Today marks our 4 week anniversary of being in Cambodia, yesterday marked our 3 1/2 year wedding anniversary (woohoo, go us!!), Thursday marked our first Khmer lesson, Wednesday marked the middle of the week, Tuesday was the day before that and Monday began the week!!
Okay, so you probably could have guessed the last few of those, but you know what? This has been an exciting week for us. As part of the worldwide Freedom Church movement, we've just done a week-long fast, and seen God move in amazing ways, and drawn a whole lot closer to Him. We're so very excited to see how He moves on our behalf at our second event tomorrow!
After 700+ people at the launch 2 weeks ago, with around 100 people responding to the message, we paid respect the the Cambodian King Father by not having a full event last week, but still saw 70 people come, 1 salvation and 2 recommitments! This week we go back to a full event and are praying for a packed venue again! We're believing God for so much more than our 25 strong team of volunteers can manage!
We had an amazing night of teaching tonight from or campus Pastor Jan Blondeel, preceded by off the scale worship led by Josh Cooke. At the end of the worship time there was a time of speaking out what what God laid on any one of our hearts, and among those who shared was Ruby. You'll be hearing a lot more about this amazing young woman, if you haven't already twigged who she is, she has such passion and a real commitment to see God use her to change her nation. Tonight she shared about having seen those 100+ responses, but her heart breaking as she looked up and saw all those who hadn't yet responded, and who God was desperately wanting to have relationship with. She brought such insight into the Father's heart, who is thrilled with each and every person who turns to have relationship with Him, but he is not satisfied until each and every one has come home. And the harvest here is huge!
Most people that we talk to have no idea what church is, they've never heard of it. In fact we have to tell them again and again that it's free, that it's not a show, and hopefully over time they'll get the idea that coming in and out throughout will mean they miss out! It's an entirely new culture, and a real challenge and eye-opener to realise that God can use us, but He needs us to put aside our ideas of what church should look like first!!
Another thing that's happened this week (and last) is that we had Kezia and her sister Bianca here visiting. Kezia heads up the Freedom Church Singapore extension and is an amazing leader. Bianca too has leadership potential written all over her, and I'm believing God has massive things lined up for both of them!! Through their visit, we also connected with some other guys on the ground here, I've especially linked in with an amazing young woman called Brittnay, working with Agape International over here. (Ask me about them sometime, or google them!). Meeting her has been such a blessing, an signifies a settling in, and rooting in to Siem Reap as our home. What a blessing!!!
And home it is... definitely for the next 3 months anyway!! We've been to the Visa office and extended ours for another 3 months each. Lots of ins and outs of the best value vs ease of application etc, but given there's 2 of us in Team Parky it made it easier to go for 3 months each. If you're reading this and something's telling you to partner with us, there's a really practical way you can help. We so appreciate being covered in prayer, and we know there are many of you faithfully doing that each day, and given some of the things we come up against, you won't ever know how grateful we are for our prayer warriors! The practical side of it is this though, our visas will cost $285/each for a whole year. That's $570 for the two of us, and that works back to about £361 at the current exchange rate, plus a little extra for us to transfer it over to our account here. Now we're excited to be stepping out in faith and getting work here, God's already provided on this front, and we're hoping to pick up more and more work as we establish ourselves here in Siem Reap, with our ultimate aim of being completely self-supporting here. Again, I want to thank everybody giving in, and supporting us, right now we could not be here without you. As time goes on, we want to be able to release our supporters and sponsors to give in to the new and the next thing that God raises up, and we want to be earning and giving generously to those things too. It's going to take us a little while to get there though, so as these next three months tick by, would you consider partnering with us to get these next visas, and to help us plant church here in such a practical way? Pray about it, ask God if it's right for you to do, and if you feel it's right please do get in touch. In a month or so I'll send out a little reminder in our blog, and as the time arises for us to apply for the new visa we'll let everyone know. In the meantime, if you could be praying about that, we'd so appreciate it.
And now? Well now, dear friends, I'm going to bed!! I'm pooped! It's just turning 1am, and we've got an exciting day coming tomorrow! I can't wait to report back on all that God does!
Sending heaps of love and hugs!!
Mrs Parky! aka Beth xx