Friday, April 18, 2008

An open letter to the Louisiana UMVIM Medical Team

by Irene Mparutsa

I just want to write to tell you about the wonderful things that are developing out of the work that the team did in February. Never could I have imagined that so much fruit could have come out of just that one week.

Maybe you remember there were several women with prolapses who had been referred for prolapse repairs. Four of them sixty years old and over, all from the same village and from Mission Church went together to the hospital, had their surgeries, recovered nicely and were sent home.

Pastor Prak Vuthy reports that there were 4 men who came the following Sunday to church and gave their lives to Christ. One of them brought all his talisman and asked Pastor to burn them; he wanted to put his trust in God.

There were 8 goiters who were operated on at the provincial hospital, including one man with a very large one on his whole neck. I imagined that he would be sent to Phnom Penh. It is just impressive how much capacity is developing in the province. There was, sadly, a tragedy that occurred when one of the women with a goiter who had gone for an operation as well, arrived home, getting off her moto and paying her fare, she was struck by a car and was killed instantly She was one I remember that Dorian saw. There still remains more hospital referrals to follow up at Chrolow Kok church.

We have been to the provincial offices thrice to continue to build dialogue and relationships. Rev Song, the MMC Superintendent and Kampong Chhnang DS and more than 10 pastors from the district joined in a presentation ceremony of the "gift" medicaments you left for the Provincial Hospital. The visit gave us the opportunity to introduce these pastors to the hospital management, a first step in helping them to begin expanding their ministries into health care advocacy. One of the pastors in the group had a chronic eye problem, so we were able to take her to the ophthalmologist and show her what to do. All the pastors in Kompong Chhnang District were grateful recipients of the basic medicines you left.

This past Tuesday, we were invited by the Provincial Health Director, to the Monthly Technical Group meeting. We were able to share about our work and learn about the work of the other health related NGOs in the province. Because of your work, we were held in high esteem. It was a very special reception and it was gratifying to think about how our ministry can be strengthened. We have shared with the province your plans to return next year and there is great anticipation about it.

Regarding the medicines that were left over, MMS (Methodist Mission Singapore) has agreed to store meds in their dispensary, so that Singapore teams can use and reimburse as they use. We will keep that money for you to use next year.

We give thanks for the new relationships that are growing between the local congregations and the community and between MMC and government health services. There was something very special about the spirit that the Louisiana team brought that God is using to get people to work together.

Looking forward to your continued participation in bringing care to the people of Cambodia.

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