Archive for February, 2011

One More Sleep!!!

The bags are packed, the passports are at the ready and tomorrow we leave Bangor to travel to Cambodia!  Our first flight leaves Belfast International Airport at 1pm for Heathrow, then we travel from Heathrow to Singapore (12 hours 40 mins!!!) and our final flight lasting 1 hour 55 mins takes us to Phnom Penh.  We value your prayers for safety while we travel and that we will still be speaking when we arrive in Cambodia!

We want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for all the love and support we have received over the last 17 months with all the planning and preparations of our missionary journey.  Your cards, texts, emails and conversations have really encouraged us as we step out and commence this new chapter of our lives!  Thank you so much for all your kind wishes and heartfelt messages that have touched our hearts more than you will ever know.  We value your continued prayers and are excited that you are coming on the journey with us!!

So long, farewell

Most people will know that my favourite movie of all time is ‘The Sound of Music’, I have lost count of how many times I have watched it over the years, and was overjoyed when David surprised me with a visit to Salzburg four years ago.  The reason why I am sharing this with you is because the title of this blog is from a song in the movie and over the past few weeks we have been saying a lot of farewells to loved ones.  We received an email from a family member a few weeks ago saying that the decision we have made to serve God in Cambodia is a huge sacrifice as we leave those who are near and dear to us behind.  We were reminded of a quote from C.T. Studd (1860-1931) who was an English missionary who faithfully served His Saviour in China, India, and Africa. His motto was: “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

As we step out on this journey, we are incredibly grateful for all the encouragement we have been given and the support in so many ways which has blown us away! We are so humbled and lost for words by the kindness and generosity which has been showered upon us.  On a personal note thank you to everyone who attended our Farewell Supper which was organised so efficiently by our Missions Team.  We appreciate you coming along and hope you enjoyed sampling some of the Cambodian cuisine!! 

Please pray as we make all the final preparations towards our departure on Tuesday – there is some packing still to be done which should be fun!!!!

A weekend of special moments…..

 ‘You don’t have to be mad to "The Mad Hatters"work here, but it helps!’ is often a phrase we would have joked about whilst working in Bangor Elim! So it was very apt for the staff to throw me a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ to celebrate my last day in the office.  We enjoyed dainty treats, used china cups and saucers, and had good fun together. I’m grateful to my Pastors and work colleagues for making the day so memorable and one I will cherish always.  I love photographs and was delighted to receive a framed photo of the staff which they also signed, which will go in my office in Cambodia (as if I could, or would forget them!!)

On Sunday morning we were thrilled as family and friends joined with us at Bangor Elim for our Commissioning Service.  We were also delighted that special guests Chris Jones, Elim International’s Mission Director and Pastor Ray Cotter, Elim in Ireland, were able to take part in the service.  Bangor Elim has been our home church for over 15 years so as we shared with the congregation about how we received God’s calling onto the mission field and explained what some of our duties would be, we felt at home amongst our family.  Nerves vanished as God gave us the strength to speak out about what we will be doing for Him in Cambodia.

During the service 3 young girls Iona, Sophie and Amy presented us with a cheque for £280 which we will use towards the children’s work in Phnom Penh.  At the beginning of January Iona became aware of the journey we were about to embark on and at the tender age of 10 wanted to do something to make a difference to the lives of the children we will be working with.  She recruited her 2 best friends and together they organised a sponsored walk over 6 miles along the Bangor coastline.  Our hearts are touched by how much compassion Iona, Sophie and Amy have for the poor and needy children of Cambodia.

We were so blessed to receive such an amazing send off from a church full of people that we have grown to love, and we were presented with a beautiful arrangement of flowers and a camcorder which will allow us to record special moments and special people so that we can share a piece of Cambodia with each of you.

Time flies…..

Time flies…..

We cannot believe that in just over 2 weeks we will be boarding a plane to begin our missionary adventure in Cambodia! Since our last blog update we have been spending time with family and friends and carrying out final deputations at Elim churches.  The support and encouragement we have received has been totally overwhelming and we are thankful for people walking arm in arm with us on this journey.

As we prepare to leave for the mission field, we have experienced some bitter sweet moments, stepping away from normal activities which we have been a part of.  The first of these was having a final evening with our Share & Prayer Group.  This is a house group organised through the church which meets fortnightly and we have been so encouraged and supported by the members of ‘our wee group’.  We will miss the fellowship, fun and refreshments shared together but know as we serve in Cambodia, our Share & Prayer group will be continuing to remember us in prayer.

W2G is the monthly ladies fellowship meeting in the church and is always a special night due to the committee decorating the room beautifully and making each woman who attends feel so loved.  I was honoured when Anne asked me to share with the ladies what David and I are going to be doing on our ‘Walk of Confidence’ (the theme for W2G this year) and was incredibly blessed as Grace prayed for me on behalf of W2G.

Crafty (Scrap) Angels is another part of my life which I’ve had to say farewell to.  This is a group of women of all ages, who enjoy a wide variety of crafts and meet fortnightly for a couple of hours of crafting, chatting and of course tea/coffee and treats are part of the menu!  The girls surprised me with a sumptuous farewell supper and look forward to hearing about Crafty Angels commencing in Cambodia sometime in the near future!

In closing, we are sharing a verse that has encouraged us as we prepare to go on the mission field, praying it blesses you too! 

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord makes His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift us His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.  Numbers 6:24-26