Archive for July, 2016

Update on Cambodia

Last week I talked a lot about our trip back to the UK and how much we enjoyed seeing everyone.  This week I want to tell you about what is happening in Cambodia. Our final stop in the UK was to Guernsey, we went there for two reasons, the first was to renew fellowship with the Elim churches and our very special friends Richard, Annie and Nicole. The second was because we had to pick up and bring back with us an amazing young lady called Emily. 

Emily is 24 years old and first came to Cambodia two years ago as part of a team that came from Guernsey.  The whole team were fantastic but Emily left an impression, so much so that Esther really prayed that God would speak to her and bring her back to Cambodia for an extended period.  When Emily returned to the UK after her mission’s trip she took it upon herself to do a TESOL course because while she was here she realised that English is a key way to leading people to Jesus. That is what short term mission is about, it’s about allowing Jesus to speak to your heart in a personal way that is undeniable, and then actually doing something about it.  Many people have come here and talked about what they are going to do and sadly not many follow it through but not Emily; she is here now and we are so excited to have her as part of our team and family for the next six months. Please pray for her as she starts to work with the Be Free girls, our village ministry team and also as she helps put in place an English school within Elim in the city. 


Trying a bug in the village

Emily is not the only one returning to Cambodia.  Only 6 days after we returned our friends Alan and Rachel Harra arrived. Alan was part of the Lurgan Elim team that came here over four years ago, he has said for a long time that he would like to return and finally it worked out for him to bring his wife Rachel who is six months pregnant. Anyone that knows Alan and Rachel will know that they have massive hearts and are willing to get involved in so many ways. They have been to both the churches in the villages, taking part in the kids clubs and hanging out with the locals. We hold staff church on a Friday at lunchtime and they have had a turn each at speaking at this, we have both been really impressed in the growth we have seen in Alan from four years ago! Rachel specialises in teaching about finance and this is an area all the girls in Be Free struggle with so Rachel has been able to spend time teaching the girls all about budgeting which is key when you live in a society were taking a loan for everything is the culture no matter what the end result means.  It has been a real pleasure spending time with these guys, they really have servant hearts and have just done whatever has been asked of them. Please pray for them both on their last few days that God will bless them and keep Rachel and the baby safe travelling home. 


Teaching in Be Free


Alan sharing in staff church


Spending time with Dren during a journey

The most exciting thing that has happened this week is the news that Sokhom and Rith had a beautiful baby boy, he arrived two months early but thank God 5lbs in weight. Little Eden is showing good health in these early days and we are so pleased for the three of them. 


Introducing Eden

In closing I would like to say a massive Happy Birthday to my Mum whose birthday was on Wednesday, it’s difficult to be away for birthdays, but we thank God for our recent time at home and the chance to spend quality time with our families. Mum please know you are loved and we miss you so much.

Furlough Review

It’s good to be bringing you up to date with life in Cambodia again.  We are back just over a week and as always have hit the ground running! But as we have had an amazing 5 weeks in the UK we felt it is only right but to reflect a little and say some much needed thankyous.

To be honest we were showered with kindness and treated like royalty in so many places and we sincerely thank the Pastors of the churches we visited. In mainland UK for the first time we visited Southport Elim with Pastor Richard, Wellsprings Elim in Peterborough with Pastor Brian, and Porth Elim near Swansea with Pastor Mark.  We had renewals of friendships at Selly Oak Elim with Pastor Iain, also with Pastor Jonathan and Pastor Sarah from Kingstanding, Pastor Stuart from CLC and visited Stafford Elim with Pastors Ian and Katrina Dunphy.  In Northern Ireland we went to our home church Bangor Elim with Pastors Gary and Davy, to Carr Baptist were my Auntie Beryl and Uncle Robin and my cousins have attended all their lives.  It was an honour to share in their church as they have been a massive part of our lives growing up. We also visited Portadown Elim for the first time with Pastors Ross and Stuart and finally we went to Guernsey and renewed our friendships with the Delancey church with Pastor John and this is where we adopted our new member of our family Emily!

We cannot thank these churches enough for their hospitality and also for investing into the work we do, for supporting the Early Learning Centre, getting behind Be Free and being excited with us about our church planting strategy and the guesthouse fundraising idea.  Can I please ask if you took a child profile for the ELC or a sponsor form for either Be Free or the church planting could you please send them in to Elim Missions HQ as soon as possible.  By taking the profile it means if the form is not sent in the child can’t be sponsored! Again we really do appreciate your kindness in helping in these ways.

