Archive for December, 2019

The end of 2019…

I would like to start this blog post by wishing everyone of you a very Happy New Year. I hope your Christmas period was filled with lots of joy.

My Christmas was very different than “normal”.  I spent the Christmas week in 30+degree heat, some shops played Christmas music and there were a few Christmas trees scattered around but life in Cambodia pretty much went on as normal. Even while most people were at work as normal on Christmas Day, of course Elim Cambodia had lots of celebrations to mark this special time of year. On Christmas Day we had a church service in the morning and enjoyed communion and worship together.  Emma Worby from City Gates church has been serving in Cambodia for the last 2 weeks with Elim. So she and I spent Christmas Day together and we had a great day.  To end our day we had a lovely dinner with the Khmer families from Elim.  We did not have the usual Christmas food but what we ate was very tasty and we were both very thankful for the fellowship with this community.  Emma introduced us to some Christmas games which we enjoyed playing with the kids.

The past few weeks have been filled with different Christmas events at the church.  It started with Christmas outreach in S’ang village. Some people from the city church joined the church in the village and they did a programme for the children and then everyone enjoyed food together.

Later on that week we had our staff Christmas party. We had a time of worship together, exchanged gifts and had a feast afterwards – this time the food was a full pig (see pictures below).  Everyone was happy and full of Christmas cheer.

Last Sunday afternoon we had our special Christmas service which included different visitors from the community and some parents of the children from the Early Learning Centre.  The Sunday school children and the preschool class did wonderful performances of singing and dancing.  There was a funny drama from some of the staff retelling the story of Jesus’ birth.  Then Pastor Sarak brought a challenging message and invited people who did not already know Jesus to accept him.  Afterwards all the children received a gift and in true Cambodian style there was more food after the service.    I’m very thankful for this Christmas in Cambodia as it was a lot less busy than normal and the simplicity of the week made more time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Last week Emma and I got to go to Kep with the church planting team to visit the work there.  It is always so encouraging to meet with Pastor Piset and Roger who are leading the church in Kep.  We got to visit the family who I have mentioned previously and it was honestly such a wonderful time with them. What God has done in their family in such a short period of time is incredible. God is doing far more than anyone could have imagined.  They also mentioned that they would like to get baptized in the new year.  Please keep praying protection and freedom over this family.

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Dren and Sarak in Kep

On Friday afternoon Emma shared an encouraging message with the girls in Befree and they were able to think and ask questions about their own relationship with God. One girl asked for prayer for a situation she is facing and we were able to join with her in prayer and it was a special time together. I want to thank Emma for all she has done over the past few weeks to help and serve at Elim Cambodia.  She has also been a friend to me and encouraged me.  Please remember to pray for her as she returns home to the UK tomorrow to pray and seek God about her future.

This morning we had our final service of 2019.  There was a time to give thanks to God for all he has done this year.  It made me reflect on all God has done in my life this year. I look back on all that God has done this year and it makes me so thankful.  He has provided in many ways and has been so good to me.  I want to thank God for who He is and for always being so very faithful.  I am excited for the new year that lies ahead and look forward expectantly for all that God has in store for Cambodia in this new year.

Thank you as always for your love, support and encouragement.  I am so thankful for each and everyone of you who takes time to keep updated in the work going on in Cambodia. God is so very good and all glory goes to Him for everything.

God bless,

Sophie

December in Cambodia

I still find it hard to believe it is now December and only 2 weeks until Christmas. Even though the temperatures have dropped a little here it is still hot and strange to see Christmas trees and hear Christmas music in the shops in the middle of the sunshine.  We have decorated the church ready for our Christmas service on Sunday 22nd December.  This is an opportunity to invite the people from the local community to come and hear the good news about Jesus.

This past week the church planting team went to Kep to join with a family and celebrate  Christmas. There is a lot to praise God for within this family.  A few weeks ago when my parents and I were in Kep with Pastor Piset and Roger we visited this family in much need of God and freedom from their current circumstances. How amazing it was to hear last week that this family have now given their lives to Jesus.  And their situation is changing and the family have said they feel loved and valued for the first time in many years.  Please keep praying for this family and their 3 adult children as they get to know more about God and walk in the freedom that he has for them.

Last week was an exciting time for everyone in the Early Learning Centre.  There was a team of 3 educators from Singapore who came to help train and input ideas into the Preschool and toddler classes.

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Chanty, Quee lyn, Annie, Patrina, Nita and I.

I am happy to report that our first outing went really well.  All of the children behaved so well and enjoyed the experience.  There was lots to see at the safari and all the children smiled throughout the morning.  I want to say  a big well done to Nita and Sokhom and the preschool staff who worked so hard to make this happen.  It was a huge success and all of the parents were happy with the children getting to go on this new experience.  Also thank you to Annie, Patrina and Quee Lyn who gave their time last week to help at the ELC and give valuable ideas for improvement in the future.

I have really enjoyed all of my English classes this month as I have mostly focused on teaching about Christmas.  I have talked about the normal traditions at Christmas time and then been able to share about the gospel story of Christmas and Jesus’ birth.  I look forward to continuing this over the next few weeks.  Please pray for all my students that they will be impacted by the good news they hear.

I have been enjoying some time with friends here who will be heading back home for Christmas.  I am looking forward to spending Christmas here in Cambodia.  I am glad to be with my Khmer family and look forward to the different events that will take place in the next few weeks. Please remember me and my family in your prayers as we are apart as I do miss them lots and will especially miss being with them at this Christmas time.

I want to thank you all of your love and encouragement this year.  I hope each of you who are reading this have a really wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones.  I will be in touch again before the New Year.

Love and Blessings from Cambodia.