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Friday, October 17, 2014

Nicaragua Team

This week has been awesome! We spent the week at the Partners In Christ Mission house with a group from our church. It was a family trip that we decided to lead over fall break and everyone has been awesome! The kids have been amazing and have loved every minute of the trip! I know that God has touched many lives this week and can't wait to see how He uses everyone once we return to the states!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

CGI kids

Today was awesome!  We got to see and participate in Ken Sviay kids activities.  These are 15 kids that CGI kids sponsors to get them in school, tutor, help their families, get water filters, and teach them about Jesus!  It's mine and Jaime's passion and why we are involved with CGI.  There is a teacher that spends every thursday afternoon teaching these 15 kids and about 15 others that want to come too.  They learn a bible story, English, Khmer(their native language), get a snack, and have fun!  Then she spends the rest of her week visiting their houses making sure they are studying and checking on their home life, siblings, parents, job situations, food, and health.  These kids have gone from the bottom of their class at school to the upper half now since she has been working with them!  She does an amazing job!
So today I got to teach the English lesson.  They were learning the phrase, What is this?  This is ______.  So we went around the room pointing to pictures practicing.  It was most fun to hear them say zebra.  Then they all drew us pictures, pretty good ones too.  They had a snack, and we supplied some smarties!  Then I broke out the noisemakers!  I told the teacher to apologize to their parents!  It was hilarious to hear them all running around blowing their horns to be annoying.  Then Sreyleak said Mr. Jeremy we want to play a game with you!  Jaime had prepped them in January when she came, so they knew that we liked to play games.  We went out to the play area and then she said, Ok you make up the game!  All we had was a beach ball, so I quickly made up some bases, and we had the very first game of Cambodian Kickball ever in Ken Sviay- kids against adults!  They laughed and squealed the whole time.  What a great experience!

So let me tell you why this was even more impressive.  Today is a holiday in Cambodia, Labor Day.  There is no work or school.  And 30 kids showed up at school on a 100 degree day to learn about Jesus and English and see some Americans!  God is Good, all the time!

In Him,
Jeremy

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Clinic Day!

Alan the director in Cambodia asked if I would do a clinic day for the girls at by Tavi and their kids.  Obviously I answered when and how many!  So yesterday I got to use the gifts that God has blessed me with and treat patients.  I only saw 33 in about 5 hours with a nice long lunch break with the entire staff!  Not too bad when you consider the translation doubles your visit time!  It was reassuring that people here deal with the same issues as Haiti.  Headaches and "hot chest" (reflux).  I didn't save any lives, but I got to pray with each one and show them they are loved and cared about which doesn't happen alot in Cambodia.  One of the workers has a 2 month old baby that I got to check out.  Very healthy but with baby acne the mom wanted me to fix!  Then there was the 13 month old running all over the workshop that her mom said didn't want to eat anything.  Just like in the states, too busy to sit down!  A six year old who didn't like going to school, wouldn't eat his vegetables, and was too small for his age.  Sound familiar to anyone?  I love seeing that medicine is the same everywhere!  If I could only move my practice over here and take care of people with no access to any healthcare rather than those who abuse our system.  I really appreciate American Healthcare!
So we had to go visit one of the past staff who had a stroke about a year ago.  She is homebound now with minimal use of the left side of her body.  We drove down some alleys to the end of a dirt road and found her home.  It was a one room concrete house that reeked of urine, flies were everywhere and it was empty except for a mat on the ground that she was sitting on.  Her mental status is fading and she can't talk very well any more.  She has an aunt that helps take care of her but only at night and some in the mornings before she leaves for work.  So this poor lonely woman just sits in her own urine and feces all day long because she can't get up her self.  She uses her right arm to move her left arm and leg around.  She is cachectic and malnourished and there is not much we can do for her.  I left her with some pain medicine to add to the aspirin we have already supplied her with to help prevent another stroke.  It frustrates and saddens me to realize how a good rehab hospital may have been able to save her functioning.  But that is the way of life here in Cambodia- no money equals no healthcare and no chance.  We are working to break that cycle!  Our only hope is in Jesus!
I am exhausted from the day- mentally and physically beat down- just like I like it!

PS. No paperwork was filled out or signed today and very little charting was done!  I could get used to this.

In Him,
Jeremy

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why are we here?

