Archive for May, 2020

May in Cambodia

Life in Cambodia in some ways is slowly opening up again.  The roads are a lot more busy and many of the restaurants and shops that had closed have reopened with fewer hours and others just offering take away food options.  Here the government have announced that 6 countries who had temporary bans from entering Cambodia have now been lifted. They have said that anyone entering the country has to spend 14 days in self isolation and they must have a medical certificate to prove they do not have covid-19.  There are still limited flights in and out of the country and like many countries around the world we are a long way off life returning to normal. Schools are still closed here for the foreseeable and religious gatherings still unable to meet. During these past few weeks I have started to cycle more and have enjoyed the exercise and time to get outside for a bit.  The following photograph was taken near my home and shows you that the traffic has began to be extremely busy again. I love seeing the hustle and bustle of life here.  We are all still being cautious and as safe as possible as just this week 2 new cases of covid-19 were reported in Cambodia.


Busy streets near my home

This month my brother and sister in law celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary.  I want to send them all my love again and it is crazy how quickly that year has gone. This time last year I was in Northern Ireland making my plans to come to Cambodia for this year and now we are nearly at the end of May.  All of this has reminded me that time is really precious and that I need to make the most of each day as no one knows what tomorrow will hold.

Elim Cambodia Updates

The staff at the Early Learning Center have continued to work half days but still without the children.  Just this past month we have started to record weekly educational videos that are being sent to the parents.  Some of the videos have been songs, teaching English words with flashcards and demonstrating how to read books to the younger children. The parents have appreciated this extra help and we hope that it continues to show the children and families that we love and miss them.

Be Free has been busy this month.  Again the girls and staff are only working in the mornings but there has been a lot happening. One of the girls in the programme will soon finish her time in Be free. We went with her to see a potential work opportunity for her when she finishes.  Please pray for her as we wait to hear about her future as it is not easy to secure these decisions with the virus continuing to impact local organisations and businesses.  The girls are continuing to study English and have been meeting for daily devotions and a bible study on Friday mornings. One of the girls recently celebrated her birthday and Sokim presented her with a cake from everyone at Be Free. “S” was very emotional when she was given the cake and Sokim explained this was very special for “S” as she may not have had many birthdays celebrated before in the past.  Please continue to pray for Sokim, Chantha and Sophea who are the staff in Be Free. Everyday I see beautiful reminders of how valuable and important this ministry is and how it means so much to each girl who comes through the Be Free programme.



Even with the current restrictions due to covid-19 the church planting team have been able to continue some work.  They visited Kep early in May and distributed food packages to needy families there who had been greatly impacted by the current situation. This week Pastor Chamnap and some of the church planting team have set off to lead another vision casting meeting for potential future partners in the provinces.  They plan to share the vision of Elim Cambodia to have one church in every village. These men and women have such passion to share Jesus with the people of their country. Please pray for their protection and safety as they travel and do this.

Recent outreach in Kep


I was speaking with a few friends this week and one of them said that in their country it is amazing because despite lockdown and so many restrictions people are still coming to Christ. People are in need and looking for help at this time.

I want to finish this newsletter by showing you some of the adventurous foods I have been able to try this month. As we have been able to meet more often we have shared food together and I have got to try some new things.

The first picture is frogs and the second is rats.  Both tasted very like chicken!


Love from Cambodia,


Highs and lows

The past two weeks have been filled with great highs and very difficult times. As I am writing this I should be joined in Cambodia by my brother and sister in law.  Sadly they were unable to make this trip because of the world situation of covid-19.  We have each expressed our sadness at not being in Cambodia together at this time.  We pray and believe that God will bring them here another time and we will get to experience Cambodia together.

Last week I celebrated my 29th birthday.  I was not really sure what the day would look like but I was absolutely blown away by the amount of kindness and love I was shown.  A friend invited me to her house to have lunch and fellowship.  They also had a birthday cake for me.  In the afternoon I was able to enjoy going to get my nails done and that evening my Elim family had a lovely dinner at the centre for me.  Again I was given another birthday cake.  I received lots of lovely presents, and many many messages from home.  I felt very loved from here and afar.  One very special call was with my good friend Gillian who shares the same birthday as me.  Even though we missed celebrating together this year we were so thankful to be able to talk on facetime.  I feel very loved and excited about what this new year of life holds.

The current situation with covid-19 in Cambodia seems to be improving.  People are still being encouraged to be vigilant, wear masks when out and continue to keep good hand washing patterns and encouraged not to meet in big groups.  In light of this some restaurants have opened as of yesterday with limited seating and reduced opening hours.  This past week at Elim we have returned to work for half days.  The ELC and church are still unable to open but we can go to the centre and do some work there while being mindful to keep distance from one another.  I was happy to be able to see the ELC staff this week and the Befree girls and do some English with them in person and not just on the phone.

I want to take some time to honour and share about the life of a friend of mine that  passed away last week.  An elder in our church lost his dear father last weekend. His father used to sit outside the house where I live here and he was always so friendly to me. He always asked how I was and invited me to his family’s house for dinner. He said I was like his daughter and I always said he was my Khmer Granda.  I got a phonecall last Saturday afternoon to say that he had sadly passed away and to come to Elim as soon as possible.  When I arrived his body had already been brought to the church from the hospital. Over the next few hours his family began to gather at the church and plans were being made to hold a service for his life that night. I must say that I have never been more proud of the Elim family at this time.  On their Saturday afternoon each of them came to the church and wanted to help in whatever way they could. They all rallied together and within a few hours they had organised food, flowers, a coffin, a visiting pastor to help with the services and a black and white tent that is normally used here for funerals.  They all came together in such a beautiful, supportive way.  Over the next few days different services were held to remember his life.  A few different pastors shared and challenged the family and congregation about the importance of knowing where we will spend eternity.  That we have decisions to make whether we will be with God for ever or separated from God. Please continue to pray for this family as they continue to grieve the loss of their father.  We are very thankful that he is now free from pain and is with Jesus.  Pray that the family will be impacted by what was shared at the funeral and that they will be challenged about their own lives.

I will end with this lovely picture of our ELC staff who wanted to send something to all the students this week and show them that they are missed so much.  It reads, “All the teachers really miss all the children.  But please take care and we will meet again soon. Our heart is with all the children. God bless you.”