Archive for March, 2017

See you soon Norn Iron

I can’t believe that we have reached that time again where we leave our new normality of life in Cambodia, to return to our old normality of life in wee Northern Ireland. Once again our emotions are shredded with the thoughts of leaving those we do life with in work, church and our friends who face life with us here. But on the flip side we have Mums and Dads, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, cousins and many special friends who we are going to spend precious moments with and we can’t wait to see you all!

Fish and chips and mushy peas, chicken in batter with fried rice (Chinese Northern Ireland style), a homemade fry at my mum and dad’s, Easter eggs, Cream eggs, Emma and Mattie’s wedding, playing golf with Big Wes and maybe my Auntie Beryl. These are some of my highlights that lie ahead of us.  For Esther I’m guessing a Piccolos chicken kebab, crocheting with sisters Ruth and Debbie and their mum, visiting Lulu’s stash and spending loads of time with her best friend Ruth McKee.

It really is a rollercoaster of emotions.  We are absolutely dreading leaving Meg and Ruby but are so thankful for our close friend Will at Good dog.  The dogs love him but it is so difficult to leave them for 6 weeks as they are such a big part of our lives. We are also so blessed to have Chamnap, Nita, Sokim and Sarak running things and we have no worries.  In fact not only will the ministries survive but it will prosper and we expect to hear of salvation while we are away. Please pray for us as we leave the staff, the church, Meg and Ruby, that we will be strong and that everything that happens when we are away will be blessed.

We have had an eventful week that started with a brilliant Sunday service with Pastor Trevor.  The message he brought was all about forgiveness and we really seen the Holy Spirit do some amazing things in people’s lives. The following day I had the privilege of taking Trevor and Debbie down to see the early stages of our work in Kep.  Chamnap and Visal launched the English school, we had a target to have 20 students by the start of April and I think in one day’s classes we are averaging out about 50-60.  Although they don’t know it yet I believe these young people will be our church in the days to come. Please pray for the work in Kep, we are looking to launch cell study groups over the next month or so and then start the church at the beginning of June.

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Pastors Trevor & Chamnap

For me most of my week was preparing our child sponsorship packs and also preparing the profiles of the new children we have requiring sponsors when we travel around the churches. It costs £20 a month and by sponsoring the child you are helping change a child’s life that in turn can change a family that in turn can change a community. That’s the sort of stuff I believe makes Jesus smile, when people like you help the poor and needy, those with no real hope. If you’re coming to one of our meetings that are listed below please pray about it as we will be giving you all the opportunity to sponsor the children in our program.

Esther’s week was mega exciting because after 10 really hard weeks of study she sat her level three Khmer exam and absolutely nailed it. She passed with very good results and to say I am proud of her is a massive understatement, you have no idea how difficult the language is to learn. On our return to the Elim centre she was greeted with flowers and a cake from all the staff saying congratulations. Esther was shocked at their confidence in her but they told her they are so proud of her and never doubted her at all!

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Smiles all round!

Please pray for our long-time friends Johnny and Jill who are also missionaries in Cambodia.  Johnny had a bad accident on his motorbike when a car pulled out in front of him last minute and in the collision he had four bones broke in his hand and one of the fingers was almost severed off from the knuckle.  The doctors acted quickly by putting in four metal pins and sewing the finger back on but they were not able to fix the tendons in the finger. Pray with us for complete healing and strength for both of them at this time, it is serious but we thank God that it wasn’t much worse.

I want to give you a list of the churches we are speaking in with starting times.  Please come and meet us if you can we would so love to see you all over the six weeks. This will be our last blog until we return to Cambodia but if you want to keep track of what we are up too please like our Davy and Esther In Cambodia Facebook page, that way you will get daily updates of what we are up to and who we are meeting, it could be your smiling face.

