Julia Liles — June 2020


Sometimes life feels like a balancing act… I allude to the photograph of myself doing a hand-stand (above) in the field near our home… I call this moment ‘Balancing among Buttercups’! It takes strength, control and good balance to perform a seemingly childish move, and yet as an adult, it is a lot harder to do!! As I’m sure you can imagine! I will say that reflecting on something like this helps me relate to other circumstances. For example, many of us may have felt at some point that one event in life causes our world to turn upside down… though the feelings towards an event are extremely valid, I would still encourage you to look at the situation from a different perspective… A heavenly one to be precise!

What may seem impossible to achieve or persevere through, may be more possible than you think! We can live through hard times, we can endure struggles, we can over come what life may throw at us because we can obtain that which is far greater… FAITH, HOPE and LOVE! I have written these words several times in my letters over the years because the truth of what we have in Christ really is far greater than anything the world can offer or distract us with!

We are encouraged through God’s word that we should ‘finish the race’ and ‘keep the faith’ (2 Tim. 4:7); that we should ‘set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth.’ (Col.3:2). You may feel you are always fighting for the balance between work and family, your health and daily schedule, or in your walk as a Christian among a mix of friends or for us who serve overseas, between countries, family and ministry… Whatever it may be, whatever it is you are trying to achieve or overcome, keep a healthy perspective as best you can, look to the Word for guidance and don’t be too proud to ask the support of those around you.

May all that you do be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31), then you really can’t go wrong! God isn’t a task master, He is a good Father. Going back to my point that what may seem easy for a child (like the handstand) is a lot harder for adults, unlike most children who find it very easy to trust, we can also struggle a lot more with this as adults… Learning to put our trust in the Lord, comes with knowing who He is through His word and realising that we can fully rely and depend on Him for support.

‘Balancing among buttercups’ may fill us with a fear of falling, of crushing all that encircles us in life; a family, a company, a ministry. Again, if we live in fear of falling, it is much more likely that we will fall, however, learning to trust (God), learning to have confidence in the balance, can enable us to ‘stand tall’, stand strong, live upright lives and not crumble under pressure but thrive and survive against all odds, against gravity; the weight of life, sin, loss, even our own selves. May the Lord be your comfort and strength today and tomorrow for whatever you are facing or anticipating, Give it over to the Lord in prayer and you will learn not only to not fear falling, but to better learn how not to fall! “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may ABOUND IN HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit!” -Romans 15:13.

Please pray for me as this month (June), I expect to fly back to Cambodia and ideally I would arrive in time to welcome our new partners in ministry. There will be a few differences in flights and visas since COVID-19 happened so I trust that the logistics of my return will fall into place, and if not, I would act wisely and resolve things simply. June marks 6 months home with the family and mum in particular. I have been so thankful and yet I know this time will come to an end and preparations need to be made for my return to my ‘country of commitment’ to continue serving in the ministry there. I know that this will be the hardest leave that I take from the family and I trust the Lord with the emotions of it all for all of us. Separation doesn’t get easier but the Lord holds us together through it all.  

I also pray that I will settle back in well and after any quarantine requirements, I will get strait back into life and ministry there. I have already been enjoying our online Khmer fellowship time with brothers and sisters and my team mates. This has been a great way to ‘re enter’ the ministry. I understand that the call to missions overseas doesn’t really cease, but changes shape and time and sometimes location too. I will say I’ve been touched by the encouragements of many from my home church, Christ Church Ewell, and their appreciation of having me home and getting a chance to share children’s time for online church. This also included a little interview with Lenna over in Cambodia and everyone enjoyed meeting my little Khmer sweetheart, ‘niece’.

Please keep my mum and all the family in your prayers. I know that after Dad’s passing, my leaving will seem a bigger blow than before, that is not easy on them and if I could soften the blow in any way, I would… So I pray. We are slowly making changes as the government in the UK relaxes some of the restrictions but we still miss our hugs so I will get those in for sure before I head back to my home in Cambodia. There are many close friends I haven’t had time with due to the pandemic, so I hope to be able to say a proper “goodbye for now” to some, and apologies in advance if that is not so possible. Much love x

Please continue to pray for our precious Priscilla, my darling sister who battles on through her many health struggles. Your prayers are a truly loving support. The pandemic situation causes extra stress for those who are more ‘vulnerable’ so we pray this time will pass soon. My eldest sister Lydia will also take her youngest, Matilda, back to school tomorrow so we are praying all goes well and the children and family remain healthy! God is gracious.

I would like to say again, my thanks and love to a wonderful organisation (Things to Come Mission) who have honoured my family so well in prayer and by extending my home leave for so long. Thank you also for my team mates James and Agape Bermejo for soldiering on so well particularly in such unexpected times, and to my wonderful brothers and sisters who patiently await my return yet remind me that they miss me, you have all been so kind and loving. And for all of those friends globally who have showered support upon my family and I all this time with prayers, generous support and cards and calls… I only hope that you will know how much this all means to me and those I love the most. Yours sincerely, in life, friendship and faith, Julia x