Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Brief Review

This year has been a busy one! So much has transpired in the past 12 months! I have been very blessed! It would be a very LONG blog post if I were to recount all my blessings, highlights and struggles of the year... Here are a few of the major highlights of 2013 that stand out when I glance at 2013:

Visit to Tabuk- this was in March. I was blessed to spend a few adventurous weeks at a smaller maternity clinic in Tabuk, Philippines... it was a great experience- I even rode on a Carabao!

June Break- June was a packed month with a great trip home and my brother's wedding!

Cambodia Trip- In September/October I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia on a missions trip... It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much...

Brother-in-law - This year one of my "little" sisters (ok... younger... she isn't little anymore) became engaged to a great guy... next fall I will have a brother-in-law!

Aunty-I also found out that in the spring my brother and his wife are expecting a little girl! I am an Aunty!!!

12 Skills- I was able to be successful in my "12 Skills Project" where each month I learned a new skill and shared it here on my blog.

Sadness- unfortunately this year has also brought sadness... the overseas adoptions my family has been praying for and working towards is still suspended do to the foreign government closing USA adoptions... and also the death of one of my dear grandmothers...Please continue to pray for my family for comfort and also that the foreign government would again open their doors for USA adoptions! The children do not deserve this!

2013 also brought the privilege of witnessing many births and learning much from my Filipino friends... I am thankful for all God continues to teach me!

That is a brief glimpse of my year in review.... feel free to read through my blog for more detailed posts of my life this past year...
As the New Year rapidly approaches I look forward to all it will bring! Lord willing these are highlights I will continue to look forward to in 2014... April = birth of my niece.... August = going home and sitting for the NARM exam... September = My sister's wedding (and being maid of honor)... and only God knows what else! Have a blessed New Year Celebration!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Warm Christmas Greetings!

Hello Friends! Merry Christmas to you all! I had a wonderful Christmas full of various surprises and blessings... Let me share how I spent my second Christmas in the Philippines

The day started at midnight where I was on shift at the clinic. A beautiful young woman came into the clinic in active labor. We labored together and laughed together... she cried, I dried her tears... She was strong and excited to meet her precious baby. At 2:08am a tiny sweet baby girl was born. 5lbs. 7oz. Baby Janilah Rey...

 Such a Wonderfully Sweet Christmas Gift to receive!... Just look at her precious face!

After shift I returned to my Christmasy dorm and slept for a few hours... Then I went to turn on my computer and suddenly I received a skype call from a sweet friend of mine! What another surprise Christmas gift! I am very blessed!
Here are a just few pictures from my Christmas in the Philippines....

Can not forget the fans! A part I am very thankful for!

Definitely not the same as a "real" tree... but it works well... and we are thankful for it!
Christmas evening we made pizza (Yes, I made a gluten free one for myself) and had an enjoyable Christmas party with our housemates and friends! After exchanging gifts, we played a game and then my family called! I was thankful to be able to actually skype with them... especially as there was a huge ice storm back home which left them and many others without power.... Thanks to a generator and an internet hotspot it was possible to skype with my precious family... I am so thankful and so very blessed! I am also glad that the children received the only gift they asked of me for Christmas... to see and talk with me... this was my favorite Christmas gift of all!
What a precious day... not only for the many blessings and surprises I received on this Christmas day, but also for the greatest blessing I benefit from... the one that came years ago in a manger in a little town called Bethlehem. I am so very thankful that my Lord came down to show how much He loves me... He didn't have to, but He chose to come as a newborn baby and experience life... Praise His Name for the MOST PRECIOUS GIFT that was ever given! Merry Christmas Friends!

Monday, December 16, 2013

12 Skills Project Conclusion

This year was a lot of fun... so much has happened! At the beginning of the year I had the idea to begin a 12 skills project with the object of learning 12 new random skills by the end of the year... and though some posts were slightly late, I was successful! Here is a brief review of the skills I learned:

#1: Knife Throwing! Still not awesome at it, but still fun to practice... read about it more here.

#2: Copying a dress without a pattern... Have yet to do it again... but it was fun!

