Home Again! :)

3 12 2009

Tuesday 2nd December 2009

One of my favourite songs was written by Horatius Bonar more than 150 years ago. Based on the wonderful invitation of Jesus to “Come unto me…” (Matthew 11:28-30) Bonar recognises that in Jesus there is rest, life and light and through the lyrics he makes, and invites us to make a personal commitment to walk with Jesus “…till travelling days are done.” I guess you may be able to see where I’m going with this. We used this phrase to head up our blog and now we’re home our ‘travelling days are done’, at least literally speaking – come Monday, we’re both back at work.

Phnom Penh

But for the sake of completion let us recap briefly the last few days: Sunday we headed off to join the local Anglican English speaking congregation of Phnom Penh for their service of worship.  The Vicar was away at the centenary celebrations of the Diocese of Singapore (Singapore is the Diocesan centre for the Anglican Church in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam) so we had Morning Prayer with the sermon preached by Rolf Lepelaar a CMS missionary teaching at the Phnom Penh Bible college.  We had been keen to catch up with the Lepelaar family having become familiar with them through their entry in the CMS Prayer diary over the 10 years they have been serving in Cambodia and so it was a delight to meet with them and share a meal together.


The afternoon we spent taking a few last minute photos and packing our cases. We had managed to borrow a set of scales and carefully weighed our cases to ensure we would not tip the scales for the trip home. For every kg overweight we were told it would cost us $56 USD so we were keen to get it right. Of course we had visited scores of markets and shops over 7 weeks and the temptation to bring home a few bits and pieces was too much to resist.

Ankor Wat

The challenge was what to give away to keep within weight. In the end we felt we managed it well by carrying a few heavy items in our ‘carry-on luggage’ and a good bag of clothes for the Tuk-Tuk driver.

The flights home were pleasant but wearying. We left our hotel at 8am Monday (Phnom Penh time is 4 hours later than here) and arrived at our home 3.30pm Tuesday with 7½ and 5 hour stopovers in Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.


The highlight of the trip was meeting the rising sun as we crossed South Australia. Watching the dawn light the eastern sky and spread until the first rays of the sun crept across the land was spine tingling and turned our thoughts with thankfulness toward the One who created it all.

Hmong Lady, Sapa

We have just had the wonderful privilege of taking seven weeks to explore a small but fascinating corner of this extraordinary planet.  Southeast Asia is totally different from anything in our previous experience, geographically, culturally, politically, socially, financially and climatically.  It’s been a dramatic antipodean journey for a middle-aged, middle-class; financially comfortable couple from Tasmania – but one that has wonderfully broadened and enriched our experience of life.

Khmer Christians

One of the main reasons for choosing to holiday where we did was because of the affordability by comparison to anywhere else in the world that we could think of. This of course highlights the fact that we were amongst much poverty and we saw great hardship among the peoples of the countries we visited.

final night in Cambodia, Restaurant entertainment on the Mekong

In spite of this we marvelled as we witnessed the wonderful irrepressibility and resilience of spirit among the people we met along the way. We thank the Lord for those who have encouraged, supported and shared a little of the journey with us whether literally or through our blog (come diary) and/or in prayer. We pray that our journey has been for you, as it has been for us, a fruitful source of enjoyment and inspiration.

In His Love, Roger and Maree.




One response

3 12 2009

a big WELCOME HOME, I have and I’m sure many others , enjoyed so much your diary and sharing the wonderful experiences you have had .. love always….mum

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