Sometimes I wonder what we are doing in Cambodia.  Funds are tight, people don't want to give in the US, we need more sales of product, we all get frustrated.  Over here it is even worse.  The stench of rotting or burning garbage is overwhelming.  Starving eyes look right through you.  The poverty seems to engulf you.  How can there be a way out?  And then God opens the door to the Imprint workshop!  You see the smiling faces of young women who have been rescued from a life of sexual slavery, all laughing and sewing, happy to see you come into their lives, thankful for an opportunity at Hope!  Not only are we teaching them how to sew to make a living, but they learn English, Math, Computers, and life skills to learn how to take care of themselves and manage their money.  Most importantly, we teach them about Jesus and the Hope that we all have in Him alone!  That is why we are here.  CGI has partnered with some other organizations to help break the cycle of poverty and slavery.  There is a great team working every day to make it happen.  We Can make a difference!  I have seen it firsthand.  Thanks for the opportunity to serve CGI!

In Him,

Jeremy

What's your story?



Today I met the father of one of the CGI staff in Phnom Penh who happens to be a doctor.  He has 4 kids that he sent to live 1.5 hours away from his home so they would have the opportunity for good schools and a college education.  They all live together in a one bedroom house with a living room-that’s it!  But they are able to go to school and are all doing well.  He told us that when he was little the Khmer Rouge killed his entire family except for him.  He was put in a refugee camp at a young age.  As he grew up he worked very hard in school, so he was given the opportunity to go to Canada to study to be a doctor by a Christian organization.  He knew little English which all the professors spoke, so he would spend half the night studying medicine and the other half studying English!  He said maybe 3-4 hours a night of sleep for 5 years!  That puts my Med School experience to shame.  I thought they were speaking a different language, but I was assured it was English.  Anyway, he came home after his internship in Thailand and started his career in 1992.  He is married with 4 children and is able to provide them a very good life and education.  They are his only family!  He is Buddhist, but he told us he thanked the Living God for giving him the opportunity to become a doctor.  His daughter is now a Christian thanks to CGI and she is working on him as well!   His parting words were very unCambodian.  He said he raised his kids to always work hard and be trustworthy, work hard at school and work hard at your job, get experience and have honor in everything.  In a land of Buddhism, selfishness, deceit, and hopelessness, he is who we are here to help!  Jaime got to go to their home village in January and deliver water filters and school uniforms.  Hopefully we can go back to do a medical clinic someday and teach the people about hygiene and sickness.  What a story!  I am so thankful for my family.  I pray we can give back to other families like this since we are so blessed.  How about your story?  Can you thank the Living God for where he has put you?

In Him,
Jeremy

Sunday, April 27, 2014

In Your Face



           We can’t help but notice that in Cambodia, Buddhism is in your face all over.  From the minute you get off the plane, you see Wats (temples), monks, Buddha statues, and sacrifice altars in front of almost every house and business.  People don’t talk about their faith or try to convert you to Buddhism, but it is certainly apparent what the main religion is here.  Nathan said what do people think when they get off a plane after landing in America?  There are lots of churches around I guess, but they are easy to miss due to the billboards and restaurants and signs that all seem to say to just worry about yourself.  It is pretty clear that we have a culture that is all about self, making yourself feel good, pleasing yourself.  We are a selfish society!  So how do we combat that?  MISSIONS!
                Think about it- missions is all about others, helping others, feeding others, and most importantly sharing Jesus with others.  For some people it takes going to a foreign country to see poverty at its worst.  But most of us can do missions every day right where we work and play and go to school.  Most of the world is worse off than we are, and everyone needs our Savior!  So let’s make every day a mission trip.   

Make a difference in someone’s life today.

