Posted by: Simon & Becci | September 4, 2013

Fly away Phally

Phally surfing

Surfing in Sydney in February

Having been in Cambodia for a couple of years, I thought it was high time that I introduced you to some of my friends over here in a bit more detail. We’ll start with Phally (pronounced ‘Polly’), who is part of our church leadership team. Having graduated university and worked in business for a couple of years, Phally is now taking a year out to spend some time with churches in the USA and UK as he continues his leadership development.

He flies out this evening so I grabbed an interview with him before he left…..

SIMON: How are you feeling about spending 4 months in the States?

PHALLY: I’m excited as I love to experience new things but also sad as I will miss everyone! It has been weird at church in recent weeks to look around and realise that I will not be here soon.

Tell us more about what you will be doing

I will be working with the newfrontiers church in Silverton, Oregon. I think they have lots of things planned for me including theological training, leadership development, involvement in their community programmes and youth work, so I’ll be busy!

So, its not just chance to look for a wife in the USA?

Come on Simon, what are you doing! Everyone knows that Cambodian girls are the most beautiful in the world…

Tell us a bit about your background

I grew up in Kampong Speu province, about 3 hours outside of Phnom Penh. I’m one of nine brothers and sisters so life was difficult for our family. I grew up helping and supporting my family however I could – I started looking after the cows in the field when I was 8 years old and also helped a lot with planting rice and ploughing the fields. Even now I go back sometimes to help out at planting and harvest times.

Phally helping to plough the fields in the province

Phally helping to plough the fields in the province

When did you leave home?

I first left when I was 18 and moved to a local town to finish my final year of High School. I did not know anyone there so ended up living at the local pagoda where I would help the Buddhist monks and nuns with cooking, cleaning and other chores. I shared a bed with 4 other students in a room that is usually used for storing dead bodies, so I spent most of my 6 months there afraid of ghosts! We were not treated very well, and I decided then to study really hard so that I could get a good education and job to help myself and my family.

What happened next?

I managed to get a scholarship at one of the universities in Phnom Penh, so moved here. I’d never been to the city before and remember travelling here sat on top of a bus with $50 in my pocket and no idea about where I would live or how I would have enough money to survive!

The future of student travel?

The future of student travel?

How did you become a Christian?

One of the girls in the church (Daneat) invited me to come one day, and I decided to come to help improve and practice my English. I came at 8am, an hour before the meeting started! I’d never been to a church before so it was weird at the beginning, especially when people were praying. I remember seeing my friend Sothy speaking English and translating at church and dreamed that maybe one day I could do the same.

I gradually started to come to the church regularly, made friends and began learning about Jesus. I remember that the teaching really touched my life and after a few months made the decision to follow Jesus.

My life has changed so much since then! Before I thought that the only answer for myself and my family was to get a good education and a good job. When I became a Christian I realised that there is so much more to life than that! My thinking, my character and my motivation have changed completely and I am so grateful to God for what he has done in my life.

Liberty Family Church praying for Phally last Sunday

Liberty Family Church praying for Phally last Sunday

What are your hopes for the future?

I long to see a better future for my friends, family and my country. Cambodia is often associated with poverty and corruption and I want to see that change! I long for this country to be known as a peaceful, friendly, Christian nation, where people grow and use their skills and gifts to make a difference in their community. At the moment so many people here live with no purpose and instead their lives are full of jealousy and bitterness, just sleeping, eating and getting drunk. I long for them to know freedom so that this is not passed on from generation to generation.

What will you miss while you are away?

My Mum’s cooking – I love visiting her and eating her food. I’ll also miss playing football with my friends and hope that while I am away our team finally beats our biggest rivals!

Farewell meal

Farewell meal

How can people find out more about your trip to the States?

I’ve just created a website which has more information about my background, and I’ll also be writing a blog about my time in the States.

Finally, what can people pray for you?

Please pray for me to adjust well to a new place and adapt to the new things I will experience. I also need US border control to grant me the right visa on arrival so please pray for that too!

Also pray for things I leave behind here – for my family, especially my Mum who is not well, and for Liberty Family Church to grow and be strengthened while I am away.



  1. Great testimony to God being at work. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. Phally we will be praying for you. He holds you in the palm of His hands. Much love Ken and Carol Chch NZ xx

  3. Hi Phally, Thinking and praying for you. V thankful of what God had done in your life and v excited what God is doing in your life and what He will do in the future. Looking forward to you just turning up at our door step! Much love, Midge and Steve

  4. Hello Phally
    So glad you are having this amazing opportunity. As the Lord has looked after you and guided you until now, He will continue, for He will never leave you or forsake you. May God richly bless you and others through you.
    Bob and Mary Cheesman

  5. Doug & Judy here Phally – we remember our time with you and hope to catch up with you again. We will pray for God purposes for you in the USA
    Our love to you in Him
    Doug & Judy

  6. […] its still mostly us learning new things. Our good friend Phally has been staying with us for a couple of months before he travels to the UK for five months with […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: