existing leaders and the absence of the "rule of law". At the present time in Cambodia, the rich and the powerful rule, although steps toward democracy are occurring on an increasing basis. 

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Current Realities

A) There is relative freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the exception of arbitrary government, "Requirements". These are not born of ideological beliefs as much as from greed and political pressure from the Buddhist majority.

B) There is a hunger within the people for spiritual truth. The tragic events of the past 30 years, and the failure of the current value system to bring any kind of equity into the lives of the vast majority of the population, have left people searching.

C) Christianity is rapidly growing in Cambodia. The Foursquare Church grew from 1 to 42 congregations during the first 9 months of 1999.

D) The rampant, "Wild west" capitalism of the past eight years has left Cambodia to be run by the will and whim of the, "Robber Baron" rich.

E) Extreme poverty has driven many reproductive age women into prostitution as a survival tactic. In Cambodia this profession lacks the social stigma of Western cultures and is frequently patronized by the men.

F) United Nations troops brought to Cambodia in 1992 introduced wholesale A.I.D.S. Cambodia has the highest H.I.V. infection rate in Asia with 100 new cases per day in 1999. 

G) Constant warfare between various factions over the past 30 years has left many areas of Cambodia virtual, "Landmine Gardens". There are an estimated 1 to 2 million active landmines in Cambodia. One in every 243 Cambodians is permanently disabled due to a mine.

H) A.I.D.S., landmines, poverty, poor health care, war, childbirth complications and malnutrition have produced a disproportionate number of orphans in Cambodia. Deaths from A.I.D.S. alone will produce 43,000 new orphans by the end of year 2000. The extended family system that has traditionally absorbed these orphaned children can no longer handle the supply. In addition, the temptation to, "Sell" orphaned children by impoverished relatives, is making family placement risky.

I) Approximately 85% of Cambodians are rural and agrarian. The Government is by far the largest non-agrarian employer. Soldiers, police, teachers and civil servants are paid from $16-30 per month. It takes from $50-150 (depending upon location) per month for a family to survive in Cambodia. Incomes for government employees must be supplemented. Some employees have second or even third jobs but more have developed innovative methods of income enhancement (graft). Police collect fines on the spot, teachers charge students for instruction, and civil servants collect "fees" for services rendered. 

J) More than 80% of Cambodians live below the international standard for poverty. "Land grabs" by the rich and powerful coupled with drought (1998), flooding 1996-97), medical emergencies and economic depression have forced many rural Cambodians to sell land and left the vast majority destitute.

K) The "Patronage" system of corruption infects the nation from top to bottom. Many benevolent organizations have left Cambodia in frustration over their inability to establish any kind of self-policing system of governance. Even the family system has been compromised by the selling of children, especially young girls, who can bring up to $700 when sold into the brothel system.

L) The value system of Christianity and the centralized polity of the Foursquare Church have endowed it with a core of honest, dedicated leaders eager to demonstrate the love of Christ, and a governmental system capable of dealing with lapses of integrity when they do occur.

M) There are several Non Government Organizations (N.G.O.'s) in Cambodia willing to work cooperatively with other groups when they can provide leaders of integrity to accomplish the organization's stated goals. Often there is an overlapping of purpose and areas of shared mission between organizations. 

N) There is a willingness of certain individuals, charitable organizations and foundations in the developed nations to fund the care of orphans if they can have confidence that their gifts will be used for the intended purpose.

O) The Foursquare Church has established a nationally recognized N.G.O., "Foursquare Children of Promise", dedicated to planting churches, the care of orphans, and developing an economic and agricultural base of support for the people of Cambodia.

P) Every Church in Cambodia faces the challenge of a "spiritually hungry" population, the extreme poverty of the people and the increasing number of orphans. Very few Cambodian churches own a meeting facility.

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Observation, Truth, Assumption & Conclusion

Observation: 

Human existence consists of three aspects, body, soul and spirit. God created all three to function in harmony as a unified whole. Current missionary efforts in Cambodia, as a reaction to the past error of establishing dependency building material aid centers at the expense of proclaiming spiritual truth, have shunned ministering social and material aid to the Cambodian people. The result has been an anemic church with spiritually informed but skeptical and impoverished believers. The church has left the economic and social concerns of the Cambodian people to secular agencies, which have often conflicted with church teachings due to differing value systems. 

