Archive for January, 2018

We’re all in this together

Tonight was a special night.  We have just returned home after the 7th Be Free Graduation ceremony. Two more girls have passed through the program and graduated, they are completely changed from what they were when they entered the program 12 months ago.

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It was really special to have the chance to read out messages to the girls from our International Missions Director Paul Hudson, congratulating them and championing them on. After that I was given the opportunity to give last minute advice to the girls, the words that sat heavy on my heart was that they may be leaving Be Free but they remain a part of our Elim family. They came to us abused, rejected and unloved and now they have a Heavenly Father which they both follow and a church family that cherish them. They belong and you can not put a price on that!

We have people and churches that support Be Free you should be so pleased tonight because you are making a difference in this world. Girls’ lives are being restored because of a relationship with God, your prayerful and financial support is making all the difference. It is unbelievable the transformation of these girls and you have possibly been the financial reason that this has happened.

Friends if you are a Be Free supporter please know you are deeply appreciated and loved for your abundant blessing and sacrificial heart. These are the people that Jesus talks about when He says “When you did it for one of these you did it for me” If you don’t know what I’m talking about read Matthew 25 v 31-46. It talks about being sheep or goats, please friends be sheep you don’t want to be a goat. If you are supporting any of our ministries you are being sheep from afar, if you want to know more of how to support us or the work contact Elim International Missions.

On Tuesday of this week we had another new arrival to the ever growing Elim Cambodia family as Sarak and Sophea welcomed their second son into the world. The baby’s weight was 2.75kg/6lbs and it was a natural birth, so a big well done goes to Sophea. Their first son is called Harry and as Sarak is also a big Spurs fan I tried my best to get them to call this baby Kane but Sophea wasn’t having it; so we still are waiting confirmation to their preferred choice of name!

Georgie and Tom are settling in well after a week of fact finding and some history tours that help teach why Cambodia is the way it is. Please pray for them as they begin a 2 week Kick Starter course of Khmer language learning on Monday. Thank you as always for caring for us and taking an interest in what we do, God bless!

A Growing Family & Team

As we have said in the last few week’s blog our Khmer family is growing rapidly with a baby boom taking place! Just last weekend Channak & Songva (staff member in Be Free and our worship leader) found out they expecting a bundle of joy in September.  So, that is five key members of staff that are pregnant in 2018!  I have joked that I need to stop working and studying just to crochet baby blankets for all of them!

Not only is our Khmer family growing but our own family have grown this week with the wonderful arrival of twins for my youngest brother Dave and his Wonder Woman wife Dee.  There has been some excitement for our family since we heard the news on Tuesday that Elliott and Sadie had arrived safe and sound; and that Mum was doing great.  Dave has been blessing our family ‘watts app’ group with daily pictures of their two wee treasures and we are all doting over them already!  Congratulations Dave and Dee on your two wee bundles of joy; Elliott and Sadie are so fortunate to have you both as parents and we are thrilled for this new and incredible journey you are both starting out on!

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Sadie & Elliott photographed with love by their proud and talented Daddy

It’s been a busy and productive week in Be Free and I’m so grateful to Channak stepping up as manager while Sokim is on maternity leave.  On Monday Channak, Amelia and I went on a shopping trip on behalf of Mandy for ‘Shop with Integrity’.  We had a great time choosing all types of bags, purses and scarves which will be sent back to the UK in time for conferences and mission events.  On Tuesday Channak and I visited Sokim and Baby Daniel and they are both keeping so well.  Baby Daniel is the most content wee baby sleeping the entire time even when Sokim lifted him for me to have some cuddles.  Sokim is looking fantastic and throughly enjoying motherhood again.  Chiera is a doting big sister not wanting to go to school (but she does) so she can help her Mum and care for her wee brother.  Somnang is a proud Daddy and we are all so thrilled for this special family.

Hannah and Amelia have been busy this week creating notice boards in the classroom of Be Free to help the girls with their English classes.  They have done an incredible job putting so much time and effort into making a colorful, interactive display to make learning English interesting and fun.  They have been taking the Bible studies on Friday afternoon and really sowing into the girls’ lives and at the same time the girls have been encouraging Amelia and Hannah in their lives too.

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On Friday afternoon I met with one of our partner organisations in Be Free for their client to know more about our training program with the opportunity for her to join us at the start of February.  She was given a tour of our centre, given all the information about our weekly itinerary and what Be Free offers to the trainees.  One of our trainees who is about to graduate also chatted with her and shared about her time with us.  We are excited as next Friday two of our trainees will graduate which is always a special night in the Be Free calendar.

After months of skyping, preparation and planning Tom & Georgie Pegg from City Church, Cardiff arrived in Phnom Penh where they will be serving alongside our team for the next year.  We are excited for what God will do in and through them amongst the Khmer people.  Pray for Tom & Georgie as they adjust to living in a different culture, studying the language and missing friends and family.  They will also be blogging and sharing updates and prayer points during their time here.  Click on this link which will give you and introduction to their story so far https://gntcambodia.wordpress.com

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Have a blessed weekend and thank you for your love, support and prayers towards the work of Elim Missions in Cambodia!

 

New Year & New Life!

