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Letter from Tiarna Paget (2018 Graduate)

Letter from Tiarna Paget (2018 Graduate)

The following letter is written by Tiarna Paget who is a 2018 Graduate. She wrote this all the way from Phom Penh where she is currently serving as an intern at RAW Impact in Cambodia.


My journey towards living in Cambodia for seven months started in an assembly in Year 9. Students who just went on the mission trip were sharing about their experience, I don’t remember anything in particular they were saying but i will always remember the overwhelming feeling I got. I was feeling all these different emotions, heartbroken because they were sharing about how the kids they played with were so happy when they had no reason to be. But it was also very uplifting because students were doing what they could to help, and in that moment I thought “I could do this!”.

A lot was against me leading up to my trip in Year 10. Firstly it was money; growing up with a single mum, there was no money just lying around and I wondered how I could go to a different country when it costs so much. However, I made it with the help of my family. We put on a fortnightly sausage sizzle and we would always have just enough everytime a payment was due; it could only have been God’s doing.

I was also a very small, shy 14 year old. None of my friends were going on the trip, so it took courage just to go to our lunch time meetings. I know for a fact the only reason why I got on that plane in September of 2016 was that I knew God was right beside me, from the moment I said yes to the adventure. Little did I know it would change everything about my life, and lead me to my current role that I absolutely love!

It has been a core desire of mine to find out what I am good at. When it wasn’t immediately obvious, I struggled with feeling like a failure and not being good enough. Now I see I was not supposed to discover my strengths in Brisbane, I was meant to find them in Cambodia!

When I came back from my first trip, I told my mum that I needed to go back. This I did in Year 12 and then a year after I finished school, I packed up my life and moved here for seven months. It was not easy moving away. I have never lived away from home nor travelled by myself. It was surreal packing my life into a suitcase. Pushing through all this anxiety and fear of the unknown has paid off; I have found my calling and I am excited about future possibilities.

I have been in Cambodia for four weeks now and I can confidently say: “I am home”. I feel so comfortable in this new lifestyle. RAW Impact have made me feel so welcome and the job they have for me is perfect. I am a Teams Intern which involves a lot of different things, but mainly handling school and church missions teams in Cambodia. I just finished my first team as Lead Logistics, where I looked after all the money, meals, transport and accommodation, plus more!

People ask me what I miss the most and of course I miss my family! My ten month old niece will grow up a lot in the time that I am gone. I also miss my mum’s hugs and being in fits of laughter with my friends. However, it is not all about what I’m going to miss out on, it is about what I get to do for God here.

Tiarna Paget

2018 Graduate

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- February 17, 2020

1 Comment

  • Emma Verhoeven February 24, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    My daughter Samantha Dorrepaal did the Cambodia trip in 2017 and 2018. She loved the experience and it will be something that stays with her for life.
    It is a once in a lifetime experience.

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