I’m coming into my final week here in Poipet now, and goodbyes are starting to set themselves into regular conversation wherever I go.
I’ve truly enjoyed living here in Poipet for this time, and part of me has struggled with being here for such a short stint. I’ve been reflecting on the things that happened in the lead-up to me coming here to Cambodia, though, and it’s clear to see that God has been using my circumstances to make sure everything falls exactly into place with his timing.
I leave on the weekend after CCFC’s work “officially” finishes here in Cambodia (officially, I fly out on the 8th September). On Saturday we had a celebration dinner to say goodbye to all the friends and colleagues that CCFC staff have shared their lives with over the past few years. I am fortunate enough to know quite a few of the people invited, and for me it was also a sad goodbye too, despite having only known most of these people for only a very short time.
This week we will be busy with packing up the office and moving furniture in all different places – some desks and furniture will go to another NGO called SALT (who will be taking over a lot of CCFC’s sports ministries here), other furniture and household items will go to some other expat families, and still more furniture and other items will go to our CCFC staff, if they see a need.
I’m finding myself thinking that if I had come earlier my year would have been drastically different (better, even?) but it’s also clear that God had his own very clear plans in mind and part of my coming here was surrendering to those plans. There wasn’t much chance of me being able to come earlier, and external circumstances have prevented me from coming later or staying longer. This was all very much predetermined timing.
A lot of the children, young people and staff that I’ve been working with have been asking me if I will come back, or “when” I will come back. As much as I’ve been praying about this for a few weeks and asking God for a direction, nothing has been crystal clear to me yet and, along with the push-and-pull of wishing I could prolong this beautiful experience of living here in Cambodia (which is to be expected at the end of a time when I’ve built relationships with the country and the people I’ve met), I’m not yet sure what path has been illuminated to me as the one that I need to be taking next, and I believe it will be a number of weeks or months before I can really tell the difference between what my head is saying and what my Spirit is saying. Part of what I’m learning is that it’s okay not to know yet.
In the meantime, I’ve chosen to continue learning Khmer right up until the day before I leave Poipet. My father has always told me that every experience in life is an opportunity to learn, and although I would’ve continued to learn even if I didn’t continue tutoring, I truly have enjoyed learning a new language, deciphering a secret code that allows me to communicate with a whole world of new people (and even get much cheaper prices when haggling in the market).
Thank you for praying for me. This week please pray that I will have a clear mind to be able to hear God’s voice, and the presence of mind to work well until the end of my stay here! To those from my church family, I will see you soon. You are all very precious to me and I thank you again for your wonderful support.
Som Preah-un prohtien pboh (May God bless you)