Saturday, February 20, 2010

I found wifi!!!

PS-Please pray for the rash on my legs....not good and itching like craaazy! Mom, I know you feel for me! No Geranium in my stash! ;)

Feb 20th…I feel like it has been February 20th for a long time and I still have about 20 more hours to go! This could be a long post…so feel free to skip ahead. We are on the 3 hour flight to Tai Pei right now and I need to stay awake! Although, the way my stomach is that shouldn’t be a problem. ;) We will leave Tai Pei at 830 pm on the 20th and arrive in Denver at 945pm on the 20th!

It is 1:30pm and we are flying out of Cambodia right now. The man in seat 7A has a horrible high pitched cough, the 3 year old in seat 5B is screaming and my head and heart can hardly contain all that I have seen, heard, smelled and felt over the past 8 days. I have a long time to sit and process all we have just experienced and I want to be sure each thought and feeling is never forgotten. Well, I would like to forget the way my stomach is churning right now, as well as forget the fact that I used the men’s squatty potty at the public hospital! More on that later… ;)

I am sad we are leaving Cambodia, but know that we will be back again one day and will continue to pray for the beautiful people we have met. There are several Drs we worked with who do not know Jesus yet, but have some very good questions and I know their hearts are being touched. One of the Drs we worked with will be in Denver in May and we will have him and his wife over for dinner! I am so looking forward to our time with them. They are getting married next month and are the sweetest couple. She will change her wedding “costume” 8 times and celebrate in front of 1,000 people! Wish we were going to be here for the party!

Yesterday, Friday, I went with a group of our time to The Killing Fields as well as Tol Sleng prison. I was in tears most of the day. The Pol Pot regime brutally tortured and killed over 3 million people in only 3 years. The records the Pol Pot regime kept were breathtaking and seeing the mug shots of so many who were killed broke my heart. Seeing the look in their eyes made me understand the hopelessness and sadness that was in the eyes of the patients we worked with. In 3 short years, everyone was effected by the brutal killings of their loved ones. There is very little people talk about before Pol Pot came into power. It is almost like there wasn’t life before that. He killed all the Drs, nurses, teachers, leaders, pastors, monks and young families. He wanted a classless society, a society full of phesant workers. My eyes could hardly take in the pictures we saw on the walls of the prison, my heart couldn’t take the sight of the mass graves, the pieces of bones sticking out of the ground at the Killing Fields, the deafening silence as we stood in the 17 story memorial full of skulls, bones and clothing that was found in only some of the mass graves. I stepped on a piece of clothing sticking out of the hard ground and wondered what else was under my feet. I couldn’t help but to think of how delicately we walk around Pearl’s grave, we brush off the snow and the ants. These people in Cambodia have no idea where their mother, father, brother or sister is buried. I am still crying for these people….almost everyone we met had a family member who was killed. This happened only 30 years ago and the impact will be felt forever.

As I walked around the prison, Tol Sleng, and looked at the tiny cells where they tortured the prisoners I had a feeling we were walking on holy ground. I know that sounds so strange to think that as we were feeling the pure evil in the air. The cells were only about 3 feet wide and had brick walls that you could tell were quickly constructed, the foot stocks were still in the ground and there were blood stains on the floor. I felt as if I could hear the martyred believers asking God, “How long?” I know the women with their babies in the cells had to be visited by angels and maybe by Jesus himself. They were alone and scared as they were beaten to near death. I know God was so near and many called on him to come and save them. In the faces of the photos there were those who looked afraid, yet at peace. I have to think that there were those who met Jesus in the midst of their pain. God is near to the brokenhearted and He will continue to be near to the people of Cambodia. In one of the rooms at the prison there was a list of rules…every rule started with NO. NO laughing, NO talking, NO eating, NO smiling, NO water, NO crying. Everything you could ever want the answer is NO. My prayer is that the people will hear Jesus saying YES. YES, I love you, YES, come to me, YES there is hope.