Spiritual Truth: 

"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18) The promise of Christ for triumphal power against the forces of darkness in this world rests only upon the church. No other institution on earth carries this guarantee. In addition, God is especially interested in some specific social activities for the church, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (Jas. 1:27)

Assumption: 

God wants to bless Cambodia. Jesus proclaimed: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19) This message has not lost its potency in 2000 years. The concept of "Gospel Lift" is more than a "Warm fuzzy" from some optimistic preacher, it is the truth of God intercepting human reality.

Conclusion: 

The "Church" must be proactive in developing spiritual life through the proclamation of the Gospel but at the same time work in cooperative effort with other dedicated organizations to bring holistic health to the body of Christ, specifically to build strong families, assist the orphans, widows and impoverished and thereby demonstrate our love for the total person body, soul and spirit.

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Rationale 

James 2:15-18
"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (NIV)

Vision


To establish and build the Church of Jesus Christ in Cambodia by proclaiming the truth of the Gospel and by demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways. 

Mission


To establish and build the Church by proclaiming and demonstrating the Gospel of Christ to the holistic community through ministering spiritual, social and material truth to the Cambodian people. 

Spiritually, this will be accomplished by evangelizing and training the people in Christian truth and by equipping "called" spiritual leaders from among them to plant new churches. 

Socially, the Gospel will be demonstrated by teaching family values and strengthening existing family structures, according to Christian principles, to eventually absorb homeless children. In the interim the church will be proactive by, feeding, housing, loving, and training orphans, building facilities, and assisting destitute widows. 

Materially, the Gospel will be demonstrated to those without clothes and daily food by assisting them with the establishment of self-sustaining agricultural enterprises. City dwellers will be assisted through appropriate cooperative training opportunities when available.

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Approach 



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Plan

Spiritual Social Economic

A) Spiritual: The Cambodian Foursquare Church seeks to follow the pattern of Spirit-empowered church development found in the book of Acts. The plan is to strategically follow the four-stage pattern of church development as adopted by Foursquare Missions International. (See appendix A). Emphasis will be placed upon the following areas for 1999-2001.

1) Training pastors and church planters through the establishment of a Bible School with a short-term "church Planting" emphasis.
2) Develop lay leadership through training sessions held regionally on a periodic basis.
3) Plant Churches as leaders are called, identified, trained, dispatched and equipped.
4) Mobilize church members with an evangelical outlook and mission.
5) Demonstrate the Gospel through the Holy Spirit empowered ministry of our Lord.
6) A major focus of the teaching of the Cambodian Foursquare Church will be on strengthening family values and teaching Christian principals of compassion, with a goal of eventually equipping church members to absorb the supply of homeless children. 

B) Social: "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (NIV)

1) Every community is faced with the problem of orphaned children.
2) Often widows are destitute and uncared for.
3) Family structures, devastated under Pol Pot, are not strong enough to absorb the homeless children, children are frequently sold or abused.
4) The church is generally poverty stricken and unable to adequately care for the children in the congregation let alone build a facility for church meetings and the care of orphans.
5) Benevolent organizations are willing to help with the care of orphans but difficulty with corruption make oversight of funds a nightmare.
6) The Church will partner with organizations like International Cooperating Ministries (ICM), Children of Promise (COPI), Warm Blankets Foundation, Kids for the Kingdom and others to construct church facilities to give a more permanent physical presence to churches in each community.
7) The church has dedicated clergy who subscribe to ethics of integrity.

Win - Win

When congregations sense the will of God to care for orphaned children, the Cambodian Foursquare Church provides pastoral leadership and disciplined oversight to establish an orphanage within the local church setting.

The Cambodian Foursquare Church recognizes that the "Family" is the God given and ordained structure for child rearing. The problem in Cambodia is that the supply of orphans, the extreme poverty of most families, the temptation to sell unwanted children, and the devastation of family values under Pol Pot have rendered family units incapable of meeting the demand.

