I wonder how many of you noticed that we did not issue an August newsletter?
We were enjoying time in Scotland with our son, daughter-in-law, and our grandchildren. We got to do grandparent things like spoil them, went swimming with them, went to the park. The highlight for me was reading the Bible story to our grandson each morning and hugging our little granddaughter. After Scotland we then went on to Northern Ireland to see our other son, family, friends and to speak at various venues.
Traveling home went very smoothly, all connections were on time, and we arrived in Scotland refreshed and ready to go. Everyone was very generous meeting with us for lunch or dinner, we came back much heavier that when we left Cambodia! We thank all our friends and family for their time, their generosity and kindness to us, for various lifts to and from the airports and seaports and lastly for some great food, conversation, and “craic”.
The weather was extremely kind to us, and we only saw rain once the whole time we were home in fact some days it felt like Cambodia as it was hot!
Staying at my old place of work was just wonderful, so quiet with beautiful surroundings and a chance at the end of the day to walk in the woods and refresh our minds. We were able to spend lots of time with our older son Adam as he lives nearby. They even had Curly Haired pigs and we enjoyed taking various foods for them to eat.
We spent 4 days at the New Wine Conference in Sligo with my brother Bill and his wife Jennifer. I am always thrilled when I get the chance to stand beside my brother and worship our Lord together, it feels so special, someday we will get to do this together for eternity, what a thought. We enjoyed being back at New Wine and had our souls refreshed during the Bible Studies, worship, seminars, and the many lunches we had with friends we had not seen for 3 years.
During our time home, we had the privilege to speak at various churches and we always enjoy sharing the amazing things that God is doing in Cambodia and especially at our day-care. We thank everyone would made it possible for us to share our work with others.
We met up with a team from Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church who are coming out again to do Mission with us at the end of October. After a great briefing morning, we left encouraged and we are so looking forward to seeing them again and working alongside them as they share God’s love with the vulnerable.
Meantime, back in day-care, Sokheng was doing a great job looking after things and we felt incredibly blessed to be able to go home and not have to worry about the children and the staff.
We got daily pictures sent of their activities and even a video to me saying “grandma we miss you – don’t forget our sweets!”; children are the same the world over. Asia is now well into rainy season and the flooding in parts of Cambodia has been horrendous. It rained continuously for about a week and some of our children’s homes were flooded up to 3ft deep. This then caused the inevitable round of sickness in day-care due to the flood waters. Thankfully since we have returned the rain has been less frequent and hopefully will stop within the next two months.
The Bible Study Group continues to meet each week and 4 grandmas have now committed their lives to Jesus. As they do not read or write, we purchased Solar-powered Bibles for them so they can listen to the Bible in their own language while they are at home. These are not expensive but will give them a way of learning the bible. One of the grandma’s asked Sokheng to teach her how to pray as she didn’t think she was doing it properly. After Sokheng prayed the grandma said, “I now know why God didn’t answer my prayers, I forgot to say “Amen” at the end”. Sokheng taught them the following week about God always answering prayers, but his answer is not always Yes, sometimes it is wait, sometimes he says No.
English class continued without me with Sokheng leading it. When I returned the staff were so keen to show me what they had learned while I was away, I am so proud of them.
My first day back at day-care was lovely – each staff member gave me a flower and hugged me, while the children just ran at me to give me a group hug. It was so hard to leave our sons and grandchildren to return to Cambodia, but it feels good to be back in the country, we even missed the roads! I commented to Mark while driving up the roads to the Antrim Coast one morning how boring the roads where, no vehicles driving the wrong way up the road, no motorbikes with 5 people, or dogs sitting on them and all the other sights you see while driving in Cambodia.
In our last newsletter I told you that the mother of one of our children was very ill and that we had being going to her home to pray for her. Well God worked His miracle, and she is doing much better, her mother-in-law was at our Bible Study on Wednesday, so we give God all the glory for his healing of this young woman, and for how this has now brought one family member to want to know more about him. Please continue to pray that God will continue to heal her and that all of her family will accept Him as Lord.
This month we are going to introduce to our new trainee day-care worker Solyda.
“My name is Solyda. I am 41 years old, and I have 4 children my youngest daughter is 9 years old. I work at Child Haven Organisation for 3 months now and I really enjoy my work a lot. I love children and I like working in Christian environment. Co-workers and boss are very kind, I feel like they are my family. Before I work here, I worked in a garment factory it was very hard work 7am to 8pm 6 days a week, I have very little time for my family and not very much salary. Working environment was not very good. I have no education, I could not go to school, I cannot read or write Khmer language, but now I got a chance to study English with Liz. It is difficult for me, but I really enjoy learning.”
Solyda is learning English very fast, and she is wonderful with the children. Her confidence is growing, and she is always smiling. Pray for Solyda that through her work with us she accepts Jesus.
We love that God is continuing to have a tangible presence in the village and that people within the village are wanting to know more about Him. We recently heard that between 30-40 children are attending kids church on Sunday afternoons in the village which is wonderful.
Enough for this month. We thank you all for your continued love and kindness towards us, the staff and the children and we pray you have a blessed month.
Liz and Mark