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Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honour. Proverbs 15:33



Words like suffering, honour, relationships, humility, loyalty and hospitality are often words spoken or lessons being learned in Cambodia. Humility is a lesson we keep relearning. To be humble involves behaviour that confirms we don’t think we are better than others. Actually humble and human both come from the word “humus” meaning ground or earth. Some of our lessons in humility involve getting dusty and coming ‘down to earth’ as the saying goes. 

Deb is a fan of hammocks, but she has found out that they can be less tame than they look. Deb managed an accidental back-flip out of a hammock whilst visiting her Khmer friend recently. She also ended up spilling her hot tea over herself in the process. Deb found herself coming to with her friend and children trying to pull her off the ground. For Deb’s Khmer friends visiting each other and being together is a gift; the extra gift of this visit became a village joke that pops up in their stories. Deb was fine and she has heard many stories from her Khmer friends of others falling from hammocks, but mostly they were babies or children. Humour helps us be humble. It takes us beyond and lets us see the peculiarities and pretence in being human and sense our vulnerability.

The next day Deb stubbed her toe on a solid cement bag at the local market. Deb was conscious of many curious eyes watching and smiled despite the pain. Deb considered she had movement of the toe so expected it would heal well. Two days later doing exercises with the toe it clicked back into joint. The toe being dislocated was the reason why it hurt so much. Please note Deb as a nurse and midwife does take care of others better than herself. Deb would also frame this story by adding that life is full-on living in a cross-cultural setting like Cambodia and sometimes small things like a dislocated toe can be easily overlooked. But these incidents are a reminder of our humanity and the need for others.

The mishaps have not all been managed by Deb, Rob has experienced his version as well. In June we went to Bangkok for our annual medical check-up. The Thailand location was chosen for us for the reputation of the high standard of medical care as the trip also potentially involved surgery to remove a hernia Rob had acquired helping someone move a furniture item down from a Siem Reap fourth story unit. The laparoscopic procedure was completed, but recovery was slower than expected and some weeks later a local doctor diagnosed a relapse of the hernia. This month we return to Bangkok to re-visit the surgeon, and hopefully we have a better outcome if surgery is carried out. In a Buddhist religious culture people who experience mishaps are sometimes considered to have done something bad, so it has been an interesting time of reflection about suffering and learning patience with some different cultural perspectives.

Sharing a Khmer breakfast in the local market speaks volumes even without talking. Khmer love to see us mingling with them where they do life. They especially love us enjoying their food. So we find ourselves as regulars meeting spontaneously with our Khmer friends from the village, school or health clinic or casually sharing rice with someone new who is brought our way.

Preparation of breakfast at the local village market. 
A neighbours peaceful looking hammocks.
The Crilley families safe arrival and beginning life and transitioning in their new home and country.
For ongoing cultural awareness projects supporting our life-long learning.
Our volunteer work places at school and the health clinic, encourage and challenge us.

Prayer Requests:
For Rob’s medical outcomes, for good healing, rest and recovery. 
Wisdom for the Hutchinson family leaving Australia to live in Cambodia next month.
For the Khmer people who are troubled by many fears.