Change Is Here...

...whether I like it or not!

Our patients came to see us our last morning of clinic

When we first came to Cambodia, one thing I didn't expect to encounter was so much change. In Kansas, our group of friends was pretty steady, and also large. So when someone did move away or stopped hanging out with our group of friends, we didn't feel their absence so strongly.

But within months of coming to Cambodia, three families moved away, one unexpectedly. And in the coming month, one family and seven close friends are moving back to the States. Some will be back next year; others don't know the next chapter in their stories. And it's hard on us who are left behind. Although we can always expect new people to come here, I find myself needing to guard against having a hard heart - being afraid of or indifferent to pursuing meaningful relationships with people who may not be here 6 months later.

Our last clinic day together

It also challenges me to think about who my anchor is. The family and one of the women moving away have been my main emotional and spiritual support here, helping me understand Khmer culture and how to respond to bewildering situations, and inspiring me with their faith in the Lord. Now that they are leaving, I'm not sure who I will depend on for that sense of family.

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalm 116:7

Wrapping things up for the year - literally

But God never fails to remind me Who my Rock is. God is the foundation of my life and the one who gives me stability. I should have no reason to hesitate giving my time and energy to people, because God is the one refills me. And even if I feel lonely or isolated, the Father is always with me.

Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3:22-24

Seeing the last patient of the year 20 minutes before closing the door

Also complicating our friends' departure is the fact that my work goes with them. As the doctor and his family return home to America, the clinic closes and I am left wondering what comes next. I think it's going to be different than what I have experienced before - less structured, more creative, and challenging. Poipet is not a place I can just go out and find a job. There are zero full-time jobs here for me. But that actually frees me to use my skills wherever they are needed. So - it's an adventure - waiting to see where God leads me. Stick with me and I'm sure you'll be just as surprised as I will be.