Our itinerary is as follows:

Sunday 2nd April            Coastlands Elim 11am  & Brookebrough Elim 7pm

Tuesday 4th April            Lurgan Elim 7.30pm

Wednesday 5th April      Larne Elim 7.30pm

Saturday 8th April          Bangor Elim Cambodia fundraising Quiz night (time to follow)

Sunday 9th April             Cullybackey Elim  11.30am & Portadown Elim  6.30pm

Tuesday 11th April          Markethill Elim 8pm

Wednesday 12th April    Rathfriland Elim 8pm

Wednesday 19th April    Lisburn Elim 8pm

Sunday 23rd April           Glasgow City Elim  9am and 11am

Tuesday 25th April          Antrim Elim 7.30pm

Wednesday 26th April   South Belfast Elim 7.30pm

Sunday 30th April           Ballymena Elim  11.30am & Bangor Elim  6.30pm

Sunday 7th May              Southport Elim 11am

Please double check the starting times of the services above and if you can, come along and say hello. We will also be attending the missionary conference in Leeds early May followed directly by Elim’s leadership summit.  If you want a coffee and a chat at Harrogate please let us know.  Finally please pray for us as we travel back to the U.K. that we have safe and comfortable travel.

 

 

 

Thankful for Legends of Faith

As a missionary we have many exciting things that we get to do here in Cambodia, but one of the things that we love when we are back in the UK is to meet people who are spiritual superstars.  People who have run the race either as pastors or missionaries and you get the chance to learn from them and to get their advice at times.

Four years ago we were at Elim conference in Telford for the first time and I will never forget it.  We arrived and sat down with John Martin and a few others from the mission’s team. As we were worshiping this couple joined with us and everybody was so pleased to see them, it seemed like they were honoured to meet them yet we didn’t have a clue who they were. That didn’t last for long, I asked John who they were and he responded with ‘those guys are amazing, they have been serving God forever.’  He went on to tell us they were from our neck of the woods.  When the service ended they both came to us, threw their arms around us and said they were so excited to meet us.  That what was happening in Cambodia was amazing and it was such an honour to meet us! That was the first time Esther and I met David and Bobbie Tinnion, two legends of Elim and Elim missions, they were the spiritual superstars, not us, we weren’t even close and still aren’t but they had impacted so many people’s lives. They had reached the age most of us would be thinking about retiring and they became Paul Hudson’s Elim Global leaders, pushing missions and missionaries closer through regional conferences and much more.

These guys are true legends, people who we strive to follow the example set out by their faithfulness, their unending giving of themselves, their hearts for the broken the destitute and the lost. So when we heard the news from Paul on Thursday morning that Bobbie was having to turn the machine of in the hospital and allowing David to go, it truly broke our hearts.  Not for David, he is in glory, he truly ran his race and was a giant of the faith but our hearts ache for Bobbie, their family and Paul and Greta Hudson.  David and Bobbie weren’t just co-workers but their spiritual parents. Please join with us today as we uplift them all at this time of great sorrow, the problem when someone is loved as much as these guys are when God calls someone like that home it affects us all because David made such an imprint in all of our lives.

Recently every week when we wrote our blogs David would respond with a short message of encouragement to lift us and cheer us on.  That like anyone else’s comments is priceless, you have no idea what those words do to help us keep going.  David knew that as he had walked in our shoes and I thank God that we had the chance to know a man who always put others before himself.  If you wanted to know Jesus more you only had to meet Bobbie and David. Bobbie, we love you and we promise will be praying for you daily, we will come and see you when we return shortly to Northern Ireland. Please pray especially on Sunday afternoon when David’s funeral service will be held.

