It's nearly 2014!!
Well it is here anyway!
Can you believe it? 2013 gone already? Feels really crazy that another year is done, I'm another year older, maybe a little wiser, and have made another year's worth of friends and had as many new adventures! It's also been nearly a full year away from the UK, from friends and family we've grown up (or at least grown older) around. Having left the UK on January 11th 2013, it's been a long time away from everything we thought of as normal, and a huge year of growth for Phil and I individually and massively so as a couple. We had one very wise friend calling 2013 'The Year of the Parkys', and that's been true on so many levels. I'm amazed at what God has brought us half way around the world to teach us, and ever grateful for the grace and patience with which he has taught us, and for faithful friends who have supported and loved us through this year and enabled us to be a part of the Freedom Siem Reap Campus, which is also unbelievably nearly a whole year old!
In Freedom Siem Reap, we've seen huge growth, we've seen numbers come and go, but a faithful core grow and expand, and deep character develop in each of them. We've made lifelong friends, seen them take huge steps of faith, inviting friends, seeing them saved, and brought this year to a beautiful close with our last event of 2013 seeing 11 people get baptised. Fizzing yes!!! Every church plant, every campus have their trials, their frustrations and their learning curves, but with every next step we're privileged to see an individual take, each time we hear another person say that they feel like they've found a place they can call home and that they've found their family, we know that we're getting something right. That God is using us in this place to reach the lost, the hurting and the broken, and He is using Freedom Church as part of His plan to do it.
I've got another blog coming with some more on the experiences we've had here, some of the things close to my heart etc, but for now I want to take this blog to tell you a little about what's next for the Parkys...
Some, but not all, will already know that we're heading back to the UK at the beginning of February. We'll be saying goodbye to Freedom Siem Reap on the 2nd and then travelling to Bangkok to fly from there. We're really excited to be back on British soil and see family and friends again in person, but it'll be bittersweet, as there are so many people here that we may not see again. And what then? The next chapter for us is getting close, and getting exciting!! We're going to take some time out to see family and then... We're going to be moving to become part of Freedom Church Cardiff!!
We're currently investigating potential jobs and accommodation in the Welsh capital, but most excited about getting rooted in to the Freedom campus and seeing what God has for that city!
There's another blog or two brewing, but for now, for 2013, thank you for your love, support and prayers, and I'm excited for all that 2014 will bring.
Cardiff here we come!