Diabetes for Jesus

Today we had to go to suffer for Jesus and went to Blossom Cafe. Here’s their website: http://www.blossomcakes.org/ I didn’t want Diabetes but we felt called and we’re working on being obedient.

We brought our TukTuk driver, Mop, with us inside. I went the healthy route. Ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

We brought our TukTuk driver, Mop, with us inside.
I went the healthy route. Ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

We went there because they work with some of the same gals that AIM works with. Both organizations are working on development vs. simply relief or rehabilitation. Or they’re “teaching them to fish” if you will. Here’s Anna. She’s from “Briz-been Auztrailyer.”

Most people simply order from one of the Khmer girls who work/train here. We, of course, wanted to ask lots of questions and tell Anna to keep up the good work.

Most people simply order from one of the Khmer girls who work/train here. We, of course, wanted to ask lots of questions and tell Anna to keep up the good work so she ended up taking our order 🙂

I got emotional in this place and Stacy was probably thinking “you really like carrot cake that much?” 1. yes. 2. I often hear “I wish I was an eye doctor so I could go help.” I’m sure a baker somewhere had a similar thought at one point but then has found a way to change the world through baking. Incredible.

Typical beer garden in Siem Reap

Typical beer garden in Siem Reap

A verse that has been rolling around in my mind the last few days is 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” Too often I want someone to scream “I CAN SEE! Tell me about Jesus.” It’s sad and more than a little silly I realize, but just being honest. However, we take great joy in the fact that our patients have included KTV (what beer gardens, karaoke/TV bars, and the like are called here) hostesses, security guards and workers. One of the AIM social workers was able to tell some of the girls, “You don’t have to work there. We can help.”

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Random monkeys because Stacy loves ’em

 

 

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We finally saw some patients

It’s 9pm and we’re tired (Stacy fell asleep at dinner) so this will be quick.

We got lost first thing in the morning because: 1. there are not addresses in Cambodia just landmarks and "Tela gas station isn't a great one." 2. this was just some random driver our hotel found for us 3. my limited Khmer language skillz of "turn right" "please look here" and "clear or blurry" weren't overly helpful

We got lost first thing in the morning because:
1. there are not addresses in Cambodia; just landmarks and “Tela gas station” isn’t a great one. who knew there were more than one?
2. this was just some random driver our hotel found for us
3. my limited Khmer language skillz of “turn right” “please look here” and “clear or blurry” weren’t overly helpful

We're set up in the Outreach Center/Salon across from one of the karaoke bars. The guy with the mask is a local pastor. It's the cool season so like many other Khmer he's wearing pants and a jacket since today's high was only 89*

We set up in the Outreach Center/Salon across from one of the karaoke bars.
The guy with the mask is a local pastor. It’s the cool season so like many other Khmer he’s wearing pants and a jacket since today’s high was only 89*

random Cambodian kid stylin' on his way to school

random Cambodian kid stylin’ on his way to school

Woohoo! Out of the city and into the villages. My home away from home.

Woohoo! Out of the city and into the villages. My home away from home.

"It's too hot upstairs" said the guy previously wearing a jacket.  Well it was too bright for me to see anything so Stacy and I set up shop in this sweat lodge/home. I didn't hallucinate....much.

“It’s too hot upstairs” said the guy previously wearing a jacket.
Well it was too bright for me to see anything so Stacy and I set up shop in this sweat lodge/village home.
We didn’t hallucinate….much.

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More than just a beautiful face. My best friend and bestest helper.

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Heat stroke wasn’t the only danger with this village house. One of our first patients who was around 70 with bad cataracts loved his new glasses so much he couldn’t wait to show everyone so he tumbled down half the stairs. Gravity faster than walking I suppose. They all had a good laugh and his lawyers haven’t contacted me yet so bonus.

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Not sure if pastor really just wanted us to hit the 200 patient mark today or what. On our way back into town we stopped by a house church to see a dozen members. Everyone was too tired to unload stuff.

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And you thought I was exaggerating

 

Proud Parents

From Grammy:

“Something to make you both smile and be proud!! Last night Lilly crawled in bed to snuggle after a nightmare. Sweet snuggles for this Grammy! Robert woke up at 4 and wanted his mommy but I let him fuss for about a minute and he went back to sleep.

At 6 he wanted Mommy and Daddy again so I went to get him. I put him in bed with us and Lilly said Berto they are in Cambodia remember!! He cried and she calmly said Berto look at me. They are in Cambodia sharing Jesus.  They are caring and sharing and we need to also. We love you hold my hand, it will be okay. He slept the rest of the night!! Sweet Lilly girl yes she does get it!!”

