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Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:2
GRIFFITH GLEANINGS APRIL 2020   What does a pandemic look like in Cambodia?

With the Australian media saturation of COVID-19 coverage focused mostly on how Australia is coping compared to places like America and Europe you might be wondering how somewhere like Cambodia is managing. Cambodia has had officially a total of 122 cases of positive COVID-19 infection, with no reported deaths. This week marks more than 2 weeks having passed without an official new infection.

It sounds like pretty positive progress when Australia is approaching 90 deaths to COVID-19, but there have been reports of air travel passengers departing Cambodia receiving positive tests on their port of arrival, so the Cambodian testing activity may have some ‘blind-spots’ to the actual levels of infection.

The response to the disease has had a huge impact. When the first case of virus infection was recorded in Siem Reap the government closed all schools. Government schools have no capacity to take classrooms ‘on-line’ with most teachers not having access to a computer and most families not even having a smart phone, unless they are relatively wealthy. Siem Reap being a tourist city has had a lot of the tourist dependant businesses close. Without a social security safety net, there will be knock-on effects to thousands of Khmer workers in the tourist sector and their families. Many rely on their income to have loans to repay motorbikes among other things. Due to concern around COVID-19 this past month the Cambodian government cancelled the holiday for Khmer New Year (which would be a bit like a Western government cancelling Christmas). And to cap it off the principal of the school garden where Rob volunteers reported that the strawberry plants are all dead!

Thankfully in the village we usually call home our Khmer friends report that everyone is healthy. Many of the Khmer have modified some of their activities and will often wear homemade style facemasks, but the more novel way of protecting their family is to place a scarecrow looking effigy outside their home to confuse the bad spirits to infect the effigy instead of their actual family members!

Being based back in Australia for the past 5 months, we very much miss living in Cambodia. Had there been no travel restrictions, we would have been preparing in the next month to soon be back in our Cambodian home. With some talk of international travel being the last restriction to be lifted, we are in for an unknown waiting period. Meanwhile we have started back working on our Khmer language learning and revision. Our focus is shifting to returning well; prepared for our next 3 years in Siem Reap province Cambodia.

Thank you to those who have supported us to share God’s love in Cambodia. Thank you for those of you who have encouraged us and shared stories with us in recent weeks about how Jesus changes everything. We know that these are uncertain and difficult times for many.

Here is a video we prepared for you:

Global Interaction has prepared a lot of May Mission Month resources that you can also check out here:

The work we are a part of in Cambodia is only made possible by your generosity. If you would like to contribute either a pledge of a regular amount, or a once off donation please be in touch, or click on the ‘Support Rob & Deb Griffith‘ orange rectangle below.

Support Rob & Deb Griffith
Learning that the discipline of playing the piano can be used to bring joy to many, as it bought Deb deep joy in listening.
Skipping like we have never seen. Yes, God uses all aspects of our skills, character and our story to touch the lives of others.
For good health among our Khmer friends and families, our team and own families.
For ease of access to communicate with our Khmer friends and our family.
For you and all supporters who are faithfully supporting and upholding us, and our family.
Discernment for all families/individuals experiencing new stressors and changes.
For clarity of our message as we share God’s heart for mission with many.
Wisdom for our team families based in Cambodia that they can know and share God’s peace.