Wow n brand new year and so much already happened. We had a rough month before the end of the year and were struggling with feelings of discouragement. Faced with challenges here in this land and personally we realized again how important to persevere even if the ground is hard.
The first outreach of the new year started off with a bang!. It was about 4.30am when the phone rang. You know what it is if a phone ring, that time of the day??? Well it was Ben from Stung Treng. He said that Ian, another staff member in Stung Treng, woke them, asking for help as he was struggling to breath due to swollen tonsils. He then phoned Thearith to find out where to go and found out that his wife is in early labor and their son was born premature at 28 weeks.
Up in Stung Treng they cannot do anything for babies that small and they do not even have an ambubag to force oxygen into the small guy’s longs. They were looking for a taxi to bring the baby to Phnom Penh, a mere 9 hours away. They had baby in an incubator with an oxygen mask on.
While putting on my boots at 7am, they phoned to say that the baby passed away. With a heavy heart and very mixed emotions, I got on my bike and drove for Stung Treng. Another 6 hours later, I was just in time for the funeral of little Grahame, named after their co-worker and good friend. What makes this such a sad story is that this couple tried now already 6 years to have a baby and when baby arrived, only lived to see the light for 7 hours. We spend a lot of time with them praying for God’s comfort and peace. They get a lot of pressure from family that blames them because they are Christian, as this is why the baby died. Please pray for this couple in this very challenging time.
After the funeral, Ben came to me and complained about a possible Appendicitis. I gave him some meds for his tummy but he was back at 12pm with vomiting and diarrhea. The man was not doing well and Ian and I had to get the battery for the truck in order to get Ben to the hospital. By this time he was sure he has appendicitis. Who am I to say no, as I do not have the pain. The local hospital wanted to do the operation there and then but Ben refused to go in. We got a taxi and by 1am, I left with Hannah and Ben for Phnom Penh. Poor Ben was not doing well. We arrived in Phnom Penh 8 hrs later and I dropped them at the hospital. The doctor found he did not have Appendicitis but rather Food poisoning and an Amoeba. At 10am, I was on my way back to Stung Treng again, via Taxi.
At 7.30pm, I arrived back in Stung Treng, just in time for a great dinner with Thearith and some friends. Ian was doing better by then. Needless to say, how tired I was……. a new record scattered, only 1 hour in Phnom Penh was good enough………
We’ve enrolled Anton into another school as we just could not afford the monthly tuition fee in his previous school anymore. It is Eli school, also a Christian school run by a Filipino family based on the ACE curriculum. It is a totally different way of teaching than what he is used to and quite an adjustment but he seems to be ok. Please pray for him during this transition. Gideon is also doing the ACE curriculum with me at home and doing very well. Our boys are growing up, never a boring moment in this house! We thank God for His protection and all the “uncles” and “aunties” in their lives love on them.
May you all experience God’s love in this time as sweet aroma around you.