Wednesday, May 16, 2012

{off topic} The Rock and the Ripple

I had my purpose for going to Cambodia and I will just go ahead and say it, I thought it was a darn good one. Leading up to the trip my heart was growing more and more towards protecting children from trafficking. I just knew I had to do something to help and I was elated that I actually found a way to do something about it instead of just dwelling on it even though I had no idea how I would be able to help in a medical setting. Ultimately that didn't matter, I knew I would do what was necessary. At first I was assigned to do height and weight checks for all patients but somewhere along the way I was moved to registration. This ended up being such a huge blessing because I learned a valuable lesson; MY purpose does not trump HIS purpose. 

I started the week strong and happy to help in any way that I could but by day 3 I was a wreck. I was struggling to find the connection between what I was trying to accomplish and what I was actually doing. It is known that the leading cause of trafficking in Cambodia and other third world countries is not being able to afford medical care but I wasn't seeing it directly and a big part of me was left wondering how I was actually helping to stop it. While I was sitting with everybody that came through for help I was totally unaware of their circumstances. What brought them there beside their illness, if they had jobs or homes, how many children they had, if they were considering selling a child to get help or even knew it was possible. And lets face it, these are not exactly questions you can just ask somebody. 

I was lucky enough to have reinforcements though. Friends, many of which I was just getting to know, to help lift me up when I needed it most. 

Me and Kim
That third day there was a little boy. I struggle to remember his age, he was about the size of a two year old but the children are so tiny he could have been 5. When his mother brought him to our table I noticed right away that he was lethargic. The only thing his mother told us was that he had diarrhea and was vomiting. We sent him along to see the doctor and my heart went with him. I could not get this little boy out of my mind. I struggled so much with not knowing what was happening after he left our table. And that is how I felt all week. Not knowing. I was blessed to be sharing my duties with a young girl named Victoria who has an amazing heart for God and his children. Without me really having to say anything she always managed to find time to sneak away and check on the people that touched me in some way, and I'm not even sure she realized it most of the time. This boy was no exception. I found out from Victoria that this little boy had Typhoid, had not been able to eat anything in 5 days, and he had already seen a doctor and was sent home to die because he was too sick. I think it goes without saying that I completely lost it. I took a break and was lucky enough to have Kim to lean on and pray with while I was trying to find strength. Our group, however was there on Higher Authority, and was not giving up as easily as the previous doctor. Several people gathered and prayed over the boy before treating him with fluids and within 30 minutes he was responsive again. I do believe a miracle happened before us! The boy and his mother stayed a couple hours to monitor him. I got away for a few minutes to see him and just sit with him and praise his healing. They left with him eating and walking, when just hours before he could barely open his eyes. It was encouraging, to say the least. 

Me and Karen
Even then, it wasn't until a couple weeks after we were back home that I finally had that "a-ha" moment. That it clicked for me that I wasn't there for MY purpose. My dear friend Karen shared an illustration of a rock creating a ripple in a pond and that we were the rock. A-ha! We were that rock. We created those ripples. We may never know where those ripples lead but we created them. And that was His purpose for me being there. I may never know if I directly prevented a child from being sold, but He does. Two years ago, that would not have been enough for me. Today, it brings me peace. 

These wonderful, beautiful, strong women held me up that week and I will never forget it. 
Kim and Karen
Sau-Pon, one of our translators, and Victoria
Be a rock. Start a ripple. Give it to God. Start another ripple. Let's do this!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{flashy} "Hey Girl" Photo Challenge

Perhaps its because I am not quite done sharing about my trip to Cambodia (you wouldn't think so considering I have yet to blog about it since the first time over 3 months ago) or that I haven't ventured out with my camera as we are just now starting to see days of sun without rain, but I am again entering in a portrait shot in Cambodia for this months I Heart Faces photo challenge.

In villages filled with children so happy for some extra attention, that leaped in front of my camera smiling to ear to ear, this little girl caught my attention. She seemed to be curious but skeptical of why this big group of people who did not speak her language were spending the day in her village. I took her picture a few times, smiled at her, said "ah-goon" (thank you) one of the few words I learned, and went about my way as to not make her uncomfortable. I saw her a few more times that day curiously peeking around but never getting too close. I admit, I kind of wanted to give her a big hug and tell her not to worry :-)

Photo Challenge Submission