Cambodia update – Thursday morning

So, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and write an update since Sunday afternoon! So, here’s a brief summary, in case you’re interested…

We spent Monday morning with Ruth Withers. Ruth is a member of Hope Church Harrogate, currently living in Phnom Penh. She did an outstanding job helping to organise and facilitate our time in the city. Thank you Ruth!

We also got to spend some more time with Phally, who leads the eldership team at Liberty Family Church in Phnom Penh, which was really good. On Monday afternoon, we saw our good friend Setan Lee. It was Setan that we first got to know here it was lovely to see him again, get his input on what we are up to and here what he is doing currently.

Tuesday morning saw us catch a flight up to Siem Reap, where we have spent the last few days. On Tuesday evening, we had a meal with Scott & Judi Price and their son Jayden. An American family living in Siem Reap, I have got to know Scott & Judi over recent years and it was great to catch up, here what is happening with them and update them as to our plans in Siem Reap.

On Wednesday, we saw Ronald Castillo, who together with his wife, Cynthia, leads Victory Church Siem Reap. It is always good to see him, and he was a great encouragement to us, and hopefully us to him too! On Wednesday evening, we went along to their worship evening where there was a great sense of the presence of God. So good to worship together!

And that brings us to this morning! We are off shortly to see a school that Sam wants to look at for his children and then we are meeting with another British family who are missionaries in Siem Reap. Then it will be time to start the long journey home! I’m very much looking forward to seeing Sarah and the kids. Phone and video calls are great, but they don’t replace being present. I’d love to bring them here one day!

It has been a short but very full trip. It has been great to re-connect with friends in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. It has been a privilege to encourage and help the leaders in Liberty Family Church, and it has been exciting to make progress in our plans for a ChristCentral church plant in Siem Reap. Maybe God is calling you to be part of this? Maybe He is putting Cambodia on your heart and stirring you about being part of a team to help plant a new church here. If you want to chat more, please get in touch!

Cambodia trip – January 2019

I am currently sitting in Bangkok Airport waiting for the final leg of our journey into Phnom Penh. It has been suggested to me that I resurrect my blog to update friends and any interested parties on my trip to Cambodia this January. So, here goes!

I’m heading to Cambodia, to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to visit Liberty Family Church in Phnom Penh and to re-connect with friends in Siem Reap. I’m travelling with Sam Little from Macclesfield (UK). Sam, his wife Abi and their kids are hoping to move to Siem Reap around January next year to begin the process of starting a new church there, working with the ChristCentral team.

I’m very much looking forward to meeting up with the leaders and members of Liberty Family Church in Phnom Penh. It’s a couple of years since I was last there (when we appointed the eldership team) and so I am keen to see what’s been happening and how they are doing. Primarily, the church works with the Catalyst team within Newfrontiers, but we also have a role to play in encouraging the church and serving the Catalyst leaders responsible for working with them. We are meeting with the eldership team tomorrow and I am preaching at the church on Sunday. We are also hoping to meet up with our good friend Setan Lee, who first introduced us to what God was doing in his native country.

Next week, we travel up to Siem Reap to re-connect with friends there and for Sam to do some groundwork on looking at accommodation and schools. It will be good to see people again!

If you want something to pray for, please pray that we would be a blessing to the church in Phnom Penh and that we would be able to help them take some strategic decisions. Also, please pray that God would clearly guide us around decisions needed to be made in Siem Reap. Finally, please pray for our respective families back home – for Abi and their kids and for Sarah and ours. Thank you!

A weekend with Dr. Setan Lee from Cambodia

photo 2Last week, Sarah and I were honoured to meet Dr. Setan Lee, who, together with his wife, Randa, started and now lead, Transform Asia, a ministry serving the nation of Cambodia. Transform Asia have around 45 churches, an orphanage, a feeding centre, a trade school, a day care centre, rice distribution and other programmes!

I met him at our ChristCentral Churches team meeting, which he was a guest at, and then we had the privilege of hosting him in Derby for a few days. He spoke to our leaders, at a men’s breakfast and during our Sunday meeting. (The audio from the Sunday morning will go up on the Jubilee website next week).

Hearing his story was quite incredible and very moving. He was saved during the horror of the Killing Fields in the mid 1970’s whilst escaping from the Khmer Rouge through the jungle into Thailand after 4 years in a youth concentration camp, where he saw hundreds of his friends and family killed. His life is now devoted to serving God, preaching a message of forgiveness and looking for ways to serve the people of Cambodia.

Setan and Randa’s life story is summarised here in this short video. I would encourage you to watch it. (WARNING – the video contains graphic images).

I will have the privilege of travelling to Cambodia next year with my good friends Mike & Kay Sprenger from Kings Church Darlington. Together, we will be teaching at a pastor’s conference for the churches Setan oversees and then get to visit a number of churches and projects that Transform Asia run.

According to The Joshua Project, over 98% of the Cambodian population is classified as “unreached”, that is less than 2% are evangelical Christians. The need for both proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel is clear, and a real challenge.

One of our core values as a church is to be involved in reaching nations. We are praying to see what doors God might be opening up here, both for ChristCentral Churches and for Jubilee. Watch this space for more!