Archive for September, 2013

It’s all about Jesus!

Eighteen months ago we had the privilege of becoming part of a group of people who shone Jesus. There may only have been 15 of them but we had 15 people working hard at keeping Jesus as their reason for living. Many of you know the journey we have had, how God has constantly blessed and moved. We have seen many people give their lives to Jesus, lives totally changed, and families restored and why because as a church we really do believe that Jesus should be and is the centre of all we do.

On Thursday night we had the amazing privilege to open our new church building, a sanctuary with 250 seats. We were so excited to be blessed in this way and we truly believe that God gives for a reason, and as a church we are completely dedicated to fulfilling God’s will for Phnom Penh Elim. Friends it is not about the building, the building is not the church, and our church is and always will be the people, the body of Christ. But God has truly blessed us and we are so thankful for his blessings.

Welcome banner on gates

Welcome banner on gates

flowers on stage

The dancers opened the program performing a traditional Khmer blessing dance and we were truly blessed. The five young ladies who have all had hard lives in the past shone Jesus through their smiles and happiness, it was excellent. Straight after this the worship team led by Phally sang 2 songs with the congregation really entering in and praising God.  We then thanked a number of very important people for their help by giving them flowers.  This made Paul Hudson, our Boss and International Missions Director very happy, he had never been presented with flowers before. Ryma led us into a time of worship which was truly anointed, I was so proud of our worship and dance teams, I know the hard work that had been put in over the last number of weeks in practices. Dren was amazing on sound and Wong also excellent with the media, Lyle overseen all things technical but assured me at the end that he hadn’t much to do!

Khmer dance

Khmer dance

Pastor Jesse

Sarak leading worship

Sarak leading worship

Rhyma leading worship

Rith on the drums

Rith on the drums

Chamnap and David

Chamnap and David

Internation Missions Director and friend Paul Hudson

Paul cutting the ribbon

Paul cutting the ribbon

By the time we invited Paul up to preach we had close to 200 people in the congregation and with the weather we were having that was amazing! Paul spoke about roles within the eldership and then introduced Sarak to the church who is starting full time next week as an assistant Pastor to Chamnap and me, exciting times. The message Paul brought was not just challenging but also inspiring, encouraging us as a church to go and win the outcasts of Phnom Penh. Afterwards many of the church have said how they are wanting to go out and bring in! Paul’s final act of the night was to cut the ribbon a tradition in Cambodia as well as other parts of the world.

It was wonderful to have Paul here for the opening, but he wasn’t the only one who flew across the world.  Our friends Marc and Gayle Bunting from our home church visit Cambodia once a year and we are so thrilled that they have been able to be reacquainted with their Khmer friends and celebrate with them. Gayle opened the Freedom house part of things that Esther is running and this was a special moment for all of this. We also have Linda Murray from Cardiff, an inspirational lady who we adore and love having here.  Linda is here for a total of three weeks and we are enjoying precious time with her.

In closing I want to thank all our friends and family back in the UK for supporting us and the work here.  You know who you are and we love you all. To our dear friends here in Cambodia Jonny and Jill, Julie and Geoff, Adam and Colleen, Lyle and Mindy, Kevin and Lekhana, Duncan and Becky, Zoran and Margaret and Anne and Anthony thank you for your constant support.

Chamnap and Nita, Dana and Ryma and all our special church friends thank you, thank you, thank you for your hearts.

None of this would be happening without God’s blessing.  Jesus we love you so much, we want to serve you deeper and more than ever before. Friends why don’t you try in your community to do some acts of random kindness and then as opportunities arise speak into the situations showing Jesus to them.

21 Sep

The countdown is on

Posted by Davy And Esther in Uncategorized.

As I write this latest blog entry I am nervously excited about what the next week is going to bring, we have been blessed abundantly by God! You know we serve an awesome, all sufficient God; He is the anchor in all things.

On the 15th July we signed contracts on what was at that stage no more than a good building needing a lot of work done to it! God has moved mountains to provide us with all the things we required, virtually to the penny of our budget.  He is Faithful. Next Thursday we will be opening the doors of the church for the first time and are inviting our friends to come and share this momentous occasion in Phnom Penh Elims history. Thankfully we won’t need to invite the Holy Spirit, I feel the presence every time I walk through the doors, and it is electric. Jesus is going to move in ways we could only ever dream about and I cannot wait to be a part of it.

As a church we have always talked and prayed that Jesus would stay central in all the things we do, it can never be about us, any of us! Please as you see the photographs and the things that are happening please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that we have done anything special, we haven’t, God is the architect. He is the builder but most of all he is our foundation. We want to exalt God and praise His name because He alone is worthy to be praised.

Please pray for a number of things, firstly pray that the people we invite will come but more importantly that when they do, they will sense a hope from those around them, and that they will keep coming to learn about Jesus. Secondly please pray for the program and that everyone who is taking part will do so humbly and prayerfully. Also please pray for our International Missions Director (Our Boss) Paul Hudson as he comes to open the church and bring God’s word to us all. Our good friends Marc and Gayle are flying out to the opening and Gayle will officially open and pray for the craft centre which Esther is involved with on Thursday morning!  Another friend Linda is flying out with Paul and then will be with us for 3 weeks so please pray for all of our visitors as they travel such long distances to be here! Finally pray that as a church God will remain central in all that we aim to do in the days that lie ahead.

Our opening is next Thursday 26th September at 6pm Cambodian time and everyone is welcome.  If you’re in Phnom Penh email me for directions. We will be starting at mid-day UK time so please join us in spirit and pray that Jesus will be exalted and that even in an opening service lives will be touched and changed, thank you for being a vital part of the team, blessings to you

14 Sep

A week of renewing friendships

Posted by Davy And Esther in Uncategorized.