#3: Riding a Carabao! That was a wonderful memory I doubt I will ever forget... here is the story!

#4: Learned how to make my favorite Filipino food from scratch... LUMPIA! Even recreated this one for my family!

#5: Traveling internationally SOLO... all by myself... yes, I think that is a skill!

#6: Being a bridesmaid... yes, this is definitely a skill... what a wonderful memory!

#7: Making gluten, dairy, soy and egg free cornbread... my own recipe!

#8: Creating a new recipe... "Hedgehog Balls"... basically a pork meat ball & sauerkraut... delicious!

#9: Paddling a Suong in Cambodia!

#10: Doing Oil pastel drawings! You can see pictures of some of them here...

#11: Creating 4 (1 per week) allergy friendly recipes! Yummy! More about them here...

#12: A duct tape computer sleeve... Ayuh, I am a Maine-ah :) Duct tape is such a great invention... here is a picture and the story...

Well folks, that is it... there are the 12 new skills.... my new years resolution complete! Hard to believe the year has already flown by! It has been a wonderful year, full of many blessings, challenges, and lessons learned... but I think I will save those for another post, another day! Anyone willing to take up the 12 skills project for next year?

Skill #12

Another month... December! The last month of my "12 Skills" project! Wow... ok, so this month I found a cool idea on pinterest and recreated it:
Yes, It was easy....
Yes, I love duct tape (Purple duct tape is like a signature of mine)...
....and Yes... I may just be a little bit of a Maine-ah Hillbilly... even if living here in the Philippines!
 It was a fun project and fits my computer perfectly (and the reversible side is the cute owl duct tape pictured)... Duct tape is such a wonderful invention! Glad that I almost always have some on hand!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baby Blueberry

I came onto night shift slightly tired, but ready for whatever came our way. I was excited as I was told there was a woman in labor who was already 8cm. During the time of endorsements I was called to attend to her. She wanted to push, but instead we calmly breathed together. Not long after, I called for assistance as the shiny bag of waters was clearly visible. Only a few short minutes later and her beautiful baby boy entered this world! He had a tight cord looped around his neck which required a "somersault" before he was free to be in his mother's arms. What a cord! His cord was one of the largest I have ever seen! Much thicker than my thumb (like at least 3 times bigger!) Not long after, the placenta was delivered with little difficulty. Then the complications began. "Lyn's" uterus continued to bleed, despite the medications we gave. Though it was only a little each time, it was abnormal and very concerning. Praise the Lord that 20+ minutes of bimanual compression, an IV, a few injections, LOTS of prayer and 3 hours later her bleeding finally stopped! God is so good to us!
Welcome to the World little "Jabin"- my little blueberry baby!
Baby "Jabin" was born at 10:24pm Saturday night weighing 3700g or 8lbs 3oz... another big boy! His mother's total labor time, from first contraction until birth of "Jabin" was only about 2 hours and 20 minutes... talk about fast! Looking forward to continuing to care for this sweet family over the next few weeks!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Power of Focus

As “Judy” entered the clinic, I could tell she had experience with birth before. She calmly walked to the CR and was patient as I checked her in. When a contraction arose, she breathed well and directed me on where to apply pressure to her back. She knew that this process would bring her baby soon. I monitored her contractions and after checking, found her to be 4-5 cm dilated. She was admitted and I suspected we may not be waiting long as this was her 5th baby. “Judy” labored expertly. She breathed beautifully, frequently changed positions and handled the pain well. She seemed determined that this baby would be here soon.

She told me about her previous births and how with the first 3 she only laid on the bed. Those labors were painful and took a long time. With her last baby she stood and birthed the baby while standing up. She firmly told me that this baby would be born with her standing or “sitting in the air” as she called squatting. I told her this would be possible and as long as there were no complications she could deliver in an upright position. She smiled, happy to hear her wishes would be honored.