The hearts of the people in Cambodia are strong…their faces are often so stoic and they hide their pain so well. I was with a 3 year old boy in the recovery room, he had open heart surgery only 18 hours ago and was all alone in the recovery room. The parents are not allowed to see their children for more the 48 hours after surgery, and they children lay in the bed alone, often hurting and scared. There is no TV, no books, no crayons, no PSP, no popsicles. I smiled at the little boy and walked over to him. He started crying silently, stifled sobs. I went over to him, stroked his arm and listened to the nurses tell him to hush. I started crying too and just sat there for a bit. I prayed for him and even though neither one of us could understand what we were saying, there was love present! Sweet, sweet baby…I will never forget him. They learn so young that no emotion is allowed. It only took me giving him a smile to start the tears. We have no idea how much only a smile can mean to people.

I had the opportunity yesterday to share a bit of our story about Pearl and our family. I was able to talk about how what we do isn’t measured in what we give to people, length of time we stayed with them or even if we can understand what they are saying. The impact of what we did here in Cambodia may not be fully realized until eternity. We were able to offer hope, pray with people and maybe be the only smile they have seen in a long time. The brief moments we had with families will never be forgotten and I am so thankful we came. Yes, there were moments of frustration and questioning why I even came, but I know God was with us and our hearts are forever changed. We love the people here and cannot wait to be worshipping in heaven one day all together.

We were able to meet with an American couple who live in Cambodia with their beautiful family. They work with a local church and have an amazing ministry to the people in the city as well as in the villages. Jason and Angie have huge hearts and I know they have sacrificed so much to be living and loving the people of Cambodia. They have 2,000 youth come to their meetings on Wednesday nights! One day when we were on a break we went to the Russian Market. A huge, indoor market, no air and no windows. You are crammed into each tiny space and asked to look at all of their things for sale. I’m pretty sure you can buy just about anything there. There is food in one whole section. Whole skinned pigs, half of a cow, huge fish, chickens hanging from the ceiling, and a smells that will make you gag. There was even a place to get a pedicure! Not sure the bucket that they were sticking their feet in was clean and I’m pretty sure the tools were very used! The wires in the ceiling were exposed and very dusty. It was over 100 degrees in the middle of the market and the stagnant air was almost to much for me. I wanted to get out fast…trying not to think about what if there was a fire! Clothes and other goods plied from the floor to the top of the 20 ft ceilings! Anyway, there was a boy that was following us around the market. He wanted us to buy his books. We were not interested, but he was insisting. We started talking to him and found out he goes to Jason and Angie’s church! He stayed with us, helped us translate and we learned about his life. I know this was not a coincidence, and we had so many divine encounters with people. We will pray for Raa and are so thankful for the work Angie and Jason are doing in Cambodia.

I don’t remember if I talked about one of the hospitals we were in during our first days in Cambodia. The conditions were horrible and the care the “nurses” were giving the patients was horrible as well. Patients received no pain medication following surgery, writhing and thrashing as they came out of anesthesia. No side rails on the beds and not even a sheet to cover up with. The families followed the patients into the recovery room and were there to just stare at their loved one. One family member of a patient donated 2 units of blood and carried the blood to the desk from the lab. The blood sat on the counter for 2 hours, in the very warm and humid post op room. Another family member took of the patients breathing tube because the patient was pulling on it. After the tube was taken out, they went over to the “sink” and “washed” the tube and set it on the counter. Family members cleaned out suction tubes with their own bottle of water. The nurse was never present and the hardest thing I ever had to do was sit and watch this happen. We were not allowed to take care of those patients. If we did, we would be kicked out of the hospital and our group could not perform surgery there anymore. The group of Cambodian nurses we were teaching took amazing care of our patients as were so eager to learn. Some of these students were 4th year nursing students and didn’t even know how to take vital signs. They forget about pain meds and there is no real charting. However, they are so eager to learn the look in their eyes when something clicked was so priceless. The medical care and teaching is so behind because a whole generation of Drs, nurses and teachers were killed. Cambodia is putting itself back together…

Thank you so much for praying for Josh and I. Please continue to pray for the rest of the team who will be there for another week. The team we were with was amazing and I know God is doing a sweet work in so many of their hearts. Our hearts were touched and we will never forget.

