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Julia Liles

Cambodia

Cambodia Team Newsletter

Read the latest newsletter from the Cambodia Team (Mahilums, Bermejos, Myra and Julia) here.

 

 

Village Church

PICKING UP THE PACE

NOVEMBER 2017

God is ever faithful! Having reached 10 years of Things to Come Mission enabling Gods voice to be heard in Cambodia... Hearts seem more ready than ever to hear and receive the TRUTH of Jesus Christ and take action in the life and freedom God offers in LOVE by His GRACE! We Are praising God for the work in the village which is going from strength to strength as the Mahilum's pour out their energy and skills daily, to teach and train these young people who are an encouragement and an inspiration in their young but pure faith. Keep holding them in prayer as the children seek to share Jesus with their family and friends... Something they themselves have the desire for. Amazing!

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." ~Proverbs 22:6

Rathy Cheng's group
 

MEN OF FAITH!

(above)

We are so excited as this Sunday (Nov. 5th) will be the 3rd worship service held in the house of Rathy Chheng (center frame w/ friend's child). He and his wife Channtha are ready and willing to serve God in this way and it is wonderful to see their commitment and the process which encourages others!

 

CITY CENTER

(below)

Rejoicing in the Lord that the 'City Center' ministry team are getting to know each other well and are able to strengthen the work, build the energy, and share the vision in unity so that God will be known in Phnom Penh! We are hopeful about the progress in Gods plans!

 

City Center Team

PERSONAL NOTE

 ~Thanks to all those who make it possible to serve the family of faith here and reach the lost for Christ; your loving support and prayerful commitment is powerful and the Lord is hard at work in many hearts!~

Weekly fellowship

Weekly fellowship meeting at one of our homes. This is a very mixed group of believers young & old, plus those who are not quite there yet. It is a great support group and a safe place to share life and faith together. We, (The City Team) have a vision to build up and multiply these 'cell' groups as the Lord leads! *(Li Sa's rented house pictured with Sisters from the USA & English visitors!)

~PRAYER REQUESTS~

• Village ministry & the youth to grow in faith & share

• Energy for Pastor Ariel & Faith & Guidance for the entire TEAM

• Wisdom & Guidance for the Church plant at Rathy's house

• Strengthening & Growth of Cell Groups in the City

Much love in Christ,

Julia xx

 

 

Welcome back

"WELCOME HOME, SISTER!"

OCTOBER 2017

These were the precious words that came from the mouth or one of my Khmer brothers at the church this past Sunday as I was given a very warm welcome from my Christian family here... Including the most beautiful bunch of pink roses! I felt loved and blessed and touched that my absence had been noticed!! Seems It's too quiet when I'm gone! Haha What a joy it is to be 'home'.

I am very thankful for all the prayers during my home leave in England over the past 2 months, both for my family there, and the continued prayers for the ministry in Cambodia. I'm glad to say I was able to speak at 3 different churches as well as during the annual Grace Conference at Cloverly Hall near Birmingham right at the end of my visit. Each opportunity was a blessing and it was so wonderful to reconnect with those back in the UK and share some of what the Lord has been doing in Cambodia over the past 2 years. I was also given additional support which was an unexpected blessing. It's great to see so many eager to be involved in the Cambodia ministry. We are excited as this weekend (11-17th) our Director Pastor Ben and Member Care Joyce Anderson will be spending time talking and praying with us about moving forward in the church planting process! Please pray for this time.

My visit to my UK home also gave me time to reflect on why the Lord has me in Cambodia and one thing in particular stands out to me; every thing I do here has one BIG main vision and every activity and relationship I'm involved in is focused towards that... Sharing the TRUTH, LOVE & HOPE we can have in Christ in order to build up the Body of believers! I can say with confidence that THIS IS my calling... And without Christ being at the center of all I do, it would be too difficult to leave my own family behind.

On the point of family, please continue to hold mine in prayer back in England, as the situation there is harder and more painful than ever... But we continue to hope in God and trust that He is in every storm and trial that arises... We need wisdom, peace and courage for the battles being faced... The Lord knows!

~So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.~ Colossians 2:6-7

Bermejo arrival
 

Great to have the new members of TCM Cambodia join Myra & me in the City Mission. Pastor James and Agape arrived and are beginning to settle into life here. We are excited and blessed to have experienced ministers of the Word join the work here... It is needed and will increase the effectiveness of our work in Phnom Penh. Pray for their transition and language study!

PERSONAL THOUGHTS

 
The time away from my field of ministry allowed me to reflect on the past decade or so since accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Over the years I have come to realize that we are not meant to be anything more or less than who He created us to be. However, how could we possibly know what that is, outside of a relationship with the Lord?! I'm still growing in my faith and have so much yet to learn. I know I'm not perfect and yet I know I'm loved. I have many flaws but that's 'ok' in the security of the Fathers love. I'm a 'messy masterpiece' but I am a masterpiece, not a mistake- the same is true of YOU! We are ALL made in His image, making each one of us precious. No matter how many mistakes we may have made or will make, He WILL still love us! That is by no means an excuse to do wrong, but sure motive to live right! A righteous life, right-with-God. CHOOSE to be in the Fathers love, to know the peace of mind in Christ and to be transformed by His powerful Spirit. You can never be too far from God, because He IS and always will be EVERYTHING! God bless your journey of faith.

