Wow, what a week we have had here in Poipet, Cambodia. We just wrapped up our sixth clinic in seven days and the team is definitely worn out. We spent two clinic days in the city of Poipet, rested on Sunday, and then set up three rural clinics near the Thai border Monday, Tuesday, and today. The clinics have been long and challenging, yet patient after patient I was reminded of how kind and grateful the Cambodian people are. On Sunday we attended the church where we set up our first two clinics. It was refreshing to be around Christian Cambodians worshiping and praising God. During that service I was reminded that our God is the God of every nation and all creation. After a long first week battling jetlag, the unknown, the heat, and new foods we were all greatly encouraged by a day of rest. During the sermon the pastor said, “As Christians, we must leave our comfort zone to provide comfort to others.” This resonated with me in the midst of challenging clinics and has carried me through day by day. I was reminded of the gift we have to serve in Cambodia, to step away from American life and engage with a new culture to provide even an ounce of comfort. Truly a beautiful picture of the gospel.
Week 2: Clinics began and the focus of the trip shifted back to learning and serving. By this time, we felt comfortable in our surroundings and were ready to engage in the work of clinics. We had grown into a family and team over the first week of preparation in Tennessee, and the first week in Cambodia. Our goal of providing health care to those lacking access was accomplished. So many lives were touched through our work, work that is in large part due to Hope Through Healing Hands. Without the support of this organization, I would not have been on this trip providing health care to those in need. Here is a look into a couple days throughout week 2 in Cambodia.
Jambo from Kijabe!

We have just completed our first week at the AIC Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya and it has been a life-changing experience so far. My classmate Allison met me in DFW to start our journey to London, then Nairobi. Our travel was uneventful and we made it safely to the guesthouse where we stayed the night in Nairobi. This was my first time seeing mosquito netting!
First official day of clinics! I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be in Cambodia thanks to Hope Through Healing Hands, it has already been a memorable experience and we are just getting started. After three full days of taking in the new sights, sounds, and unique culture of the Cambodian people, we set out this morning for our first clinic hosted at Freedom’s Promise Sewing Center. During breakfast there was a sense of anticipation and curiosity unsure of what we would be doing today but excited to see the day unfold. We circled up with students, faculty, and translators, prayed for the day and moved out in faith. As a team we saw the provision of God in so many ways both big and small. From covered waiting and treatment areas to powerful cross-cultural prayer experiences God had clearly prepared a way for us and showed up in the details.
The first week of the trip was focused on traveling, over-coming jet lag, and diving into the incredible Asian culture. We tried our best to fall in line with all cultural norms and blend in. By this I mean that we dressed appropriately at all times, covering our shoulders and knees; we bargained with the sellers at the markets and Tuk-Tuk drivers as expected; we even ate Khmer food and sat on cushions around a low table at dinner! We lived like the locals, not like wealthy Americans. We attempted to be fully aware of the culture. We knew we would soon be serving throughout villages in Cambodia. In this blog I will share my thoughts from a day in Battambang during our first week. But first, I have to say THANK YOU to Hope Through Healing Hands for the incredible opportunity to be here, to grow as a health care professional, to serve those in need through medical care, and to share Jesus with all.
The opportunity to come to Kijabe, Kenya has been one of the most enjoyable, educational, and eye-opening experiences throughout my surgical training thus far. One of the most valuable experiences here has been the opportunity to learn from and work among Kenyan surgeons and trainees.
This will be my final blog from here in Munsieville; I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and anyone who has been reading along with with the blogs thus far. Again, I’d like to also thank Hope Through Healing Hands and the Frist Global Health Leaders program, for helping to make this trip possible. It’s been a busy six weeks in Munsieville, but I feel that I’ve accomplished a great deal at Hope Park, and I think that the work I’ve done will be of use to the volunteers and workers at Hope Park for years to come.
ABCs intact. Airway. Breathing. Circulation. Blood pressure adequate to supply critical organs. Oxygen saturation—wait, that’s lower than it should be. Patient’s awake, ok. Crepitus around both side of his chest---a palpable crunch over the ribs. Respiratory rate picks up, breathing becomes more shallow. Patient is now requiring a little more encouragement to respond.
He had knowing, radiant eyes despite the obvious agony gnawing at his entire being. His body was relegated to cachexia; one year of difficulty swallowing and unimaginable weight loss has robbed his muscles of any tone they might have had. His eyes smiled at me as I stepped up as the third surgeon to examine him, talking over him in a partly foreign language. He started to have trouble swallowing a year ago he told me, offering no explanation on why he had waited so long to come to a hospital. It was only when he started having stridor, audible upper airway obstruction with a whistle accompanying every exhale that was impossible to miss, that his relatives brought him to seek medical care. He had bulky lymph nodes on both sides of his neck, protruding from his fragile skeleton like golf balls. There was a palpable mass protruding from his neck that had been slowly robbing him of his twenty year old life.
Amidst the emergence of increasing interest in social justice issues swirling all around us, you may have reflected on how many people have, in droves, begun to speak out, whether it is against racial inequality, harassment in the workplace, how guarded or helpful we should be toward refugees, equal pay, equal rights & respect, or against many other forms of injustice that have been bursting forth in our country and in our communities.

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