Archive for March, 2019

Let it Rain!

In the past week we have been delighted to have Zac Fletcher join our team.  Zac is from our home church Bangor Elim and will be with us until July.  He has settled really quickly into life in Cambodia especially loving the Tuk Tuk journeys and spending time with our Khmer team.  He has already experienced an overnight stay in Kep and accompanied the church planting team yesterday as they went to Saang province to assist with church and the kids club.  Zac will be getting involved in sports ministry both in Kep and Phnom Penh; teaching English, sharing his testimony and participating in Bible studies.  We were really encouraged in our communication with Zac that he has been praying that God would push him out of his comfort zone to grow in Him!  Zac has fit into the family here immediately and we are excited for what God has in store for him in the next four months whilst serving in Cambodia.  We will ask him to share some updates each month through our blog so look forward to that!

On Monday we have Bhab Ghal, Elim’s missionary serving in Nepal and Pastor Steve Kempton from Elim UK joining us for one week to carry out some church planting training.  Pray for Bhab and Steve as they travel and that they will be refreshed and blessed during their time in Cambodia as they minister with our church planting team.  Our team are excited to learn  and we thank God for Bhab and Steve’s heart to reach out and share their experiences with the end result of extending the Kingdom of God.

Also on Monday two new trainees join the Be Free program, they visited this week with their case managers meeting our staff and hearing more about what the training program involves.  Please pray for these two precious ladies, I can’t go into details but they have both had difficult lives so far and we are thankful they are joining the Be Free family where they will be loved and cherished; and their lives will be transformed.

From next week in our blog we will be introducing each of the key leaders in Elim Cambodia.  They will be sharing about their childhood, how they came to know Jesus, when they became part of Elim Cambodia, their role and ministry, their family life, hobbies and dreams for the future; and prayer points which they will value your support in.  We are thankful for the team God has brought together and for their hearts to reach out and win Cambodia for Christ.

Please pray with us for rain to come to Cambodia, there is not enough power or water for the country of Cambodia, and we are experiencing daily power outages  lasting up to 6 hours alternative mornings and afternoons.  We have been told this could happen until the end of May.  Please pray especially for the babies and children in the Early Learning Centre, it is our hottest season with temperatures rising to 40 degrees!

 

A Clear Path Ahead

Just before we left to go to New Zealand we made an announcement about our future, so as we are now back in Cambodia I felt it would be good to bring you up to date with what’s happening here and for us in the UK going forward.

Chamnap and the team here did as we expected wonderfully well, attending the South East Asia conference in Manila, starting cell group training, 8 new village churches in Kep, bringing in new girls to Be Free, hosting 2 teams in the guesthouse for a total of one month; they really did achieve so much.

In the months that lie ahead we have Bhab Ghale, Elim’s missionary from Nepal and Pastor Steve Kempton from Elim UK coming from 1st until 6th April to do some training in the way they plant churches. This is going to be a long term partnership and something that will help our village church planters so much. The following week the 9th – 11th April we will have our first Elim Youth Camp and we are so excited, over 60 young adults are going to be staying at the new Shalom Valley outdoor pursuit centre in Kep. I must say a massive thank you to all those who have helped with funding the camp especially Bangor Elim, Michael and Lynette and others, you know who you are.

Chamnap and I will be doing budgeting and strategic planning with our elders over the next few months as well.  With our two recently appointed elders Dren and Visal now in place we will look to appoint one more with me stepping down at the beginning of August. It is so exciting to see this team take shape with men we have had the privilege to mentor over the years, knowing they are caring, trustworthy Godly men.

Please pray for these meetings, also for provision for the work through this time of transition, these guys are amazing and we truly are excited to see what God does next.

For us, we will be coming to the UK from 8th to 23rd May; during that time we have a short 4 day trip to Northern Ireland to visit and speak to our home church family in  Bangor Elim.  We will also be grabbing precious moments with our families and close friends along with attending a special wedding as well. Then we will head to the Elim Leadership Summit conference at Harrogate where we will be able to meet with Pastors of churches that support the work here to give them any reassurances about the way ahead and the plans Chamnap has. Once conference is over we will be meeting a church for me to be interviewed to become Pastor at that church (when we are in a position to share more about the location we promise we will). After we have had our interview we will be returning to Cambodia to finish up and make sure everything is in a healthy place before we leave. At the minute we are planning to leave on 18/19th August depending on flights etc.

