Archive for August, 2019

Cambodia it’s been a blast!

As I sit here writing our final blog from Cambodia we are so thankful first and foremost to God for choosing us to go. We have no regrets, God took us on the most amazing journey and we have loved every minute. Trust me it has had its trials, trials that brought us closer as a couple to God and each other, but through those trials we have watched God continue to build His kingdom and the team that is now leading the work.

Before we leave I want to let you know about one more person who has joined the team for at least the next year. Sophie Moore moved over to Cambodia about a month ago with the intention to work under Pastor Chamnap and the elders teaching English, assisting in the Be Free program and helping with the ELC as well. Sophie has no difficulty submitting to the leadership here and this was a massive part of the decision to bring her onboard. We are leaving to allow the Cambodians the opportunity to get on with the work running things themselves so it was imperative that the person that came to help came with a heart to serve and not to lead.


We have known Sophie since she was a very small child going to Campaigners in Bangor Elim church, she along with her Mum, Dad and brother Sam have been special friends for many years. Sophie now attends Coastlands Elim Church in Northern Ireland and joins the team here after having visited 3 times before. Sophie is special in so many ways and we urge you to pray for her and the work she will be part of. Sophie will be blogging about the ministries during her time here and we thought it might be a good idea for her to send the blog to you all at the start and if you want to opt out you can let her know. It will give you regular updates and things to continue to pray for, please know and understand the work is going to grow and thrive beyond measure under the Cambodian leadership and you won’t want to miss the news.  There is also a facebook page called Elim Cambodia which can be found here  We would encourage you to like and follow to be kept up to date about the ongoing work.

We have said many times that we want to thank you all for following us, supporting us and being a part of our journey. Without the prayers and the finance we could not have survived and we will forever be grateful to you all.

We especially want to thank our families; our parents, brothers and sisters, our nephews and nieces, aunts,  uncles and cousins. You allowed us to go, we have missed so much of your lives; special birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, serious sicknesses and so much more.  We love and cherish you all and will make up for all the years we promise. Our friends that have remained through it all you know who you are, you cried with us, laughed with us, some came to taste and see, thank you for choosing to love and support us we cannot thank you enough.

Bangor Elim Church what legends you are.  We will forever be indebted to you all, Pastor Gary and Sonya Beattie, Pastor Davy and Fiona Beckett, the Elders, Ruth and Phil McKee and the amazing Missions team and all the members of the church past and present you are the best. We are so proud to be from such a wonderful church, we will always have Bangor Elim in our blood and look forward to popping in when we are over to see family, we really do love you all!

We want to thank everyone that has supported us, believed in us and shouted us on, you the readers have always made us feel like we have walked this journey with support and that has been such an encouragement even in the toughest moments. Elim Missions has been such a blessing to us as well, without the help and support of initially Chris Jones then Paul Hudson and now Iain Hesketh we wouldn’t have been able to be a part of  what we have seen happen. We appreciate, respect and love you all for believing in us and the team here. The team that has worked under these leaders has been so so helpful Julie, John, Mandy, Linda, Danny, Bobby, Naomi, Veronika, Keith, Judy, Jo, Kathy and the list goes on and on every single one of you have been a blessing.

Finally I want to remember two men who are now in glory that along with their wonderful wives have been such an influence to us, they taught us how to live our lives loving others while sharing about our Lord and Saviour. Pastor Bill Crawford and his amazing wife Maureen mean the world to us and we miss Bill so much, these guys were such a support throughout the last 25 years of our lives and I have no doubt that we are stronger people for having such amazing adopted parents. The second person was my Campaigner leader as a boy, my football coach growing up, my hero in so so many ways and he shared my love for Spurs. Charlie Davidson was and is a legend to so many and I thank God for his influence on my life.  Charlie and Margaret, his wife, just simply mean so much to us and their influence on how to lead and love people is inspirational. Charlie suffered most of his life with polio but never ever let it stop him, it’s not a coincidence I feel that my final hero Pastor Chamnap has the same debilitating illness of polio but yet in the same spirit he hammers on striving to bring Jesus to the nations.

I think you could say we have had the time of our lives, we leave with the ministries going strong and well, we thank God for that. It is because of God and your support that we now step into another new and exciting chapter as we join a fantastic church and leadership team in Southport England at Lakeside Elim. Pastor Richard we give you our word we will work tirelessly to help you reach Southport for Jesus and we thank you for allowing us to continue to be a big part of fund raising and supporting Cambodia Elim.  We are not abandoning the work or the team just taking up a new role and allowing the team here in Cambodia to flourish.

