Follow the way of the tribes.

Today, I had another assessment. For this, I prepared a short devotion in Khmer. I was going to record it and maybe upload it, but I kept making mistakes. (I’m probably just too tired to do it right now.) So I have the Khmer here and the English below.

(I will add some bits for clarity in English. They will be in italics. As I had to keep it within a certain time length, I didn’t want to expand on those points too much. I also will rephrase sections just so it makes more sense and has a bit more nuance in the English.)

យ៉ូស្វេ 1:12-18 គខប

“បន្ទាប់​មក លោក​យ៉ូស្វេ​មាន​ប្រសាសន៍​ទៅ​កាន់​កុល‌សម្ព័ន្ធ*​រូបេន កុល‌សម្ព័ន្ធ​កាដ និង​កុល‌សម្ព័ន្ធ​ម៉ាណា‌សេ​ចំនួន​ពាក់​កណ្ដាល ដូច​ត​ទៅ៖ «ចូរ​ចង​ចាំ​នូវ​ពាក្យ​ដែល​លោក​ម៉ូសេ ជា​អ្នក​បម្រើ​របស់​ព្រះ‌អម្ចាស់បង្គាប់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​ថា “ ព្រះ‌អម្ចាស់ ជា​ព្រះ​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា ប្រទាន​ឲ្យ​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​បាន​សម្រាក គឺ​ព្រះអង្គ​ប្រទាន​ស្រុក​នេះ​ឲ្យ​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​ហើយ”។ ប្រពន្ធ កូន ព្រម​ទាំង​ហ្វូង​សត្វ​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​នឹង​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក ដែល​លោក​ម៉ូសេ​បាន​ប្រគល់​ឲ្យ​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា នៅ​ត្រើយ​ខាង​កើត​ទន្លេ​យ័រដាន់។ រីឯ​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា ដែល​សុទ្ធ​តែ​ជា​ទាហាន​ដ៏​អង់‌អាច​វិញ ត្រូវ​ប្រដាប់​អាវុធ ដើរ​ខាង​មុខ​បងប្អូន​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា ដើម្បី​ជួយ​គេ រហូត​ដល់​ ព្រះ‌អម្ចាស់​ប្រទាន​ឲ្យ​បងប្អូន​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​បាន​សម្រាក​ដូច​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​ដែរ ហើយ​ឲ្យ​ពួក​គេ​កាន់​កាប់​ស្រុក​ដែល​ព្រះ‌អម្ចាស់ ជា​ព្រះ​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នាប្រទាន​ឲ្យ​ពួក​គេ។ បន្ទាប់​មក អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​នឹង​ត្រឡប់​មក​កាន់​កាប់​ស្រុក ដែល​ជា​កម្មសិទ្ធិ​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​វិញ គឺ​ស្រុក​ដែល​លោក​ម៉ូសេ ជា​អ្នក​បម្រើ​របស់​ ព្រះ‌អម្ចាស់ បាន​ចែក​ឲ្យ​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា នៅ​ត្រើយ​ខាង​កើត​ទន្លេ​យ័រដាន់»។

ពួក​គេ​ឆ្លើយ​ទៅ​លោក​យ៉ូស្វេ​ថា៖ «អ្វីៗ​ទាំង​ប៉ុន្មាន​ ដែល​លោក​បង្គាប់​មក​យើង​ខ្ញុំ យើង​ខ្ញុំ​នឹង​គោរព​ធ្វើ​តាម​ទាំង​អស់។ លោក​ចាត់​យើង​ខ្ញុំ​ឲ្យ​ទៅ​ទី​ណា យើង​ខ្ញុំ​នឹង​ទៅ​ទី​នោះ។ យើង​ខ្ញុំ​ធ្លាប់​ស្ដាប់​បង្គាប់ ​លោក​ម៉ូសេ​សព្វ​គ្រប់​យ៉ាង​ណា យើង​ក៏​ស្ដាប់​បង្គាប់​លោក​យ៉ាង​នោះដែរ។ សូម​ ព្រះ‌អម្ចាស់ ​ជា​ព្រះ​របស់​លោក​គង់​នៅ​ជា​មួយ​លោក ដូច​ព្រះអង្គ​បាន​គង់​នៅ​ជា​មួយ​លោក​ម៉ូសេ​ដែរ។ ប្រសិន​បើ​អ្នក​ណា​ម្នាក់ ​ប្រឆាំង​នឹង​បញ្ជា​របស់​លោក ហើយ​មិន​ព្រម​ធ្វើ​តាម​បញ្ជា​របស់​លោក​ទេ អ្នក​នោះ​ត្រូវ​ទទួល​ទោស​ដល់​ស្លាប់។ រីឯ​លោក​វិញ សូម​មាន​កម្លាំង និង​ចិត្ត​ក្លា‌ហាន​ឡើង»។”