Julia & Channy

Family far from home! They say "Home is where the heart is"! So then, I must have 2 hearts , since one is certainly with my family in England and yet the other is planted here! It is very special to have good friends I can honestly call 'family'. (Channy & little Lenna)

Much love in Christ,

Julia xx

 

 

Julia and her sisters

A TALE OF TWO WORLDS

SEPTEMBER 2017

I have now been home for 1 month... A timely blessing from the Lord that I can have these few weeks with my family (Above with my older sisters Lydia on the left and Priscilla center) and friends. I thank God that I can attend weddings, birthdays and farewells, welcome new born babies and catch up with my family, friends and church on a more personal level. With all the activities, fellowship and a few speaking engagements, I have become increasingly aware of my life being 'between two worlds', so to speak... I now know my home is in Cambodia... I also know that my heart is in England... But knowing how much I love my family in the UK, compels me to love my Cambodian friends even more, and this is a very precious realization for me. As a Christian, all that we do should be for the glory of God, and how better to express that than through love?! There is no greater way... and it comes in many forms! I'm just incredibly blessed and privileged that the Lord guided me so clearly and lovingly to a future of service in Cambodia, allowing my heart to slowly and steadily find roots in a foreign land among incredible people. Life is a gift and we need to live it with thankfulness and praise to the One who gives it! It has been said "Skepticism and despair melt away when life is viewed as a daily gift from God". Believe and know that God is good! Thanking God for all of you and for faith to trust in Him with my life and the lives of those around me.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"

2 Corinthians 9:15

Myra with house group
 

Myra has been doing a great job with the house group (still at my place) and various other ministries in my absence. I'm proud to work with such a dependable partner and thank God for her heart to serve and the many gifts she has to minister to those around her in the city. THANKS SISTER!! :-)

 
EXCITING TIMES AHEAD.... It's always good to have changes and challenges as I think it brings vitality and excitement to life and ministry!! That's a very positive way to look at life, and I think it works! I will return to my Cambodian home on October 5th and later that same month we hope to have a new mission couple entering our field! They are young and full of life and very skilled both in handling and teaching the word, and also musically! It will be great to have more help in the city and a stronger team to help reach our goals of teaching and training in order to expand the ministry and house churches! We are excited to welcome this couple and I will share more once they have landed and settled in!! Praising God for this!

Our City Dormitory ministry will close in December this year giving more resources to other options such as a space to worship which Lord willing the congregation will want to contribute towards and it will be far more accessible for the local community and give us greater possibilities for teaching others. The students are currently looking for places to relocate and some will stay with family members in the city, it will be a big change but we hope to see commitment from the believers who are current members of the church and so we are praying for growth, maturity and motivated hearts to minister! I have no idea the extent of the sacrifice of others which enables me to live the life of service I now do, but I am so very grateful to you all and your lives are a blessing to many in ways that you could not comprehend... I'm touched by your 'giving away' or 'offering', through various means; time apart from me, encouragements, prayers, finances and much more than I could ever know. Yours sincerely and faithfully in service. May we always encourage one another wherever we are.

Much love in Christ,

Julia xx

 

PRAYER POINTS

 

Phnom Penh church

HOME FROM HOME

AUGUST 2017

What an incredible time we had in July to celebrate 10 years of the City ministry in Phnom Penh. We had a blessed visit from our Director of Missions, Pastor Ben whilst his wife Joyce had some precious time with their family in the USA. It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what the Lord has been doing here and I must say it is a huge honor to stand alongside the pioneers, Pastor Ariel and Faith Mahilum (10yrs) and Myra Omictin (8yrs)... as I approach my 2 years here I hardly feel worthy of a position next to them but I have been so encouraged and the work continues as the doors for the message of Gods grace continue to open! Thank you all for your prayers... I love this family of growing believers and the Lord has surely planted my heart among them.

"For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord." ~ Psalm 117:2

Julia & Sophal
 

Praise God for Sis. Sophal's successful operation... We are still awaiting final results and she remains in hospital recovering but we are so glad the op went well! Thankful for prayers which brought Sophal to tears when she read sweet FB post's. The family are incredibly grateful for the financial support for her Chemo. and this operation. Please keep Praying.

 
This month I will travel home to the UK for 2 blessed months with family and friends plus a few speaking engagements to share about the ministry here. I am anxious about leaving the ministry behind, though I know it is all in safe hands! Please keep Myra in prayer as she will serve without her usual 'help mate'! Pray also for the fellowship groups that I'm normally a part of or host during the week... I know the work will go on, but it is hard to leave individuals behind.

Praise God for an astonishing 1st term on the 'Field', His faithful love endures forever and I struggle at times to put all my praise into words! Wow what an amazing God and a privilege to serve... nothing quite like it!