We look forward to celebrating with our church family and comunity tomorrow afternoon and giving God all the honour and glory for what we have been privileged to be a part of here in Cambodia.  Please pray for all of us as our departure is now days away, we will post on facebook and send messages to our media team of the two of us reunited with Meg and Ruby and also when we arrive at our new home in Southport.

Much love and God bless you all, David & Esther x

10 Days and Counting!

So here we are, this is our penultimate blog in Cambodia!  We have been blogging now for over 8 years with a total of 393 posts. Many of you have followed and journeyed with us most of the way and we thank you so much for that, you all are precious to us. It really has blessed us over the years knowing you are there shouting us on, praying for us and supporting us financially.  We pray God’s blessing is resting upon you and your family as you read this.

I cannot sum up our feelings right now.  We know we need to go, we know it is fast approaching but we love our family here so much.  It is breaking our hearts, yet in the midst of those feelings it feels so right. Right because the team are ready and right because what lies ahead for us in Southport is so exciting and has God all over it. We will be leaving Phnom Penh on the 20th August with Meg and Ruby, flying to Doha and then onto Paris. The dogs will be in the hold and that means we will both need a valium. Please pray we all arrive safe and sound in Paris and that there is no complications with the dogs’ pet passports etc. We will be picked up in Paris and driven the whole way up to Southport.

Over the last month we have introduced our key leaders but today I just wanted to quickly remind you of them all in order of leadership so you can pray for their families.


National Leader & Administrator

Pastor Chamnap and his wife Nita.  Please pray that they don’t feel isolated and that God gives them an extra portion of wisdom and patience. Pray for health and strength for them and their children Sarah 17, Naomi 8, Hadassah 3 and little Eli who is 15 months old.

City Church Pastor

Pastor Sarak and his wife Sophea who is a councillor in Be Free are an amazing couple who along with their children Harry and Jonny returned to Phnom Penh 18 months ago. Recently Sarak was appointed the senior Pastor in Phnom Penh Elim and is about to start a number of new things including English classes and cell groups.

Be Free Manager

Sokim is Be Free she lives it, breathes it and wants to see the captive heart set free and that is what she is helping make happen.   She loves and helps each girl individually during their 12 months in the program. Sokim is married to Somnang and has 2 children Chiera 9 and Daniel 19 months old. Pray for Sokim and her team as they help so many broken girls put their lives back together.

ELC Manager

Sokhom is so precious to us all, she has worked in the ELC for 14 years now and is our manager, she is so gifted at what she does and we are so thankful for her. She is married to Rith and they have three children Eden, Deborah and little Esther only born just over 2 weeks ago. Sokhom also leads up our Sunday School ministry.  Please pray for her to have strength and energy during her maternity leave and that she comes back firing on all cylinders in a couple of months.


Dren is one of our elders and church planters and is married to Chantha who is the sewing teacher in Be Free. They have two daughters Kanika and Maryna, both Dren and Chantha are a massive blessing to us. Please pray for health and strength especially for their children.

Visal is another one of our elders and he is married to Sopheavy, Visal is amazing at translation and is very valuable to our team. They have two daughters called Christma and Christna, born only 3 days ago. Please pray for them especially for this new little bundle of joy.

Church Planter

Sok is one of our church planting team and is an inspiration to us all in how she came through the Be Free program and is now a church planter. Sok is a single mum who loves her daughter Sophieya very much. Please pray that God will keep using Sok as she leads the kids clubs and the new cell group she has just started. Also for health and strength for both her and her daughter.

We have many more stars in our team but these are the ones who lead the ministries and the ones that need covering in prayer the most. As I said at the start it is so difficult to leave but we are so sure God has this covered and that the team we have built are more than ready. God bless you all, may you know God’s presence in your homes and situations and may you have a wonderful week.

Introducing Nita

What is your name and where were you born?

My name is Ouk Raksmey Pernita but I am known as Nita. I was born in Phnom Penh and my birthday is in December. I am 33 years old. I have one brother and one sister and I am the eldest child.

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What was your childhood like?

What I can remember is not easy. My Mum and Dad were working a lot and at that time we had no daycare centre for children to go to. So I would have been locked in a room with my brother and sister when they went to work. My Mum was a nurse so she worked long hours. Sometimes I had to go and stay with my aunty so I had to change where I was staying a lot. My Dad was a policeman so he worked in the province and visited Phnom Penh once or twice a month.

I started school at 6 years old.  When I was in grade 9 I had my first daughter Sarah. I stopped going to school to have my daughter and then I joined school again.  I was not able to tell people I had a daughter because they would not let me study in school. My family were able to help look after Sarah when I went to school.  I went to university and studied a bachelor degree in accountancy. I was a single Mum looking after my daughter.