 

This week has been one of renewing friendships.  On Saturday evening we were delighted to have our old neighbours Anne and Anthony visit our home for dinner.  We last saw each other in February before they moved from Phnom Penh to commence new ministry work in Battambong.  They were in the city for a long weekend to attend a counselling course that I was also going to on Monday and Tuesday.  It was good to spend the evening with them and hear about their work and then they were able to join us for worship on Sunday morning at church.  Anne and Anthony were faithful members of our church during their two years in Phnom Penh so it was a special time for them to catch up with everyone.  We were also blessed to have Rev Jim Campbell from First Presbyterian Church, Newtownards as our visiting speaker.  He didn’t come to Cambodia just to preach in Phnom Penh Elim but as soon as we knew he was spending some time here visiting with his daughter Jill and son in law Jonny (our good friends), David asked would he be interested preaching on one of the Sundays.  We had met Jim on a previous visit in 2011 and at the beginning of this trip we were able to give him, Jonny and Jill a tour of our new building where he would preach when he returns the next time.  We thank God for a full house on Sunday morning and following a time of praise and worship Jim spoke about being in the family of God, relating the message to the move we are about to undertake and the exciting time we are in.  There was a wonderful sense of God’s presence as the chairs were stacked away and we worshipped God ending the service singing ‘We are all God’s family’.

Rev Jim Campbell preaching

Rev Jim Campbell preaching

The Norn Irish folk gathered at Jonny and Jill’s home for a tasty lunch of home made soup, selection of bread, served with cheeses and chutney from our wee country.  It was delicious and there was plenty of banter and craic especially during the pre-lunch game of Taboo. 

In the afternoon we celebrated Chamnap’s birthday, a few of us met at his favorite ice cream shop and surprised him.  Nita had ordered an ice cream cake and we all enjoyed watching Chamnap squirm with embarrassment when the staff came out with the tambourine and sang Happy Birthday to him. 

Nita and Chamnap with the birthday cake

Nita and Chamnap with the birthday cake

 

On Monday morning I accompanied Anne and Anthony in a tuk tuk which would take us to ICA church to attend the first day of our counselling course entitled ‘Listening to the Heart’.  It was wonderful to renew friendship with Andrea and Vicky, who we had met in February when they were here ministering for a few days.  Vicky’s husband John is an Elim Pastor in the south of Ireland and is also the Assistant Irish Superintendent.  We really appreciated Andrea and Vicky taking time from their busy schedule of ministering in South East Asia to squeeze in the training they taught us.  I learnt so much from them and I am hopeful for how I can better help those around me.  We were delighted to give Vicky, Anne and Anthony a tour of our new building, each of them follow our blog so it was wonderful for them to see it in real life. 

Vicky and Anne

Vicky and Anne

 

The countdown to the official opening is gathering up speed with less than two weeks until the big event.  The worship team, musicians and technical team have committed to extra practices in the lead up and progress is happening!  There are some technical issues but we are trusting God and praying everything will be resolved.  Invitations are being given out and we are praying for family members and friends that don’t yet know Jesus will accept the invite and sense God’s presence as we celebrate what God is doing in Phnom Penh Elim church. 

church sanctuary

church sanctuary

Dren at the sound desk

Dren at the sound desk

Rith happy in his drum surround

Rith happy in his drum surround

worship team practising

worship team practising

Sarak leading worship

Sarak leading worship

view from the stage

view from the stage

 

7 Sep

Wake up and smell the coffee

Posted by Davy And Esther in Uncategorized.

Last Sunday was one of those days that will be remembered for many years.  We started church as usual at 9am and Sarak led us in worship, the presence of God was real and we enjoyed praising and worshipping.  After we finished I spoke for a few minutes following on from Sarak’s message two weeks ago, and then my own last week about using our gifts and serving in the church.

I then told everybody we were going on a field trip, like a school outing, to the new building. We all piled into the cars and tuk tuks and headed not far to our destination.  As we arrived everybody was buzzing, only a few had seen the church in its almost finished state before. We went upstairs but made everybody wait while the worship team prepared to sing a song.  Eventually we were ready, the doors burst open, and the church entered the building to the sound of “How Great Is Our God”. It was truly special to see people who have been part of Phnom Penh Elim for many years worshipping God with tears running down their faces.

Dren and his passengers

Dren and his passengers

worship team getting organised

worship team getting organised

worship group volunteers

worship group volunteers

sound and media volunteers

sound and media volunteers

Why did I do this during church?  Why not wait till later you might ask?  Well I believe that we can ask people until we are blue in the face to use their gifts or be involved more in the new building from a distance and they don’t get (because they can’t see) what we are trying to do. By showing them and letting them see God’s great blessings they can visualise the way ahead. We challenged each person to join different areas of ministry: worship, sound and media, and welcoming, cleaning, general help etc. The results were amazing, we had so many people committing to each of the groups and we are now looking forward to seeing each person playing their role within the body of Christ.

The rest of the week was busy getting everything ready for the grand opening on Thursday 26th September, it will be amazing!

In closing I want to leave you with a thought or even a question. Are you playing your role within the body of Christ in the church you belong to? If not, there are others who have to take up the slack; they eventually end up burnt out, and why? Because you are not playing your part. It’s time to wake up, smell the coffee, get off your backside and do what God created you to do.  Be who He made you to be!

Of course I say this all in love, God bless!!