សប្តាហ៍មុន​ ខ្ញុបានអានកណ្ឌគម្ពីរយ៉ូស្វេ ជំពូក ១។ ជំពូកនេះប្រាប់យើងអំពី ព្រះ និងមនុស្សផ្សេងៗ ដូចជា លោកម៉ូសេ លោកយ៉ូស្វេ ប្រជាជន អ៊ីស្រាអែល និងមនុស្សនៅកុលសម្ព័ន្ធរ៉ូបេន កុលសម្ព័ន្ធកាដ និងកុលសម្ព័ន្ធម៉ាណាសេ ។  ពេលខ្ញុំអានជំពូកនេះ ខ្ញុំគិតថា៖ ខ្ញុំដូចអ្នកណា? ខ្ញុំដឹងថា ខ្ញុំមិនអាចដូចព្រះអង្គបានទេ ពីព្រោះខ្ញុំជាមនុស្ស ។ ខ្ញុំសង្ឃឹមថា ខ្ញុំក៏មិនមែនដូចលោកម៉ូសេដែរ ពីព្រោះ នៅក្នុងកណ្ឌគម្ពីរយ៉ូស្វេ លោកម៉ូសេបានស្លាប់ហើយ។ ពេលយើងអានកណ្ឌគម្ពីរយ៉ូស្វេ យើងចង់គិតថាយើងដូចលោកយ៉ូស្វេ គាត់ជាអ្នកដឹកនាំដ៏ល្បី គាត់សំខាន់ ហើយនិងក្លាហាន។ ប៉ុន្តែ ខ្ញុំគិតថាបេសក្ខជនដូចមនុស្សនៅកុលសម្ព័ន្ធរ៉ូបេន កាដ និងម៉ាណាសេ។

នៅក្នុងខនេះ ព្រះអង្គបានប្រទានសេចក្តីសន្យាឲ្យលោកយ៉ូស្វេ និងប្រជាជនអ៊ីស្រាអែល ។ មុនស្សនៅកុលសម្ព័ន្ធជួយលោកយ៉ូស្វេឲ្យទទួលបានសេចក្តីសន្យានេះ ។ ខ្ញុំមកប្រទេសកម្ពុជាដើម្បីឲ្យជនជាតិខ្មែរទទួលបានសេចក្តីសន្យារបស់ព្រះអង្គដែរ។ ពេលខ្ញុំអានកណ្ឌគម្ពីរយ៉ូស្វេជំពូក១ ខ្ញុំចាប់អារម្មណ៍។ ខ១២ ដល់ ១៨ បានបង្រៀនខ្ញុំឲ្យចេះជួយជនជាតិខ្មែរទទួលបានសេចក្តីសន្យារបស់ព្រះអង្គ។ ខនេះមាន៥ចំណុច ។

ទី១ ព្រះគម្ពីរប្រាប់ខ្ញុំថា ទាល់តែខ្ញុំធ្វើកិច្ចការនេះហើយ ទើបខ្ញុំអាចសម្រាកបាន។ មនុស្សនៅកុលសម្ព័ន្ធត្រូវឆ្លងទន្លេយ័រដាន់ និងទទួលបានស្រុកថ្មី។ បន្ទាប់មកទើបពួកគាត់អាចសម្រាកបាន។ ខ្ញុំត្រូវជួយជនជាតិខ្មែរទទួលបានសេចក្តីសន្យារបស់ព្រះអង្គ។ បន្ទាប់មក ទើបខ្ញុំអាចសម្រាកបានដែរ។

ទី២ ខ្ញុំត្រូវប្រយុទ្ធ ។ កណ្ឌគម្ពីរធិម៉ូថេ ទី២ ជំពូក ៤ ខ ៧ និយាយថា «ខ្ញុំបានពុះពារតយុទ្ធល្អប្រសើរ ខ្ញុំបានរត់ដល់ទីដៅ ហើយខ្ញុំនៅតែកាន់ជំនឿជាប់ដដែល» ។ យើងត្រូវតែពុះពារតយុទ្ធល្អដែរ។ មនុស្សនៅកុលសម្ព័ន្ធត្រូវប្រដាប់អាវុធដើម្បីប្រយុទ្ធជាមួយលោកយ៉ូស្វេ ។ ដូច្នេះ យើងត្រូវប្រដាប់អាវុធដែរ។

