Halfway There

I hit 20 weeks - halfway finished bakin' this baby.

This is a post-dinner bump, which is always more impressive than my first-thing-in-the-morning bump. I swear it gets bigger throughout the day... I'm feeling healthy, and check-ups are all looking good, although no news on the gender front. My doctor here in Poipet refuses to call it until he's 99.9% sure, so we may have a few more weeks to wait! 

This week, we've continued to see some new patients at the thyroid clinic. We haven't even begun to call the 75 patients who need to come back and follow up. Although we saw over 300 patients during our first term open, only 75 of those need to come back and continue to be seen by Dr. Rusty. The other 200+ were patients who really didn't have thyroid problems, had masses that were benign (non-cancerous) that didn't need follow up, or who passed away. Currently we have three nurses who will be at the clinic full-time and one back-up nurse, as well as our doctor and three Cambodian staff. It's exciting to start fresh this year and look at ways to improve our clinic processes, such as how we get labs reported, which patients get seen first by the doctor, etc. 

One thing that everyone sees as important is excellence in ministry and medicine. Our medical work isn't just a "front" for sharing the Gospel. If we do a poor job taking care of people's medical problems, we have no right to speak into people's spiritual lives (let alone take care of them at all). But we are fortunate that all our staff and volunteers are highly motivated and excited about their jobs. I know we'll encourage each other when the work is difficult or we're tempted to cut corners.

This week, Andrew has also been helping coordinate flood relief in the Poipet area. Remember all that rain last week? It affected others far worse than us. Samaritan's Purse has received funding to provide hard-hit families with food and mosquito nets to get them through the flood season. Many have been forced to leave their homes and take up temporary shelter in other areas. But it can also be difficult to reach families, as the same floods driving them from their homes make the village roads impassable.

Last week, I captured this photo as we were driving down the main road in Poipet. Despite the floods, people keep getting things done, and kids learn to hold their own IV poles. I can't even imagine ever seeing this on a street in America!

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