I thought it might be helpful to write a blog post about my recent time in Cambodia. I am well aware that my last post was over a year ago, so I make no promises about the regularity of such posts!
I am writing this on the plane back from Cambodia. This has been my second visit, and once again, it has been a great trip.
The main reason for going was to be part of a team teaching at the Pastors & Wives leadership conference for Transform Asia in Cambodia. Transform Asia (TA) have somewhere around 35-40 churches working together alongside a variety of social action projects right across the county. This is all led by Setan and Randa Lee, together with a small team of staff and other leaders. Both ChristCentral Churches and Jubilee Church Derby are partnering with TA and seeking to serve them and be a blessing where we can.
On the way out there, I met up with Mike and Kay Sprenger in Amsterdam, and we travelled the rest of the way together .
Landing in Phnom Penh on Saturday 17th January, we were met by Setan and some of his staff, and then we headed to the South West of the county where we stayed overnight. Mike preached on Sunday morning in Chhouk Kampot and I preached in the afternoon in Phnom Vor, both TA churches.
Phnom Vor is right in the centre of a jungle area, in the middle of nowhere. There was, however, great 3G mobile phone reception! We saw 4 first-time decisions to follow Christ alongside 4+ healings. It was wonderful to see God on the move, but intensely frustrating not being able to speak the language and converse easily.
After another overnight stay, we arrived in Kep on the Monday morning. This was the location of the conference and would be home for the next few days. It was great to have hot water once again, but not so great to have a mixture of geckos, large spiders and cockroaches! However, the view from the guest house more than made up for this!
Mike, Kay and I, together with Scott Price who works with Setan in Cambodia, all spoke on the theme of, “Don’t lose your way.” We were encouraging the 80+ delegates to hold fast in their commitment to Christ, and not to fall at the many obstacles that life throws at us. We looked at the particular hurdles that leaders often face, namely money, sex and power.
The teaching was well received, as were we. On the Wednesday evening we had an evening meeting where I taught about the Holy Spirit and then we prayed for one another. God moved powerfully and it was evident that the Holy Spirit was at work refreshing, encouraging and empowering people.
Serving this group of leaders was great fun. They have much to teach us about serving the poor, counting the cost and prayer. I trust we can serve them by teaching from the Bible and sharing from our experience in building the church.
On the Friday, we travelled back to Phnom Penh where Mike & Kay and I checked into a now familiar hotel and enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing together. I was delighted to visit the Blue Pumpkin coffee shop once again!
The second weekend saw me meet up with Simon & Becci Brown They are leading the Newfrontiers Church Plant, Liberty Family Church in Phnom Penh and it was a great joy to see them once again, and this time to meet with their church on the Sunday morning. I preached on God’s heart for the nations as they had a special Sunday celebrating this theme.
They and their team of young leaders are doing a great job, building a church that is true to the model of church we see in the New Testament, and reflects the values we hold dear.
It was an unexpected bonus to also meet up with another Newfrontiers leader from the UK who had been travelling to another nation in the Far East.
It has been a real privilege to see what God is doing right across the other side of the word. It has been a joy and an honour to meet with leaders, encourage some churches and to preach and teach in a variety of settings.
At a prayer meeting on the Sunday evening as my trip drew to a close, God broke in and the Holy Spirit moved powerfully. We are praying and asking God for such a breakout here. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He’s the same in Derby and the UK & Europe as well as in Cambodia and South East Asia.