 

Julia & Dorm Girls

We managed a fun weekend fellowship trip with the Dorm Students before I head off for the UK. It was great to be together and enjoy what God is doing among us... On the far left of the picture is Ratha... She has recently announced her desire to be in a relationship with Jesus. We love her and pray she will walk in faith with the Lord. Pray for this generation!


PRAYER POINTS

 

Julia & villagers

LEARNING TO THRIVE

JULY 2017

June was a great month... full of activity, opportunity and visitors!! We had a great donation of vitamins for children that we were able to distribute in the village. Also a great time to share the gospel and health care advice.

It always gives 'the missionary' more of an accurate reflection of things, when someone from 'back home' visits! I was blessed with a two week visit from one of my closest friends whom I have known since the age of 5! It was a great time to share my life of ministry here, with a friend from back there! Genevieve was able to meet the dorm students and some dear Khmer friends of mine plus my team here and other Christian friends and missionaries I know. It was a blessing for someone from my 'former setting', to see me so rooted where I am and embracing this season of life to the full! It has been great to share, and to be reminded of what we have here as a ministry setting... but more than that, as a body of believers. Though my friend does not currently have a faith in Jesus, I believe she has seen with her own eyes the heart of joy and hope that a follower of Christ has and she was a great encouragement to us as I believe we were to her. So I thank God for giving me the gift of my friend visiting and gaining a clearer understanding of what the Christian's mission is... Living to plant seeds of hope, love and truth in others, not for self-gain but for the sake of Christ. I love this friend for her respect of me and my faith but also my family in Christ! I want to encourage you all to be bold in expressing your faith through a loving commitment to others... wherever they stand in terms of faith... Let us not make divides but build bridges of hope that heal hearts and change lives! Keep loving, dear friends and share your reason for being!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes..." ~ Romans 1:16

Julia & UK visitor
 

A great visit from such a good friend! A wonderful 2 weeks together and I'm sure Gen had plenty to report on her return to the UK. She got stuck in to every opportunity and met so many of my new friends here, both of us treasured the time together! I love it when people are willing to step out of their comfort zone and just go for it! Safe travels dear friend!

 
This month is particularly exciting as on the 16th July we celebrate 10 years of the ministry here in Phnom Penh! It will be a great time of fellowship and reflection and praising God for His goodness. Pastor Ben Anderson, director of TCM will be our guest speaker so please pray for him and his packed schedule!

I have now completed my first term of 22 months on the 'field', so I am entitled to home leave/ assignment, back to the UK! Get ready England!! We are just finalizing dates but I'm aiming for August so please pray as I & team prepare!

Thank you as always for your continued love and support... this is a huge encouragement for me and the team here... I always enjoy reporting back messages from brothers and sisters around the world that we are being held in prayer! The beautiful thing about ministry is that we are all a part of it... whatever role we have been given to fulfill... we are part of the blessings of God. It is such a privilege to be so involved in the lives of Cambodians here, in special ways... Much of my recent reflections and conversations with others has helped me to realize that here, I not only survive (as is the case for some foreigners), but I thrive! And I thank God for that... He is so very gracious!

 

Sophal & husband

Please keep praying for sister Sophal... She has completed her final session of chemo and is awaiting news on an operation. She is struggling with losing her hair at the moment but praise God she keeps wearing a winning smile, her faith is strong, her baby boy brings her great joy and her husband Chhron is a blessed support.

"Pray without Ceasing"

PRAYER POINTS

 

 

Cheutil congregation

LOVE & PRAYER

JUNE 2017

The photograph featured above is the result of 10 years of love and prayer! Team Cambodia are praising God for the established ministry in Chuteil village located in Takeo Province, South Cambodia. We are rejoicing as church services began this May with some very eager hearts, open to hear the Gospel!

I'm continually caused to think upon how to 'love well'. A pleasant topic, but one that probably challenges most of us! Personally, I know that I tend to express 'love' through my actions, hugs and gifts, as well as through my words and writing cards.... with an 'essay' of emotion! As many of my old time friends will fondly and amusingly recall! But last week during ladies fellowship, we read from 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 > 

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

 
Later that same week I was blessed by a pile of cards from Greystone Bible church, USA. The cards were full of words of encouragement, affection, Scripture and prayers! It still moves me to tears when I reflect on all those who support me in prayer, to live well, here in Cambodia and reach out to others in love... We need the prayers of each other to live on! Prayer builds our relationship with God, it also offers His peace, comfort and joy and it connects us as a family of believers... And for those of you who are not yet committed to Christ... Do not doubt that He also hears the prayers of your hearts, and you are mentioned in our prayers too... Our lives are impacted by prayer... even if we're 'not quite aware yet'! The Lord knows, and God is gracious and merciful and full of love! To conclude... I understand clearly now, that to love, is to pray for one another and all others... and to Pray consistently, is to LOVE.


Borey & Channy
 

Meet Brother Borey, his sweet wife Channy and their beautiful little girl Lenna! They are a precious family who have become friends through fellowship. Borey has a heart to serve God in ministry so we hope to encourage that and support this family. May God direct their path!

