[dt_sc_blockquote align=”center” cite=”Dr. Dan Smith”]
It has been almost a year since our last communication with you. Many things have occurred including two recent medical mission trips and we continue to have increasing prayer needs.
In our last communication we told you about Sovannara, who we were bringing to Denver to do a procedure to stem the bleeding from her esophagus and stomach. That occurred in August and she returned to Cambodia in early September. She was seen by our January team with ultrasound documentation that the shunt procedure is still working well. She has gained weight and not bled again. We are now planning to bring a 30 y/o young lady, Thom Lyna, to Denver for a procedure to replace her damaged esophagus. We are very thankful to Porter Memorial Hospital and many South Denver physicians who have assisted us with their time and finances to make these procedures possible.
A team of 47 (14 physicians and 25 nurses plus support personnel) were led by Dr. Sheehan from January 4-19, 2008 . Simultaneously, Dr. Nam Cho led a team of 17 South Koreans. Over that 2 week period a total of 1527 patients were seen (more than 1200 in outreach clinics); 56 major operative procedures performed at the CSI Clinic, and 21 tons of rice and 195 kg. of clothing distributed. The team members worked tirelessly for the Lord and the Cambodian people and were blessed in doing so, in such a way that their lives have been touched and changed. We witnessed several Cambodian nursing students make professions of faith during the trip.
The February team of 12 was in Cambodia from February 15 th through March 1 and worked entirely at the Phnom Penh Cardiac Center. Over 50 patients were seen and 17 open heart operations performed. Amazing relationships were developed with the entire Cambodian staff and we hosted a dinner where we were able to testify to the God who called us to be there.
There has been a major change in our long term focus during the last year. For many reasons, mostly revolving around the lack of local support, we have aborted our attempt to build a Christian Hospital in the northern province of Kampong Chhnang. The organization that we have been most affiliated with over the last 8 years and whose clinic we have worked at (CSI, or Cooperative Services International, which is a branch of the IMB outreach of the Baptist Church ) recently lost the lease at their present facility and they need to move by June 30, 2008. This has given CMMCJH a chance to partner with them in developing a larger, more comprehensive Christian medical outreach facility. As with everything in Cambodia, the process is moving slowly but we are confident that this is where God is leading and we look forward to solidifying this partnership and building a truly Christian clinic/surgical facility in the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
With the help of our South Korean partner and fellow board member Dr. Nam Cho, we were able to renew our Memorandum of Understanding with the Cambodian government for another three years. This continues our official status as a non-government organization (NGO) in Cambodia and assures our ability to continue to work and plan with governmental approval.
As we move forward there have been several changes in the organization. There have been some changes in the composition of our board as new people have come forward and others have moved to new interest. We are very excited about bringing on board an Administrative Executive, Mr. Brian White, to help us in developing an appropriate business plan and fund raising effort. Brian comes with years of international business involvement in major corporate mergers, and he possesses enthusiasm and expertise that was not available to us in the past. We have also hired a young Cambodian, Chhim Uykunnary, better known to us as Nary. She is a 25 y/o lady who comes to us via the CSI clinic where she came to know the Lord because of the assistance she was given in dealing with her sister’s leukemia. She is bright, enthusiastic, and committed to the Lord and CMMCJH, as witnessed by our recent teams. She will take care of local arrangements for subsequent teams. We were also in need of someone to follow up on our patients and we have hired Dr. Heng Rathmony, known as Mony, on a part time basis to do this. She is also bright and enthusiastic, but is wavering between her Buddhist background and her call to the Christian faith, so we ask you to pray for her.
Our plan for the future is to send small and focused medical teams at greater frequency than we have in the past. We need to put an effort into nursing education so that we do not need to bring such a huge cadre of nurses to provide 24/7 coverage for our surgical patients. Board member Gabi Stevens is considering making a long term commitment to spend large blocks of time in Cambodia to accomplish this important task.
As we continue forward, we are persuaded more than ever that Cambodia is where the Lord wants us, though we are not always sure of exactly how He wants it done. We constantly pray for His wisdom and entreat you to join us in prayer for our many needs and for wisdom in seeking His plan. Our expanding mission means increasing financial needs and we ask you to prayerfully consider financial support of our effort. Some specific projects that you may want to consider helping us with are: