If you were at one of the ICF services last Sunday you will know that Hwee Ping and I shared some significant news. As not everyone in our wonderful church family would have been there we wanted to share with you the decision that we have made.
One of the reasons for our recent sabbatical was to have time to reflect on our life together, the work that God has called us to, and our future.
We were pretty weary when we began our sabbatical and so our first priority was to have some physical and emotional rest and to spend unhurried time with God. God enabled this to happen very well. We were blessed with peaceful surroundings, the beauty of creation, places to walk in and explore, and time and space to ‘be’ with God, through his Word, through prayer and through His people.
We were able to connect with Hwee Ping’s caring church family in Singapore and we found a warm and welcoming church in the UK.
We also appreciated time with some close friends, and in Singapore we met regularly with a wise mentor who listened to us and helped us to have a clearer perspective.
A number of things became clearer to us on Sabbatical.
As a cross-cultural couple from different countries, we need to do something about our future residency soon. At the moment, we can only stay in one another’s countries (Singapore and the UK) for a few months together even though we are married, due to present day immigration restrictions, which isn’t ideal.
The only way we can begin to sort this out is by actually living in the country and starting the process towards permanent residency.
We also saw that Hwee Ping has a real passion to help cross-cultural workers to be spiritually and emotionally healthy and resilient. But she realises that she needs to be better equipped to do this well. She has explored further training but this is not available in Cambodia.
As I enter the autumn years of ministry I would ideally like to do a refresher course in Biblical studies and Pastoral care. This will refresh my soul and help me in practical ministry.
So we have made the decision that we will continue serving at ICF until April 2018, which is a year after our sabbatical ended. We will then leave Cambodia and live in Singapore for the next season of our life. This will enable us to begin the immigration process and to do some study to equip us for future ministry.
This has not been an easy decision, as knowing the right time to make major changes in life is not always clear. However we have taken time to think, to pray, to seek wise counsel, and in different ways the Lord has confirmed this next stage ahead. We both have a sense of Peace in His leading, even though there are many unknowns ahead.
As we are learning to trust God for the future we are aware that as He leads us as individuals He also leads His church. The ICF is in safe hands! Whoever the under-shepherds are, Jesus is the chief Shepherd! (1 Peter 5:4) He has given His life for us and He has promised to always be with us. We can be certain that He will lead us all into a future that is the very best. So we can be confident in God for everything that lies ahead.
We are all “In His grip” as God promises in His Word:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
We know that this may be a surprise to some of you, that you may have questions, or you may feel sad. That is natural. Please talk with us. Hwee Ping and I are happy to share more about our decision and where we sense God is leading us.
Hwee Ping and I will be here for nearly another year. We aim to finish well. Please pray that we will use the opportunities that God gives and take one step at a time, as we trust God.
There is a set process in place for looking for a new ICF Pastor. This involves all church members. The ICF Council will give more information about this over the next few months.
Working with the ICF has been and continues to be a great privilege.
In this season may we all know afresh that God is enough!
With our love and prayers,
Pastor Peter and Hwee Ping
Please mark your dates for our annual Sacred Assembly!
Saturday, 19th September 2015, 12 noon - 4 pm
This is an annual event at the ICF when we come together before God.
We spend time together
In the Old Testament there were special times when God’s people came together before God. Sacred Assemblies were times for God’s people to confess and turn from their sins. It was an opportunity to appreciate again God’s grace and faithfulness, and to return to Him in faithful love and obedience.
In the New Testament there is much about renewing our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the years God has reminded the ICF of His priorities and has sometimes given us new convictions and challenges. The Sacred Assembly has often been an important part of God’s leading, and an encouragement to us both individually and together. Often the Sacred Assembly has set the tone and direction for the year ahead.
Our present priorities came out of the Sacred Assembly.
We believe these are key priorities for us:
We seek to come with openness to God so He can set His agenda.
We encourage all members of the ICF to aim to come to the Sacred Assembly this year. We trust and believe that as we come together before Him He will be present with us to challenge, encourage and bless. In our busy activism, it is an important and wonderful thing to simply spend time with our Heavenly Father.