From Hong Kong to Prescott with love

From Hong Kong to Prescott with love

 

We forgot to update the time on our cell phones and since we don’t have coverage they don’t automatically update. We’re up an hour early 🙂

Improving outlook

Phillipians 4:12 “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

9/10 bags made it which I guess is an A minus? The other is apparently sightseeing in San Francisco.

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Yeah…..that’s not even all that are supposed to be here

The safe in our hotel room wouldn’t open this evening. Quick call to maintenance and they popped it open with some fancy electronic gizmo in 3 seconds. Hmmm……..

But good news we rolled with the punches much better this go ’round and just went “OK.”

Our newest hero Rachel

Our newest hero Rachel with the lovelier by the day Stacy

Wakeup call gonna be rough. First patient at 8am. I ain’t gonna lie; I was hoping that was 8 Khmer time but one of the missionaries would like us to see their kiddos so she probably meant 8 and not 10 😦

A great 24 hours

Thanks for all the prayers! We slept through the night and feel good about our prospects of being adjusted to Asia time. It’s 7am and we’re going to grab a bite to eat, hit the hotel gym and then fly to Siem Reap at 3pm.

Please pray we get through customs smoothly and our bags make it. We’ll meet up with our missionary hostess in Siem Reap, Rachel, tonight for a little bit and then start working tomorrow.

Please pray for softened hearts and open doors for those we will encounter. Our time in Siem Reap will be spent ministering to young ladies who have come out of the brothels and KGB bars, and also those who are still thinking about leaving.

There is also a local pastor who works with AIM that we will be working with. He drives a van to supplement his income and will be taking us out to some outreaching villages for eye care outreach, and then the tentative plan is for him to drive us to Phnom Penh on Sunday. Hopefully that can be a mutual benefit to us all.

Stacy in her element in Hong Kong

Stacy in her element in Hong Kong

 

"You have to have this hair piece....here's what it looks like."

“You have to have this hair piece….here’s what it looks like.”

Hong Kong egg waffles!

Hong Kong egg waffles!

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Hong Kong Skyline

Hong Kong Skyline

Father forgive my lack of faith

Aack! I would ask “why” but it’s more like “how?”

I’ve done this before. I’ve been on these trips and seen logistics work out where they truly aren’t supposed to. I’ve felt the prayers of hundreds. And what do I do when we hit a snag? Freak out, raise blood pressure to a million/billion….but I didn’t yell at anyone 🙂 Stacy was rock solid the whole time. I love her so much. Plus she asks, “do you want me to tell you all the reasons it is ok or want me just to be quiet?”

So to recap: “no we can’t check your bags all the way to Siem Reap. You have a 24 hour layover in Hong Kong.” “Actually it is 23 hours and 15 minutes.” “We are not a baggage storage company……you’re ticket says you are on a one way to Los Angeles so whatever your travel agent booked is all we can work with.” Fairly calmly: “we are not going to Los Angeles. As you can see on the bag tags you printed we are flying Phoenix to San Francisco.” Long story short we checked our bags to San Francisco knowing Japan Airlines would treat us better.

We had a 2hr20min layover so plenty of time to pick up bags and re-check in. Except our plane was coming from LAX and it turned around for maintenance. In the end, we had a 40 minute connection which we made and our bags are now checked all the way through. That’s not even an allowable connection time when booking tickets.

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We were a blur running through SFO airport with JAL representative, Jiro, leading the way

 

Woohoo! Checked all the way through.

Woohoo! Checked all the way through.

 

Pit stop here in Tokyo for 5 hours and then on to Hong Kong for the night.

We’re in a great place now. I’m disappointed in myself that I could freak out so easily. I’m not down in the dumps or anything just more like a smack upside the head to say “DUDE! REALLY?” Instead of spending an hour in committed prayer, I spent time before our first flight looking for flight alternatives and tracking our inbound plane. Neither helpful.

A huge thanks to Pastor Tom Garasha though. He has taught before on the importance of heart health and a big part of that is contemplation. So when I couldn’t sleep and we still had 3.5 hours of flying time, I didn’t pull out the computer or watch a movie. I had some decaf tea in the dark and spent some quiet time thanking my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for spoiling us. Again. Like always.

Thanks for all the prayers, facebook comments and messages. It means a lot.

Before the tears :)

Before the tears 🙂

Flexible/Shmexible

I often talk about being flexible on these trips but I’m feeling……shall we say convicted tonight. At check in the agent said our bags couldn’t be checked all the way through. Oh great. 8 bags and 2 backpacks from Hong Kong airport to our hotel? Not even sure a $150 van each way will get the job done.

So the bags are checked to San Francisco where hopefully the next airline will be a little nicer and possibly try to help. Pick ’em up at the carousel and recheck them. No worries with a 2hr20min layover.

Did I mention our inbound flight hadn’t left LAX until we were supposed to leave PHX?

 

The worst part? I have such little faith and spend an hour researching options online vs. committed prayer.