In Him,
Jeremy

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Plane Ride



So I think it may be a problem that I actually enjoyed the 26 hour flight to Cambodia this time!  It was relaxing.  No work to do, no phone to answer, no decisions to make except for which book should I read, which movie should I watch, or should I just chill out and sleep! I realized how much I like doing nothing and having no agenda- much different than life back home.  Just plain, nothing unexpected.
I am super excited to be going back to Cambodia.  It has been a little over 2 years since I have been there, and much has changed.  I wish my lovely bride was with me, but she volunteered to stay home for this one.  Thanks to her and my family for giving me the opportunity to come and serve God!
I finished a book called “Erasing Hell” on the plane.  I was struck by a passage about the fruit of the Spirit- notice FRUIT not FRUITS.  Most of us have heard or even memorized this verse from the book of Galatians in the Bible.  We think about which fruits we have and are good at and which ones we struggle with.  The point was that they all go together.  We don’t just have a few of them.  If we are living in the Spirit, then God produces all the FRUIT through us.  Only when we allow Jesus to do the work in us can we have fruit.  It’s a combo package all together.  Nathan Cecil who is with me on the trip made the comment- Wouldn’t it be awesome if we can Erase Hell for the Cambodians we know and love that CGI is working with right now?  Pray that we will allow God to do the work and produce fruit through us this next week!

In Him,
Jeremy

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Haitian Dance Party

Tonight we went to evening service at Jeanty.  This is the third time I have been there to worship, and I have heard the veterans talk about how rockin it is there.  Up until tonight I had not seen what I thought was “rockin”, but man did they worship with all their hearts this time!  Each song would start slow and soft and gradually start to build until the whole place was dancing with arms raised and shouting praises!  It was awesome!  After the service was over, a young Haitian man came up to me and said, “You dance like a Haitian”!  That is the best compliment I could ever receive.  They have a great drum section that just pounds it with tambourines and a washboard type instrument.  Then a pastor on the trip from North Carolina just nailed the sermon.  It was a great night!
Today was the last real day of clinics.  We only see follow ups tomorrow and any really sick kids.  I saw premature twins today that were less than 4 pounds each!  Both were doing remarkably well and eating fine-amazing considering the resources they have.  Mom delivered on the bus on her way to the hospital!  Babies number 6 and 7.  Things have progressed a lot here over the last 10 years.  The babies are much healthier because the mothers are learning how to feed and take better care of them.  Our favorite patient of the day was a 7 year old girl.  When we asked how we could pray for her, she replied “I want all the people in Haiti to learn to read and write”!  What a great heart at such an early age.  
Tomorrow we get to dedicate the house that Clown Pediatrics donated.  Alyssa and I wrote in the Bible that we will give to them tonight.  The office sent a video that I will show our family.  Please pray that this will be a wonderful blessing for these kids and mom!  I am so lucky to be here to take part in the ceremony.
We were challenged tonight to keep our focus on Jesus all the time, to listen to Him and allow him to make our hearts bigger.  All week we have talked about how all people are the same, they want to be cared about, listened to, and loved, no matter their situation.  I hope we can all take the time to notice people around us and look for opportunities to serve and love others.  I’m telling you, WE can change the WORLD!!!!!
In Him,
Jeremy

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Happy Birthday...Again!


 So for the second year in a row, Alyssa gets to spend her birthday in Haiti!  Maybe not how some kids would want to turn 14, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.  She got to spend the day in clinic with me being my nurse!  She got to write down all the problems, exam, and orders for the pharmacy that I dictated to her.  She did a great job catching on- and her handwriting is much better than mine!  We took turns between her, a nurse named Amanda, and I praying for the patients.  She really gets it.  I mean she truly understands what people need and why we are here and how to pray for them.  The whole trip is worth hearing Alyssa pray over these patients pouring her heart out to God for them.  Thank goodness her mom is always on it!  I didn’t even think to get her a present because I thought the trip was present enough even though she paid for a portion of it herself.  But mom came through with a perfect little gift left in my bag for Alyssa.  We sang happy birthday at breakfast and at devotion tonight.  I snagged a leftover piece of fruit pizza from the fridge as her cake!  They say 2 times is a pattern and 3 is a tradition, so I told Alyssa she can come back every year from now on to make it a birthday tradition.  What a great kid her mom has raised!
So the highlight of the day was our third to last patient.  I think I saw about 40 kids plus a few adults today which is a really good day at home.  Considering the time for translation and praying, it was pretty hoppin.  I was beat when we finished.  We didn’t save anyone’s life today, but God worked in a number of situations that we prayed through.  Lots of dads not around, moms who have left or can’t take care of their babies, lots of newborns that are healthy and doing great but the mom just wants them checked out to be sure!  But our third to last one got me.  It was 4:15pm.  I asked when she got to clinic this morning.  She said 5am with a smile on her face like no big deal!  Her 1 year old had an ear infection which we can treat pretty easily.  Cute kid.  Christian mom.  We ask every patient what we can pray about, so this mom says, “I want to pray for you doctor, and your family”!  What??? That is crazy!  Live in a tent, don’t know where your next meal will come from, have to care for your kid somehow, but you want to pray for the American doctor who is there to serve you?  These are the kind of people you meet down here in Haiti.  And that is why Alyssa and I continue to want to come back!
For Him,
Jeremy

What do I deserve?



