The first day of medical camps we were up bright and early and ready to go. Everything kept changing so we weren't even planning to go to this place. It was right behind a mosque and I was excited! Of course I would love to be in the mosque but I'll take what I can get. It was a super busy day! There was so much going on at once, a children's area with them drawing and hearing about God, the dental area, the medical area, the myotherapy area, and even a toothbrushing time! I loved it. The only thing missing was prayer.
I had not planned on overnight trips but we had two with the dental team. So I took advantage of the first one. We had a lovely dinner after a hard day's work. And although I hate to do meetings after medical camps, we really needed one. Julianne and Tiffy led worship and then I shared about my heart about a prayer team and miracles that had happened in the past. Just before starting I had talked to the leader of the myotherapy group and she had agreed to help with it! So I shared and then I held the medical students back to go over medical stuff to make the next day easier. I felt bad for keeping them till 11:30pm only to find out that some of them went swimming afterwards! They have so much energy! I would say it's cause I'm getting old, but I'll blame it on jet lag :)
The next morning everyone was all smiles and taking pictures. The myotherapy group was super happy because I guess they are all christian and they didn't know I was. Had a great breakfast with some of them that morning and we swapped testimonies.
Our camp was in a open church! It was so breezy it was almost hard to hear heart and lung sounds! It was an amazing setting because we never overheated! The dental team hadn't seen a lot of action the day before but they did a lot better this next day. :) Still not enough but better. The medical side was great, but I had concerns about a certain volunteer doctor. :( I talked to our head student about my concerns and when I said I need to talk to you about Dr. ..... He said I know. :) I love how these guys have grown so much and even they can see good and bad medicine. He had been fixing it on the pharmacy side but now we are fixing it from the beginning and hopefully training another doctor and helping the people of cambodia :)
The next day was our feeding program. I have been wanting to do this since I heard about it in Kenya in august and Rithy brought it up himself soon after as we chatted on facebook. When I came in november we talked about it and I had this brilliant idea that we should do home gardens in the provinces and that idea got nixed by everyone! hehe! Since I can't do anything without help, I just had to wait - story of my life, but it makes the ending always so much better because you see God's better plan unfold before you and such a beautiful way. So when the team told me they had money for it, I was excited! But due to miscommunication I didn't know they were actually wanting to do it till they got here! We had 4 days to put it together. I say we, but I mean Michael had 4 days to put it together and like everything he does, he did it and did it well.
Michael prepared everything and we got there in time to help a little. He had Rina and his students helping and it was great to chop up stuff and talk to them as we all worked together to help those less fortunate. I had been so tired I wanted to fall down. I had even stayed behind when the team went sight seeing, but once I got there and started chopping veges while the team ate their dinner and talking to all the students helping out, I came alive! I guess I really am a converted extrovert :) Michael had gone to the local slum and invited them to come and eat. They had to walk to come and it's a little far so we figured only those really interested would come. To our surprise over 50 showed up, even though we thought 25 would and if we were lucky 40! We had enough food and extra so it was great, noodles, fish, rice, veges and fruit! Michael really is the best! I had been trying to get someone else to share a welcome - like the people who brought the money, but they refused and so I got to, and I have to say I am so glad I did. As I stood in front of all of them, my heart just melted and I almost started crying as I realized what a privilege and honor it was to be able to provide them food. Sometimes I get so caught up in the administrative part and overseeing everything I forget to see individuals and it always bothers me. I love one of one time with people but now I just get it with the students and they get it with the patients. But as I stood there and shared with them, I loved that I actually loved and cared for these strangers as individuals. So the dental team nicknamed me heartless (I'm not quite sure why) but I'm glad God can put a heart in anyone :) After that they had worship night and we stuck around and had fun! I know the team was super tired, but I was so glad we stayed and they willingly agreed because I love hanging out with the khmer - it makes me happy :) Jolie from next door's salon kept poking her head in so I had Tiffy give her a song sheet. It was a great nice with a simple message and then we walked home :) I wanted to say and hang out with the students, but I didn't want tire out the team who I could see was ready to leave! At least during the worship night I got to hang out with a few people.
The next morning we had to pack and be ready because it was another over-nighter. The one thing about cambodia is that you have to be willing to go along with whatever comes your way :) I had been told only 1 away trip. The team had two. The first one we had a very nice hotel but the second was what I had been afraid of :) and so some of the team didn't sleep all night. The good news for me was that I woke up during that trip and was able to start really being myself again and hang out with the team and communicate. There was one team member I really didn't know and it was great cause I got to spend a couple of long bus rides getting to know this amazing person with a heart of gold.
One of the places we went to, I went to last time I was here. I remember as I sat and watched the "program" and a dentist being the chief guest I remember thinking how one day I would love for me to be the head person. hehe! Well, little did I know it would be answered so fast! :) Exact same place and me sitting at the front desk giving my short speech. hehe!
The dental team left sooo fast. Our poor member whose only desire had been to get a massage, didn't get one :( and so next time! :) Also next time maybe 1 day off isn't enough a week, we need two :) I thought they all hated the trip but they have already recruited another member and our 12 year old star has decided she might become a doctor! I love how God works. I was so tired, I just wasn't able to be there for anyone on the team that first week but despite that (because it really is God who does everything) He still made there time worthwhile.
