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Wendy in Cambodia

Latest news from Wendy & Yong in Cambodia - February/March 2019


Dear family & friends

We have had several Prayer Circles Rides since our last letter, Yong has joined them all and earlier this month both of us were able to join the team to ride up to the north east of Cambodia. Throughout these rides, we experienced God’s protection and blessing, His directing us to places and people and His growing of our faith and speaking out of our faith

Healing: dependent on faith? Do we expect God to answer?

The latest Prayer Circles ride spanned 5 days, 10 Cambodian provinces and over 1400 km. We encountered herds of water buffalo, red dusty roads, Mission partners doing church discipleship and agricultural mentoring, border crossings, waterfalls where countries meet and much more. Yet the spiritual journey God is leading us on is the bigger adventure. One of a short meetings we had was with a lady in the town of Anlong Veng (where Wendy used to live), in far north Cambodia. We were led to her house via a Fijian mission partner, who knew her through the church and wanted us to pray with her since she had been quite sick for several weeks. We spent a few minutes with her; she appeared underweight, fatigued, sweating but she spoke gently and there seemed to be a spirit of peace around her. We had spent a few minutes praying with her when some younger members of her family joined us. One of them asked her: And after they prayed what did you feel? To which she answered: I stopped sweating. Indeed, her skin was dry. 

Later at our group talk together over dinner, debriefing our day, giving thanks and sharing our thoughts together. I (Wendy) shared my own thoughts about the situation with this lady. My immediate reaction to the question of ‘what did you feel’ was that this was a wrong question, creating expectation that the lady would feel pressure to answer, perhaps even to make something up about her sickness. 

However, I felt that God checked my spirit and that this was wrong of me- that it was an expectation in the family that God is full of power and miracles and that He will heal. The woman’s own answer was evidence for the effect of the prayer. Her sickness was not healed but she did stop sweating.

As a team, we had some discussion about the circumstances for healing- is it dependent on our faith, the faith of family members or something else? The Bible shows us examples where the faith of family is key to healing- the 4 friends who brought the paralysed man, breaking through the roof to get to Jesus. But also the faith of the individual is key- the woman who reached out to touch Jesus’ robe and be healed. And when God does not heal- is it about our lack of faith or immaturity as believers? Yet we also know the timing of God’s healing is about the display of God’s power, as in John 9. Maybe you have a thoughts about this that you would like to share with us?

Can motorbike oil be used to consecrate the ground?
Whilst in the border crossing of Osmach, I (Wendy) also felt God prompting me to sprinkle Holy Oil on the ground, to pray for cleansing and consecration of the ground to God. I have never felt this idea or prompting before and I do not carry oil for blessing with me. But I felt I should mention this to the team and they suggested I anoint the ground with... motorbike oil! Feeling slightly bashful, but also wanting to obey any prompting of God’s Spirit, I took out the dipstick from my motorbike and flicked it on the ground, praying God would indeed make the ground Holy, for His purposes. Reflecting on this, I am glad we did this and that the team supported this idea- I believe it is in such ways that we grow in faith and learn more about being God’s disciples. As you read this, maybe you have something in mind where God prompted you to act in an unexpected way? We would love to hear from you. 

Thanks:

For the 3rd Journey Deeper retreat held last weekend, which is a place for mission partners to grow in faith. 

For God’s leading and blessing during the recent Prayer Circles Rides. 

Requests:

for discernment over the next 6 months, about which ministry agency we will join as a couple (either Novo or Interserve). 

For Yong starting back teaching English at Salt and Light International School. 

 

Specific Dates for Prayer:

February 19-28th Christian Medical Training Conference for Wendy in northern Thailand, to update clinical skills and refresh workers in resource-poor contexts. 

February 23rd InterServe Lifegroup fellowship meeting. 

March 11-15 Yong will be on another Prayer Circle in south west Cambodia.

March 31 Small retreat for Journey Deeper group. 


We will be celebrating our marriage in the UK

with a blessing on June 22nd in Devon.

If you can join us, please do! We will send more info later.

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January 2019 - Dear family and friends,

 

Greetings to you in our first joint news and prayer letter since we married last month: we have much to give thanks for and celebrate – we hope you like the photos we include!  We married November 21st in Florida, during Thanksgiving week – a wonderful time to rejoice and have a wedding.  The wedding was held at Yong’s former church in Bradenton, with a ceremony that involved each of our families, as well as both Yong’s old pastor and Wendy’s friends from the UK.  Our reception was a lovely, informal gathering at the home of Yong’s family in Florida, with many family members doing so much to organise and arrange things to make it wonderful day for us.  We are so thankful that so many people were able to travel to join us on our wedding day, including 10 of Wendy’s family/friends from the UK/Spain and several from across the USA.

