Today was one of the days that Rahab's House holds a medical clinic. It was amazing to realize that people come from miles around to get first aid at this clinic. The room was crowded with the elderly and mothers holding babies (none in diapers - they just have bare bottoms, and we haven't been able to tell what happens when they need to go!) In Cambodia there are not a lot of people in the middle age bracket. The population here is very young. Pastor Chanta and his wife Buntahn run the clinic along with several of their young disciples. They have been trained by a nurse to administer first aid. Several of the disciples were taking people's blood pressures. We were told that many of the people at the clinic suffer from skin ailments. A lot of the patients are workers at brick factories, and because of poor water/sanitation, they suffer from scabies, fungus and itchy skin. We were happy to tell them that we brought 12 suitcases full of medications for their clinic, collected from all our friends in Canada. Among our medications we had many tubes of skin cream. They were so happy they had tears in their eyes (or it could have just been sweat because it is a thousand degrees here!)
We were just talking about Rahab's House, and are just so amazed at the many programs that go on in that one small building. Rahab's House is just transforming the village! Today, in the front entrance, there were about 40 children having their daily afternoon kids' club. Beyond them in a large back room, there were about another 40 people waiting for medical attention. Before that, at noon, Buntahn had just served our team of 12 a hot Khmer meal, and on Sunday morning, more than 200 people attended church service in this room. We really enjoyed the church service - they sang for us, and we sang for them. Not to mention, that the pastor and his family, and all his disciples live and eat at Rahab’s. Last weekend, they had over 25 other pastors from the area for a retreat - and again, they all ate and slept there. Amazing? Yes.
Today we finished up painting at the Sanctuary (2 doors down from Rahab’s). It is painted and ready for the electrical and plumbing to be finished. Hopefully it will be ready for use by the end of April. For those of you who don't already know, the Sanctuary is a beautiful 5 story building that will soon be used for school, medical clinic, church, community centre and dwelling for a couple ministering families. Rahab’s will become a daycare, to keep safe the many children that fend for themselves alone each day. So...things are really happening here. The village seems like it would be a dark and desperate place without the light of Rahab’s House, and now the Sanctuary - Praise God! We feel such thankfulness in our hearts that the people have someplace to turn with their many needs.
Tomorrow we will be painting a mural in the front room at Rahab's House. It is a picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, surrounded by His children. It will be a beautiful statement to all the children in the village, that they are precious and worthy to us and to God.
Karen and Lorey’s Impressions of Cambodian People:
- the people basically live outside, and are always eating, working and playing together - very relational people
- they are not afraid to be close to one another - we've seen 5 people on a motorbike (we've also seen live chickens and ducks hanging off the back of a bike, and one dead pig!)
- they cook and eat together constantly - they don't bring a premade lunch to work - they cook it there, and eat with all their neighbours
- they are so relaxed, they can cut each other off at an intersection (and they do all the time), and there is no road rage
- they spend a great deal of time washing laundry by hand, and there is clean laundry hanging everywhere - on hangers, outside on racks - their clothes are really clean too - Lorey thought it was a garage sale at first and wanted to stop and shop!
Karen and Lorey’s Thought for the Day:
We feel there is a great deal we can learn about life from the Cambodian people. Don't be afraid to get close to someone, and let them into your personal space, and into your life. Call a friend, go and talk with your neighbours, have a coffee with someone. Maybe we Westerners wouldn't be so lonely, if we just stopped and relaxed for a moment, and took some time to look around us at all the people that need a connection.
Love Karen and Lorey