She became more active. The wave of contractions became stronger and came faster. The end was in sight. Nearby another patient also labored. This younger woman was giving birth to her 2nd baby. “Judy” suddenly switched her focus to this girl. “Sounds like she is crying” “Judy” would state during her own contraction. I affirmed that she was, but that “Judy” needed to focus on her own baby. My words were ignored. With the next sweep of pain, “Judy” ignored the pain and disassociated herself from her own labor. During a contraction she would speak of this other girl and how she must be in so much pain right now. “Judy” mentioned to me that she didn't cry with her pain. Again and again at the peak, when I was sure baby could come quickly, “Judy” seemed to turn off her focus from her labor and onto this other woman's. I suspected that “Judy” was ready to have the baby but she continued to disassociate herself. Finally I looked into her eyes and said “Judy, I know that you have done this before. You know it will be painful, but you must get through the pain to hold your baby. Focus on you and your baby so he can come.”

I had no sooner finished when the next wave of contractions hit her and she began to again disassociate. I placed my hand on her and told her to focus. She turned her eyes away from the sounds of the other woman and down at me. As the contraction hit, her head raised up and I saw baby's head emerging. Next thing I knew baby's head was born into my hands. I could feel a cord very tightly wrapped around his neck and baby was not coming easily. We helped “Judy” into a reclined position where I was able to help baby rotate and enter into the world shortly after.

Little Frank AJ was born at 11:16am and was a big baby weighing 7 lbs 12 oz. (3500g). *Note: big is a relative term. He was big for a Filipino baby born to a small momma... Besides having a slightly bruised/dusky face, Frank AJ had no problems. After drying his little body, I placed him skin to skin and watched him follow the “breast crawl”. It was an amazing sight! He was able to climb up and self attach to feed withing the first 60 minutes of life.

Shift continued on and business followed. At the end of shift I returned happy and satisfied. I was blessed to witness another precious life entering the world and I learned another valuable lesson. I realized how greatly our focus effects our actions and our life. The mind is extremely powerful! I challenge you to evaluate where your focus is and redirect it as necessary!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Skill #11

Time has again quickly passed without me updating my blog! So sorry! However, here is the new skill for November...  I created a few more allergy friendly recipes... here they are:

#1... Stewed Garlic Citrus chicken, gluten free biscuits and steamed veggie salad

#2... Bacon wrapped pork chop, Pineapple sauce and garlic rice

#3... dairy free Bacon & Potato stew and gluten free biscuits

#4... Gluten free Pleasant Pork Pie

So that is it... skill #11 was creating 4 new recipes (about 1/week) that are allergy friendly... meaning they are all dairy, gluten, soy, egg, msg free recipes.... What are your thoughts? Leave a comment per which one is your favorite...
Now to decide on skill #12.... suggestions? This is the last of my #12 skills project... anyone?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Patiently Waiting

As part of a recent project, I wrote the following short story... Hope you enjoy!

 "Patiently Waiting"

