Psalm 23The above statement brings to mind the 23rd Psalm, which is the most recognised psalm of them all, but do we know what it is saying to us! The psalm was written by David and he fully understood what he was writing, because he was a shepherd long before he was a King.  When Samuel went to anoint the next King of Israel, after Saul, he found David attending his father’s sheep. We see, on television, a shepherd and his dogs, driving the sheep to where he wants them to be.  In the Middle East, the shepherd walks in front because the sheep know his voice and will always follow.  So what David is saying here is, “I will always follow the Lord because I know His voice”.

He leads me by still waters

Sheep will not drink from water that is moving, so the shepherd digs a shallow pit beside the stream and a channel to divert the water so that the flock can drink in peace. Jesus does the same for us, in the sense that when we are frightened or wary of a situation, He gives us a peaceful eddy to stay in thereby restoring our soul.

Chab DaiChab Dai means 'Joining Hands' in the Cambodian language.  These words signify our ethos of working with one another in partnership as both a Biblical and practical model. Chab Dai was started in Cambodia more than 5 years ago to address the issues of sexual abuse and human trafficking.  Back then, there were 8 Christian organisations who came together to work as a 'Learning Community'.  Today, we have 50 member organisations in Cambodia, more than 10 direct programs and 25 Cambodian staff who are dedicated to seeing change in Cambodia. Chab Dai started as an innovative project for organisations working together to raise the standard of care for victims, bringing hope for the future.  Chab Dai also acted as a bridge builder between these Christian organisations and the Government of Cambodia, United Nations Agencies and other secular groups.  Today we work with more than 30 UN and other agencies and have recently been appointed by the Cambodian Government to their National Committee for Action against Human Trafficking and Exploitation, sitting on the  high level working groups, Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and is one of just 5 agencies (from more than 200) who have been selected to hold this position.

Here we are with some tips from the eco-group this month. This year have yourself a low carbon, eco friendly Christmas: to make Christmas sustainable choose solar powered, recycled and eco friendly Christmas decorations, solar fairy lights, Christmas trees, cards and gifts.  Remember Christmas begins with Christ. Save your carbon footprint and help save Gods Creation Always use what you can from last year’s decorations first. Solar Powered Christmas Fairy Lights - solar LED, OR Solar Powered Christmas Rope Light summer and winter.

So.  What’s in a name?

Nothing has changed, except the name perhaps.  The men’s group that meets 2.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon in The Spire Centre would like to be known as the Men’s Informal Discussion Group.

Why? Because that is what we are and that is what we do and always have done.

We just chat, talk, discuss informally.  What about?  Everything under the sun and beyond.  From putting the world aright to sharing our personal walk with God.  And everything in-between; cars, sport, politics.  You name it. Just talk.

I’m sure that most of you know that we invite residents from this Residential Home to spend an afternoon in The Spire Centre once a month, but perhaps many will have no idea of how these afternoons are spent and I’ve been asked to write this article to put you in the picture. Our guests arrive and are taken home by taxi - the long tables have been set up with cloths and flowers and a ‘helper’ is at each end to enable easy conversation and help with the various activities. The afternoon always starts with a short prayer, bible reading and we are very fortunate to have Glenys with her keyboard for the hymns which are slotted between quizzes and a memory test.  (Sometimes it’s really difficult to get our guests to ‘remember’ but with help and persuasion from each of us we do succeed).

The Sworn Family

This year has been one of significant change in our family.   In August, Hannah moved back to the UK to begin studying for her A-Levels for the next 2 years at Weston College.  It has of course, been a huge adjustment re-entering UK society after having lived in Cambodia for 12 out of 16 years of her life!  Hannah is now living with Helen's mum who is also undergoing a culture shock, who at 78 years of age, has a 16 year old living with her! During August we were able to enjoy a family holiday in France and the first wedding of the next generation with Helen's niece being married.

Soon after, Trevor and Joel returned to Cambodia and Joel back to Hope School which was established more than 9 years ago (with Hannah as the first student!).  Joel is growing fast at 12 years old and is fascinated by geography, war games and cooking with his dad!