Children of Promise, ICM, Warm Blankets Foundation, Kids for the Kingdom and other benevolent organizations provide funding for the monthly support of orphans and the construction of facilities. The local church supplies leadership and a dedicated staff and benefits by being able to demonstrate the love of Christ in a practical way and by meeting in the orphanage facility.

Widows are housed at the orphanage facility as staff members and given food, clothing and a meaningful job. The children receive Christian care and upbringing and the church realizes a debt free facility (see appendix B). The donor organizations have assurance that their funds are used properly. The community benefits by receiving care for orphaned children and by experiencing genuine Christian love. The nation profits by the development of stronger families, citizens with Christian values of compassion, and the development of emerging Christian leaders.

C) Economic:
Most of the Cambodian people are agrarian (85%) peasants; more 
than two-thirds are illiterate and the majority are landless. The introduction of modern agricultural practices and improved livestock varieties through the proven techniques of Heifer Project International along with micro-enterprise development business practices allows the community to become self-supporting and empowered to reach out to help others.

Win - Win

Heifer Project International benefits from finding leaders of integrity to watch over the funding of their project (appendix C). The church benefits by breaking economic bondage and dependency of the members and by teaching the concept of the tithe (i.e. If you have ten pigs to sell one belongs to God). The community benefits as trained members "pass the gift".

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The N.G.O.

Foursquare Children of Promise (F.C.O.P.) is a nationally recognized Non Government Organization (N.G.O.) licensed to operate anywhere in the Kingdom of Cambodia by the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Cults and Religions. Specific authority is granted to:

1) Plant and develop churches.
2) Aid orphans.
3) Establish schools
4) Drill wells
5) Provide for agricultural and economic development.
6) Construct facilities as needed to carry out mandated responsibilities.

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S.W.O.T. Analysis

(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Strengths: 

This plan:
A) Builds strong, healthy, self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating churches in Cambodia.
B) Contributes to the development and training of church leaders. 
C) Builds the church by demonstrating the love of Christ to the Cambodian people in a manner that fulfills a requirement of "true religion". James 1:27
D) Gives the church a debt free meeting facility.
E) Involves the local congregation in a participatory level. They provide labor and service as they sacrificially give themselves to the care of orphans.
F) Helps the Cambodian government by assisting in meeting an expensive and embarrassing need - the care of homeless children.
G) Allows the benevolent donor organizations a high degree of confidence in the proper use of funds.
H) Develops a renewable and sustainable economic base for the congregation.
I) Teaches the concept of tithing.

Weaknesses:
 

This plan is:
A) Subject to the uncertainty of foreign benevolence.
B) Subject to the favor of local and national government officials.
C) Subject to the integrity of leadership.

Opportunities: 

This plan has the potential to:
A) Develop 50 strong, healthy, reproducing congregations over the next three years.
B) Provide for the care, education and Christian upbringing of 2000+ homeless children in Cambodia.
C) Provide for the development of a trained clergy.
D) Provide for the economic self sufficiency of church members.
E) Assist the Cambodian government in meeting an urgent need.
F) Fulfill the mandate of God.

Threats: 

This plan is vulnerable to:
    A) The discontinuance of foreign support.
    B) Government graft and corruption.
    C) Governmental politics and control.
    D) The failure to maintain a high level of integrity.

Summary

The Cambodian Foursquare Church recognizes that this is a departure from "Business as usual" for Foursquare Missions International and suggests that this plan be implemented as an experiment for the next three years subject to annual evaluations of the effectiveness of the plan in reaching stated goals. 

It is the opinion of The Cambodian Foursquare Church that the "pendulum" of missiology has swung too far in the direction of indigenosity so as to neglect the social and economic aspects of church health that may be beyond the reach of an impoverished people. It is the intention of this experiment to bring balance between the essential aspects of evangelism, compassion and development in terms of growing healthy churches.

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Copyright 2005 - Warm Blankets Orphan Care International