Hope International School Lifestyle Statement
This statement has been compiled to give guidelines about the Christian lifestyle in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. All staff working at Hope are very visible members of a Christian community, and are in the privileged position of being role models for many people. It is important to recognize this; there are responsibilities as Christians, as teachers and as expatriates in Cambodia. Staff come from a range of cultures and different Christian experiences, with different expectations and views of what is acceptable, and this document is an attempt to address the diversity in a positive way.
Hope is a Christian, non profit making school representing Jesus Christ in its community in Cambodia.
Hope requires its employees to be born-again Christians, living their lives as Christian role models (Rom. 10:9-10; 1Tim. 4:12; Luke 6:40)
Hope is a unique work setting. It is not only a Christian school, it is part of a broader community, and it is in Cambodia. Staff are asked to be sensitive to these settings, and live a lifestyle that is appropriate, particularly when in the company of Cambodian people. The community is tight knit and one where news, or gossip, travels quickly. Employees are asked to conduct themselves in a way that will not raise questions regarding their Christian testimonies.
Many Christians, both Cambodian and expatriate, do not drink alcohol. The concept of social drinking is often alien; alcohol is associated with violence, drunkenness, sexual immorality, gambling and other such irresponsible behaviour. The Cambodian culture of “saving face” means Cambodians are put in a very awkward position if alcohol is offered. Employees are not expected to refrain from drinking alcohol but are asked to be responsible and sensitive to the views of those around them.
Employees of Hope should not take any form of recreational drugs.
Although culture is changing, Cambodians still dress modestly. Employees are asked to be sensitive to the host culture, adhering to the same guidelines as students, and demonstrating an awareness of local customs and respect towards them. At school staff are expected to dress neatly and modestly.
Hope believes that biblical marriage is limited to a covenant relationship between a man and a woman.
Staff are reminded that relationships can present different issues in a different culture, and should talk about potential relationships with trusted friends, church leaders, or someone in authority.
Staff are reminded that room sharing by different genders is limited to married couples. It is not acceptable for an unmarried couple to share a room.
It is expected that expatriate employees will engage with the host culture and attempt to learn enough language to be able to communicate with Cambodians.
Employees are expected to join a church in Cambodia. Weekly attendance is not required but a commitment and accountability to a group of Christians outside of school is important.
A Christian lifestyle should reflect the Biblical perspective of integrity and appropriate personal and family relationships, business conduct and moral behaviour.
Employees are expected to demonstrate a teachable spirit, an ability to share love for others, a willingness to live contentedly under authority and a commitment to follow the Matthew 18 principle when an issue arises with colleagues or management.
The Hope Statement of Faith expects employees to maintain a lifestyle based upon biblical standards of moral conduct. Moral misconduct, which violates the bona fide qualification for employees to be Christian role models, includes, but is not limited to, promiscuity, homosexual practice (as opposed to orientation) or any other violation of the unique roles of males and females.
It is the goal of Hope that each employee can demonstrate their Christianity in their daily living, relationships, attitudes and values.