     The chilly December air nipped her nose as Anna peeped out from under her quilt. The steady buzz of her cellphone continued. She reached over to check the text. “Ctrx stronger. Excited 4 bby. Will call ltr.” A glance at her clock showed it was quarter till 4. “Its gonna be a long day” she thought sleepily as she pulled the quilt back over her head.
      At 5:30 a beeping awoke Anna. She crawled out from under her quilt and checked her blackberry. No missed calls or messages. Pulling on a pair of knitted wool socks, she braced herself for another crisp day. She wished she could crawl back into bed, but not today! Would baby come today? She hoped baby would be coming. Maggie was pregnant with her 1st baby. Anna knew how excited Tom and Maggie were, but also knew that she had been called multiple times in the past week with “false alarms”. Maybe today it would be real labor... “one way to tell”... Anna thought to herself... “patience.”
      Anna stumbled to the kitchen and stoked the wood stove. She then placed a kettle on to boil. Beau, her border collie, danced around her feet, anxious to start the day. She opened the door and he bolted out for his morning sprint. “If only I had all that energy when I first woke up.” Anna gazed out at the frozen field, barren of snow... the radio had said a storm was on its way... Anna wondered if babies always decided to come at the most inconvenient times for midwives on purpose... She laughed to herself...At least it made life a constant adventure.
      The kettle whistled. Anna returned to the stove and poured herself a cup of hot tea, then settled down for her devotions. While reading in Hebrews she looked closely at chapter 12 verse 1. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” She smiled... how often this verse came to mind when she was up all night laboring with a mother. Patience was never her strong suit, but she was learning. God was growing her. As she meditated on this Scripture her phone buzzed again. “R U up?” Anna smiled as she dialed the number... sounded like Maggie needed some encouragement through this marathon she was running.
      About 30 minutes later, a satisfied Anna placed her phone on the table as she pulled on her running shoes. “Better get that run in before I get called again” she said out loud. She pulled on her wool sweater, threw on a scarf and bolted out the door, then dashed back... “some days I wish we weren't attached at the hip” she thought as she grabbed her phone and shoved it in her pocket. Beau came up beside her and they headed down the lane as the sun started to peak out above the frosty tree tops.
      After her run, Anna went about completing the rest of her morning routine. Feeding Beau and Tara, her cuddly Maine Coon cat, showering, breakfast all interrupted with frequent checks of her blackberry. Anna decided that if a storm was coming, she had better bring in some more wood to fill her little stove. She bundled up again and headed to the wood pile. When that task was completed, Anna decided to recheck her supplies. She looked through her birth bag and decided to throw in an extra pair of socks and thermal under ware... just in case!
      Anna checked her truck and made sure the extra gas can was in the back. All prepared... just waiting... Her mind returned to her passage in devotions... Patience... She was patient... ish... she knew that babies came in God's timing... but she often wished she knew when that time would be...
      Anna's phone rang. Was this it? False alarm... it was her sister... No, she couldn't babysit tonight... yes, she could come for lunch... a few minutes later she placed her birth supplies in the truck and called for Beau who readily hopped into the passenger's seat. Anna drove the short ride to Margie's house. She loved spending time with her little nieces and nephews! And boy, did they love her dog Beau.
       During a delicious lunch of creamy potato stew and fresh biscuits, Anna's phone buzzed. No, not yet Maggie. It was her friend Christy wanting to know if she would be coming to the Ladies Bible study tomorrow night. Anna replied “will try”. Anna was thankful for her friends and family. They understood that what she did was a special calling. They understood if she couldn't make it to events or make commitments in advance. This was the life she chose and she loved it... but it was hard to be patient at times.
      Anna decided to text Maggie and see how she was doing. A few minutes later Tom texted back that Maggie was laboring well. Contractions were still regular but they would call when they wanted Anna to come. She was proud of this couple. If they decided they were all right, she would trust their instincts.
Anna and Margie spent the afternoon chatting away. They enjoyed piecing together a new quilt for Margie's little one who was due in the spring. The children went outside to play with Beau... good. He would sleep well tonight, Anna thought.
        Her phone buzzed. She set down the square of fabric she was holding... Maybe, she silently hoped... “Ctrx more frequent.” As she composed a reply, her phone rang. She heard a frantic Tom on the other end “gush... fluid... need you”. Anna sprang to her feet and tried to find better reception... “Okay Tom, heading over... On my way.” As she pulled on her boots she asked Margie... “can Beau stay?” “of course sis! Be safe!” Anna headed out and opened the door to her truck... She looked up at the sky as a few flakes started to fall. Right on time... she thought... right on time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Learning to laugh....