They left at night and the next morning we were ready for the next "team" of one. At the airport of course Michael introduced me to more amazing people/missionaries as we waited for our respective teams. Although the first team got to take it easy the first day, poor Jeffrey started off busy and running. He got back, had his food and got to sit and meet Sharon and Tiffy and then we were off to not just one, but two ktv's. Michael and I had gone out the night before to secure our spot for the next day. At diamond now they know us so well they let us come even when our guy isn't there! :) YAY! For the other one, it was our second time, but they liked us and said we could come back without hesitation! It was sad, a few of them were pregnant and they are drinking 20-40 cans of beer in their first trimester :( We gave out a bunch of our cards and hopefully they will call in the future. And then off to Java. I think for new people who haven't been in Cambodia long the pull for java is mysterious, but by the end of the trip Sharon and Tiffy were all looking forward to it just as much as me :)
The next day bright and early we took off for the province. Another overnight trip. The camp was good. Lots of old people came and were all smiles as they got their glasses and sunglasses. Our old donations of people's old prescription glasses from the container even came in handy :) I guess there really is nothing you can donate that doesn't have some use on the mission field and God honors the desire you have to bless to truly bless people even if on paper it doesn't sound like it will work. We got surprised by a 20 minute trip to the beach after the camp and dinner on the riverfront :) The students pulled out their guitar and played and were quite good :) I'm always impressed how talented they all are. Intelligent, super sweet, caring and musically inclined too! I got to stroll the area I had been wanting too when we drove by 10 days earlier. Even though I didn't get to eat, I was a happy camper :)
We were short on hotel rooms so I had to share a stinky sewer smelling room that didnt have a lock or ability to close the bathroom door with Jeffrey. I was not looking forward to the night, but there were no other rooms and I felt bad swapping with Vasna, although he offered. So after finding out there were no more rooms, I adopted my usual motto of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I didn't get dinner cause my first meal had eggs in it and the 2nd didn't have salt :) Things were just not going my way :) hehe! But you just got to go with the flow and smile because God is in control. So when Rithy found out our room smelled he said he was staying in a different hotel due to lack of space and was going to see if there were two rooms for us!! :) There only ended up being 1 room but it was huge, had hot water, even the partition between the toilet and the shower that Jeffrey had really wanted, two huge beds, and no smell!!!! I felt soooo blessed and happy! :) So when lunch the next day had eggs in it again I couldn't be upset. hehe! And I had a back up :) I now carry my peanut butter with me on these trips as back up :)
The mosque outreach I think was everyone's favorite. First of all how cool is it to do a camp in a mosque!!! Not in the building next to the mosque but in it! They insisted we use their prayer rugs as desk covers and I felt bad not wanting to ruin them but they insisted. We kept an area for their regular prayers but no one ever came. Everyone was just happy, the kids were adorable, the community was all smiles and enjoying their glasses and there was good air flow and ventilation and a lot of sick people (especially TB - praise God for good ventilation). We went home with a huge smiles that day.
The next day we had planned lectures but no one could come so we did speed sight seeing :) hehe! We managed to see everything in PP - the killing fields, toul sleng, royal palace, river front, wat phnom, independence monument and the prime minister's house even and ended the day at java cafe! :) Came home and had an unexpected visit from Rithy and his friend who proposed some interesting ideas for our future and helped us out in planning our vacation.
Next day was teaching. We had planned to get pics at a cambodian photo studio before the lectures but while looking for a deal we ran out of time. On our way back we saw an accident and stopped. The guy had had a head injury and needed to have his skull drilled and blood drained. It was kind of cool to be able to take charge and run after him and bring him back to safety as he wandered on the street with no one bringing him back. Michael's contacts were able to tell us where to send him and I was able to tell the family what treatment he would need. I think us missing our photos saved his life. God is sooo good! That's the first time I have been able to really help someone in a traffic accident. My first year here I helped clean a wound, but nothing serious. This guy would have died. A few years ago, I think I wouldn't have had the confidence to know what to do and to take charge, but now I felt so blessed to have michael there to make the phone calls and me to just have no problem trying to take charge to help this guy out even though no one understood me or listened to me. It was kind of scary when he almost made it to the road and I had to run after him, but I was so happy when he came back with me. All I could do was pray the whole time. I was so focussed and kind of excited as I helped him and made sure we did everything we could for him, but after we got into the tuktuk, I wasn't really happy as I realized that there was a good chance he wouldn't get the treatment he needed. I even prayed for him. But praise two days later although initially I was told they hadn't drilled a hole, I found out later that they did and he was talking and back to normal! YAY God!
We went off to the lectures from there and they were sooo good! I learned so very very much. They wanted to see a temple after lectures and we walked there to find out it was closed :( but the next day guess where we ended up having the camp - in a temple! not next to it as we have had in the past, but in it! It was wonderful! :) So beautiful! We woke up that morning and Tiffy wanted to pray. Her last day at prayer team. This was the day that she saw a lot happen. She has 16 pictures of people who got healed and others gave their lives to God. Some had already been going to church but with her made a decision to follow God forever. One guy was brought over by the myotherapy team because they couldn't do anything for him due to his high blood pressure. He had a leg discrepancy - meaning one leg was shorter than the other. She had seen legs grow out before but when she prayed it actually happened and she was amazed! He came with a came and left without needing one!!! I love God!
This trip has been full of things happening that I have wanted to see for some time. We have a prayer team that has started. Still have to work out the kinks but it has started. We have someone who wants to do the ktv outreaches. Now I just need a doc who is interested. We did our first feeding program and have money to continue it. We have a bunch of donated stuff we can start a clinic with. We just need docs who want to do it. My students graduate this year! And we are starting secondary school outreaches! God is sooo good! So amazingly good!