កណ្ឌគម្ពីរកូរិនថូសទី២ ជំពូក ១០ ខ ៤ បានប្រាប់យើងថា «ដ្បិត​គ្រឿង​សស្ត្រា‌វុធ​ដែល​យើង​ប្រើ មិន​មែន​ជា​អាវុធ​ខាង​លោកីយ៍​ទេ គឺ​ជា​អាវុធ​ដ៏​មាន​ឫទ្ធា‌នុភាព​មក​ពី​ព្រះ‌ជាម្ចាស់ ដែល​អាច​រំលំ​កំពែង​បន្ទាយ​នានា ។ យើង​រំលំ​ការ​រិះគិត» និង កណ្ឌគម្ពីរអេភេសូ ជំពូក ៦ ខ ១១ ប្រាប់យើងថា «ចូរបងប្អូនប្រដាប់ខ្លួនដោយគ្រឿងសស្ត្រាវុធទាំងប៉ុន្មាន របស់ព្រះជាម្ចាស់់ ដើម្បីអាចតតាំងនឹងកលល្បិចរបស់មារ» នេះមានន័យថា ខ្ញុំត្រូវតែអានព្រះគម្ពីរ និងស្គាល់ព្រះគម្ពីរឲ្យបានច្បាស់ ពីព្រោះព្រះគម្ពីរជាគ្រឿងសស្ត្រាវុធរបស់ព្រះជាម្ចាស់ដ៏សំខាន់។

ចំណុចទី៣ ខ្ញុំត្រូវស្តាប់បង្គាប់តាមអ្នកដឹកនាំនិងគ្រូគង្វាលនៅកម្ពុជា។ ពេលខ្លះ ជនជាតិបរទេសគិតថា ពួកគេដឹង និងស្គាល់ព្រះគម្ពីរច្បាស់ជាងជនជាតិខ្មែរ បុ៉ន្តែ ព្រះអង្គប្រទាន សេចក្តីសន្យាសម្រាប់ជនជាតិខ្មែរ មិនមែនសម្រាប់ខ្ញុំទេ។ ខ្ញុំត្រូវបន្ទាបខ្លួនធ្វើតាមគ្រូគង្វាលជនជាតិខ្មែរ។

ទី៤ ខ្ញុំត្រូវអធិស្ឋានសូមឲ្យព្រះអម្ចាស់ប្រទានពរសម្រាប់ជនជាតិខ្មែរ ។ មនុស្សកុលសម្ព័នអធិស្ឋានសូមឲ្យព្រះអម្ចាស់ជាព្រះរបស់លោកគង់នៅជាមួយលោក ។ ខ្ញុំត្រូវធ្វើដូចគ្នាសម្រាប់គ្រូគង្វាលខ្មែរ។

ចុងក្រោយ ខ្ញុំត្រូវលើកទឹកចិត្តគ្រូគង្វាលជនជាតិខ្មែរ។ ដូចមនុស្សនៅកុលសម្ព័ន្ធលើទឹកចិត្តលោកយូ៉ស្វេ និងប្រាប់គាត់ សូមមានកម្លាំង និងចិត្តក្លាហានឡើង។ ខ្ញុំនិងប្រាប់គ្រូគង្វាលខ្មែរ សូមមានកម្លាំង និងចិត្តក្លាហានឡើង ដូចលោកយ៉ូស្វេ។

ដូច្នេះហើយបានជាខ្ញុំសង្ឃឹមថា ខ្ញុំឃើញជនជាតិខ្មែរភាគច្រើនទទួលបានសេចក្តីសន្យារបស់ព្រះអង្គ។

សូមអធិស្ឋានជាមួយខ្ញុំ៖

ឱព្រះអង្គអើយ ! សូមប្រទានពរដល់កម្ពុជា និងជនជាតិខ្មែរ ។ អរព្រះគុណសម្រាប់សេចក្តីសន្យាដ៏ល្អនៅក្នុងព្រះគម្ពីរ ។ សូមប្រទានអោយកូនរបស់ទ្រង់មានប្រជ្ញា ដើម្បីទទួលបានសេចន្តីសន្យារបស់ទ្រង់ ។ សូមលើកទឹកចិត្តគ្រូគង្វាលនៅកម្ពុជា និងប្រទានឲ្យពួកគេមានអំណាចនៅក្នុងនាមព្រះយេស៊ូ ដើម្បីប្រយុទ្ធនិងឈ្នះសម្រាប់នគរព្រះ ។

នៅក្នុងព្រះនាមព្រះយេស៊ូ

អាមែន

Joshua 1:12-18

But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you.Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”

Last week, I was reading Joshua chapter 1. Here, it tells us about various characters: God, Moses, Joshua, the Israelites, and those from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Menassah. Whilst reading it, I thought, “Which of them am I like?” I know I’m not like God as I’m only human. I hope that I’m not like Moses, because in the Book of Joshua, he’s already dead. When we read Joshua, we often want to think we’re him. He’s a famous leader, he’s important, he’s brave. But I think that missionaries are most like the Reubenites, Gadites and Menassehites.