So my office sponsors 2 sets of twins in Haiti.  Jaime and Alyssa and I got to meet them last year and see where they lived.  It was such a blessing to be able to give them things that they could never have otherwise!  We saw them a year ago for a total of maybe 2 hours on 2 separate days.  Yesterday, Alyssa and I got the chance to see them again!  They were standing together with both sets of twins eagerly waiting on us!  You should have seen their faces light up when they saw us walk in!  It felt almost as good as when I come home from a trip and my family sees me for the first time.  Last year the kids cried most of the time but finally let us pick them up.  They are much bigger this year!  No crying, but they still wouldn’t open up and play with us much.  The boys like cars, and the girls like baby dolls, and they all like soccer and kicking balls-sounds like our own kids right! 
So we decided to build a house for the needier family.  Single mom whose husband was killed in the earthquake with 6 kids including the twins which are the youngest.  They are living in a tent with sticks for walls with sacks and cardboard supporting it.  I asked this mom what we could pray about for her and what she said floored me.  She said, “What you see with me is what I deserve”.  Meaning God has given her everything she needs and she doesn’t need anything more!  I thought to myself this is crazy, here is a woman raising 6 kids by herself with no money and no job to provide for them all, living in a tent, saying she is content with what God has given her!  I know I don’t deserve all the blessings God has given me which makes me all the more thankful for them.  Talk about a woman who definitely deserves a home!  What an experience.  It makes me want to give more and more of what I have away!  Thank you so much Clown Peds for helping change the lives of these 2 families!  I will post pictures when I get back.  It isn’t a mansion by any means, no bathroom or kitchen, just 2 rooms with a solid roof and earthquake proof construction that is safe and THEIRS!
I am humbled and blessed to be a part of Lifeline here in Haiti.
Be in prayer for clinics which will start on Monday!
In Him,
Jeremy
PS. Audio Adrenaline was on our flight here.  They are making a documentary about their orphanage called “Hands and Feet” based off their song!  Check it out online.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Medical Team in Haiti

Every time I leave home for a mission trip I ask myself why
I am going.  There are lots of different
answers, most important being that God has called me to go.  I often get more out of the trips than I give.  I spend more real quality time with the Lord.  The people we serve lift my spirits and renew my faith.  I love spending time with the other people on the trip as well.  The lasting relationships that you gain from seeing people year after year on the mission field are special.  Then there are the Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Cambodian people that you work with and love on!  That is what makes it all worthwhile!  So sorry office for making you work harder while I’m gone.  Sorry Jaime for leaving
you alone with 4 kids to taxi for 10 days.  Sorry kids for missing 10 days of your life while I’m on “vacation” in 90 degree weather!  And thank you all for allowing me to serve the Lord this next week in Haiti.
 
We made it here safe after an extra hour at the gate with computer problems on the plane which is always what you want to hear when you are getting ready to fly a thousand miles over water! We got to the airport and started going through customs which is usually
uneventful.  We were the last flight of the night and the last bags of the night.  The Haitian customs officials obviously didn’t have anywhere to be tonight because they decided to look through every one of our bags.  They wanted money to let things by.  Something about you have to clear it with the government to bring prescription meds into the country.  That has never been the case in the 25 years this team has been coming!  So after a
few choice works under our breath, we prayed it up knowing that God was with
us.  There were 49 bags to go through, so we did our best to put a 4-5 bags on the table at a time and act like they had already been through a couple of them and were finished.  The head hancho wasn’t about to let it go that easily though.  He kept asking what
the different meds were for.  He asked if he could take some of them, to which we replied sure, thinking it would get us through.  So he wanted an advil bottle
and a prostate medicine!  He obviously didn’t know what it was for, so one of our team asked if he was pregnant because that medicine was for pregnant women(which it isn’t!) and so he put it back down and laughed, took his advil and let us through!
 
