During my trips to various countries I am seeking to learn the reality for women so that broadcasts can be written in a manner that is relevant to their spiritual, cultural and social reality, and be presented in a way that they can understand and apply to their lives.

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One of the real joys, for me is to meet people who have a burden for the women and are willing to pay the price to help them. About a year ago, I was in Thailand and met a lady who has become a friend that I greatly admire.

Five years ago, Sandy “retired” from her position as a Nurse Practitioner/Midwife in Australia and was commissioned by her home church to work in Cambodia. The Lord led her to a group of people who live in a garbage dump on the edge of the city and make a living by picking through the garbage. This is now a village community, with a very strong church and she has a three room, clinic building. As we did on this recent trip, I try to arrange my time  in Cambodia, so that I am able to work in her clinic and I love it.

 

 When we arrived at the clinic people were already waiting and the morning moved very quickly. There are three full time Khmer workers and a Pastor who teach health care or spiritual lessons while individuals wait to be seen. They are also available throughout the week to provide in home follow-up and training. We took a quick look to see if there is anyone who needed to be seen urgently and then handed out numbers to the rest, in an effort to maintain some sort of order.

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We had only one interpreter, but with Sandy’s “medical” Khmer, we could keep two clients active at a time. We saw around 48 patients in rapid succession and then sat back to regroup. Suddenly it dawned on me that what we had just seen was pretty much what you would see in a walk-in clinic in Ontario. Sniffles, joint pains, complaints of upset tummies and tiredness, mom’s with newborns, young women needing birth control injections, urinary tract and yeast infections, older folks with high blood pressure and some ongoing follow-up on injuries sustained accidently.

Through the vision of one women, backed by her home church, these people are healthy, clean, and know the joy that only God can give. Everyone there has a water filter and understands the need to use it, they know how to care for their children and their  families and are learning to advocate for their own rights. I did a dressing change on a man’s foot that had been run over by a truck and was kind of dreading what I might find when the bandage can off. It was certainly still open, right down to the muscle, but was totally clean with no sign of infection. 

I found it oddly reassuring that the chief concern of  several young moms was why  their babies sweat when they sleep.  I used to wonder about that myself and my son had recently done a blog commenting on how Ben sweats when he sleeps.

Somehow, in the worst of circumstances they were so happy and proud of the changes in their lives. Moms everywhere  want to do the best for their babies.

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