Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful for Friends

Today is one of those days when I am so thankful to the friends that God has provided for me here. I can't imagine coming to a strange country and not knowing anyone. But here in Cambodia, I see God's wisdom in having me come so often for these past 10 years.. He has brought some special people into my life who truly are like family on this end. One such person is my friend Cathy who is with OMF International. She has been serving in Cambodia for several years and is seconded to World Hope International. Today, Cathy was my chauffeur driving me around to several places. This from a person who only learned to drive in Cambodia and never Canada so I was joking with her that I will have to pray before I got into her Toyota RAV 4. Well, I discovered how aggressive a driver she was...funny how sitting behind a wheel brings out sides of our personality that we didn't know we had :-). Here in Cambodia, you cannot hesitate when you drive or else you will confuse the rest of the people on the road and so you just go. Its actually fun to watch and for those of us who like to live a bit on the edge...well its a bit of a thrill!. Cathy had a more spiritual response---her thinking was that in places like this we all realize that our lives are in God's hands. So true indeed!

So today we ended up visiting 3 places twice....yes it was a bit crazy. The first stop was to Mobitel to get my Blackberry phone set up and get a new phone number. Note to anyone who plans on moving here, this is probably the first thing to do as it is the fastest and most efficient set up. Within 20 mins, I had my new number which then came in handy as I went to set up two bank accounts. They needed my phone number of all things on the application form. In fact the whole bank experience was quite interesting. I am so glad Cathy was with me as she acted as my interpreter. I had to sign all these blank application documents but the bank staff filled in all my personal details. Quite different than what we are used to in North America but here in Asia where there is a large 'labor' pool, its all about having different people serve you. There are people to help you park a car, they open the door for you, help point you to who you need to speak to to set up bank accounts. One thing I appreciate about Cambodians is they do it all with such a warmth and gentleness and most of all a big smile on their face. You almost feel tempted to tip everyone because they all want to serve you! It's all quite humbling! I have much to learn from them about serving!

We ended having to back to the bank twice as I didn't have the appropriate paper work but in spite of that it all worked out. Part of this set up involved visiting one of our Ratanak partners Chab Dai who needed to provide me with some info. It was great to see Yeng Ros who is the Cambodian country director of Chab Dai and his financial accountant Muylen. They are such wonderful people who helped me navigate a bunch of issues and have offered to help us find a financial person to replace Sotheary, our former staff person who has moved to Vietnam with her family.

In the midst of all this driving back and forth between the bank and Chab Dai, we went for lunch at one of my favorite places called's a picture of some of my favorite dishes: Ban Xeo --- a Vietnamese crepe/omelette stuffed with chicken and bean sprouts, a seafood noodle, Vietnamese spring rolls and my favorite drink---fresh lime juice---all of this for $13.00 for two people!

Cathy about to sample the Vietnamese spring rolls

Later on we headed to Lucky Supermarket and I tell you it pays to have a missionary show you what to buy when you are setting up a new place. Cathy certainly knows what the best local brands are and how to stretch those dollars. I bought several items and on the way back to the car with my trolley of purchases we were greeted by another Cambodian employee from the supermarket who offered to push our trolley and pack the groceries into the car. That service continued when I arrived at the Ratanak apartment complex and a young man who must be part of the landlord's family took a bunch of my bags up to my apartment. I don't know what it is but either I must look helpless or God just keeps sending me people every step of the way, showing me that He is just watching over every detail of my life. I have to say, one could get used to this kind of service! The apartment is great and very large and spacious and the landlord has kept it amazingly clean since it has not been used for a few months. In a few days, I'll post some pics for you all to see.

Picture of some of the groceries I bought today!

After such a busy day today, tomorrow I hope to have a restful morning just taking it easy and then will head to the Newsong centre in the afternoon to meet with our partner Don Brewster and hopefully see one of my favorite little friends Sparky. Will share more about her in the days to come!


  1. Oooohhhh, seeing the pictures of the apartment and the delicious food makes me homesick for Cambodia! Much love always, LR

  2. I shared the same thrill too when I sat in Cathy's RAV4 in the middle of the PP street. and how interesting it was when it took us almost 20 minutes to park the car next to FCC ... all the sweet memories!! Thank you Lisa for showing us "around" already and my mind and heart are already there!!