On Monday I had the absolute privilege to collect Trevor and Debbie McDowell from the airport. Trevor and Debbie are Pastors of Tauranga Elim in New Zealand and Trevor is also on the NLT there. I was a little star struck when we walked towards the car, you see when I was a 15 year old boy Trevor was the goalkeeper of my local football team Ards FC. That year the 1985/86 season was one of their best and along with many other great players like a very young Stephen Baxter the team pushed for glory in many competitions, but the reason we all loved “Towser” as Trevor was known was because he was a real live wire. At that time Bruce Grobelaar was big at Liverpool and Trevor replicated the way he walked on his hands etc. and the crowd, myself included loved him for that. But there was a serious side to his game and he set the record that stands until today for clean sheets where he had 22 of them in that season.

After Trevor left Ards I never heard of him again, in those days he liked to party and I never ever dreamed that he had become a Christian. But a few years ago my brother Phil told me that not only was Trevor a Christian but that he was an Elim Pastor in New Zealand.  So I sent a message through Facebook to him and we have become good friends through Skype etc. So when I picked him up along with his wonderful wife Debbie on Monday I didn’t know whether to hug him or ask him for his autograph.

All four of us hit it off immediately and we have had a wonderful week as they sew into all our ministries.  They have been to the villages, Debbie spoke in staff church, we had a male team building day and Esther and Debbie went out with the Pastors’ wives to encourage them; it has been a real blessing.  Tomorrow Trevor will bring God’s word in church and then on Monday we will go down to Kep to show how the work is progressing in that area. We are so thankful to God for blessing us with these new friends and we feel that already our churches have started a journey together.

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Enjoying travelling by tuk tuk

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Visiting Be Free

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Debbie sharing in staff church

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Meeting the newest member of the Elim Cambodia famly!

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Experiencing the Russian Market!

Esther and I are heading back to Northern Ireland on the 28th March and will give you a list of venues where you can come and see us if you want. We are really excited to be speaking in 15 churches in the five weeks and we hope most of you can come along and meet us and hear what God is doing in the work. We will have a new 6 minute video clip which has been professionally made to promote the work of Be Free with us, we seen the first cut this week and we are very excited about showing it to you all.

Please join us in praying for Bobbie, her family, and Paul and Greta Hudson for the days that lie ahead and also for us as we prepare for furlough.  We are so excited to come and see you all but we also will be leaving wee Meg and Ruby for six weeks and that’s not easy and all those we work with and love so much here in Cambodia.

 

Together is the only way!

As we start our blog this week we want to ask you to take a minute and get down on your knees and join us in praying for a true legend in our mission’s team. David Tinnion along with his wife Bobbie heads up Elim Global Missions and they are simply wonderful and we all appreciate them so much. On Wednesday we received news that David had collapsed while bringing a report to Ballymena Elim about his recent trip to Uganda.  He suffered a cardiac arrest and has been put into an induced coma. David needs a miracle, thankfully we know someone who can perform miracles, so please stop and pray for David right now along with strength for Bobbie and Paul Hudson, the International Missions Director, who are at David’s bedside.

This week has seen something significant happen I believe within the local churches here in Cambodia.  We were able to send six of our church planting team to attend the first ‘Church Planting Bootcamp’. When Esther and I took over the running of Elim Cambodia over five years ago one of the first things I did was build relationships with other churches. The biggest church in Cambodia is New Life Fellowship, the senior Pastor Jesse McCaul and his father Pastor Chuck who was the senior Pastor from the late 90’s are amazing men of God. From day 1 they have encouraged me, helped us, blessed our church with countless resources and we are so happy to be a big part of the new Cambodian Church Planting Committee. The goal is together to see 500 churches planted in 5 years, our personal vision is to have 125 Elim churches by the end of 2022.

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One of the seminars during the week

The Committee is chaired by Wayne Hester, another amazing guy who like the rest of us is focused on transforming Cambodia through Jesus. I am so excited by the feedback I’ve had from our team on how each of them has grown and been encouraged as they strive to run the race that has been set before them. Each team member received two certificates, with Sarak as team leader receiving 3 as he had extra studies to do. I would like to go on record of thanking New Life Fellowship for their support to us in so many ways, especially Pastors Jesse and Chuck, you will never know the full depth of our gratitude, and may God continue to bless everything you do as a church.