We also had amazing hosts who looked after so well.  Firstly I would like to thank Brian and Rachel Henry for picking us up from Heathrow and dropping us off as well, we also stayed with them for 3 days and enjoyed fish and chips and mushy peas.  In fact we enjoyed this in other places too; at Paul and Greta’s, (which was the best I have to say) also in Guernsey with Annie, Richard and Nicole.  We also stayed with Linda in Cardiff, the Dunphy’s in Stafford and the Hesketh’s in Birmingham. We thank God that each of you are part of our lives, you are all very special people and we are so thankful of our ongoing friendships, we love you all.


Best Fish ‘n’ chips in the UK

When we reached Northern Ireland we had the joy of seeing family and of course friends who are like family. The McKee’s and Matty, what can I say Ruth McKee?  You are simply amazing, we missed Phil a lot this year but to spend two weeks with you was so special.  You are the best friend anyone could want, you are loyal, reliable, trustworthy and you never change.  We deeply appreciate and love both you and Phil. Emma, Heather and Matty you are like children to us and we love spending time with you.  Please know there is always a room here in Cambodia, we cannot wait to see you all in October.  Of course I must mention Rosie our other new adopted daughter, you’re a star!


Happy times!

Time with family is precious, we love our family so much and had so much fun seeing our parents, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins. As always we got the chance to go to places like Hunters in Limavady, Harrison’s in Greyabbey, AJ’s in Crossgar and many other lovely places. We had our traditional Allen’s family get together and also had the chance to be with Esther’s wee mummy for her 70th birthday which was special as Ruth, Debbie, Rose and Jessica were there as well.  We have many friends and we loved seeing them all, two who are very special to us have lost very special men in the last year and we were honoured to get to see them both. We had some great times spent with Dot, an amazing lady and an inspiration to us both and also Maureen Crawford, who along with her late husband Bill, were like parents to us.  Unfortunately Maureen hasn’t been well and I ask you to join us in praying for her complete healing.  It was hard not seeing Bill and Joe when we visited, as many of you know it was very difficult for us not being able to be there for both these wonderful ladies, distance makes grief difficult so it was good to be able to say the words we needed to say to both Dot and Maureen.


Best Mother in Law in the world

There are many other get togethers and highlights we had, if we didn’t mention you please don’t be offended we love everyone we spent time with. The mission’s teams in England and Ireland are amazing and we are excited to see a new unity in missions which is refreshing; we enjoyed attending both Elim Missions conferences in Northern Ireland and England and it was an honour to spend time with Roy Johnston, the newly appointed Elim Missions Ireland Director.  We are so excited to visit churches in Northern Ireland next April, if you would like us to share at your church please let Roy or Donna know as soon as possible.  We had a really good time spent with Pastor Edwin and Margaret and met some new friends in Johnny and Ruth Haire who will be visiery soon.


Elim Missions Conference in Ireland

At the very start of our furlough we had the honour of meeting the new General Superintendent of Elim Chris Cartwright.  This was simply a pleasure; Chris is a humble, lovely man who oozes Jesus, there is a great expectancy of the days that lie ahead and after spending almost an hour and a half with Chris we are even more proud to be Elim Missionaries. We have a church planting strategy here in Cambodia and I am so excited that there seems to be a similar emphasis going forward in the UK.  Join with us in praying for Chris as he heads up our movement, and also let’s keep praying for Paul Hudson a remarkable leader and boss who has such a heart for the lost and needy.

In closing I need to talk for a minute about one of the greatest gifts God ever blessed us with and that is our niece Jessica who just turned 18 this week. Jessica was always and always will be like a daughter to us; her mum and dad have always allowed us to be a big part of both her and Andrew’s lives (who by the way has become a giant overnight). We were so sorry to miss the celebrations this week but we had a really fun time having an early celebration with the Bogans at Cosmos. We had a lot of laughs and enjoyed moments that will be treasured for the next eight months until we meet again! Jess we love you and are so proud of the young lady you have grown up into, may God bless you in all areas of your wee life!


Happy 18th Birthday Jessica