 

Since all of you know one of us more than the other and this is our first combined letter, it’s a good time to introduce ourselves to one another’s families and friends, so we include a few words about ourselves and what each of us are doing here in Cambodia.

 

Introductions…

From Yong… I have been in Cambodia for 11 years serving initially in the northern part of the country by myself. I was in the mountains for 4 and a half years.  After my time there, I joined CRM which is now called Novo, novo.org and am living in the capital, Phnom Penh.  My background is in computer field and I currently serve people using my skill in computer. I also teach English in a small compound that was started by a Korean missionary couple. In addition to that, I am starting to take a more leading role in leading a team of like-minded missionaries riding our motorcycle circling the border of Cambodia praying for its protection and for growth in the kingdom of God.  Prayer is the most important intercession task on behalf of people for God.

From Wendy… My main work here is as a nurse educator at a small mission hospital (MMC) on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. I also support my mission agency (Interserve) team with medical advice or health screening. I keep learning Khmer language with a 1:1 tutor- there is always more to learn and improve on! I have a role this year facilitating a course for spiritual growth for mission partners here in Cambodia. At our international church family, I enjoy singing and playing guitar as well as being a part of house group.  When we can make time for it, I enjoy riding a dirt bike into rural Cambodia and hope to join more Prayer Circles Team trips with Yong.

 

Christmas in Cambodia

Our first Christmas together will be here in Phnom Penh, gathering with church family, as well as having team events with both Novo and Interserve.  We are hoping to host a Christmas meal on Boxing Day (December 26th for those non-Brits among you!), hopefully we will have a table by then! Slowly we are making our home together, since Wendy has moved into Yong’s bachelor pad (!) – there is some organising to do… (just a little, little, haha… not true. Yong)

We also had an MMC weekend retreat (December 14-16) with all the international staff and their families – a good time to get to know each other more and pray together for the hospital work as we head into 2019.

 

For those who support us in prayer:

Thanks: for a wonderful wedding week – we enjoyed and give thanks for God’s many blessings as we celebrated with family and friends.  Thanks for Wendy’s visit to Vietnam with Anny, to join her family commemorating her grandmother’s death.

 

Requests: for us to build our home together; for each areas of our ministry and relationships to deepen; for discernment over the next 6 months, about which ministry agency we will join as a couple (either Novo or Interserve); that especially over Christmas, we would encourage colleagues and team mates, to reflect on and rejoice in the good news of Jesus birth, Emmanuel.

On Jan. 7-11, Yong will be on another prayer circle around Cambodia with a team of like-minded missionaries.

Please pray for us.  Wendy is still processing if she will join part of the trip.




Previous Newsletters:


September 2018 - Families and blessings


I recently returned from just over three weeks of travel, encompassing Yong's family in the States and then to my family in the UK and Spain. We are full of praise and thanks to God for such a joyous time together, which included becoming engaged and planning our wedding. We are so blessed by the friendship God has gifted to us, the love we have for each other and the courage to commit to partnering together into the future. I know many of you have been praying and hoping that God would lead me to a man who also loves the Lord. Thank you- God has done so!

 

As we traveled, it was wonderful to meet each other's families, enjoying many meals and walks together with siblings, parents, nephews and nieces, but also enjoying seeing each other outside of Cambodia, learning more about each other's history, places of significance and learning about the way God has formed us and led us over the years.


We will marry in Florida in November, which will be a fairly small, mostly family gathering. Practically this was the best choice for us, but if you are reading this and wanting to celebrate with us- and I dearly hope you do!- we will have a UK celebration or blessing next year, likely in early summer. Although we don't know the date and details yet, we would love you to come celebrate and give thanks then, and of course to meet Yong! We will be planning this UK visit more after the US wedding. 

 

On my return to Cambodia, I immediately joined a retreat for all our MMC hospital staff. It was a great time to fellowship together as brothers and sisters of faith, singing praise, in testimonies, Bible reading and in play together. I mentioned in my last news how much I have been enjoying deepening relationships with colleagues as I am settling in to the hospital work and my role as nurse leader and mentor. The retreat together was another step to deepen these connections, to understand each other more, to enjoy each other, sharing our mutual joy in Jesus, our vision for serving the Cambodian people through our medical care.

 
Within our nurse team, we have had 3 new starters join us in August- praise God for providing. As they learn and grow as disciples and in professional ability, may we nurture them well.

 

The Cambodian election passed uneventfully, with no political change, since there was no alternative political party. Please continue to pray for justice, democracy and hope for Cambodia



Yong and I enjoying beautiful Exmouth in Devon - Yong's introduction to cream teas was a hit!