In these verses, we learnt that God has given promises to Joshua and the other Israelites. The Reubenites, Gadites and Menassehites help Joshua to receive these promises. Those tribes had already received their portion. I came to Cambodia to help the Cambodians receive the promises of God, most importantly the promise of salvation for I have already received this. When I read the first chapter of Joshua, I was really interested in what it had to say.

Verses 12-18 can teach me how I can effectively help the Cambodians receive the promises of God. There are five lessons.

First, this passage tells us that only once I have finished my task, I can rest. The tribes had to cross the Jordan River and claim their new country. Only afterwards, could they rest. I have to help the Cambodians receive the promises of God. Only afterwards, can I rest also.

Second, I have to fight. 2 Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” We have to fight the good fight also. The tribes people had to be armed and equipped to fight with Joshua. We have to be armed too.

2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Ephesians 6:11 tells us to “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” This means that I have to read the Bible and know it well because the Bible is the most important armour and weapon God gives us.

Lesson three is that I need to listen to the leaders and pastors in Cambodia. Sometimes, foreigners in Cambodia thing they know more and understand the Bible more clearly than the Cambodians. But I’m here to see the Cambodians receive the promises of God, and not for myself. Therefore, I must humble myself and follow the leaders of the Cambodian church.

Lesson four, I need to pray that God blesses the Cambodian. The Reubenites, Gadites and Menassehites speak a blessing over Joshua. I need to do the same for the Cambodian church leaders.

Finally, I need to encourage the church leaders in Cambodia. As the Reubenites, Gadites and Menassehites encourage Joshua by telling him to be strong and courageous, I will tell the Khmer pastors to be strong and courageous like Joshua.

Therefore, I hope that I see many Cambodians receive the promises of God.

Let’s pray this prayer:

Lord God, Bless Cambodia and the Cambodian people. Thank you for you good promises in the Bible. Give the leaders of the Khmer church wisdom so they may receive your promises. Uplift and strengthen them in the power of Jesus’ name so they may fight and win for your Kingdom.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen.

Control

When Christians back home think of missionaries, I expect they often think of sacrifice and what they’ve had to give up. God has been incredibly gracious to me, and has not asked me to sacrifice all that much (or at least has only asked me to sacrifice a few things that are important to me). I know that I have been abundantly blessed here in Cambodia.

However, recently I have moved house. I have gone from living on my own in a cute one bedroom flat to an entire house with an entire family. For the most part, it is great. But this means I’ve had to sacrifice something that is apparently very important to me: control.

They say that a British man’s home is his castle. There’s a sense of guarding it, controlling it and also isolating yourself within it. Living on my own and also back in the UK with my relatively introverted family meant that guests were invited, we knew when they would arrive and approximately when they would leave. It was very much within the realms of our control.

When I invited a family to move in with me, I forgot I would be inviting Cambodia into live with me as well. Previously I had managed to manufacture a British fortress, or enclave, my little colony. My apartment was a tiny Gibraltar jutting out into the sea that is Southeast Asian culture.

However, with British Imperialism long dead (despite nationalist attempts to flog that dead horse), it wasn’t going to last. So I now live in a Cambodian house. Yes, it’s more of a fusion of our two cultures. But it is a Cambodian family in a Cambodian style house living in Cambodia. Therefore, Cambodia has the upper-hand.

As a result, the come and go nature of Cambodian living (cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, brothers and sisters all appearing unannounced) is very much a part of my life. And I’ve found it hard. I’ve found it hard that the drawbridge to my fortress has been irrevocably lowered and the gates swung wide opened.

Then twitter post came along to convict me of my selfish thinking.

God has bought me to Cambodia not to set up impenetrable walls and to be at arm’s length from those around me. He called me to be his messenger, his ambassador and his hands and feet. Sometimes it will be messy and uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But me stepping into this situation is nothing compared to Jesus stepping from heaven into the mess and discomfort of our fallen world. So even when I’m tempted to pull up the drawbridge, I’ll remind myself that embassies don’t have them.

Ask a missionary…

One of the hardest aspects I have found with being abroad is the relationships with those back at home. There are often awkward attempts either way but sometimes it feel like attempts to communicate fall flat. I’ve think I’ve identified one of the problems.