This Friday, Myra and I will start an English ‘Conversation Corner’ at our Khmer friend’s (Sreng), local coffee shop in order to support the community and help Sreng’s business as well as having the opportunity to meet others in a social atmosphere with the hope of building friendships and sharing our faith. I’m enjoying the fun challenge of teaching simple Bible truths through parables and other Scriptures, in Khmer, at the student dorm on Tuesday nights and learning to pray in Khmer has been a blessing. I am also pleased that I am managing to read a little more of my Khmer Bible now but there is a long way to go yet, though my confidence is building! Thankful for your prayers and encouragement!  

God bless us in our journey of faith through the ups and downs and adventures of life!

 

Chantha & Rathy

Chantha & Rathy have been church members since the early ministry days in the city... They have begun a children's ministry from their home on the outskirts of Phnom Penh teaching Bible and English. They desire to have a 'full bodied' church established this year. Please Pray!

"Pray without Ceasing"
God bless you in this understanding and be encouraged to persist in prayer.

PRAYER POINTS

 

Julia mission muscle

Mission Has Muscle!

MAY 2017

Life is not so easy for the faint of heart, nor is LOVE! Which is the essence of living! Genuine, deep rooted love takes courage and commitment. Even for someone such as myself who appears to express love with such ease... I know better than anyone else, that for me... It takes Jesus!

I once read that you should 'never hold onto anything tighter than how you hold onto God'. I understand that now, whether it is family, friendship, a career, a home or a car, even our own ability to do something well. Why? Because nothing can last forever and nothing should hold us back from seeking and living out God’s purpose for our lives... and the reality is, this is not a one-time movement toward a goal... this is an ongoing journey of surrendering the lesser for the greater. It is not that the above have no value, or good use, it is not that they aren’t worth our time and effort, it is simply that God is above all else and we cannot measure the demands of His love with anything else. Our lives unfold at a rapid rate and things change all the time, nothing is certain and nothing is eternal except the most important thing... LOVE.

God’s love IS everlasting and therefore it is worth investing our lives to receive it, become part of it, and share it with those around us... What is more important than loving and being loved in return? Nothing.
 

Here are a couple of famous Jim Elliott quotes I really appreciate:

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

“A man is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose!”

How powerfully challenging and poignant, this is so very true. What does it mean for you?!
Matthew 16:24-26; "...For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."

 
Last month Team Cambodia hosted the 1st Grace Gospel Conference in the village and it turns out that Mission takes Muscle!! Good job I like to work out! Team Leader Pst. Ariel & his wife, Faith, some BOT members the locals, a few students and myself helped to revive the plot of land where our church is located and it looks great, it’s now safe and secure, and has become a far better equipped facility for teaching, holding functions, accommodation and an area for the children (plus a few ‘big kids’!) to play. Thankful to the Lord for encouraging all those who give so generously and pray so earnestly toward the ministry here... you are every bit a part of what goes on in Cambodia... the ‘Church’ has no walls... We are not restricted and must continue to hold onto the faith that we have in a God who is limitless!

Youth Fellowship
 

A few of the 'youth fellowship' students who are eager and excited to learn more about Jesus and want to study the Bible.

This Friday, Myra and I will start an English ‘Conversation Corner’ at our Khmer friend’s (Sreng), local coffee shop in order to support the community and help Sreng’s business as well as having the opportunity to meet others in a social atmosphere with the hope of building friendships and sharing our faith. I’m enjoying the fun challenge of teaching simple Bible truths through parables and other Scriptures, in Khmer, at the student dorm on Tuesday nights and learning to pray in Khmer has been a blessing. I am also pleased that I am managing to read a little more of my Khmer Bible now but there is a long way to go yet, though my confidence is building! Thankful for your prayers and encouragement!  

God bless us in our journey of faith through the ups and downs and adventures of life!

 

Men's choir

Men's Fellowship Choir

At the weekend the Cambodian Board of Trustees will meet and discuss the future steps of the ministry as our 10 year Anniversary of the Phnom Penh ministry is fast approaching, Praise the Lord! Pray with us as we set plans for the rest of the year that will require hard work, plenty of prayer, a unified focus and potentially lots of change. During a recent meeting with Team Cambodia, I was struck with the realization that the more we gain in life, the more we have to lose, and how much harder it is to give up much rather than to give up little. Think upon the Parable of The Rich Man, unable to 'give it all up' for the Lord, because he seemed to have much to lose, blinded to the glory of what he could gain by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ... Mark 10:21-22. I pray for you to be ENCOURAGED ALWAYS!

PRAYER POINTS

 

 

Julia Khmer graduation

My Mile Stone in Khmer!

APRIL 2017

Eighteen months ago I arrived in Cambodia and began the language learning process... It has been quite a journey and yet I feel I'm only at the beginning of it all! Having completed 8 levels, 50 weeks, lots of laughter, sweat and a few tears... plus incredible friendships formed, I have finally graduated G2K (Gateway 2 Khmer) school! I have so many people to thank as I've known all along that "I'm not alone in this"! I have had a lot of support and that has encouraged me and enabled me to support others too... I am often reminded that we need to see the bigger picture in everything we do as all things should serve towards a greater purpose, and I understand that very well through the challenge of learning Khmer! I've also seen how much people can appreciate the efforts we go to, despite our weaknesses... Never underestimate the power of love! When we are driven to do courageous things from a place of love, it inspires others! Thank you all for the incredible love & support plus plenty of prayers, that has enabled me to achieve this goal... Now the greater task lays ahead... Teaching!


~ Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. ~
Philippians 3:12
~ Now faith is confidence in what we hope for
& assurance about what we do not see.
~ Hebrews 11:1

 

Julia Khmer teachers

I am currently planning a new Bible teaching schedule for the dorm students and on April 8-9 I will run team building workshops at our 1st Grace Conference Cambodia! We are looking forward to uniting and building up the community of believers in the Village along with those from the city. It will be a blessing! Though I'm in another period of transition, I'm excited and motivated to bring in new ideas to our team here and extend the work among those we are closest to.

I've now been living in my new apartment for the past month and it is wonderful! A peaceful place to retreat, and I'm excited to open up my home to many and celebrate all that God is doing and His incredible provision. I'm so blessed with many Khmer friends that I hope my home can be a place of rest and peace for them also... Phnom Penh is a busy, noisy city and 'time out' is always a good thing... even if it's just 3 floors up! Thank you all for supporting me and walking along side me so steadily I cannot express my thanks enough.

I am continually learning many new lessons, as well as those lessons I need reminding of. Firstly, I know that I serve a loving God and when I submit to His plans for my life, I am more than blessed in indescribable ways and often so unexpectedly. Secondly, "All things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27) I'm frequently blown away by the truth of this statement and pray that you will be too! And thirdly... even through the trials and the storms and joys of life, we are encouraged not to lose heart because we will always have hope (2Cor.4:1)! And it is HOPE that gives us the strength & courage to press on to reach that mile stone of yours... whatever it may be & whatever it takes...Trust in the Lord.

PRAYER POINTS

*Please continue to pray for the health of my sister Priscilla
*Also remember Sophal who needs 6 more Chemo sessions pre-op
*Pray for planning & coordinating new weekly Bible study with students
*Pray for the success of the 1st Cambodian Grace Conference in April
*Thanking God for GRADUATION from language school
*Thankful for move into my own apartment where I feel happy & blessed

 

2017 Off to a good start?!

Julia artwork

FEBRUARY FOOTSTEPS . . .

MARCH 2017

This is a little late so apologies for that and also to those who are still awaiting replies for Christmas emails I'm incredibly sorry that I have not managed to respond to all, yet! I'm blessed to have so many people to respond too! That is lovely and encouraging!! This month hosted Valentine's Day, which just happened to coincide with our youth fellowship outing which was a great success and a huge blessing for the 12 in attendance... we enjoyed a boat ride and picnic with games, prayers and songs! I always thank God for the opportunity to be a witness, not only to those 'outside' but also to those within the family of faith... if we're not careful, we can lose sight of what God has put right in front of us! The Love of Christ is so much greater and needed, more than we could ever imagine and I believe it is the Lord who enables me to do more than I could think or even imagine! That goes for us all! Often I doubt my abilities and put myself under unnecessary pressure to 'accomplish much'! However... God has been reminding me of His love. Not only does God love me just as I am, but because of His great love for others, I can do what He needs me to do! A great example is of my friend Sreng who runs a local coffee shop where I'm currently painting a 'Creation' mural! I've mentioned Sreng in previous news letters; though he is not a follower of Christ, he is slowly understanding the love of the body of Christ through Spirit lead conversations, so keep praying for his salvation please! God is gracious and righteous, the Lord is full of compassion and protects the simple hearted! We do not need to panic and think "I Can't" because with Christ, "I CAN"! Thanks to God, even in my moments of 'trying' He reminds me to trust what He has planned, and the beauty of that guidance is reassuring and fills me with joy.


Psalm 51:13
"Give me the JOY of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit!"

 

Julia Cambodian wedding

First Youth Fellowship outing of 2017! A great time to bond together and enjoy the blessings of being a family of faith and embracing those who are new to the Good News of Jesus...[the 3 girls in red are new students of ours]! Let's always aim to be ambassadors in LOVE! Thank you to Sister Anne joining us from the US and all the dormitory students and friends (including the young men) who participated in this event! We offered a prayer of thanks for those who support us with the finances to run such activities... the boat ride was a first for most! :-) The Body of Believers is bigger than we realize! Praise God!

Sophal and family

PRAYER POINTS

*Discipleship of the Dorm. Students!
*Improvement of teaching in the village... We celebrated another commitment to Christ 2 weeks ago, praise God!
 *Transition as I will move into an apartment of my own this month! And, Lord willing I will GRADUATE LANGUAGE SCHOOL!
*HEALTH
>Sister SOPHAL is coping well under chemotherapy and funds are coming in to support the medical fees. Please also continue to pray for my own sister, PRISCILLA. Strength and Courage are needed as well as faith and trust in how God works!
*Praise God for another safe arrival as sister Sinat delivered a baby girl earlier this month! Our family continues to grow!

