Archive for April, 2015

Greetings from Northern Ireland

Eleven days ago I set of from sunny Phnom Penh with Nita and Sokim to start the adventure of a lifetime for two young ladies who epitomise everything Elim Cambodia is all about. We had a 4 hour flight to Shanghai and then a 13 hour flight to Heathrow. Everything was new for the girls and I was very privileged to be able to watch them as they experienced all the new things they were seeing and doing. Unfortunately when we arrived in London because immigration was so busy we missed our bus to Cardiff, so we just had to accept we wouldn’t get there until Thursday. Thankfully Dave and Mandy Campbell were able to come and take us to a hotel, without them we would have been in a real pickle and we want to thank them again for this!

When we reached Cardiff we were looked after really well by our good friend Linda and her son Jason, these people are really good friends and it was so much fun to have a few days catching up. It was wonderful also to have Esther back by my side; I really missed her while she had been in Ireland. On the Saturday night we had our BeFree Charity Ball and it was fantastic, the people who came to take the night Kevin Johns, Mal Pope and a Michael Buble tribute act were all fantastic and made the night complete. We enjoyed a beautiful meal and played fun games as well as there being an auction but the stars of the night where Sokim and Esther.  It was electric, after watching Sokim’s story Kevin announced ladies and gentlemen here with us tonight is Sokim, there was an emotional standing ovation for quite a long time, and it really was a special time. At the event there was over £11,000 to date profit made to help the BeFree program with more money still to come. Linda Murray worked tirelessly in organising the Gala Dinner and deserves so much credit for all she did!

Ready for the ball

       Ready for the ball

Sokim sharing her story

             Sokim sharing her story

Highlights from Gala Charity Dinner

     Highlights from Gala Charity Dinner

The next morning we headed to Birmingham where we shared in Selly Oak Elim church.  It was lovely to meet up again with our good friend Iain Hesketh, his lovely wife Rachel and girls Hannah and Sarah. Also to see Jack and Annie again was fun and Kay Walker came along too which was so special for Nita. Both girls took part on Sunday and did a very good job, all the hard weeks of practice with Jill studying English paid of brilliantly. On the Monday Nita got the chance to go to the Selly Oak nursery which was very enjoyable for her and also very informative!

Serving and sharing in the Midlands

      Serving and sharing in the Midlands

Later that day we went to Malvern where Elim HQ is and we got to spend time with the team who run the office, we always love seeing Julie, Naomi, Jo and Emily. These girls tirelessly look after everything they can to make our job easier while in Cambodia and are very much a big part of Team Cambodia. On Tuesday morning we got to see John Martin and of course our boss Paul Hudson, again it’s wonderful to have people who genuinely care about us and the work, we are very blessed!

On Tuesday we had a really busy day which started with taking devotions in Regents Theological College then the four of us had a really special hour long meeting with Elim’s General Superintendent John Glass. This was a very special meeting for all of us.  Nita and Sokim were very happy to be able to meet John and he was so warm welcoming us and encouraging us all, it was simply a pleasure. After this I again had the great privilege to meet another person I respect very highly Carl Beech who has recently taken on the role of heading up Elim’s church planting movement. We were able to share thoughts and ideas about church planting and it really excites me about what lies ahead for Elim in the UK. During and after lunch we met student tutor groups and then went to John Martin’s church in Stratford for their evening meeting. Again we were very much blessed to be in a church that we believe can only grow in the future as it has all the ingredients to see a move of God.

Elim Headquarters at Malvern

            Elim Headquarters at Malvern

On Wednesday we had a quieter day; we climbed the Malvern Hills and took part in one of the missionary hubs. We met another student tutor group and then spent a very fun packed enjoyable evening with the Hudson family.  On Thursday we said our goodbyes and headed to Coventry where we met up with Simon Whitely another of our new friends, his wife Lisa and adorable son of 7 months Miles. They took us round Coventry showing us the sights and then we had dinner with Simon and the Embrace team which we really enjoyed hearing about the work being done around Coventry. In the evening we took the midweek meeting and had the pleasure to meet Pastor Duncan Clark, the latest and youngest member of our National Leadership Team. The night was really good, we enjoyed sharing our story and about what God is doing in Cambodia.

We would like to thank everyone who looked after us on our first part of our UK tour, your hospitality was amazing and you have all blessed us so much. Yesterday we flew to Northern Ireland and it was really special to introduce Sokim and Nita to my Mum, Dad and sister.  Last night we took part in the Campaigner display, we enjoyed being there and then we popped in to Youth to say hello. We are blessed to have a wonderful group of friends around the world and the McKee family is right up there at the top and it is a blessing to stay with them for the next week and we thank them for putting up with us!

First day in Northern Ireland

              First day in Northern Ireland

Finally tomorrow night Sunday we are having our missions evening in Bangor Elim, please come along and hear from Nita and Sokim, you won’t be disappointed.  The service starts at 6.30pm and there is a special supper afterwards which costs £5 and all money goes to the Cambodia mission’s fund. If you are going to come and want to have supper and a catch up please let us know as soon as possible so your names can be added to the list. We are only here for one week and can’t get to meet you all so please come on Sunday so we can catch up with you. Thank for covering us in prayer as we travel, as we share and as we are so far away from those we love back in Cambodia, please continue to remember us over the next 2 weeks!

Celebrating Easter with New Life and Baptism

The last couple of weeks have been extremely busy and difficult at the same time, many of you will know by now that Esther travelled back about 10 days ago to Northern Ireland to spend some time with family. I leave along with Nita and Sokim on Wednesday in the early hours to start a whirlwind 3 week tour of the UK. Thankfully I will see my angel when I arrive in Cardiff, it’s funny you can take each other for granted without realising, but it’s when you are apart it becomes obvious how much you rely on each other!

Since Esther left many things have happened, the biggest news is we are only one step away from finally being registered as a church. It has been a long hard road but we see God’s hand in this, His timing is always perfect. Please join us in praying that the government minister who makes the decisions will do so with no more delays!

On Easter Sunday we had the privilege to interview Visal about his salvation and his 2 year journey to the cross. It was a really good testimony and although numbers were not great we still had an amazing morning finishing with both Visal and his wife Sopheavy getting baptised!

Visal sharing his testimony

Visal sharing his testimony

Visal and Sopheavy

Visal and Sopheavy

Church will signs reading 'Pray for Josh'

Church will signs reading ‘Pray for Josh’

This week Nita, Sokim and I have been getting a lot of tasks sorted before we leave for the UK. One of these has been updating sponsorship details so the children in the Early Learning Centre have been busy doing hand prints and getting their photograph taken. Esther and I really are excited to be able to let the people we know and love meet these two wonderful young ladies. If you can get the chance please come to any of the meetings we are involved in and make yourself known to us, we would love to meet you.

The dates of church services are as follows:

Sunday 19th April Elim Church Selly Oak at 10:30 am

Thursday 23rd April Coventry Elim evening

Sunday 26th April Bangor (N.I) at 6.30 pm

Sunday 3rd April Stafford Elim Christian Centre at 10:30 am

Sunday 3rd April Wrenthorpe Mission at 6 pm

Please pray for Nita, Sokim and I that we would have safe travel to the UK. For the girl’s families they will leave behind, for Be Free and the Early Learning Centre to run smoothly in their absence, and for our wee dogs Meg and Ruby to be safe and not miss us as much as we will miss them. For health and strength for us all while in a completely different climate, it was 38 degrees here today! For Esther and her family as they spend time together, and health and strength for our parents. 

Thank you for always covering us in prayer, we really truly appreciate you and hopefully we will get to see you somewhere on our journey!