Let me just start by saying that I love what I do! I love helping these women and sharing with them the love of Christ! However, there are some things that I do not love experiencing.... but memories must be made!
Many of you may know that I have not always been one to laugh when I make an utter fool of myself... and I often am hard on myself.... but I am learning to laugh and let things that don't matter go.... learning being the key word.... Still a work in progress!
This afternoon my friends Laura, Claire, and I went on an outreach where we serve women and girls providing prenatal care and education. The specific outreach I work with mostly helps girls who come to a day center. These girls are "street girls" and come from a variety of situations. Some are educated, others are not. I love talking with these girls and learning what I can about them, though they are often shy and scared to share to much information. Did I mention that I LOVE what God has enabled me to do?
We meet in a little room in this day center. We carry a scale with us and we have them lay on a mat on the floor when we check their baby. It is a fairly small and cramped space, but we love it! Why? Because the Lord gave this opportunity to us to minister to these young women! And as an additional blessing, they just had a fan installed which makes the room much cooler than it was all last year!
Anyway, today we decided to tag team as usual. Laura would check the vitals and the baby while I charted and did paperwork. We are a great team and LOVE our special ministry! Due to the small space, there are only a few chairs. This means I often sit on the floor in the corner, observing, asking questions and charting as needed. Today was no different. I sat with my legs bent, partially extending under the table next to me.
After a while I felt something tickling my foot... just a mosquito I told my self as I tried to brush it away and focus on my charting. Then I felt it crawling and rubbing my leg (remember, under the table beside me)... "just a cockroach... think cockroach" I told myself as I started to shake my leg as inconspicuously as I could... but I knew.... as I felt it start to run up my skirt the flailing increased as I tried not to distract the others in the small room.... Finally after what seemed like forever, but was probably only about 30 seconds my little friend who was becoming much to friendly scampered away to his hole in the wall.... yes, a "little tiny" mouse!
Laura sweetly looked over during my flailing and asked if I were alright...all the girls stared at me.... I managed an "I'm ok" while trying to compose myself and not attract any "shame" to the situation.... After the girls had all left though, I shared with Laura and Claire the events that transpired... we shared a good laugh over it!
I am so thankful for the opportunity I have here, to learn, grow and share.... and if the occasional local critter decides to become a little to personal, well, another story to add to the books.....
I think back to a few years ago and see how much God has grown and changed me.... And I am so very thankful that He did!
 Someone once said "If you can't laugh at yourself, who then can you laugh at".....
Just a quick thought... I am learning to laugh at myself!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Skill #10

I just realized that I never posted my skill for the month of October! Oops! Well, This skill is one that I have been working on the past few months or so and am having a lot of fun doing... I figured that it would be considered a skill so I will post it here!

Oil Pastel Drawing :D

I really enjoy learning to use new mediums as a creative output and different ways to express creativity... Here are a few of the oil pastels I have done.... Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Melissa :)

Gabriela's lavender bundle



Sunrise Tree


Always Alert

Icelandic sheep (NOT a goat... the wool is shorn in the photo I took this from... This one turned out with kinda creepy eyes though... Oops!

Well, that is my skill for October.... now for November.... hmmmm we shall see! Maybe another recipe... Is that cheating to make another original recipe as a skill since I did that a few months back? You decide! Let me know! Only 2 months left to this challenge! What should November's skill be?

Friday, November 1, 2013


I feel I need to be open and honest...
Do not mistake me... I love what I do and know I am right where God would have for me to be.... However....

There are times...
when I wish I were home....
when I wish I had my Glock and a shooting range....
when I wish I could hide in the hay and cry....

There are times....
When I wish I could run to my quiet place in the woods,
When I wish I could be alone there to cry and pour my heart out to God.....
When I wish I could be in my special place, and not in the city...

There are times...
When my faith waivers...
When I know God has a reason, but I just can't see it now...
When I don't want to wait, when trusting hurts...

There are times...
When I want to give up...
When I want to go home...
When I just want to hold my family close....

These days don't come often...
Most days I can be strong....
But I am learning that I don't always have to be strong....

ITS OK....

It is ok to cry in front of others...

It is ok to share my pain....

It is ok to be human....

I am learning... it is a long process... Dealing with grief and sadness has always been very difficult for me... Why? Because I am strong and do not like others to see me when I am vulnerable... when I see myself as weak....

These days come, and it is hard to accept that they are a part of life... a part of life as a missionary... I am not the first that has dealt with this and will surely not be the last... I am right where God has called for me to be and I can rely on His strength to help me through. He has given me friends here that are so supportive. He has given me a family, a church, and friends back home who love and support me all the time... And for that I am grateful. God truly is good to me.... even though life can be hard and at times seems unfair. He never gives up on me and when I am having a bad day, He is still extends His grace and shows me His love.
But if you think of me, please say a prayer... not only for me, but for my family... and especially my Grandmother.... we could really use them... Thank you friends for your understanding and prayers!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cambodia Trip in Long........

