Writing this has taken me longer to do than I anticipated. I guess it’s taken me a while to fully process what God has been teaching and showing us, so I wanted to have clarity before sharing, including about news on the decision we mentioned about in our previous update.
Steve and I have had an incredible last few months since getting back, I would say we have felt the acceleration of what God has been doing, felt His joy greater than ever before and also felt such love and unity amongst our team and with the people here. Since arriving back I felt I have had permission to dream again and so excited about what God was putting in my heart; specifically for Sihanoukville. We have also seen some exciting fruit including some breakthroughs in outreaches to the "girly bars" and I have had the privilege of seeing our Cambodian team members reaching them with such passion, love and dedication.
A few weeks ago our director Kellie was here and it was a wonderful time! She asked if we would consider moving to Phnom Penh for 6 months to help with leading the team there. Initially I thought “surely not…no.. no.. can’t be right! As right now we are carrying such promise for this place and we are so happy!" Etc, etc. However we wanted to honour the request to prayerfully consider it, so we set time aside to pray and process with the other leaders down here.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognise and acknowledge him, and he will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)
During a powerful time of prayer Steve sensed that God wanted us to say “Yes” to this request. Initially I felt pretty upset and angry; why God? It doesn’t make sense! I had a million reasons why I didn’t think it was right. However over the following days I had some really amazing times of worship with God where I remembered that our obedience is greater than any sacrifice. How could I not follow Him if He asked us? Everything else besides that seemed irrelevant so I let go. From grieving and sadness I started to feel excitement; we have a good Father and so I know it’s going to be a great adventure with Him! Since then God has given us such a peace this is the right thing and confirmed it to us lots of different times, in lots of different ways and through different people. We feel our time in Sihanoukville is not fully over and that our time in Phnom Penh is just for "a season", which really helps; as our hearts are so connected with the many precious ones down here.
Its interesting timing as our last week here is also the last week of the Dream Centre (at its current location) before it has to close temporarily while we prepare our new property. Even in the timing of all that it feels so amazing that God would let us see the end of the first chapter of somewhere so precious to us. Recently we got to be part of the final session there and it was incredibly beautiful and emotional as we got to reflect and remember all the amazing things that have happened. We also took all the kids up to our new centre (which at the moment is just empty land), watching them run around with such excitement and joy was incredible !
Another amazing thing is that another missionary , who is a close friend, has arrived back in Sihanoukville this week with a desire to work with our community in the railway slum. This is perfect timing as I know she will be able to continue with a lot of what Steve and I have been doing and will continue to love and disciple the sweet families there. Plus we have such a wonderful team here who will stay connected with them, and we are also in partnership with a local church who make weekly visits to share God’s word and build relationship.
This next week or so will involve lots of goodbyes (for now) and we will be aiming to finish this season down here really well. We are thankful that we have already found an apartment in Phnom Penh and we are excited to see all that God wants to do in and through us there.
In all honestly when our directors first asked us I felt completely inadequate for the job at hand but I have learnt this last year that He gives us all we need to fulfil the calling He puts on us; and I have learnt to not look at myself or my own lack but keeping my eyes fixed on Him!
The team we will be working with in Phnom Penh are so wonderful and feel like family already but I know leaving our team here is going to be challenging. We are praying God gives us the grace for it all! Everyday it’s a choice to surrender to God or to do things our way and sometimes that’s easier than others. However when we say “Yes” to Him He is always so faithful! We are both excited for this next season of new levels of dependence, stretching, and growth and most importantly for more of Him!
Thank you so much to all of the amazing people who have been praying for us in making this decision we really appreciate you all greatly.
Mollie, Steve and Gracie x
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Ps 23:1
The months running upto March were incredible and so fulfilling. After getting back from an Iris Global leaders retreat in Indonesia there seemed to be an explosion of fruitfulness. God started breaking out in healings and signs and wonders at the Dream Centre with multiple kids getting healed and encountering and God and being forever marked by his presence. Other kids even having gold dust on their skin after receiving prayer. (some of you have received some testimonies by email – to sign up for our emailprayer updates click here)
We saw some of our local Khmer neighbours getting radically touched by Jesus and transformed and they then went on the spread the flame and saw other people saved and delivered.
We also had some great visitors including an incredible team sent out to do heart ministry to our whole team and a visit from a wonderful couple from our home church in the UK. It was a blessed time but it was a full time.
In the period leading upto mid march I (Steve) was also the closest to burnout I had ever been. Not just because of tiredness but also because heart issues that I had started to notice and I knew needed dealing with. Thankfully He gave us rest at just the right time.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
In the middle of March we were able to go back to the UK for a break. After a couple of weeks of rest we were blessed to be able to receive some personal one on one ministry up in Scotland with a ministry called “Restoring the Foundations” (RTF) .
With the constant pressures of serving on the front line in a dark spiritual environment we both saw areas where we needed greater freedom and healing in our hearts.
The week of RTF ministry impacted us both significantly. Jesus used it to bring great healing and freedom in so many areas of our lives. During one of the sessions I received a life changing revelation of the Father heart of God which led to much breakthrough in that area of my relationship with Him. (For more information about the ministry and how it works this is the website www.restoringthefoundations.org).
God was so faithful to provide what we needed just when we needed it, including a miraculous provision of funds.
The rest of our time in the UK was an incredible gift and blessing. We were able to connect with and catch up with some of our wonderful friends and family there and Grace was blessed to spend some time with her cousins and grandparents! She also learned to walk during this time (now she is running around everywhere)!
Over the last few times since being back in the UK we have begun a relationship with a wonderful church in our home town called City Church NE Lincs. Some of our family have been attending for a while and the church has embraced us and have been such a blessing and encouragement to us; often going out of their way to bless us. One Sunday we had the opportunity to share about Cambodia and some of the exciting things God is doing.
At the end of April it was time to return to this beautiful nation and we travelled back feeling refreshed, encouraged and ready for the season ahead
Since coming back to Cambodia we have been in this theme of transition, freshness and newness. God is doing big things and it involves big changes.
In Sihanoukville we are currently looking for some additional paid Khmer team members and are transitioning from the old Dream Centre site to a brand new piece of land which is higher up the hill and feels like a bit of an upgrade! It is an empty piece of land so we get a blank canvass to build and grow on. We are also in the season of having some of our amazing team members back in the States for a break and we have a new family of five wonderful missionaries who have come to join our team down here! They have been in Cambodia 6 years and they are a great addition to our team!
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Ps 23:3
In the midst of all this transition some big questions have come up for us as a family to pray about and consider. Our International Directors have asked us to consider something that we are currently in the process of praying and seeking the Lord on. It is a decision which is quite big for us as a family and for both teams in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh and so is not to be taken likely.
Whatever we decide we really pray it will be God’s best. We came out here for Jesus for His Glory, for His name and for His will. We didn’t come out here to build a big successful ministry for ourselves or a name for ourselves we came out to Cambodia for Him alone.
We didn’t come out for comfort, consistency, for ease or to have a nice time, we came to Cambodia for Him so above all we are praying that whatever the cost, the potential discomfort, or any other challenges that this decision could bring we pray that we will have the faith and the ability to say Yes to Him, for Him and not for us.
Please pray for us as we continue to seek Him on this one.
…to be continued…
Steve, Mollie and baby Gracie.