What is so significant to me and I hope each of us can be encouraged by is this: Dren who many of you know, our jack of all trades, who on self-confession would say has no education.  He never went to school but this week was given two certificates celebrating his academic achievements at Bootcamp. This may not seem significant to you but it is so massive to Dren because Satan has whispered in his ear for years ‘you couldn’t do that, why would God use you, you’re not educated, you bring nothing of worth’.  But Satan is a liar and a thief and he has robbed Dren at times through his lack of belief in himself, but no more because Dren has those certificates that prove he is capable; that with God all things are possible. I can’t wait to see what God does through him next!

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Congratulations Dren!

Maybe you are thinking today the same as Dren.  You’re not able to go, to do, and to speak out for Jesus; you’re not worthy or not able. The news is you are not only able but you are worthy.  Worthy because of Jesus’ sacrifice and the gift of the Holy Spirit to help each of us in all we do. Today make a choice to step out of the boat, let’s together break the chains of lies that have been placed in our lives. No more hesitating but actually let’s live out the words that are on the back of our church planting team t shirts from Joshua 1:9 ‘This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

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church planting team motto       Joshua 1:9 

 

 

6th Anniversary in Cambodia

We were absolutely devastated by the tragic news of the passing of young Joshua Martin this week. We are totally shattered for Tim, Kim and David along with Josh’s family and his closest friends; we send our deepest love, you are not only in our prayers but in those of our full Cambodian church. Never have we witnessed such faith and love for his Saviour as we seen through Josh.  We pray that many others will find Jesus through the life that was lived in a way that showed a deep assurance that he belonged to Jesus. Heaven is richer than it has ever been before, you will never be forgotten Josh, until we meet again!

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We spent Monday shooting our new promotional DVD for Be Free it was a long day but we are so thankful for Bryon Lippincott from ‘Sharing Dots’ for his brilliance and patience with us all. We are really hopeful and excited about the end product which we will get just before we leave for the U.K. at the end of March. If you are living and working in Cambodia and you need some filming done please do not hesitate to contact Bryon, his email address is bryon@sharingdots.org. We were so impressed with Bryon’s attitude from start to finish, he not only had the vision for what we were trying to capture but he genuinely understood the need for total privacy, it was a true pleasure to work with him.

On Thursday the church planting team gained a new identity with their new T-shirt uniforms.  They have the Elim logo on the front with Joshua 1:9 on the back, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’’  This is a verse that reminds us every day as we plant new churches that we don’t go on our own strength but on the strength of the King of Kings, our Saviour and Lord. When the team returned they were nabbed by Esther for a photograph so you can see for yourself how well they look.

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Modelling with style

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Church Planting Team –  Joshua 1:9

Thursday was a big day for us both as we celebrated our six year anniversary since we arrived in Cambodia. Esther was presented with a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers from the church. We are truly thankful to our parents for supporting us even though it’s hard to be so far away, also the love our brothers and sisters show us along with our amazing nephews and nieces. We are so sorry to have missed so much of your lives growing up, we are so proud of you all. To our dearest friends, for those that have remembered us and kept in touch we love you.  To our Pastors, elders and church family, we literally can’t thank you enough and we are so proud to be from Bangor Elim. We have too many church partners to name but you know if you are relevant in our lives personally we cherish your friendship. To our Boss Paul Hudson, the mission’s team, the NLT and ILT thank you for trusting us and believing in us there is no bigger honour than to serve Jesus under you guidance. To our Cambodian brothers and sisters you are the reason God sent us, every one of you have a special place in our hearts, we love you all so much. We pray that this is only the beginning of greater things that are still to come.  We must save the most thanks and love for the reason we live, our Lord and Saviour Jesus you are everything to us and we will keep telling others about you for the rest of our lives.

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With some of our awesome team!