Can You Imagine....

...if your front yard looked like this?


Today I went out with Gretchen and Lalin, my clinic coworkers, on a couple of home visits to see patients. This was only my second home visit. Normally I'm busy doing schoolwork on Thursdays and Fridays. But the clinic wasn't open this week and I'd finished my work already, so I asked to tag along today.

It amazes me how easy it can be to just go to and from home and work and store, totally oblivious to the poverty that is everywhere in Poipet. Unconsciously, I assume that most people I interact with surely aren't that much different than me or so bad off. I think we're extremely lucky to have air-conditioning in our bedroom and a hot water heater for our shower, but I forget so easily that most people in Cambodia don't have a working toilet, consistent electricity, or clean running water in their house. 

Lalin taking the group's photo outside the building where our patient's family lives

We are currently trying to help a woman get medication and visited today to see if she had been able to get them from a local clinic. She, her husband, and two children live one small room, about the size of our bedroom back home. While sitting on their floor talking to her and her neighbors, I noticed a cockroach about 5 inches long crawling around the corner of the room. Just outside her door, a ditch was filled with murky black water, and her children ran through garbage and broken glass on the ground.

Yet despite all these material needs, this young woman has expressed an interest in knowing Jesus. She wants to understand the stories in the Bible, and while we were there, I heard the story of Christ's birth spoken in Khmer for the first time. Granted, I only understood about 50% of what Lalin said. But seeing the smile on the young woman's face made me so happy that I was there. 

A group photo with two of our patients and their children

I realize how much I've been missing by not going on home visits. Granted, most of the time I have studying and homework to do that keeps me pretty busy. But I want to make visits more of a priority, even if just to understand my patients more and understand where they are coming from.