It is hard to believe we have been back in Northern Ireland for three weeks already – where does the time go? We are thoroughly enjoying spending precious time with friends and family, catching up in person rather than via Skype or email. It has been lovely just to be able to do the things we have missed most, simple things like having a coffee with my sister, collecting our niece and nephew from school, visiting our parents and fellowshipping with our church family in Bangor Elim.
But we are also thinking of our friends and family in Cambodia – the Khmer and International people who have come into our lives in the last nine months. God has been amazing bringing people alongside us, some who have been on the mission field for years and years who can advise and encourage and others who are also ‘newbies’ so we can compare experiences and support each other. We are cherishing every moment with our loved ones in Northern Ireland but we know that God has put Cambodia in our hearts and that is where He wants us to follow the path He is leading us on.
Of course the change in climate we are now experiencing has been a shock to the system so when we leave the house we are well and truly wrapped up. Several people have asked us why on earth we would come home at this time of year but for us there is no better time to be with your loved ones than at Christmas. As well as catching up with friends and family we have been kept busy sharing what God is doing through us in Cambodia with some of the organisations within our church. We have mentioned in earlier blogs how both of us were involved in Campaigners, a uniformed organisation which David attended until his teens and then both of us were leaders in for many years. We visited the Eagle clan which I volunteered with until last Christmas and it was really special to spend time with the children and tell them about the boys and girls we have come to know and love and make a difference for good in their lives. We also visited the older section Inters & Crafts, showing them a DVD of a glimpse of life in Cambodia and David then spoke to the young people about the importance of being missionaries where they are and taking every opportunity to share Jesus with their friends and family. On Wednesday we were priviledged to attend RAF – Retired and Free – and personally bring an update on the work we are involved in. RAF meets every month and Emily; their Mission’s Secretary, emails me a few days before they meet and I then reply with a letter giving the recent news from Cambodia. It was precious to spend a few hours with these dear men and women who we know faithfully pray for us every day; we joined them for lunch and enjoyed chatting to them more about some of the experiences we have encountered.
There will be no blog for the next two weeks but we will resume it again in January. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who takes the time to read our blog each week. We have been so encouraged and touched since we have been home by people telling us how much this is part of their routine reading it at a particular time over the weekend. Although it is David and I living in the mission field of Cambodia, everyone who supports the work there either prayerfully or financially is a link in the chain of bringing hope to the hopeless, light to the darkness with the goal of winning Cambodia for Christ.
At this point we would like to take this opportunity to personally wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and God’s richest blessings for 2012.