I will blog again when we get home….thanks so much for reading and praying! I will post some of our photos…the people are just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.

Josh just ate the most delicious worst meal he has ever had! I think we are getting punchy and know we have a long day ahead of us. We can’t wait to see the kids and actually feel cold again! Ask me next week how I like the cold and I’m sure I’ll miss the heat. I won’t ever forget the first blast of hot air as we got off the plane in Phnom Penh…we really were there and God met us. He is still with the people of Cambodia and someday we will all be worshipping together. I can’t wait!

Love you all,

R,O,Z &L,

We are on the airplane now…we can’t wait to see you tomorrow. We are so proud of you and know that God did great things with us because you prayed for mama and daddy. We are praying for you now and hope you rush into our room in the morning and crawl in bed with us. A snuggle is just what we need. We can’t wait to go to Oliver’s recital and then out to dinner. Maybe we can go to Fat Burger for lunch too! Oliver, where do you want to go to dinner after your recital? Just don’t pick Chinese food or noodles! We have had a lot of that kind of food. Roark, have a great basketball game today and grab a lot of rebounds. Zoe, have fun trying on your clothes! Lucy, eat some Crasins and dance for Mimo.
Kisses to all of you,
Mama and daddy

On our way home..Feb 20 700pm

I have a huge post all written but I can't get wifi to work on my computer! We are at an internet cafe in Tai Pei. Our plane leaves for LA in 2 hours and we will be on our way home. We are tired and my stomach isn't to happy with me, but our hearts are full and our bellys are full of noodles!

Thanks for praying and we will see you all soon. Kisses to the kids and we can't wait to see you soon.


Friday, February 19, 2010


6 years old!!!!!!! Cant believe my girl is 6. We love you so much peanut. Have a great day today. See you soon. Love Dad

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Part 2, Feb 18

Feb 18…1030pm

The afternoon was much better today….guess heat exhaustion will make you question just about anything…including your own salvation!

The afternoon today was one of the best days yet. Five…yes five, Cambodian TV stations came to the hospital to do a story on the team members who were part of the cath lab team. We were all snickering as we held a press conference that was longer than the pre game interviews that Josh McDaniels is a part of. Josh and 3 other members of our team and the Cambodian Dr were all a part of the interview. They were talking about pacemakers and ablations. One of our team members, a lab tech, is a huge man…6’ 3” and about 250 pounds. He is bald and loud…loud in a very endearing way. He has made us laugh so much and today was no different. The tv anchor asked him what one of the complications could be from having a pacemaker in place. With a straight face he said, “Well, if they fall out of their tuc-tuc that would be bad for the pacemaker.” (a tuc-tuc is a little motorbike that is pulling a cart like a carriage that people sit in..nearly impossible to fall out of!) The three of us who were standing in the back of the room, were laughing so hard we were crying. The Cambodian Dr who was interpreting said exactly what our team member said, and all of their eyes got so big! I thought I was going to start snorting I was laughing so hard! Just what we all needed.

They were interviewing the head of the Cardiology Department here…an older man who survived Pol Pot and has an amazing story. He is very respected and everyone is usually very silent around him. We started to smell smoke in the room while Dr. Kree was talking and looking around we see the x-ray box was on fire! The box is right behind him and he is still talking to the tv crew. One of the nurses stood up, interrupted and told him there was a fire! Just another moment to giggle!

I have been on my feet for nearly 12 hours in the heat and humidity….we used my legs to teach the students about “pitting edema”. You could write your name in the swelling on my shins and maybe still see it in the morning! Yuck…but so worth it to see the smiles in their eyes as the poked on the white girls legs. I’m sure they will be talking about me for a while.

