I was looking forward to this trip for a whole month, after falling myself into another blood group. On my bike after this, I was a bit nervous and this is the new bike as well. I drove so slow that Toinette phoned my friends to hear where I was. Well, made it in one piece to Prea Vehear. Brett was with me and we got more company with Ralph, Austin, Colton and Sean, on small bikes.
Our mission was to visit some villages with our friend, Samai, from AOC Stung Treng. He planted a lot of small churches in remote areas and we were on a quest to visit all of them in good timing. Our first stop was a small tribal village, near the Vietnam border. It was great to be amongst the people again. Samai say that there were only 50 members when he started the church, but now there are already about 150 members.
After instructed the boys on how to give some worm-meds, they took up the challenge and every boy and girl got a pill. Austin and Colton watched their mum doing some medical work and they already know such a lot, and they can also speak the local dialect. It was great to have their dad, Ralph there to keep an eye over them, while I helped all the children and Brett helped Samai to repack some ointments. Great teamwork.
After a good night’s rest we were on the bikes again to tackle the next leg of our journey. This turned out to be a real challenge through thick forest and mud covered roads, or maybe I need to call it trails…. Our next village was close to the Laos border. People here were Lao-tribal people and we could not speak to them but Samai was in his element. He do not just speak all the local dialects in Ratanakiri but also speak Lao…..man was I impressed with this man.
Never before anyone else came to help them with medical as this place was off the map and off the beaten track. For the nearest clinic they need to get on a small bike and do at least 3 hours in either direction. In rainy season the roads become rivers and to be sick, turns ugly. We hope to help these people more than often, how, well, we need to drive our bikes like boats in some areas, but I know it will be possible and a real challenge.
Clinic was a real circus as people were so wild and just wanted meds as they know nobody will come this way again. I experience lots of attitude like this, when I visited an area the first time. Second time around is much better. Once again teamwork was great and Brett and Colton did some amazing wound care while, Samai and I help the people with meds. Lots of sick children, with bad lungs and ears and lots of cuts and burns, due to working in the fields. Turn out to be a nice day for helping people.
Our trip back was somehow from a thriller movie. Mud and water and what more. I got off my bike about a thousand times to help the guys on the small bikes out of deep water and mud, what an expedition this was. We were tired when we reached Siem Pang, but very happy. The next day, Brett and I made it back home to Siem Riep in one piece. After 665miles, 1065km over 5 days, we were ready to get off the bikes. Time well spend.
Toinette is very busy helping to teach the ladies in the village on Women Health Issues. The stories we hear is heart wrenching and we know, to be a women in the village is not for sissies. Every time Twans go, the women open up more and good relationships are busy to form. Thanks to FGC Community Link that is helping in the village with the kids and lots of teaching people, Toinette can help as well. The key here is to first invest a lot of time on building relationships before you can do anything else.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31