Spending time with some of my family in Spain.



Meeting Yong's Mum and siblings when I arrived into Atlanta.



Most of our team of MMC nurses during the retreat. I am so privileged to work with them!


July - August 2018

Friendships

Deepening relationships at the hospital and personal friendships too – I have a lot to be thankful for!  

This newsletter follows my last brief update about my growing friendship with a friend here which we pray is leading towards marriage.  More on that below but I'd also like to share a bit about growing connections at Mercy Medical Centre (MMC) – the hospital where I am working.


I've been working part time at MMC hospital for 4 months now and am gradually increasing my hours as I reduce language study.  Relationships are deepening with staff as we get used to each other, as God builds trust between us and as I understand more of the systems at the hospital.  I am enjoying it more and more!  Last week I joined the monthly lunchtime meeting of Women's Fellowship for all the female staff at MMC – a good time of encouragement together.  My ongoing Khmer study with Anny reading the Bible in Khmer and being in Khmer church is helping me to be able to follow this better – praise God! 


Recently I have been doing more teaching in Khmer at the hospital and more mentoring 1:1 with two of the nurse leaders – building their teaching and protocol-writing skills.  I am so blessed to be able to support staff in this way – what a privilege to encourage, coach and serve.  It is great to see nurses start to try to interpret and apply knowledge, rather than merely completing the requested task. 


We have had some staff leave lately; please pray God will bring new staff that have the compassion, vision and teachability to work with us to care for and love patients as God calls us to do.


I have been growing closer with my friend Yong, whom I met through international church, being in house group together and with the motorbike Prayer Circles Cambodia.  He is a mission partner also, although with a different mission agency. He is Cambodian, but was a refugee during the genocide and grew up in Florida, USA.  God led him back to Cambodia over 10 years ago.  It is such a wonderful gift from God to be growing in friendship and love together, to share vision and passion for serving here in Cambodia.  It is also a big shift for us both to merge our independent single thinking; to become a 'we' – but God has brought a lot of fun and support to each other through this friendship.  Please pray for us as we visit each others families in these next weeks (August 11-September 6th).  We will visit both the USA, the UK and Spain.  Please pray God would give us insight into each other's culture that would help us understand each other more and also help us see different facets of God's character and faithfulness.  He has already gone back to the US a few weeks before me which is quite hard to maintain good communication and connection together. I'm very much looking forward to joining him there soon. 


Lastly, but an important matter and prayer request, is for Cambodia as the general election is held July 29th.  Unfortunately all viable opposition parties have been restricted to the point of impotence, which means the status quo is a foregone conclusion and in effect democracy is not possible.  Please pray God would work out His plans and purposes here in this kingdom, despite the tight control and fear.  Please pray for hope for the Cambodian nation, for justice, for God to raise up and work through people of peace and for peace on the streets during elections.


Mission Motorbike – May Newsletter from Wendy in Cambodia


Earlier this month I joined the Prayer Circles Cambodia, which was a great adventure and deserves a dedicated newsletter. 

 

I first heard about Prayer Circles Cambodia through a friend in my church housegroup.  It's a group of motorbike riders (on dirt-bikes) that was started a few years ago by a mission partner here, with a vision to ride and pray through the border provinces of Cambodia, circumnavigating the country each year.  At the start of May I was able to join one of their trips, riding up to the north west of Cambodia.  We had long days on the bikes across different surfaces.  I admit to being a little bit proud of being the first lady to join them riding!


Day 1:  Phnnom Penh to Pailin. – 455km.  Eight riders set off, riding through a few main towns, passed many Wats (Buddhist pagodas), but also many mosques.  I have noticed since being back in Cambodia there are many more Muslim villages, spread into rural provinces, not only along the Mekong River or specific parts of Cambodia as previously.  We had about 2 hours of dirt roads – fortunately dry, otherwise we would have taken quite a bit longer to arrive in Pailin.  I had my first proper river crossing.  Since I'm still very much a novice on the bike, I did have to put my feet down... wet boots for the rest of the day, but pleased I made it!


Day 2: Pailin to Samraong – 331km.  Late start due to some bike problems for one of the team, then riding through rain for about 6 hours. Wet. Met with a Christian brother wanting to start a small church near Poipet, prayed with him then had fellowship over lunch.  Some roads under construction, potholes, heavy buses and lorries for about 20 minutes, hair-raising, but through that onto some lovely roads through cassava fields.  Beautiful.  Excellent fruitshake and story-telling by the lake that night. 