2017 Off to a good start?!

JANUUARY 2017

I'm sending love and hopefully encouragement through these brief updates and as I remember you in my prayers! Thank you for keeping me and the ministry here in your prayers... God answers in many different ways and looking back over the past year has been a great opportunity to see Gods faithfulness to me and even in the lives of those around me! ...I'm particularly thankful for the ability to communicate with others, a year of good health, strength, a clear purpose and great friends... So I'm excited to see how God will shape this year!

One of my January highlights has to be 'playing' bridesmaid for good friends of mine Kimna and her now husband, Sothea (center frame)! I am that lady on the right of the picture in just 1 of the 3 dresses/hairstyles I had to adorn for the day! A very different experience from a typical Western style wedding! And on the far left is another good friend, Keo... all of the above are also my language teachers and I just feel extra blessed not only to benefit from their teaching skills, but also from their friendship, fun and love. Friendship means so much to me and it's also amazing to learn more about Khmer culture and Buddhist practices through people I know and trust on a personal level. These friends are reasons I love life in Cambodia and am persuaded that God pursues hearts in order to show His grace and goodness. Thank you for your love & support...  It's true that with faith as small as a mustard seed, God can move mountains in your life we just need to grasp the hope we can have in Jesus and trust in Him! I am experiencing that in special ways and I want to encourage you!  
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
2 Samuel 22:31

Julia Cambodian wedding

On a very important note, I would like to raise awareness of the need for prayer for this precious family (pictured below). Assistant Pastor Chhron and wife Sophal have recently become parents to their son Riek. However, much to everybody's shock Sophal has just been diagnosed with Stage 2 Rectal Cancer. Times like these are never easy and I'm just thankful that this couple share the comfort of Christ together and have a supportive church and family back in the village too. Sophal is an incredible witness of God's faithfulness and I am inspired by her courage at this challenging time. Please would you pray with us or send messages of support to this lovely family... We are currently raising funds for the medical fees to help contribute to the high cost of Chemo treatment... If your heart is burdened to get involved please contact either myself or Things to Come Mission. Thank you for your involvement in the lives of others in faith and love.

Julia x

Sophal and family

PRAYER POINTS

 

 

GIFT OF GIVING

DECEMBER 2016

Life is too short to waste! I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again. Since moving here I am often reminded of the frailties of life... We, for sure are ‘wasting away’... (2 Corinthians 4:16)... death is unavoidable, poverty and pain will always face us... We cannot escape the difficulties of this world we live in and we should not be naive to it... instead we really must make the most of what we have, learn how to rejoice even through trials and make the effort to invest in the lives of those around us in order to experience life together, share each other’s burdens, cry together, laugh together and simply learn to live well and understand the value of life- no matter how challenged or alone we may feel at times... God is there.

God is no fool and when He chose to create man He intended us to live life to the full which means it is essential that we connect or re-connect with Him in order for that to be apparent but it is how you view ‘life to the full’ that is so important! Moreover, God will fulfill His plans and purposes for us, for you specifically... Do you want to walk away from that opportunity or run towards it with everything you’ve got? Surely it will be worth it!! ~ John 10:10b Jesus said:
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Julia gym buddies

Above I am pictured with two women who befriended me at the local gym! It's a growing friendship and an interesting one that I am curious to see what God will reveal. I'm sitting besides Sophol and standing behind us is Sreypov. These woman are much older than myself and have lived different lives so as always I ask for prayer and wisdom to guide our conversations.

Kosal

Pictured is Kosal, one of our dorm students who is soon to leave us to begin full-time work! Praising God for the training and equipping he has received as he recently gave a simple Bible study to the older women in the village. Please keep all of our students and other ministries in your prayers. We want to serve with you for the Lord... a far greater purpose than we could ever imagine! A huge thank you for all your support and we were thrilled to receive a donation for the purchase of Khmer Bibles, a gift that keeps on giving!! Please pray for our Christmas outreach this month! Merry Christmas to you all... Don't forget the reason for the season!

CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS

Christmas is fast approaching, a time to gather together with those you love and appreciate, eat good food and share presents (at preference!) Thank you so much to a good friend who has posted baby clothes for our new arrivals that are being born to mothers who were once our dorm students and now attend our church in the city! God is blessing the generations of Cambodians!!

Particularly for those of ‘the faith’ Christmas is a time to reflect on what we believe to be the greatest gift of all; the gift of life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. I can honestly say it is a privilege to share this truth with others. It is a blessing to know my Maker! It is so very sweet to be within a family of faith and I thank God that I can give Him praise and worship even in the simplest of ways. Faith is a beautiful thing and I do believe it takes courage and we must persevere. We never really know what we will face in the months and years ahead but thank God we always have ‘hope’ and that is security!! Money can’t buy that!

Many of you reading this know me fairly well... others more so and some of you have known me since childhood or even 1984!! If anything about my life now strikes you as ‘good’, ‘positive’, or ‘special’... I hope you are able to attribute that to my faith in Jesus because I can say with total conviction, if it were not for Christ my life would not be worth living... Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. – Jeremiah 10:23. I am who I am because of Christ! "Let the light shine out of darkness" ~2Cor.4:6 ...I am confident that if we choose to trust, He will SHINE!

