A fitting conclusion

This trip has just felt right. We’ve been comfortable with the food, accommodations and work. Granted I was a zombie yesterday and Stacy started on antibiotics last night but overall we’ve felt good physically, spiritually and emotionally. Stacy will probably disagree with the physically as she is sporting dozens of weepy mosquito bites and lymph nodes the size of grapes. Yet she never complains.

Stacy's lunch

Stacy’s lunch

 

Previous trips have often felt like an outer body experience which is great and exciting, but it’s nice to know we’re getting the hang of this. Far from pros and we have tons to learn but it really is a nice transition from just trying to survive.

 

This kind of image just seems normal now

This kind of image just seems normal now

Our day started out by joining the local staff for their morning devotion. I remembered 10 years ago in a Honduran church having the epiphany that God listens to more than English. Sad I realize but just being honest. We may not have understood the songs and prayers in Khmer today but it didn’t matter. We were joining together to worship our unifying Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Today we saw the employees at the two Agape Employment Centers. AEC 1 employs many girls who have transitioned out of the restoration center we visited yesterday. I thought I recognized one of the girls from last year but turns out she was in the CNN Freedom Project video with Mira Sorvino and that is how I recognized her. The employment centers are a far cry from the sweatshops down the road. In fact, they were the most comfortable working conditions we’ve had all week 🙂

 

Ladies preparing lunch while we look at eyeballs

Ladies preparing lunch while we look at eyeballs

Most of the employees are young and healthy but there were a few young ladies who were quite nearsighted. No problem if you are running a sewing machine all day but it was fun to think maybe seeing the world more clearly beyond 10 feet could open even more doors.

 

I spent this entire week with my good buddy Sarouen. We met last year when Stacy and I visited Svay Pak for a whirlwind 36 hours and he was our interpreter. He’s two weeks older than Stacy and has kids not too different in age than ours. I’ve never worked alongside an interpreter who can stay focused and interested for 8 straight hours. More than his wonderful interpretation skills, I’ve enjoyed his company and getting to chat during our rare spare time.

Dr. Carla, team leader Chad and the great Sarouen

Dr. Carla, team leader Chad and the great Sarouen

 

Conservatively we have seen over 1100 patients on this trip and given glasses to about half. Like I said a few days ago: I try really hard not to focus on numbers because that is a poor barometer when trying to spread the Gospel and simply love on the people. However, I’m the melancholy one who finds lots of reasons not to be here. Looking at those numbers, hearing about the doors opened, and thinking back over the past week and a half I realize there is no other place I should have been.

Good news: we never had to get into our jerky and almonds.  Bad news: when we picked up our suitcase, it was apparent someone else had

Good news: we never had to get into our jerky and almonds stash.
Bad news: when we picked up our suitcase, the local ants had.

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