Medical to the remote

This Blog is all about the work of God. Nothing we do is without the knowledge of our Father. He is the soul provider for everything we do.
We are Mordegai, Toinette, Suzaan,Gideon and Anton Rossouw from Namibia-Africa. . This Blog is all about our lives here in Cambodia while Suzaan works in South Africa. We are real Farmers from Africa and we love life and what it have to offer and enjoy it day by day.

Mordegai travels to remote villages up in the far North of Cambodia, doing much needed medical work ,where no other doctors go, with local pastors as well as the Department of Health of Ratanakiri.

Toinette is at home with the boys. Homeschooling Gideon is a task not for sissies, while Anton is in Eli school. .She joins FGC Community Link Cambodia to the villages close by, teaching local children in an after school setting and also women about Health Issues in a village setting.

We consider us Asians as we live such a long time in Asia, eating rice as a staple food and not meat......

Our motto in life comes from a dear friend:

With common sense and God we
can accomplish a lot

Robin Wales

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Uncle Durasi

He was a simple man. Small in stature and not much of a hunk . No education at a fancy school or any kind of diploma or degree was coming his way. He has never been able to read nor write. That makes for a special man indeed. He lived the calm seas of the Philippines around island to beuatifull for words. His boat was his home for most of his life. Later when he became married and had children, they too was living on the boat. Roaming around from one port to another was what they were use to. Free to do whatever they want to. Spent all their time on the sea collecting everything you can eat from the sea.

He was not able to read nor write but he knew about fish and things of th esea. He was a master diver that would have outdone anyone with fancy diving gear. Even 100ft without oxigyne and 5 minutes to cover was no problem. The sea and diving was his degree. He did not want much, just want to raise his children and have a good life. Life became a survival when old age set in and cancer start to appear on his face. The fear of losing his eyes,let him not accept an offer to operate on him. For years he roamed the streets and markets in Davao begging for food and mercy from others. Times were tuff as he could not see anymore and people do not want to even give him a ride on the jeepneys. See, he was stinking and awfull in their sights. He had to cover big distances by foot and was already an old man with lots of pain .

When his eyes faded and hope as well he was confined to his little home which was not bigger than 12x12 feet and there were 5 families cramped together. Space was of no luxury.Their was no pensionfund that was set aside for his old age. The moto in his culture was," You beg for your own food,no beg,no food". They asigned a young boy to go and beg for him. Which do not work as he never see money nor food. Life was indeed a struggle. He became a burden to his family. They also need food and now they have this old man to take care of which do not go and beg for food and they need to give some of their precious food to him as well. If this was continueing for only 1 month , it would have been bareable, but this continued for nearly 5 years. His only hope was to find hope in missionaries visiting him and bring him food as they try to share God's love to him. Again things was difficult. He spoke Samal and everyone speak English or Cebeunao. He could speak a little Cebauno but his mother tongue was Samal. He accepted Christ before but went back to his old ways of doing and accept help also from th elocal witchdoctor. The church abandoned him and forget that he was once a member. The moto of the church is," Be a member and you will have a good life. God cannot help you if you are sinner and not in the church." The pastor never visits.

His name was uncle Durasi or Sarok which means "hat". He was wearing a hat to cover his face from the people. I met him 5years ago . The first time I saw him on the streets and the second time he came to my little outreach at the Badjaos. There was not much I could do ,rather than cleaning his wound. We all know what happened next. Over the years things went from bad to worse. When he was confined to his home his body started to wasted away. He became so skinny because he never went outside to roam the streets anymore. He could not walk anymore. He became depended on us bringing food for him,but then some of the others take it and they eat and did not give to him.

Imagin yourselve staying at the Sewerage plant. No, not near it, on top of it. Add thousands of people in little houses above the high-tied line and lots of garbage as well. Imagin the smell and illnesses. Now take away the sea and make it a river that connects to the sea. A river for garbage water from the city. Add, no toilets and no garbage cans and no clean water at your home. No fancy walkway to get there,just bamboo poles that is already rotten. That is the place he was staying. So thousands of Badjoas as well as Filipinos stay . The conditions are bad and not even Health workers dare to walk the bridges to his home. When there was a World Polio day, where the WHO try to vaccinate all children against Polio,they did not even reach his home. They were afraid to walk the bridges.

Over the years many visit him,foreigner as well as Filipino and no one can say that Durasi did not made an impact on their lifes. He effected us all in one or other way. He was a good friend over these years. A friend that was always there,nowhere to go but his little shack. God say we need to go to the Least of the Least,if he is not that one then I do not know better. This we do not do because we are smart, this is a work and will of God.

It was hard to see a friend fades away and hard to tell the wife that he is dying. Everyday, for a week , I greeted and not knowing if I will see him again. The last day I saw him he was barely breathing and could not even feel his heartbead. He was holding out so long but the end was near. I ask God to take him to a place where he will have an eternal body. He died the next day on 21 August 2003. They came and call me the morning. They want me to say what to do. I let them do their own thing. The next morning early I left with them to bury him on the island. What an experience that turned out to be.

They opened the grave of his daughter that died 2 years ago. I was shocked to see they take her body out of the grave and put her aside. She was till wrapped in a sleeping mat. Then they dig deeper and recover all the goodies they put with her in the grave to take with her. There was a bottle of Coke and lots of dishes and pots,her only possesions. They were not allowed to drink it as it need to go with the died. So the Coke wil be preserved for another couple of years. The cause of this lady's death, they say,"was because she drank to much Coke" She took it with her to the grave. Good advertisement for Coke. "Till death do us part." Some other Badjaos was replacing new food and drinks at other graves fo rthe afterdead and perform certain rituals. they then opened the coffin and put Durasi's daughter with him. Wow, what a smell this was. While doing this they drink a lot and talk and make jokes. No worries that will bother them at all. The grave was shallow,barely 5 feet but it was ok. There they lied down our friend. No fancy burial . No pastor to perform a last message, no family that wish him farewell, just a couple of drunk guys ,laughting and joking. No fancy coffin, just a couple of planks knock together with nails. No fancy grave stone, ,just a piece of wood without a name and a mirror on. Why, I do not know. They perform a couple of rituals and off we went again. No big deal.

Now Durasi was gone and I found myself missing a friend and a hole in my ministry that will not been easily filled. He was so much part of my daily routine. Would the day the Lord will come on the clouds not be an awsome day???? We would be able to see all our friends and family again and this time we would be able to talk to each other and understand each other. I would be able to see uncle Durasi with a good face again, no harm done. I am looking forward to that day, ,are you??

God is good, we need to remember that God put people like uncle Durasi on our way so that we can learn what it is to be humble and to serve a "Nobody". In God's eyes he is a "Somebody". I want to put a qoute from Mother Teresa which sums up everything we do.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;

We will forgive them anyway.

If we are kind, people may accuse us

Of selfish, ulterior motives;

We will be kind anyway.

If we are successful, we will win some false friends and some true enemies;

We will succeed anyway.

If we are honest and frank,

People may cheat us;

We will be honest and frank anyway.

What we spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

We will build anyway.

If we find serenity and happiness,

They may be jealous;

We will be happy anyway.

The good we today,

People will often forget tomorrow;

We will do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,

And it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,

It is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.

Thank you for praying for our friend for such a long time.

God bless

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