After returning and my initial blog posts, I have finally updated with a longer version... sorry for the delay, but we jumped right back into the busy life schedule of studies and clinic time, "continuity" patients and babies.... So without any further delay.....Here is the longer version of my trip...(short version is here)

 The trip to Cambodia was an AMAZING opportunity. Our team consisted of myself and 2 of my midwife friends, Echo and Brittany. We arrived in Siem Reap late on the 17th.We had been expecting to hit the ground running, so to speak, but God used the opportunity for us to practice our patience. We spent the next 2 days buying needed supplies (as the ones previously ordered for us had been stolen), going through an orientation to the ministry, building a strategy to best integrate into this culture, and visiting Angkor Wat. 
Angkor Wat was a great experience. It helped to open my eyes to what we would be dealing with in the area. While amazing to view one of the ancient wonders of the world, I found it more amazing that this was all created for a stone god that could not answer the prayers that were offered up... years of blood, sweat, tears... how many died to build this temple and the many others that surround it?
How many Christians would put that much into their worship of the Living God Jehovah?  When you see this... it makes you stop and think.....

By the 3rd day in Siem Reap we were ready to go! We left early in the morning and loaded onto a large boat which took us on a 3 hour ride to the village where we would live (barefoot!!!!!- I love being barefoot!) for the next 10 days. Many believers met us on the large barge which serves as a school, home, water treatment facility, and house for the teacher and his family. It was a blessing to see how they respect the missionary we were there to serve with.
That first day we had 2 young women come to the barge for care/treatment of infections.

The next morning we were up bright and early (the people on the lake generally get up by sunrise), ready for a busy day. The first part of our day was spent asking the women believers the birth surveys. We used this opportunity, not only to learn more about these people and their culture, but also to gain insight as to how we may be better able to help these women share the gospel through midwifery. The afternoon was spent playing games with the girls on the barge until dinner. Following dinner (all meals are eaten while sitting on the floor, the food is put in a long line down the center) we listened to a Bible study through our translator.

Sunday was a blessing as we were able to join the church group for their service. Imagine sitting on the floor of a boat that bobs gently up and down as you listen through a translator to the Word of God. It was a great experience. The afternoon was spent teaching the women and girls what a normal prenatal was like and that there was no need for fear. They readily accepted it and worked hard to try and learn the English and Vietnamese translations.
The days that followed were each different, but contained similar events. We would spend time teaching English and how to translate specific words and phrases from English to Vietnamese and Khmer. We would provide care to people who came and we would spend time getting to know the believers and hear their testimonies.
 God brought us a number of women who were pregnant and desired prenatal care. We saw a few more women who wanted help with other medical issues as well. One mother brought her baby to us who had been burned and one young man came to us to help with a fish scale that went into his eye (a common cause of blindness for these people). We always treated as we could and prayed with each of them. God continued to bless. We had thought at first that we would have to go to them, but they came, desiring for something different. They wanted someone who would care.

There are so many other stories, so many other things I could share. We were blessed to see two of the girls we were working with come to Christ at the end of the 10 days. What a blessing! Their parents had only allowed them to come as it was an opportunity to learn English and maybe some medical information, but in addition to that they accepted Christ into their lives! It was so AMAZING!
What more to share? I loved my time on the boats. I loved getting to know the people, their culture and ways. We had so many fun experiences... How many of you have watched a open air movie in 3 languages? One night we watched “End of the Spear” on a sheet with a projector... the movie uses native language, there were English subtitles and the entire time, translated in Vietnamese over a karaoke machine... it was a great experience! I also ate snail and turtle for
the first time. Only turtle got a second try. :) I loved learning to paddle the suong (small canoe like boats they use to go between the house boats, more on that story here) and spending time doing “prayer paddle” with the believers- like a prayer walk, but in a boat. 
We took time to share our testimonies with the believers there. After sharing my testimony with a group of the girls, one of them turned to me and said “how nice it must be to have such an interesting testimony... mine is just so boring (really meaning more like normal)”... let me clarify... she had shared her testimony with the group that morning. Her testimony of how her grandmother was a medium, how she had been possessed and how Christ had saved her.... what a lesson on perspective!