I’ve often invited others to ask questions about life in Cambodia, but either I get asked the same questions (“What do you miss most…?” “Cheese.”) or they’re hard to answer (“What flowers are in bloom at the moment?” “Er… the pink ones.”) or just silence. I think a part of the problem is knowing what questions to ask. So, I thought I’d help. I’ve also given them a chilli rating on how spicy the questions and possible answers are. One chilli 🌶 is the basics (they’re possibly things you should know already, but it’s worth checking if you don’t know.) Two chillis 🌶🌶 gets a bit more detail. Three chillis 🌶🌶🌶 are more personal and could give rise to painful answers. They could also reveal some of the failings or difficulties the missionary is facing. If you are a very close, you can go in for the deep three chillis 🌶🌶🌶 but perhaps otherwise stick to the one or two chillis. Also, this is not meant to be a hard-and-fast interview. Your aim is not to go through the list and tick them off. These are ideas to help start the conversation.

Where they live

  • Where do you live? 🌶
  • How would you describe your neighbourhood / village/ city / area? 🌶 – 🌶 🌶
  • What is your favourite thing about your area? 🌶🌶
  • What amenities or resources do you have close access to? 🌶
  • What problems are there in your area? 🌶🌶
  • What grieves you about the area where you live? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How should I pray for where you live? 🌶🌶
  • What is your house/accommodation like? 🌶
  • What’s your favourite thing about your accommodation? 🌶
  • What would you change about your accommodation? 🌶🌶
  • What daily hassles or frustrations do you have with your accommodation? 🌶🌶
  • Who do you live with? 🌶
  • What are they like? 🌶🌶
  • How do they bring you joy? 🌶🌶
  • What relational problems are there between you and those you live with? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How can you serve those you live with better? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How can I pray for those you live with? 🌶🌶
  • Who are your neighbours? 🌶
  • What are they like? 🌶🌶
  • What type of relationships do you have with your neighbours? 🌶🌶 – 🌶🌶🌶
  • How can you better serve your neighbours? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How can I pray for your neighbours? 🌶🌶

Out and about

  • How do you travel about? 🌶
  • Describe a typical journey. 🌶🌶
  • Do you feel safe when you travel? 🌶🌶
  • How often do you go out for leisure? 🌶
  • What is there to do where you live? 🌶
  • What do you do to relax? 🌶
  • Tell me about your ideal day off. 🌶🌶
  • Where are your favourite places to visit? Why? 🌶🌶
  • Where would you like to visit? Why would you like to go there? 🌶🌶
  • What activity do you hope to do? Why do you wish to do that? 🌶🌶
  • What place did you find the most interesting or rewarding? Why was that? 🌶🌶
  • What activities would you like to do but can’t? 🌶🌶 How does that make you feel? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What do the locals do when they have free time? 🌶
  • What is your opinion of how locals spend their free time? 🌶🌶 – 🌶🌶🌶
  • Do you feel bored or stressed where you are? If so, how could you change this? 🌶🌶
  • What unhealthy habits do you have when it comes to spending your free time? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Are you stewarding your money wisely? 🌶🌶🌶

Daily life and healthy routines

  • What is your daily routine? 🌶
  • How is this routine similar to that back at home? 🌶🌶
  • How is this routine different to that back at home? 🌶🌶
  • What do you eat most days? 🌶🌶
  • Do you have a good work / relaxation balance? 🌶🌶
  • Do you eat healthily? 🌶🌶
  • Have you been well? 🌶🌶
  • What has prevented you from being healthy at the moment? 🌶🌶
  • What common illnesses or health problems are there in your country? 🌶🌶
  • What daily challenges do you face? 🌶🌶
  • Are you exercising regularly? 🌶🌶
  • Are you sleeping well? 🌶🌶
  • What changes to your routine could you make to help you stay well and healthy? 🌶🌶🌶

Their work

  • What do you do? 🌶
  • Where do you work? 🌶
  • How do you get to work? What is that journey like? 🌶 -🌶🌶
  • Tell me about your average day. 🌶🌶
  • Describe your place of work. 🌶🌶
  • What is your favourite thing about your job? 🌶
  • What is your biggest frustration about your job? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What is a daily challenge you face in your job? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Do you enjoy your work, overall? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How does your work make you feel about yourself? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Do you work with locals, foreigners, Christians, non-Christians? 🌶 Do you like this set up? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Who are your colleagues?🌶
  • What positive relationships do you have at your job?🌶🌶
  • What relational problems do you have at your job?🌶🌶🌶
  • How can you resolve any problems or issues you are facing?🌶🌶
  • How can I pray for you as you do your work?🌶🌶
  • How can I pray for where you work and those you work with? 🌶🌶

