Understanding the root of spiritual fear is opening doors of conversation for one worker in Cambodia.
I've learned a ton in the last six years serving in Cambodia, and there is much more learning yet to do. I started a new Khmer language and culture class that is giving me deeper insights into the Cambodian people. As you might know, Cambodia is a Buddhist country where more than 90% of the people claim Buddhism as their religion. However, the large majority practices a mixture of Buddhist, Animist and Hindu rituals without any knowledge of the meaning behind it all. Many times I've asked people to explain the reason they make this or that offering and they unanimously reply, "I don't really know." They only follow what their parents and grandparents have always done out of fear of the spiritual world.
My teacher, Sophanny, became a Christian as an adult. His father was a Buddhist priest and he studied ancient literature in university, so he has a unique ability to explain beliefs behind the religious practice. I'm hearing stories about people who believe they remember details of previous lives through reincarnation. And how new mothers have a spell cast that puts their baby under the protection of the power of darkness out of fear that the ghost of the mother in a previous life will steal her child back. Cambodian people do not understand spiritual peace, only fear. As my teacher often says, "I want you to know this so you know how to pray for Cambodian people, and so that you will understand why it is so difficult for them to become Christ-followers." This new information has opened doors for meaningful conversation with people I have known for years now.
Please pray that Cambodians will know Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who has victory over the power of darkness. Pray that just as Sophanny was able to allow Christ to overcome the power of fear in him, these lessons and conversations will cause transformation to come to so many others through freedom in Christ.