Carl Update 091108

Good Morning from Pakse, Laos. We just finished breakfast and are waiting for a call about going to a
village to tend to a sick woman.  This is a most interesting ministry experience, as many things are done without a great deal of communication or outward planning. 

Yesterday, we traveled two hours nothward and visited a dilapidated provincial hospital that serves a radius of about 100 kilometers.  Language here is a real obstacle like nowhere else that I have been, but we are getting through it and comunicating.  

At this hospital, I did find a young doctor that could speak English marginally and he was proud to show me all of his fresh post-ops of the day, lying in a room without even windows. He even poured into my hand a pile of gallstones from a patient not yet fully recovered from anesthesia and then pulled back the dressing of an appedectomy patent.  Was he a surgeon, I asked… of course not! He told me that he had only studied family medicine, not surgery.  Amazing… is all that I can say!  

I then peered into one patient room to see a heartbreaking site of a young boy about ten years old, emaciated and near death.  I suddenly broke the stoic atmosphere of the tour and prayed for him at the Lord’s leading… I had no choice.  Even this morning, the stamp of his face is still strong in my mind
and the question is, where is he now?  You know what I mean?

Lastly, we also had the occasion to meet local Believers and to hear how they work under the radar of the culture to spread the word and then had dinner with a fine Australian laboring in the community through a non-government organization.  

Clearly, a nation in need of a Savior. Still, I’m wondering if I will be able to bring short-term medical teams here without compromising the work that is going on. I’ve had to learn the hard way through my work in Nepal that people often come with their own personal agendas when it comes to serving. I may say, “Please, no tracks” or “Please be careful about presenting the Message to every single person you see in the open market, because we live here and it may compromise our work if the Spirit isn’t leading you.” However, the tracks still manage to make their way into the community and team members may choose to disregard our concerns. These are communities where sharing the Gospel might cost someone their life, and even though not sharing is clear to do the same, these situations MUST be handled with extreme care and concern. 

In truth, God knows all about whether or not we are to make a footprint in this place. God knows if we can add to the work that is already in progress here and who is to do the adding. God knows all about that and I’m resting in that on every step of this journey. 

Carl for Arise Medical Missions (Laos)