Host culture

  • What is your predominant host culture (the culture that they now live in, which is not their own culture)? 🌶
  • Tell me something about what you’ve learnt about your host culture. 🌶
  • What do you like most about your host culture? 🌶🌶
  • What has surprised you most about your host culture? 🌶🌶
  • What advice would you give to those visiting to your country about your host culture? 🌶🌶
  • How is your own culture and the host culture similar? 🌶🌶
  • What differences have you found it easy to adjust to? 🌶🌶
  • How integrated do you feel with your host culture? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What barriers are there for you feeling a part of your host culture? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Have you experienced culture shock yet? What do you think contributed to it? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What conflicts are there between your cultural background and your host culture? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Where might your perspective have to change in order to understand your host culture better? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Where are there Biblical conflicts with your host culture? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What does your host culture do that you feel is in line with Biblical values? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Which language / languages are you having to learn? 🌶🌶
  • How is language learning going? 🌶🌶
  • What have been the biggest successes in your language learning journey? 🌶🌶
  • What challenges have you faced in language learning? 🌶🌶
  • How do you feel about language learning? 🌶🌶

The country

  • Where is the country? 🌶
  • What climate does it have? 🌶
  • How have you adjusted to the climate? 🌶🌶
  • What are the cities like? 🌶🌶 What is the countryside like? 🌶🌶
  • What sites do you enjoy in the country? 🌶🌶
  • What animals are there in your country? 🌶
  • How do you and the locals live alongside these animals? 🌶🌶
  • What seasons are there? 🌶
  • What new things to enjoy does each season bring? 🌶🌶
  • What new challenges does each season bring? 🌶🌶
  • Where are the top tourist places to visit? 🌶🌶
  • What is the food like? 🌶🌶
  • Tell me a bit about it’s recent history. 🌶🌶
  • How do most people make a living? 🌶🌶
  • What struggles to local people face in their lives? 🌶🌶
  • What problems are (somewhat) unique to the country? 🌶🌶
  • How can we pray for the country? 🌶🌶

Relationships

  • How do you maintain relationships with those back home? 🌶🌶
  • Do you have Christian friends in your host country? 🌶🌶
  • Do you have local friends in your host country? 🌶🌶
  • How are you relationships with family / spouses etc. who you live with? 🌶🌶
  • Do you feel like you have meaningful connections with others? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Have you formed any unhealthy dependent relationships? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How do you make sure your strong relationships include rather than isolate others? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Are you lonely? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What causes you to struggle with maintaining relationships with those back at home? 🌶🌶🌶
  • Do you feel listened to and understood by those back at home? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How can you improve your situation in terms of relationships? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How can I pray for you, your friends, your family, etc. ? 🌶🌶🌶

Faith

  • What answers to prayers have you had recently? 🌶🌶
  • What encouraging news do you have for those praying for you? 🌶🌶
  • What has God been teaching you recently? 🌶🌶
  • How regularly are you praying? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How regularly are you reading the Bible? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What are you reading in the Bible at the moment? 🌶🌶
  • How can you apply what you have been reading to your situation? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How regularly do you worship with other believers? 🌶🌶
  • Which church / churches do you attend? 🌶
  • How do you serve the churches you attend? 🌶🌶
  • How could you serve them better? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How do you feel about your faith at the moment? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How do you feel towards God at the moment? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How do you feel towards Christians at home and supporters at the moment? 🌶🌶🌶
  • How do you feel about your calling at the moment? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What is bringing you anxiety, grief or pain in your faith at the moment? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What can you do to change this? 🌶🌶🌶
  • What can we pray for? 🌶🌶 – 🌶🌶🌶

If I ever get around to it, I might make videos answering some of these questions and the questions on my a million questions post.

How could you stay?

As a missionary, you get told “I couldn’t do what you do.” There is a belief that it takes a special type of person or a particular calling to make the move abroad and work building God’s kingdom there. I would say that isn’t true. (At least I don’t think I’m special but I do think I have calling.) It’s thought that it takes great sacrifice, bravery and zeal to do this.

It doesn’t.

What people who haven’t done this don’t see is the joy, the privilege and the real rewards of moving overseas.

You get such a rich experience of humanity and life. You suddenly see how great and broad and universal and varied the human race is. You hear such stories: heart-warming stories; heart-breaking stories; inspiring stories; terrifying and tragic stories; lovely stories, often from the same person’s life. You get to be a part of these stories and then your story and hundreds of other stories become permanently intertwined. The real privilege is when you get to see God beautifully transform these stories, redeeming, renewing, rewriting them into the story of his perfect kingdom.

