Mickey my tuk tuk driver and myself leaving for our morning trip to Svay Pak
Well earlier this morning one of my spiritual mentors texted me asking when a photo of me would appear on this blog. Unfortunately most of the photos I am in, involve kids in Svay Pak and for security reasons, we do want to protect them so with that in mind, I thought I'd include a photo of Mickey my tuk-tuk driver and myself. You've heard me mention Mickey in one of my earlier blogs. He is my personal chauffeur who drives me around all over the place whether it be to Svay Pak or to meet up with friends. But Mickey is not just a tuk-tuk driver. He enjoys going to Svay Pak and is now attending the church there having received Christ recently. He desires to have his wife and 2 year old daughter come to church on Sunday so we're praying that the whole family will come this Sunday. Mickey enjoys being out in Svay Pak. He says it reminds him of the country and he has become part of the family here. He too has a servant heart, always willing to help when needed but he also is participating in some of the activities that we do at The Sanctuary. Today he joined the guitar class I was helping out in and yesterday he was participating in the soccer camp until I told him I needed to go home to meet up with a friend. Friday we will stay later in Svay Pak so he can play soccer in the late afternoon session but also, its the weekend and the sights become more interesting as dusk sets in. I'll share more about that on tomorrow's blog.
Some of the people waiting their turn at the medical clinic
Each day there is always something new to learn and I never really know what I will be doing. I just show up and see what happens. Today was one of those days when I joined in to help out at the medical clinic that happens at The Sanctuary from 2pm to 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The locals start appearing near the entrance around 12:30 in order to make sure they are first in line. While they wait, the Passion of Christ DVD is shown in Khmer in the 'waiting room' which is really the front hallway. Today we had so many people and I found myself in the role of a 'medical advisor' with Mickey as my translator since Travis the nurse from Texas didn't come. Less you think I am the only one doing this, no that is not the case. Thank God! There is about 6 of us who act in this capacity. Bunthan, Pastor Chantha's wife is the expert on the medicines, then there is Bridget Brewster as well as Chantoo who is Pastor Chantha's brother. Chantoo used to work at a pharmaceutical company so he has a lot of experience in knowing which medications are useful for specific ailments. Finally, there is Mickey who has had more experience in this than I have had as he's been actually helping out at the clinic when the other short term team was here. At any rate, I lost count of how many "patients" we actually saw but I figured now was the time to ask God for some serious wisdom and discernment. For those of you who are of the medical persuasion and are thinking about lawsuits...not to worry, we are not dispensing serious drugs, most of the cases here have to do with high blood pressure, mouth blisters, aches and pains, sprains, diarrhea and heartburn. The more serious cases we connect them with 'professional' medical help. I have to say, its tiring being a 'doctor' in this environment. I had to take notes of their ailments and write down what we would prescribe them. Dr. Gamble where are you when we need you! :-) Listening to people describe all their ailments, I found myself telling people with high blood pressure to cut out the salt in their diet, eat more vegetables, drink more water and eat fish. :-). The clinic has some standard drugs that we give out like multivitamins and paracitomol which seems to be used for every conceivable pain. Then there is ibprofen, for the typical muscle pains which seems to be common as many of the women lift a lot of heavy baskets over their shoulders (the men in this community don't seem to work) so the majority of them were complaining about sore shoulders. Personally I suspect a good shoulder massage would probably solve the problem but we gave them ibprofen. A few ladies had heartburn and so we handed them some antacids and I told them to lay off the spicy food and drink more water! With each patient we passed out a tract and used it also as an opportunity to either tell them about Jesus or invite them to the church on Sunday. I also decided to pray over a few of them. After all, Jesus is the Great Physician and He can do far more healing than the medicine that we are giving to them. So that was my day at the medical clinic. My hat's off to all you medical personnel. This is mentally tiring. I think I'll stick to advising stock brokers!
Bunthan (in the left) and Siny (one of the student leaders)
Well no sooner had the short term team left today and the medical clinic had ended, I was upstairs in the actual Sanctuary playing the guitar and teaching a song to a few of the students when Pastor Chantha's wife Bunthan came running up to tell me about two barang (foreigners) who had just driven down the main street. Apparently they are 'regulars' who are often seen driving around the neighborhood on their motorcycle and she had snapped a photo of them. Of course I'm not one to miss the action myself so off I went with her to hang out outside with my camera waiting with some of the students and young kids for when the barang would drive by. Soon they appeared again and I got a good frontal shot. These guys had a smirk on their face as they drove by looking like they were out to have some fun. Pray that God would frustrate their efforts with each visit to Svay Pak and thwart any of their attempts to harm the kids in this community.
The 'Barang' on the motorcycle heading out to the entrance of Svay Pak