Last Saturday I had the honor of attending the Seeds of Leadership Graduation ceremony and celebrating with four of our staff who had successfully completed the 12 month training program. We are so thankful to our dear friend Lisa Cheong and her team of facilitators who provided the training and are passionate about raising up Khmer women, investing in their lives and empowering them to take on leadership roles. It was a special day for each of the graduates, they worked so hard throughout the year and now it was time to celebrate! The two teams of facilitators were honored first and blessed with gifts before the graduates received their certificate and a red rose.

We were the only organization represented by four pregnant participants; Sokim, Sophea, Sokhom and Nita. We are thrilled that our Elim Cambodia family is growing and thank God for blessing each lady with good health in their pregnancies. The ceremony was held in a private room of a Khmer restaurant and after many many photographs and ‘selfies’ were taken we all enjoyed a buffet lunch. A slideshow ran showing photographs from each of the training sessions and the retreat that was also held during the year; it was so good to see the ladies having so much fun while they bonded as teams and growing in their leadership skills. The event was so well organized and we are grateful to the organization for their hospitality and generosity; each graduate was made to feel so special and thoroughly enjoyed their graduation day!

Just two days later Channak and I accompanied Sokim to the hospital along with her husband Somnang where she was booked into her room and the C-section scheduled for 4:30 pm. Channak was a great help organizing Sokim’s baby box and teaching Somnang how to fold the diapers. Before I left at lunchtime we prayed for Sokim, that all fear would leave her and there would be no complications during the delivery of Baby Daniel. When Channak messaged me to say they had taken Sokim into the theatre David, Hannah, Amelia and I made our way to the hospital. We arrived into her room and there was Baby Daniel wrapped up and lying on the bed, Sokim was still in the operating room. I congratulated Somnang first and then picked up Baby Daniel, he is perfect and so beautiful. He was born at 4:50 pm and weighed 3.4kgs (7 lbs 5 ozs). Sokim was then brought into the room, drowsy from the drugs and made comfortable on her bed.

Those of you whose visit to Cambodia has coincided with one of our Khmer family having a baby will never forget the experience. There are many contrasts from what we would be used to in a maternity hospital in the UK such as scheduled visiting times, limited visitors per bed, no children other than the patient’s. Here, its a case of the more the merrier and everyone is so excited to see the newest member of their family! Just as Sokim was settled her room was full with some of our staff who arrived from work taking turns holding Baby Daniel, checking under his hat to see if he had hair. David then asked all of us to gather round Sokim and pray for her, baby Daniel, Somnang and Chiera.

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages to Sokim and Somnang, please continue to remember them in your prayers. They leave hospital tomorrow and Somnang returns to work next week so please pray for Sokim as she gets into a new routine of caring for Baby Daniel whilst recovering from her operation. We do have a wonderful team who will help out while Somnang is at work. Baby Daniel has brought so much already to Sokim and Somnang, and Chiera is a proud big sister and will be such a help to her parents. We are thrilled for Sokim, who for many years single handedly raised Chiera; and now God has blessed her not only with Somnang but with a precious little bundle of joy! How great is our God!

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Hello 2018

We want to start our first blog of 2018 by thanking you for your continued support in whatever way that has been and we want to wish you a very happy, healthy and  prosperous New Year! We invite you to either continue journeying with us or begin a new journey with us through prayer or even financial support for the work here in Cambodia. If you visit the Elim international missions website you will find us and information you might need.

So what is happening at the start of this a new year? Well we are advancing the work in our three main church planting areas and this will start with three village ministries which will started in the Kep province, there are 18 villages around Kep province and we really want to have an Elim church in each of those villages. The plan is to send the church planting team to Kep every Tuesday to work along with Sarak.  We will go into the three villages as well as coach football and do English classes, the team will stay over and return to Phnom Penh on Wednesday afternoons.

Be Free is doing well we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Sokim and Somnang’s little boy, please pray the baby comes soon as Sokim is really struggling and just wanting to deliver her child soon. While Sokim is off Esther has Channak helping look after the girls and this is not easy at times so please pray for them both. We have two girls graduating at the end of January and then hopefully in February we will have at least two maybe three new girls starting.  As always Esther, Sokim and Channak have done a fantastic job in 2017 impacting lives and showing Jesus to the broken.

Our ELC is going well and we have Nita as always to thank for this, the staff are amazing and the kids are just adorable. We would like to go on record thanking Dawn Greenfield who has sadly now left Cambodia and returned to New Zealand, for helping us with much needed training, advice and support.  Over the past year we have seen big changes that have really helped both the teachers and children to have a much more exciting, fun packed day. Please join us in praying a very happy and blessed retirement for both Dawn and her amazing husband Dave. Although I don’t think for a minute either of them will take it too easy, it’s not in their blood.

Finally exciting things are taking place this month, one has already just happened with the arrival of Amelia Lavis from Rediscover church in Exeter. Amelia is just adorable and we are so excited to see God use her over the next three and a half weeks. Also in just under two weeks time we will be welcoming our newest members to Team Cambodia when Georgie and Tom Pegg from Cardiff City Temple join us for a year. Please watch this space, we are so excited about them joining us and we have such big plans as a team to see many people won for Jesus.

Friends please make that your goal also to win as many people for Jesus as you can in 2018, God bless you all!!