Hello, my name is Ivan Yow; I am a junior doctor who worked in Preston, UK. I have been preparing to join Dr Filipe and his team at Solid Rock starting September 2016 to work as a medical missionary.
How did this come about? I believe it is best to start at the beginning...
Background and motivations
I have been to Cambodia twice with Bread & Life International for short term missions to Cambodia. On my second trip, I met with Dr Felipe Castro, a missionary doctor who moved his family from Philippines to Cambodia 30 years ago. God blessed his work there, and he continued to serve the community by establishing a church, orphanage, school and now a new hospital.
In my previous trip, he impressed upon me the Bible verse Luke 10:
However, each person’s calling for missions are individually unique and based upon multiple factors: from the spiritual convictions to circumstances; ability; responding to a humanitarian need and timing. It does sound exciting and it is easy to be distracted.
After a year of praying, and thinking, I have decided to take a step of faith. As it is said in Hebrews 11:
As such, I hope for His will to be done in Cambodia (and everywhere else), and to move despite uncertainties and risks!
So…What will I be doing there? I was called to join the medical staff team, and will also be involved in gospel ministry. It is prudent to have realistic expectations and goals in mind, as not to be disillusioned. As such, I suspect the next few months will be more of a fact finding mission (like a case study) and a place to serve. In a scientific sense, we have to understand the issues before considering implementation any changes.
I have a few friends who worked in the aeroplane industry. And from my extensive privilege to travel, one must prepare before the plane lifts off. In fact, this concept was introduced in the medical field to minimise human errors.
Anyway, there is much to prepare before the trip. Like many doctors, we like to make a list to keep ourselves organise. Here's mine:
1) Own spiritual discipleship. Regardless of whether we are going on a mission trip or not, to lose sight or neglect my own faith would be bad. It forms a major part of my identity, calling, salvation, hope, and joy. If I falter in faith in UK, how much so in Cambodia?
2) UK Local church support and Bread & Life International team for prayer, advice, and training.
3) Liaising with Cambodian team. A good start to form relationship and for many practical aspects from visa, accommodation food, expectations, medical licencing etc.
4) Mission training: I did an online course called en-route course organised by All Nations. It was very useful, equipping me with a myriad of useful knowledge to reflect upon. I would highly advise anyone interested in missions to complete this course.
5) Cambodian culture. I started learning the language and further understanding of the culture.
6) Practical issues & logistical issues such as my belongings in UK, car, vaccinations etc.
7) Sorting out GMC, medical indemnity etc.
8) Plan for the rest of the year. I needed to plan for how to return and what to do afterwards and to complete my medical training.
Right. That’s a long list. But I acknowledge and trust all things in Gods name. Please pray for the things above and for the work in Cambodia.
So thus starts the beginning of the journey to Cambodia. Thank you to family, and friends for your support.
Stay tuned for further updates.