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Around The Sun: Close Encounters Of The Deadly Kind

Steve Harrison counts himself lucky in the richness of his experiences.

They say a cat has nine lives. Seems to me I had had most of those, and I'm not a cat.

I don't know exactly how many times I have escaped Death's clutches, but every close encounter found me bargaining with God. Instead of trying to work out the number of close encounters I should be considering what I owe to God.

Our lives are in constant tension and conflict. Right and wrong. Good and evil. Wealth and poverty. Success and failure. Sickness and health. God and the Devil.

Nowhere in the world are these tensions and conflicts more clearly scribed than in Cambodia. Squalor and hopelessness rub shoulders with wealth and abundance. Every day the conflict and struggle is clear cut.

In just one year I was assaulted, had a bottle broken over my head, had a glock gun fired at my head, and had machine guns menacingly waved at me. I have been taken into custody by the police and made to feel like a criminal. I have seen a friend decline into drug addiction.

I have cried, been unable to sleep, been in the depths of despair. I have felt small, weak, tricked, deceived, cheated, abandoned and defrauded.

Yet I have made new friends and enjoyed evenings of tall tales and technicolour adventures second to none. Old friends from my days in Australia have been supportive in ways that have enlarged my heart.

I have seen God's power at work in the weather, creating celestial fireworks displays out of thunder and lightning.

I have climbed the stairs of the temples at Angkot Wat, marvelling at the humans who created such splendour.

I have experienced, seen, touched, smelled, heard things that are only imagined by other men. My life is rich with an abundance of experiences that are far more valuable than gold and silver.

Of all men I am the most blessed.


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