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..and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:12


How liberating has it been for you to tell your story? In our home culture back in Australia we have abundant opportunities to tell our personal stories; to explain where we have come from, how we got to be the person that we are and what motivated us to do crazy things like to relocate to Cambodia. In an individualistic culture like Australia, where it is unexpected to live in the same suburb as you are born, or to be limited to one career, we expect to have to explain our history.

A Khmer lady recently shared her life story with Deb. She began crying when she realised that she had never told her story before. The village where we live near Siem Reap is a close-knit intergenerational community. Many members of the community move home no more than a few metres from their birthplace. This lady went on to say everybody here knows her story. She has grown up with everyone knowing her and knowing her story.

But to have someone listen to her sharing her story, she was moved deeply. Deb is thankful for the privilege of listening to her story and that the act of listening brought release to this lady. Sometimes do we drown out the voices of the poor and oppressed by our well-meaning words and solutions, rather than first letting their voices be heard? James 1:26-27 challenges us: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongue deceives themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the (corrupted) world”.

Please pray that we would be good listeners, so that when we speak and act that we would be truly bringing invitations to increased wholeness, wellbeing and justice that makes sense to those we are in community with.

Last month we shared that the COVID-19 situation in Cambodia was becoming concerning. At that point the government were just starting to introduce restrictions mostly in Phnom Penh. Since then, the infection level has risen by 30,000 people and we have moved in and out of various restrictions. Siem Reap province has had much fewer COVID-19 cases than Phnom Penh, with only 118 positive cases recorded locally.

This week the main wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Siem Reap has been closed after one of the stall holders has been selling coffee in the market for two weeks after contracting COVID-19 in Phnom Penh. This wholesale market services the fruit and vegetable supply of most of the city and surrounding areas of Siem Reap. Both sellers and buyer in this market live in communities throughout the province of Siem Reap.

We intently follow the unfolding situation here in Cambodia and seek to be careful to follow government health advice and act wisely in our duty of care to those around us. Schools have been shut most of the last year. Businesses and people who live off meagre earnings when they can by trading goods, are severely impacted by lockdowns and curfews. The situation is very difficult for many Khmer.

This is the COVID-19 safety message in Cambodia. There are 3 do’s and 3 don’ts

3 Do’s: 
Wear a mask properly
Wash your hands frequently with soap and sanitise.
Maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others.
3 Don’ts:
Do not go to places that are crowded or poorly ventilated.
Do not touch others, shake hands or hug.
Don’t travel unnecessarily, to help stop the spread of the virus.

Thanks for staying tuned and cheering us on; you truly influence us as together we share life in the fullness that the Father offers among the Khmer of Cambodia.
For our print friendly newsletter pdf please click here to open

Snappy Videos Clips For The Visually Inclined: A video Rob and Deb share insights into what God’s Kingdom building looks like in “Cambodia the Kingdom of Wonder”. A video capturing the focus of our team here. A video here Deb welcomes you into her Khmer friends flower and vegetable gardens. A video where Deb shares how Mother’s Day influences us all in different ways.

Tropical trails on our bicycles leave us joy fueled.
Amazing resilience for all involved. The city of Siem Reap roadworks 🚧 have been unfolding for most streets all at the same time over last 12 months. Photo credit RM
Makeshift bridges of planks of wood or bamboo are connections to the outside world.
A cultural Khmer form and tradition.
Sharing rice 🍚 together is special and is a way to share how we welcome Father into our daily lives.
Finding a village treasure of a bee 🐝 hive in our garden. Honey 🍯 is a luxury item here and used for medicinal as well as consumption; so was beaut to share in this hungry season with folk in the village. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
Sharing together in every season paves the way to share Father’s love.
Special opportunity to be altogether in person (two young ones resting so not in photo) for the first time with the current Team Cambodia.
Sharing Father’s hope amid the seasons of Covid19 here among the Khmer people.
For the beginning of the wet season and the relief from heat that it brings.
For team families now returned from Australia.
The opportunity to be all together as a team for the first time.

For wisdom for all those working hard to deal with the realities and impacts of COVID-19.
That we will keep listening and deepen our cultural and language understanding.
For our children and their families to flourish in their lives as we grow together in different places.
For one family preparing their family, themselves, and the relationships established here among the Khmer of Cambodia for their first home assignment back in Australia.