Thursday, March 03, 2011

a Buddhist Monk in the Temple (visit my facebook page to see many more photos)

You will no doubt notice the circular burns on the monks shoulder and back.

One of the startling issues for me was how many remedies are based on human tradition rather than science. But then, this country is far behind in terms of progress, so I should not expect anything different. Still it was heart wrenching.

What you see on his flesh, is a common practice. Fire is prepared and the coals placed in a crucible or cup and then applied to the skin and left to burn for a brief period of time.

My rather superficial understanding of this practice falls short. But I know it is utilized to bring relief to internal pain. I cannot say first hand, whether or not it works, but it is a routine form of treatment.

To us, it is foolishness.

This serves as a backdrop for the landscape of medical care that exists in Cambodia.
There are doctors who are better educated, but this type of practice is not unusual.

Another is "coining."

This is taking a coin coated in some form of menthol, and scraping it hard against the skin. The result is a person with red, irritated stripes. One man I saw looked "zebra-like."

How many remedies do we practice in our families that were passed on to us by our grandparents? How much 'religious wisdom' is carried on in similar fashion?

I am not against traditions. They certainly have their place in families and in society.

Some traditions are lies wrapped around a kernel of truth. The overall impact is grossly negative. In most cases, we don't even realize it until the damage is done.

How many scars do we bear because of such "wisdom?" Some are physical, some emotional, and some are spiritual.

I find myself pondering the loss of life in Cambodia alone, based on ignorance.

We were heading to the mountain city of Mondol Kiri. We were to spend a night there, and then head on the next day to a remote village of the Bunong (or Phnong) people. This indigenous tribe, is known to still dress in traditional ways.

We never got to see them. The Lord intervened.

Our contact didn't show.


While we were waiting, a conversation began with the man whose business were waiting in. He was a believer and said he had been praying for two days for the Lord to send someone to help his sister. He and his sister were responsible for the house church and many new believers in the area. His sister was ill.

Doctors had said, "we've done all we can do for you. We can't do any more. I'm sorry, but you will die!"

We drove to her hut. We climbed up the steps (homes here are on stilts for snakes and flooding) and entered her one room 12x12 home. She lay on a sheetless full size mattress on the floor. Hung on the wall was an IV. She looked pale, gaunt and lethargic. She looked like she was dying.

My travelling partner, a Cambodian American Dentist, began to ask questions. Her weak responses produced the following information.

She had constant headaches, her stomach hurt, and he believed she had meningitis. He thought for a few moments, then said, (looking at me) "Brother, she needs Cipro."

I jumped to my feet and exclaimed, "I have Cipro!" (an antibiotic)

I climbed down the ladder and ran to the van. I grabbed the medication and returned.

I gave her a course of Cipro, all my Tylenol, and my partners daughter gave her Tums.

My partner, Dr. Heng Lim, gave her and her brother instructions for each med. He asked me to pray over her.

I was deeply moved and felt the words of the Holy Spirit surge from my vocal chords... "Lord here lies one of your servants. One who is largely responsible for those who follow you in this area. Please bring her healing. Please use her recovery as a testimony to bring you greater glory. She is Yours! Bought with the price of your death. Please restore her. Amen."

I left her home with deep travail on her behalf.

village church and homes of the Bunong people

We headed on to meet up with the pastor of Bunong, though we did not get to see the people. This tiny jolly little man began to share with us. Not only was he the Pastor, but he was the tribal chief! There are 2,000 in his village, and 800 are believers, as he brings them the Word each week.

I know I was taught in school about many languages. This man speaks five and is learning English.

His tribal language?


I've been taught it is a dead language, that no one speaks it! Wrong!

It was written on his dry erase board in lesson form, and his people speak it! Unbelievable!

The next day, we received a phone call.

The sister we had prayed over and given medication to, was sitting up in bed and feeling better!

God had brought her healing!!! Praise Him!!!

Throughout my time there, the few meds that I had brought as a precaution for my own needs, the Lord dispensed to those who really needed it! This would happen at least four or five times over the two weeks and I can only give glory to Him for moving me to grab what He needed to bring healing to his own, and glory to Himself!

Praise God!



At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff!!!

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear your other stories about this amazing trip....I have always wanted to go there - maybe someday we could go together!
Love you

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!


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