Posted by: Simon & Becci | December 2, 2011

Down Under

Seaviews. Mountains. Walks in the countryside. Salmon steaks. Carpet. Running hot water. To name but a few of the things we enjoyed about our 12 day trip to Sydney, Australia last week that are not available in Phnom Penh.

For the first few days we joined together for a conference with the other leaders of the newfrontiers churches in the Pacific Rim area (just nine churches in total so far in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines and Cambodia). It was wonderful to see these guys again having met them all this time last year and we enjoyed a great of time of learning, praying, eating and laughing together. We stayed with Julian and Sue Owens, a wonderful English couple from Woking who moved to Sydney several years ago. Sue seemed to embark on a one woman mission to see how much food she could feed us in a few days which we were very grateful for.

Not a bad view from our bedroom window at the Owens

With some of the guys at Grace Church Sydney

In the second week we moved to stay with Becci’s aunt and uncle  – wonderful to spend time with family. They live 2 kilometres away from the beach where “Home and Away” is filmed. We went for a walk one day and actually passed by whilst they were filming – so Australian soap fans keep your eyes peeled for us in the background one day….

Its was actually unseasonably cold during our trip (including the coldest November day on record) but I loved it! Living in the perpetual summer of Cambodia gives you a strange longing to be wearing jumpers again and feeling chilly!

Trip to the Blue Mountains, 2 hours out of Sydney city centre - pictured are the "Three Sisters"

Shark spotting at Sydney aquarium.

Its been weird but good to come “home” to Phnom Penh after leaving Sydney. Established wisdom for moving overseas says that spending some time away and coming back helps your new home to feel like home and so it is proving to be. It is still challenging to live here sometimes – illustrated by the fact that our friends in the church, Colin & Rachel Saunders, who live 600 metres from us, both have got Dengue Fever this week (a bit like Malaria). Please do pray for them (and their 4 children) to make a full recovery.



  1. Glad you enjoyed your trip. You seem to have family all over the world, Becci. One query – what system do you have for hot water? I’m guessing you need a lot of showers in that climate. Or do you shower cold?

    • The house only has a cold water system but we have one bathroom with a small water heater for the shower. It was strange in Australia to be able to wash hands and wash the dishes in hot water!

  2. I spy a Hard Rock cafe Tshirt – again. Becci – did you ever change it?!

  3. My goodness I so wish I could have been a little bug hidden in your luggage and going all the way with you 🙂

  4. Hi Simon and Becci
    Thanks for the prayer letter and all the news – praying for you all and send our love

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