News from Cambodia

Greetings from Cambodia!
Sorry I haven’t sent any messages before, but it is probably more relevant now that we have settled in. We keep meaning to watch The Grace service but Sunday morning we sleep in a bit and then it is all over. We are 4 hours behind you.
But we have settled in well – this feels like home now. Everyone on the team here has been really helpful and we love working with such a wonderful bunch from very different backgrounds. We are the only Aussies apart from Michelle Kallmier; others are from France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Brazil, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Korea. Plus a few locals on the team.
We are glads we came in February as it has given us a couple of months to see the temperatures and the humidity climb steadily upwards. April and May are the hottest and muggiest before the rain starts. We are starting to blow out our budget by needing the air con on all night. But sanity is paramount!
The young lady in the guest house and restaurant that I was coming to mentor, resigned after we had been here 3 weeks! That was a bit of a shock, but I have been doing a similar job at the tailoring workshop where there a great bunch of ladies working. I have been helping them and will start some formal lessons after Khmer New Year which is in a couple of weeks. I will also be teachings the trainees life skills, a most important course here as parenting doesn’t seem to in much evidence. The girls especially need self esteem lessons. They are all young Christians but haven’t been brought up with any knowledge of self worth. So we need to marry the words in Scripture ( much of which they know in their heads) with their hearts.
Geoff has been useful in the office pouring over many documents written by people whose first language is not English. He is very good at that sort of thing.
We have found a great church and joined a home group, both of which have helped the feeling of being ‘home’. One of the reasons I am writing is that they asked us to pass the flyer for a new youth pastor to all the countries covered by the members of the church – so that covers most countries!
Geoff and I have been having language lessons (the hardest bit!) from 2 young guys who are very active in the local church. Michelle goes to a local church as she understands and speaks fluent Khmer, but we don’t get a lot out of it apart from the amazing worship. They are a bit like the Africans, they get right into it with their whole bodies, dancing and praising and it goes on for ages. ICF is more sedate – what is it with the western world! But we are very happy at ICF and especially enjoy the home group, again we have people from many countries in our group.
Everything is so different here, but especially the traffic! They do have traffic lights but they are only a guide – it’s every man for himself, often resulting in deadlock in the middle of an intersection. In which case the motorbikes just drive down the footpath to get around. The roads are very rough in places as well and will not improved after the rain starts. Geoff and I have push bikes and are very conscious of God’s grace everyday when we arrive at places safely. The food is yummy and cheap; it’s almost cheaper to eat out than cook especially in the heat. Especially if we find a restaurant with air con. Haircuts and styles are $5 and I had a pedicure and beautifully decorated toenails for $3. Our rent is $300 per month!
We do miss you all and we are thankful for Facebook which keeps us up to date with some news.
Please pass on our love to everyone.
God bless you,
Geoff and Shirley
Geoff and Shirley Capon