Posted by: Simon & Becci | January 26, 2012

180 days – church

Update number two: Jubilee Family Church….

The church is doing well, and we continue to be very grateful for how well people have received us; essentially two strangers coming to lead them. Before we came, one of the girls in the church had a picture of an “arranged marriage” when she was praying, and felt that although the church and us did not know each other well, the marriage would be a good and successful one. I think thus far the picture is proving to be accurate.

Church planting is certainly not easy though, and we have had our fair share of disappointments, setbacks, sicknesses and more across the church in the past six months. We are thankful for God for how He has helped people through these and glad that we have been able to be of some help in supporting people through tough times, encouraging them to continue building together.

We have also had a few new people from overseas join us in recent months including my friends Paul and Flea Bromley (and their 4 children) who moved from the UK at the start of January. They were my youth leaders in Winchester Family Church when I was a teenager, so they are very brave to come here as now I am their leader! We held a “Foreigners evening” last weekend involving food, chatting and some Nintendo Wii, all of which seemed to go down well.

Can you spot the French woman and South African?

One of the big challenges moving to join an overseas church is obviously communication. However, this is a great motivation to learn and try out our Khmer, and in recent weeks I am increasingly confident in my speaking, deliberately seeking out those who don’t speak English to try out my latest words (and often get it completely wrong). I think being willing to make a fool of yourself is an essential qualification of church leadership! My aim is to be able to pray and sing accurately in Khmer very soon…

Sdam, Phally, Socheat and Mei Xiang (left to right)

We have also started to consider whether we should move to a new building, as the current one is feeling a bit small. I thought this might be an urgent necessity last week when I received a short text message from Savath which simply said: “There’s a fire in the church building”.

This immediately conjured all manner of strange ideas in my head as I remembered a similar voice message we received from friends two years ago informing us that the house next door to ours in the UK was on fire. On returning home we found that our seemingly respectful neighbours had been using their house as a DIY cannabis factory which had now gone up in smoke.

Fortunately this time the situation was more straightforward: some builders working on the kitchen roof had inadvertently set fire to some cloths in the kitchen below, and the fire had quickly been put out by Savath’s quick thinking. The only damage was to the washing machine which now is somewhat scorched but still in good working order.



  1. All together now…
    ” kmearn non na mnaik doh preah Jesus,
    kmearn non na mnaik doh preah Jesus,
    kmearn non na mnaik doh preah Jesus,
    kmearn non na mnaik doh preah Ong …”

    nearly two years on and I still can’t get those words out of my head! (even when everyone else is singing it in English!!)

  2. Or Bo rit so, bo rit so. Bo rit so, bo rit so, Bo rit so Bo rit so der der der der Drong.

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