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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