In 2006 I started working in Elim as a part time job. Sometimes I worked with the children at Elim and sometimes I worked as a cleaner in the centre.  When I started working at Elim I made a good friend in Sokhom and she helped me a lot.


How did you meet Chamnap?

After working in Elim for 1 year, Chamnap came to give training to Elim. At that time I was studying at university and I wanted to learn English and how to use the computer. At that time Chamnap had an internet shop. He said if I wanted to learn more about the computer I could go to his shop and learn.  When his business closed I still kept in touch and after one year we started dating.

I did not have a lot of friends to support me and being a single Mum was not easy but I  was able to find the courage to tell Chamnap that I had a daughter. 


When did you and Chamnap get married?

Chamnap and I got married on 5th December 2009. That helped to make my life a little bit easier.  In Cambodia it is not easy for single Mums as they may be looked down upon. Now I have 4 children. Sarah is 17 years old, Naomi is 8 years old, Hadassah is 3 1/2 years old and Eli is 1 1/2 years old.


What do you enjoy about being a Mum?

I know I am not good at everything but I will always try my best for my children.  I feel my children are a blessing from God and I need to work a lot with them. I try my best to look after them.


How do you balance full time work and being a Mum?

I always try to have some personal time to look after myself but it is not easy.  Monday to Friday I  work with the children in the ELC and then I look after my own children in the evening.

When you have spare time what do you like to do?

Relaxing – I like to go to the salon and wash my hair, and I want to spend more time at the gym.  I have a good group of friends that I went to High school with. We try to get together as often as we can.  I love nature and God’s creation and especially beautiful flowers; I am happy when I see God’s beauty and I enjoy going for coffee and having food with friends and family.  I love to take selfies, photos and enjoy having fun.


Now what is your role in Elim?

I manage Human Resources and I look after the finances for Be Free, ELC, Guesthouse and the Church.  I sometimes help with training of staff in the Early Learning Centre.


How did you become a Christian?

Before I started working with Elim I went to a different church and I started to study a 10 week course about the foundations of Christianity. After this I got baptised. I don’t think I fully understood everything and I followed what other people said. After I got baptised I started going to a small group. One day my Dad was very sick and when I went to the small group I had a prayer request. I hadn’t finished my grade 12 yet and my Dad said to me I have to choose to stop going to church or stop studying in grade 12.  I was still reading my Bible and praying at home.

One day my Mum called me and said my Dad was very sick in hospital. I went to see him and he had been sleeping. I asked my cell group to pray for him and a few hours later he opened his eyes.  I asked my Dad if he knew about  Jesus and had seen the light of Jesus. He was not able to answer me but he nodded his head.  I also asked him if he would let me go to church again he was not able to say yes but he nodded his head. Shortly after this he passed away.  I thanked God for my father giving me this blessing to go to church again.

After this had happened I was worshipping God and I remember hearing God saying to me “You are not alone”. I said to God if I am not alone then please lead me as I don’t know what to do with my life.

Before Elim I was a volunteer for the children working on the street.  The children had a difficult life and I felt a lot of pity for them. During this time there was a lady from Australia who told me that God would use to work with children forever.  I didn’t understand this at the time but after this I started working in Elim. I thank God for choosing me to work in Elim.  At this time of my life I was a single Mum so it would have been easy for me to have a different job but then my life would have been much more difficult. 

I believe it was the grace of God that lead my life to Elim.  I believe God leads me even when I don’t know what I am doing.  I have learnt a lot of life skills, I have learnt patience, even though life has lots of storms I can get through this because of God.

What is a special Bible verse for you?

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”.  Romans 12v12

How can people pray for you now?

  • Please keep praying for my family to accomplish God’s mission and that we would be used for this.
  • Please pray for my husband who is the national leader of Cambodia and my role of supporting my husband in this. Pray for us as we deal with the pressure of organizing and running the church and different ministries.
  • Pray for my first cell group that is starting soon. For me the cell group is very important and I can understand about the christian life through other people. We can pray together, read the Bible together and look after each other if we have any problems.  I will have 5 girls in my cell group and my cell group will start this Sunday and meet twice a month.
  • The womens’ ministry meets once a month on a Sunday morning.  We would like to have a women’s conference.  That is our plan for the future.
  • I am also part of the preaching rota in church and I have helped to translate for visitors when they take Bible studies. 


Have you any final advice or words to encourage others today?

In my country there is not a lot value on single mums but I want you to remember that God values you!! If you have lots of problems God will help you. Take your hands off the wheel and let God steer your life.  He will lead the way!!