Cambodia was amazing! I can’t tell you how much I loved it!
The clinic is beautiful. It’s simply amazing. It’s way prettier than I thought it would be. We actually ended up having a grand opening. I had just thought we would do a medical clinic, but when an opening ceremony was suggested, I loved the idea. Hehe! So we had a ribbon cutting and that turned into even more – government speeches, our speeches, an MC and photographs. Oh and lets forget worship songs and prayer. And of course everything was arranged last minute but perfect. The song leaders were told about 30 minutes before, that they would be leading ☺ But they were so happy to do it and they got to lead again and even pray at the next camp and are looking forward to future camps where they can do it again.
What I loved about our opening ceremony was that it was full of love and honor. So many people have invested time and effort into making it happen and even just coming to see it open. Michael, Angela and Ellie drove on a motorcycle in the hot sun for nearly 2 hours one way! I couldn’t believe it! So Michael was our MC – the man responsible for me coming to Cambodia and doing anything at all here. Without him agreeing to help me, I wouldn’t have had the courage to move there. We started with worship songs. Mr. Limsreng is the government official who oversaw the building of our clinic, so he gave the first speech and got to cut ½ the ribbon first. Rithy is the heart of the clinic and the leader and he got the second speech. I got to speak last and after thanking God and attributing it all to God of course, got to share how wonderful these three men are and what a great part they all played in the clinic opening and not for any personal gain whatsoever, because if anything it cost them money. What a dream come true as Rithy and I cut the second ½ of the ribbon together! God has truly blessed me in so many wonderful ways and it brings tears to my eyes because even when you lose all hope, God makes a way and makes your dreams come true! Through the years, I had released this dream to the future and then given it up altogether and yet Jesus brought it back and made it happen. It is only because of Him that I could be surrounded by such wonderful people in Cambodia. I still remember NGO leader after leader telling me when I arrived in Cambodia in 2011 that my plan to give the NGO to the locals in a year was flawed and would never work. They all thought I was being a naive idealist. And yet, God has given me such wonderful people that its only because I gave them control that everything we have today in Cambodia is possible!
The camps were wonderful. The first camp was at our clinic and we had a new team of volunteer students. I had thought we had a bunch of older docs that I had previously trained while they were in school coming, but only one came and with her came a lot of students! So I was a little worried as I boarded the bus and saw all the new faces. But God was good. They were amazing and the first clinic we saw only a little more than ½ of what we cap at, so we had the ability to go slow and they could learn. It was so great for me to see our doctors precepting now with me! I think the education system in Cambodia has improved because these guys were way better than my original students had been at their level! So YAY! I am excited about Cambodia’s future. And they were so eager to learn, which always warms my heart. No egos, just a desire to be better.
The foreign team was great as well. Our photographer said it had been one of her goals to photograph and document something like this and here was God answering it the night before the camps started ☺ I was afraid they would all have nothing to do but we were able to keep them busy and more than that, they would see needs and just fill them.
Everything was beautiful. We had long hours, late meals, long uncomfortable bus rides, but a wonderful hotel to come back to. No one complained. Everyone was loving and happy. The trip was perfect. A bunch of people who didn’t know each other, many times couldn’t communicate, but without frustrations or anger and despite everything that was done of the fly (the nature of the work and need to be flexible) there was nothing but love and respect in everyone’s hearts and I loved it.
I loved how God is raising people up and constantly reminding me how lifting others is the best way to raise leaders. The more I give my responsibility to others the more they rise and shine. I didn’t even know it but our doctor/pharmacist who always seemed to be in the background this time I asked to do a lot. She led worship, led prayer and first aid. She asked me to do it or that I ask Rithy, but she just seemed like the right fit at the time and although I thought I was maybe pushing her, at the end she was so thankful for the opportunity that she mentioned it to the whole group as her highlight! And Rithy, omg! It was so awesome to see him grow. He gave speeches as the leader that I could only stand next to him in awe and with pride as he talked. He had told me he had crossed out his name as the speech giver and put mine in for the 3rd camp, but at the end he ended up speaking and it was soooo great! On the bus ride he shared his entire story and I can’t wait to hear it. The only part I heard is that he had had dreams of becoming a rich doctor until he went on one of our first medical clinics and then he decided what he wanted to do was to help people and not focus on money. His love for people is so evident and I feel like Solomon who didn’t seek money but to serve the people well, God has blessed him with all good things. He has a car, a house, a wonderful wife and an amazing job that lets him work 3 hours a day instead of 8 and keeps paying him more just so he won’t quit! God’s so good!
I am so not needed in Cambodia anymore. Everyone is soaring and growing and so is God’s work. I’m so happy ☺ My heart is just full of joy and so content. Please pray for Cambodia, everyone there and the work God is doing. It’s a beautiful nation, with beautiful people and my 2nd home ☺