Your understanding of God’s grace and goodness and glory grows. As you encounter the needs of nations and the cultural perspectives of different peoples, you see how the enormity of the gospel speaks into these different contexts, not just your own. The faith of believers that face difficulties and persecution and poverty you’ve never imagined challenges you and your mustard-seed faith. Worshipping alongside those from different nations, tribes and tongues gives you a small picture of heaven.

You see the beautiful humanity of the saints that go. Often missionaries are put on pedestals but when you’re among them you learn how human the Hudson Taylors and Jackie Pullingers are. I recently read a book Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield. I know his family as I work with his wife and their children attend the school where I teach. The family is as amazing and feisty and cool as they sound in the book. However, I also watched Nay, Craig’s wife, walk into a metal pillar today because she wasn’t watching where she was going. The sense of misplaced awe towards these people is stripped away and replaced with the sense of awe that God uses people like me. That is an amazing and also terrifying realisation to have.

Then, of course, are some of the beautiful sights and sounds that you grow to love.

Everyday, I get struck with a feeling of jaw-dropping confusion that I get to live here in Cambodia, serving God.

When you read the eye-watering statistics, it’s hard not to feel the pull. 3.14 billion people have never heard of Jesus. Over 70,000 people die everyday not having heard the gospel. For perspective 70,000 is about the population of Rugby and Shrewsbury. These people are living and perishing in darkness.

So, if you think you couldn’t go, well, I certainly couldn’t stay.

If you haven’t prayed and thought about joining global missions, then please do so. It’d be such a shame that you miss out on such blessings just because it hadn’t occurred to you to consider going.

Khmer Sing-Along – ដើរនៅក្នុងពន្លឺនៃព្រះ – Walk in the Light of God

I’ve been trying to learn new Khmer songs, especially ones that I sing at church each week. I’ve started off simple, often with children’s songs and ones with familiar tunes. This is because it’s hard enough trying to learn the words in a foreign language, let alone learn unfamiliar tunes that a culturally different, with unexpected trills or chord sequences.

Christian songs provide quite a good opportunity as often they are closely translated and keep the original tune. So that makes it easy for me to understand and to learn the new vocabulary!

I’ll provide a video, the Khmer script, then a Romanised version, then the IPA for linguistic nerds. If you want to find out what system I used or why I made the choices I did in transliteration or transcription, see my Khmenglish page. I will also provide a link to a pdf of all versions side-by-side, as well as a list of each of the words and their meanings.

ដើរនៅក្នុងពន្លឺនៃព្រះ – Walk in the Light of God

Get the video in a new tab.

Khmer and English

១.
គឺជាការល្អដែលសរសើរព្រះ
គឺជាការល្អដែលសរសើរព្រះ
គឺជាការល្អដែលសរសើរព្រះ
ដើរនៅក្នុងពន្លឺនៃព្រះ

Chorus

ដើរ ដើរ ដើរ ដើរ ក្នុងពន្លឺ
ដើរ ដើរ ដើរ ដើរ ក្នុងពន្លឺ
ដើរ ដើរ ដើរ ដើរ ក្នុងពន្លឺ
ដើរនៅក្នុងពន្លឺនៃព្រះ
២.
គឺជាការល្អដែលស្រលាញ់ព្រះ
គឺជាការល្អដែលស្រលាញ់ព្រះ
គឺជាការល្អដែលស្រលាញ់ព្រះ
ដើរនៅក្នុងពន្លឺនៃព្រះ
៣.
គឺជាការល្អដែលបម្រើព្រះ
គឺជាការល្អដែលបម្រើព្រះ
គឺជាការល្អដែលបម្រើព្រះ
ដើរនៅក្នុងពន្លឺនៃព្រះ
1.
It is good to praise the Lord,
It is good to praise the Lord,
It is good to praise the Lord,
Walk in the Light of God.

Chorus

Walk, walk, walk, walk in the Light, 
Walk, walk, walk, walk in the Light,
Walk, walk, walk, walk in the Light,
Walk in the Light of God.
2.
It is good to love the Lord,
It is good to love the Lord,
It is good to love the Lord,
Walk in the Light of God.
3.
It is good to serve the Lord,
It is good to serve the Lord,
It is good to serve the Lord,
Walk in the Light of God.

