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Julia was raised in a Christian home near London, England and accepted Christ as Savior in 2005. She earned a degree in Theatre Design and used those skills on several short-term mission trips, including TCM’s Africa Safari in 2009. During that trip the Lord confirmed that He was calling her into cross-cultural ministry, so she enrolled in a missions program at All Nations Christian College. After completing a two-month internship with TCM in Southeast Asia, she applied to be a TCM missionary and hit the ground running in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in September 2015.
Julia plunged directly into language study and was actively involved in the ministries of the Phnom Penh City Central Church. Her heart desire is to see Cambodians of all ages and walks of life enter into the Grace church to hear God’s Word and receive Christ. She longs to see the current believers develop a heart for evangelism despite their cultural shyness.
Sokney “Chetra” Hong is a Cambodian from a very strong Buddhist family. Chetra himself was a committed Buddhist and served as a monk for 5 years from 2006 to 2011. Although he loved everything about Buddhism and thought he was a noble man with few, if any sins, he sometimes wondered, “What is the purpose of my existence?”
In 2012, Chetra started a job teaching in a language school where he was required to join a weekly Bible study. He started learning about the God of the Bible and his students tried to share the good news of Jesus Christ with him; however, he resisted because Buddhism still meant everything to him, and he couldn’t imagine losing the most precious thing in his life. Deep down in his heart though, there was an emptiness seeking to be filled.
Julia enrolled in the language school where Chetra was working in 2017. She shared many Bible verses with him and persistently invited him to church. When he finally agreed to attend a service, Pastor James Bermejo’s preaching answered the questions in his heart about the Bible. By October 2018 Chetra realized he was a sinner who needed to be saved, and he personally accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Since then, Chetra has completed the Cambodia Grace Gospel Church’s Pastoral Ministry Mentoring Course. He and Julia were married in the UK in April 2022. They moved to the Philippines in June to attend TCM’s 2-month intensive Grace Theological Center for Mission, followed by a year of Bible school training for Chetra and teaching for Julia at International Grace Bible Institute—Tagum.
TCM accepted them as a missionary couple in January 2023 and assigned them to serve in Cambodia.