The day before we left, the believers asked us for help. One woman's father was sick and not doing well. He had previously accepted Christ but then rejected Him when his village began to persecute him. We saw a weak and frail man lying on the mat before us. Our translator shared how not long ago he had been a strong man, not shriveled and weak. We treated him as best we could and prayed for him. The next day was Sunday and we were to head back after the service. Church happened to be held in his daughter's house. During the service he turned to the church family and asked for God's and their forgiveness. His wife also accepted Christ just before the service. It was so powerful to see the Church gather around and pray for this man and for God's will to be done concerning their restored brother. We took him with us to send to a hospital when we returned to land.

I didn't want to leave. Women asked us to stay, or at least to return to deliver their baby... they didn't want to go through the same way again... The believers all stood on the edge of the barge and waved until we were far into the distance. A sight I will not quickly forget.

On the return trip to Siem Reap, I was able to swim in the lake before we left..... It was fun and the water was not cold at all! 
Our last days in Cambodia were spent debriefing and preparing to return to the Philippines. I don't think I truly recovered from the rocking sensation till I flew back on the plane.

What a trip. Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical. It was a great time of learning, teaching, and sharing. I saw God moving and preparing the way for us. I saw people reaching out to teach one another and share the Gospel. I saw people opening their hearts to receive Christ. Again and again I heard testimony of how God had saved them from Spiritual darkness and affliction. What a powerful and amazing trip. God is truly doing a great work there... I am thankful that I was able to go and witness this work!
Well, that is all I have for you... at least for now! Here you can read my friend Echo's blog about the trip, which includes a video... Well worth taking the time to read another perspective and to watch the video! And here is Brittany's blog... I highly recommend following Brittany as she will continue to post more updates in the future... Until Next time!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Skill #9

Skill #9... September came and with it followed another busy schedule full of adventure! I spent 10 days living in Cambodia on a Lake where the team I was with helped with health care (mostly maternal, but it varied.... for the short version of the trip, read here.... and the long one to come)....
On my trip, I learned a lot, and with it skill #9....
How to Paddle a Suong
Now a suong is a long and shallow boat that is somewhat, slightly similar to a canoe, but not exactly... it is much wider and more shallow. It can have places on the bow and stern which you can kneel on to paddle... you sit on the floor cross legged if you are a passenger.... Paddling it is similar to canoeing, but also very different.... kind of hard to explain....
It was a lot of fun... it took a little coaching and a lot of observation, but after a few short trips I was able to handle and maneuver one fairly well, tho not nearly as well as the other girls who had been doing it their entire life... but close though!! 
Enough about the experience... I am sure you all want to see the pictures by now! So here are a few! Enjoy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cambodia Trip in short

What to write...How do I share all that happened... all that was in my heart? The past 2 weeks greatly affected me! But I keep sitting and trying to write, but the right words are not coming.... Then today it came.... Here is the short of my trip...

I saw..... God move and work miracles...... people  commit their lives to Christ...... God create a greater heart of compassion in my soul.... and so much more!
I experienced... spiritual warfare...... the love of fellow believers..... new foods..... ancient ruins... a Biblical perspective and way of life... and so much more!
I learned... that there is so much more that I could use and apply.... how my past training truly can help now... how my testimony is totally wrapped in my family's testimony... how to relate to others even if you cannot speak their language.... how to share knowledge and instruct in a simplified/easy to paddle a suong ... and so much more!
Now I pray that I will apply all that I saw, leaned and experienced....

For those who would like the long version (which, yes, includes more pictures).... be patient.... it is on its way!
Angkor Wat

Another view of Angkor Wat

Visiting the ruins was a powerful reminder.... this was for a DEAD god...                                            How far are Christians willing to go? 

My Friend Brittany and I

Life on the Lake

Yes, people live on these boats

The Barge complex we stayed at

God's Marvelous Beauty!

More will come soon! I promise!