This time five years ago I think I was in a plane, heading toward Kuala Lumpur, where I would spend the night before heading on to Phnom Penh the next morning. It wasn't my first trip to Cambodia, but it was the start of a new adventure with Jesus. I was on my way to start my new career as a teacher. Wow, it's sometimes hard to believe that 5 years have gone by. There have been many ups and downs along the way, with some great highs, and some not so great lows, but in all of it, God has been faithful.
I started teaching on Wednesday 17th January 2007 teaching 3rd grade at Logos International School. 5 years later, I'm still teaching in Phnom Penh, but now I teach 4th grade at East West International School. I wonder where I will be five years from now. Actually, I don't really think about it that much, because my future is in God's hands, and what safer place for it to be. At the moment, I love teaching at East-West, and if I'm still there in 5 years time then that would be a good thing, but only if that's what God wants me doing.
I have grown to love Cambodia, and the Khmer people. I'm still struggling with the Khmer language. The trouble with learning a language is that you really have to use it to become fluent, and so much of my day is spent teaching in English and preparing lessons in English, and working with people who speak English, that I just cannot seem to manage to learn and retain Khmer. I have got a little, so I can be polite to a certain point, but that's about it. Aside from all that, it's very rare that I can't find someone who speaks English who is willing to translate for me if necessary.
These five years in Cambodia have also taught me a great level of dependence on God, and have shown me just how faithful He is. He is faithful beyond my wildest imagination. He knows what I need and He provides for me. I'm not saying it's all easy. It definitely is not, and there are many things that I still struggle with, but He is faithful, and He loves me so much.
Cambodia, thank you for welcoming me. To all my Cambodian friends (both Khmer & expat), and my friends now in other places around the world that I have met through my time in Cambodia, Thank you. You have all helped to make these five years special and I pray that God will bless you as He has blessed me by allowing me to know you. Australia will always be "home", but Cambodia is definitely my second home.