At the hospital the families sleep on the sidewalks and in the alleys at the hospital. There are 6 patients to a room and no room for family to stay with them. If a patient has open heart surgery, there are no visitors allowed in the ICU and the patient stays there for 48 hours. Only when the pt is moved to a room is the family allowed to visit. Today, I passed the same 4 women 50 times as I raced up and down the sidewalk. I smiled at them each time and by the time evening came they come and stood by me and we tried to talk to eachother. I kept talking and so did they. I had no idea what they said, and they had no idea what I was talking about! I did figure out that the woman’s daughter had open heart surgery today that was provided by our team…at very little cost. The woman was about to sell her whole rice field so her daughter could have the surgery and then she found out she was chosen to have surgery provided by our team. I began to cry when I found out the story….the women who had been so stoic all day began to weep as well. I held them, prayed for them out loud and wept with them. I held 2 women in my arms…Roark is just as tall as they were. I asked Jesus to hold them…one of the women was a Buddhist nun. I asked Jesus to make himself real to them and to give them hope. I stood with them for almost 2 hours. Saying nothing for most of the time…only smiling, crying and praying. I will never forget their faces. What a gift they were to me….I so hope they knew how loved they were in those moments and I will never forget their faces.

What a sweet day we had! I know Josh had an amazing day as well, but the dinner he had last night has attacked his stomach for most of the day. He is not feeling well at all and we are praying he is much better in the morning. Please pray he is better soon and able to function tomorrow. We can so feel your prayers and are so thankful for all of you!

Off to sleep now….morning comes very quickly!

Love you all,


3 more sleeps and we will be home! So much to tell you. We are praying for you and love you so much. Tomorrow we will go to another market and see some more little kids. You would love to play with them…they drink their pop out of plastic bags with a straw! I wonder if you could do that? We will try when we get home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1st Cardiac Ablation in Cambodia!


Pictures will only load one at a time!!

Here is a sweet little boy at a market in a village about an hour outside of Phnom Penh. Beautiful faces...

Thursday February 18

It’s noon here and the day is going by so fast! Yesterday was another full day for Josh in the cath lab. They had 3 procedures and did end up having to re-do the little 12 year old girls ablation. They were successful the 2nd time and the sweet girl wrote a note for us and is so thankful she is feeling much better.

We went to the Russian Market today…a huge, hot indoor market where you can buy just about anything! Crazy! We had a Cambodian boy follow us around for most of the time we were there. We started talking to him and found out he goes to the church our friends are the pastors of, here in Cambodia. God was so good to us as we talked with this sweet boy. Pray for Raa and ask God to protect him and encourage his sweet heart.

I am discovering this is the land of, ‘come back tomorrow and we will tell you’. I have waited by an office the past few days to get permission to be with a nurse in L&D and it has not happened. Each day has been the same answer and I am sad. I did get to tour the maternity unit yesterday and the women are amazing. If there are more then 8 in labor, the labor in the open lobby and lay quietly on a bench with a family member holding their IV. There are very few monitors and I saw a woman being carried down 3 flights of stairs for a c-section. The women make no sounds and have the most beautiful eyes. I went into the room where the women get to go when they are ready to deliver. 4 metal tables, 2 nurses and maybe 1 family member with each woman. I walked into the room as they were cleaning up 2 women who had delivered an hour before. No IVs in, no offer for pain meds and a sweet black haired baby at their mama’s breast. So beautiful…I silently prayed for these babies and asked God to walk with them and for them to know the hope and healing He can give them.

While I am sad I was not able to be in L&D I know God has spoken things to my heart and Josh has a new sparkle in his eyes. This trip has been life changing for him and I know he will have a lot to share. The Dr they have been working with is a precious man I am praying he will come to know Jesus one day. He will be in Denver in May for a conference and I hope we are able to see him again.

This afternoon we will go back to the hospital and do another ablation. Josh has been very busy in the lab! Tomorrow is our last full day here and we will do a bit of sight seeing and soak in all the beautiful people. I am so in love with their sweet faces and amazing hearts. They are a broken people with no hope…but we know that Jesus can fill them and there are many who are coming to know the hope He offers.

The medical needs here are staggering, but the group we are with is really making a difference. The full impact we will not know until eternity. We are so thankful we were able to be here with this team as well as make friends with people we will never forget.

