Wednesday 22 Aug
Rob and Deb are reminded where the grass is greener.
While grass around homes is a common choice in Australia, it is very rare in Cambodia and many Khmer remove every blade of grass near their home. This meant that Rob and Deb’s decision to grow a lawn, prompted much discussion and interest from their neighbours.
Deb and Rob have been living in Cambodia since the end of 2016 and know that, unlike the rapid growing tropical grass, relationships take time to grow. In Cambodia, there are added cultural layers such as ‘saving face’ and the giving of respect and honour that Rob and Deb have encountered as they interact with Khmer people. Often they are given, and expected to use, the best chairs in the room while others are sitting on the floor. As westerners, there are cultural expectations on them and the relationship can shift into that of a client and patron. In order to grow meaningful relationships, Deb and Rob must navigate this dynamic. Praise God that as they dedicate time to developing their cultural understanding and language skills, these complex dynamics are becoming easier to navigate.
Deep relationships take time and intentional investment to build patterns of trust and understanding. While sometimes it’s easy to think the grass is greener on the other side, it doesn't take much experience to learn that the grass is greener where you water, fertilise and nurture it. Pray for Rob and Deb as, day by day, they seek to grow and nurture deep relationships within their community.
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