Romanisation and IPA

1.
kueu chea ka l’a dael sasaeu Preah
kueu chea ka l’a dael sasaeu Preah
kueu chea ka l’a dael sasaeu Preah
daeu nov knong ponlueu ney Preah

Chorus

daeu daeu daeu daeu knong ponlueu
daeu daeu daeu daeu knong ponlueu 
daeu daeu daeu daeu knong ponlueu 
daeu nov knong ponlueu ney preah
2.
kueu chea ka l’a dael sralanh preah
kueu chea ka l’a dael sralanh preah
kueu chea ka l’a dael sralanh preah
daeu nov knong ponlueu ney preah
3.
kueu chea ka l’a dael bamreu preah
kueu chea ka l’a dael bamreu preah
kueu chea ka l’a dael bamreu preah
daeu nov knong ponlueu ney preah

1.
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael sɑsaə preah
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael sɑsaə preah 
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael sɑsaə preah  
ɗae nɨw kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ nɨj preah

Chorus

ɗae ɗae ɗae ɗae kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ
ɗae ɗae ɗae ɗae kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ
ɗae ɗae ɗae ɗae kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ
ɗae nɨw kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ nɨj preah
2.
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael srɑlaɲ preah
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael srɑlaɲ preah
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael srɑlaɲ preah
ɗae nɨw kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ nɨj preah
3.
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael ɓɑmrə preah
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael ɓɑmrə preah
kɨ ciə ka lʔɑ ɗael ɓɑmrə preah
ɗae nɨw kʰnoŋ pɔnlɨ nɨj preah

Get the pdf version of the lyrics here.

Khmer Sing-Along – ព្រះចាត់បុត្រា – God Sent His Son

I’m trying to build up my repertoire of Khmer songs. Christian ones are particularly helpful: I know the tunes and I can get the gist of what they are singing as it’s pretty close to the English. Therefore, I’ve been using simple and rather repetitive songs to build my knowledge of Khmer words and phrases.

Again, I’ve transcribed it and transliterated it twice, using two different systems. Read (or don’t) about some of the thought processes behind how I’ve done it here. It goes some way to explain why what you read might not be exactly what you hear, especially in songs.

ព្រះចាត់បុត្រា – God Sent His Son

Khmer and English

ព្រះចាត់បុត្រា នាមថាព្រះយេស៊ូវ
យាងមកស្រលាញ់ ប្រោះ និង អត់ទោស
ទ្រង់រស់ និង ស្លាប់ ដើម្បីលោះបាបខ្ញុំ
ឯផ្នូរទទេ នោះបញ្ជាក់ថា ព្រះខ្ញុំទ្រង់រស់



Chorus

ដោយព្រោះទ្រង់រស់ ខ្ញុំមិនខ្លាចទេថ្ងៃស្អែក
ដោយព្រោះទ្រង់រស់ ក្តីខ្លាចរលាយ
ដោយខ្ញុំដឹងថាដឹងថា ទ្រង់ជ្រាបអនាគត
ឯជីវិតខ្ញុំមានតំលៃ ព្រោះតែទ្រង់នៅរស់


 

God sent his son,
They call Him Jesus,
He came to love,
heal and forgive,
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there
to prove my Saviour lives.

Chorus

And because He lived, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone,
Because I know, I know,
He holds the future,
And life is worth the living
just because He lives.

Romanisation and IPA

Preah chat botra niam tha Preah Yesu
Yeang mok sralanh braoh ning attouh
Troeung roeuh ning slab
    daeumbe luoh bab knhom
Ae phnuo tote nuoh banhcheak tha
    preah knhom troeung roeuh

Chorus

Daoy pruoh troeung roeuh
    knhom min khlach te thngey saek
Daoy pruoh troeung roeuh
    ktei khlach roleay
Daoy knhom doeng tha doeng tha
    troeung chreab aneakot
Ae cheivet knhom mean tamley
    pruoh tae troeung novroeuh
preah cat ɓotra niəm tha Preah Jesu
jiəŋ mɔk srɑlaɲ ɓrɑh niŋ aʔtoh
troəŋ roəh niŋ slap
    ɗaəmɓəj luəh ɓap khɲom
ʔae phnu tɔte nueh ɓɑɲciək tha
    preah kɲom troəŋ roəh

Chorus

ɗaoj pruəh troəŋ roəh 
    kʰɲom min kʰlac te tʰŋɨj sʔajk
ɗaoj pruəh troəŋ roəh
    kʰdəj kʰlac rɔliəj
ɗaoj kʰɲom ɗəŋ tʰa ɗəŋ tʰa
    troəŋ criəp ɑniəkɔt
ʔae ciʋit kʰɲom miən tɑmlɛ
    pruəh taj troəŋ nɨwroəh

Get the pdf version here!