So, Saturday morning, Teddy and I were up and out the door by 7 am. We had plans to visit a midwifery clinic here in the city. I'd been in contact with a local midwife (who is actually from Namibia and studied in the Philippines with Mercy in Action), Toinette. We planned to meet her at the Russian Market by 7:40 so that she could lead us to the clinic. We had no idea what each other looked like.
As we drove up to the Market, I immediately saw a white woman on a motto with a pink helmet and a nurses uniform shirt on. I knew that was her. We walked over and greeted one another and off we were. Our tuk tuk driver followed her as she lead the way to a part of the city we had never been. I can't even tell you how many turns we made, how many streets we went on. It seemed the longer we drove, the more we were moving away from the areas we were familiar with. Again, it proves once again how incredibly large this city really is.
Alas, we finally arrived on a dusty dirt road, lined with squatter housing, children running around, and a strong smell of trash mixed with fried foods. The ride there alone was filled with pungent stank and aromatic food cooking along the side of the road. As we jumped off our vehicles, my eyes caught the clinic sign posted on the entrance wall. "Jehova Jireh Maternity Clinic". Lovely.
As we entered the the outside of the clinic building, there was a group of pregnant women and mothers with babies sitting in chairs in the courtyard. Suddenly, it dawned on me that it was well women and baby clinic day! Could I really be that lucky? I mean, it couldn't get much better. But, it did.
Toinette led us inside. As they started doing prenatal checks, Toinette began to narrate all that was going on. Also, giving me a brief history of the clinic and the present day struggles and roadblocks to getting healthcare to these women. She also began to introduce me to the 1/2 dozen or so young Cambodian women that she is mentoring to become midwives.
The students began to bring the women in one by one for their appts. I observed quietly. Toinette then guided me into one of the women's stories and check up. I couldn't believe I was able to experience so much. She then asked me to oversee some of the students while she helped guide the others. wow. um... but I don't know what their saying?? It was quite funny to me. But I did the best I could. They were busy and I didn't have the time to explain I know about as much as her students!
Eitherway, the rest of the time there proved to be amazing for both of us. Toinette shared with us the deep need for midwives here. A fact that I have been praying about for quite sometime. The words she spoke next are immortalized in my mind because they were spoken with such assurance and wisdom. She said to me "Jamie, you will fall in love with the Philippines, you will want to stay there. But you can't forget about Cambodia. We need you here." And just like that, I thought there was gonna be angels singing or something. mmm...
While I was in the clinic trying to serve, Teddy struck up a conversation with a woman who goes around the city preaching the gospel. Interesting woman. I joined them for a bit and she shared her story with us. She went to live in NY for 3 years. While she was there, she worked hard to make money. She made money. But she said her heart was not happy. She felt God asking her to come back to Cambodia and serve her people. So she did. Her next words to us struck our hearts where we find ourselves now. She said "Let me tell you, when I have all the things I wanted, money, job, nice things....my heart was so unhappy. But, when I chose to follow what God was asking me and serve His Kingdom, I have no money- but my heart is filled with joy that no one can take away. You follow God's plan, your heart happy." I was waiting to see an apparition of Jesus to appear next. It was like God was speaking directly to our hearts in all the things we were praying for in this visit.
Even though following God in our lives is sometimes chaotic and certain paths are unclear, and even twist far from the place you thought you were going, there are moments like these that become crystal clear. HE is speaking to you.
We definitely were encouraged that the path we are following is good. Please continue to pray for the women and children here and that God would provide more midwives with hearts to serve these women. Maybe I will be one of them one day.