Archive for September, 2018

Surprises and a Graduation

At the start of this week’s blog we want to congratulate my sister Ruth and brother in law Billy on their 21st wedding anniversary today, it is a weekend of celebrations as it is also Ruth’s birthday tomorrow.  Happy Birthday sis, wish we could be there to celebrate with you but know you’re in our thoughts!

On Monday Sokim and I visited Channak, our sewing teacher in Be Free, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Hasanah 30 minutes before David and I left our house to go the airport for our surprise visit.  I met Hasanah for the first time at church on Sunday and he is delightful.  Sokim had obviously been observing our nurse Colleen anytime she did health checks on our new babies and she did a great job with Hasanah.  Mum and baby are doing so well and it was a joy for us to catch up with Channak and give cuddles to Hasanah.

On Tuesday evening we were able to pull off another surprise which we had been keeping quiet for 2 months, the arrival of our special friend Sophie.  She has come to Cambodia twice and our Khmer family love her as one of their own.  We wanted to surprise Nita who thought Sophie was arriving on Saturday, so after a double dinner date with Chamnap and Nita we drove to the airport to collect our next visitor, a man called Daniel, who would be staying in our guest house.  We even had a photo of a random guy whom Nita was watching for coming through the arrivals.  Chamnap was in on the surprise and we were so excited to see Nita’s face when Sophie arrived instead.  The airport wasn’t as busy as it usually was so when Nita spotted Sophie through the glass doors her face lit up.  It was a wonderful reunion and Nita was just so happy and surprised!  

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It is lovely for Laura (LJ) our volunteer from England to have a room mate for the remaining 2 weeks of her time in Cambodia, and as I write this the two of them are on their way to explore the Russian Market.

LJ has been busy using her gift of ministry speaking in the prayer meeting and taking the Bible studies in Be Free.  Yesterday after reading Psalm 42, we each were given time to write our own Psalm.  It was something I had never done before and along with each of the girls thoroughly enjoyed, the exercise made me ponder what I’m feeling and express those thoughts in a new way.  LJ also preached at one of the village churches on Sunday and will be sharing in our Ladies church tomorrow.  We are enjoying getting to know her and are excited for what God is doing in her life; we know He has amazing plans for her.

Last night a dream came true for Nita as the ELC held its first Graduation ceremony and it was a wonderful evening.  Four graduates who have come through our Early Learning Centre are starting, or have already just started school, and it was an opportunity to celebrate along with their friends and family.  The platform was decorated with banners and an amazing display of balloons, and a great number of guests came to support the very special graduates.  Huge thanks must go to Nita, Chamnap, the ELC staff, Georgie and Tom for organising the whole event and making our first Graduation ceremony a night we will always treasure.  We are so blessed with an amazing team in our ELC and the stories of children who come through our centre and then go on to school are just amazing.  The parents are always so grateful for love, care and education their children receive and it really is the best start in life for their little ones.  Continue to pray for Nita, Sokhom and all our staff as they give their all; and for more and more of the parents who come through our doors to come to know Jesus, which is our ultimate goal.

In closing we want to thank everyone for their prayers over the past 6 weeks for Aly, the manager of our guesthouse, and her daughter Solyka.  As many of you know Solyka had to go to Singapore for surgery to correct a problem which made walking difficult and caused a lot of pain in her legs.  Praise God for a wonderful medical team and for successful surgery and speedy recovery.  Aly and Solyka return home to Cambodia tomorrow afternoon and I know there is going to be an incredible welcome at the airport!  We are so thankful to Hagar for all the organising and provision, and we are especially grateful to Lynette and Michael, the donors who have cared so much for Aly and Solyka and have welcomed them into their family.  There are not enough words to express our gratitude for all they have done for Aly and Solyka, and after meeting on FaceTime are looking forward to their visit to Cambodia in December and thanking them in person for their kindness and generosity.  

Aly and Solyka will share about their time in Singapore in church when they return and they give all glory and thanks to God for answered prayer from people they haven’t even met but have been supporting them through this time.  How amazing it is to belong to the family of God!  Praying you have a blessed weekend and thank you once again for being a part of what God is doing in Elim Cambodia.

Firing On All Cylinders!

We are back and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the many of you who have no idea where we went. We have just arrived back in Cambodia following a four week break with my mum and dad, family and some special friends.

We went back to the UK for two reasons; the first was to give my mum and dad a lift as my mum finished her chemo treatment and before the course of radiotherapy started. Please keep praying for my parents, it has been a tough time for them both, that they will breeze through the next few weeks and that they will have peace and a strength that only comes from the Lord. I want to thank my sister Kellie and my brother Phil for doing all you are doing, also for everyone that helps with lifts etc. We really appreciate the support and help that you give to my mum and dad.

For me, I needed a little bit of a break as my blood pressure has been quite high and we felt it would be good for me to have some time out of country to rest. It did me the world of good watching Bangor play football with my mates and playing golf with the young ones! We also squeezed in a few days at the north coast and it was idyllic. Esther got to go to Kilkenny as well along with Ruth and Jessica to see her brother Dave, his lovely wife Dee and of course Elliott and Sadie. They had a ball and many pictures were taken.  We thank you so much for your prayers for Elliott, please continue to pray, he is such a happy wee man along with his beautiful sister.

We want to thank our friends and family for giving us space when we needed it and love and encouragement as well. Special thanks goes to Ruth and Phil McKee for once again putting up with us and spoiling us rotten, also to Brian and Rachel Henry for loving us and giving us a safe refuge in the final days of our trip in Peterborough. Thanks goes to my Auntie Avril and Uncle Cecil for the use of their car once again. Finally to Pastor Gary and Sonya Beattie and Pastor Davy and Fiona Beckett for always supporting us and being a real encouragement to us both.

So when we arrived back in Cambodia we were not inundated with problems or issues because we have the most wonderful team here. It used to be we had loads of things to worry about and fix when we got back but not anymore, they are amazing and even the Be Free balcony refurb has run so smoothly. A big shout out to Pastor Chamnap, Nita, Sokim, Sarak, Sophea, Piseth, Dren, Sochea, Sok, Sokhom and all the other staff; you are all fantastic.

Please pray for our friend George who needs a lot of prayer right now, also for Solyka and her mum Aly, as Solyka recovers from her surgery in Singapore. May God bless you all during the week that lies ahead!