Thank you so much for praying for us....we know many are holding up our arms. We are tired and a bit crabby at times, but are soaking in all that God has for us. I don't want to miss anything.

R,O,Z &L,

We love you and were so happy to hear your voices this morning! We went on a crazy bike ride today...a motorcycle pulling a little carriage. 5 of us sat in the cart, called a Tuc-tuc! The traffic is crazy and reminds us of watching you play Frogger or Mario on the Wii. You have to dodge the motorbikes and the cars. There are no stop lights and no crosswalks. You just start walking! The picture is a man on a motor bike moving his mattress! He almost bumped into our ride. Hope this makes you smile. We love you! We are praying for you and can't wait to squeeze you so tight!!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Feb 16

Wow...we are in our room a little sooner tonight! 9pm!

Another amazing day today...I only had 1 moment of crying and then felt better. ;) It is all so amazing here. I was able to be with the 11 year old girl during the ablation and was able to pray for her as well. The procedure went very well and we even went to several villages with the local Dr. after the procedure. What an many beautiful people. We saw a huge Buddhist temple and were even able to go inside and listen to the monks pray and feel my heart ache as I listened to their empty words. They were chanting over a man who felt like he had done wrong, and needed more luck in life. My heart was crying for him to know the only one who could give him hope. His eyes were so sad....

The drive through the villages was crazy and fun all at the same time. A herd of the skinniest cows I have ever seen were running through the streets causing motorbikes to swerve and cars to honk their horns so loud. I closed my eyes several times and prayed to stay alive as we drove. ;) We stopped at several little homes to buy mango and pineapple. The children were so beautiful, so precious. They all shouted out, "Hello" in the sweetest voices. I wanted to scoop them all up. We took some amazing pictures..I will post once we are back in the land of fast internet!

We got a call on the way back into the city that the little girl we operated on this morning, was now back in the same heart rhythm that we thought was fixed earlier in the day. The ride home was very quiet as we all tried to figure out what was the next step for her. I looked into her eyes just hours before and told her it was "all gone". She was so happy. Please pray for a miracle tonight...we do not have any more pediatric equipment to use for her tomorrow. They can use an adult version, but it may not be as effective. Pray she is healed and that she doesn't need another ablation.

God is teaching us so much...none of this is about us. This is all for Him....everything we do should be for Him and not for our own comforts. We have been given so much and there is much that is required from us. The cry of my heart is to remain uncomfortable and be ruined for the ordinary. God is so near...we are so honored to be a part of what He is doing with these wounded people. He longs to bring them comfort and hope.

My head is literally spinning now...hmm so is the room! Must be time for bed. I know there will be more stories tomorrow. As you start your Tuesday and we end ours, I am praying for thankful and full hearts for all of us.

Love you,

R,O,Z,& L,

We are so proud of you and know God is hearing you pray for us. We can't wait to tell you more amazing stories and kiss your sweet faces. You would be proud of mama today...I ate some crazy things today! I ate tiny shrimp from a roadside stand, frog legs and a bite of tiny fried frogs! We have pictures. You would love the kids here...they run around in bear feet and love to smile. Keep praying for us and know how much we love you. xox

Monday, February 15, 2010


It is almost 10pm here on the 15th and we are finally getting showers and ready to go to bed. It has been an incredibly intense and emotional day. I am not sure we have any words to adequately describe what we have seen today. I was in the Post OP area all day and was a part of teaching some amazing students as well as a witness to the most horrible conditions I have ever seen. Josh was a part of history today...the first cardiac ablation in Cambodian history. This was a successful procedure and Josh as well as the Cardiologist from Denver said this was something they would never even try to do in Denver.

I know there will be more words tomorrow....much to process. The internet connection is so slow that I am unable to download pictures. I hope to get to wifi tomorrow and post some pictures. There are 2 more ablations tomorrow and I will go with Josh in the morning then hopefully to L&D soon. The needs are so great that they are putting the nurses where the most critical cases are. I know God is so near...keep praying for strength. We are exhausted, but so in awe of our amazing God.

