Jesse McCaul was born and raised in Oregon, USA and moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1995 when he was seventeen years old. Though raised in a Christian home, it wasn't until his late teen years that Jesse began to seek a personal relationship with the Lord and decided to wholeheartedly live for God. Never having had any dreams or desires to be in full-time Christian ministry, Jesse's desire was only to be used by God. Jesse worked in various spheres in Phnom Penh, including becoming a well-known English teacher, known nation-wide as" Dr. English", managing several schools and helping set up the Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) offices in Phnom Penh. During that time, Jesse was also very involved in the beginning years of New Life Fellowship of Churches in Cambodia, teaching Bible studies, out of which have come several of New Life's top leaders. In 1997, Jesse met his wife, Soar, and they were married in January, 2000.
In 2001, Jesse and Soar felt the Lord urging them to commit themselves to being used in New Life Fellowship of Churches on a full-time basis,so in faith Jesse stepped down from his work outside the Church. In 2004, Jesse began to pastor New Life Fellowship Phnom Penh, the founding Church in New Life Fellowship of Churches, Cambodia and a solid Cambodian leadership team began to be assembled. In 2007, Jesse began to oversee the entire work of New Life Fellowship of Churches, Cambodia. Soar, with her own unique areas of giftings has also been involved in Christian ministry for many years, including hosting the popular Christian television show One Cubed on Cambodian national television. Their daughter, Jessica, was born in 2006 and their son, Josiah, followed in 2011.
Jesse is now the Senior Pastor of New Life Fellowship Phnom Penh and the Overseer of New Life Fellowship of Churches Cambodia. He is also the Country Director of New Life Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organization doing relief and development work in Cambodia with a particular focus on the education sector. Jesse and Soar consider Cambodia their home and are passionate about planting churches and ministering to the poor.
Mara was born in 1973 during the time America was bombing in Cambodia. His province, including his village, was one of the most bombed areas, but God protected Mara and his family. Following the bombing, he experienced the Khmer Rouge Regime of Terror from 1975-1979. This regime caused many people to die of starvation, exhaustion, disease, or murder by the Pol Pot regime. Twenty-one of Mara's relative were killed during this regime. But amazingly the Khmer Rouge people really liked Mara a lot and would actually give him food any time he asked them for it. Mara believes this was God's favor and protection on his life even though he didn't know God yet. In 1980 the government of Cambodia started to set up schools again and Mara joined school at the first grade, one year after freedom from Khmer Rouge. He later graduated from high school and moved to Phnom Penh to study at the Royal University.
During that time he was involved in politics, and worked as a journalist for a local newspaper. Later his friend invited him to go to New Life Fellowship to study English for free. After he was there for a while he felt the love and care of God's people towards him and God started changing his heart. He received the Lord Jesus Christ in 1995, got baptized, and began following the Lord. This was the same year he graduated from University.
In 1999 Mara started working for New Life Fellowship as an evangelist and helped plant the first daughter church in the Cambodia country-side. That was the same year that Leah Cassidy, an American, came to be a missionary at New Life, teaching computer. In 2001 Mara married Leah and they continued working at the church. Mara worked as a evangelist helping plant more churches in the provinces and Leah worked in the church office. They have 3 children, Naomi, Anna and Joshua.
Mara currently oversees Pastoral Care Department, which ministers to men, women, married couples, sick people, business and professionals, and New Life's Healing Home. He counsels members, and preaches at many of the church services. Mara loves to evangelize and pray for people, see them come to know Jesus and be set free. Leah is involved with teaching the Bible, women's ministry and discipling and helping women in the church. She also homeschools their children.