May all that we do emerge from a place of love and be for the right purpose of pleasing God, not elevating ourselves but walking in humility. If you would, please hold me in thought and prayer as the New Year arrives and I will face some changes and transitions regarding ministry, language school and finding a place of my own to live.

God bless you and I'm thankful for each one of you. x

Julia

 

Julia, Myra & Kids

TAMING THE TIGER

NOVEMBER 2016

Many things in life can get to us... World issues, politics, religion etc then there are the issues closer to home such as work, finances, family... but we know that we have limited control when it comes those things which are external to ourselves; hence this title: Taming the Tiger! By 'tiger' I'm referring to our internal processing and control system!! Recently I had to focus so hard on God in order to control my emotions! Most of you know I'm trained in boxing! So my natural 'go to' when stressed, is sport! But I am continually reminded that instant relief of an (negative) emotion is often so temporary whereas when we learn to focus on Christ, He helps us to address issues and concerns... He makes intercession for us when we are confused or frustrated and don't always know where to turn or how to turn! The Lord is (if you choose!) our 'Rock and Refuge, a very present help in trouble' (Psalms 46:1). We can easily lose control of our own life whilst trying desperately to control everything around us, but if we lose control to God and give Him reign over our life which He gave to us in the first place; you will see change for the better... it is a guarantee!

Times are busy with continued language learning but it's been great to make our weekly visits to the village and see the children and adults there, teaching simple Bible and English classes. I feel privileged to get so many hugs from these precious kids, particularly as I miss my nieces and nephews in England! The village ministry continues at a very slow pace so please continue to pray that we will strengthen and encourage those we share with. It's great to have Pastor Ariel and Faith with us to support the work. The dormitory students do a great job teaching each Sunday and this gives them good teaching foundations that they can add to their C.V's as most of them are looking for jobs > please keep them in your prayers. We have 3 new female students and 3 young men will soon join us at the city dorm too which is great!

Member's baby

Our first precious baby has arrived! Praise God for a safe delivery and mother and child are doing well. We have one more arriving at the end of November and 3 more babies are due in 2017! It's an exciting time as all are first arrivals! We are rejoicing in these miracles!

BEAUTY VS. CHARACTER

Recently I had to give a presentation in Khmer at my language school; the topic was 'Beauty V's Character'! In a world full of visual stimulation and a commercial influence of what is 'beauty', it's important to re-a-line our thinking with what has true value! When you're ready to change from the inside out, it makes a huge difference in the character of a person! It may sound obvious, but how often do we actually focus on this and actively seek to improve ourselves internally. I've been focusing again on the 'fruits of the Spirit' in Galatians 5 and it's helped me a lot in terms of developing a better character... Please ponder: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control! Which do you struggle with most and what are you willing to change and allow God to improve in you? It takes a lot of courage to humble ourselves and realize; "God, I can't do this life without you!". But the sooner we admit that, the better... and you will not regret giving God control!

God bless you all throughout your days. I thank you for being in my life.

Julia x

 

Julia & Li Sa

Please continue to pray for our Women's Bible Study every Saturday... for the girls to understand the teaching and for me to understand the Khmer! It's a great time of fellowship and a good opportunity for other Khmer friends to join our girls at the dorm and share life and faith with them! I thank God that I have so many opportunities here and Myra is a blessing and a joy to work with.

Khmer Verse

MOTIVATED MEANS MOVING FORWARD!

OCTOBER 2016

Now that I am into the start of my second year in Cambodia... though I know I have an extreme amount yet to learn; I do feel somewhat settled! I have for several months now. I think the Lord gave me an ability to make myself feel 'at home' wherever and with whomever He placed me, I've always been like that! As great as that is... I'm acutely aware that just learning to live 'my way' in a new place, is not what this move to Cambodia is about! I've recently been reminded to constantly ask myself "what are my priorities, to whom, and how am I achieving this"?! It's so important that we don't lose our focus in life whatever our goal may be, when we 'get busy' we can be so easily distracted that we miss out on opportunities or lose precious time... We often don't get that back, and therefore to remain focused is essential, but learning to be flexible also gives us some room to move, so to speak! Since moving here, and more recently, the Lord has opened up additional unexpected opportunities with certain individuals. This has been a good challenge for me in various ways. I thank the Lord for friendships formed and sustained, for the family in faith that I have here and also for brief encounters which enable me to process and to reflect on my personal vision and goals. I'm thrilled that the friendship with one of my Khmer teachers has developed and Kimna has now asked me to be her bridesmaid in January 2017- that will be a first for me!! I was very touched by her request and this is a young woman who shows an openness to the gospel.

I am struggling a lot in my motivation for self-study with the language at the moment... Level 7 is obviously more advanced but it feels like a lot of it is going over my head and though I'm managing to read, my understanding is quite behind! That's ok, it's perhaps expected, but I do want to succeed and move forward with the language!! So it will take more prayer, sweat and concentration!!! The latter is one of my weaknesses! On the plus side, I shared a lengthy testimony in Khmer and read two songs at church this past Sunday... One song is pictured above- "In Jesus Christ we are one family..."!