Mom, kiss the kids for us and give them all an extra long squeeze. We miss them, but know they are being well taken care of. Gina, we will skype with you sometime Tuesday your time. We'll try before the boys go to school.

Thank you again so much for praying...we can so feel the prayers.

Love you,
L & J

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We are here!

Hello and good morning to you! It is 715pm here on the 14th and oh my we are soooo tired! We arrived in Phnom Penh, a huge blast of heat and humidity, around 1 this afternoon and have already been to the clinic as well as the heart hospital. The people are beautiful and I wanted to scoop up the people I saw in the ICU and pray for them to be healed. They Drs are doing an amazing job, just not enough training or resources for them. We had a meeting at 430pm tonight and met 21 precious med students and nurses. They go to med school right out of high school, at age 16 and then have 4-6 years of training and then are on their own. I nearly fainted when the directors told us we will be training the med students this week. We each have our own student who will shadow us wherever we are working. Pray for me to remember everything I have ever learned...big enough request? Just typing that out makes me cry and feel scared all at the same time. They are so hungry for information and I don’t know if I can do all of that. I know God will give me the right words and I am praying for opportunities to share about Jesus too.

Josh will be in the cath lab all day tomorrow....the Dr this afternoon was so proud to show us “his” lab and all of the equipment. Pray everything works the way it should. They are doing 2 very risky procedures tomorrow and have 28 cases lined up for the 7 days we are here.

I will be working in the post op recovery tomorrow and go to L&D on Tuesday. I know I will be more comfortable in L&D.

I think we are going to try to sleep soon....we have to be in a meeting and report at 6am!!!

For some reason I can't get email to send so here is a note for the kids....

We saw a lady on a motorcycle carrying a dead chicken, a huge cockroach in the hospital, a huge snail on a tree and a skinny kitty in the hall of the hospital too! Roark & Oliver, we had fried chicken tonight...they brought out a whole chicken on a plate...even the head. Zoe & Lucy, we ate dinner in a restaurant that had pink and read tables and beautiful yellow chairs. Don’t worry I didn’t eat the chicken...I am having a pop tart now. We love you so much...sing loud for mommy at church today and don’t forget to pray for us. Xoxo

Love to you all,


PS- Julie thanks so much for your them! Just what I needed today. Xoxo

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In Taipei, Taiwain

Feb 14 at 530am- Somewhere above the ocean

We are about 30 min from landing in Taipei!!! A long 14 hour flight in big comfy seats and not much sleep for me. Josh slept most of the flight!

The lights came on a while ago and we had breakfast….Chinese Porridge! It was rice with a consistency like oatmeal with white fish on top. There was a bean and onion salad to put on top too. I ate most of mine and Josh ate the fruit and bread. For once I was more adventurous than he was.

Friday afternoon we met our team of people at DIA and watched as 48 bags and medical equipment was loaded onto the conveyer belt. We are praying everything arrives safely. I know the hospital staff in Cambodia are so anxious to get the cardiac lab set up and start treating the patients.

I am so excited to meet and see the people there…my heart is pounding and I want to get my feet on the ground. I would love to brush my teeth too!

Thank you so much for praying for us and for our team as well. We did talk to our kids last night, or whenever that was ;) They sounded good, my sweet girls burst into tears as soon as they heard my voice. Please keep praying for their hearts. I know God is going to do great things in their hearts this week as well.

I will try to update tonight when we get settled into our hotel. I will have pictures too.

We love you all,

PS- 0830 on Feb 14

We are now sitting at the gate with wifi! We had noodles and dumplings at a great place in the airport. The airport is like a huge mall...even a Bobbi Brown counter. The people are so friendly and beautiful. We are waiting to take of for Cambodia in about 30 min. Thanks so much for praying...we are peaceful with very expectant hearts! xox

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

48 hours until take off

We are almost packed....only a few more things to get together for the kids and our hearts are so full!

Next time I update we will be on our way!