“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Twenty years ago, I traveled to Mexico as a member of a humanitarian missions construction team. I don’t know what I was expecting but I found myself, homesick, damp, cold, and bewildered. The level of poverty in the community where we were serving was beyond anything I had ever seen or experienced. Somehow, by the time I returned home, I was ready to repack my bags and travel to another country. Since then, I have traveled to sixteen different countries on thirty-five mission trips.
Last month, during my most recent trip to Cambodia, my team’s primary goal was to conduct mobile medical clinics in four underserved communities in partnership with Cambodian Care Ministries’. For the second year in a row, we used medications from MAP International.
Over a six day period, our team of six nurses and seventeen non-medical support team members served 661 adults and children at our mobile medical clinic locations. 506 of them were children and youth under the age of 18. The prescription medications our nurse practitioners prescribed from our MAP “blue boxes” were medications our patients would not have had the financial resources nor the access to medical care any other way.
This month, I start a new adventure as a MAP International Board Member. I am going to try not to look bewildered at my first board meeting in Atlanta next week. But I am sure that some of the feelings I had on my very first mission trip — finding out about a whole new level of community need around the world — will be similar. And I will have even more reason to keep my suitcase packed and ready to go to another country!
(photo credits: Gabriel Rivera, Cambodia, August 2016)