Watching the orange glow of a rising sun touch the horizon, I took in all that was before me. Standing on the balcony of the Teo Hotel years ago on one of my very first trips to Cambodia, I smelled the odors, the fragrances, some nice, some not so nice, looking out as the streets began to fill. The noise was getting louder, families traveling to school and work, vendors pulling their carts of wares to sell, beggars lining the street and the sidewalks asking for alms. Smoke rose from a large funneled stack containing the ashes of those being cremated in the building below it and spoke of what was to come for all of us. All who come to life leave sooner or later. But I was there to ensure that those who came to see us would have a long and meaningful life.
That was many years ago, and since then Medical Mercy has made many trips to some 15 countries caring for those children who are less than fortunate when compared to our own. We leave in a few days for another medical trip to Cambodia. 31 team members will spend 5 days in clinics serving those who come for help. I am always amazed how a team comes together within a few short hours on the first day, giving of themselves and asking for nothing. That comes from the realization that the virtue of serving others comes before our concern for ourselves.
What exactly is serving others? It is sacrifice, looking beyond the sadness, the poverty and the helplessness of frail people who seek nothing more than a hand to hold. Lest you think it is all just depressive moments, I assure you it is not. There are moments, nay, events, of smiles, gratitude, happiness and a genuine covenant bond between us and our patients, something I call the “care covenant”. To commit to care regardless.
So off we go, waiting for the moments, the events of “care” and the covenant bonds. To be present when present with a caring heart.
In all things give thanks,