How can we prepare for a Sacred Assembly?
Please aim to join us. Your presence will make a real difference!
After praying, exploring and consulting, the ICF Council believes that growing a new ICF congregation in the Phnom Penh Thmey area in the North West of the city will be beneficial.
So here are the details of this third ICF congregation.
When: 5.00 pm Sunday (from 30th August)
Where: Hope International School (North)
What: Fellowship meal and service (finger food, drinks supplied)
Theme for next 3-4 weeks: 'Siblings, Genesis and the Promise'
For more information please contact:
Warwick Browne, ICFN Facilitator on 017 440 422, firstname.lastname@example.org
The ICF Retreat 2015 will take place from Saturday, 21 November until Monday, 23 November 2015 (right before Water Festival).
We will go to the Bronze Lake Resort, near Kampong Thom.
Detailed information about the retreat will be available at church from Sunday, 13 September 2015.
We hope that you will join us!
The Retreat Committee
Join us for our second ICF CHURCH RETREAT!
Both morning and afternoon congregation are invited to spend time together and get refreshed...
Worship – Fun Games – Pray together – Teaching – Fellowship over a Meal...
The retreat (2 nights/3 days) will take place around Water Festival 2015, the date is not yet confirmed. We plan to go to Kirirom Hillside Resort again as the facility was very convenient for our group. Based on the last year's feedback, we also know what to look out for in order to make the retreat as comfortable as possible. However, we are also looking into 2 other options, one is The Rock in Kep and the other one is Don Bosco in Sihanoukville. While Don Bosco will not be able to accommodate 90+ people, both options will be more expensive and the travel will be longer.
We have created an online survey which gives more information about the retreat, including potential costs. We are very interested to hear your opinion and your preferred date. It also helps us to estimate the number of people who are interested to join. Could you please follow this link and fill in the survey?
We would appreciate your feedback until Wednesday, 10 June 2015. For any questions please contact Christina (email@example.com).
We are excited to plan for you and with you.
The ICF Retreat Committee
We are glad to welcome Julieta Concepcion and Cathy Macqueen onto the ICF Council today.
Please continue to pray for them as they begin to serve in their new role as ICF Elders.
The ICF Council is pleased to recommend that Julieta Concepcion and Cathy Macqueen are appointed as ICF Elders.
We are delighted that they are willing to serve in this way. Please read the background information about Julieta and Cathy, which will be given out at church on the next four Sundays.
If you would like to give any comments, please contact any of the present ICF Elders.
We are planning on having a Ballot for all ICF church members on this recommendation on Sunday 26th April.
Please be in prayer as we seek to appoint new ICF Elders. Three of our present ICF Elders are leaving Cambodia. Mark Fender has now left, and Knut Iversen Foseide and Rachael Litchfield will be leaving within the next two months.
We are encouraged that Julieta and Cathy are willing to serve the ICF in this way.
We are still seeking to appoint at least two more Elders, and especially men.
Please prayerfully consider who in our church family would make a good and Godly Elder. Please give your suggestions to any of the present ICF Elders. We are not looking for volunteers- but suggested names for consideration.
He talks about it frequently. It seems to shape His way of working everything out. For Jesus, the Kingdom of God is His framework for what God is doing in the world. It is His road-map for mission. And it is at the heart of His Gospel. So making sense of this Kingdom is absolutely essential if we are to be his followers. The Kingdom gives us concrete hopes for the future even as it helps us figure out how to serve God right here and now. This Kingdom is the context in which personal salvations flows. Throughout March in the ICF services, Graham Chipps will present a series of addresses on this Kingdom that Jesus loved so much to talk about. As well as a general overview, we will trace some particular themes of the Kingdom: the presence of God, the centrality of the King, the hope of the nations, and the grounded character of the Kingdom in God’s creation.
As part of our Pastoral Care initiative we have designated two Coffee Corner tables on the roof terrace for newcomers and visitors on Sundays. We are in need of people to volunteer to be at the Coffee Corner after service on Sunday. If you like meeting new people and extending hospitality, and would like to be involved in this area of ministry please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.