I want to reassure everyone that Esther and I are not abandoning Cambodia.  We did not wake up one morning and decide we had had enough, but over a period of time we started to realise that our heart’s desire, a desire we believe was burned in our hearts by God, to raise up leaders capable to lead was coming to fruition. But there was one really hard part to that and it’s a part that a high percentage of leaders throughout the world fail to recognise or if they do fear to put into action. That is to release, step out of it, for the better good.  There comes a point in ministries etc where you have done what God has asked and that is the time to be more obedient than ever before.  It’s the opposite of the easy way, but it’s what God wants. We have raised the leaders, now we must let them lead, it’s breaking our hearts but we know it’s what God wants, so we will obey.

Both of us will continue to raise funds, visit, bring teams, capacity build over working groups that can assist Pastor Chamnap and his team. We will always be Cambodian that will never change, but we will also give whatever church we end up leading 100% because that’s who we are. Simple, but sold out to see God’s Kingdom grow wherever we are.

I want to finish by saying to you all we have loved being on this journey with you, we cannot thank you enough for the financial and prayerful support. You have been so supportive of us and we ask you please to continue to support us in whatever way you do until we are back and settled in the UK. We have nothing to return to and will need to set up from scratch which is going to cost a lot, so we ask if you can continue to support us until then. If you support any of the ministries in Cambodia please continue to support;  the team need your help.  In fact if you can please support the work even more as things are growing on all fronts. But for whatever reason please don’t stop supporting just because we are not there, we will still be a big part of everything that will be happening. We love you all and hope that this will help you see that all things in Cambodia will remain the same, it is full steam ahead making disciples in this wonderful part of the world.

Greetings from Cambodia!

We arrived back in Phnom Penh on Friday evening welcomed with the smiling faces of Chamnap, Nita, Sok, Aly and Dren.  Our six weeks in New Zealand was a dream come true and was a mixture of rest, renewing friendships and updating the churches that support Elim Cambodia.  We are so thankful for the wonderful hospitality we received from each of our hosts – Bruce & Diane Taylor, Mike & Sally Frew, Trevor & Debbie McDowell and The Hutchinson Family.  We were given time to rest when we needed it as well as being shown some of the beautiful scenic spots of the North and South Island of New Zealand.  It was wonderful to attend reunions with two teams that visited Cambodia the year before and thank them once again for the time they spent with us.  We were so grateful to have spent time with our dear friend Betty who visits Cambodia each year and always books in a slot to check up on our self care and health.  Betty, we are so encouraged by how well you are recovering following your hip operation and we will treasure the time we got to spend with you in your beautiful part of the world.

We were honored to represent Elim Cambodia in the following churches – Elim Christian Centre, Pukekohe with Pastors Darryl & Denise Booth; Elim Christian Centre City, Auckland with Pastors Mike & Liz Griffiths; Gateway Church, Hamilton with Pastor Chris Jones; Tauranga Elim Church with Pastors Trevor & Debbie McDowell and Christchurch City Elim Church, with Pastors Nu & Taua Telea.  It is amazing to see what God is doing throughout New Zealand and we were refreshed and encouraged by spending time with each of the Pastors, we are thankful for their friendship, wisdom, love and support for both ourselves and the Elim Cambodia team.

On behalf of our team here we extend our thoughts and prayers to the nation of New Zealand following the terrorist attacks which took place in Christchurch yesterday.  We are standing with you in prayer at this time; praying for the families and friends of the victims; and praying for the churches as they respond and reach out following this awful crisis.

Whilst we were in New Zealand Pastor Chamnap and Nita did us both proud overseeing all the ministries of Elim Cambodia.  We were thrilled with updates of Pastors Chamnap and Sarak at the Elim Global Asia Conference in the Philippines and both of them thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the wider Elim family.  We were also extremely proud of Nita preaching her first sermon in church and received many messages of how well she spoke.  Nita is such a gifted speaker and it is wonderful she is able to use the talent God has given her.

In our absence two teams hosted by friends of ours stayed in Elim’s guesthouse and were well cared for by Aly and Srey Loat.  We received wonderful reports from the team leaders and members about how much they enjoyed their stay in the Oasis Guesthouse and that Aly and Srey Loat excelled in their hospitality and made the teams’ stay very comfortable and enjoyable.  We are so proud of both Aly and Srey Loat, their hearts for hosting teams and ensuring they are well fed and cared for.

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We are thankful for all your prayers for us as we travelled around New Zealand, ministering each weekend; and that we had rest and fresh air.  We have returned to Cambodia feeling totally refreshed in body, soul and mind.  Thank you also for your continued prayers for Chamnap and Nita, and the entire Elim Cambodia team as they serve God in each of the areas they have been called to.  We thank God for each of you and the part you play in our journey!