Poipet, Cambodia is difficult to categorize. Driving through town on the main road, sometimes I can only shake my head at this dusty, dirty, very un-beautiful town, full of corruption, poverty, and the most inattentive drivers on the planet. But then I stop and talk to my neighbor, listen to her grandchildren count to 10 in English, talk with her in Khmer about my work and what kind of food I make, and the experience helps me to see the beauty of Poipet that lies beneath its grimy exterior. The people here are poor, to be sure, and their daily lives are still a world away from mine, even though we live next to each other.
We don't enjoy being so far removed from the lives of our friends and families. There are many times we struggle to focus on the task at hand, and not allow our minds to wander to what we'd be doing at that moment if we were back home. We miss Sunday dinners at Grandma Conard's, playing with Darcy in Andrew's parents' back yard, playing Scrabble with both our parents, and listening to my sisters play their cello and violin. We miss worshipping at our church, Redeemer Fellowship, and studying with the small group we grew close to. We miss dinner nights and salsa dancing with our friends. We miss the convenience of Target, central a/c, and public libraries (ok, maybe those are all just mine).
But Cambodia - oh, Cambodia. We love the gentle warmness of its people. We love the way that nothing ever happens according to plan - and, sometimes, for the better. We love the intricacy and beauty of its language. We love the resilience and endurance of the Khmer. We love the hundred different types of fruit in the market, and the hundred different ways of saying "to know", "to do", "to see." We love playing frisbee with our neighbor kids. We love watching the rain clouds come in and shelter us from the sweltering heat of the sun. We love giving a poor school child a clean glass of water, an ill person hope for healing. And we pray for its people to know the Truth.
So we want to stay - for a year, at least. Andrew is in the process of applying for an open position with Samaritan's Purse here in Poipet. We haven't heard back from the office yet, though we hope to soon. They are considering other applicants, but we are hoping that the convenience of keeping us on will weigh on over other factors. :) We hope to know something before we leave Cambodia. Regardless of what happens, we will be coming back to the US for some R&R and family time, hopefully for at least a month. Knowing whether we are returning or not would make things a bit easier when we depart. But we do ask for your prayers, that God would guide us in every step as we try to do what we think He wants us to.
To end, some encouragement from the Word. This verse hangs over my kitchen window, and I've certainly been learning its truth over the past month.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. - 2 Corinthians 9:8