These steps forward are huge achievements for me. Also, one of the Christian Khmer women Myra and I meet with regularly was able to translate for me when teaching the young children in the village about the Lord! 'Lisa' was so excited that she could accomplish this personal goal of hers! So we congratulate her for that! A blessing and a joy to walk with her, she is enthusiastic to become much more involved in the ministry! Praise God.

Cambodian Kids

Some of the children who were in Sunday school... learning about the colour bracelet which tells the story of Jesus Christ... Lisa helped explain to these children in our lesson.

LIFE IS ABOUT RELATIONSHIP

Life is about relationship--a mutual give and take between persons in order to grow and develop. Without genuine relationship, we are missing 'life'! And the ultimate relationship is that between you & your creator God. Though God gave far more than we ever could... He accepts us as we are. Think of your closest friendships and examine why you consider them so highly...

Let's get to the basics of what friendship is based on: Faith- to trust in the person, Hope- for all that is to come and the reassurance and security offered, and Love- why else?! These three qualities are in fact the very characteristics of God, who, if you allow Him to, will embrace you with these. And the beauty of it is that where we are weak as people, God is unwavering! So have faith, hope & love and put them into a relationship with God... You will see the development!  ~1 Corinthians 13:13

 

Julia & Li Sa

'Lisa' (her English/ easy name!) has built a friendship with Myra over 5 years... She is keen to be involved with the ministry as a Khmer Christian to her own people! Praise God and pray He blesses her desire!

Julia and Parents

IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

SEPTEMBER 2016

Next week marks 1 year since my arrival here in Phnom Penh City and I praise God for many reasons! I am blessed to have transitioned so well, to have made many wonderful new friends and be able to keep contact with others around the world. I thank God He enables my tongue and brain to engage with the Khmer language and script and I'm blessed with the ministries that I have been able to be involved with. We just celebrated the 9th anniversary of the dormitory church here in the city; it was a great turn out and a time of rejoicing! Thank you for your prayers. Last month we began a new fellowship group with young, single, professional Khmer men and women in our friend's house. It is a fun and exciting opportunity to share our thoughts, develop English and Khmer language skills, and enjoy the company and good food from different cultures!

Just a couple of weeks ago I celebrated 32 years of life! A great excuse for a party, more food (can you tell what my passions are in life?!), and yet another opportunity to give thanks to Jesus Christ who is my reason for living. I went to bed that evening so overwhelmed with love for those around me, I thought my heart would burst... surely only the Lord could give me that much love for these new friends! It really was a special day and I relished being in the company of so many wonderful friends after only having lived here for one year! God has really guided me to serve here. My family blessed me with calls and videos and I continue to receive post from the UK & USA. Thank you all for the incredible love, support and encouragement you provide which enables me to live here and bless others from His hands and heart. We have a unique opportunity as followers of Christ, to really 'give' to others something that will last forever... not just a life time! God recently answered a rather interesting prayer of mine.. to 'grow up' in certain areas of my life! He has answered that in a very sweet and gentle and 'knowing' way that perhaps only those closest to me would realize. Maturing is of course an ongoing process and it is with God's wisdom that we can honour that progression. I thank God fully for the ongoing work in my heart and my life. It's also a relief to know that who we are as individuals, is totally ok! No one is perfect, only the man Jesus could be that... for the rest of us, it's so important to know our self-worth and to be thankful for the life we have. May we learn to be content when we have much or little... make the most of life now!

Young Professionals Group

LEARNING TO ACCEPT THE LORD’S LOVE

When you're ready to accept the Lord's invitation to step into the 'family of faith'... you may not be free of physical pain, you may not be free of financial concerns or family difficulties and you will not be perfect! Tempted to accept? How about if I told you that God's love is so infinite that WHEN YOU DO ACCEPT HIM... there will be no end to His grace in your life! Through the trials and the storms, He will never abandon you. He will continue to teach and challenge you throughout your life but He will always be by your side. You will increase in the knowledge of His forgiveness and mercy for you. You will come to realize that you are not defined by your financial success, your intelligence, your beauty or your popularity... but that your identity is secure in the Creator God who is your heavenly Father... your one true hope- Unshakeable!

Quote by Jamie George:
"Stop trying to experience love on your own terms, and open yourself up to God. When you do, you allow yourself to be truly known. Love longs to be known. It is in that knowing and being known that we learn to love well."

Next time you look in the mirror, and doubt this year or fear for the next... tell yourself: "Many years have seen many faces, but none quite as beautiful as this. For, this face is of this year and this 'now' is my moment... this is my time to shine!" Do not look back on the past and be filled with regret... God deals with that in His way and in His time and we can learn so much from our past! When you surrender your life to Christ, it is not a sacrifice, it is a privilege! All good gifts that we have received, come from the Lord, lets acknowledge Him.
 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
~2 Corinthians 5:17~

Julia and Cambodian Friends

We have been blessed by more children sitting in on our women's Bible study in the village! Very precious young ones who even gave me gifts on my return from the UK!

PRAYER REQUESTS