We have just finished a great few weeks back in the UK after feeling like it was right for us to go back there for a bit. While we were at home it was confirmed we had made the right descision in numerous different ways, it was a great (but very busy) time.
We are now back in SE Asia where from now on we will be full time! On the plane over from a stop in Singapore I felt like God was teaching me that the season we were just in is ending and a new season was begging. Ever since August last year we havent been in one place for more than 10 weeks! Its been a great season with lots of moving about including long stints in Mozambique, Thailand and Cambodia. We have learnt so much and had the priveledge of meeting some incredible people. But on the plane on the way over it felt like God was speaking to me about a new and different season starting.
As you know from our last few updates our trip in March to Thailand and Cambodia was amazing and life changing and we had an incredible time. We also had about 6 weeks after the rest of the team left in Thailand to spend -among other things -waiting on God to find out where He would wanted us long term. We knew it would be either Thaland or Cambodia but we wanted to make sure we were completely in His will and we weren’t making the descision by leaning on our own human understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
After receiving a few different words, pictures and other confirmations we realised that we should start our time here in SE Asia in Cambodia. Since then we feel like this has been confirmed time and time again.
The priorities for the first few months of our time here will be to learn the language and culture. Then after a few months of getting established the vision for Iris Cambodia will then hopefully start to take shape.
We are starting with a pioneering team (of including some fellow Iris Harvest School Graduates) to help set up Iris Cambodia. Their main vision is to rescue and rehabilitate child victims of the sex industry by setting up safe houses to see survivors freed and restored (for more information about Iris Cambodia please check out their website).
We arrived in Cambodia late afternoon on Sunday 1st of July. It has been exciting, but hectic, our 3 months intensive Khmer language school started at 7;30am the next morning! Since then we have moved into our new permanent accomodation, bought beds, furniture and sorted lots of other things. This morning again we had our second language lesson (learning how to write Khmer!). At the moment (as you can see from the picture) to me the letters just look like fancy squiggles, but that will hopefully change in time!
I felt led to share the main reason why we are actually here in Cambodia and the main reason we have completely changed our lives to move out here. It’s not because of what we will be doing (even though hopefully we will make a difference).
Its very important for me to communicate the main priority of our hearts and the main reason we are actually out here. I am only slightly beggining to grasp how incredible God is. To be in His presence is the most incredible feeling I have ever experienced, nothing else even comes close. We both have a hunger to know Him more closely, whatever the cost, we have just been finding that the more we are getting to know Him the more enjoyable and exciting the journey is getting.
I am overjoyed to be here, not because of the specific location or even because of the things we are going to be doing. It’s purely because we are going to be walking with and getting even closer to Father God, by living in the things He has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10). We desire to get even closer to Him, know Him more and walk in all the things that knowing Him brings.
I know you dont have to move out to a foreign country or do things in this specific way to know God closely, anyone can know Father God thorugh Jesus. But this way is His specific plan for our particular lives and this is where He has led us. The more time we spend with Him the more he changes our hearts and His priorities start to become priorities on our hearts as well.
This is a path we are excited and delighted to walk and say yes to because He has given us a passion and hunger and excitement to do these things, they are all desires received from Him and they do not originate in us. He is our priority, our relationship with Him through Jesus and the excitement, peace and and joy which comes with that relationship (which is on offer for all people).
King David sums it up better than me, singing in the Bible:
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11.
We hope to start as we mean to go on, not letting the things we do define us but who we are in relationship to Him and that will never change because our true identity is in Him and He will never change.
Here's to an exciting new season ahead and to an awesome God who loves to Father us and see us walk in the incredible and exciting destiny He has planned for us! Thank you so much for sharing the journey with us and continuing to do so.
Lots and lots of Love,
Steve and Mollie Brown
*Prayer points, please pray for:
- Continued protection and covering over us.
-Supernaturally fast and easy language learning!
-For us to settle in well (and the way God wants us to settle).