Great start to our week!  I’m blessed to have Alyssa here again with me this year, and for her
birthday again!  We also have Terry our kids pastor from church with us.  Tomorrow we get to start building the house for the twins that Clown Peds sponsors.  Can’t wait!
We talked about Phil 3 tonight at devo which we certainly used today- Do not be anxious about anything, but with prayer and supplication, and thanksgiving, bring your requests to the Lord.  I definitely have His Peace that passes all understanding!
In Him,
Jeremy

Friday, January 17, 2014

SPEECHLESS

It's always been said that a picture says a thousand words.  I love pictures and photographs, especially ones that tell a story.  But, I am the world's worst photographer. Somehow, today I felt like I captured a perfect photograph. I can't get the image out of my mind. The picture is of a smile. A smile like one of a child on Christmas morning. 
Today, I had the opportunity to witness the delivery of some bibles, water filters, and uniforms. The money that allowed us to purchase these items was raised by children in the US. They are children who have been given a generous and compassionate heart for the poor. We took the funds that were given to us and asked the CGI staff if they had anyone that they knew who could really use the help. Immediately, one gal mentioned her home village. She was so thrilled that we offered to help them!  When we pulled up to her family's home and saw a large crowd waiting on us, of course my tears were falling. But what touched me even more was when I looked over and saw the tears in her eyes, too! She was filled with this joy and both of us were entirely speechless. I have been trying to think of the right words to describe my afternoon to you and the only thing that kept coming to my mind was this picture. I watched as she handed out uniforms, bibles, and water filters to each family who was present. And when I saw the excitement of this particular girl had when she was handed her bible, I was so humbled. We take so much for granted and it is great to be reminded of that. I hope this paints a picture for you as well and  and that you, too, are inspired to help!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Working for the Lord


I am the firstborn in my family. The oldest of three girls. I had a fabulous childhood and I cherish so many of the fun memories of playing with my sisters. But if you would ask them what I was like, I’m sure they would include the word bossy. I know this. We talk about it now and giggle. But back then, I thought I knew it all. Everything that I did was the correct way, and everyone was to do as I say. I know as a child I didn’t consciously know what I was doing, but now that I am an adult I look back and realize how mean I could be at times. It breaks my heart and I wish I could go back and change the way I treated them. Particularty my middle sister.
 Every time I leave the country, I secretly like having time to just sit on an airplane and think, pray, and listen to God. (Now don’t get me wrong, 27 hrs is probably TOO much time, but I enjoy the first few hours). So yes, I am currently on a plane reflecting on my life and how God wants to change me, AGAIN. 2 years ago was my first trip to Cambodia, and that trip marks a pivotal point in my life. I haven’t been the same since. The things that my eyes saw changed my heart in ways that I could’ve never imagined. I was humbled in so many ways and I knew that I had to change the way that I had been living. Luckily, my husband was with me and we were both on the same page. But since that trip to Cambodia, I see things in a different light. I have a new calling on my life. I returned home and made a drastic change in my priorities. I quickly learned that others weren’t going to understand or even grasp my vision. It made things difficult as I changed my focus more globally. I still sense that others don’t understand and tend to be judgemental. But I have learned that I am to continue to follow God and obey Him. Not man.  That has not been easy for me to do. And I know I started being a people pleaser when I was young.
As I sit here and think of that, one of my sisters comes to my mind. She has never cared one single bit what others think of her. She is confident in herself and she knows who she is.  She knows what she wants and she goes for it. When we were little, she saw right through me and knew that I was trying to be accepted and get approval from people and unfortunately, I was mean to her at times in order to accomplish that.. I have so many regrets for my past behaviors, I am thankful for her forgiving heart. I admire her so much for who she is and I am thankful and proud to have a sister like that. She has taught me so much!
I have gained so much confidence now that my entire heart is  “working for the Lord”. So, regardless of what people think, I am on my way to Cambodia. I haven’t been here in over a year. I am thrilled to see my friends and the smiles on the faces of all the women and children that we are impacting. I am even more excited to hear what God has in store next for these people. They have stolen my heart and I am so humbled that God has chosen me as one of his servants in this country. I pray that my actions shine so brightly for Him over the next week and the Cambodians that I come into contact with can see that there is something different about me. I want them to know the same Jesus that I know. I ask you to pray along with me and let God do the work. Thanks for following!

~Jaime

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