Posted by: Simon & Becci | August 1, 2015

Looking back, looking forwards

Its strange how one simple click on your computer changes things. A few minutes ago as I clicked ‘Book now’ on two one-way flights back to London Heathrow in early October, our time in Cambodia officially entered its final phase. We are now preparing to leave.

The past month or so have been full of milestones and opportunities to reflect. On 2nd July we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary (where did the time go?) whilst on 21st July we marked our fourth anniversary of moving to Cambodia. Looking back has been so helpful as we remember, and are thankful for, so many things that God has done and the people who have shaped, impacted and played an important role in our lives.


On our 15th anniversary

There are painful memories too. Our final weeks in the UK in 2011, and first few weeks / months in Cambodia were without doubt the most challenging of my life to date. Looking back on them still stirs the embers of deep emotions of loss, grief and uncertainty which are evident in some early blog posts. I am so wonderfully grateful for God’s faithfulness and my wife’s amazing encouragement that helped see me through!

Now after four life changing years here, I know how difficult it will also be to leave Phnom Penh and the church and people who are so dear to us.

Our friends at Liberty Family Church

Some of our friends at Liberty Family Church

Our role here has been to establish Liberty Family Church and to train and release local leaders to take on the work from us. It is so thrilling to see this happening before our eyes, and we are excited about what lies ahead for the church in the future. There is still much to do in our final two months as we aim to leave the church in the strongest possible position. We are still expecting to be involved in some way after we move on, and will probably visit regularly in the years to come to help, support and encourage as best we can. I have recently learned a lot from the life of Barnabas in the Bible in this respect, and you can follow a series of five minute videos I am making about his life at

Looking north along the Saigon River during over recent trip to a church in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Looking north along the Saigon River during over recent trip to a church in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

There are still a number of unanswered questions for the two of us as we look ahead. The biggest one is probably where we will move next. What we know at present is that we will be back in the UK for a number of months from October onwards, and are then expecting to return to the Asia-Pacific region at some point in 2016. We have really enjoyed visiting and serving a few other churches over the past several months to learn from them and also help us think about what might lie ahead. We will keep you posted!

Another taste of Japanese culture during our second trip to Japan in July

Another taste of Japanese culture during our recent trip to Japan in July

Taking in the sights in Perth, Australia in November

Taking in the sights in Perth, Australia in November

Where we go triggers a whole lot of practical questions about finances, taxes, whether we should buy a house in the UK, language learning, shipping and storage, job applications, visas, medicine…..the list goes on and on! For those of you who now us well, you will be unsurprised to hear that various lists and spreadsheets have already been made!

The final question though is possibly the biggest: will I manage to finish my giant bottle of Conditioner before I leave Phnom Penh? I am happy to confess that I am one of those men who take two bottles into the shower, and about three years ago I inherited a large bottle of Conditioner from Becci who decided she didn’t really like it. Three years on, and the Conditioner is still flowing. 65 days to go – will the Conditioner run out?




  1. Hi guys. Just wondering if the conditioner is the reason for your thinning hair, Simon!
    On a serious note, you are inspirational people and you have done an incredible job in Cambodia. I am sure that God has great exploits lined up for you. I hope the last couple of months are fantastic. Enjoy the time of rest and preparation too. I’m sure God is excited about His plans He has waiting for you.

  2. Personally, I’m finding this an exciting season, although I expect it to be very short-lived. Many people that I love, moved out of the UK around the same time as each other, and the same people are returning to the uk around the same time. I don’t think they will hang around for long, God has other plans, but I intend to enjoy their nearness while I’ve got the opportunity! I will be praying for your transition as I pray for the other people too. I’m looking forward to seeing you, wherever in the UK you end up!

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