Day 3: Samroang to Siem Reap – 370km.  Back into my old stomping ground! Lovely staying lakeside in Samroang, before an early start to Anlong Veng, for breakfast and fellowship with old friends.  Praying with them, especially for the youth who are afraid to go to church because of ghosts (evil spirits) around the church.  A powerful reminder of the spiritual realm and the very real fears people have.  Rode on to Preah Vihear temple – thick mud, then very steep ascent/descent, pushing me to handle different bike challenges.  Great!  Usually great place to pray over the land from an amazing viewpoint but all in cloud.  Still prayed blessings, healing and the authority of King Jesus as we walked through the ancient temple (it's a Unesco world heritage site – ancient Angkor). Rode on to Siem Reap, through peppercorn plantations and along some more dirt roads, avoiding the cows coming home, then the heavy tourist traffic of the city. 


Day 4: Around Siem Reap province – 180km.  Joined by 4 more friends today to ride and pray around Siem Reap province.  Met and prayed with a young family who lead a small house church about 25km from the city.  Then on to lunch where 3 ladies walking by stopped to chat and wonder who we were, chatting with them.  I explained we follow the Father God. Who is the one true God, they asked? And what about the problem of sin – amazing interaction and humble reminder that there are spiritually hungry people here and a lack of churches.  Great to talk with them, then pass to Cambodian pastor with us to explain more. 


Day 5: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh – 332km.   Homeward bound – after a lazy long breakfast, we set off for home, managing to liaise with another motorbike friend who normally joins the Prayer Circles, who was moving house that day, heading up to Siem Reap.  Great to stop, pray and bless him.  Just made it into PP before the afternoon rains started. 


Which made our total mileage (yes miles, not km) 1,043.  Thankful for the chance to ride, to pray, to encourage, to fellowship, to learn more about how God is moving in this country. 

 

A brief team update: we had a great Team Retreat together last week.  Thankful for God growing unity and love between us, for a new team leader, for vision and commitment in the eldership.  Also thankful that the organising came off OK, most people were very positive about the retreat and time together. 

 

Next time... Since I notice that I rarely seem to follow what I had intended to (!) let's just see what God leads me to share with you next time! 

 

For those who support me in prayer:


Thanksgiving: for safe and fun motorbike Prayer Circles trip – which included some appointments God made for us; for getting a new visa without a problem; for a fun birthday with friends; for great team retreat together and new team leader.

           
And prayer requests: for me to settle more into my role at the hospital; for my friend Anny – for God to provide another carer who can help her at home (currently her mum is full time carer, with no respite support – I have been helping her lately); for continued language acquisition and self-discipline with my time to work on this.

 
Specific diary dates: 

·                  May 25th – June 3rd Visit from friends (the Bells) from my London church The Bear- wonderful!

·                  May 26th – Hospital team family day enjoying swims and food together.

·                  May 28th – Praise Evening

·                  June 18th – Praise Evening 


Our Prayer Circles team at the foot of Preah Vihear mountain. A wet day to ride! 

Back with old friends of mine in Anlong Veng

What a great group to ride with, including 2 other Interserve team mates.

Three ladies approached us as we were about to eat lunch- they were curious about us and we shared our faith with them.


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As a church you will remember Wendy Power's Newsletters sent from Cambodia where she was nursing some time ago under the auspices of VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas).  When, after four years she returned to England, she talked to us about her experiences and impressions of Cambodia, and it's people.  Clearly she felt that in some areas there was a need for improvements and she could see an opening where she could help.

 

After a break back in this country she would now like to return to Cambodia.  She feels very strongly that God is calling her, not only to use her nursing skills, but also to share her Christian faith and love of Jesus with the people of Cambodia whilst living among them.  She saw, during her first visit that, as she says "the Cambodian Church is mostly very young in faith with few mature leaders who can teach and pastor people", and she would hope to be able to serve in this connection.

 

Wendy plans to return to Cambodia in January 2017, this time to work as a Mission Partner through Interserve, a non denominational mission agency which has worked in Asia and the Arab world for over 160 years.

There is no doubt about Wendy's personal commitment, but in order to be accepted as a Mission Partner by Interserve, certain criteria have to be met, not the least being a financial requirement.  Wendy spoke to the morning congregation at Temple in  November, and asked that we be involved in aspects of her desire to serve the Cambodian people.

Several members of Temple Methodist Church have already indicated that they are willing to support Wendy in many different ways and we wish her well in her desire to carry out this important work. 

Through this page of the Temple Methodist Church web site we plan to keep you up to date with her progress.  In the hope that all will come to fruition and she is able to meet the criteria to achieve her desired vocation, we will post on this page her regular news so that you can feel a part of her work so far away.